A Plan for Immediate Action

Every session Cindy and I do, be it in person, virtual, or for any of our digital resources, closes with a call to action; a challenge for participants to identify what they can apply immediately from whatever we just shared. That call to action is really based on two things… First was the expectation that had always been placed on me to produce a measure impact on productivity from any training I had attended. The second thing was a comment I heard someone make in a training session just a few years back. One of the participants commented on all the take-aways they had learned and made notes on through the two day event. The trainer was quick to push back by suggesting that those take-aways wouldn’t do much if they never put them in play

Consider this; you’re away from work for a training event. It doesn’t really matter if that’s half a day of a full week, it’s extremely rare to have anyone cover for us while we’re gone… But...

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Executive Leadership Solutions

I heard John Maxwell say, “Anyone can find a problem, but it takes a leader to find a solution,” (or something along those lines) for the first time nearly twenty years ago. In fact, I remember him sharing a story about the time he started requiring anyone on his team bringing him a problem to present at least three possible solutions to that problem. He went on to explain that there were a few team members who never brought him a problem again!

Whether we’re leading a small group of people or an entire organization, we’ve likely all experienced something similar to what prompted John to take that stance. As a supervisor, manager, or owner, our team often expects us to have all the answers! To that end, have you ever heard anyone who wasn’t in a leadership role say “they don’t pay me to think”? Each time I hear something like that, I’m flooded with a mix of frustration that anyone is willing to accept such a low level of...

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More than Readin’, Ritin’ & 'Rithmetic!

It seems like for every year older I get, there’s at least a half dozen new tasks that are added to my daily routine! While that may not actually be the case, I’m guessing you can relate in one way or another… And what if we’ve accepted responsibility for leading others? Those half dozen additional tasks could easily double to a dozen - or more!

That ever-increasing pressure makes it even more important for us to consider everything we can that could help us be more productive - at work and at home, and it drives home the importance of building systems we can use in the process! Even when we do everything we know to do, there are still times where others around us appear to get so much more done than we do; at least that’s sometimes the case for me!

I read a blog article recently called 18 Habits of Highly Productive People: What Efficient People Have in Common that opened by saying, “We’ve all known that person who always seems to be...

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It’s Not MY Problem!

I’m probably having more fun than I should be as I pick the images I use when posting these. Still thinking of Shrek and the Lord Farquaad character, I used a donkey for the last one; partly because I liked the movie that much and partly because someone acting like that in a leadership role is typically thought of as a real, well, donkey… But enough of my nonsense, let’s move on.

That last quality of a bad leader we looked at, the idea of Do as I Say, Not as I Do, is really tough to swallow when it’s someone we report to. They may have some level of authority but they’re certainly not leading. And that ties right in with the next quality of a bad leader: not accepting responsibility…

I still do a fair amount of interviews and one of the most frequent things I hear when asking candidates why they’re considering a change is that the person they report to routinely takes credit for their successes but is quick to place all them when something...

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Show’em Who’s Boss!?

I closed last time by promising to share some things that just about anyone can apply to earn genuine influence and lead the team they supervise or manage more effectively. While that may seem like a pretty lofty promise, I really believe it’s much simpler than it’s usually made out to be…

Just to make sure we’re on the same page though, let’s start with a few examples…

You recently finished up some classes in your off time while working your full time role. You apply for and are offered a position managing the department that you’ve been a part of for the last several years. You’ve always gotten along well with everyone you worked with but they’ve never had to follow your instructions. But starting next Monday, you’re going to need to establish some boundaries and make sure they respect you in this new position. The work environment has always been fairly relaxed but you know productivity could be better if there was...

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The Buck Stops Here!

I ended the last post by emphasizing how ineffective barking orders and cracking the whip is for a leader who needs to get long term engagement (and results) from their team, and I also referenced how that can often look like an easy approach to someone who hasn’t held leadership responsibility or someone who isn’t considering the impact it will have moving forward. As leaders, we need to consider the future as much as we need to take care of what’s in front of us right now. If we choose to bark orders, crack the whip, blame our team when things go poorly, and take all the credit when things are great, leader isn’t likely a word that will be used to describe us and we probably won’t have any of those strong alliances I’ve referenced previously.

One of my good friends owns a growing company locally and has a sign on his desk that reads “The Buck Stops Here!” In many cases, that could be interpreted as him saying he’s in charge and...

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Return On Investment

Had last week not been quite as packed as it was, we would have wrapped up this final response to Why is Effective Communication Important? and now be starting digging into Communication Skills in the Workplace. I could run through the list of craziness that’s packed the last 10 days or so but that wouldn’t get us where we need to be - and I doubt you care… So let’s work through one last response to Why is Effective Communication Important? so we can turn the page!

We started by looking at how the message we send can be so much different from what we intend if we’re not incredibly intentional about crafting it to specifically match the communication style of the other person. Then we looked at why effective communication is absolutely critical for anyone with leadership responsibility; “Leadership is influence. Nothing More, Nothing Less!” Those two reasons alone should make a strong case for why effective communication is important! But...

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How Well Is Your System Working?

I remember learning the Law of Design which says, to maximize growth, develop strategies.  What a relief… I had strategies!  At the time, I had a system that allowed me to get two young children up each morning, safely delivered to school or childcare, as a single Mom and even get some form of exercise before they woke.  Granted, this was on days when no one was sick, had a bad night, or mornings when I faced a child who was attempting to be in charge of the house… and everything else for that matter. 

Life felt more like survival than a sense of thriving but at least I had a system, right?!  I didn’t say it was always pretty but it was always attempted and helped us have structure even on the tough days.  It wasn’t until I delegated responsibility to my children that we were able to create good habits and have a smoother transition each morning, not to mention more fun together!

The truth is…we all have a system. ...

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More than Chasing the Numbers!

Quite a few of the leaders I’ve known over the years also held positions where they were responsible for supervising a group of people, managing a process, or running an entire business. Let me be very candid before I move on though, filling those positions had almost as much to do with them being real leaders as sitting in a garage does with me being a car… Since condemning the misuse of the word leadership isn’t my intent (today), I’ll stick with the regularly scheduled program…

As a supervisor, a manager, or even a business owner, there’s often pressure from various directions to ensure we’re making the numbers. While I’ve been providing this blog and A Daily Dose Of Leadership for going on five years as a complimentary service to hundreds of people across the country, I like sleeping inside and eating food as much as the next person so at times I’ll reference some of the fee-based services Cindy and I provide as well;...

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Why Professional Development?

Why does professional development matter to you? For your future self? For those counting on you? For all the ways you can add value to others? For tomorrow to be better than today? For an edge in your career pursuits?  Don’t miss the opportunity at the end of this blog to access our complimentary professional development resources and create your own personal & professional development growth plan!

As I (Cindy) caught up with a group of friends we chat with at the gym, one of us asked “who is excited about a new year coming?!” Since we were wrapping up 2020, you can imagine the howls and cheers coming from that simple question! We had some good laughs and shared a few hopes for the New Year, then went about the serious work of strengthening ourselves.

I couldn’t help but think of the strength a simple decision backed with Intentional Action will add to anyone’s life who chooses it. It certainly has added physical strength and increased quality...

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