Monday, April 30, 2012

What is the Impact of Your Choices?

Every year, with my partner in Solution Linx On-Line Coaching, we host the Chick-fil-A Leadercast in our hometown.  This is a wonderful and inspiring that literally changes the way we work and live from that point on.  We have been hosting this event for 3 years.

We discovered this event while creating our business.  We attended the event to learn more about leadership and be inspired by others.  When we were there, we simply looked at each other and said, this is what we need in our community.

Our choice is to host the event each year.  The impact we hope is gathering momentum....and growing as we continue to hone our hosting skills, inviting others to participate to help us lead this charge.

What is the one choice you make that makes a difference outside of you?  How do you build on that and teach others to do the same?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hang The Out to Dry!

This leader asks his team member for advice and then takes the advice, applies it and when it does not work, hangs them out to dry saying 'team member X told me to do it'.

What to do? Remind the boss that they asked for advice, it was their decision to act on it. You should not have to take the fall for your boss - they are in that role to absorb what comes at them no matter where they sought advice.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Leaders Take Chances

Taking a chance on anything is a risk - will I win? Will I lose? Will I be stuck here? Will I fail?  Will my team survive?  Can my business handle it?

What if you take a chance and succeed?

What if you take a chance and make a new friend?

A new business contact?

Even simply spend an hour of your life learning new things?

First things first - take the chances that come your way.  Wayne Gretzky said you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

Second - be open to the experience - positive or negative, you will learn something.

Last - it's a numbers game...just like everything else - the more chances you take, the more oportunity you have for great results!

Go on..what chance are you going to take today? 
How will you instill 'chances as opportunities' in your culture?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Empowerment = Energy

Empowerment brings its own momentum with it.....a force, energy, movement.

Who do you empower and what energy is behind it?  Why is empowerment so important for leaders?

In order to empower others, leaders need to:
  • believe that the team (or individual) can do the work
  • have confidence in themselves too (delegating and letting go demands confidence)
  • know that empowerment is not losing control
  • desire to create an environment where empowered individuals thrive
  • learn that empowering others creates opportunity for growth and development - for the individual and the team....and perhaps even the leader
What will you do this week to empower someone on  your team?  Will that empowerment come in the form of action, word or simple example that you set as a leader?

Keys to Self-Empowerment - Free Download

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Micro-Micro Manager

Hi! Nice to meet you. I am your boss. I want to know your schedule for every second of every day. In fact, you will grant me administrative access to your Outlook so that I can see your schedule whenever I want. I can then call and check up on you, verify if you actually show up, just keep tabs on you.

Also, just a warning, I will freak out if you change what you are working on for the day and don't record it. I won't be there to see it, and it won't impact me in the slightest, I just need to be the one in control and you need to cater to my every whim! I am the BOSS!

Oh, and by the way, that will also give me access to your emails. I'll read them too, especially if there is anything interesting from your spouse (like what to pick up for dinner or your weekend plans, hey, maybe I can join you or plan a meeting that will ruin it!) or team-mate banter (to make sure I am not the brunt of jokes or general discussion - no fun allowed. I do not have a sense of humor that anyone but me would understand!). At least then I can be in the loop and know everything about you!

Have a nice first day at work.


Your Boss

Have you had this message or scenario played out in your world? What would you do?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fight Fire with Fire

When it comes to problems or fires breaking out in our lives, whether at work, home or in our communities, we need to be able to fight fire with fire.

Take your positive attitude, your creative brain, your spirit and energy to the fight.

This will help you eliminate frustration and procrastination – tackle the problem head on.

  1. Evaluate if it can be solved in small pieces or all at once.
  2. Enlist the help of others where needed.
  3. Sometimes we just need to drop everything and squelch the fire so that we can stop wasting time and make plans to move on to bigger and better adventures.
The fire is a good trap....we can pour all of our energy into it and lose focus on what we really need to accomplish.  As leaders, we need to help our teams plan properly (work back schedules, project planners, which ever method works best for the personality of your team) so that they can spot fires starting and douse them quickly before they erupt into something so completely engulfing that everything else gets put on hold.

What steps do you take to put out fires?  How do you teach your team to anticipate potential fires?

Monday, April 16, 2012

How Bad is Your Leadership?

Have you ever stopped to think about your own leadership and if you are falling into traps that make your leadership 'bad'?

This can take your breath away if and when you stop to think about here.

Take a moment and consider a leader are you focused on others or are you focused on self-preservation?  With the challenges that come at leaders daily, it is possible to stop thinking about the former and focusing on the latter...especially if the job (and the title) is on the line.

Here are a few ways to stop this:
  • self-preservation leads to no longer changing...this is the downfall of leaders and companies all over the place
  • analyse why you are in self-preservation mode - what is threatening you?  What are you afraid of?
  • remove the obstacles by confronting them - whether they are in your head of physical you will have to move beyond them to feel safe and ready to grow again (getting a coach to help you sort this out will do wonders)
  • look at why you are doing what you it still aligned (and is the company still aligned) to your own personal values.  If it is not, is it time to make a change?
Remember, the leadership you provide influences the attitudes of those who follow you. That influence can be either positive or negative.

