pause

Before Jumping Into Action Today

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Just a quick reminder to pause before jumping into action today: take time to find thoughts that physically feel good to think. Spend about 5 minutes. When we do, we become more resilient and will have a more productive day. Bonus: our good-feeling approach will rub off on everyone else making their day and our day even better.

Simple, yes?

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Leo Reynolds cc

wall

Throwing Tasks Over The Wall

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 1 min.

Delegation, especially to people new to us or to the work, is not throwing tasks over the wall with the briefest of outlines of what’s needed. We cannot expect that others will understand what we want, know everything we know, and do things the way we do them. Nor can we blame them when things go awry.

We must set the standards or measures of success, let them give it a try, regularly review their progress against the standards, take time for training, and encourage them to become better and better.

In short order, they will become more competent, confident, and in sync. Then we can start lobbing things their way with assurance that they will do it better than we could.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Iwan Gabovitch cc

delegate

What Delegation Really Means

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

Delegation does not mean simply handing over a task. Nor does it mean getting other people to do a task the way we would. It means setting up an environment where they can do it better then we can.

This includes setting the standards or measures of success (“Here’s how we’ll know you’ve done it well… “), letting them give it a try, regularly reviewing their progress against the standards, taking time for training, and encouraging them to become better and better.

Yes, this takes time. But the alternative is worse. The alternative is that we freak out when they do it wrong. We think, “It’s quicker if I do it.” Then we take back the task and continue to do it and all the other tasks ourselves. Don’t we already have enough on our plate?

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: And how can we expect to grow if we keep doing all the tasks ourselves?

 

Today’s photo credit: Carsten Senkfeil cc

wrong

The Right-Wrong Maelstrom

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

“I am right and you are wrong,” is a pervasive, destructive subtext in many of our conversations at work and home. We fight each other, sometimes in very clever ways, just to avoid being wrong. It’s a big problem that tends to drag us down and down. I have seen it rot individual relationships, harm careers, disable teams, scuttle projects, and even hobble a multi-billion-dollar company.

Yet there is no need to fight over right or wrong.

We can replace this need entirely with the win-win-or-don’t-play principle. First, we listen. Then we clarify and confirm our understanding of what outcomes (as opposed to specific approaches or actions) they seek. Next, we help them understand what outcomes we seek. Finally, we put our heads together to find solutions that help us both win. Or, if we can’t, we choose not to proceed together on this opportunity. In this approach, there is no room for fighting to be right.

Next time you catch yourself arguing, positioning, countering, fighting, or even avoiding others for fear they may try to be right/make you wrong, try changing the dynamic by learning what outcomes the other person really wants.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: This version of right-wrong is distinct from merely seeking the truth about a matter. For example, the following conversation is most likely about the simple truth.

“The sine of pi is 1.”
“No, it’s 0. Look at this graph.”
“Ah, yes. Thank you.”

We can tell by how it feels. If we feel bad (maybe challenged, disrespected, rejected, or threatened) while discussing whether we are right of not, we are not merely seeking truth.

 

Today’s photo credit: στρατός cc

delegate

Delegate, Kind Leader

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

Show me someone who is underperforming and I’ll show you someone who very, very likely has not been given clear parameters for success, real-time feedback, coaching, and training, or the time and space to try, fail, learn, and succeed.

Delegate, kind leader, delegate.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Mario Klingemann cc

sunshine

Don’t Be Seduced By The Cruel

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

No matter what you hear or read in the news, the world is getting better and better.

But, you might ask, aren’t there atrocities? Isn’t there great suffering? What about all the destruction? Isn’t there war, corruption, malfeasance, murder, and mayhem? And what about my own struggles? Doesn’t all this horribleness count?

Yes. And none of it is to be tolerated. But there is much less than there used to be and much, much less than we all fear. Don’t be seduced by the cruel.

Take time today to notice, consider, and appreciate how much is going well in our lives and in the world. For every horror story we hear, recall all the happy stories we don’t hear. It feels good when we do.

Thus, dear leader, we live better lives and have much more energy and smarts available to give help where it is still needed.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Monteregina (Nicole) cc

ignore

For Big Change, Ignore the Naysayers

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

If we want to influence a big change, we need not spend much time trying to convince the naysayers, the haters, the opponents. They will change or not. And they are only a minority.

Instead, we concentrate on the lovers, the crew, the vanguard. They are also a minority. But once they are inspired, we can help this minority create win-win buy-in from the once indifferent majority.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Of course, the opponents will try to sway the neutrals their way. Your sustainable, secret weapon is the win-win: “let’s find a way for us both to have our interests met.” The opponents will likely use fear tactics that alienate.

 

Today’s photo credit: Lainey1 cc

poetry

Meaning of it All and the Poet

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success
Reading time: 2 min.

At work, at home, and in general, we sometimes need to know the meaning of it all. (So, here goes…)

We walk through the apparently very real, engrossing, confusing, and painful-and-pleasureful landscape of life. As we do, we struggle. Then, slowly, with the careful and gentle help of the The Poet, we become aware that existence is more than this engrossing reality of our work, family, friends, and world.

We see that The Answers are not found “out there” in that reality and certainly not in anyone else’s explanations of existence, meaning, and reality. We find it for ourselves–each of us through our own Self dancing with that reality. And, as Rumi echoes Burgham and Eliot:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, and even the phrase “each other” don’t make any sense.

But who is The Poet? In our drives to do well, to love, to live life, the make a buck, and make a difference, we are both the poet and the poetry–for ourselves and each other.

Vive le poète et la poésie!

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: Yup, we all may need to take a minute or two with this one.

 

Today’s photo credit: Dean Morley cc

todotodo

When You Avoid Your Task List

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
Reading time: 1 min.

We often avoid or even abandon our tasks lists because they get too full. We’ve stuffed them with things we could, should, hafta, or wanna do. And now they sit there, reminders of what we haven’t yet completed. Ugh. No wonder we avoid them.

But that avoiding is costly.

It takes lots of mental and emotional energy to ignore all those to do items, to busy ourselves with the merely urgent, and to fight the feeling that we still aren’t succeeding as we want to here.

There’s a cure, though.

First, remember that we can never get it all done. Ever. There will always be more. Second, remember that our job is not to try to do as much as possible but to choose the best possible, most compelling thing to be doing right now. Third, we can turn our to do lists into not to do lists.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Rob Warde cc