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Showing posts from March, 2015

Measure and Communicate Your Financial Five

How do you measure your results?

For those of us in sales, the answer is simple (yet probably incomplete) - revenue. But there's more.

For those of us in operations the answer is also easy (and also incomplete) - reducing expenses. That probably includes doing what you do faster, better, and cheaper.

Whatever your job, and in whatever field - for profit or not-for-profit, your organization is directly impacted by five key measures. Five financial levers that determine the health or struggles of your team.

Revenue - the money you bring in. Gloriously, this number is unlimited.

Expenses - managing the money that you spend to stay in existence and produce what you do.

Customer Happiness - more than satisfaction the best organizations determine how they can delight their customers and bring joy into their lives. What better way to create repeat business?

Team Member Happiness - because happy team members are productive team members and tend to stay with your team much longer. Also, it…

Launch High Performance Projects

What's your biggest project?

High performance leaders tackle tough projects -- big projects. Projects that make life better, healthier, or more peaceful. Projects launched with big aspirations, big expectations, and the energy it takes to take them on.

Think about the biggest project you've ever completed. What made it work? What were the things that you did to propel that project forward? What were the results?

Important projects don't always find us -- sometimes we need to launch them ourselves. Projects about things we deeply care about. Projects with outcomes that change the world for the better.

What if your life were a series of projects to create a better, more fair, and more healthy world?

Wouldn't that be time well spent?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Front Range Leadership: Fast, affordable leadership training workshops, webinars, and teleclasses.

Learn from Project Mistakes

What's the biggest project mistake you've ever made?

I've been doing projects long enough to have made some big ones. But sometimes it's the little ones that cause the most grief. Little mistakes like forgetting to thank people for their work. Little mistakes like assuming that customer will be delighted by the brand new process or product my project is delivering. Little mistakes like failing to track expenses until they exceed the budget.

On second thought, those aren't small mistakes after all, are they? And yet, in each case there were valuable lessons learned that transferred directly into better projects later on. Learning from my mistakes (not that I'm done making them) has powered my projects into more creative areas and kept me on my toes.

When it seems obvious, it's probably not. When it seems too good to be true, there's probably a problem lurking under the surface. When everything is on schedule and under budget how can we be sure that our p…

Another Shameless Promotion Saturday

Do you agree with Daniel Pink that everyone is in sales?

I sure do. I used to resist it. I even resented it. I thought that my work was so much more noble than that. That will keep you feeling superior perhaps but it also keeps you from helping as many people as you could.

Why not reach more people with what you do best?

That's sales.

So here's my sales pitch for today. Each Saturday for awhile now I've been trying this little thing I call Shameless Promotion Saturday. It's what I offer you today:

I deliver high performance leadership training. The two primary ways I do that is with one-day workshops and with one-hour webinars. What's your attention span? (and what's your budget?) Either way, you will find the choices to be fast, affordable leadership training.

I invite you to email me today here: find out how these interactive workshops can develop your talent fast and affordably.

Supervising for Success - a great way to get …

Surprise Yourself!

What if the opposite of your solution is a better solution?

How innovative are you? Are you willing to take creative risks?

Taking the time to flip expectations can be invigorating. Looking at the opposite of your goal can be enlightening. Life is filled with possibilities, and sometimes we have to sneak up on them and let them surprise us.


-- Douglas Brent Smith

Front Range Leadership:Training Supervisors for Success

Give Your Goals the Attention They Deserve

Do you have cool goals? Are they the kind of noble, life-changing goals that make you talk about them all the time?

Sometimes. And, sometimes not if you're like most people. It's so easy to let go of goals even when we've been careful to craft them to our liking.

Let's do this instead today -- let's pay attention to our goals. Let's make progress. Let's work toward achieving our goals instead of letting them slide into the background noise of a busy day.

Give your goals the attention they need and deserve.

Think about how cool it will be to achieve them.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Are you looking for ways to give your goals the attention they deserve? Attend or schedule our free webinar How To Achieve Your Goals. Contact me today for more information.

Tell Someone Your Problem

Who else knows about your most pressing problem?

I'm not advocating that you tell everyone everything that bothers you. But, you know there's a problem causing you some discomfort, right? You know that there's an issue you could use some help with on your team, in your business, in your life.

Telling someone else your problem helps you understand what your problem really is.

They don't even have to help you. You might even start the conversation with "I'm not looking for help on this, but it will help me to talk it out."

Someone you trust. Someone you would do the same for. Someone soon.

What's on your mind?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Help the people at your organization dramatically improve their problem solving skills by bringing our one-day workshop Solving Problems to your location. Ask me how here:

Build Team Possibilities

Does your team collaborate every day?

