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Showing posts from July, 2011

Problem Solving Collaboration

Do you try to tackle all problems on your own, or do you work with other people?
A problem solved collaboratively has a better chance of success than one solved in isolation.
Even some things that seem like individual problems benefit from the help of others who take an interest in your success and may even help to hold you accountable.
Who can you work with today to tackle your most pressing problem?
-- Douglas Brent Smith
Solving Problems | Achieving your goals

Centered Leadership Focus

Centered leaders stay ahead in the field without getting lost in the weeds.
How do they do it?
By getting precise, open, honest feedback and using it.
By keeping their focus on their vision, regardless of the distractions.
By building teams of energized, focused, centered team members.
Sound tough? That's why it's a full time job.
-- Douglas Brent Smith

Leadership and Process Improvement

As a leader, how much attention do you give to improving processes? Do you watch your team install a process and then simply let it flow on and on -- or do you drive a constant focus to improve that process?
Too often I've seen leaders spend their efforts trying to fix people, when the center of their problems is usually broken processes and procedures.
Any process can be improved until it's no longer necessary. And then you can shut it down. It's work is done.
So keep improving those processes. If you're still doing it, you can still improve it.
-- Douglas Brent Smith

Leadership and Feedback

How quickly do you get feedback on the job you are doing?
How often do your people receive feedback directly from you? from your customers?
High performance leaders know that the faster you get your feedback, the shorter is your road to higher quality.
What can you do today to increase the speed of your feedback?
-- Douglas Brent Smith

The Art of Leadership: Conflict and Peace

Do you spark conflict? Do you avoid it?
Do you see benefit to fair-minded, passionate conflict where people are still respected but the issues are tackled aggressively?
The art of leadership includes sparking conflict that is not self-serving and establishing peace that is not surrender.
Which of the two requires your immediate attention today?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

The Best Result

Is the best result what you really want?
I know you want a result that is best for you -- but often we can confuse what is best for us and our teams vs. what we seem to really want.
This can work against us.
How do we overcome this?
Check in on what you really, really want. What is it that you are hoping for? Is that aligned with your vision and goals?
If it is, go full speed ahead. Make it happen. Get busy achieving your goals.
And if it isn't, it's time to talk it over with someone who can help you with that.
Or would you rather get something other than what you want?
-- Douglas Brent Smith

Reluctant Team Members

Have you ever had people on your team that didn't seem to belong there?
For whatever reasons, they seemed unhappy and discontent. Despite your best efforts to engage them, they didn't quite connect and in fact stubbornly resisted connecting.
Most teams get some reluctant team members. Effective teams do something about it. It's an act of kindness to help reluctant team members either move forward or move on.
Sometimes moving on is the best thing for them. It even strengthens your team.
It's not something you do casually or without compassion. It's something you do carefully and intentionally. But sometimes it has to be done.

- Do they participate enthusiastically at team meetings? - Do they come up with new ideas? - Do they support the ideas of others? - Do they support and exemplify your team's values? - Do they work to support your team's vision? - Are they helping your team to meet it's goals? - Do they speak en…

Dealing with Loss

How fast do you expect people to "get over" dealing with loss?
I find that often we expect people to be over it all too quickly. We move quickly thru our own loss on the surface to give the appearance of normality and cling to some kind -- any kind -- of routine to get us back on track. But what is back on track? To what extend is there no going back? How do we acknowledge our true sense of loss and how do we allow others to do the same?
I saw a funny play the other night, "Becky's New Car" at the Theater Company of Lafayette. It's a charming comedy filled with human foible type laughs and some serious explorations into what makes us who we are. Comedy that also provokes thinking is a treasure.
One of the characters is broadly sketched for his many faults. He's funny because he's so seriously concerned with his own needs that he hardly sees the needs of others. So we laugh. And we laugh at his tight clinging to the past, especially the loss of h…