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Showing posts from August, 2023

It's Your Choice

How do you look at problems? Do you see them as annoyances, or do you recognize the challenge? The way you look at your problems determines what you do with them. You could be annoyed -- or you could solve a challenge. It's your choice. -- doug smith  

Get That Reward

Every decent goal comes with a reward. In addition to achieving the desired performance, you often get rewarded with recognition, with promotions, with smiles. Achieving your goals gets things done. When is the best time to achieve your goals? As soon as you can. The sooner you achieve a goal the sooner you can reward yourself for achieving your goal. What are you waiting for? -- doug smith  

Master Something...

Are you good at everything? Me, either. The list of people who are good at everything is short. That's OK. You don't need to master everything, but you DO need to master something. What are you working on to master these days? -- doug smith  

Healthy and Sometimes Right...

Healthy self-esteem doesn't mean that you're always right -- it means that you're alright even when you're wrong. -- doug smith

Solving the Next One

We sometimes keep score too quickly and too soon. A pause in our pace might recalibrate the race. That problem is probably solvable, even though it does not feel that way right now. Remember all the problems you've already solved and you'll feel better about solving the next one. You are remarkable, you are experienced, and you are ready for this challenge. That is precisely why this challenge is facing you now. -- doug smith

Change Credibility

You've probably heard this expression since you were a child: "do as I say, not as I do..." or some variation. And yet, as leaders, we often expect people to adopt a change we haven't fully supported or even adopted ourselves. That new software. That new attendance policy. That reviewed customer service skill. We cling to the past even as we promote the future. That's not for you. If you are a leader in a hybrid environment and you spend every working day at the onsite work location -- what kind of picture of hybrid does that paint for your team? How supported will your hybrid team members feel if they can only gain your support in the office? If you catch yourself promoting something that you don't do, that's cause for reflection. Asking someone else to change something you haven't already changed is curious indeed. If people have to ask "why" then it's clear you're not already doing what you want them to do. -- doug smith  

Learn It Now

What you learn today is valuable for every day that follows.  Learn it now -- you may not get another chance. -- doug smith 

Play On

How resilient are you? Would your team say the same thing? So many times in life (and in leadership) I have been disappointed. Whether it was circumstances, scarcities, or troubling people, it felt easy to give up.  But even when the cards seem stacked against you -- even when defeat seems certain -- if you persist you will learn far more than you ever thought possible. I remember a time long ago when as a high school coach for a middle school basketball team, drawing a bunch of inexperienced and un-developed players and doing my best to coach them beyond their perceived weaknesses into an enthusiastic team capable of embracing of who we were -- rank underdogs who were surrounded by supremely talented teams who always won more games than us until the playoffs came, the games mattered more, and somehow we managed to hustle our way to a trophy. It was fun, but just before it became fun it was a lot of hard and sometimes discouraging work. When in your life do you remember overcoming the

Sharing Happiness

Moods are contagious. Leaders touch so many people -- in person and virtually -- that our moods spread far and wide. What kind of mood do you want to increase? What if we worked more at sharing happiness? Tell people the news that uplifts them about how their performance makes customers happy. Share recognition for that big project that you just finished. Smile as we greet our team members and our customers and our peers.  Sharing happiness increases it. Isn't that a great idea? -- doug smith

No More Cranky Leaders, Please

Have you ever worked for a cranky leader? Someone who can't be happy no matter what? Grumble, grumble, grumble! It's easy to fall into a habit of frowning, scowling, and growling. Easy, but silly -- because it does not good, I've tried being cranky and it just makes things worse. Stay positive, be positive, create positive change. Your mood is SO contagious, why not spread a positive mood? -- doug smith  

Creating Positive Change

"I don't like change..." "What is it about change that you don't like?" "All the disruption! All the chaos! I just get used to something and someone changes it." "What's your plan?" "Excuser me?" "What do you plan to do about it? "What CAN I do about it? Change just keeps coming at us relentlessly. I hate it!" "What if things are actually getting better?" "Impossible!" "Think about it. What if you could have frozen time fifty years ago? Would you really rather work in a coal mine? Would you really rather deal with unchecked disease and infection? Sure, things are challenging now, but if you go back into any period of time in recorded history, things were much worse." "So what should I do about that?" "Maybe stop complaining. Maybe stay positive. Maybe, as as responsible high performance leader work to create positive change." "Hmmm." What do you think

