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Showing posts from November, 2018

Loyalty Is Earned

How does it feel to work for a leader who demands loyalty but does not deserve it? That's frustrating and in the end, impossible. Loyalty is important, but comes as a product of loyal behavior. To be loyal to a leader, we must know that the leader:


is also loyal to uslives the values that we are held tofollows the practices that the organization has deemed necessaryearns that loyalty by developing honest, open, caring relationships Not every leader will qualify, even though probably every leader craves loyalty. It does not come with the title, it must be earned and deserved.
A leader who demands loyalty does not deserve it. A leader who deserves loyalty need not demand it.
-- doug smith

Patience Before Judgment

If you lead long enough (ten minutes will probably do) you will discover a difficult person. Some days it will seem like teams filled with difficult people who are impossible to manage.

You can't change all those people. What you can change is how you interact with them. Maybe there's a way to reach them. Maybe they aren't difficult at all but in a difficult place. Maybe all they need at this moment is a compassionate AND courageous leader who can patiently coach them to better choices. Maybe. What won't help is rapid judgment and condemnation.

Some people really are too difficult to manage, but we should be patient and careful before reaching that conclusion.

Given patience, all that difficulty turns into a problem that can be solved. And that - solving problems - is what high performance leaders do.

-- doug smith

Team Building Never Ends

What are you doing to build your team? Do you have the talent you need assembled to achieve your mission?

Teams are dynamic, constantly changing moving targets. Just when you think you've got your team figured out and moving forward, someone leaves or someone enters and the whole chemistry reacts in unexpected ways.

It's like juggling three balls and having one of them turn into an egg. It's like riding a bike and having it lose all but one gear. It's like painting a picture and realizing that the paint hasn't dried from the last time you painted, resulting in an unsatisfying gray smear.

It's not always like that, but team building can be tough. High performance leaders keep at it. They keep developing their teams and they know that the building never stops. There are no perfect teams which means that the road to perfection must always be navigated. Keep going.

If you don't build your team someone else will diminish it.

Keep building.

-- doug smith


Invest In Yourself

Have you ever known someone who clearly needs training and isn't getting it? Or, maybe you've had a moment of your own when you could have bought that book or joined that workshop and decided to cut corners?

No need to feel any shame about that; I've done it, too. But what if we took another approach? What if we always chose yes to opportunities for developing ourselves?

Invest in yourself. Develop yourself. Learn constantly. Grow. It's the path of power even though it's not always free.

If you don't invest in yourself who else will?

-- doug smith


The Value of Learning

Do you have any regrets? I've got a few regrets. Relationships that didn't turn out the way they should have. Projects that could have generated more interest and results. Purchases that should have remained in the store. Food that should have remained on the plate.

Even high performance leaders have regrets. Here's how I shake myself free of those pesky regrets (because all they are doing is making productive time reductive time) : figure out the lesson. Learn the lesson. Identify the learning and move on.

You'll never regret a lesson learned. But, the regret is yours until the lesson is.

Learn the lesson.

I'll work on that today. How about you?

-- doug smith


Your Other Mission

You are no doubt a busy person. You have important goals, important tasks, and an important boss somewhere to please. Oh, and you have something else, too.

You have a noble mission to become the best person you can be.

Keep it going.

-- doug smith

Treat People With Kindness

"Wait, you mean I have to achieve all my goals, earn tons of money for the company, AND be nice to people?"

Umm, yes. But remember, kindness does not cost anything at all. When leaders practice human decency they can gain better results anyway, so why not stay kind?

Quick ways to treat people with kindness include:


Listening without judging. Sometimes people just need to vent. In any case, few of us ever believe that we are listened to enough. Listen!Treat people with respect. Honor their presence with your attention. Show courtesy in social norms and situations that may vary from person to personDo the right thing. Say the right thing. Act in ways that show people are important to you Leaders are not responsible for other people's feelings, but we are responsible for treating people with kindness.
-- doug smith

Happy Launch Pad!

It's annoying. It's in need of attention. It's a distraction. And - it's an opportunity!

A problem is a platform for your advancement.

Get on board and move forward!

-- doug smith


Improving Performance - Don't take it personally

If you lead long enough, people on your team will struggle with performance. When their best is not good enough, work with them to improve. If you take it personally or make it about you, it becomes even harder for them to improve and soon effects your performance as well.

A leader who takes poor performance personally is performing poorly.

What to do? Identify your expectations. Uncover hidden barriers. Find out what stands in the way between your team member and success -- and then help them to deal with it.

-- doug smith


Getting Over Being Difficult

Wouldn't it be great to be perfect? Or, maybe it wouldn't. I will never forget seeing a puppet show (yes, I said puppet show) in New York City, many years ago, with the essential flow of dialogue being something like this:

"I want to be the very best! The very best best!"
"But not too good. Be the best but not the best best!"
"I want to be the very best. So good. But not too good."
"Because if you were too good, people wouldn't like you."
"It's not good to be too good."

...somewhat over and over in that manner -- outright saying that it's possible to be too good.

It was funny then. But it wasn't true then and it isn't true now. You probably can't be too good. But, in the pursuit of good (or whatever else you're chasing) it IS possible to be difficult. Haven't we all been difficult?

Here's the thing (there's got to be a thing!): we do NOT always realize it when we are being difficult. It&…