Tell, Tell, Tell, Yell!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
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Tell, tell, tell, yell. (To which we all respond with hide, fight, complain, and deflect.)

Easy but not so effective, is it? What does work?

Build relationship and trust constantly. Agree to argue the points not the personalities. Agree on the why and outcomes before the how, when, and who details. Make sure everyone is heard. Reach true consensus where we all may not agree but we understand and will 100% support it. Agree to be held to account. Hold each other to account.

Hard? You bet. Effective? Whoa, yeah.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: fpdd! 39 via photopin (license)

Why We Can’t Mandate Best Practices 

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Leading
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Sure, when we learn a helpful tool or idea, we want to share it. But we as leaders can’t mandate it. Forcing others to use a tool (a task organization method, say, or a way of remaining calm under fire) that we find personally helpful causes them to focus on pleasing us instead of learning and leveraging.

We can, however, model and coach. Implementing the tool or idea for ourselves will inspire people to investigate and adopt these new ways. When they come to ask us about it, we can coach them through.


In your corner,


PS: The exceptions here are tools that everyone must use for smooth day-to-day operations. For example, having everyone tracking work with clients in a CRM is not, usually, optional. Modeling and coaching are great ways to help people adopt these tools and approaches that we all need to use.

Some Wind In Their Sails

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Will=Our inner game
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When people are down, they can’t be productive and they pull others down with them. Sometimes all they need is some wind in their sails. They need just to be told they are good, doing good work, and that everything is turning out just fine.

You are good. You are doing good work. And everything is turning out just fine.

Now, leader, pass it on.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Andrea L. “Bowman” cc

The Fundamental Challenge for Teams

Posted Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
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The fundamental challenge for any team of two or more people is trust. When there is lack of trust, issues about who does what, who has the ideas, who sets the agenda, and who gets credit bloom into conflict, politics, and poor results.

To build trust in a team, we start with ourselves. We choose to see things differently. We trust that it’s not personal, that there are room and abundance for all here, and that we can handle whatever comes up, when it comes up, should it come it.

When we make that shift, the conflict, politics, and poor results melt away because they have nothing to push against anymore.


In your corner,


PS: Trust me; it’s true.


Today’s photo credit: . .. a.k.a. Dobi. cc


You Can’t Solve Team Conflicts

Posted Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
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We have all seen conflict arise between team members. In many cases, resolution is quick. Sometimes, though, the conflict gets personal. The affected team members complain vocally about or quietly sabotage each other. They form alliances. Simple decisions become “federal cases.” Work grinds to a crawl. Fun evaporates. Everyone suffers.

People then look to us, the leaders (with or without title), to deal with this conflict. They want us to jump in. Each wants us to say she or he is right and the other is wrong.

When we see this dynamic, we must pause. We must notice that these unwanted situations feel bad. To feel better, we may be tempted to jump in with a ruling or solution. But no amount of judgement, finesse, or accommodation will help us navigate these swamps. We solving these conflicts is a “lose” all around.

That’s because these are not our conflicts. They are theirs. The solution is to give the problems back to the people with the problems. Once we are clear that they are responsible for working well with each other, we are free and can then facilitate their solutions.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: afsart via photopin cc

keystone arch

Leader Win-Team Win

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
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Q: Does the leader make the team or the team the leader?

A: Yes. A successful group needs a great team and leader.

Change either and all bets are off.


In your corner,


PS: Q: When a team is not successful, is it the leader or the team that needs to change? A: Yes.

Why Organizations Fail – Another Symptom

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Organizations, Strategy, Success, We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus
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In the previous post, I said that organizations often fail because they are focused on the wrong things.  Symptoms include people arguing over how something gets done, who decides things, and when things get done.

Here is a related symptom of the same problem: protracted arguing over which ideas, projects, strategies, and investments should be chosen.

You can tell a team or organization is focused on the wrong things if you notice they are stuck and

  • arguing about which ideas, strategies etc. are better without first agreeing on how they will evaluate the ideas etc.,
  • unable to select and stick with a strategy,
  • making seemingly random decisions,
  • rejecting certain reasonable ideas out-of-hand, or
  • accepting other reasonable or not-so-reasonable ideas without due consideration.

Have you noticed any of these symptoms recently?  Not to worry, the solution is simple.

Next post: what they need to do instead.

The Leader’s Secret

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter
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A client and friend asked, “How do I get my team to work smarter?”

We could talk about a practical set of steps to take. But the real secret is the finesse needed to have these steps work. The finesse…

  • …is almost impossible to see in action unless you are looking for it.
  • …starts with an unwavering belief in your team members’ worth and ability to achieve despite any evidence to the contrary.
  • …finishes with each of them recognizing–perhaps only subconsciously– that you believe in them.
  • …does NOT mean you pull punches when things go wrong. You don’t sweep things under the rug. You address issues directly and quickly.
  • …does invite them to work smarter, respond to feedback, act, and push back as needed to achieve the goals.

Make the choice to believe in them and you set the stage for success.

To your continued success,