Are You in the Swing?

We’re ten days into the new year, and as people have revved back into the work groove, many resolutions have already bitten the dust. This happens for a few reasons, but the two most important ones are that (1) people set unrealistic goals and (2) they try to do too many things.

For you to get into the swing of the new year, focus on one discreet thing. And the smaller the item is, the more likely you will succeed if you want to build an effective, new habit.

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Team Resolutions?

Many people identify personal resolutions in the new year that they abandon at varying paces during the month of January. In fact, some 80% of us give up by the time February rolls around.

I’ve often wondered whether the success rate would be better if accountability was part of the process. There are many ways to create accountability, but each participant needs to have some skin in the game.

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Support, Don’t Reject

It’s normal for leaders to become frustrated by employee performance when employees disappoint. Obviously, you need to be judicious in how you handle these situations and to evaluate the root cause of the less than stellar performance.

You need to look behind the obvious to determine what’s going on with the disappointing employees, especially if their performance is normally positive.

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A Note on Civility

One of the comments about President Bush 41 in this week of memorializing his legacy was not to mistake civility for weakness. I thought this was particularly meaningful in an era where civility has taken a public back seat to disrespect and rudeness.

Civility recognizes the humanity of others. In fact, it embodies core characteristics of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy.

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Do You have an “A Team”?

What kind of standards do you set for the product or service your company produces? Is “good” good enough? Or do you strive for excellence and consistently aspire to do better?

The difference between A and B starts with mindset. If your team perfunctorily goes through the motions and achieves the minimum, it probably isn’t “A” work. When the team has a strong work ethic and strives to do better each time, it’s likely a very different result.

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A Day of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude. It’s a time to pause, reflect, and give thanks for the things that mean the most to you. It’s one of the best times to express your appreciation for the important people in your life.

Beyond your personal expressions of gratitude, think about what you’re grateful for in your professional life. It’s really easy for the frustrations of our daily work life to wind us up, compounding the tensions that exist on the job.

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Growing Young Leaders

What is your organization doing to grow younger professionals into leaders of the future? If your firm doesn’t have an initiative to accomplish this, it’s in your best interests to create one. Many reasons support this, but for now, let’s focus on two: succession planning and retention.

Succession planning: As companies grows and become more complex, succession planning becomes increasingly important. Even if the leaders who nurtured the company to its current level are still intact, some day they won’t be. Each department should plan for succession. If you don’t have internal candidates, it’s worthwhile to identify the characteristics of who will be appropriate as successor.

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When the Pressure Is On…

There are periods in all organizations when priorities collide and pressure escalates. People react to stress in different ways, and managers need to be mindful of this as they lead the way through rough terrain.

Your employees may become short-tempered, irrational, or even scared. Keep in mind that they may have never experienced whatever is now going on in your company.

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