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Old Advice

Old advice could still be good -- if it ever was good. Some old advice does not age well and so we throw it out. Stock market tips from 1980 won't do you much good today. Fashion statements from 1990 probably won't serve you well now. But some old advice holds up well. Take care of others. Tell the truth. Always do your best. Lots of old advice is still great advice. What's your best advice? -- doug smith
Recent posts

Goals Enable Happiness

  Goals may not be the cause of all happiness, but they make a lot of happiness possible. What is the most important goal that you're working on today? -- doug smith

What Leaders Do

  You could spend a lifetime studying leadership and what leaders do. You'll likely spend your lifetime doing that whether or not you planned on it because when it comes to leadership there is always something more to learn. Most of what high performance leaders do is solve problems and achieve goals.  Much goes into that. Projects come and go. People help (or don't) and they also come and go. To move forward, to implement plans, to make the world a better place, leaders need to solve problems and achieve their goals. What do you think?

Keep Going

  Obvious, yet essential: The closer you get to a goal the less distance you have to go.  Keep going. -- doug smith


Many leaders lecture on and on about value. Where's the value? Have you produced any value?  Value comes from what you give, not what you receive. When do you provide the most value? Sometimes? When it's demanded? Or all of the time. It is, after all, completely up to you. -- doug smith

Feedback Takes Practice

How good are you at providing feedback? If you're not sure, ask your team members. If you are good at it, they'll tell you. If you're not good at it, then maybe they will and maybe they won't. Feedback does not come easy. Skillful, useful feedback that improves both performance AND self-esteem is a delicate balance of recognizing positives and occasionally providing insights on areas of improvement -- all placed into the context of why it matters. Without the "why" -- why the feedback matters, why the improvement matters, why the performance matters, all the feedback you can muster will only fluster whoever you provide it to. Tell them what they did that was great, ask how they could make it even greater, and share with them why it all makes a difference. Because unless it really makes a difference who cares? Feedback, like any skill, takes practice. -- doug smith

Angry People

Fortunately, you are entirely in charge of you. Your reactions belong to your set of choices. When people get upset, it feels like an invitation, but it remains a choice.  Angry people can change the temperature of the room, but they don't have to change you. -- doug smith

It's a Job!

Jobs are a balance of learning and repetition. We forge new ground and we walk on well-worn territory. The routine wears us down, even when it's necessary.  High performance leaders show the value of a well practiced, skillfully executed job routine. Discipline in work comes from the extra effort of pushing thru when the task is due. Maybe you did it before, maybe you'll do it again -- give it all you've got right now. Someone is watching. -- doug smith 

Get Ready

Leadership: you can plan the very best plans possible and still miss. Whatever you were expecting, get ready for a surprise. Is that sometimes annoying? Sure -- and if we frame it cleverly enough, the surprises can also be energizing. They are coming anyway, let's make the best of it. -- doug smith

Pausing Purity

Judging someone does not change them. Still, don't high performance leaders need a sense of judgment? Forgiving someone does not correct the fault. Still, isn't forgiveness necessary for a growing leader? Changing does not change the past. Still, leaders always change. Purity is a tough standard to match. Maybe pause perfection long enough to improve. -- doug smith