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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

Not Divided

A people divided are easy to exploit. A third party, creating the wedge, watches as the two extremes tear each other apart.; High performance leaders recognize attempts to tear their teams apart. They know that it is not necessary and that somewhere, somehow, there has been massive misunderstanding. It's easy to misunderstand when no time is taken to understand. Are we as leaders creating the time to learn, the time to think, the time to understand?  Our teams need not be divided. But, that requires leaders to multiply the learning.  What have you learned today? What have you taught? -- doug smith


  Should high performance leaders smile more? If you've ever worked for a leader who did NOT ever smile, you probably yearned for a bit more human touch from them. How can you know that you're pleasing your leader if they remain cold and unfeeling? Sure, it can be annoying if a leader is happy-go-lucky all of the time. Tough leaders face tough situations with toughness without tearing their people (or themselves) apart.  Smiling is essential. Smiling keeps us grounded. Smiling puts positive energy to work for us, regardless of what's going on. Think about it: you can smile whenever you want to, it is completely up to you. When you do smile, it makes you feel better. When you do smile, it makes other people feel better, too.  There is more power in your smile than in anyone else's smile. Go for that power: smile. -- doug smith

Good Habits Enhance Your Identity

How is your image? How about your self esteem? We all know people who can talk a good talk, but as my good friend Mike Reil once said "talkers and walkers aren't always found in the same body." We are largely what we do. What we do determines our credibility. When we form and practice good habits (not just talk about them) people see who we really are and then they can believe us. Plus, when we form and practice good habits over and over it creates patterns that positively reinforce our identity, our character. What's your favorite good habit? Do you do that every single day? -- doug smith  

A Goal with Value

If a goal energies you, motivates you, and excites you it's a goal worth working hard on. To quote the Beastie Boys, "Get Busy!" -- doug smith  

Find the Treasure

  I used to resist feedback. I would have rather not know than to hear something negative about me or my performance. Truthfully, I still don't crave criticism. But, I've learned that we always have choices when it comes to feedback. We can choose: How seriously we take it How personally we take it Whether or not we use it Whether or not we build our relationships with it I'm sure you can think of even more choices.  Feedback gives us insights into our development. Seeing our level of development -- finding out what we've still got to learn and yes, reinforcing where we are already strong -- is excellent guidance. It's like finding treasure map, with your potential being the treasure. I'm going to keep digging. How about you? -- doug smith Fast, affordable leadership training