How do your people work together? Would you say that they are optimized for effectiveness?

That's not a fair question, because how many teams truly are optimized? It's not a state so much as it's a process. Where is your team in that process?

It's the job of a high performance leader to create possibilities. As the leader of a team, that means creating more possibilities for the team AND for the individuals on the team.

Our greatest possibilities come about because of the help of other people.

Help your people help each other. Put them together. Create joint assignments. Generate ideas for exciting projects. Stretch each team member to the area of growth and watch them prosper.

It's a great way to build a team.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Do you want to accelerate your team's growth? Consider bringing our one-day workshop "Building Your Team" to your location. Contact here to find out how:

It's Communicating Better Day

Are your communication skills better today than they were yesterday?

Lately, I've been thinking of Tuesdays as Communicating for Results days. It's become the focus of this blog on Tuesdays to work on creating deeper conversations, more productive meetings, and more powerful presentations. But, isn't communication important everyday?

So, whenever you're reading this (Tuesday or not!) the question is still the same: how are you improving your communication skills?

Maybe it's one or more of these ways that I've been working on it:

listening with curiosity (instead of by forming a response)planning my meetings to take only as long as they need (not necessarily an hour)reaching out to people I don't usually talk with to see how they feelentertaining other people's ideas even when I've got a great idea of my ownstopping whatever I'm doing when someone wants to talk with mekeeping my mobile phone in my pocket instead of taking it out when there is an o…

Make Every Day Count

Have you asked yourself what your major accomplishment for today will be?

I'm asking myself this question as much as anyone else. Days come and go and some are more memorable than others. We have our productive days and we have our wasted days. But what if we didn't waste any days? What if we truly made the best use of our time?

Set a goal for today. Figure out what will make this day memorable. What will make this a day well lived? Maybe it's helping another person. Maybe it's getting that shed painted. Maybe it's leading your team on launching an exciting new project. What will it be for you?

Have you asked yourself what do you want from this day?

It's up to you.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Are you interested in developing your high performance leadership skills and the leadership skills in your organization? Contact me today about bringing our one-day workshops to your location.

Look Beyond the Problem

How much do you think about your problems?

There are times in our lives when problems become the center of our existence, instead of letting the center of our existence navigate our problems. Wherever you are on your problem solving journey, I offer these humble thoughts on problem solving to you today.

Sometimes a problem can be a tick to a new life. We aren't expecting it. We didn't ask for it. But, there you go. Another step in the trip.
Problems reveal our character. How we respond says more about ourselves than about our problems. Are we centered? Do we create focus? Do we explore the new possibilities with curiosity?
Problems, puzzles, and predicaments -- do you now which you are stuck in? When we are most centered in our approach to observing, accepting, and responding it almost doesn't matter what the nature of the problem is -- we can focus with our most noble and pure intentions.
When it works. Sometimes a problem knocks us down and laughs at our humble ego thinking…

Fast, Affordable Leadership Training

What stops you from getting the leadership training that you need?

Is the training you've found too expensive? Does it take too long? Have you had trouble getting the approval to bring workshops to your location.  I can help.

Front Range Leadership delivers fast, affordable leadership training. We can schedule one-day workshops at your location. We can even provide the leadership training that you need through webinars, teleclasses and teleconference coaching. Contact me today to start the conversation.

I invite you to email me today here: find out how these interactive workshops can develop your talent fast and affordably.

Supervising for Success - a great way to get supervisors off to a great start, or to adjust some rough areas.

Communicating for Results - a workshop dedicated to developing deeper conversations, more productive meetings, and more influential presentations.

Building Your Team - identifying the keys to your team's success and …

Create A Notable Life

Does anyone else talk about YOUR life?

Do you know anyone who seems to be operating so high in their efficiency and so strong in their influence that they seem to be living their ideal life?

We admire people who create noteworthy lives. They accomplish things. They achieve their goals. They build lasting and profoundly deep relationships.

Are you there? Are you moving in that direction?

Create a life that's worthy of a documentary.

Grow, learn, train, experience what you need to achieve your goals.

Who knows -- you might just change the world...

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Learn how to achieve you goals by scheduling our webinar How To Achieve Your Goals for your team. Contact me now at:

Front Range Leadership:Training Supervising for Success

Expand Your World

Have you ever noticed that problems come in all sizes and that they seem to take on more importance when we've got less going on?

The more I expand my world -- by learning more, experiencing more, trying more -- the smaller some problems seem. As our world expands through growth, training, and experience the problems we carry with us that once seemed so formidable now seem smaller and easier to solve.

