Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Say What You Mean


Do you keep it to yourself, even when you're trying to say something?

Have you ever regretted NOT saying something?

I have. Too many times. I kept thinking that another opportunity to say it would come around. There would always be tomorrow. Maybe I'd think of the perfect words to say if I just waited.

But the time would pass, and the opportunity would go with it. We seldom know when some occasion might be the last opportunity we have to say what we're thinking to someone. If it is important, say it.

Oh, sure -- by resolving to say what's on my mind I have not only risked embarrassing myself, I have done a splendid job of doing that. Words are harder to take back than they are to say. But at least I said it. Nobody can read my mind. As my good friend Judi Madigan says, "my crystal ball is broken and all the snow has dried up..." Say what you mean.

There's no point to waiting to say what you mean -- you may not get the chance again.

-- doug smith


Friday, February 23, 2018

Be Prepared


Opportunity doesn't send invitations; it sneaks up on you, surprises you in the middle of doing something else, and then keeps you awake poking you until you rise to the occasion. If you ignore it long enough, it slips away in the dead of night and finds someone else who is more awake.

Are you ready?

Are you ready for your next level of leadership?

It could be ready for you.

-- doug smith


Monday, February 19, 2018

Security Comes From Doing


Do you worry? Do you make things up that never happen? Do you you shy away from opportunity because it might turn out wrong? I've done all of that, way too much. I don't now where insecurity comes from, but it is welcome to go back there, tuck its self in for a long nap, and stay far, far away.

Insecurity is one of those wasted feelings. It doesn't help, but it does stand in the way. Security comes from doing. When I start to feel doubts creeping in, my new resolve is to do. Get started. Act. As one of my old bosses, Jack Macklin once said, "You can always fix a mistake, but first you've got to make it." Get moving.

-- doug smith

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Switch On The New Lights


There are many ways that a high performance leader achieves high performance, but one of them is NOT staying stuck in the past. It's tempting to focus on what went wrong, or perhaps to revel repeatedly about an accomplishment of the past. Meanwhile, time clicks on, life fills each day, and each day drains a little away.

I like to remember the past. There are some wonderful moments back there. Reminiscing can bring smiles. That's fine. I do remind myself, though, that the power is in the present for the needs of the future. The work is now. The moment is now. The power is now.

The past has no power. Those lights are already out.

-- doug smith

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Try Something Else


It may be natural to think of ourselves first. It's perfectly normal to look out for our own interests. But, that's different than self-centered. We need to consider others in our actions and especially in our solutions. As leaders, the purpose behind our purpose should be to make things better -- for ourselves AND for others.

The strongest action is seldom the self-centered one.

-- doug smith


Thursday, February 8, 2018

There Is Power In What You Say


High performance leaders realize that there is power in what they say. A few words can make the difference between a stronger relationship and a more flexible team or a broken promise and a shattered dream.

What we say maters.

It's amazing how much a little can mean.

Let's choose that little like it's a lot. Because it is.

-- doug smith


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Choose Your Expectations Carefully


How do the people on your team feel about your expectations? How well are you communicating your standards, your insistence, your urgency?

Your people are listening carefully to you. Maybe more carefully than you imagine. Sometimes they understand you and sometimes (gasp!) they misunderstand you. Be intentional about what you say.

What we say creates expectations -  about what we want, about what we expect, about how we operate and behave.

Your team will do its best to meet your expectations, so choose your expectations carefully.

-- doug smith

doug smith training


Sunday, February 4, 2018

High Performance Leaders Strive for Shared Understanding


We can get stuck in disagreement. We can get stuck reaching for agreement. One thing helps both problems: reaching a shared understanding.

You don't have to agree, but if you understand you are one step closer to influencing someone to your view -- or perhaps even one step closer to remaining open to being influenced.

So many of us are stuck in our positions. It's not working. We need to listen. We need to focus. We need to understanding.

Understanding brings us together. Understanding smoothes our rough edges. Understanding makes us adjust our perspective enough to make room for others, and when we make room for others miraculously there is more room for us as well.

Shared understanding is a powerful bond. Will you work on that today?  -- I know that I will.

-- doug smith