Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2024

Constantly Build Your Team

  As we adjust to the changing roles and responsibilities of leadership, it's worth considering the importance of our teams. Leaders get things done thru their teams. Often that means learning FROM our team members even as we facilitate their own learning. Instead of dictating, new leaders collaborate. Team success is a shared goal. The strength of a leader comes from the strength of the team. Not the other way around. If that feels new, it is.  -- doug smith

What If You Know The Secret?

The project team is stuck. Answers are not only hard to find, they seem impossible. The problem keeps causing mistakes and creating barriers. Within robust conversations we discover that although far from perfect, the process with the problem offers plenty of opportunity. Something small and almost unnoticeable turns out to be useful.  Within every problem is something that is working. What if that contains the secret to success? -- doug smith

Caring About Change

  Have you ever felt a sudden change that you did not approve of? Maybe your company decides that you have reduced hours. Or, maybe your boss decides that the promotion you were counting on is best given to someone else. Change is like a dance we did not choose the music to. Change is like an invitation to a party filled with strangers. Change rocks our world, and only sometimes makes it better. How are you using change to makes things better? Good luck is a change you can approve of. Bad luck is a change that you do not approve of, but that happens anyway. Change basically does not care what you think. The choice is still up to you. Which next change gives you positive choices? Where is your best choice? -- doug smith

There Is Always More to Learn

It may be comforting to lean on what we've already learned, but it's not enough. That doesn't mean that we need to abandon everything that we've learned, just to pay attention to what is changing. We can rely on learned foundational principles like continuous learning, ethical leadership, participative leadership, respectful communication and other core strengths that serve us well and that still matter. We also need to react to and find ways to manage brand new learning. Just exactly WILL we lead completely virtual workforces? How WILL we manage misinformation? What SHOULD we do about creating fair opportunities? There is much to be learned, but then again there always HAS been much to learn. The challenge now is to keep up the pace, to distinguish truth from deception, and to treat people with respect while building our own flexibility. What we've learned is important. What we still must learn is critical. -- doug smith 

Difficult People Struggle

Do you ever struggle with difficult people?  Don't we all? It can be frustrating -- so frustrating that we do our best to avoid confrontation. It can be so troubling that we try to put distance between ourselves and those difficult people. Or, it can be so troubling that we do everything we can to return that trouble -- to confront with strength and conviction. Either way, if someone feels like a difficult person, imagine how difficult the situation feels to them. Sometimes difficult people are most difficult to themselves. Maybe they need more help than confrontation. Isn't that worth considering? -- doug smith  


  What's the longest amount of time you've ever spent trying to solve an unsolvable problem? It could be weeks. It could be months. Maybe even longer. When it has happened to me and I discovered that what I was dealing with was a problem that had to be managed, not solved, I was both furious and relieved. Furious at the time wasted, but relieved because I could stop wasting time on it. It's also possible that while we might conjure up a solution to a problem that is causing us fits we could also discover that the problem doesn't even require a solution. It is, in fact, a situation with differences of opinion. Not a problem, but a conflict. Not every conflict can be resolved, but those that can behave differently than problems. There are differences in the perspective. Differences of opinion among the stakeholders. Different ideas of what an ideal solution should look like. What if the problem doesn't need a solution? What if it needs something else? Unthinkable? Onl

Not So Easy?

Have you ever struggled with a change? Struggled to adapt to someone else's change? Struggled to influence others to follow your change? Change can be tough. Balance may be the key. Balancing stability and change, so that you avoid being overwhelmed, seems like such a great idea. Shouldn't it be easy? Balancing stability and change is the easiest thing in the world -- just like riding a bike in a hurricane. No, it's not so easy. If discouragement sets in, remember all those times you've changed before and roll with it. Change isn't hard -- it's unavoidable.   -- doug smith

Show You Care

Goals are important. So is how your goals affect other people. Did you consult anyone your goal will impact? Did you look for help from others? Did you help anyone else achieve their goals this week? People will care more about your goals when you care more about people. Show you care by listening, by helping, and even by laughing at their bad jokes. People are worth it. -- doug smith  

Interesting How That Works...

  If you want to sell something, you need at least two things: a really great product, and a really great you. People will care much more about what you have to offer when they care more about you. Products, goals, careers... People will care more about your goals when you care more about people. -- doug smith

Define Yourself

  The size of your goals does not define you, but your ability to achieve them does. What you define is secondary to what you do. Set meaningful goals, of course. Then, work them until you achieve them.  Sometimes you will fail. Try again. Sometimes you will succeed. Set a new goal. It's the work that gives you the juice you need to keep working. When people see that when you set a goal you mean business -- you mean to do what it takes to achieve that goal -- that sets a sharp definition you can live with. You do want to be known as someone who works to get what you want, don't you? -- doug smith

Manage the Goal

  Do you manage your goals? Setting the goal is important. Working the goal is essential. Powering up the goal with a path of high energy discipline is empowering. Also important: managing the goal. Like a project, with the discipline of steady effort and constant communication, each goal is managed to success. Each goal is a project. To get the most of your goal, you've got to manage that project. It does not happen on its own. -- doug smith

Where Does The Power Come From?

  Great goals need great power. They need the power to keep going thru resistance. They need the power to innovate when the temptation is to stagnate.  Where does that power come from? You know this! The power comes from you. Hard as it may sometimes seem, you do have the power to achieve your own goals. Power for your goals comes from what you're already good at -- or plan to get good at -- and are willing to work for, Set the goal, do the work, and feel the power. -- doug smith

More Than The Goal

It's not the goal that makes you happy -- it's the work you do to achieve the goal that does. If it's too easy, it hardly matters. If it's too hard, you might not reach it. Calibrate your goals correctly and then do your relentless best to get the work done. That's where you'll measure success. -- doug smith