“I Just Can’t Do More”

Although you might rarely hear your employees utter these words, if you pay attention, you’re likely to read them in their gestures, body language, and tone of voice. When people are burned out, this is often what they express nonverbally.

People who are otherwise reliable individuals start to slip. They miss deadlines. They forget about important details. They neglect delegating.

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Leadership Musings

Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, was recently interviewed at The Atlantic Festival by Lorena Powell Jobs. He shared highlights from his 15-year tenure as CEO, including some musings on his leadership philosophy.

He mentioned three key principles. First, lead with optimism. “No one wants to follow a pessimist,” he said. Second, take bold steps, not baby steps. Leaders need to be able to take risks, and you can’t take those risks if you’re taking baby steps. Third, relentlessly pursue perfection. Never accept good when you can have great.

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Electronic Dialogue

Communication can be challenging, to say the least! When you speak face-to-face, you can see body language, gestures, and hear intonation. If that same conversation is on the phone, you essentially miss the body language and gestures. If that message is conveyed by email, you lose the intonation as well; and if text, it can be even more obscure.

Many people shoot off an email without regard to how the recipient is going to receive or interpret the message. For example, one person I work with reads whatever is visible on the screen of her phone. Her staff knows that everything important needs to be in the first few lines.

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Tune into Your Co-Workers

You never know what baggage people bring to work every day. No matter how well things seem to be going, you can bet that something is lurking in the background. You just don’t know what it is.

Some people are great at compartmentalizing and can have productive days even if something personally challenging is happening concurrently. Others will sit at their desks and stare into space, completely unaware of anything going on around them.

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Back to School

September has a “back to school” allure, even if you haven’t been a student for years. Not only are we reminded of it by omnipresent advertisements of school supplies and the like, but feelings are conjured from our own memories.

This is always a good time for a fresh start on whatever needs rebooting. Are there goals that have languished? A new project that was backburnered? A special initiative that will energize your team?

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Analysis Paralysis

You can be thorough, methodical, systematic – whichever word you choose – but if you overdo it, it may hurt you. Of course, you need to be disciplined to obtain the necessary information to make a decision, but often the incremental time analyzing isn’t going to give you that much more information.

+ Through over-analysis, you may miss the point, as aptly described by the cliché of not seeing the forest through the trees.

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Breaking Through a Blockade

Even the most upbeat, positive leaders hit obstacles. Ordinary difficulties are usually annoyances rather than true impediments. You figure out what needs to be done and you take care of it.

Every once in a while, though, you might hit a “blockade”. This can be considerably more intense than the usual obstacle, so you need to deal with it differently.

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