Wednesday, December 7, 2016

High Performance Leaders Set The Pace

Are you the hardest working member of your team?

When I worked at Aon, the CEO Pat Ryan said that "the speed of the leader is the speed of the team." That made an impression on me then and it still does. Are you the kind of supervisor who sits back and waits for your team to do their job -- or do you set the pace? Do you show how important the work is to you? Do you demonstrate commitment to your customers AND to your team members?

Set the pace. See what happens. You'll like the results.

-- Doug Smith

Need help getting your supervisors to set the pace in your organization? Bring our two-day workshop, "Supervising for Success" to your location. Contact me today:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How Do You React to Resistance?

How do you like change?

Are you on-board every change that comes down the pike? Do you accept every new idea?

Neither do your constituents. Neither does your team.

Resistance isn't always right. But, it isn't always wrong, either. Someone who tells you their objections is doing you a favor: now you know. Now you can do something about it. Change the "thing" or change the way you deliver the "thing"...or dig deeper to figure out what's behind the resistance.

Even the most brilliant projects need acceptance to succeed. Work on that while you work on your brilliant goal.

-- Doug Smith

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Successful Supervisors Keep Solving

As frustrating as it is to encounter a problem that resists any solution, there could be a benefit. Stay mindful. Stay attentive. Stay alert. Imbedded in that big problem are lots of little problems. Maybe they need to be solved before you can move forward. Maybe solving them will lead to a break thru that helps you in other areas.

The problems that we fail to solve sometimes lead to those we do. And, that's no little thing.

-- Doug Smith

Interested in developing the supervisors in your organization? Contact me today about bringing our two-day workshop "Supervising for Success" to your organization. And if you're really in a hurry, there's a one-day version available.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

No Excuses

Do you know who cares about excuses?


And yet, people persist in presenting their ever best excuses. It's a waste of time and breath. Nobody believes excuses anyway, so why not let them go.

I had a boss once who said "we live in the land of no excuses." It sounded harsh at the time. It is not harsh. It is correct.

Why make excuses? Nobody cares about them OR believes them.

Here's what to do instead. Get things done. Lead. Drive forward. Achieve your goals.

High performance leaders NEVER make excuses. The very idea irritates them.

How about you?

-- Doug Smith

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Learn, Learn, Learn!

How long will it take to get it right? When do we get to be perfect?

I'm not holding my breath on that one. No one is perfect. No process is perfect. No lesson is even perfect. We learn from our mistakes and largely from what doesn't work.

As long as we change it, as long as we keep growing, as long as we learn...we'll get there. Maybe not (certainly not!) perfect...but mighty fine indeed.

What are you working on today?

-- Doug Smith

Monday, October 31, 2016

If You Don't Know, Ask Why

Questions are powerful. I've been lucky to work with two powerful mentors. Each helped me to realize and utilize the importance of questions. Lester T. Shapiro told me, "The principle role of a leader is to ask relevant questions."

Relevant questions get to the heart of things. Relevant questions get to the motivations, needs, and causes of things. Ask relevant questions.

Another great mentor, Andrew Oxley, told me "If you don't like the answer to a question, ask a better question."

Powerful stuff. And here's the thing: there are always better questions. We need never be the victim of someone else's poor communication skills again. Simply ask better questions. It's up to us as leaders to keep the inquiry going long enough to complete a satisfactory dialogue. It can be hard work. The work is worth it.

Part of those questions includes the most demanding question of all, the deepest question of all, the question most likely to trigger defensiveness: "why?"

Use why sparingly. Use why with compassion. But do use why. Leaders (hey, really everyone) need to know why.

If you don't know why, ask.

Why wouldn't you? Because it's too much work? Because others might get defensive? Because you don't want to put anyone on the spot? Get over it! Why? Because you deserve to, you need to, you want to know why.

-- Doug Smith

Monday, October 17, 2016

Share Leadership

Someone is in charge. You may have thought it was you. Do you share your leadership or keep it to yourself?

Share. It's not an either/or proposition. Even when the buck stops with the leader, the leader can still share leadership. Share decision making. Share idea generation. Share development.

I like the concept from "The Art of Possibility Thinking" by Rosamind Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander -- lead from any chair.

When anyone in the room can contribute, the contributions are better. When anyone in the circle has a voice -- the voices all matter. When anyone in the room can lead, we lead much more responsibly, with more compassion, courage, creativity, and clarity.

Share leadership. It's not losing. It's sharing the win.

-- Doug Smith

Quick Link: Here's a great summary of the 12 concepts from "The Art of Possibility Thinking"