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Showing posts from October, 2020

Give Your Goals Visibility

Where do you keep your goals? Do you place them in a visible place you'll have to see every day -- maybe even all day? When your goals are visible you are much more likely to work on them. When you work on your goals you are much more likely to achieve them. Keep your goals where you can see them so you can see them thru. -- doug smith

Calibrate Your Goals

Do you like ambitious goals?  We can stretch ourselves and our abilities with ambitious goals. It's a great way to develop. Our goals should push us and prod us and poke us forward beyond our existing limits. But not so far that they break us. Not so much that we can't attain success. Goals are dynamic and we can calibrate them appropriately. Pick the right sized goal for you. You can always make it bigger once it's achieved. -- doug smith

Work On Noble Goals

Why do people pursue goals that cause pain? When one person's ambition causes another person's anguish that is not a noble goal. It is not sheepishness or lack of courage that cautions us to take care of other people and their needs -- it is basic human decency. High performance leaders do not need to create harm. We make important decisions. We can balance our goals with the consequences and chose those that create only value. That does not rule out competition. Sometimes we DO need to compete. When we need to compete (hey, I like a good contest as much as anyone) we do it fairly, within the rules, with no intention of harming anyone. I can block your shot without breaking your arm. You can tackle me without causing a concussion. It is possible to assertively work for a win without creates debilitating loss. Seek good goals. Work on noble goals.  A goal is no good if it results in harm. -- doug smith  

Do You Own Your Goals?

You don't have to let anyone talk you out of a goal. The goal is yours, the work is yours, the reward is yours. Own it. Experience it. Work it. -- doug smith  

Are You Committed to Your Goals?

Goals are important but require action. No matter how much you want a goal, until you start working on it the goals just sits there.  Everyone has goals, but some people haven't committed to them. Some people haven't worked on their goals. What are you doing today to work on at least one great goal? It's not too late. It's never too late. Let's get started! -- doug smith

A Great Source of Power for You

Would you like more power? Is gathering influence something that you value? You can gain that in many ways. Certainly, one way is to get promoted to a higher level job title. That does bring increased power. But, not enough, does it? You still want more. We all want more. We want as much agency and autonomy and independence as we can get.  Here's something you have absolute power over. You control this completely, and when you control it effectively it dramatically increases your power: Your attitude. How you look at the world. How you feel about your self. How you apply positive principles to persistent problems.  Your attitude is more powerful than your job title. You attitude is more powerful than any problem. Your attitude is a great source of power for you -- when you keep it compassionate, clear, courageous, and creative. Tap into THAT power -- it is inexhaustible. -- doug smith

Be More, Become More

What are you learning today? If you want to do more, you must be more. Become more. Keep developing yourself. -- doug smith  

Honest Goal Assessment

Have you ever kept a goal alive for far too long after it's become obvious that you don't really care about it? You've got so MANY great goals, it's OK to drop a dud. Dropping a goal you'll never achieve is better than pretending that you still believe. -- doug smith


High performance leaders turn detailed plans into powerful actions. -- doug smith

Double Check

Be careful of what bridges you burn, you may have forgotten something important. Stop. Think. Breathe. Ask. That fire will burn fast enough if you need it. -- doug smith  

High Performance Leaders Stay Positive

Stay positive, not because it's easy but because it opens many more possibilities. -- doug smith

Even High Performance Leaders Need Patience

Do you ever lose your patience? High performance leaders sometimes focus so much on results that we get impatient about it. That's not all bad. Leaders need a sense of urgency. Just as long as we don't take it out on our team members. Press, don't distress. Push, don't crush. Every day provides opportunities to practice patience. -- doug smith

What Do You Know?

I remember making up an answer. If I'm honest, I've done it more than once. How about you? And, sometimes the answer was right. But of course sometimes the answer was wrong. Instead of looking like I didn't know the answer, it looked like I made it up. I don't do that anymore. I don't know everything, and I admit it. I'd like to know everything. I'm working on it (LOL) but not even close. How about you? Sometimes, in order to discover how much a team member knows, I'll hold back on information that I DO know, to allow them to explore and discover it. That could be considered pretending to NOT know the answer, but honestly, many times by staying silent that gives the team member time to think it thru, explore the idea, and discover a fabulous answer. Often, that answer is much better than the one I had in mind. Pretending to know the answer is less useful than pretending to NOT know the answer.  Stay curious. It works. -- doug smith

Should A Leader Be Positive or Negative?

