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Showing posts from January, 2024

Find the Opportunity

Every conversation contains at least one opportunity.  Getting to know someone, clarifying expectations, resolving conflict, helping achieve a goal...the opportunities are rich with possibility once we recognize them. It's easy to miss that opportunity and waste the time, but when we understand the opportunity and do our best to communicate clearly and effectively, we can enjoy the benefits of those opportunities through productive conversations.  Find the opportunity.  -- doug smith  

Change Delayed

Have you ever procrastinated on changing something that you knew needed to be changed? I sure have. I once worked with some producers who were consistently late in paying their premiums. I knew they were late, but for several months could not figure out how to remedy the situation. What if I upset the producer and they took their business someplace else. I wasn't happy about it, and neither was my boss. It was not the time to wait and see, it was the time to change the process. We did eventually, but not before the issue became a problem. Every problem points to a change that's been missed. Change delayed just gets in the way. -- doug smith

Wisdom Applied

If you're at all like me, there have been times when you thought you learned something but then didn't put it to use. By the time we get around to putting that new skill to use, it's gone.  The key is to put that skill to use right away. That day if possible and certainly within a week. Practice makes the skill stick. It won't be perfect at first (or ever!) but practice makes it better. Wisdom forgotten is not on your side. Wisdom applied is a trustworthy guide. -- doug smith  

Multiple Choice When Possible

  If you miss the deadline on your goal, what should you do? Should you... a) extend the deadline b) break the goal down into smaller goals c) double your attention time on the goal d) all of the above If it matters the choice could be: all of the above. When the goal is important you do what you need to do to achieve that goal. Missing the deadline is not the end of the world. It should definitely up the urgency, though. -- doug smith

Climb higher

  When you can achieve your goals, that's success.  Sometimes, a goal is like the peak of a mountain and reaching it is that moment of success. But whether or not you reach the peak, making the journey takes you higher. Take your goals seriously, and you will win. Climb higher. -- doug smith

Plan Next

  Feeling discouraged? Did that plan go wrong? Plans go wrong all the time. Make new plans and keep moving. You've got everything you need. -- doug smith

You Be You

People will make lots of assumptions about you. You don't have to accept any of them. -- doug smith

First, the Agreement

Working against each other is too much work. How many times have you been working on an important goal and discovered that someone was working against you? Whether it was intentional or not, it was inconvenient, and just plain annoying. If there is anyone who could stand in the way of your goal, start a conversation about gaining their support. Once we've agreed on the goal, the work gets easier. Resistance declines. Progress advances. Goals get achieved. -- doug smith  

Keep Looking

You may not have found the solution yet but you're way ahead of anyone who's stopped looking. -- doug smith

Get the Scoop

Are you an optimist? Do you think that things will always work out, no matter what? Or, maybe you're a pessimist, always waiting for things to fall apart, whether or not you can fix them. What matters more is awareness. Getting the scoop. Figuring out the facts and sorting them out from emotions. Neither optimism nor pessimism is any excuse for ignorance. Figure it out. -- doug smith  

Clarify, Clarify, Clarify

  I do not like to make assumptions. But, sometimes I do. I'll assume someone has bad intentions, when maybe they just have bad manners. I'll assume someone's goal is in conflict with mine, when it's really just a different path to the same destination. Misunderstanding someone else's goal can lead to unnecessary conflict. Clarify, clarify, clarify. Ask questions. Listen. Reach mutual understanding, even if agreement does not seem remotely possible. Understanding might get you half way there... -- doug smith

Make Your Best Call

  Have you ever acted quickly in an urgent situation, because it was urgent, only to later discover there was a better choice? High performance leaders do need a sense of urgency. They also need a clear view and careful analysis before acting recklessly. Time provides perspective that urgency can not. Take a breath. Take some time. Make your best call. -- doug smith

Make It Happen

Leaders are paid to produce results. What if the results that leaders produced included optimism? What if they included hope? What if they created great days? Leaders can do that. You can do that. Let's do that. Give people a reason to believe that this is a great day.  Because if you make it happen, it happens. -- doug smith