A Petulant Employee

Sometimes when you’re managing people it can seem like you’re speaking two different languages. One of my clients, Marcus*, experienced a classic example of this. His employee, Cyndy*, was working on a client-intense project and basically abandoned the rest of her work while this was occurring.

Cyndy felt that while she was tied up with this client, how could Marcus possibly expect her to do more? Marcus felt that he had made it clear that although she would put most of her effort towards that one client, the rest of her work needed to be done (whether directly by her or delegated).

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Brain Reawakening

When you do things the same way all the time, activities become automatic. You drive the same way to work and don’t think about the route. You know what you want to order in your favorite restaurant. You have a weekend routine that’s, well, routine.

By making some small changes in what you do habitually, you awaken your brain simply because you’re thinking consciously.

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What Satisfies you?

Do you know people with awesome accomplishments who rarely seem satisfied with their achievements? They complete one thing and move right on to the next without pause. The expression, “stop and smell the roses” isn’t in their vocabulary.

If you’re never satisfied, you’re missing the experience of recognizing milestone moments. Successes come and go, you keep plowing away, and the memory of what was successful drifts away.

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Is Your Glass Half Full?

Do you tend to be optimistic or pessimistic? Plenty of each philosophy are out there, so you’re in good company either way. Taking a deeper look, though, have you thought about the benefit of having an optimistic outlook as a leader?

One of the key benefits to optimism is feeling confident that you can accomplish whatever crosses your path. If it’s something totally new, you know that you have the resources to figure out the path. You look at life from a positive perspective and it takes more than a few jabs to knock you off your game.

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Banging the Walls

Have you ever felt overwhelmed to the point that you just wanted to bang the walls in frustration? Whether metaphor or real, everyone reaches the end of their rope at some point. How you handle the situation makes a big difference in your outcome.

One common example is spending hours trying to solve a complex problem and feeling stuck. If you become extremely frustrated, it may bring to mind one definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

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Do You Feel Independent?

Next week is Independence Day, July 4, in the U.S. Undoubtedly, there will be lots of historical reflection and other reminders about the importance of this day in U.S. history.

I’d like you to consider a variation on this theme, which is how independent you feel about yourself. Do you feel in charge of yourself, for example, your professional direction, your ability to speak up as a leader, or how you influence others?

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Pause for the Summer Solstice

Today marks the beginning of summer (and if you didn’t know this, you need to take a day off). By the time you read this, the actual summer solstice will have passed (6:07 am EDT), and we’ll be well into the longest day of daylight (in the northern hemisphere) this year.

This is the time of the year when I “gently remind” leaders to make sure that they embrace and enjoy the season, and don’t let it zoom by without taking time to enjoy it. For years, clients have resolved to lighten their schedule to enjoy the summer only to reach September and wonder what happened to those plans.

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Discovering Your People

How well do you really know your staff? Of course, you know the work they do and perhaps some of their interests. But how deep does your knowledge or insight really go?

One of my clients recently discovered that one of her employees is a regular marathon runner. He had competed in races for years and the only reason it came up was because another employee mentioned something about him raising money for a charity race.

Another client learned that one of her staff members was an enthusiastic traveler who successfully spreads out 2 weeks of vacation over long weekends and company holidays so that she takes 3-4 trips abroad each year. She had no clue.

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“But I Didn’t Say That…”

One of the perennial problems in the workplace is the ongoing gap in communication. It is the root of many problems and unfortunately, perpetuated by too many leaders.

Communication takes work. It takes energy to make sure that your message, whether oral or written, has the language, tone, and substance that will be clear and understandable to the person receiving the message. And in our time compressed world, people don’t take the time to pause to ensure that clarity.

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