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Find The Hidden Costs

Have you ever invested in something thinking that it was the best possible value only to discover later that it came with hidden costs? Maybe the cost was loss of quality. Maybe it was less reliable than you expected. Maybe you simply outgrew it before it became truly useful to you. The biggest bargain comes with hidden costs. Your job is to find those costs before you need to pay them. Cheaper isn't always better and faster sometimes misses the mark. What hidden costs have you discovered in the past? What would you do differently next time? There's nothing stopping you next time. -- Doug Smith doug smith training: how to achieve your goals What have you learned today?

Keep Improving

Are you perfect yet? What a silly question! Of course not. Neither am I. Which is why we should keep learning, keep growing, keep improving. Think about where you were a few years ago - you've no doubt improved many aspects of your performance and, hopefully, have created better results than the you of a few years ago could have. That's progress. We can always do better, and it's our responsibility to keep working on it. There's just no point when we are free to kick back and say "well, I nailed that one so I'm done here." We're never done, because when you're done, you're done . Growing and making progress keeps us sharp. Learning new skills leads to setting and achieving new goals. It's an endless and fascinating process. There's every reason to embrace it and own it: growth is what we do. Our best performance becomes our next starting point. The better we do, the more our potential grows. It can feel like hard work. It can

Move Those Emotions

Do you tend to focus on facts, or emotions? Some people focus mainly on the facts and care very little about emotions. If the answer is logical, if the data supports it, that's enough. For others, it must feel right. So what if the facts prove a point, if it's not good for people what good is it? Both facts and feelings are important. That's why a key part of what I call CLUES to Success relies on understanding both the facts and the feelings of any interaction. Both matter. Appeal to logic but always remember to move emotions. We've all got emotions, whether or not we show them or talk about them. If you want to achieve your goals and solve your problems, remember to check the facts AND move those emotions. It's half the opportunity, and a half that you don't want to lose. What emotions do you think are part of your most important goal? -- Doug Smith Front Range Leadership:  Training Supervisors for Success doug smith training:  how to achieve

Manage The Extremes

Do your strengths ever go to far? Doesn't it seem like anything taken to the extreme becomes too much of a good thing, becomes less than a good thing? It's the assertive person who becomes aggressive. It's the accommodating person who becomes passive aggressive. It's the peaceful person who stands by and let's bad things happen. It's the warrior who rebels against authority until all order is gone. It's taking things too far. Our greatest strengths tend to expose our greatest weaknesses. We compensate. We transfer. We blame other people. And relying only on our strengths can start to make extremes seem reasonable. Exposing our weaknesses is not all bad. It provides opportunity. It sparks conversation. It humbles us just when we are at most risk of acting in narcissistic ways. I've learned to embrace my weaknesses, not for the sake of keeping them but to avoid rationalizing them. To work on them. To find help from others and manage the extre

Raise The Bar

What do you get when you've achieved a goal? First, you get the result of that goal. That's usually cause for celebrating and energy you can convert into new efforts. You get to set another goal. A tougher, more ambitious, maybe even more noble goal. Growth is the direction that goals lead us in. Success raises the bar. It's a challenge, and it's a blessing. We get to do bigger and better things. We learn constantly from both our struggles and our successes, and we use that learning to move on to the next big goal. You've got another next big goal. Why not get started right away? -- Doug Smith Front Range Leadership:  Training Supervisors for Success doug smith training:  how to achieve your goals

Is Your Biggest Problem Growing?

What keeps us from solving our biggest problems? Our biggest problems are big for a reason. They include baggage, challenges, surprises, resistance, and blocks that feel stronger than we are. Our biggest problems can seem tough and even insurmountable. We work our way around them as long as we can because bumping into them causes us so much discomfort. The problem with big problems is that they don't go away on their own, they get bigger. A problem ignored tends to grow increasingly faster.  Not only is that big problem getting bigger, but it's getting bigger at a faster rate and with more deeply rooted tentacles that create additional problems. We owe it to ourselves to tackle those big problems now. Roll up our sleeves, check our egos at the door, do whatever it takes but work on them now. Because if you don't like that problem now, how much will you like it when it's at least twice as big? -- Doug Smith Front Range Leadership:  Training Supervisors

