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Help or No Help?

Have you ever known anyone who seems to need rescuing over and over? One crisis after another, one stumble repeatedly, and no means of pulling themselves together? It is so tempting to always play the role of hero for those who have the ability to rescue. Given the right circumstances it makes total sense: why would you allow someone to suffer if you can help? But, isn't it also a balance? Aren't there times when you have to let someone feel the consequences of their own actions or neglect in order for them to learn a better way? Not to make them suffer, but to make them pay attention. Sometimes the best help is no help at all. Not always. Sometimes. -- doug smith  

Appreciation Builds Confidence

High performance leaders must do two things extremely skillfully: 1. Support your people 2. Challenge your people One great way to support your people is to appreciate them. Say thank you often and very specifically. Thank then for exactly what they did and why it's helpful. For example: "Thanks for getting your report in a day early! That gives me more time to digest the data and less time to worry about getting it on time!" "Thank you so much for listening respectfully even though I could tell you disagreed. When we're able to talk like this it's much more likely that we'll come up with great ideas and solutions to problems." "I appreciate the way you follow-up a good question with a clarifying response. That way we both understand what we're saying!" It takes practice. It might feel awkward at first. But here's something that I say every day because it's true: what gets appreciated gets repeated. If you like something, apprec

Reflection Builds Wisdom

  We all make mistakes. If we take the time to reflect on what happened and what we would do the next time a similar situation occurs we can build on our reserve of wisdom. It's not the only way, but it helps. We also build wisdom by continuing to learn, by reading long works (not just social postings), and thru deep, vulnerable conversations.  We cannot perfect the past but we can paint a better future.  Wisdom won't wipe out what came before, but it will provide a way to endure. What is your favorite way to build more wisdom? -- doug smith

You've Got This

The struggle never ends, nor is it meant to. Signs of a struggle offer opportunities to grow. When it's right in front of you it's time to stand tall and muscle up. You have what you need. You know what to do. You've got this. -- doug smith  

Stay Young

It might feel like our youth abandons us, but it's always available within us. Ask questions. Try new things. Meet new people and make new friends. That field of work is also a field of play. Stay young. -- doug smith 

Figure Out Your Mission

Your purpose, your vision, your mission matters. With all of the hard work ahead, make it worth the effort. Figure out your mission and suddenly everything makes sense. -- doug smith  

Release Resistance

  "I don't know..." "What don't you know?" "If any of this makes sense..." "You doubt the merit of the work?" "The work, the mission, the whole thing..." Doubt is natural. It's part of any important mission. Without doubt, how can you be sure? But, doubt can be paralyzing and stop the work. Doubt can be self-fulfilling. If you are sure about your purpose, if you are sure about your mission, there is work to be done. Let doubt spark action instead of resistance.  -- doug smith

Choose Your Story

Have you thought about how many stories you add to your life? We are so interested in understanding the meaning of everything that if we can't easily find the meaning we simply make it up. We tell stories to explain what we believe, even if what we believe has zero evidence or proof. Ordinarily, that's annoying. When dealing with a problem, that's a disaster in motion. Things we do to expand that story include ascribing motives to people we believe are responsible. They include interpreting words and actions as malicious, when maybe they were simply capricious. They include telling tales of woe and victimhood that do not lead to sensible solutions. It's another problem within a problem. But we can choose. Be careful about adding a story to a problem that only makes the problem worse. You don't want to make the problem worse, do you? You want to solve it. If your story is not leading to a positive outcome, maybe just maybe the story is wrong. -- doug smith

Secret Time

There's a secret way to stretch your time. Well, it's not that BIG of a secret, and some people might disagree, but if it works for you, wouldn't you make use of it. Here it is: Fill your time with joy and you find you have more time. More time, better time, easier time, wonderful time. It's just a feeling, of course, because as far as we know we all have equal amounts of time -- from moment to moment. Creating great moments though last and so, tada! you find you have more time. It's worth a try...even if you don't end up with more time, you do end up with more joy. -- doug smith  

Leadership Thru Communication

  We lead the way we communicate. It's hard to tell one from the other. The way you communicate defines your style. The way you communicate determines whether people will be influenced by you or if they will resist you. There isn't any separating the development of leadership from improving communication. You need them both. Think of all of your leadership opportunities: conversations, meetings, presentations, rallies, speeches, huddles, feedback, evaluations...all of it centered on how you communicate. If you want to be a great high performance leader, it starts with effective communication. -- doug smith

Developing Leadership

We are constantly developing leadership -- the work is never done. New challenges, new people, new goals. That includes how we lead and who we develop as current and future leaders. Developing leadership is a constant. What's your plan? -- doug smith