…Instead of Ignoring Them
I’m a fan of the Clifton Strengthsfinder assessment (https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/254033/strengthsfinder.aspx). If you’re familiar with the tool, you’ll recognize my “Restorative” nature (seeing problems or weaknesses as opportunities) reflected in this article. Those with strong “Maximizer” traits probably didn’t get past the title to read this far. Continue reading Leveraging Our Weaknesses
Leading People Who Are Not Like You…
I just finished reading another book on how to manage Millennials. As the most studied generation in history, there’s no shortage of perspectives available on the best ways to engage this generation and help them achieve their full potential. Since I often use the tagline, “helping young leaders become wise before they grow old”, I appreciate gleaning from the wisdom and experience of others on this topic. However…
Continue reading Different Is a Good Thing
Why Faster Isn’t Always Better
Throughout my career, responsibilities always came to me before titles. And I usually gave responsibilities to others before giving the corresponding titles. If this seem unfair, it’s more considerate than giving a title too quickly and having to take it away when it doesn’t work out. So rather than feeling under-appreciated when you’re given assignments that fit the next position up the ladder, consider it a sign of leadership’s confidence in your potential. Continue reading Climbing the Corporate Ladder
Even When “No” Is The Right Answer
(Video version available here.)
Excessive busy-ness is the most common complaint I hear from clients. Is it possible to manage our workload in a way that leaves us fulfilled but not burned out? Let’s scratch the surface of that question by shining a light on our motivations and suggesting some methods to deal with it.
Our first problem is that we often wear our busy-ness as a badge of honor. Important people are expected to be busy; we want to be important; so we don’t want to admit (to ourselves or others) that we’re not busy. We fill our plates to keep our importance badge. Continue reading Why Can’t I Say “No”?
Deciding When You Can’t Decide
I thought about waiting to write this until April Fools’ Day and calling it, “Taking the Risk Out of Decision Making”. If decisions weren’t risky anyone could make them. Even not deciding puts us at risk of delaying or not getting the benefits of the decision.
A five hundred (or 5,000) word article isn’t going to relieve you of every decision making stress. But here are a few tips that might help you find a path forward: Continue reading Breaking the Logjam
What Happens When a Leader Speaks
One of the benefits of being a leader is that we have the privilege – and responsibility – of influencing others. When we speak, our followers listen.
But what do they hear?
Often way more than we intended to say. Continue reading Whispering Through a Bullhorn
Getting Ahead by Putting Others First
C.S. Lewis said, “Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first and we lose both first and second things.”1
That’s sound advice, but it raises the question, “What are the first things and what are the second things?” As free-thinking individuals, we get to choose what our first and second things are going to be. But our choices have consequences and to make the choice is to accept the consequences of that choice.
When it comes to our careers and growing our organizations, one of those choices is how we’re going to view other people. We can choose: Continue reading Selfishly Selfless
The Art of Managing Up
“If I were in charge, I would…”
But you’re not, and wishing won’t make it so. And if you were in charge, would you be equipped to lead your followers who would be saying, “If I were in charge, I would…”?
Managing up isn’t as different from managing down as you may think. Continue reading Leading When You’re Not the Boss
Getting the Results You’re Looking For
I spent the early part of my career as a software developer. The nice thing about software is that it is highly predictable. Barring hardware problems, software does exactly what the developer tells it to do. Even bugs aren’t the software’s fault – it’s just doing exactly what some developer (either of the application, the compiler, or underlying operating system) told it to do. Not necessarily what the developer wanted, but what it was told to do. The developer’s job is to provide thorough and accurate instructions so the software behaves correctly.
If only human interactions were that straight-forward.
Continue reading That’s Not What I Wanted…
Opportunities You Can’t Afford to Miss
This week I talked with a man who was frustrated by a boss who wouldn’t say, “thank you”. This isn’t a “high-needs” guy, but he’s self-aware enough to recognize that, like most of us, he’s energized by gratitude. Having just poured extraordinary effort into a successful endeavor, a little appreciation seemed reasonable.
Continue reading Gratitude: High Yield, Low Risk Investments