Identify the Destination and Love the Journey

Through the last few posts and the LinkedIn article that set the tone for them, we’ve looked at some of the most pressing issues that cause so many of us to lock onto a goal and lose nearly all focus on anything but that goal. In many cases, that can suck the joy out of just about everything else around us. While that’s (usually) not our intent, it happens just the same…

As I closed the last post, I promised to dig deeper into how we can each be more intentional about enjoying the unique journey we’re on. Not long after that, as I was driving to a meeting and listening to Psycho-Cybernetics on Audible at 3X speed, I noticed that even Maxwell Maltz saw this as a significant issue when he wrote the book more than 60 years ago! Since I was listening (really fast) rather than reading, I won’t even attempt to quote him directly… His point, though, was along the lines of having a clear goal to work toward then live in the steps we’re taking on a...

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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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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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The Why, The What, and The How!

We’ve looked at several things that anyone interested in moving their mission statement from the wall of their front lobby to the actions of their team can take action on. Now let’s remove any remaining confusion there may be between the mission and the vision.

Before digging into this, let me clarify something: I couldn't care any less as to whether we use the right term as long as we’re DOING the right things! I’ve seen organizations waste far more time differentiating which statement is which than their executive team ever invested into living an example for their team members to follow. I suppose they thought that as long as both looked good in a frame, they wouldn’t actually have to change anything they did. I believe we’ve covered that in enough detail so far that we’d be beating the proverbial dead horse to hash it out again…

If we want to truly lead our teams in building a culture that EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS in every aspect of...

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Always Check For Leaks!

Early in chapter 13 of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, as he’s describing how important it is for a leader to provide a constant example for our teams to follow, John Maxwell says “The temptation for any leaders is to merely communicate about the vision.” Truth be told, just communicating with the team on a regular basis with even a little bit of clarity is still far more effective in gaining buy-in on an organization’s mission and purpose than hanging it on the wall or printing it on ID badges. 

But even frequent communication still presents a challenge; our team may not grasp the full understanding we need them to have from words alone. And without a crisp picture in their minds of how that purpose is achieved, there’s another risk John warns about. He says “vision has a tendency to leak.” 

Clear and ongoing communication about how each individual role ties into our organization’s mission, how it impacts the end...

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Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It...

“Our mission is to delight our customers as the number one technology driven global manufacturer and marketer of value differentiated XYZ products and services. We will strengthen our leadership position through a shared-value culture of employee involvement where an intense focus on continuous improvement delivers shareholder value in everything we do.”

In the last LinkedIn article I published, Mission Accepted? Mission Accomplished?, I painted a picture of a mission statement full of big words, printed on fancy paper and mounted in an expensive frame, hanging on the wall in the front lobby of most organizations. Then I challenged anyone reading to consider whether or not anyone other than the first time guest at the location ever paid any attention at all to what it actually said…

The one I sanitized and shared above was not only hanging in one of those really nice frames, it was printed on the back of everyone employee’s ID badge they used to clock in and...

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Clear Instructions to Finish What They Started

As we look at this group that represents the final 25% of our equation, it’s unlikely that quality will be the issue. The folks with this Reserved and Task-Oriented behavioral style are very CONSCIENTIOUS about performing everything they do with accuracy and precision. The work that they do nearly always follows a very organized process.

That said, their CAUTIOUS approach can sometimes cause them to put too much time into an amount of detail that may not be necessary. Where the DRIVEN folks we looked at as we started this process are more likely to charge forward toward the finish line without bothering to read the instructions (yep, that’s me…), our CONTEMPLATIVE team members tend to process all the information they can get their hands on before moving forward…

Regardless of the issue we need to address with someone who’s primary style is more CAREFUL, we should be prepared to provide them with very clear instructions on what needs to be done in...

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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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You Always Knew Where You Stood...

It was probably 2003 or 2004, when I was walking through a fairly secluded part of the facility I worked in and a friend pulled me aside to ask “Was that guy who just came through that Terry guy? I hear he’s a real &#%[email protected]!” I confirmed that it had indeed been Terry and asked what the issue was. Terry and I, along with a few other safety team members, were doing a walk-through of that entire area to identify at-risk behaviors with hopes of addressing them and preventing potential injuries. He told me that Terry had gotten on him about not wearing safety glasses, something that was in fact required in the area where he was working.

Later that morning, I was able to catch up with Terry to get his version of the story. Terry explained that the fellow who stopped me, a long term employee and all around great guy, was fastening a banding strap around a box and had his safety glasses resting on top of his head. Terry simply tapped the side of his own safety glasses as...

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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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