This free download can help you examine the leadership you are receiving and maybe even highlight some traps that you could fall into if you are not careful.  How to Survive Poor Leadership - click to download.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Shield

The Shield to Hide Behind

The Shield to Hide Under
(hiding from fall out, of course!)

Which Leader Do You Know?

This leader uses the title as a shield and to wield power. They believe that standing behind (or underneath) the title they hold, makes their people cower in their boots and jump to attention. Sometimes this leader uses their boss's title to attempt to get results or deflect decision-making elsewhere, especially in the case of unpopular choices.

For example, take Ms. Regional Manager. She has just informed the team that they will need to work on Saturdays. She realizes that this change will be unpopular so decided to state that "I, and the VP agrees with me, have decided that everyone needs to work Saturdays." In stating the decision in this fashion, Ms. Regional Manager has deflected some of the decision-making to the VP so that she is not alone being the supposed 'bad guy' in this scenario.

What should you do? If a leader is constantly hiding behind or under a shield be up-front and ask questions specific to the matter and how the leader feels about the situation. Focus on them, re-direct focus to the leader if they try to escape the concern.

Also - in the scenario sure to ask specific questions about which other day you will be entitled to receive as a day off. How this is being scheduled and paid, especially if an unsalaried worker? Get a complete explanation of the reason for this action, when it will start, when it will end or will it be a new and permanent condition of employment.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Eliminate Drama

I have a friend that I used to work with a few years ago. For some reason, we clicked - able to laugh a lot, talk about the kids, just smart women who got to know each other. This blog post is from her Facebook page. Makes perfect sense to me! Thanks to 'The Rose'.

No Drama!!! Keep your drama out of my life!!! There comes a time in life when you have to let go of all the pointless drama and the people who create it and surround yourself with people who make you laugh so hard that you forget the bad and focus solely on the good. After all, life is too short to be anything but happy.

As a leader, you need to help your team keep drama to a minimum.  It is completely counterproductive and can derail the most effective people.  Have a quick read  The Drama Queen (or King) at Work and learn some tips to solve this situation.

How do you handle drama?  or are you a drama-creator?

Monday, April 9, 2012


Turn up the volume, Leaders.  It is time to listen to WIIFM - that's right!  What's In It For Me ....the one station on your radio dial that will help you understand so many things.  Well, actually 2 starting points that can help change how you lead your team....or yourself!

  1. What is in it for each of your team members?
  2. What is in if for you?  Yes, you!  That does count...but in a different way than you realize.
Let's start with the team:  getting to know your team members will help you understand what drives each one of them.  Because each are individuals and very unique with their own skill sets and talents (face it, that is why you hired them - you weren't looking for clones), you will find that different things push their buttons.  To get the most out of each individual you need to tap into the 'button'. 

For example:  some may be driven by money, the bonus at the end of the job well-done; some may be motivated by the need to belong and participate on a high-performing team; other are driven by the opportunity to move up the ladder and this is a showcase opportunity. 

What's In It For Me is huge - once you know what drives each team member, your communication will change to include these dials for each one.  It will short cut any of the explanation to true facts that help align the team to the objectives.

Now - what about you?  Have you spent time to think about what you get out of all this leadership stuff?  is is really the title you were after - or is it truly something else?  Your objective today is to figure some of that out. Take 10 minutes of quiet time - with a coffee, tea or glass of wine, and think back to why you do what you do....what do you get out of it besides a paycheque.  What is it that drives you?  Understanding this about yourself can help you understand more about others.

Friday, April 6, 2012


The leader should not publicly complain (via email to the whole team or in a group meeting) that they could not reach team member because they were in church on at Sunday at 9:30 am! Talk about expecting 24/7 availability.

What to do about it? Talk to the leader in person and explain that this is your time for yourself and request that they do not seek you out at this time.

This is a situation where you would hope that if the leader has a coach, they would step in and assist with the tactics the leader is currently using to get results.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Life Lessons from Charles Schultz

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.

You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers.

They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies..

Awards tarnish.

Achievements are forgotten.

Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners..

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The Lesson:

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials..

The most money...or the most awards.

They simply are the ones who care the most.

''Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!"

Monday, April 2, 2012

Goals Driven By Panic

How does this happen?  Leaders spend a great deal of time developing goals and workback schedules with their teams...and all of sudden, 3 months into the year, they are looking back and start to panic.
They see deadlines looming and no work done.
Worse, they see the deadlines they completely missed.
And then panic sets in.
They can feel the all-nighters coming, the wrath of the team and of course, the potential repercussions with clients.
They can also see all the things they can do to avoid achievement and become less productive.

How do you move yourself from panic-driven goal achievement to you-driven goal achievement process?
  1. develop discipline.  do what you say you will do.
  2. evaluate that you have not planned to overwhelm yourself
  3. delegate more
  4. follow up better
  5. give more honest feedback
  6. communicate
  7. give yourself at least 3 days grace before your actual back from there.
What ideas do you have to move from panic to productive?