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Showing posts from February, 2021


  Have you ever experienced a leader who tried to motivate you thru fear? Fear of consequences, fear of failure, fear of your own loss of self-esteem? We used to call it "old school" leadership but it's made a return in some companies. Some leaders think that they have to bully people into doing what they want them to do. Even if that works on a short-term basis, it doesn't last. The side-effects are deep. The price is high.  Fear is a terrible motivator because it keeps biting even after it's achieved its goal. And that makes each consecutive goal harder and harder to achieve. High performance leaders can do better.  -- doug smith

Work On Your Important Goals

Have you ever put off a goal you are really excited about to work on another goal? Maybe it was someone else's idea of an important goal. Or, maybe it had an arbitrary deadline so you felt compelled to give it your attention. How did that feel? For me, it always feels frustrating.  That's why I need to remind myself: The sooner you can let go of uninspiring goals the faster you can work on goals you care about. Isn't that what you want to do? -- doug smith  

So Much More To Learn

  How do you know what you don't know? Isn't the first step in learning something figuring out that you don't know what you need to know? We need that moment of cognitive dissonance to motivate us into learning. Or do we? Learning occurs in so many ways that I don't even pretend to have figured it all out. But I do know this: ignorance has a way of hiding itself. There are times when we just can't figure it out on our own. We need help. We need someone else to tell us. We need feedback. We don't know what we don't know, and that creates some awkward mistakes. Get the feedback. Ask, and then decide. There is so much more to learn. -- doug smith

Stay Calm

Do you ever get over-excited? Does stress ever bring on strong emotions for you? It's certainly happened to me. Feeling that urgency without seeing an answer is tough. That's when I've learned to breathe deeply, count to ten (or higher) and stay aware to exactly what is going on. Experience the experience and then, slowly if necessary, move forward. High performance leaders master calm and composure.  Of course, I'm still working on it. How about you? -- doug smith

Set Solid and Clear Goals

  Are you catching resistance? Are things standing in your way. Set solid and clear goals. A solid, clear goal can withstand any judging. You've got this. -- doug smith

Push Boldly On

Doesn't it seem a little hazy sometimes? The future is fuzzy. Uncertainty rules. It can knock us sideways with a dizziness that dazzles us without rest. Breathe. You are up to this. You are made for this. You can center yourself, focus yourself, clarify your own goals, and push. Relentlessly push positively in the direction you choose. If it's the wrong direction, you'll discover that and shift. High performance leaders are constantly shifting. From the old, to the new. From the uncertain, to the clear. Shift. Centered leaders live with ambiguity while pushing for clarity. Keep pushing. -- doug smith

Today's Motivation: Keep Learning

What have you learned today? That's the question I ask the most. I ask other people, and I ask myself: what have you learned today? We get energy from learning. We get experience and we learn some more. We work toward wisdom and we always learn more. Learn constantly, it's the best way to improve. It's our responsibility to get smarter everyday. And how do we do that? Keep learning! -- doug smith Call to Action: Play nice, work hard, be smart. Whatever that means to you today, please do more of that. The world needs your best!

Keep Going

It's easy to get discouraged. Work, people, even life throws more challenges than we expect or ever ask for. Keep going. Obstacles will slow you down and pull on your momentum until it screeches like the bad brakes on an old Chevy. Keep going. Tasks will blur together in a fog of business that makes that vision ever harder to see and follow. Keep going. Keep going. Your work is important, and it's just beginning. -- doug smith

Find Joy In The Work

Have you ever known someone who clearly hates their job? Their distaste reflects in everything that do, in the way that they treat their team members, and especially in the way that they treat their customers. Hopefully, that doesn't describe you. We all have tough times on the job, and most of us have started jobs that were not what we wanted to do. That doesn't prevent us from enjoying the work. How you look at your work matters. How you find value in the tasks that they do -- no matter how simple, difficult, or low-paying. I've had all of those conditions in jobs that I didn't like at first but gradually grew to love. How? By constantly improving. By treating people around me with respect. By having fun. There is dignity in work. There is value in getting things done. There is happiness to be found in serving others. Joy in the work is not just possible, it's natural.  Why run and hide from what is right in front of you: a better day created by doing better work.