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The Yes Appeal

What's your best offer today? Has an opportunity come your way? Are you ready for something new? I have a natural tendency to defau lt to defensive posters when an offer comes my way. I'm too busy. I'm not interested. I 'm concer ned. Sometimes, a great offer gets lost in the attempt to avoid disaster. I'm practicing, though, a way thru that. I'm practicing the pause. During the pause, before I say know, I spark the inner curious mind to consider. What if this is great? What if this is fun? What if this makes at least two people happy? Before I say no, I think about my yes. What do you think? -- doug smith


When a leader's first thoughts are to service, all other jobs become easier. -- doug smith

Unconditional Positive Regard

Something someone said in one of my workshops keeps popping back and I'm glad that it does. We were talking about dealing with difficult people, with difficult situations, with difficult times, and he said he approaches everyone from the same hopeful stance of "unconditional positive regard." It's not something anyone has to earn. It's not something anyone can push away. It's a calm, focused, giving, loving way to look at those around us. Who around us? Everyone. I have failed at this many times, even since hearing the words of "unconditional positive regard" and yet I do not surrender to the negative that creeps in when I'm off my game. Like a gentle redirection, like a soft return to the breath, I can think "unconditional positive regard." Today is a great day to create a great day! -- doug smith

Building Your Team With Familiarity

How well does your team know each other? Whether they work side by side, or across the globe from each other, the better your team members know each other's strengths and weaknesses, the better they understand how each communicates and what their interaction style means to them, the better they are likely to perform. We spend so much time sorting out intentions. Speed that process up by helping your team members get to know each other. Facilitate deeper conversations. Lead powerful meetings where things get done. Teach each other how an action usually uncovers a need. Work better together because you care about each other. That's not instantaneous. There's no easy exercise. It takes time and presence to build rapport, and it takes rapport to build relationships. Build your team by helping them get to know each other better. You'll like the results. -- doug smith

Dig This

You don't need excuses for failing when you use the creativity to succeed. art business music education governing leading writing What if your MAIN ingredient is creativity? That's good news because you've got plenty of it. But, you might have to dig. Well? Start digging! -- doug smith

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