Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2023

Good Intentions, but...

  Problems are not always caused by mistakes. Sometimes they're caused by good intentions. While it is great to begin with good intentions, what we do still matters more than what we intend. If a leader creates an unfair atmosphere out of the intention to help one particular team member, that could be a problem. If a leader intends to build a high performance team and yet supports without ever challenging team members, that could be a problem. Good intentions are not enough. Right actions matter more. -- doug smith

Unlimited Strength

  Strength is not a zero-sum game. Your strength does not subtract strength from anyone else (or shouldn't). Someone else's strength does not subtract from yours. Sometimes we act like it does, but it need not be that way. As high performance leaders our job is to help others to develop their strength. In the process, we develop our own. Our strength does not depend on anyone's weakness. We never need for anyone else to ever be less in order for us to be more. We can all grow. We can all improve. We can, and should, all develop our leadership strength. -- doug smith

Keep Your Goals Noble

  Goals are powerful. Carefully and clearly defined, goals propel you forward. They make it possible to achieve things that would otherwise elude you. Those could be great things, and those could also be not so great things -- even things that do not serve you well. Keep your goals noble. Set goals that do good for others as well as for yourself. Set and achieve goals that create a better world while avoiding any harm. Noble goals will serve both you and the world. If you can keep your goals noble you'll feel better about achieving them. And we'll all be better off. -- doug smith

That Silly Ego

  How do you feel about the ego? Or, how does your EGO feel about the ego? A healthy self-image is essential. We do better when we feel better about ourselves. But, it's easy to take that too far. It's easy for someone to make critical decisions based only on the impact to the ego. That causes more problems than it solves. Silly ego. We shouldn't let it decide for us. It will learn to get over whatever is going on. Let that ego energize you, but don't let it polarize you. The ego is less dangerous when you see how funny it is. Laugh, and move ahead using your head. -- doug smith

The Best Thing...

  The best thing is to prevent problems and the next best thing is to solve them. -- doug smith

Is Your Goal A Project?

  Some people look at projects differently than goals. Maybe the project feels more complicated. What if they are not that different? Every goal is a project. Break it down into actionable steps. Plan it carefully. Give your goals all the discipline you put into your projects. Do what it takes to achieve your goals. -- doug smith

Other People's Stories

What's your story? Have you ever been asked that question? Do you ever ask anyone else, "What's your story? What is the story behind your thinking, your emotions, your point of view?" Everyone has a story. Complicated, jaded, faded, fabricated, exasperated, under-rated...stories that knit together our moments into who we are. We do need to understand our own personal stories because they give us a place to stand, a place to focus, and a face to show the world. We also benefit from understanding, or sometimes it's enough to seek to understand, the stories of others. People we care about as well as people who stand in our way. Understanding other people's stories helps us understand each other.  When we can begin to understand the stories of others then our own stories contain more joy. I'm in favor of that, how about you? -- doug smith  

Leadership Muscle

Stretch goals might leave stretch marks but they also build muscle. -- doug smith

The Road

The road to destiny takes the scenic path. Our job is to pay attention. -- doug smith  

No Fear of Detours

  I don't like to get lost. Unfortunately, without reliable directions I would be lost most of the time. Those directions often lead to detours. The original path is blocked, or unavailable, or more problematic than anticipated...something causes the route to change. If the destination is the same, it's still a worth journey. A detour doesn't stop you from going where you want to go. It's just another scenic route. Slow down and enjoy the view... -- doug smith

Dial Down The Noise

  How noisy is it for your team?  When we ask our teams to deal with extraneous details -- too much noise -- they lose track of the purpose of the team. I've lost patience over the years with administrative details that add zero value to the customer proposition. If it doesn't help you serve, help it out the door. Too much noise makes the head lose focus Learning to focus is learning to breathe. Breathing is, of course, the way of life. -- doug smith

The Point

The goal is not the point. The goal is the way TO the point. High performance leaders keep their focus on the mission and then work on goals that support that mission. Anything else is piece work. -- doug smith  

Simply Good

A good habit is simply a goal you complete every day without any fanfare. -- doug smith  

Still There...

Has it drifted away? Have you lost track of an important dream? Is that goal sitting idle? No matter how far you've drifted away from your dream it still is there waiting for you.  Maybe it changed. Maybe it's re-calibrated. Maybe it is something you have to learn all over again. It's still there... -- doug smith  

What What Matters

  How do you feel about keeping score? In nearly every job (could it even be in every job?) we are forced to keep score. One metric after another lets us know whether or not we "measure up" to the company standards. Oh, sure they change, which makes it necessary to react and shift our efforts, but inevitably there are measurements to meet. People are going to keep score anyway no matter what we do so why not help them to count what matters most.  Measuring what does not matter is a waste of time and  profound aggravation. Negotiate what to measure before you get measured and see if it makes a difference. And if you don't have the freedom or influence to negotiate those measures, master them until you do.  -- doug smith

Communication Freedom...

  Have you ever said something and you knew that it was wrong as soon as you said it? What happened next? Sometimes we find ourselves defending our position even after we realize that our position is flawed or even downright incorrect. Why do we do that? We have the freedom when we are communicating to change our minds. We have the freedom to re-state what we said, to reframe it in a way that makes more sense, to come to terms with a better truth. We don't have to defend something just because we said it. Maybe we shouldn't have said it to begin with! -- doug smith

Formula for Success

  Coupled with healthy habits, good goals get great results. -- doug smith

Find the Juice: Prioritize

  Before you commit to a goal be sure to determine what motivates you about the goal. What does it give you? What's the reason behind the reason?  How vital is it? When does the time come when you only work on goals that matter to you? Now. The time is now. -doug smith

What Leaders Do

  You could spend a lifetime studying leadership and what leaders do. You'll likely spend your lifetime doing that whether or not you planned on it because when it comes to leadership there is always something more to learn. Most of what high performance leaders do is solve problems and achieve goals.  Much goes into that. Projects come and go. People help (or don't) and they also come and go. To move forward, to implement plans, to make the world a better place, leaders need to solve problems and achieve their goals. What do you think?

More Than The Solution

  Why do we solve problems? Well, of course, to get rid of the problems. To accomplish our goals. To make work and life better for all of us. And there's more of course. We learn. We build relationships. We expand our thinking. We become more resilient. Solving problems comes with nearly unlimited benefits. The goal of solving a problem often goes beyond solving the problem. Be sure to celebrate the bonus -- it is likely to help you the next time you work to solve a problem. -- doug smith

Is It Really A Problem?

Problems come in many forms. How we look at them matters. Some problems are poorly framed expectations. Whatever we'd been expecting was inaccurate and maybe even unreasonable. That we didn't get what we expected was not because of a problem, but because of what we expected that never had a chance. If a problem seems unsolvable it is worth at least asking: was my expectation off on this? Is it really a problem at all? -- doug smith

Lost for a while...

How do you feel when things take longer than you expected? Complications, surprises, mistakes, barriers -- all kinds of things can make an easy path into a complicated trail. We're lost, but if we're paying attention, we're learning. Sometimes you need to spend a long time lost to find a better way to get there. -- doug smith