Do We Say It or Dance Around It?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

It often seems we have two choices. We can dance around each other, never addressing what’s bugging us but fomenting stories about injustices made and received. We can alternatively say bluntly to each other everything we think.

Really, though, we want to say things plainly and kindly.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: The plain part is what we say. The kind part is how we feel when we say it.

Dreams

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 1 min.

We can run our processes, push our products, and tell people what we think they should be doing. Or, we can connect our dreams to our team’s dreams and get out of the way.

The latter looks harder and longer but it’s not.

 

In your corner,

Mike

How Not To Lose Track of Takeaways

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 2 min.

In all the busyness, it’s easy to lose track of what we have agreed to do for each other, that is of our takeaways. Here is a 5-step process that works well.

Recap. End each live, text, or email conversation or meeting with a review of who is going to do what by when.

Confirm. As soon as possible after a conversation or meeting, write an email to the person or people confirming what you have committed to do by when. Note that each person with a takeaway will be sending an email. If appropriate, you can replace this email with a full set of meeting minutes.

Track. Keep a running list of what you’ve committed and what others have committed to you. Copy the commitments you’ve sent and received. If meeting minutes are available, copy from them the relevant tasks due from and to you. Tedious? Perhaps. But doing this makes it much more likely that you’ll  remember what’s been promised. Include “by when” on each item. You can use a notebook with a different page to track each person’s commitments (including yours to them). Or you can track things in an app (like Todoist) and tag those items with the relevant people’s name(s). 

Review. Scan your list every day and pick the items you’d like to get done today and now what you’re expecting from others. This should take about a 2 minutes.

Do. Then do those things you’ve committed to do and, should they forget, remind your teammates of what they still owe you.

And should you find that you can’t keep your commitment, reach out and renegotiate a new what by when.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Today’s photo courtesy of TeroVesalainen

Useless Tools

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Most of the tools in our leadership toolkits are worthless unless the people on our team want to be led. Most of our influencing tools are pointless until our would-be collaborators agree to be influenced. And we can keep most every sales tool locked away while the people we wish to sell to aren’t ready to be sold to.

Before they are ready for us, our only useful tools are asking about and listening to what makes a win for them.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Today’s photo credit: Infinity Studio Flat pic #5 via photopin (license)

Drama

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

Many of us fall prey to drama at work and in life.

When I raise the alarm, call out the failings, or even just quietly complain, I hope to move people to my cause through commiseration (literally, being miserable with me). I may do this angrily, dryly, boisterously, or even warmly. I don’t even know I’m doing it. The result: whole companies or families tumble into a funk because one or a few of us are unconsciously whipping up the drama.

Drama does damage because, in that funk, we put way too much of our focus on what’s wrong. We direct our attention to making the dramatist feel better (then we can feel better, too). This leaves us with surprisingly little mental or emotional resources to make things better.

Instead of falling into drama’s trap, we can choose to springboard off of what’s wrong. Not commiserating, we pivot to, “I get it; let’s improve it.” Focusing on what’s right and committing to make it even better, we gather the resources we need to quickly solve what’s wrong.

Works wonders. No drama needed.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Claudio Nichele (@jihan65) Busto (cortile interno piazza Navona, Roma) via photopin (license)

Culture Is The Game

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Growth, Leading, We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization’s makeup and success — along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like… I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.

Lou Gerster
former CEO of IBM
Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? (2002)

Our job as leaders is culture. That is, our job is to constantly steward the idea what value we will pursue, build the team the deliver it, ensure the systems are in place to support that delivery, and have everyone’s predominant focus be on what’s right and what can make it even better.

That’s the whole game.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s image by IQRemix from Canada (FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 – Edmonton) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Must We Conform?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

The world seems to run on this fallacy: that we will all be happier, more peaceful, and more safe if everyone conformed. Where there is lack of conformity of beliefs, ideas, or actions, we press people to be more like us.

Nope.

Think about how much energy we waste trying to get each other to behave–or how much we waste trying to resist each other’s attempts to box us in. Think about how dead it would be if everyone was the same in all the ways.

Everyone is Everyone is so much more profitable, sustainable, happy, and so much less worrisome than Everyone is the Same.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: bobsfever #346/366 via photopin (license)