Share Your Vision

Who knows about your true vision? Not some slogan, tag line, or inherited mission given to you by someone you don't even know, but rather your true vision. What you see as the reason you are here. What you hope, plan, and expect to accomplish in your lifetime. That's a big one, isn't it? Big because it requires thought and effort and big because as we form our vision we may have absolutely no idea how to accomplish it. If it's too easy it's not a vision, it's just an incremental goal. A vision is tough work. Why go at it alone? Why not get the help you'll need to bring that vision about? Why not find out if that vision even makes any sense (the world probably already has enough Don Quioxotes tilting at windmills out there). A vision is only as powerful as those who share it. Build your vision with your allies. Develop your vision with your friends. Create your vision with your mentors. Get the help you need. You'll need it. -- Doug Smith

Celebrate Performance AND Intention

Have you ever worked with a team member who fell just short of their intended performance even though they did everything in their power to achieve it? They're willing, they're motivated, they just ran into some challenges. Wouldn't you rather work with someone like that than someone who effortlessly hits their target but cares very little about it? Where is the better opportunity for growth? Who is the more likely better investment in your time? When you can't celebrate the result, celebrate the intention. And then push hard for improvement. It's so easy for someone to become discouraged. Find out how hard they are trying and celebrate that. Focus on the goals and the next possible steps for achieving them. Because sometimes, to someone else, that person could be you. -- Doug Smith doug smith training: how to achieve your goals Front Range Leadership: Training Supervisors for Success

Think Expansively

Do you enjoy thinking? I do: really deep, sometimes troubling, always exploring thinking about new ideas, new concepts, and ultimate changes. Not all the time (there IS work to be done!) but whenever possible. Those long moments waiting in line at the airport. That time between ordering a meal and having it arrive. Driving across Wyoming or Minnesota. Thinking. It's good for me and I'd like to think it's good for you, too. Think in different ways. Think without judging. Think creatively so that whatever emerges you are open to the difference. Think individually. Think collectively. Think expansively. Think. There are some great answers to be found there. What do you think? -- Doug Smith Front Range Leadership:  Training Supervisors for Success  doug smith training:  how to achieve your goals

Risk An Open Mind

Is your mind truly open? I like to think that mine is but I know full well that there are times when it is closed. There are times when I'm not that interested in one more idea because the idea I hold seems complete and optimal. How do you know when the answer is complete? Maybe the answer is always forming. Maybe the solution is always evolving. Maybe the changing nature of the universe we know is constantly growing no matter how firm our boundaries seem to be. What do you think? Where do brilliant ideas come from? Imagine your best idea ever -- it was so good that you are still getting benefits from it. One of my best ideas ever was moving to Colorado. The circumstances have changed since, and there are days when I miss Pennsylvania (or New Jersey or Chicago, other places I've lived) but on the whole, taking the risk of moving to the Rocky Mountain State have greatly increased my possibilities. What's your next big risk? Is your mind open to it? Are you willin

Is The Answer A Combination?

Wouldn't it be great if there were one absolute answer to every problem? What if there were one universal tool that would always serve us, one magnificent process to problem solving forever and for always? There are many great problem solving processes. There are many great approaches to leadership. Styles change, tools grow, people evolve. One single answer seldom does the trick. That unsolved problem just might need a combination of solutions. Dig them up. Look them over. Try them again. Put them together like the pieces of an elaborate puzzle or the moves in an intricate game. There is an answer there. You just might have to fuse a few together. -- Doug Smith Front Range Leadership:  Training Supervisors for Success  doug smith training:  how to achieve your goals

Set Goals That Make You Happy

Are you happy with your goals? I've seen people fall into a trap sometimes: they want to be happy, and yet they set goals that don't create happiness. That kind of disconnect is not only unproductive, it's unnecessary. Every job I've ever had (and if you've been in any of my workshops, you know I've had a few) has included parts I didn't care for, and yet in my goals I always directed my actions toward creating mutual success for the organization and for my own sense of happiness. Sell more merchandise? Sure, while creating useful customer experiences. Reduce expenses? I can do that - without laying people off and without hurting service. Train the entire workforce in a compliance program that's poorly designed? Absolutely, just let me set a goal of making it both interactive and inspirational and I'll be completely energized. Align those goals you need to set with the organizational mission and strategic goals, of course. That's the price