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Showing posts with the label articles on leadership

High Performance Leaders Set the Example

How successful would your team be if everyone on it worked as hard as you do? That's a question with more than one implication. Are you working hard enough to set a great example? Or, are you setting the bar so low that results suffer? The leader sets the example. The leader, as John Maxwell as said, "models the way." As leaders, let's model ways we'd like our team members to follow. Let's work hard. Let's work ethically. Let's work together. -- doug smith  

The Growing Zone

Have you ever had a leader who kept trying to push you out of your comfort zone? Kept trying to get you to do more than you'd ever done before and try things that are, frankly, scary? I sure have. And truth be told, didn't like it much at the time. A great boss is supportive, which we like, AND also challenging, which we might not be so happy about. The growth does happen, though, outside of our areas of ease. To stretch, we need to move those muscles.  The hope of a high performance leader is that we'll move those muscles so much that they grow stronger. The goal is to grow so much that our former team looks like the glimmer of promise that our future team becomes: faster, stronger, smarter, better. The growing zone takes us far, far beyond our comfort level. What if we pushed ourselves so far out of our comfort zone that we never came back?  What are you doing today to stretch yourself or your team? -- doug smith

Are You Committed to Your Goals?

Goals are important but require action. No matter how much you want a goal, until you start working on it the goals just sits there.  Everyone has goals, but some people haven't committed to them. Some people haven't worked on their goals. What are you doing today to work on at least one great goal? It's not too late. It's never too late. Let's get started! -- doug smith

Should A Leader Be Positive or Negative?

Have you ever worked with a negative leader? Someone who leads by arguing, yelling, insulting, and pushing people around is a negative leader. Also, a leader who says mostly negative things like "what's wrong with you?" or "how many times do I have to tell you?" or "just do what I say because you can't figure it out otherwise" is negative. Oddly, sometimes a negative leader will get the immediate reaction desired. People might jump into place. Employees might try harder. But that's a temporary result. Negative leaders drive people away. The trouble with skepticism is its power to increase certainty without increasing accuracy and then allowing a negative notion to create a negative outcome. It can be more work to stay positive. It takes practice. It takes the ability to pause when someone on your team says something unbelievably incorrect. But do make that effort. Should a leader be positive or negative? Given the choice of which kind of leader

How Is Your Toolbox?

Do you rely on the same methods of work over and over again? Have you been using the same tools for years without reflecting on why? My dad was a weekend woodworker. He worked in a glass factory as a supervisor most of his life, but he was also a skilled craftsmen. He even built our house. He didn't know everything about every craft, but he found ways to learn. He mainly learned by helping. When the contracted plumber installed the plumbing in the house he was building, he helped the plumber. When the electrician installed all of the wiring and circuits and kept everything up to code, my dad helped. He followed orders. He did the heavy lifting. He listened attentively. And, he helped. Not so that he could install plumbing or electricity in future houses (he never did) but so that he could FIX whatever malfunction occurred later in his own home. He saw which tools he'd need. He learned how to think thru a problem. He found the boundaries of his knowledge so that he'd know wh

Stay Dignified

I have a friend who likes to mess with her enemies. She enjoys mind-games that create an curiosity about what she is being so nice when her "enemy" has clearly tried to cause her problems.  She'll say the nicest thing, with complete dignity, like the finest most savvy diplomat. I can't do that. Well, maybe I could but I try not to. Not that I'm judging, I just think you can get the same affect by maintaining respect and dignity. Even when the other person is doing their best to be your enemy. Even when they show no dignity of their own. We are each in charge of our own dignity. It takes practice. It takes sincerity. It takes mindfulness. And yet, it's powerful.  Dignity does not require permission. -- doug smith

High Performance Leaders Say Yes

If you had to guess, do you think that you use the word "yes" or the word "no" more often? Why does it matter? Of course we have to say no sometimes. If you chase every goal you won't achieve any of them. But I find myself saying "no" sometimes before I've even given it much thought. It's a default impulse (no!) designed to keep us safe. The problem is, it keeps us isolated, too. It keeps us stuck. Leaders who say yes more than no are easier to follow. Enthusiasm matters. Passion engages. Certainty build confidence. Try this: the next time you're give then choice between yes and no, pause. Silently count to ten. Then, consider, why not? Why not yes? Yes! -- doug smith

Do The Work

Trust your ambition but do the work. -- doug smith Dreams are great, and yet it takes more. Ambition is powerful, and yet it takes more. It takes a detailed and powerful plan. It takes working each step of that plan. Even when people resist and even when team members act like anything but team members. Do the work. Build the relationship. Spend time and grow. Trust your ambition, but do the work. -- doug smith

It's You

Have you ever worked for a perfect leader? Me, either. And neither am I a perfect leader. We can't be perfect, yet we can work to be on the work toward perfection. It's a road we'll never finish. I've been blessed to work with many great leaders, none of them perfect. But, some people have not been so lucky. Some people seem to have worked for a long streak of frustrating leaders or bullies. Maybe some of those people are headed for (or already on) your team. The news is good, though. You can greatly influence their future experience, even if you were previously less than what they needed in a boss. It's a new day. It's a new time. You can be a new, improved, effective, attentive, high performance leader. Start today. Be the leader you always wished you had. Someone else is wishing for that, too. -- doug smith