The Real Thing!

Through the last several posts, we’ve looked at why it’s so important for us to Control What We Can Control, we’ve dug into What We Can Control, we’ve discussed how Our Attitude and Our Actions play a critical role in all this, and we discussed how You Can Compound Your Results IF you stay consistent and intentional about your growth and development. As we continue looking at the things we truly can control in a world that often seems out of control, this next idea is critical for how we lead our teams but it matters just as much in every other area of our lives!

Before I get rolling with that though, I need to make sure I’ve shared an invitation for you to join us for a complimentary webinar, the first in a new monthly series for 2021, that we’ll be hosting on Friday, January 15 at 2:30pm! We’ll be sharing our lesson on Navigating Leadership Roadblocks for the first time in this format, and it’s been approved for...

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Firm Guidance for More Effective Action

Through the last several posts, we’ve taken a hard look at just how important it is to have candid conversations with our team members when they’re not keeping it between the ditches rather than ducking the issue and hoping things will get better on their own. While we’ve looked at some very specific examples of what works, and some that just don’t, there’s one more thing we can do to increase the effectiveness of those often difficult conversations!

In a LinkedIn article I published recently called How THEY Want to Be Treated, I touched on how much The Platinum Rule applies in these situations. If you’ve been reading these posts for more than a few weeks, you know where that reference will lead us over the next few. If that’s not ringing any bells and you think that was just another one of my grammatical errors, put The Platinum Rule in the search box here on our blog and you’ll find all you need to get up to speed in a hurry…

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But I Don’t Even Smoke?

A little over twenty years ago, a friend of mine was promoted from his role as a machine operator in the department we worked in to supervising that same department on an off shift. In those days, even the night shift crew had a ton of seniority and experience. That company had a much deserved reputation for being one of the best employers in the area… I had been there for two years or so and was still one of the newest people in the building!

While nearly everyone had significant experience, I’m not suggesting that everyone was actively engaged and working to exceed expectations like we’ve been discussing through the last few posts… In fact, one of the most senior guys on the shift, although being a true master of his craft, was about as actively disengaged as anyone I’ve ever seen!

Let’s pretend his name was Tim… Tim was a smoker. Before I move on, this isn’t meant as a shot at anyone who smokes - it’s just the story I...

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I Just Can’t Take The Risk...

Over the last decade, I’ve seen dozens of situations where a senior or incredibly skilled team member has chosen not to exceed expectations. The challenge in most of those instances really boiled down to that team member actually choosing to not even meet the expectations the organization (or business owner, or their team members) had clearly defined for the role they were in.

As we looked at how failing to exceed, or even meet, expectations can impact customer retention and the organization’s overall profitability through the last several posts, it was extremely clear that average performance won’t be what separates any of our businesses from the competition. This is just as true when it comes to the culture we build internally - how tasks get done even when a customer will likely never have direct exposure to them…

Let’s be honest, highly skilled team members are hard to come be regardless of the ups and downs of the economy. That often results in...

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Expanding Your Ripple Effect...

Hopefully this comes as good news… I’m still alive! I knew attempting to squeeze in three or four messages last week as Cindy and I prepared for the in-person and socially-distanced LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg event last week was going to be a fairly tall order but I wasn’t expecting to miss the entire week. That said, I believe we had an outstanding event given the Phase 3 guidelines we’re still operating under in Virginia. I’ve posted some of the amazing images captured by Andy Sams Photography on our webpage for this year’s event, as well as the special message that Mark Cole recorded for us while I was with him in Atlanta a few weeks ago. If you haven’t been able to participate in the 2020 LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg experience yet, we’re hosting a final public virtual option on Friday, November 13 and registration is open now. Finally, I want to make a special shout-out to Andy Vanhook with Appeal Production for being such a blessing to us...

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A Ripple Effect...

As I shared in the last blog, each decision we make will result in consequences that reach farther than we typically expect. Sometimes those consequences are far worse than we ever imagined, but there are also times where the footprint we leave makes a positive impact on people we may never know!

While the example I shared last time certainly caused me to lose some respect for the folks in those leadership roles who dug their feet in on their choice to take the easier wrong instead of the harder right, it really only confirmed what I thought they were made of leading up to that decision. But let’s take me out of the equation, because I’ve been looking at the situation out of principle. Consider the ripple effect their decision will have on the 299 people they chose not to stand up for, many of whom already have been impacted financially. Did they earn influence with the rest of that group, or did they flush a significant portion of their positional credibility down the...

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How To Do It and What To Expect...

On April 23, 1910 in Paris, Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech called Citizenship in a Republic. In full disclosure, I’ve never read or heard the entire thing (but that may no longer be true by the time you’re reading this). However, that speech is where one of my favorite quotes of all time - commonly referred to as “The Man in the Arena” - was first shared:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at...

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What? How? And Definitely WHY?!

I closed the last blog by referencing something I heard John Maxwell share recently, “Not investing in your team is short-cutting yourself as a leader,” then I challenged you to think about what tasks you’re still hanging onto that could really be passed on to someone on your team AND would serve to empower them in the process.

Once we begin delegating with the intention of developing the people around us, we need to also consider what tools could help those same people most to truly master those assignments we’re handing them. While it’s not quite across the board, most companies tend to have solid systems in place for helping team members improve their technical skills. Those hard skills, as we often call them, apply directly to the task at hand and typically have an immediate and visible impact on the final product we’re working to produce.

But the higher the level of responsibility for leading a team, the more we’ll find ourselves...

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We’re Only Human...

In the most recent LinkedIn article I published called If You Want It Done Right…, I shared a comment I heard John Maxwell make recently, “A leader who empowers their team isn’t someone who believes they have to do it all themselves for it to be done right.” While that’s not necessarily as easy as it may sound, it’s absolutely something we have to begin doing at some point if we have any hope at all of moving beyond that busy-ness we’ve kicked around over the last several messages to a place where we’re building a team that accomplishes what it’s really capable of!

I closed the last blog by challenging you to really think into how much it really matters when someone on our team makes certain mistakes. If it’s a true life or death scenario, we may need to stay in complete control of the situation. But let’s be brutally honest, those are few and far between! There are far more situations where a mistake here and there...

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Busy Now or Busy Forever?

Before closing the loop on the busyness issue we’ve looked at through the last few messages, here’s a quick reminder that registration is now open for the LIVE virtual LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg experience on Friday, October 9. Not only will you get immediate access to some special material from the 2019 Live2Lead speakers, we will also be providing everyone who participates at any point in the 2020 LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg SEASON with a code for complimentary access to our digital course on Build a Reputation as a Servant Leader!

Now, on with the show!

We started down this path by looking how most of us are Busier Than We’ve Ever Been and I referenced the quote from Tim Ferris in The 4-Hour Workweek I had previously shared in a my LinkedIn article called Busy, Lazy, or Undisciplined? where Ferris stated that “being perpetually busy is akin to being sloppy with your time and is ultimately a form of laziness.” As I pointed out in the two...

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