How fast are you growing? Can you feel yourself evolving and developing into the next better version of yourself?As old as I am (and if you ask my best friend, she'll tell you I'm OLD) I am still evolving. Still growing. Still experimenting, trying, striving, and stretching.Not as fast as before, perhaps, but there are no additional boundaries -- just opportunities. I aim to do as much as I can as long as I can. As Judi tells me, "you can sleep when you die."Well, I do need sleep BEFORE then, but in the mean time she's right: there's a lot of work to be done. Get busy.-- doug smith
Are you a big reader? Do you read from one book or another every day? I'm usually reading four or more books at a time. Not all at once (what an image that is!) but it's not unusual to pick one up, read a few chapters, then switch to fiction, then something else. Books give us depth. The slow journey through ideas helps us learn. Reading helps to stretch our minds. Reading readies the mind for bigger and better things. What are you reading today? -- doug smith
Do you ever get nostalgic? Do you ever wish that you could do something the way you once did, or be that person again?
Guess what? You can't. I can't. (and while I miss that 1966 Impala Supersport I once had, I don't think I miss the pants I was wearing back then...)
We can never be who we used to be. We have to keep growing. We have to keep learning. And, when we set new goals and head for new horizons, who we used to be matters a whole lot let than who we are becoming.
What was the last lesson that you learned that you wish you didn't need to learn?
Learn isn't always fun. But, if we take the time to reflect on what we have learned, it CAN always be useful. Like that time as a child when I put my wrist on a hot stove. I had a scar for years, but I never did THAT again.
Or that time when I yelled at an employee in front of customers. It felt necessary at the time, but I soon realized that it was not productive and that it impacted the other team members and I've never done THAT again.
We need to learn. And the more we stretch ourselves, the more likely we are to learn things we hadn't planned on, some of them uncomfortable. Learn anyway. Grow.
Learn constantly, even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts.
Team members will struggle sometimes. As high performance leaders part of what we must do is to teach the people who need teaching. And guess who needs teaching? Everyone! Including us!
Every day, part of what leaders do is teach. Through intentional as well as spontaneous coaching, mentoring, prodding and motivating, our role is to help other people achieve their goals, and in so doing achieve our own.
We teach -- patiently, persistently, even unrelentingly. We teach -- and then we need more. We need progress, performance, and results.
Leading requires following, and not just from your followers. What do you believe in? Where is your faith? What drives you? What is your mission?
Great leaders know that their direction - the place they are leading others - is built from a combination of influences, some remembered and some forgotten. It's gravity inside. It's magnetic attraction and a pull that keeps pulling.
We influence those influences. What we read, what we learn, what we talk about, the art we appreciate and the people we spend time with...we influence our influences. Why not do that with a sense of purpose and adventure?
Every great leader is following something.
Are you paying attention to what you're following?
To provide a fast-paced review of a topic (such as Leadership or Project Management).
One deck of cards for each small group (about one deck for up to six people)
Plastic spoons (one for every person in each small group, minus one spoon)
A deck of cards for each small group (about one deck of cards for each four or five people.) One plastic spoon for each person in each group, minus one spoon. (For each group there is one less spoon than the number of people.)Place the spoons in the center.Deal six cards to each personThe person to the left of the dealer begins by drawing a card from the center. They either keep that card or discard it to the person on the left, or discard another card from their deckto the person on their left.The object is to gather six cards in the same suite.When you have six cards all in the same suite, grab a spoon.Once a spoon has been grabbed, any one else can grab a spoon until there are no more spoons. This will leave one person without a…
Maybe you've heard someone say this, "I never get the training that I need..." or "There isn't enough time to learn what I need to learn..."
Hearing it is rough enough, but living it is too limiting. We're all challenged. We're all taxed. We're all over-whelmed. Still, the need to keep learning never goes away and the more we ignore it the more we become overwhelmed.
You don't ever have to wait for someone else to improve for you to improve. It's up to you.
-- doug smith
Leadership Call to Action:
Check your action plan for a goal that requires a skill that you're still learning. Do something to help increase your learning at that skill today.
What's your favorite question? Mine is this: what have you learned today? We are blessed with learning opportunities every day from the workshops that we attend to the books that we read to the audios that we listen to and even the youtube videos we watch. We even learn from our mistakes. Learning is a major part of leadership and the whole game when it comes to developing leadership.
People who get excited about learning stay energized.
Have you ever thought that you've got this leadership thing all worked out? I've never reached a point where I thought "that does it, it's all easy from now on..." It gets better, but not necessarily easier. As the goals get bigger, the plans take longer. As the tasks pile up, the discipline must grow or it all stumbles to a stop.
Just when you think you've got your team where you want them, a star performer leaves, or a struggling performer slips even further. The work never stops. Some of it is the science of leadership (mind your metrics, facilitate your meetings, improve your processes) and some of it is art (develop your people, conduct those on-the-spot tough conversations.)
The art of leadership seldom stops after one draft.
The next time someone asks you to fix the past, let it go. Relax. You know that you can't fix the past. What you control is right now. What you do right now determines your present, and to some degree your future. Fix the here and now -- that's plenty of work for anyone!
I like the theory that says "there is no failure only feedback" that comes from NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming.) There is much truth in that. But, like all truth, it applies and then it doesn't. Context matters.
There are mistakes that we can make that we do not learn from because there is no second chance. Some mistakes, life threatening or relationship ending, offer no other chance.
So as the sarge used to say at the beginning of every "Hill Street Blues" episode, "let's be careful out there."