Have you ever worked with a negative leader? Someone who leads by arguing, yelling, insulting, and pushing people around is a negative leader. Also, a leader who says mostly negative things like "what's wrong with you?" or "how many times do I have to tell you?" or "just do what I say because you can't figure it out otherwise" is negative. Oddly, sometimes a negative leader will get the immediate reaction desired. People might jump into place. Employees might try harder. But that's a temporary result. Negative leaders drive people away. The trouble with skepticism is its power to increase certainty without increasing accuracy and then allowing a negative notion to create a negative outcome. It can be more work to stay positive. It takes practice. It takes the ability to pause when someone on your team says something unbelievably incorrect. But do make that effort. Should a leader be positive or negative? Given the choice of which kind of leader

Call Your Team Members

If you want to communicate better you may need to communicate more often. Maybe even every day. Reach out to each team member, no matter where they are, and try these three things today: Appreciate Challenge Encourage It doesn't take an hour. It doesn't require a video. Just reach out. You'll like the effect that it has. You'll feel like doing it again. Go ahead.  -- doug smith

Where to Start

The first person to lead is yourself. -- doug smith

Talk With Your Team

How often do you talk with your team members, one-on-one? Not counting the group meetings, are you scheduling and keeping regular conversations with each and every team member? They need that level of attention. They require that level of attention. They have a much better chance of meeting your expectations when you give them that level of attention. It's an effort. It takes discipline. But, what could be more important than clear and regular communication with your team members? I would say, just about nothing would be more important. High performance leaders talk with each team member about what comes next. High performance leaders talk with each team member about performance. High performance leaders talk with each team member regularly, openly, honestly, and deeply. It's your best leadership tool. Talk with your team members. -- doug smith

Redirect the Benefit Before You Solve the Problem

Everybody wants something. Some people seem to want everything, or at least everything that interferes with what we want. That's a problem. And when what causes us a problem turns out to be an advantage, a benefit, a payoff...for someone else the problem is compounded.  If your problem is someone else's benefit don't expect them to help you solve it. Find another way to provide the benefit first, and then maybe they'll listen. -- doug smith

Three Keys

The key to solving problems is understanding. The key to understanding is communication. The key to communication is love. Start with love. -- doug smith

Evolve Faster

Have you noticed that some of your biggest problems from many years ago no longer bother you? You've likely solved them, outgrown them, or left them behind. That's not true for every problem of course, some physical problems stay a lifetime, and some systemic problems last for generations. Some problems truly are out of our control. But what can we do about the problems that we do have influence over, we just haven't yet solved? Working a useful problem solving process is one way. Continuing to learn is another way. Evolving and developing ourselves prepares us in whatever strategy we use. High performance leaders and performers keep growing.  Evolve faster and you could make your most persistent problem obsolete.ff Then you'll be ready for something even bigger and better. -- doug smith

What a Leader Wants

Do your team members tell you when they have a problem? Not a personal problem (good heavens, that's not for you!) but rather a performance problem. Something is blocking their performance, standing in the way, inhibiting their ability to deliver first class work. They should let you know. You should listen.  There is no shame in sharing team problems -- they focus us on the be best opportunities for progress. We won't solve every problem that way, but the ones that we do solve not only fix the problem but also build the relationship. As a leader, isn't that what you want? -- doug smith

Performance Is More Than One-Tap Away

Somethings are so easy. One click, one call, one spoken command. But, as always, not everything is easy. When we begin to assume that everything should be easy we lose track of the reality that some things DO require discipline. You can't one-click your physical work-out. You can't one-tap your organizational realignment. You can't one-command your new, improved, work-ethic inspired workforce. Things of value and projects of worth still require engagement, discipline, and the relentless willingness to try, fail, and try again. In any workforce you'll find performance problems. There is no magic wand to make these problems turn into performance. It takes attentive leadership that cares about team members and provides the development they need to prosper. It also takes the open and dedicated willingness OF those team members to make performance progress happen. We, as leaders, can't do THAT for our team members. Without the willingness, they are truly helpless. It'

Keep Busy, Keep Growing !

