Making Clear What’s Really Important
Paul felt his staff’s productivity was being hampered by constant disruptions from other staff members. So he made it a standing agenda item at his weekly staff meetings to remind everyone to consider the impact on the other person before interrupting. Was the issue urgent enough to justify the disruption? He offered tips each week, like collecting non-urgent disruptions and handling them all at once instead of interrupting for each one; or using email instead of text messages if an immediate response wasn’t necessary.
After a couple of months, Paul was frustrated that he wasn’t seeing much change.
Continue reading The Power of Informal Communication
…Or Just Wish You Wanted to Change?
The prologue to the award-winning musical, Into the Woods, starts off with the key characters reciting things they wish for, like this stanza by Jack’s mother:
I wish my son were not a fool.
I wish my house was not a mess.
I wish the cow was full of milk.
I wish the house was full of gold-
I wish a lot of things…
Wishing is one thing; wanting it enough to take action is something different. Pursuing what we really want is hard because it requires us to change. Continue reading Do You Really Want to Change…?
How to Lead by Listening
Listening to a good jazz trio or quartet can be an amazing experience. There is a sense of spontaneous flow that somehow fits together to generate a unique and powerful experience. Jazz musicians can teach us several important leadership lessons: Continue reading Playing by Ear
A Tale of Two Leaders
When Jack launched his homeless shelter he had no idea it would grow to house over a hundred people at a time and provide meals and showers for thousands more. He didn’t expect to have a staff of eighteen people and numerous volunteers. But his passion for helping the homeless was contagious. He discovered he was good at raising support, launching creative programs, and recruiting people.
He knew he wasn’t good at the administrative stuff, so he hired people or outsourced those functions. But now he had hit a plateau that he just couldn’t get past. Continue reading Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill…Now What?