Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Step In The Process

Does change sometimes surprise you? It is always all of a sudden, or does change sometimes sneak its way in a little at a time?

Sometimes a problem is just a step in the process to the next big change.

Should you resist it, or should you embrace your newest change?

Is it a problem to be solved, or a possibility to be explored?

Discovering the difference changes everything. Sometimes our perspective can shift from "the end of an era" to "just another step in the process" of becoming who we need to be.

How do you prepare for that?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Monday, March 28, 2011

Problem Solving Failure and Success

What do you do about a problem you've failed to solve?

How can you build on that failure?

Failures are a matter of perspective. In NLP they say "there is no failure, only feedback" and though I'm not a trained NLP practitioner, that principle makes sense. I can build on that idea. We can use that to move us forward, to keep on trying, to keep on learning.

Failure that builds character is fuel for success.

We can get stronger, smarter, and faster in our problem solving efforts. We can learn from our mistakes, move forward, accept our feedback, and progress.

Persistence inevitably leads to success, don't you think?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Leadership and Someone Else's Problems

How are you at solving other people's problems?

Does it sometimes seem easier to you to tackle a concern of someone else, rather than one of your own issues?

Sometimes we can see with greater clarity the problems of someone else, and miss those of our own that are right in front of our eyes.

But does that mean we should go around solving other people's problems?

It may feel easier to solve someone else's problems but trying to do so may not help either of you.

It's usually better to help, rather than take on, the issues of another person.

How can you make yourself available to help, without assuming responsibility or ownership?

High performance leaders sort that out, and help when they are needed while letting other people learn what they need to learn to move forward in their mission.

It's not always easy -- that's what makes it so wonderfully valuable.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Our Hearts Go Out To The People Of Japan


It's on everyone's minds. Seemingly out of nowhere, an entire country and region has been thrown into panic and chaos over a huge natural event. In times like this we are reminded that the earth can be a hostile place. It's certainly a place of risk and trouble.

Our hearts go out to the people in Japan. They are now faced with so many shortages, so many challenges that we long to reach out and help. I received one insightful "tweet" from someone that simply read "today we are all Japanese." In a way, we are.

It brings me hope and some sense of helpfulness to know that our United Methodist organization reaches out directly thru global missions and its agency UMCOR to help those in need - including the people of Japan - and that 100% of all donations go directly to the cause. UMCOR can do this because the administrative costs are kept low and are paid through-out the year from United Methodist funds. Those of us who are United Methodists can be proud that we have an organization in place that is able to respond immediately and is able to do so with financial integrity and efficiency. And those of us who are not United Methodist can rely on UMCOR as an agency of responsible hope and action in times of crisis.

In church this week John Baker-Batsel pointed out that UMCOR was already in Japan and doing its work the day the crisis began. The diligence and hard work of the past has prepared them for immediate response in times of need. Will UMCOR be able to solve every problem there? No, but they will play a significant role in helping people thru this crisis.

I've made a small donation to UMCOR today and I invite you to do the same if it is in your heart to do so. Because in some ways, today we are all Japanese.




Doug Smith

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Process or Person?

How many of your problems are due to people, and how many are due to processes?

Are you sure?

Take a careful look at your team's processes. Almost always, there is ample opportunity for improvement.

In organizational life, people seldom cause as many problems as a broken process.

It's easier and more effective to change a process than a person.

Try it sometime.

-- Douglas Brent Smith