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Famous Cards for Everyone

LEARNING ACTIVITY (allow about 20 minutes) Purpose : To help the participants focus on their vision, their mission, and their key measures. It's also an opportunity to practice drawing. Materials : At least one sample baseball card for everyone in the group (you could use cards from another sport but I'm partial to baseball cards). Blank index cards for each person as well. More than one is recommended in case they need to do-over an early attempt. Process : Review the sample baseball card. Identify what makes it so useful. What does it report? Note the picture - what does it say about the person on the card? Write your vision and/or mission at the top of the back of your card. Do your best to keep it to ten words or less. If you don't currently have a mission, now's the time to write one! Think about what is important about what you do for a living and how those things are measured. Identify 3 to 5 key measures that you are held accountable for. Write a

Creativity As A Necessity

The mediator of the inexpressible is the work of art." -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe What would we do without creativity? Life would be so much less colorful. Songs would not be sung. Pictures would not be painted. And leaders would use the same old strategies that irritated people before. Creativity helps us grow. Creativity IS growth, and we must never stop growing. Creativity is a necessity. The next time someone implies that you don't have enough time to be creative, ask them how they'd feel without the things that make life worth living - joy, celebration, examination, and love. Yes, even love - for how much can we love without getting creative?  What creative work of art (or commerce!) are you working on today? -- doug smith doug smith training: developing creativity

Try Fearlessness

What are you afraid of? Just kidding. I'm afraid of lots of things. Losing my phone. Falling over a cliff. Wandering naked in the street. Just kidding. But, aren't we all afraid of some things that are irrational to be afraid of? Don't we all hold ourselves back far more than we need to in order to protect ourselves from embarrassment, from harm, from making mistakes? We will make mistakes. We will hurt feelings. We will stub our toes. That's part of the creative life. That's part of living. Creativity needs a certain fearlessness. We must be able to let go and let loose. We must be able to laugh at the fear that paralyzes our impulses and push through those walls of warning. Full speed ahead! Imagine what we'll learn! Developing Creativity: Talk to someone who scares you just a little. Not an actual criminal or dangerous person, just someone who scares or intimidates you a little.  See a scary movie, whether or not you like scary movies. Not

Be As Creative As You Want

Could you be more creative? I could. I think I'm already plenty creative but I know that there is always an unlimited amount of creativity there for me to grab. I can always pull up some more. How about you? You are about as creative as you want to be -- and your creative potential is unlimited. Let's go! Being Creative: Draw a picture. It doesn't matter how great it is. Draw it. Take a picture of something at an unusual angle. Get all Orson Welles with it. Feel the difference. Describe it. Write about it. What if it were used for something completely different - what could it be? Tell yourself this: "I am becoming the most creative person I know and I love it." -- Doug Smith doug smith training: how to achieve your goals   Front Range Leadership: Training Supervisors for Success What have you learned today?

Deepen Your Relationships

How deep is your deepest relationship? Do you know everything about them? Can you talk about whatever is on your mind? Do you know each other so well that you can make each other laugh with the slightest gesture or word? We can't get to know everyone that deeply. It would likely wear us out. But, we can get deeper on so many more relationships. So many of our friends and acquaintances barely know us. We can change that. We can creatively build relationships that help us smile, grow, learn, and solve problems. Isn't it through our deeper relationships that our happiness blossoms most prominently? Aren't we most creative when we are with other creative souls? The faster path to solving problems and achieving goals is thru deeper relationships. Who can you get to know better today? -- Doug Smith doug smith training:  how to achieve your goals Front Range Leadership:  Training Supervisors for Success What have you learned today?

Let Your Partner Grow

Do you limit your partner's growth? Whether it's a business partner, organizational partner, creative partner, or life partner, do you ever expect them to stay exactly the way they are? I know I've done that. In love with the person who was, I sometimes yearn for more of that same person. I want that same perfect person. But that person changes. We can't stay exactly the way we are. We need to keep growing. Expecting our partner to be perfect is a harsh judgement on ourselves. Relax the judge and watch that wonderful partner grow. Who have you held back a little lately? How can you liberate their creative self today? -- Doug Smith doug smith training:  how to achieve your goals Front Range Leadership:  Training Supervisors for Success What have you learned today?

