Saturday, April 30, 2016

Stay With It Until It IS Easy

Have you ever noticed that some of the things we want to achieve the most are the hardest?

It's natural to get stuck. The goal seems too big, too tough, too much beyond our capacity. For many, that's the excuse to give up.

High performance leaders don't give up on their important goals. Even when it's hard. And (even more importantly) they don't allow their team members to give up too easily, either. The job of the leader includes challenging AND supporting team members. Give up one, and the other becomes meaningless.

Stay with the tough tasks needed to achieve your goals. Practice. Build. Grow.

What once seems hard is meant to become easy.

Stay with it.

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Help People Understand Your Goals

Why would anyone not support one of your goals?

It seems clear to you. You know the benefit. You see the value. It's an easy choice. Why isn't it getting the support that you want?

People need help. We don't always understand a goal the first time we hear it. Or even the second. Or third. We're all so busy, that for any one goal to catch our attention (especially if it's not even our ow goal) it had better be clear, creative, courageous, and compassionate. In other words, it must prepare to do bold things in a kind way.

When we can frame our goals from that point of view, they seem much more compelling.

People who stand in the way of your goals don't yet understand them.

So make sure that people understand these keys to your goals:

- the financial value
- the personal value (how it effects people positively)
- what makes it cool (how is it amazingly creative?)
- the adventure (where's the challenge in it that makes it almost a dare?)

Include those things in the story of your goals, and see what a difference it makes. Your goals matter, or you shouldn't be working on them. When you make that value clear, you greatly reduce the resistance coming your way.

What's your most bold, creative, clear, and compassionate goal?

-- Doug Smith

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Stay Curious Because...

Four types / Four strengths
Since about three-quarters of the world sees things differently than you, doesn't it make sense to stay curious about their views?

Three-quarters? Where does that come from?

If you've ever taken a personality quiz, chances are that it plotted your personality in one of four types. Some use colors, some use words, some even use animals, but you get the picture. At one fairly simple level we subdivide into one of four types.

If you fit one of the types, that means that three other types are different. Three-quarters of the world.

While it might seem like a simplification, time after time it holds true. And whether it's three-quarters or some other portion, it does make sense that there are different types and different views out there.

Without staying curious we miss the possibilities. When our minds are always made up -- based on our own sketchy and incomplete view of the universe -- we can miss massive opportunities. We can stay blind to perspectives which are every bit as valid as our own (and often, more so).

Why miss the opportunity?

Stay curious because none of us has all the answers. Stay curious because we're all wrong sometimes. Stay curious because -- it's much more fun.

What do you think?

-- Doug Smith

In my teleclass "Developing The Art of Leadership" I can help your group explore four types of leadership strengths that track well with the personality sorters referred to above. It can make a difference in how leaders at every level interact with their teams, clients, and organizations. If you have 5 or more participants you'd like to bring to a teleclass on this, let me know.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What Do Your Goals Say About You?

What would people think about you if all they knew about you was your goals?

Would they consider you ambitious? Noble? Focused?

Ask yourself that question and think about your answers. If I only knew what your goals were, would you be someone I'd want to spend time with? Help you with those goals? Tell my family about?

I need to ask myself those questions, too. What makes my goals so special? What makes me worth talking to?

I'm with you on this one today. What do our goals say about us?

-- Doug Smith

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dig Deeper

If that problem has been around awhile, if that problem is cagey to the point of making you scratch your head, you might need many solutions. Many ideas.

Creative, centered problem solvers stay with the process long enough to develop more solutions that any one problem needs.

The gold is deep. Keep digging.

-- Doug Smith

Monday, April 11, 2016

Talk Yourself Into It

Do you ever get stuck in a negative phase?

When things get rough (professionally OR personally) it can hit me right in the leadership center and throw me off kilter. That's no way to set an example and it's no way to lead. People count on their leaders to keep their focus and remain positive, even when the world is throwing a crap sandwich down the lunch box of life.

Sometimes I have to talk myself into a positive point of view. When I do, it works.

So if you need to, talk yourself into it. Stay positive. Given the choice between falling into the gnarly crack of negative thinking and keeping the course with positive energy, I'd go with positive. How about you?

-- Doug Smith

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Centered Problem Solvers Ask The Tough Questions

Problems resist easy answers. That's why we need to ask the tough questions.

Why are things the way they are? What is the deeper cause? On the surface, we may think we understand a problem. Digging deeper, asking probing and open ended questions, we can get at the heart of what is really going on.

Are people being rewarded for incorrect behavior? Is someone benefitting from the problem situation? If so, who? Is it too easy to ignore the problem? Is the source of the problem aware that there is even a problem?

For example, those who most resist a fair distribution of work are those who may not be working too hard. Why change?  Executives making juicy bonuses may not even be aware of how hard it is to live paycheck to paycheck.

Creative problem solvers ask the tough questions with curiosity.

Not to judge. Not to punish. But to know. What's really going on?

Centered problem solvers use their creativity to separate people from the problem. They use their compassion to feel the discomfort of those in the throws of the problem. They use their courage to boldly propose better paths. And, they use their clarity to define their goal.

Ask the tough questions. Stay curious about the answers. Solve those pesky problems.

Where could you be more curious today?

-- Doug Smith

Monday, April 4, 2016

Focus On Your Goals

How much time have you spent today thinking about your goals?

Thinking on your goals should lead to acting on your goals. Keeping your focus. Moving forward. High performance leaders act with a relentless sense of persistence to achieve their goals.

It's what leaders do. It's what their teams do. It's what their team members learn to do by working closely with a focused, participative, facilitative leader. Help your team succeed, and they will lift you higher than you've ever been before.

When we focus on our goals it dramatically increases our power.

Focus with clarity. Focus with collaborative and cooperative work. Then, move.

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Embrace The Odd

Do you know anyone who is a little bit, umm, odd?

Since I've worked in entertainment as well as business, and played in bands and made movies, I've known my share of odd people. People who have interesting habits that make them just a little different. Like collecting nail clippings in a jar (yes, someone I once lived with actually did that) or alphabetizing their yogurt in the refrigerator (yes, someone I'm quite sweet on does that). Odd can be good (except that same person with the yogurt does not like odd numbers) and extremely helpful when it comes to problem solving.

Problems need new ideas, new ways of doing things. When we are solving problems, we need all the creativity that we can get. What greater source of creative ideas than a problem solving team member who is a bit eccentric?

Who else would think of that game-changing idea? Who else could be more fun?

An eccentric problem solver is still a problem solver.

And that's what high performance leaders do: solve problems and achieve their goals.

Who do you know who is just eccentric enough to spark the ideas you need on your team?

-- Doug Smith