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The Good Stress

  Not all stress is bad. Some stress (eustress is the Greek word for it) creates the kind of tension that prompts you to do better; to achieve important goals. We do need some stress. Any stress can be positive if you use it as motivation to do better. Who is that up to? Yep, that's completely up to you. -- doug smith  

Touch Choices Are Still Choices

  Opposition feels easier somehow. We disagree. We argue. We stand our ground.  When we stop listening, we stop making progress. What if there IS a middle ground? What if there IS a middle way? What if by listening, and talking about it, we can learn to understand? What stands between us could be a barrier or a bridge. It's a choice. -- doug smith

Learning Always Matters

  High performance leaders keep learning and they keep supporting their team member's learning. Things are changing too fast to keep up without learning.  What have you learned today? -- doug smith

How much is enough?

  We are driven to extremes. We whipsaw and swing wildly when little swings will do. We fail to compromise because we're so far in one direction that we can't even hear the sounds from the other direction. We solve, and in so solving create even more problems. What if the problem is extremes? -- doug smith

Strength and Respect

Strength without respect is empty power leading to undesired side-effects. Forcing the issue with might alone is not high performance leadership, it is bluster that bruises. We can do better than that. We can be strong. We can hold fast. We can defend ourselves respectfully. And when we do, in good time, the respect flowers and grows. -- doug smith

Not to your team

We all get upset. We all have troubles. Even high performance leaders need to talk about their troubles -- just don't talk about them with your team.  They've got better things to do. -- doug smith

Get it Done!

Great leaders take care of their people, true. Popular leaders gain followers, also true. High performance leaders do all that and, most importantly, they get stuff done. There is no substitute for taking responsibility and getting stuff done. What are you working on? -- doug smith

Growing Pains

Progress provokes discomfort. The alternative invites extinction. Endure the growing pains and keep going. -- doug smith  

My Proposed User Agreement Rider

Do you like reading and committing to User Agreements? Of course you don't. They are pure rubbish. .Designed to make you read them, but written so that you can't read them (because they are confusing and massively too long) we mostly end up pretending that we did read them just to get on with whatever we want to do. Not fair. Not designed to be fair. Designed to cover the butts of the people who wrote the User Agreement and to restrict the rest of us from being ourselves, from doing what we want and need to do, and from exercising our rights. In a perfect world, all of those user agreements are unenforceable. Maybe, even in an imperfect world. Is it really an agreement if we don't agree to it? If we don't have any influence on what goes INTO an agreement, how is THAT an agreement? Enough! We need some sanity.  I hereby propose a universal User Agreement Rider to invoke whenever you've had enough of an evil User Agreement.  No lawyers have been involved in the drafti

Gratitude Today!

  Some of the best and happiest people I know take some time every day to focus on what they are grateful for. Their lives aren't perfect and they don't expect them to be, but their lives ARE filled with wonderful blessings, gifts, moments of joy, and the pleasure of helping and being helped. Usually, that gratitude starts in the morning. I find that when I spend some time being grateful in the morning (it begins with prayer and returns during meditation) that I have more moments during the day that spring up spontaneously: joyful, unexpected moments of gratitude. With so much to be grateful for, I revel in enjoying each of those moments. How about you? Here's my gratitude suggestion for the day: Take a deep breath while you contemplate something or someone you are grateful for.  Pause and repeat. Isn't that nice? -- doug smith

Still, No Excuses

Team members will let you down. They're human, flawed, and easily distracted.  When team members do let you down, it does no good to get upset and to take it personally. As much as a high performance leader may influence a team member, the employee's performance is still up to them. They don't need the riot act, they need redirection. Point them back to where they need to be. Guide them gently back toward your expectations. They don't need to get yelled at. But, they don't need to make excuses, either. Accepting excuses is accepting defeat. That's not for you. Nobody cares about excuses -- and there's no reason to accept them, either. -- doug smith

Tough but Kind

Leaders are faced with difficult choices every day. Unexpected challenges push our buttons. Constraints rain on us and governments reign us in. We struggle to make our goals and then our goals change as conditions surrounding us change.  Temptations pop up everywhere: cut corners, reduce staff, lower benefits, attack your enemy. High performance leaders remain ethical even when times are tough. We can be assertive without being aggressive. We can fight the good fight without cheating.  It is possible to confront evil without becoming evil. -- doug smith