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Showing posts from March, 2024

Not By The Numbers

As quantifiable as it may be, productivity is in the end, highly subjective. "How can that be?" "We define importance. We define what matters. You can decide how much is enough." "But it's all numbers. It's all measurable..." "Yes, once you've decided what matters. Once you've define the quality you want. None of the productivity matters unless the quality is there." "Well, my boss wouldn't agree with that very much." "How much do you like working for your boss?" "Not very much..." You might disagree. Many people do. But consider this: would you rather have exactly what you want, or a whole bunch of what you don't want?  I thought so. -- doug smith

Deeper Still

The root cause of a problem may be deeper than you think, with roots of its own. Look closely. Look very closely. -- doug smith  


  Everything is open to interpretation. To dispute this is an interpretation. It is, therefore, indisputable. Or is it? Stay curious. Let's see what happens. -- doug smith


How do you show someone respect? Without it you will find it hard to hold onto any respect of your own. Without it you may even find it hard to get things done. Those who outrank you are much more help to you when you show them respect. Those who report to you are much more motivated when you show them respect. And, those at your level are far more likely to be cooperative and collaborative when you show them respect. Show respect by: listening, without judging speaking truthfully avoiding gossip allowing for disagreement without anger acknowledging rank and authority There are dozens of ways to show respect. What would you add to the list? -- doug smith

Get In Step

Quick quiz: what are your top three current goals? It's OK to think about it, but if you have to think too long that means that you haven't really thought about it previously. Your goals matter because you matter. Your goals (not those given to you by someone else) shape your near-term future. Your goals shape you as well. Goals are solid steps toward your hopes and dreams. The path is yours. Why not keep moving? -- doug smith  

Understanding Comes First

A solution posed too soon might just be another version of the problem. It's tempting to rush thru analysis. Tempting, but costly. Few problems are solved until they are truly understood. -- doug smith  

Noble Need

How are you at holding people accountable? Without raising your voice do you make your expectations clear and then guide people toward achieving them? It's not about micromanaging. It's about giving people the balance of choice and criteria for success that they need to attach any task to a noble, appealing mission. The responsibility for resposibility rests with the leader. Holding people accountable is a noble need. -- doug smith  


The toughest decisions are the ones you have no control over. Remember that when you make decisions that effect those who have no voice in the call. -- doug smith  

Big Goals Big Commitments

  Ask yourself what you'd be willing to trade to achieve your biggest goal -- you may need to make that trade. I'm not saying that you should. That's up to you. A goal is just a goal and not your entire life. But, if it's really important to you, are you treating it as if it IS that important? Are you designing a plan? Are you acting relentlessly on that plan? Are you learning constantly? Big goals mean big commitments. -- doug smith

Tough and Tender

  It's possible to be both tough and tender as a leader. Be tough on the task, and tender on the person. -- doug smith

Manage The Drama

Whenever I ask a group the following question, the answer is a resounding "yes." Is there too much drama at work? Drama feeds on itself. People who crave the drama may not even know that they do, they simply repeat whatever it takes to make any situation emotional. Run out of supplies? It must be somebody's fault = drama! Behind schedule on that big project? = drama! Struggling with demanding and unreasonable customers? = drama! Drama creates tension that craves release -- which likely then drums up more drama. Breathe. Slow down. Skip the blame and play a new game -- one of cooperation, curiosity, and respect. My latest way of dealing with drama is simply to pause long enough to smile -- as I ponder: "Ah, I recognize this. Drama!" It's completely made-up, and it can be completely by-passed. ; Manage the drama so that it does not manage you.


  A problem is a change in need of a push. Push. -- doug smith

Learn the Lesson...

Ever have to repeat a lesson because you didn't get it the first time? Of course. Me, too. I figured out that the biggest reason is that I was in such a hurry to get back on track that I got back on the wrong track. Before you know it, same mistake, and basically the same lesson. Slow down enough to learn the lesson and you might not need to repeat it. I'm hoping that works for me. How about you? -- doug smith  

It's Not A Family

You don't have to create a family at work. Families come with their own difficulties and if you've ever worked in a family business you know all about that. People at work don't have to love each other, but they do need to respect each other. Communicating clearly and honestly is a start. Collaborating instead of competing helps. Do your job, jump in to help when you're needed, and keep supporting the team's mission and goals. You don't need to create a family at work to build a great team. What you need is clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion.  Great leaders create the atmosphere where those core strengths prosper. -- doug smith

Is It Ethical?

  The best, most reliable leaders make ethical choices. You may have discovered, though, that people do define ethical in many different ways. For some, if it's right for the it must be ethical, even when it is not right for someone else. We do need a better standard. As leaders we serve best when we do no harm. Any leadership that produces victims is poor leadership headed for long term failure.  If you have to ask if something is ethical you probably already know the answer. Just imaging how you would feel if you were not given the choice.  -- doug smith