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Virtual Tip: Make it Everyone

Have you ever been in a meeting, in a conference room with other people, but with some people joining the meeting virtually? It's a blend. It's a mix. It feels efficient. But then someone in the conference room rolls their eyes, and the virtual team members don't see it. Or do they? The dynamics are tough enough to handle without mixing the media. Keep people together, even when they are apart.  If anyone in your meeting is meeting virtually, everyone should be meeting virtually. Stay on the same page. Play fair. Level the playing field. You'll appreciate the improved communication. -- doug smith

Ask With Curiosity

How does it feel when someone asks you a question that doesn't really feel like a question? It feels instead like their mind is made up, or that they are trying to convince you of something. That's not much of a question, is it? Unless you ask a question with curiosity it isn't really a question. We all do it: ask questions we think we know the answer to. That perception acts like a little door that keeps out insights. It keeps out the ability to learn. Instead, we can't fake it: we must remain curious. When we are open to whatever answer another person offers us, and stay curious, we get better and more useful answers. When you ask a question with curiosity, it's a genuine question.  Ask real questions. -- doug smith Today's Leadership Affirmations  When I stay curious I learn much more I can be the best listener of the day for anyone who talks with me today My curiosity is intense, authentic, and powerful

Take the Path

Remember, finding the path to perfection does not mean that you'll achieve it. Take the journey anyway. We're all on the path to perfection, but sometimes we just get lost. Find your way back. Lead your team back. Keep moving. -- doug smith

Find The Benefit

Find the benefit to solving a problem and you're likely to solve it faster. Go for the gold, before your problem gets old. -- doug smith

Keep Going!

How does it feel when you miss a goal? It's not fun. It can be discouraging. When it happens to me I have to ask myself what went wrong. Didn't I work hard enough? Was my plan flawed? Even though I do tend to achieve most of my goals, when I miss it hurts.  Feel the hurt. Learn the lesson. Move forward. That's what I tell myself. An unachieved goal need not break you. There are new goals ahead. Keep Going! -- doug smith 

Leadership Is Service

Leadership is service. No matter how strongly you hold a goal, no matter how driven you are to succeed, the purpose of leading is to help. The essential question is "how can I help?" It gets tough when there are deadlines, meetings, deliverables ahead of you. Interruptions feel unproductive. Helping others feels disruptive. Still, however busy we are, the essential question remains "how can I help?" Serving others may not feel productive until you're the one who needs the help. -- doug smith

Identify Your Motivation

It's hard to achieve a goal without first identifying a benefit to you of achieving your goal. Identify your motivation. That will get you moving and make ever task related to your goal much easier. -- doug smith

Problems Are Platforms

What good are problems? Don't you find them aggravating? Don't you prefer straight paths to achieving your goals? And yet, there they are: problems standing in the way. Since they're there, why not make use of them? Since they're there, why not ask powerful questions that open up learning and identify new possibilities? Problems present platforms to ask powerful questions. So there's that. -- doug smith  

Listen In Case We're Wrong...

Every argument contains at least one misunderstanding. Why? So often we are in such a hurry to express ourselves that we don't pay attention to what someone else is saying. Or, we confuse style with content. When we find someone's personality abrasive it's easy to disregard anything they have to offer. Right, or wrong. I learned the hard way that none of us ever has the complete picture. Even when our opinion is correct, it is incomplete. Until we see a more complete picture (we may never know all of the details) we would do well to stay curious.  Every argument starts with misunderstandings, and usually stays there. What if we dug deeper? What if we did stay curious? What if we're wrong - how will we know unless we listen? -- doug smith

Revolution or Evolution?

How long do you like to wait for what you want? The more certain I am about something, the less patient I am. I want what I want and I want it now. But that's not always the best idea. And it usually isn't even possible. Big ideas bring about resistance. Change isn't easy. When people and processes stand in our way, our first impulse is to break on thru. Let the strong survive. Let the resisters catch up or fall away. But -- results are important, and relationship are even more important. After working for many years I've discovered that results (good or bad) tend to be temporary. Relationships? That's up to us. We can do things that build trust (keep our word, consult others before deciding things that impact them, tell the truth) and sustain relationships, or we can take short-cuts that damage those we'd prefer to keep on our side. The trouble with revolutionary solutions to problems is that they break both things and people. And no matter how good the results

Another Big Question

What should we do with six thousand years of problems and mistakes? Keep centered, keep solving, keep serving. -- doug smith 

Serve First, Serve Always

Never stifle the desire to serve. It's what we are here for. -- doug smith