Goals, Plus

Goals make a profound, positive impact on people and their work. Goals help us focus our efforts and rally our support. We need goals. As important as goals are to your overall big picture, they are truly only part of the picture. You still need work. You still need support. You still need the knowledge it takes to make decisions quickly.  Goals aren't enough to make you happy, but they sure do make it easier. What's your top goal today? -- doug smith

Pride Delays Improvement

It's fine to feel proud about hard work that is well done, about accomplishments, about achieving your goals. When you've worked hard, you do deserve to be proud. I've learned to be careful about how much of that pride influences me. Too much, and pride creates blind spots covering up the areas in need of improvement. Too much pride and arrogance toward others, or toward disciplined good habits, can sneak in. Pride delays improvement.  Feel the pride when you've earned it, and then get back to work with the full sense that none of us are perfect yet -- and never will be -- and yet we can constantly improve. -- doug smith  

The Difference

How hard should we work? How much does it matter? Work as though your work will make a difference and it will. To you, to others, to your organization, to the world. -- doug smith  

On Your Way to Happiness

On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you? If you're south of 6 you've got some real work to do. If you're north of 7 you're doing great -- keep going in that direction. Now ask yourself this: on a scale of 1 to 10 how are you doing with your personal goals? Goals aren't enough alone to make you happy, but they sure do make it easier. When you can find a way to match them up. that's very happy indeed. -- doug smith

Talk About Your Goals

"I have a confession to make." "What's that?" "I haven't talked about my goals all day." "Oh. What's the big deal about that?" "It also means that I probably haven't worked on them, either." "Oops." "Exactly." "You'd better get on that." "You're right." "So glad that we talked about this..." Have you talked about your goals today? -- doug smith  

The Truth Is More Kind

While it may be diplomatic to hide an uncomfortable truth, it is in the end not all that kind. You can build all the walls you want around the truth and paint it with all the pretty disguises and half-truths and silences that you want but the truth will find a way to emerge. Truth is relentless and tireless. Tell the truth. Be nice about it, sure. Use the leadership strength of compassion to stay empathetic and considerate. Tell the truth with kindness but please -- do tell the truth. -- doug smith

Constructive Feedback

Wouldn't it be nice if the only feedback we got was all positive? Our self-esteem would be so happy. Our confidence would be flying high. Work would be wonderful! The problem is, the mistakes we make, the opportunities we miss, the offenses we offer would go unchecked leading to - gulp - worse performance. Yes, we love the positive feedback. I can run a week on one "good job!" We also really need the constructive comments. Ready or not, we can always improve. Asking only for positive feedback sounds comforting but it's wrong. We need to ask for feedback and handle it, positive or not. If we do not receive any constructive feedback, as high performance leaders we owe it to ourselves and our teams to ask for it. It's also true when it comes to delivering feedback. Our constructive feedback for others may make them uncomfortable. Our observations of behavior may run counter to their self-evaluation. As leaders, we owe it to people to help them improve, to lead them t

Problem Trading

While there may be some negotiating involved in problem solving, the trade-offs made will impact the solution. Let's not trade problems when we could be solving them. What if we agreed to collaborate instead of agitate? -- doug smith   

Rising Truth

The truth won't disappear even if you hide it. It might be possible to hide the truth for a while, but it will inevitably emerge. Are you someone who tries to hide the truth, or are you someone who reveals the truth? Either way, there is skill behind the effort. Oh, and either way the truth will still bubble to the top. -- doug smith

Don't Panic

"It's the end of the world!" "This will never work out!" "We can't possible figure this out!" Yikes. The sounds of panic are shrill and painful. Worse, they do not help. Putting a panic in a problem won't solve it, but it will certainly slow it down. It will probably even make it worse. Let's not panic. Let's get to work. -- doug smith  

Values First?

Can you reach a durable agreement with someone who does not share your values? Does it depend on which value? Certainly, it matters whether or not someone values truth -- and you could still disagree on what that means. It matters if the value is honesty, integrity, ethical behaviors -- and it matters enough that it is worth getting to know people before you agree too deeply.  Until we agree on values we will never fully agree. And, the cost of pretending to agree is higher than disagreement. Do you agree? -- doug smith