Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Are You Ready to Capitalize on Opportunity?

I have been fortunate to be watching some of the 'beautiful games' of soccer/futball, with my son.  (what a joy & what amazing knowledge he has!!)  What continues to come to the forefront for me, with all the talented players on the field and off, is the ability to create opportunity to score that goal. Whether it is a passing play, a cross to a team member or a penalty shot, how each team works to capitalize on the opportunity presented is truly where the goals happen.  (Sorry if that sounds silly, but it was like a ray of light to me as I work to laser focus my business & work with my great clients - the relevance became quite obvious)

As leaders we should look at our teams in a way that can help us understand if they are ready to capitalize on the opportunities that are created:

  1. do they recognize the opportunity?  if not, what can we do to help them see, with clarity, what is staring at them as the next step?
  2. do they know the players on their team and their individual skills?  if not,  what steps will we take to ensure they know this going forward - the strength is in the numbers and the ability for others to step up.
  3. have we empowered our team & team members to make decisions in the face of opportunity?  we cannot be everywhere.
  4. do they know we trust their judgement? do they feel confident we are there to support them, no matter what the outcome?
Seeing opportunity for what it is - a chance to make a difference, a change is important.  Wherever we are in our world of work, life or community, those opportunities come across us everyday - what we choose to do with them with make the difference of 'goal' or 'no goal'.  

Think of the opportunities as they come to you today - is it a kind word? a large account? a moment that could begin a relationship? a smile? What difference will you make today because of opportunity & your choice to lead?  This is the example that your team needs.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Clarity Grows Daily

As clarity develops, so do the opportunities.
Simple fact:  the clearer the picture of your future, the more quickly you can put action steps in place to get there.

What do leaders do to help create clarity?

  1. provide a clear image with words, of the future
  2. ensure team members know how they fit into the picture
  3. give time to vocalize opportunities or issues with the vision
  4. share ideas on overcoming obstacles
  5. making sure role fit & alignment is reviewed regularly
  6. live the mission & values
Clarity is key for team members to feel engaged, a part of what is in front of them.
Clarity works to provide a path to follow.
Clarity helps to keep obstacles from overcoming the objective.
Clarity eliminates 'shiny-object' syndome (read:  distractions)

Clarity is not only key for the leader of the organization - this same concept needs to be held and used at every level & with every team.

What do you do to ensure that clarity grows daily?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How Do You Focus?

With life so busy and the Summer months approaching (or here already!) it is easy to get distracted...I call it 'shiny object syndrome'.

The question of focus has come up numerous times with clients in the past few weeks.  The discussion inevitably leads to "you have so many things on the go, how to do you focus?"

Here is my response:
"I use tools to keep me on track  - like my calendar, CRM with reminders, project planners, post-it notes (small and gigantic!) and to do lists".  Sounds like a lot of things in play to keep me focused, but really I attribute it to what is needed at the time.  I have somewhat of organized chaos in my head, and on my desk...

....this helps me to focus as I can constantly move, check, check off, update and/or complete each task related to each project.  I also track my time on 'work' - this rewards my sense of accomplishment.

Building habits or changing habits is not easy and requires time & commitment - going about this means the following:

  1. determine what is not working & eliminate it (duplicate tools or methods)
  2. understand what obstacles are distracting you or getting in your way (things you don't like to do, or things you do too often - like check email or shop online)
  3. focus your habit building on what will make you feel great getting it done - work on all of that in the morning...when we are at our freshest!
  4. save all the little minutia and rote tasks for late afternoon - you can get a lot completed and move from one thing to the next without having to force your concentration for long periods of time
  5. don't let others hijack your time - if your calendar is FULL - make note of that and do not book more appointments into it!  People will understand.
  6. Practice it over and over until it sticks - at least for 30 days.....and then make shifts that create a more efficient process.
Let me know what else works to get you focused!