Friday, September 25, 2015

THESE Should Be The 'Good Ol Days!"

Anyone in a successful organization will tell you of the importance of taking time to celebrate the accomplishments of individuals, a team, and/or the entire organization. If you think about it, we ENJOY celebrating. Can you imagine a quiet home stadium after the winning shot in the final seconds of a critical basketball game? Of course not! The stadium would erupt…high fives would be shared with complete strangers with nothing more in common than the joy of an accomplishment. The question that keeps taunting me is, “How long do we celebrate?”

As a life-long fan of the Chicago Bears, this question continues to amuse me as the ’85 Championship Bears are revisited year after year after year along with their dominating season. I’m guessing this is not an unfamiliar tradition where we celebrate the past and what we recall as the greatest season ever…what haunts me is the why…

I fear, at times, we enjoy recalling “the good ol’ days” as looking into the future gives little sense of hope for being any better and recalling the past is more of a celebration than looking to what the future has in store.

If your organization continues to celebrate what once was…you really need to consider the why… getting your team excited to what is yet to come should be your focus…if not, you’re doomed to live in the past…

Be good to yourself…

Friday, September 18, 2015

Are You Curious?

I find it curious that at times leaders shy away from being… curious. In an attempt to be a “strong leader” with all the answers, leaders can easily lose sight of the vital role curiosity has in any organization.

Walt Disney pointed out that “…curiosity leads us down new paths.” It provides a catalyst to explore, question, and grow. In the late 80’s Hewlett-Packard had an ad campaign that showed members of an IT team problem solving by using a simple question…”What if?”  Curiosity begs us to ask questions, to find solutions, to move forward. It’s a natural human instinct that we’re all born with, which Google has capitalized and made a fortune, for without curiosity what need would we have for a search engine?

How do you facilitate curiosity in your organization? Do you model curiosity or do you always have all the answers?  Just asking, as some of the greatest minds would suggest the only way to get right answers and to move forward is to constantly ask…What if…

Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.” Isn’t that a curious statement?

Be good to yourself…

Friday, September 11, 2015

Are You Consistent?

Over the years, the importance of consistency has been raised in various conversations I’ve had with emerging leaders. Apparently, somewhere in Leadership 101, budding candidates are told that leaders must be consistent for their followers to trust, as inconsistency leads to confusion, disarray, and chaos.

There’s a fine line between consistency and rigidity. Great leaders understand that doing things right isn’t always the right thing to do.  I’d suggest that the consistency needed isn’t necessarily in the policies to be followed or how we handle the “either/or scenarios” we’re placed in, but rather the way we treat the people we’re governed to serve.

If you have to be consistent…consider being consistent with the following:

Value Those Around You – Make them feel safe to speak up and share their thoughts. Challenge them to THINK and to express their thoughts. Use the pool of talent you have wisely created and encourage them to grow.

Communicate – TALK to people! After the 2nd email exchange, get up and TALK to the person. Communicate your expectations, your vision, and your values. Provide feedback and encourage others to do the same.

Lead By Example – Walk the talk…consistently

Be Accountable - Take responsibility when things go wrong, and praise others when things go well.

Ask Questions – We all stop learning when we stop asking questions.

Emit Positive Energy – Inspiration motivates people to take action.

Teach/Mentor – Great leaders consistently groom new leaders.

Take Time to Build Relationships – No matter the leadership role, we all are in a “people business”, take time to build relationships with those that you serve.

Love What You Do and Do What You Love – ‘Nuff said…

Be good to yourself…

Friday, September 4, 2015

Labor Day and Transitions

As a child, the Labor Day Weekend served as a benchmark of sorts. It was the end of a glorious summer vacation and the beginning of a new adventure. As I grew a bit older, it was a time of brief reflection, reviewing past performance and anxiously anticipating what was ahead.  It was a bittersweet time as the long summer days were fading and trees began to transform into a kaleidoscope of colors.

In the final analysis, Labor Day has always represented a time of transition, a time to move from point A to B. This Labor Day Weekend, I urge you to take care of yourself, rest, reacquaint yourself with your families and take a moment to reflect…is it time for a transition in your life…in your leadership style? There’s a quote from John Maxwell that continues to swirl in my thoughts and urges me to continually move forward…”We can not become what we need by remaining what we are.”

Be good to yourself...