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Showing posts from July, 2014

Centered Leaders Are Encouraging

Do you ever find it tough to be the positive voice of encouragement?

When things get especially tough it can be tempting to fall down in the driving encouragement area. As leaders, we can even drift into a sameness invoked pessimism when challenges derail our plans or delay our goals. But we can do better.

The more difficult the situation, the more encouraging a leader must be.

It's important. It's vital. It's instrumental to our success.

Centered leaders are constantly encouraging -- even when, especially when, that is hard.

The more difficult the situation, the more encouraging a leader must be.

Who are your team could use some encouragement today? How will you provide it?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Welcome More Questions

Does it ever seem like your people have an inexhaustible supply of questions? That's probably because they do. How do I do this? Why are we doing this? Can I have my birthday off? Why did Donna get a promotion? Is our business going to lay people off?


While it is not completely your job to answer every question -- your people are looking to you for guidance. When you can provide that by allowing them to discover their own answers to questions, they will grow. Sometimes, though, they simply can't get the answers or would be in danger of making answers up unless you help them. So help them.

Every answer raises two more questions. 

Or as I like to think of it, two more opportunities to lead.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Would you like the supervisors in your organization to get better at answering the tough questions? Consider bringing our workshop Supervising for Success to your location. It's surprisingly affordable -- especially in the Rocky Mountain front range area n…

Propel Yourself

What gets you going? What sets you into motion, headed toward success?

What about goals?

Do you set clear, powerful, action focused goals?

A clearly stated goal propels you into action.

Why not get started now?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Limit Your Number of Goals

How many goals do you have?

Do you remember all of them? Do you work on each of them each day?

Yesterday, as I was looking at a list of goals that I had created, I noticed that my work had evolved beyond that list. To work that list at this point would be a waste of time. A new list is needed. The old list got tossed.

If you can't remember all of your goals, you have too many goals.

Let your goals serve you best: limit how many you carry around.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Focus On Your Goal

Where do you start your problem solving process?

Many people jump right in defining what they think is the problem, but what they are really describing is the symptoms. If you've ever solved a bunch of symptoms only to find the problem still hanging around, you're ready for another approach.

How about starting with your goal? What is it that you really want?

It's much more effective to focus on your goal because then there are things that you can DO to get you there faster.

Before solving a problem, focus on what you really want from a solution.

You'll be much happier with the solutions you find when they help you achieve your goals.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Understanding Your Own Problems

Have you noticed that it feels easier to understand someone else's problem than your own?

Maybe the solutions pop up faster, too. You have that sense of impartial perspective, that clarity of thought that could be so useful on your own problems.

That's why we involve other people. It's one of many reasons to involve other people.

Other people give us another perspective, more energy, accountability, focus, and new ideas.

Almost anybody's problem is easier to understand than your own. Why not get the help you need?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Take The Time To Know Your People

How well do you know your team?

Do you know each person's individual goals and desires? Do you know how they enjoy spending their time? Do you know if they are happy on the team and with the team mission and goals?

It's easy to take team members for granted. Sometimes we miss a window of opportunity when someone first joins a team to learn all about them and before we know it, days and weeks go by and we're working closely with someone we hardly know. We can do better than that.

Who ever is on your team, I encourage you to get to know them better. If you have a large team, it may take a while to get caught up, but it will be well worth the effort. Getting to know our team members better gives us:

- a more cohesive team
- short-cuts to conflict resolution
- insights into what motivates each other
- more fun!
- constant, real-time team-building
- better relationships for greater collaboration and cooperation

Centered leaders take the time to know their people.

Who do you need…

Motivate Collectively and Individually

What motivates your team to achieve their goals?

Is it a long list, or a short one? Does everyone on your team share the same motivations?

As centered, high performance leaders it's our job to motivate our whole team. That requires some knowledge about what each team member finds to be motivating. It will vary from team member to team member.

Some things will motivate everyone on the team (if you have the right people on the team) and some things are specific to each person. It's our job to figure that out. The best way is to ask, in one to one dialogues.

Some people find competition motivating, and others find it stifling. Some people find collaboration essential while other prefer and independent type of cooperation. Many people will say that financial incentives will motivate them, and that may be true for a while, but personal and more transformative incentives (like career development and doing the kind of work that you enjoy and working with people you find energizing) a…

Move from "Me" to "We"

by David Spiegel
"The secret to success is to know something nobody else does." -- Aristotle
Here is another guest entry from my friend, David Spiegel. I especially like how he ties this together with one of John Maxwell's Words of The Day. As you read this, think about how you can move in the direction of turning what you do best from a "me" effort to a "we" movement.

As I was stretching this morning waiting for my trainer to finish up with his 7:30 clients, I had the opportunity to look around the gym. When I started working with Cris, the head trainer,he had appointments set pretty much back to back for himself. 

There was another trainer who I saw occasionally. Today, there was Cris working with "the Killer Couple" (these two really work hard!). There were also 3 or 4 other trainers working with clients. Some individuals and some working with two clients at the same time.There was a buzz of activity as these trainers engaged there clients and…

Clarify to Avoid Confusion

Have you ever thought you knew what someone had agreed to, only to discover that they had something completely different in mind?

Sometimes we see things differently. Let's face it -- we always see things differently. We bring our own filters, perceptions, conceptions, ideas, and bias to any moment and any agreement. As centered, high performance leaders we need to take the time to clarify our agreements to avoid confusion.

When we ask a question and get an answer, it's worth taking a moment to validate or confirm what we believe that answer means. We can paraphrase, we can reframe, we can ask a follow-up question. It's best to make sure that we know what we think we know.

Every answer is open to interpretation.

What do you do to make sure that your interpretations are shared?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Are you interested in developing better communication in your organization? Why not contact me today about bringing the workshop "Communicating for Results" to your l…