We also acquire new problems along the way -- bigger problems, but the growth we experience can increase dramatically our capacity to handle ever bigger problems.

My problems are bigger when my world is smaller. 

It's one of the fun paradoxes of high performance leadership. Growing constantly both uncovers bigger problems AND increases our ability to solve whatever problems arise.

Grow. Expand. Learn.

How are you expanding your world today?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Expand your world and the world of the people in your organization by bringing our one-day workshop Solving Problems to…

Make A Team Member's Day

What do your team members say about you at home?

I've had bosses that I complained about at home to my family. Not that there was anything they could do about it at home, but those particular bosses were so troubling it made life difficult at work AND at home.

Fortunately, I've also had some terrific bosses who made life great at work (with a combination of support AND challenging) which magically made life better at home as well. Sometimes a great boss would make my day so great I'd share the joy at home.

Wouldn't you like to have that kind of impact with your team members?

Find out what they care about. Share your own insights. Listen to their concerns. Help your team members grow with a careful balance of support and challenge. They'll love you for it -- and your team will create their best results ever.

It's one way you build the best team possible -- one relationship at a time.

What if you were the best part of someone's day today?

-- Douglas Brent Smit…

Communicate Collaboratively

Do you like someone who bosses you around? Do you respond best to someone who's idea of communication is a series of commands?

Probably not -- and not surprisingly people on your team don't prefer that communication style, either.

Yes, there are circumstances when leaders must communicate their urgency and certainty quickly and without any doubt. I was a volunteer fire fighter for many years and the fire ground is no place to call a meeting to talk things over. We appreciated a decisive no-nonsense captain who barked orders with precision and confidence.

My guess is that most of your situations are not of the building-on-fire variety. High performance leaders spend time and conversation in planning, developing, and collaborating. The more a leader is able to collaborate with the team the more likely decisions will be supported and growth will continue.

It feels faster to boss people around but the results don't last as long.

Even that highly assertive fire department captai…

Draw On Your Strengths

Do you have what it takes to lead effectively, to create success as a high performance leader?

None of us are perfect. We all have glaring weaknesses -- some that we know about and some that other people know about but we deny. Those weaknesses can slow us down, but they don't need to stop us. Our strengths can pull us through.

Are you developing your strengths? Are you using your key skills in ways that increase your influence and build your character? We all have that ability available to us. Of course we need to know what our key strengths are, and we need to build our weaknesses into strengths. It takes time and effort and it doesn't happen automatically. It's up to us.

Never doubt that you can draw on all the clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion that you need. 

It's possible with the right effort, energy, training, and discipline. Are you ready for that?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Develop the leadership skills in yourself and in your organization by bringing ou…

Get The Leadership Training You Need

Does your team need an instant needs analysis?

Contact us today about getting a quick leadership development needs analysis to uncover your leadership training needs.

We offer fast, affordable training solutions to your leadership needs so please, check us out!


-- Douglas Brent Smith

High Performance Leadership Training



Make More Friends from Your Enemies

Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying "When I make my enemy my friend have I not destroyed my enemy?"

It's a powerful message, filled with controversy and risk. How do I trust my enemy? Start. How can I keep myself safe? Stay courageous while developing compassion. Stay true to your values while staying curious to the voice of your opposition. Expand your boundaries while also protecting them.

It's no secret that high performance leaders must embrace a sense of paradox. Things are not always what they seem, and we are constantly defining and redefining them. Our filters are thick. Permeating our self-imposed filters can lead to better relationships.

Where do we start?

Find something to admire in your enemy and you're on the road to becoming a friend.

It may be a long road. It may be filled with bumps and hazards. But the value in traveling that road is as Abraham Lincoln said, once you've truly made your enemy your friend you now have one less enemy. And that i…

Leverage Those Good Intentions

Do good intentions always lead to good outcomes?

Unfortunately, the best intentions of people sometimes lead to exactly the opposite of what they wanted. Or, they lead to what they wanted but to resistance and conflict from other people.

Most problems started with good intentions.

When we are working to solve problems it can be helpful to discover those intentions. Analyze the situation clearly enough to uncover what people really want. Identify the goal behind the problem. It's much more positive to work to achieve a noble goal that we can agree on than try to throw countless solutions at symptoms.

Talk about the intentions. Reach agreement on mutually beneficial outcomes. Then develop solutions. Leverage those good intentions into high performance leadership and optimize your results. It works.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Interested in optimizing your results? Contact me today about bringing our workshop Solving Problems to your location.

Find What Needs Unfixing

How does your team manage conflict?

