Developing Your Team

Developing your team is a responsibility of all managers. This post offers tips and a 3-step method for getting started.

Continue Reading August 19, 2015 at 10:29 pm Leave a comment

Position filled – Now the real work begins

Have a new hire joining your team? Get them started off on the right foot with an onboarding plan.

Continue Reading June 30, 2015 at 11:30 pm Leave a comment

Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership is a style of leading that often requires people to adopt a new approach. These new methods can be easily integrated into your day-to-day efforts at work.

Continue Reading January 30, 2015 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

What Did You Learn Today?

Your workday is full of meetings, action items and more – but it is also full of learning opportunities. Are you getting all that you can out of each observation?

Continue Reading January 26, 2015 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

Grateful

Every day, my team & I meet at 9am for our daily stand-up.  We use the time to practice one of my favorite aspects of the 4 Disciplines of Execution (1-2 commitments to “move the needle”) but occasionally, we throw in something different. From time to time, I ask them to name one person, outside of our group, that they are grateful for. We don’t limit it to co-workers as we all have many people in our lives who make a difference to us. And who’s to say that someone’s spouse didn’t do something for them that really stuck out to them and made their week better?

gratefulOften times, it is a co-worker though – which just makes the experience that much richer. Everyone on the team gets to hear how someone in the organization did something that stood out. Wouldn’t that make you a little happier about your opportunity to work with that person if they showed up in your next meeting? It also gives me a chance to hear about the experience. If it’s a personal situation – maybe their child or spouse, I learn a little more about them. If it is someone at work, it’s a chance for me to learn about their interactions with others in the organization, and maybe a chance to personally thank that person for what they did to help my team.

What I have found with my team is that it is therapeutic to share something so personal as gratitude. When they say it out loud, they always have a big smile on their face. Sure, some of them probably find it a little “touchy-feely” but it gives us a chance to slow down and appreciate something positive. And unfortunately, not every meeting agenda includes a chance to have a positive moment.

January 16, 2015 at 12:10 am Leave a comment

Earn More than a Paycheck

How can you reduce the risk of your team from quitting? Give them more than a paycheck – give them professional development opportunities, which can be worth more than a check in the long run.

Continue Reading December 29, 2014 at 9:51 pm 2 comments

Be Purposeful

I had a marketing professor in my MBA program who told us at the beginning of his course that we all needed to learn to “be pithy”. He did not want us to strive to write 8-10 page papers as that meant he had to read them. Instead, he wanted us to put a value on every word that we communicated so we could get to the point quickly. I currently work with someone who is influencing my communication style to be more purposeful. He does it in a straight-forward way so there is not second-guessing that he values this approach.

As I think about my life, both professionally and personally, I extend the idea of being purposeful to both my communication and my actions. Every action that I take should be directed towards a specific goal. Every email I send should have a specific need to communicate or request action of the reader. Every meeting that I host should have a clear goal that everyone knows in advance. I realize that most of these things would cause you to nod and think “of course these should happen – this is not new”. However, I challenge you to look at your email, your calendar, and even your actions through the day – are you doing it? Are you operating with the end goal in mind?

It takes forethought. It requires that you plan your actions which requires more time spent. Yet, if we spend that time on the planning, how much better would the results turn out?

Here are a few things that I am trying in my life to improve how I act purposefully. What have you tried that has helped you either personally or professionally?

  • Write an outline before starting any communication
  • Building a re-usable agenda template for recurring meetings
  • Working with my team to set goals at the start of a project (elementary but how often do we jump right in because the goal is assumed?)
  • Daily stand-ups with my team focused on 2-3 things each person will do to move our strategic effort forward (Read “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” by Chris McChesney – GAME changing!)

August 13, 2014 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment

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