Archives for category: Controlling

A question for you to ponder: Do the best leaders surround themselves with great people, or do they help the people around them become great? 

My experience tells me the answer is…both!  But let’s start with the first part…

During a recent conversation with a highly successful manager, who operates in the challenging food & hospitality industry, a point was made about team development. He noted that one of his key objectives was to hire people who were better, smarter or more talented than he was.

This resonated with me as this has become one of my essential success tenets.

Decades ago, once I became mature enough to put my ego aside, the realization that if I secured, & surrounded myself with, really talented people, perhaps my leadership role would become much easier. And it did!

Often I’ve worked with leaders who feared talent that was potentially as good, or even better than they were.  They let their ego’s and foolish pride get in the way of doing the smart thing, which subsequently led them toward hiring marginal talent compared to what was available in the market place.  This ultimately resulted in less than optimal performance.

These “bosses” shared an underlying concern that the potential “superstar” would make them look inferior, or even worse, eventually “steal” their leadership position away!

This type of self-centered thinking not only limited the team & businesses success, but truly restricted that leader’s ability to grow through the organization.

The reality is that leaders who surround themselves with the best possible talent tend to produce better-than-average results. Further, they consistently demonstrate the ability to develop talent for the organization, which often facilitates professional growth and advancement.

Perhaps you have seen this happen in your experiences as well.  Or even worse, if you happen to be one of those who has unknowingly inhibited your success by falling into this trap, this could be the perfect time to take on that new approach for building your team.

surround

One of my favorite coaching areas is that of Attention Management (the artist formerly known as Time Management).

Time cannot truly be managed…there are 86,400 seconds in a day and once gone, you cannot recover them.  On the other hand, how you spend that time, your attention and focus,  can be proactively controlled given that proper personal disciplines and barriers have been established.

All to often, people spend their days hitting the ground running, operating in reactionary mode and being at the mercy of the world and people around them; instead of controlling their activities.

A surefire way to improve your effectiveness is to dedicate time to a daily action plan, either the night or early morning before your committed day starts.

Adding a quiet time or meditation period is a useful tool in this process.

Once you’ve created this daily strategy, draw upon your personal power to make every effort to stick to that plan, no matter what.  Sounds easy, does hard!

Further, ensure you include some time slots for handling the unscheduled interruptions that will come, regardless of the boundaries you’ve established!

Give it a try next week, and I’ll bet you’ll see an astonishing increase in productivity…not to mention that you’ll have less stress and feel better!!!

Plan your work

One of my favorite coaching areas is that of Attention Management (the artist formerly known as Time Management).

Time cannot truly be managed…there are 86,400 seconds in a day and once gone, you cannot recover them.  On the other hand, how you spend that time, your attention and focus,  can be proactively controlled given that proper personal disciplines and barriers have been established.

All to often, people spend their days hitting the ground running, operating in reactionary mode and being at the mercy of the world and people around them; instead of controlling their activities.

A surefire way to improve your effectiveness is to dedicate time to a daily action plan, either the night or early morning before your committed day starts.

Adding a quiet time or meditation period is a useful tool in this process.

Once you’ve created this daily strategy, draw upon your personal power to make every effort to stick to that plan, no matter what.  Sounds easy, does hard!

Further, ensure you include some time slots for handling the unscheduled interruptions that will come, regardless of the boundaries you’ve established!

Give it a try next week, and I’ll be you’ll see an astonishing increase in productivity…not to mention that you’ll have less stress and feel better!!!

Plan your work

 

When facing challenges and adversity, my experience shows three common leadership responses:

  1. Face and accept the situation head on and proactively figure out how to correct or improve it.
  2. Accept it as fate and hope that it will somehow get better or resolve itself.
  3. Find fault with other people or circumstances and enter into the “blame game.”

I suppose you could classify these three reactions as aggressive, passive or victim!

Genuine Leadership includes the qualities of honesty, candor and accountability.  To act any other way beyond #1 above is NOT Leadership!

As the old saying goes, you can be part of the problem or part of the solution.

Facing situations for what they are, diligently thinking and managing through the crisis, while making unemotional fact-based decisions is the most constructive strategy for moving forward.

Carnegie fools

Early on in my retail career, managing a “big box” home improvement center with over 100 employees, I quickly learned the importance of empowering your people to make decisions.

In retail or any other fast paced environment, we are faced with seemingly endless rapid fire decisions that need to be made, many resulting from an unplanned or reactionary scenario.

As my team, one after another would come to me with an issue, I had two options…give them the answer I felt was most appropriate or make them think for themselves.

In order for me to focus on what was most important in my role as General Manager, I would have to surround myself with troops who could think, had good common sense, and were not afraid to make a decision.

When approached for help, I would ask the employee “what do you think we should do?”

If they didn’t have an immediate solution in mind, I would have them come back to me when they did.  Once they returned, unless their idea was illegal, unethical or completely off-base, I would suggest they go ahead and do it.  I frequently closed our discussion with this statement:

“95 % of the time, we’ll make the right decision;  the other 5 % we’ll learn from it!”

In short order, I found myself with an empowered team who could make things happen and did not require non-stop direction from their leader.

Patton Empowerment

How nice it would be to jump out of bed every day with an unbridled passion for getting to “work” and making a difference in our CAREERS.

For decades, I’ve told my team that “if you can’t have fun doing what you’re doing, find something else to do!”  Life is much too short to spend time enduring something that you find unenjoyable.

Yet I’m amazed at how infrequently the concept of “loving what I do” fails to come up during the course of an employment conversation.

Having been professionally subject to staying in a position of collecting a “nice and comfortable” paycheck although I didn’t necessarily enjoy what I was doing, I finally realized that it is of paramount importance to pursue a career that was in alignment with my personal goals and values.

If you aren’t doing what you were meant to be doing, take the leap and move on.

fun @ work

Pick a setting…your workplace, golf course, restaurant, classroom, any conversation, etc. and conduct an attention observation experiment.

The bombardment of real-time, rapid-fire information at our fingertips has created a world where our focus is constantly pinballing from one “interruption” to the next.

Between cell phone alerts, email intrusions, new message pop-ups, etc., it’s a wonder how one can truly concentrate on any item for more than a few minutes at a time.  These disruptions wreak havoc on any significant efforts that require undivided attention…if we allow it.

Two personal favorites are: the business “meetings” where attendees spend their time looking at  their laptops or mobile devices; and the “face-to-face” conversations wherein eyes are focused on computer screens or  I-phones during most of the discussion.

You have the personal power and discipline to manage the electronic leashes should you choose to do so!

electronic leash II