How fast are you growing? Can you feel yourself evolving and developing into the next better version of yourself? As old as I am (and if you ask my best friend, she'll tell you I'm OLD) I am still evolving. Still growing. Still experimenting, trying, striving, and stretching. Not as fast as before, perhaps, but there are no additional boundaries -- just opportunities. I aim to do as much as I can as long as I can. As Judi tells me, "you can sleep when you die." Well, I do need sleep BEFORE then, but in the mean time she's right: there's a lot of work to be done. Get busy. -- doug smith

High Performance Leaders Serve First

Think about a time when you experienced tremendous satisfaction. You were not just happy, you were pleased inside and out. Your value was enhanced, your self-esteem was elevated. What caused that? What was it that you did? More importantly, who did you help? Chances are that you helped more than yourself. You probably started by helping someone else, and that lead to helping you as well. High performance leaders serve first. They aren't in it for the ego. The ego is fragile and near-sighted. True leadership achieves noble goals in the service of others. And that's what makes us happy in lasting and meaningful ways.  It is in service that we are best served. Serve first, my friends. It will serve you well. -- doug smith

What's Your Motivation?

Any goal is harder to achieve unless you have a solid reason for wanting to achieve it. Motivation matters. Before you begin all that hard work on a goal, maybe ask yourself this question: why do you want it? If you really DO want it, if the reason is compelling enough it will propel you into motion. And, if it's not, hey, work on something else! -- doug smith

Put Your Ideas Into Action!

Have you ever had a great idea and then nothing came of it? That's happened with me more times than I'd like to admit. Thinking, generating, ruminating, I can turn an idea around in my head until both of us are dizzy. But so what? Until I DO something, that idea sits idle. Our best ideas don't mean much until we put them into action. When you get a great idea: do something! Put your ideas into action. That's how you get things done. -- doug smith  

Here's Your Pumpkin

This is my favorite time of year. The weather is cool, but not cold. The air is crisp, but not bold. Colors are changing all around and (gasp!) pumpkin spice is widely available. What's your favorite time of year?  It's all available there for you to make each season as productive as possible. You are capable of even greater things than you've already accomplished. You are perfectly poised to lead the next great innovation, cure, or creation. Let the crisp autumn air boost you into motion. It's time to get stuff done! Create a great day, no matter what comes your way! -- doug smith

Problem Solving: Work Together

Working collaboratively to solve a problem does take longer but helps us avoid our hard-wired and burdensome bias for broken answers. Working together we see might slow down the process but we extend the positive results. -- doug smith   

Act On Your Ideas

We never run out of ideas on how to create solutions to a problem, but we do have to stop long enough to try one to see if it works. Generate > Decide > Deploy Put those great ideas in motion! -- doug smith

Let Them Convince Themselves

It's hard to convince someone that their solution to a problem doesn't work, until it doesn't work. We cling to our idea. Our experience clarifies our expectations.  When I'm trying to influence someone to consider the ramifications of their ideas, I've learned to first validate the idea (identify whatever is useful about it or appealing) before guiding them thru any analysis of the idea. Seeing the truth can be tough enough, without adding emotional resistance to the mix. It's easier for someone to convince themselves. Convincing them is hard. Let them convince themselves. -- doug smith  

What If It Felt Perfect?

We make mistakes. Your team makes mistakes. You make mistakes. We are not perfect and the best we can do is to do the best we can do. That's more than lip-service. That's more than excuses. Doing the best we can do leaves no effort ignored when the customer's expectations are on the line. When we have the opportunity to truly do our best, it takes more effort, but the customer can feel your sincerity, and feel your work. The goal is not perfection, but what if it felt like perfection to your customer? -- doug smith