Unleash Your Creativity

Why would anyone hold back their creativity? And yet, we do it all the time. I know that when I am at my most creative it becomes my happiest as well. There's no separating the higher quality of life from the greater degree of creativity. And yet, we let things get in the way. Let's break the bonds that tie us down from creating great things. Let's cut the cords that wrap us into distraction. Let's tear down the walls that come between us and our creative best. Unleashing our creativity makes us more valuable to ourselves and others. Ready? Set? Go! -- Doug Smith What have you learned today?

Solve The Problems We Can Solve

Do all the problems of the world sometimes seem overwhelming? What on earth can we do? What we can't do as individuals is solve them all. It's too much. I get tired just thinking about it. But, there is still much that we can do. There are problems that we can help solve. We can work together and focus on what matters most to us and set noble goals. Then, centered and creative we can achieve those goals. Once we realize it's not our job to solve every problem it becomes easier to solve the problems we are ready to solve. What problem are you ready to solve? -- Doug Smith doug smith training:  how to achieve your goals Front Range Leadership:  Training Supervisors for Success What have you learned today?

Listen Without Judging

Do you evaluate what someone is saying, while they're saying it? Do you ever have your mind made up before someone is done talking? I've done that. Many times. It's easy to jump to our own answers, and our own solutions before we hear the whole story. We need to hear the whole story (or at least enough of it so that we know what the story really is). Here's the best way that I know. Listen with curiosity. Listen without judging what the other person is saying or who they are. Listen. To find the true causes of a problem we need to listen without judging. It's not always easy. It takes practice. To get past our inner filters and snap judgements, it's worth the effort. Are you willing to listen with curiosity? -- Doug Smith doug smith training: how to achieve your goals Front Range Leadership: Training Supervisors for Success What have you learned today?

Uncover The Truth

Do you ever think that it's a bit hard to uncover the truth? Sometimes I've worked on problems where the hardest part in getting through an obstacle is uncovering the truth behind what's causing it. And yet, once the truth is uncovered, things can get moving again. People have their reasons for hiding things. Maybe they are afraid of the consequences. Maybe their self-esteem is at stake. Maybe they just don't know any better. As leaders, when we stay curious and persistent we can do everybody a favor by discovering the truth. The objective, fact-driven, feeling-validated truth. Solving that for the whole world would take a lifetime. Solving that for each project is just plain responsible and certainly possible. It takes more courage to uncover the truth and that's because the payoff is so huge. Finding the truth helps us solve our problems and achieve our goals, and that's what project management is all about. What deep-rooted truths does your projec

People Like Specific Appreciation

How do you feel, after doing someone a big favor or  completing a difficult task, when they simply say "thanks, I appreciate that..."? For me, it's not enough. Appreciate what, exactly? And, does that mean you'll be expecting it again? Instead of saying "I appreciate that" it is greatly upgraded when we add specifics about what we're thankful for and describe exactly how it helped. Expressing specifically what was so good, and how it helped let's people know we understand the importance of it. No one wants to be taken for granted, and simply saying thanks is really light-weight in response. Let's do better. Let's do more. Let's be specific, authentic, and sincere. People like specific, heart-felt appreciation. If you want to energize your team, how about letting them know that you care - specifically. How can you enhance the quality of your appreciation for others today? -- Doug Smith Front Range Leadership:  Training Supe

Keep Moving

How do you feel about the status quo? In the project management world, status quo is not enough. We must keep moving. We must act relentlessly on our plan. We must stay creative. I'm fond of quoting my friend Andrew Oxley about this: "In nature there is no stasis. We can choose growth or we can choose decay but there is no standing still. Life only knows those two directions." That's your project. There is no standing still. If it's standing still, it's decaying or getting worse or falling behind schedule or running over budget. There is no stasis. There's no standing still so we might as well move in the direction we need to go. Keep moving. It's your best option. What part of your action plan has been standing still lately? What will it take to get it moving? -- Doug Smith