Are your top performers holding it together?

There are times when you’re running fast and furious, and your team is doing a great job. But how are the people holding up under the pressure? When you see great results, you may not see fraying around the edges. If unravelling has begun, though, you need to jump in and be on top of it.

You’ll know about your lower performing employees early on. They’ll complain about the work and grumble to their co-workers about how difficult everything is. These aren’t the people to worry about because odds are you aren’t relying on them for the most important deliverables.

Read More

What’s Happened to Reading?

Time magazine recently reported on an American Psychological Association study that a third of U.S. teens haven’t read a book for pleasure in over a year. This struck me as a combination of sad and a little scary.

Reading is important for young people for so many different reasons. Aside from the obvious ones, such as building vocabulary and their own writing skills, it helps build their critical thinking and even their social skills.

The time spent reading has been replaced by time spent on social and other digital media, which doesn’t have the same impact on their intellectual development. This will become our problem as today’s teens are our future employees.

Read More

Prepping for Difficult Conversations

Have you ever dreaded having conversations with some of your employees? We’ve all had this experience and unless it happens frequently, you’re probably not an expert in handling these.

Challenging conversations run the gamut from delivering difficult feedback to firing someone. When you aren’t comfortable conveying a difficult message, it’s likely that your delivery of the message will reflect that discomfort.

Read More

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).

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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?

Read More