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Showing posts from November, 2023

Go Ahead

Is there a problem on your mind? Has it been bothering you lately? If you're thinking about a problem why not think about solving that problem? It might not be easy. It will be worthwhile. -- doug smith  

Build The Team Your Goal Needs

Big goals need help. Finding the right people to help achieve a goal may be even more important than applying your own skills on that goal. If one person isn't enough, who is on your team? Whatever your goals are, help will get you there quicker. -- doug smith  

Move The Problem

  Intractable problems bother me. Knowing that a problem is beyond my control or influence is frustrating. If the best that we can do is manage with the problem, then manage we must but we won't necessarily enjoy it. Isn't it still worth exploring the possibilities? Maybe we CAN nudge that problem enough to loosen it from its mooring and start a new situation. What if tough problems aren't fixed but instead moved? What if the solution is in the motion? Let's get moving! -- doug smith

Build, Or Learn How

We need bridges more than ever. Bridges to understanding. Bridges to shared meaning. Bridges over the turbulent conflicts toward and into peace. When we know how to build the bridge, we should. When we don't, we need to learn how. I don't know how actual bridges across bodies of water were invented but I imagine that it was little by little, innovation by innovation, failure after failure, lesson upon lesson. Learning can be difficult and yet it is always necessary. Learning builds bridges to better results. And, sometimes we need to remind ourselves how to learn. -- doug smith  

Work Out The Details

  Leadership is a combination of big-picture thinking and attention to detail. One without the other will leave you lacking. Big picture thinking is the inspiration, the invitation, the appeal to all of your senses for some noble cause.  Attention to detail gets it all done.  Everything will work out when you work out the details. Work out the details. -- doug smith


  Gratitude is a great way to start any day. Every day. I say it often because I do think that it's true: what we are grateful for we get to keep. What we take for granted slips away. Thanks for reading this, and for all that you do. -- doug smith

Shift The Focus On A Problem

  Talking about what you want will do more to solve a problem than talking about what you don't have. Shift the focus and open the door to more than a thousand possibilities. -- doug smith

Motivation and Work

"It's called work for a reason." "Your motivation comes on Friday -- it's called a paycheck." "Are you going to complain about it or are you going to work hard enough to get promoted?" Does any of that sound old school to you? Do you bristle at the idea of down-playing motivation in your work? Or, maybe a better question is "how do you feel about your work?" I've never had a job that I didn't hate at first. Not because the work was bad (although honestly, sometimes it was) but because I hadn't yet connected with the job. Until I could find the joy in the work, the work was tough. There is joy in any job. While no job is perfect, every job includes our own feelings and what we bring to the work. If you can't find the joy in the job, maybe it IS time to find another job -- but don't be too surprised if that one is also disappointing. Work is work as long as you see it that way, and as a means to an end, the ends are limi

Talking About The Problem

Talking with someone about a problem might not solve the problem...but what if it does? And even if it doesn't, now you know more about each other. -- doug smith  P.S. Talking about it is a good start, but eventually you have to do something to solve that problem. Problem solving is an active phenomenon.

For the Points?

  What race are you racing? We've seen everything possible get gamified - shopping, performing, deciding, status, promotions, ticketing, seating...on and on we are all subjected to points, likes, smiles, and other ways to manipulate us into buying one thing or another, whether or not we want it that way. Let's pause. Let's think about all this gamification. Are the points adding up to significance? Are the likes making the world a better place? Are we at all better off by competing for every nugget of attention? Hmmm? Some people are already reacting. What happens when the old enticements stop enticing? What happens when people focus on what really does matter -- relationships, hope, trust, love, compassion...human interaction? We need to decide quickly, because AI surely does not care, will not differentiate, and will not forgive. The points add up, but people matter more. When the rat race rats stop racing the rat race has to change. Let's change for us, and not for t

Fill Your Goal With Love

  It's a weird question, true, but worth asking: is your goal filled with love? Do you love the outcome your goal will bring about? More importantly, is your goal formed with love for something other than yourself? Will the completion of your goal bring about joy? Will achieving your goal bring something positive to the world? It's mostly a "note to self" kind of question because, for me, simply achieving a goal is not enough. The goal needs to matter, and nothing matters more than love. Fill your goal with love and the outcome will improve. Fill your goal with love and you will love the result. -- doug smith

Find the Possibility

  That problem might be one possibility away from being solved -- but it might take many possibilities to find that one. -- doug smith


  Where does communication start? Before any meaningful message can be shared, before any agreement can be reached, communication starts with connection. Finding a way to share something in common with someone else. Turning toward someone and taking the chance of seeing, hearing, feeling who they are in this moment of time. Communication starts with connection. Connect, and the possibilities are limitless. -- doug smith

Good Advice?

  Ever hear a piece of advice and think "yeah, that's a hard no..."? Or how about this -- ever offer someone a piece of excellent advice and watch them completely ignore it? Advice is funny like that. It's not good advice if nobody takes it. -- doug smith

About That Goal

  It's easy to set a goal and then start working on it before figuring out why. It does make sense to start working on a goal. Great ideas without action are meaningless. It's also worth checking to make sure that the massive effort you're about to make is worth it. It is worth asking if a goal is good for you, good for others, and good for some higher cause. If it's yes to all three, it's a goal worth working hard on. -- doug smith

Fun In Learning

  Problems are not usually fun. It may sound funny to say that they could be. But, what if they could be fun? I don't know how to solve every problem but there is fun in the learning. Don't ask me why, just give it a try... -- doug smith

Drawn to Drama

   One of my busy days last week was devoted to a workshop on Managing Conflict. We enjoyed many great conversations and as usual, there wasn't enough time available to resolve every conflict. Some we'll just need to learn to manage. Universally expressed was a dislike of drama at work. That is both expected, and odd for me to consider. There its SO much drama at work.  We're drawn to drama. We create drama. We thrive on the adrenaline rush of drama even as it depletes and wears us down. Hey, we can relax. We can breathe. We can pause. Even though we are drawn to drama it usually tears us apart. What if instead we found ways to tie ourselves together? What if instead of drama, we found a positive connection? Seems worth trying... -- doug smith

Evaluate Carefully

  It's easier to make a problem worse than it is to solve it, so evaluate your solution carefully. -- doug smith

Instant Inspiration

Think of all the goals you've already achieved and know that you've got what it takes to achieve even more. All you need is to get started. -- doug smith  


  We're too big to feel too small. We're too small to control it all. What if everything is a collaboration? -- doug smith

Jumping to Solutions

What is it like to jump to solutions? It's deciding before evaluating. It's picking the first thing that sounds right. It's doing anything to cut the tension of dealing with a problem. It may not be your best choice. It's easier to make a problem worse than it is to solve it so evaluate your solution carefully. Will it make things better? Will it prevent harm? Will it please the people effected?  Jump to solutions? Not so fast. Breathe. Evaluate. Select. -- doug smith

Predict Happiness

Mirror, mirror on the wall Who's the happiest of them all? Could that be you? Could you be the happiest you could possibly be? There are circumstances beyond our control and events we'd never endorse but happiness is largely a by-product of your point of view. Don't believe it? Try it. Predict your own happiness if only for today.  Predicting happiness can be self-fulfilling. Suddenly there you are. Happy. -- doug smith

Refresher Training

  How often do you participate in some refresher training? Those skills you acquired may be doing fine and yet as time goes on we smooth over the edges of our sharpness and take unexpected shortcuts that costs us quality. Refresh, re-learn, re-discover, re-apply: it's an important part of leadership development. We don't remember everything we learn, which makes refresher training so vital. Which of your skills could use a bit of refresh? -- doug smith