Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Deep Confidence

Doubt is a butt-kicker. It slows down performance. Do you know what's way better than doubt? Preparation. Training. Persistence. Discipline. Working harder everyday to get that job done and achieve that goal.

High performance leaders are as capable of doubt as anyone. What they do differently is assess the doubt, look past the fear, and persevere.

-- doug smith

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

High Performance Leaders Forgive

If we can forgive our past we can work on our future...doug smith

It's not easy. Forgiving others is tough enough. Forgiving ourselves is monumental. We can never completely fix a wrong. The long tail of short comings seems to last forever.

But why get stuck there? Unable to fix the past, let's forgive and move forward. Let's work to make something better. Let's work to make everything better.

If we can forgive our past we can work on our future.

-- doug smith

Monday, January 8, 2018

Do Your People Have The Training They Need?

Work is rapidly changing. Yesterday's highly valued competencies are becoming expected. Supervisors find themselves ill-equipped to handle the production needs and people needs of their teams.

The journey from goal formation to goal achievement is covered with roadblocks. Challenges face us from every direction. The best way to navigate those challenges is by learning. Constant, relentless, patient, persistent learning.

Every leader in your organization is on a journey. Do they have the training they need?

-- doug smith

Sunday, January 7, 2018

High Performance Leaders Care About Why

Did you ever have someone who kept insisting on a particular deadline, whether or not the deadline made sense?

I've had bosses who set arbitrary deadlines and then treated them as if they were the most important thing in the world. One in particular kept asking his favorite question, "Are you done yet?"

Deadlines ARE important. What we are working on is important. Deadlines matter. But why we are doing what we are doing may determine how much effort and urgency we give to the task. Why matters. Importance is relative. Priorities are necessary so that we spend our limited time working on what truly matters most.

Why is more important than when.

As a leader, when you are delegating, help the team member identify why they are doing the assignment.

As a highly productive, high performance leader, when you prioritize your own tasks, ask yourself why number one is number one in order of priority. Why matters.

Why is more important than when. Wouldn't you rather have it done right than done early?

-- doug smith

Friday, January 5, 2018

On Failure

Failing one test is study for the next.

As adults, the learning never stops. We get to repeat the lesson until we LEARN the lesson. I've learned to take my lumps and keep learning. Keep getting better. Study harder, work harder, and fill the gaps.

We all fail sometimes. Let the learning continue!

-- doug smith

Friday, December 29, 2017

It's Your Mess Now

Have you ever inherited a big mess? When I first became a supervisor, a long time ago, the people who were assigned to me did not make a cohesive, collaborative, or cooperative team. We were one hot mess of humanity, working to meet personal production goals.

I could have blamed upper management for selecting that team. I could have moaned about their previous supervisors. Maybe I was too young to be cynical. What I did instead was dig in, try different things, get to know my people, and give them every opportunity to succeed as a team.

I could have done better, but maybe the learning was the best outcome. We grew together as a team, and in turn mysteriously grew as professional individuals as well.

No matter how much of a mess you inherited it's still up to you what you do with it.

Choose wisely and you'll like what you get. And if you don't? You get to keep choosing (and working) until you do.

What kind of mess have you been blaming someone else for? Isn't it time to let go of the blame?

-- doug smith

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Avoid the Damage

I know how it feels to fail to communicate. For too long I would keep my feelings to myself. Too many times my thoughts were secret. All too often my silence would be assumed as agreement when that simply was not true.

No more. I've focused on improving, on developing my communication skills, and whenever possible, to help other people with theirs. Because it's so important. In many ways, it's the whole ball game. Fail to communicate and how will you ever get what you want? Fail to communicate and how will you manage to make a positive difference in the world?

I've still got a long ways to go. There are still times when that deeper conversation escapes me because the emotions are too strong. Still. We live, we learn, we grow. Better to keep improving than to accept the disconnect.

Failing to communicate causes us to miss our goals. It causes our teams to splinter and disintegrate. Failing to communicate drains us of the vitality that living is meant to provide. And it's all preventable. The damage is not inevitable. We can talk about it. We can talk about our thoughts, our feelings, our hopes, and our fears. And even more important than talking about it -- we can listen.

Few things hurt more or do more damage than failure to communicate. I'm still learning how to communicate more effectively. How about you?

-- doug smith