One big challenge of high performance leadership is managing conflict within a team. Highly ambitious teams will generate more than their share of conflict. How you manage that as the leader, and how the team manages it collaboratively, will largely determine how innovative your results become.

It's tempting in a conflict to fix the "other side" when it may be our side that needs unfixing.

Our solution may be flawed. Our ideas may be incomplete. Our answers may be rooted in distortion. We may need to unfix what we think is fixed.

Because if it truly is fixed, it could be stuck in place. Frozen. Not moving. That's no place to be to optimize your results. That's no place to be to grow. And that's no place to be to build your best team.

Build a better team. Find the parts that seem fixed but need unfixing. You'll like the results.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Contact me today about bringing in our one-day workshop Building Your T…

Communicate The Goal AND The Attitude

Are you interested in training your team for success?

High performance leaders communicate the goal AND the attitude needed to achieve that goal. Teams learn behaviors and those behaviors are impacted by their attitude. Can they learn better attitudes? Of course.

Team members certainly DO bring their attitudes to the mix, and recruiting people with constantly unproductive attitudes will do nothing to help your team. But, we do not need to abandon people who already serve our teams just because we are not 100% satisfied with their attitudes,

But we do need to talk with them about it. We do need to create deeper conversations that explore the skills we are looking for, the habits we expect, and the attitudes that contribute to team and organizational (and by extension career) success,

Communicate the goal you are working on as a team -- and also communicate the kinds of attitude that will best serve that goal.

Your team may be hungry to hear that.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Would you like to…

Book Time For Your Goals

Do you book time to work on your goals?

The best way to do that is simply book an appointment with yourself to work on your goals. And then do it. No wandering on the net. No checking emails. Work on your goals.

Book the time you need to achieve the goals you care about.

You do care about them, don't you?

What better proof of caring is there than time spent?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Get the high performance leadership training you need here: Front Range Leadership

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How to Bring Our Workshops To Your Location

Are you getting the high performance leadership training that you need? My company specializes in helping front line leaders -- supervisors -- deliver on their promises, solving problems, and achieving their goals while enjoying their jobs again. I invite you to email me today here: find out how these interactive workshops can develop your talent fast and affordably.

Supervising for Success - a great way to get supervisors off to a great start, or to adjust some rough areas.

Communicating for Results - a workshop dedicated to developing deeper conversations, more productive meetings, and more influential presentations.

Building Your Team - identifying the keys to your team's success and learning the tools that can help you collaborate on that success.

Solving Problems - Creating the collaborative space for success so that project teams, in-tact teams, and organizations can solve the problems that trouble them.

Achieving your goals - putting in place …

Create A Backup Plan

Do you have a plan B?

I completely understand the reluctance of forming a back-up plan. Some successful and driven individuals declare that you should not have a Plan B because that guarantees that Plan A will fail. Some say that if you have a Plan B you will use it.

That depends.

Does it mean that if your plan is to become a famous actor and your back-up plan is to earn a living doing what you love in other ways that you are avoiding your true aspiration? I don't think so. I've seen wonderful people who so earnestly cling to their Plan A that they crash and burn and live in poverty. Is that their best option? What have they achieved?

High performance leaders seldom get themselves into that situation. They understand the need for a sensible back-up plan. It has nothing to do with giving up your dream. It has all to do with engaging your team, influencing your constituents, finding the resources you need, backing yourself up.

Not giving up on your vision but rather supporting y…

Deliver On Your Deadlines

Do you keep your deadline promises?

High performance leaders deliver on their deadlines. No excuses. No delays. No renegotiation.

Occasionally, mistakes force us into extending a deadline. Vendors or team members let us down. But we should never take this lightly. As high performance leaders we keep our promises.

The time to negotiate a deadline is before you agree to it. Once it's yours, deliver.

Because that's what high performance leaders do.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Develop more high performance leadership in your team, your organization, and in yourself by bringing our one-day workshops to your location. A great place to start is with Supervising for Success. Need a free sample first? Ask to schedule our free webinar "Ten Secrets to Leadership Success"

High Performance Leadership Training

It's another Shameless Promotion Saturday and here's my pitch. If you have supervisors who need training, contact me soon to start a conversation about how we can help you. We offer several one-day workshops that are just what the doctor ordered when it comes to training supervisors for success.

Let's face it, supervising is one of the toughest jobs in your organization. Equip them to be able to deliver the kinds of centered, high performance leadership results that come from communicating for results, building your team, solving problems, and achieving your goals.

Contact me today here:


Douglas Brent Smith
Training Supervisors for Success

Go With Your Goals

Have you taken the time to set reasonable, strong, noble, ambitious goals?

