Take Steps, Not Leaps

Can you motivate an employee whose performance is lackluster? The answer is imbedded in the distinction between motivation and inspiration: we can inspire the people who work with us, but motivation needs to come from within.

Leaders can be especially frustrated when they haven’t been able to inspire employees to perform at a higher level. One client suggested that an employee’s work was about a B- level and he was trying to raise it to an A. This is a worthy goal, but is it attainable?

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Laser Focus

Something that differentiates top performers from others is that they stay focused on the end result. They don’t just write a report or complete an assignment; they think about how their work can have the greatest impact on the end result or user.

The workplace is filled with busy people, and some might offer the excuse that they’re just too buried to bring project x to the next level. Although this may be true, those who break through the busy-ness barrier do it regularly.

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Prepare By Documenting

No matter how prepared you think you are, it’s essential to be ready for staff changes that can disrupt your organization’s operational flow. People resign suddenly. They develop a debilitating illness. They have family emergencies that take priority.

Are you and your management team prepared for such occurrences? Do you know how to jump in and do the various functions that these people have done well and consistently until they aren’t there to do them?

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When Life is an Interruption

“And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.”
– Maya Angelou

Current events always create interruptions in our day-to-day world, but during the past few weeks these interruptions have been disruptions. Most recently is this week’s massacre of children in Uvalde, which trails only a few short weeks from the execution in the supermarket in Buffalo.

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Making More Sense of the Hybrid Workforce

Despite their best efforts, many leaders still struggle to “get it right” in terms of managing a hybrid workforce. A recent Harvard Business Review article points out five key trends for leaders to consider.

Leaders are adopting different mindsets to be successful managing a hybrid environment based on these trends. Some of the key points from the article are highlighted below.

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Hiring Apropos of the Great Resignation

You know the cliché that good people are hard to find. Well, right now they’re even harder to find thanks to the Great Resignation. Simply put, fewer people are available to interview for the jobs you need to fill. The basic supply and demand equation comes into play, and employers find themselves riding a slippery slope.

Compromising on quality is never a good idea. For those who say that “this is the best we can find,” you need to look in different places. If you lower your standards and hire someone second or third rate, you will regret it from day one.

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Leading Managers

Many leaders become frustrated with mid-level managers because of the perception they’re not doing their jobs adequately. When you really dig into this observation, it’s often because new mid-level managers don’t fully understand what is expected of them.

The leader is responsible for outlining the core elements of what is expected from managers. Here are some guidelines to consider:

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Updating Priorities

Many people made priorities based on an old list of what is important to them. Every once in a while (Every month? Once a quarter? Twice a year?) it is helpful to rethink your priorities and determine whether a change is appropriate.

This is especially important for leaders because their priorities certainly change based on what is going on in their companies.

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Meeting Madness

Do you have too many meetings in a typical week? It happens a lot, and you can suffer from “meeting madness” as a result. This is an affliction caused by too many meetings that aren’t focused, take too long, and accomplish a tenth of what you expect. Here are some tips to consider.

Start and end on time. The obvious breach is when people are late. That isn’t fair to those who are on time, especially if it means that you won’t complete what you expected to accomplish. As important, however, is having a firm end time. Stay true to the end time even if you haven’t completed the agenda. It will help build the discipline to end on time in the future.

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