Are You Fighting Fires or Tending To Your Garden?

by blogadmin 10. November 2017 02:23

How many disasters have you dealt with this week? How many relationships had to be rescued? Who had to redo their work, explain numbers, or cut corners?

Leaders and professionals, ask yourself this: Are you nearing or at a point where firefighting is standard operating procedure? If so, things were not done right the first time around. Too often, businesses get stuck in the vicious cycle of rework, shortcuts, and lengthened deadlines. This puts them at risk for stressed-out employees, customer problems, a damaged brand, and ethics issues. How then do we change our leadership and working style from the on-edge firefighter to that of the happy gardener?
 
The happy gardener has done his or her best to nurture their plants the minute the seed was placed in the ground. Careful watering, weeding, pruning, and cultivating leads to fruit, flowers, and a lush garden. In the same way, high producing and results oriented employees thrive when nurtured by great leaders and fellow team members. Just as in a seed, there is great potential inside of everyone, and great leaders help bring it out in 4 ways according to Terry Lee: training, connecting, challenging, and coaching.
 
1. TRAINING
 Great leaders know that effective training is how to marry existing knowledge with the strategy of a company. Working with team members to identify what training is going to position them to be most successful now and in the future is crucial. Prior to training, leaders should sit down with team members to discuss goals, expectations, and takeaways from the training. Upon finishing, leaders should again meet with team members to implement action planning while the information is still fresh. Post training meetings turn ideas into action.
 
2.  CONNECTING
Helping team members connect the dots in another action of great leaders. Help others to understand why each area or department is extremely important to the mission of the company. Great leaders understand the whole mission and are adept at articulating that message in a consistent, authentic, and relative manner. 
 
3.  CHALLENGING
Extrinsic motivation - public praise, more money, and prizes aren't enough to motivate team members. Intrinsic motivation - purpose, autonomy, and mastery are just as important. Mastery implies the opportunity to really get good at something. In order to be really good at something, you must be presented with challenges that excite you to find the solution. And, solutions satisfy purpose.
 
4.  COACHING
When faced with challenges, it's good to have a good "guide on the side" to help you through. Great leaders, helpful colleagues, and insightful coaches meet you where are. They help you identify what options you may have to reach goals and then sets appropriate challenges to lead you to that success.
 
So, to help your company sustain focus and build for the long-term, the firefighting leader, instead of being an impulsive judge, will become more like a gardener, counseling, guiding, and connecting with team members on a day-to-day basis, learning from them and with them.
 
Personal Application:
-Have you defined clearly to your team members what you are promising to deliver to your customers, so they know what they should strive to deliver?
-How often do you come up with poorly thought out quick fixes that consume time, leave less time for core work, and cause confusion about expectations?
-What steps can you take today to train, guide, and nurture rather than judge, add checkpoints, or escalate issues?

3 Steps To Increase Your Productivity With Accountability

by blogadmin 20. September 2017 01:24

Enlist others to make sure you get things done and watch your productivity soar says freelance writer Li Vasquez-Noone. Without a supervisor or boss looking over your shoulder, it's tempting to procrastinate. But with accountability, you'll keep going. She advises to follow these 3 steps to keep things going:

1.  Find an accountability partner (group or team). Set up regular times to meet or check in with each other. This keeps you honest and motivated. It also gives you a sounding board.

2.  Lay out and share your plans with an accountability partner, group or team. When writing down goals and sharing them, it is easy to identify areas which need adjustment or improvement.

3.  Be accountable to yourself. Find tools that help such as using an excel spreadsheet that has the goals for the project broken down into monthly, weekly, and daily segments and a success journal that keeps track of what you do right. 

Personal Application:

What do you do to hold yourself accountable? Do you have an accountability partner? What goals or projects are you currently working on that could be held better accountable with a partner or a team? 

  

How Well Do Others Trust You?

by blogadmin 22. June 2017 03:59

Trust is an essential component of every relationship. As individuals or team members, we need to be aware of how we are increasing or decreasing the level of trust with others. Consider the quote below on how a strong reputation builds trust. Based on how others have acted in the past, makes it more likely to predict how trustworthy others are in the future. The following is a tool to help you assess where you need to strengthen trust levels of others.

TRUST MODEL:

This model, which was adapted from The Trust Equation by Charles Green (Trusted Advisor Associates LLC), lays out what makes a person a trusted individual. Take a look at the points below and consider how well you'd rate in each area on a daily basis.

Trust = C + R + 0 

   S 

Trust Builders...

Credible in Your Words 

-Do you tell the truth?

-When you don't know, do you say you don't know?

Reliable in Your Actions 

-Do you deliver on commitments?

-Do you commit only to things that you plan to follow through on?

Open to Other Points of View 

-Do you actively seek input from others?

-Do you show people how you've acted on their input?

Trust Destroyers... 

Self-Orientation 

-To what degree is the focus on you vs. others?  

PERSONAL APPLICATION:

-With whom or what team do you need to focus on strengthening trust? In what areas (C,R,O,S) do you need to work on? In what circumstances do you need to place focus? 

 

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