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.
 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.
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. 
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.
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?

Systems Thinkers Are Self-Aware

by blogadmin 18. October 2017 01:05

SELF-AWARE people practice SYSTEMS thinking not simply GOAL Setting.

The difference between GOALS (DOING) and SYSTEMS (BEING) is that one focuses on specific results, whereas the other is based on values, purpose, and who you are designed to be.

GOALS are temporary milestones you set out to reach. SYSTEMS are flexible patterns of thinking, emerging insights, and multiple perspectives that have a fulfilling effect on your life. See some great examples below by Siim Land:


GOAL-Earn an annual income of 100,000 VS. SYSTEMS-Learning and increasing your knowledge about marketing and finance, and constantly implementing them into your business is a system for getting wealthy

GOAL-Lose 10 pounds by the end of the year VS. SYSTEMS-Eating healthy and consistent physical exercise is a system towards losing weight and maintaining excellent body composition

GOAL-Write a bestselling book VS. SYSTEMS-Practing writing, researching, tinkering with one's skills is a system for becoming a master writer and thus creating a bestseller

GOAL-Get a degree in college VS. SYSTEMS-Studying, reading and self-improvement every day is a system for getting smarter and developing yourself as a person 


Yes, GOALS are helpful to reach short-term achievements within the big picture. But, it's always about staying on your calling, where the fine details will most definitely change over time. SYSTEMS free you from the outcome and are more consistent. AND no worries, SYSTEMS can be updated.

Personal Application:

-Do you set the same personal or work goals again and again?

-When you achieve your goal, do you feel fulfilled? Why or why not?

-As you learn about people or new things, are you willing to change your perspectives? How would this lead to increased understanding about yourself and others?

-Where might a small change - even those not yet considered - have a long-lasting, desired effect?

Good News & Success!

-Click here to listen to radio show archives featuring positive insight of business owners and leaders making things happen in their community.

Do Your Meetings Have Room For Improvement?

by blogadmin 27. September 2017 03:42

Most people express frustration with work meetings. A workplace myth ensues that meetings are always ineffective and a waste of time. Surprisingly, Elise Keith, Co-Founder of Lucid Meetings reviewed years of statistics and found that people aren't as disgruntled as the myth perpetuates. In fact, 69% label their work meetings as excellent/effective or good. There is room for improvement, however, as 29% label them as ineffective or poor. What habits help to make meetings excellent?

Here are 7 effective meeting habits:

1.  Obtain a written agenda in advance. Distribute the agenda at least one day in advance. Utilize a standard agenda template.

2.  Review the attendee list. Will key persons be present? If not, key decisions may not be made.

3.  Manage the meeting by the clock. Stay on track and make the time count.

4.  Use the "parking lot" to manage off topic discussions. If an interesting point is raised that does not relate to the agenda, "park" or write down the item to either include in the meeting notes, email it out, or put it on next meeting's agenda.

5.  Prewire important points or decisions. To increase chances for success, meet one-on-one prior to the meeting if an important decision is to be made and avoid any surprises. 

6.  Take notes for yourself.  

7. Follow-up on the meeting. For very important matters, make a point to follow-up on the same day or put it on your calendar to do sooner rather than later.

 For further explanation and help on the above habits, go to Project Management Hacks.

 Personal/Team Application:

Do you follow the above meeting habits? Does your team? Which habits can you improve or implement today?


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