Professional Development Goals

Through the last few messages, we’ve taken a look at some data answering the question Why is Professional Development Important?... I closed last time by emphasizing that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach and promised to work through some things each of us need to consider as we’re moving down our own growth path. But before I cover a few examples, let’s be sure we’ve all got the right thought process. Without that, the rest may not even matter…

More than a century ago, James Allen said that “people are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.” Oh my goodness! What if Mr. Allen was around to see the mess we’re dealing with today… 

All too often, folks want to be respected as a leader before they take full responsibility for leading. But that’s not where it stops! How often have you heard someone say that they’d be...

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What Approach Works Best for YOU?

The vast majority of the work Cindy and I do is focused around developing effective leaders and building effective communication into the cultures of the organizations we work with. But when we’re digging into Why Professional Development is Important, understand that there are so many more things to consider! Don’t get me wrong, I still believe effective communication and leadership are crucial, I’m just saying that there are more things we need to consider than the one-size-fits-all baseball caps I referenced in closing the last post

Several years ago, while working with some of the most experienced team members some friends of mine had working in their company, one gentleman commented, “We’ve done it this way for 30 years. This is the best way it can possibly be done!” Having been involved in so many continuous improvement initiatives over the years, my initial reaction was to jump on the table and preach about all the risks that come...

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How Do You Measure Success?

We closed last time by touching briefly on how critical it is to be able to measure tangible results as we work to avoid many of the reasons for why leadership training fails. Leading up to that, we looked at the wide variations in what’s even referred to as leadership training and we dug into the significant difference between knowing something and applying it… 

As Cindy and I begin working with an organization, or an individual leader within that organization, we always start the process by having a very strategic conversation with the primary decision maker(s) to develop a firm understanding of the issues they’re dealing with so we can assist them by providing the most applicable material for their team members and in creating the most effective plan for how their team members can take action on that material afterward. It’s incredibly important to understand where they are before we ever try to help them move forward! A while back while talking with...

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Clear Goals and an Expectation for Action

I closed the last post by referencing something we can do to help remove a bit of the reluctance leaders often face when faced with addressing tough situations with team members - often due to the concern of hurting or offending them in some way. Separating a behavior contributing to an issue that needs addressed from the individual performing that behavior is far easier said than done! But as we begin to develop that kind of awareness, and really hone our skill in actually doing it, holding the team member accountable for the behaviors they choose involves so much less emotional stress…

So what does that have to do with why leadership training fails? Understanding what should be done and knowing what the specific behavior looks like to accomplish what needs to be done are very different things. Just like we, as leaders, will need to work at being able to separate the behavior from the individual in order to have effective conversations about improving performance,...

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Lean & Mean!

For almost all of the nearly 20 years I worked in manufacturing, I had at least some level of involvement with implementing the tools most commonly referred to as LEAN. Truth be told, at least ten of those years consisted of a high level of hands-on involvement where I worked directly with teams throughout the facility to build the various tools within that methodology into the workflow for improved productivity. I even have a fancy framed certificate (that’s buried amongst a bunch of other fancy certificates) showing where I completed a customized Lean Manufacturing course at the University of Michigan… Impressive, huh…

In addition to all that, I even got to learn to concepts of Lean from a true master consultant who had read about it in a book but never seemed to be able to offer tangible examples of how any of his other clients implemented what he was regurgitating to achieve a tangible return on investment - but I’ll save that story for another day...

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Win, Lose, or Grow?

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on August 13, 2020.

Following the theme we’ve followed over the last few days, I’m going to challenge you with a question right out of the gate: WHAT do you think or feel when someone in a similar role or field as you’re in succeeds? Are you excited for them? Is there any sense of jealousy? Do you view it as them beating you or getting ahead of you?

Let me be very transparent here; this is something I’ve struggled with at times. And quite honest, there’s a lot of systems in place throughout society to reinforce a competitive sense in us when we see someone we view as a competitor doing well. The traditional thought process is that when they do well or gain market share, then we inherently must be doing poorly and losing market share.

Are your toes OK so far? This may be stepping on them a bit but that’s not my goal!

In The Infinite Game, Simon Sinek gives a number of examples of how many businesses...

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