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Develop Leadership With Service

Who, or what do you serve? As a leader, what is your way of helping others? Leaders must first serve. They must first serve to even understand the importance of leadership. They benefit tremendously by serving people, other leaders, and organizations before ever stepping into a leadership role. People who have not learned how to follow have very little chance of successfully leading. The credibility, the resilience, the humility that serving provides build the character needed to lead others in difficult tasks, projects, and movements. Leading is hard, and the muscle comes from following, from serving. Whether it's in the food industry, or emergency services, or education, or law enforcement, or housing, or foster care...there are dozens of ways to learn to serve and then to continue serving. It's what the world needs. It's what people need to develop leadership. A leader who remembers how to serve will lead longer than one who forgets. How, or who, are you serv

Make Something Better

What do leaders do? Fundamentally, leaders change things by getting other people to help. We influence behaviors to suit our needs or the needs of some higher calling. What if that higher calling calls you higher still? What if what we lead others to do makes something better? What if the change benefits everyone changed? It takes a powerful leader to be able to lead without causing harm. Ego can get in the way. Agendas can precipitate tears. But, it is possible to create positive change without harm. Imagine the power of positive change without creating adversaries or harm. It's worth doing. We can do it. You can do it. Become an unforgettable leader. Make something better.  -- doug smith


Do you like surprises? When I was still young I learned the hard way that bosses usually do not like surprises. They are problems. They mess with the plan. Surprises take the status quo and rock it on its side. But sometimes the surprise does not cause the problem. Sometimes the surprise comes after the problem has already been working its messy distress under your awareness. The problem festers, flows, and then goes BOOM. Surprise! When a problem arises, watch out for surprises. What if instead of waiting for the surprise you dealt with the problem? -- doug smith

There's Always a Bigger Dog

Someone once told me that they always win. "How does that work?" I asked. "Simply," he said. "I always win because I'm the bigger dog." Maybe. But what happens when he meets a bigger dog? (and guess what -- there's always a bigger dog.) If you embrace a dog-eat-dog approach to leadership be careful. You will most certainly be eaten by a bigger dog. -- doug smith

New Ways Anyway

Creative leadership finds new ways to assemble your most vital and high performing teams. -- doug smith

Stay Persistent

Have you ever gotten frustrated while looking for the solution to a problem? It's not just common, we should probably expect it. If it was easy, it wouldn't be a problem, would it? Maybe we just need to keep thinking. Maybe we just need to quietly identify possibilities. What if the best answer to your problem hasn't been thought of yet? The answer, even if it's just "manage the outcomes and make peace with the problem" is likely there. Keep digging. -- doug smith

Big Effort

How important are your goals? Do you know how I can tell? I can tell how important a goal is by how disciplined and hard I work on them. Big effort = big importance. Little effort = just nice to have. Your effort measures the true value of your goal. I'm going to work today to put more effort into those goals that matter most. How about you? -- doug smith

Where Do We Begin?

Things change fast. Things don't ask, they just change. Where do we go from here? Wherever you are, there is room to grow. We may stay idle for awhile. We may sleep, rest, nurture. When we are ready, let's grow. Where to begin? Start with what's possible and grow. Ready when you are... -- doug smith

Letting Go of Perfect

My former acting coach, Brian McCulley once said that "done is better than perfect." I don't think he meant to minimize quality, because that is also important. But sometimes urgency is more important than perfection, considering that we'll never achieve perfect. There are no perfect people. There are no perfect products. There are no perfect processes. We may travel John Wesley's road to perfection without ever getting there. That is completely fine. I've learned to seek wisdom rather than perfection since discovering the endless amount of personal flaws has destroyed any illusion of perfect. Still, I travel that road, whether it's driving or as a passenger. It's a good road, even when it never ends. I've also learned not to let it grieve me.  We are all here to improve. Let's keep improving. When we look into the mirror, let's not expect perfection. Let's not let disappointment cloud our days. Expecting perfection is not a

Build Your Influence

You never know how influential you might be until you try to expand your influence. You never know when the smallest problem solving step might lead to an evolution of ever expanding and more effective steps. You might think you know, you might not. Expand it. Grow it. Get to know people and work on that problem. When a problem is beyond your influence, build your influence. -- doug smith

Tips on Managing Virtual Teams

It may be a few less than 21 rules, because he does lose count, but the ones that he shares are pure gold and highly recommended for managing remote teams. It's longer than most videos we watch (just over 21 minutes) but if you manage virtual teams you will likely benefit from this advice. Many are familiar, but I learned a few, such as: The most important order of communication priority is: video, audio, chat, email Keep a chat window open all the time Set up a meeting rhythm -- a regular meeting time when everyone on the team MUST attend virtually (using a program like Zoom or GoToMeeting) Take advantage of overlapping hot zones of time -- convenient times to meet no matter what time zone a team member is in Test potential employees with short term work before hiring them for long term work (what TimeDoctor does is hire two party time team members expecting to choose the best of the two to become full time) Meet in person - a least annually schedule an all team in p

What's Your Potential?

Do you know what your team's potential is? How about the potential of each of your team members? Potential is valuable. It tells you that you can keep going during tough times. It tells you that your capacity is wider than you imagined. Potential is fuel for success. You've got to tap into it, of course, and DO something -- but it is vastly available energy. How much energy? If you imagine that everyone on your team has limitless potential you could be right. I'm going with that notion -- how about you? -- doug smith