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Centered Leaders Develop Resilience

Do you bounce back after making a mistake? We must. If we are truly growing, truly taking chances, truly making a difference we will make mistakes. I've made plenty in my days in the world - little ones like not talking to someone right away who enters a room and big ones like missing what a client really wants out of an event. I've learned from each and every mistake and would like to think that I'm better because of them. But at the time, don't they hurt? Yes. Centered leaders develop the resilience and flexibility to overcome mistakes. What will you do to develop more of that resilience today? -- Doug Smith

On Time Is A Sign of Respect

Do you show up on time? How do you feel when you're in charge of something and people choose NOT to show up on time? Not everyone - some people respect you enough and your work to show up on time. But what about those who make other choices? What about those who have de-prioritized your event? Yesterday I facilitated a training program on time management. Some people thought it was funny to say "I don't have time for time management." That's OK. I get it. Managing time is hard. It's a challenge in today's world of multi-tasking and parallel meetings. And yet, tossing the blame onto others won't manage your activities for you, will it? Not only were some people late for my time management workshop - some didn't show up until after lunch, when it was more than half over. Then, they wondered why they didn't find what they needed. Learning is an investment. Learning is a discipline. Managing time is all about managing yourself, and having t

Personality Big 5 Connections and Centered Leadership

Are you still discovering who you are? Do you have any big theories or processes that you are still working out? One of my big unifying theory-processes-notions centers around what I call centered leadership. It's different than the centered leadership identified in a recent book by the same title (I've read that book and it is filled with great insights and I don't disagree with any of it -- it's just that it was develop outside of what I have been thinking of as centered leadership. I did try to adapt away from my thinking but it's no use, I'm heavily intellectually invested in this now so I parallel my way thru any diversions). The purpose of this blog entry is just to capture another related notion with some connectedness. It's the psychological idea often referred to as the "Big 5". Good heavens, I have another notion I've been calling the Big 5 that has NOTHING to do with any of this but I won't let that deter me (my Big 5 is a

What's One of Your Goals?

Do you have a list of goals? If that list is short enough you could be working on those goals every day. One of my goals is to help as many people as possible achieve as many noble goals as possible as quickly as possible. How about you? -- Doug Smith If you're interested in learning more about how to achieve your goals, check out our webinar here .

A Sign to Learn

What's your reaction when you find yourself in conflict and yet you are absolutely sure that you're right? Do you dig in on your position? Do you redouble your efforts to convince everyone of your position? Or do you stay curious? Do you stay open to learning? The more certain I am that I'm right the greater the opportunity there is to learn. The next time you are absolutely sure that you're right try asking yourself -- what can I still learn here? It could change everything. -- Douglas Brent Smith

Keep Perspective On Your Problems

Do your problems ever seem bigger than they really are? It could be a wonderful day filled with opportunities and fascinating connections with other people and someone we get fixed on a problem that gives us permission to feel unhappy. That seems like a poor choice to me. I've done it though. Have you? One thing I've learned about my problems -- even as I work to solve them -- is to keep them in perspective. Compared to other problems, how do they look? Compared to other people's situations, how dire is this really? Especially knowing that with the right process and resources I'll be no doubt solving my problem, what exactly is troubling me? I served for a while as a volunteer fire fighter. There's nothing quite like moving into a burning building or carrying a power saw on a roof to cut a hole in the top so the fire can get out to give you a sense of perspective. Suddenly, the little problems of the day fade away. My oldest son is a paramedic. Every tim

Build Your Character With Your Goals

What makes us who we are? If that sounds like a question for a twelve week course to you, you're probably right. What makes us who we are is complicated. Sometimes forgotten in the mix of genes, education, parenting, and peer adaptation is our approach to goals. Do we set goals, how do we set them, what kinds of goals do we set, how assertive are we about working on them? All kinds of questions centering on our approach to goals. It's easy to forget, but ever so important. How we achieve our goals determines who we become. Where ever we started, however we got to the present, regardless of our previous circumstance -- we control our approach to goals today. What's your approach? How are you doing at your goals? Where are your opportunities to create an even greater you? -- Douglas Brent Smith

Stay With The Search

Has the answer to that tough problem been eluding you? Stay with the search. Some problems take more than one day to solve. When problems stand in the way of your goal, they don't need to remain there forever. If it's a problem, it's worth solving -- even if it takes a while. -- Douglas Brent Smith

Forget About Blaming

When you run into obstacles are you ever tempted to blame someone? The goal is within your site, but something keeps blocking it so it must be someone's fault, right? Maybe not. And even if there is someone to blame, blaming them doesn't get you closer to your goal. Relentless action gets you there. Constant follow-up gets you there. Persistence and patience gets you there. Setbacks are not always rational and there isn't usually one thing to blame. So drop the blame. Move on with the action. Stay curious. Focus on your goal and (most importantly) the people who can and will help you achieve that goal. Because once you've achieved your goal, blame doesn't matter, does it? -- Doug Smith

Rules without Losers

One of my favorite lines comes from the character Lou Grant. It was either the Lou Grant Show or Mary Tyler Moore. He essentially played the same somewhat surly yet lovable boss on both shows. His line went something like this: "I don't like to make a lot of rules because then I just end up enforcing them." That seems like useful advice. As centered, high performance leaders we shouldn't need a lot of rules. And, we should be extra careful about being fair in the rules that we do create. If our rules create losers, why would anyone want to play? -- Doug Smith

Test Your Assumptions

Can you remember the last time that you were wrong? How did it feel to discover your mistake? Do you remember the cause? Could your actions have been built on a false assumption? We all make assumptions from time to time. It's when we live in the world of assumptions that we really get into deep trouble. The more we assume, the easier it is to take comfort in our assumptions. But, our assumptions are often wrong. When we're leading a team, developing performance, running a project and doing the important work of a leader we need to check our assumptions at the door. We need to test our thinking and clarify our expectations. High performance leaders identify and test any assumptions before launching a project or reaching a major decision. After all, isn't it better to spot your mistakes before you make them? -- Doug Smith