Another (Red) Face (and puffed out chest) in the Crowd

As I post this, Cindy and I just finished our second gym workout of the new year. We went at an odd time earlier in the week so the crowd of Resolutioners that we had anticipated wasn’t there. That said, there were certainly more people milling around that we would have seen at that same time on a day in November or December… But at 6:30a on the first Wednesday morning in January, there were more than a few new faces. And many of those new faces will be red since it was likely just their second or third time inside a gym in who knows how long… Make no mistake though, that didn't keep many of them from having a puffed out chest after they showed us all how awesome their bench press was!

By early February though, the herd will have thinned a bit. And by March 1, we’ll be back to business as usual…

Don’t get me wrong, I get really excited when I see anyone take a proactive approach to managing their health. I also know all too well how easy it can...

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I Appreciate You and I’d Like to Help You

Now that we’ve covered some things we can do to apply The Platinum Rule when we have those candid conversations with our folks who have those first two primary communication styles, our more Outgoing and Fast-Paced team members, we’re doing to need to dial it down a bit as we prepare to chat with this next group. In case you didn’t notice, I was very intentional about using an exclamation point in the subject line of the last post, You’re Amazing and You Can Be Even Better!... I’m being equally intentional by NOT using one in today’s subject. 

In situations where we need to provide the “Alliance Feedback” (like Jeff Henderson suggested in Know What You’re FOR) with our Reserved friends, it’s extremely important for us to manage our pace and be sure our tone is geared to their SUPPORTIVE nature. With this group that represents around 35% of the population typically being a bit more SHY than most everyone else...

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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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What Are You Willing To Risk?

In the last blog post, I Just Can’t Take The Risk, tiptoed around the edges but stopped just short of defining what that perceived risk was… With limited time right now, I’ll touch on the perceived risk quickly and toss out a few other risks that many managers or business owners may not recognize until it’s too late. 

Don’t worry though, I won’t drop the ball on you! I’ll circle back with the next few posts to cover some things we can each do to effectively handle each of the risks we look at now.

The risk I’ve seen so many supervisors, managers, and business owners work so hard to avoid is the potential for losing a long term, highly skilled team member to the competition after addressing an issue with them. In many of those situations, that person is truly a master of their craft. But from time to time, even the best in the business get lackadaisical… But there are also times where a senior team member can begin to...

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When NOT Exceeding Expectations Is OK...

We closed last time with a commitment to address scenarios where team members refuse to exceed expectations. Before I jump into that, I need to call your attention to something that will absolutely exceed YOUR expectations: the virtual LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg experience that Cindy and I will be hosting this Friday! There’s so much value (and bonus content) packed into this event that I just can’t fit it all in here… Check it out for yourself!

So when is NOT exceeding expectations acceptable? Believe it or not, there are times where it’s OK. If we don’t mind our customers and team members having an average experience, we don’t need to put in that little bit of extra effort and we don’t need to worry about maintaining a standard for what our team members strive to deliver. That will work just fine in a booming economy where every Joe out there has plenty of money to spend…

But we don’t build the kind of loyalty that brings a...

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You Don’t Have to Control Every Single Thing

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on August 4, 2020.

Over the last few weeks in this series, we’ve taken a look at how things can spiral out of control throughout an organization once Ethical Fading begins, then we dug into the real definitions for diversity and inclusion as we looked at why both really matter when we’re working to build a world class organizational culture. I published an article on LinkedIn yesterday called Don’t Just Say It, Do It! that was intended to set the tone for what we’ll be looking at through these next few blogs showing how to take tangible steps toward achieving authentic inclusion in every part of our team.

While there’s certainly no magic pill that can solve every problem you or I will ever encounter, just changing how we communicate with each individual on our teams can make a significant impact in building a culture where everyone truly feels more included! When orders are being barked from top down,...

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Not Just More of the Same!

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on July 30, 2020.

Before I pick up where we left off, I want to share some feedback I received from the questions I closed that last blog with. My challenge was for you to think into how you’ve been proactive about including the people on your team who may not have the same background as you and to consider what you can do to help someone who may have been on a proverbial island become a part of the team.

Truth be told, my thought process with that was geared to the BC (Before Covid) era… Here’s what a great friend sent in response: “I think you could do an entire lesson on the questions you just asked. In the last few months, I’ve been more intentional about reaching out to my co-workers through text, phone calls, emails, and Zoom to stay connected to them. I struggle though to get the message across to Senior Management that I have felt like that proverbial island since I work in an office by...

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A State of Being Included

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on July 29, 2020.

We looked at what it takes to build a truly diverse team in the last blog. But just having a group of people with varying skill sets and experience doesn’t promise there will ever be a high performing team…

I’ve been in a number of situations where I was always the odd man out. Now before you write me off by saying that doesn’t surprise you, hear me out…

Have you ever been part of a work group where, regardless of your expertise or performance, you just never seemed to fit in because you didn’t come from the same school or didn’t attend the same church? Maybe it was because you had only been with the organization for a few years while nearly everyone else around you had been there for decades. How a scenario where a significant portion of the management team had all come from one other company and anyone without that history was a bit of an outsider? And what if your...

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A Wide Range of Different Things

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on July 28, 2020.

It’s a rare day right now where we can scroll social media or turn on any other media source and not see something that speaks to the need for more diversity throughout society. While I agree with that sentiment wholeheartedly, I’ve grown extremely concerned about the way that message is being shared and how limited that message often is.

Just prior to this post, I shared an article on LinkedIn called Why Do Diversity & Inclusion Matter? where I included the definitions of each term that popped up in a quick Google search. Both definitions were simple and straight to the point… 

With each being defined so simply, why have both become so complicated in the workforce?

Let’s start with what diversity looks like…

In so many cases, it seems like too many people look for varying skin color to determine whether or not a team is diverse. I’ll circle back to that shortly, but...

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SOP's for Leadership Action

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on July 16, 2020.

OK, action can truly cure a lot of what ails us… And the action we take in a leadership role has to be very different than the action we would take if everything depended on us alone. But as we discussed in the last blog, that ship sailed when we accepted the responsibility to lead!

Now with that in mind, here’s something to consider: Have you ever seen someone take massive action for a short period of time then completely fall off the map for the weeks or months that follow? There’s another one of those rhetorical questions…

I think it’s pretty safe to say we’ve all seen that happen at one time or another. It’s especially easy to see if you have a gym membership; just open your eyes during the first few weeks every January!

As easy as this is to picture with the New Year’s Resolutioners, this happens just as often in just about every other area we can imagine. How...

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