If not, I invite you to take that time. High performance leaders grow through their goals. Centered leaders stay focused and flexible by keeping their vision on their goals. Successful supervisors achieve their goals.

Once you have your goals in place you will experience some resistance. It's not really a maybe, it's a certainty. The more strong, noble, and ambitious your goals the more resistance you will encounter. That's just a way to test you. That's just a way to make you stronger. That's just a way to see if you're serious about your goals.

And so, why not get serious about your goals?

When life brings you trouble, go with your goals.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Interested in developing your goals or your team's ability to stick to their performance goals? Contact me today about bringing Achieving Your Goals to your location. You could start with a one-hour webinar, How To Achieve Yo…

Grow By Solving Problems

How does your team solve problems? How does your team grow? Have you considered that your team can grow by solving its problems?

It's easy for a team to get stuck. It's easy to shove a team's problems aside and hope that they solve themselves -- but they never do.

By collaborating on solving your problems you get the double bonus of both solving problems and growing your team. Collaboration builds relationships, and it's through stronger relationships that your team can better please customers, innovate, and grow.

Solving problems leads to unexpected growth in unrelated areas.

Give it a try. Get your team more involved in solving problems. Find the amazing and useful connections between problem solving and team success.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Interested in helping your team develop more problem solving skills and in creating the collaborative space for success? Contract me today about bringing our workshop Solving Problems to your location.

Build A Team That Shares Responsibility

How is the workload on your team?

In some of my work with teams, a frequent concern is the distribution of work. Superstars seem to handle more than their share of the work, while occasionally someone could pass for a passenger -- they are there, just not pulling their weight.

The best teams share responsibility. They don't rely on a few people to carry them. As a high performance leader you have a huge influence in how that works.

Encourage your team to share responsibility. Support processes that encourage (or even require) shared responsibility. Recognize the people who do the best job of stepping up when they need to and stepping back when they can provide a growth opportunity for another team member.

When you share responsibility for success you develop relationships and improve results.

And that's what high performance leadership is all about.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Interested in leading a team that is more cohesive, fun, and productive? Contact us today about bringing th…

Talk About Your Goals

Have you talked about your goals today?

High performance leaders keep their goals in their focus and share them with others. This provides people with the opportunity to offer help. It encourages action toward achieving those goals. It gets better results.

Tell someone about your most important goal today. It will likely energize you. It might even find you some help that you didn't expect.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Looking for help with your goals? Contact us today about scheduling our webinar "How To Achieve Your Goals,"

Communicating the Truth

Are you telling the truth?

Don't you feel like asking that sometimes when the person you are talking to seems to be spinning the truth? Sometimes we are so close to our version of the truth that we fail to see it could be only our version of the truth. It might not be true at all -- certainly not for others.

The best way around that is to stay curious. Stay curious about what other people say. Stay curious about what we say. Even stay curious about what we think. Every idea we clutch in our tight little hands comes to us filtered by factors we've forgotten about long ago: culture, ego, gender, parenting, schooling, experience, many details strained thru lenses we don't even know are there.

Let's work a little more to stay curious.

Sometimes we're so good at spinning the truth that we don't even know it's not true anymore.

That's not helpful or useful.

It doesn't have to take long but it does take some serious mindful awareness: stay cu…

Dealing With Unreasonable Customers

OK High performance leaders, here's a question for you: what's more important and comes first in your priorities -- customers or team members?

I've worked with many organizations that always put customers first. A few teams would also focus on team member happiness (or at least say they do).

Here's the problem. Unhappy team members create more unhappy customers. Here's another problem: really poorly behaving customers make it so rough for team members that they also become unhappy, spreading the unhappiness around. That's not the result we want.

Conversely, nice customers recognize the hard work that team members do. Polite customer realize that they may not always BE the center of the universe. Smart and reasonable customers realize that you are not entitled to something just because you demand it and that demanding it progressively louder does not increase the merits of your case.

Can't we all play well together?

As a high performance leader, I encourage …

Be A Happy Leader

Are you a happy leader?

The people on your team know. Maybe you should ask them. They can see when there is joy in your face and a jump to your step. They can also tell when you're filled with stress and clutching onto something dark and hurting. They don't like you that way, how about you?

It can be hard to declare that we're happy when so much is troubling us. Happiness can even seem frivolous. It's not. Happiness is to be embraced and most of all to be created. Because happiness is contagious.

Happy leaders have a better chance of building happy teams.

What makes you happy? Why not do more of that?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Build the skills your leaders need to take their teams to the next level. Contact me today about bringing our workshops to your location.