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Prioritize!

Prioritize!

When your technical skills are great and you really care about your constituents you should be getting lots of kudos for your work. Right? Well…not so fast. Number one is, you MUST prioritize your RELATIONSHIPS. So often people skills are what creates a limiting career path. Now, what exactly do I mean? I mean YOUR personality may be the limiting factor. Here is an example: Jim, the head of client services in a large company was in charge of buying and placing new furniture for the open space casual meeting area. There was a team meeting and the team decided what they wanted. Hear me…the TEAM DECIDED. They even picked the fabric colors and decided how to have the furniture lend in a soothing way with the colors of the walls. All well and good. Almost! Then Jim, who took being the head of client services to heart, spent time rethinking the plan. He called the team together with his new ideas. They voted and still wanted what they had picked. After all, this was a TEAM DECISION. New furniture was delivered and placed in the open space, for, oh about a month. Jim hated the way it looked. He called some maintenance men to change this furniture with some that was in a long forgotten work room. How did his team handle this? Was there a conflict resolution meeting? Did Jim lose his job? Was there a battle of the decorating mavens? None of the above. Jim became the butt of many jokes, some funny, some vicious, some clever. Was that the end of it? Not quite. When...
Leadership Development, Ego Stroking, “Atta Boy’s”, and Truth Telling

Leadership Development, Ego Stroking, “Atta Boy’s”, and Truth Telling

I stood at the back of a fast food restaurant waiting for my colleague to get his coffee so we could sit in the summer weather when it isn’t even spring. My mind was in that “Thank God It’s Friday” mode when suddenly I found my ears circling around to eavesdrop on two employees. “I see you have your stupid smiling face on the wall as the employee of the month”. “Yeah, it’s such a bunch of bull”. “What did the manager say to you”? “He gave me a certificate and we had our picture taken for the national news bulletin. Not much else. We shook hands and he told me to keep up the good work. I wanted to ask what the good work was but he was gone before I could get a sentence together.” “Is that it?” “Yes, that’s it. My girlfriend came in and gave me a hug and some of my neighbors swatted me on the rump. I actually found the whole thing a bit over the top. It really means nothing; just looks good for the establishment. Did I learn anything? Nah”. I couldn’t resist. I went over and asked permission to ask a few questions. They shrugged and waited. What I wanted to know was what would have made a difference in receiving the employee of the month award. They both agreed that the ego stroking gets nauseating and it has no lasting effect. What they wanted was some truth telling about what they were good at and what they could do to grow since they obviously did not think their careers...
Rush Limbaugh Being Told to “SHUT UP”

Rush Limbaugh Being Told to “SHUT UP”

Maybe, just maybe the era of anything goes is ending. Maybe, just maybe the guy with the loud mouth and no couth will be put out to pasture. It’s about time.   I have listened to Mr. Limbaugh, on occasion, to understand his appeal. I have always turned him off with a sense of deep sadness. Oh sure, he has made millions. However, inside that large frame is a tortured little child who is screaming out to be heard by being outrageous and throwing hissy fits. Maybe those who adore him are also stuck at the age of…. well, possible two or three. Time to grow up. Click here to read Rupudiating Limbaugh: A Matter of Integrity, No Politics By Menachem Rosensaft Sylvia Lafair’s comment: Well said. However there is one small edit. President Obama did not stand up on the side of “the weak” when he called that “strong” young woman, Ms. Fluke to speak with her. I believe he was merely underlining what needed to be said, that we will not accept disrespect and that the world is changing to be more decent.The Rush Limbaugh’s of the world are living on borrowed time and will soon be silenced by disdain. Their form of “any press is better than no press” is getting old and stale. The patterns of anything goes behavior that has been around for decades is ready to transform to truth telling (it’s always OUR OWN truth) with dignity. What I teach in my Total Leadership Connections Program is that “telling the truth is NOT spilling your guts”! It is a disciplined art form that...
Leadership Training: Work is NOT a Rehab Facility

Leadership Training: Work is NOT a Rehab Facility

When you have a lazy employee, one who has excuses for everything, who acts like a victim when you point out work not done that needs to be done and all they do is make excuses; then what? I am asked all the time in my coaching sessions, “When do you finally let someone go”? Let’s go back to yesterday and the employee who could not get work done because the cat was sick. The first thing you do is ask accountability questions. Remember, I suggested you go into a room with a door and close the door. This is not to keep anyone captive. It is to create a contained space where there are few distractions, few ways to wiggle out of the “face the music” moment. Leadership development training programs should all have a module where you have to practice asking the tough questions and then sit in silence waiting for answers and not help to rescue the other person. Okay, if the questions fall on deaf ears, then what. REMEMBER THE RULE OF THREE Sometimes it does take a bit of remedial work to get the point across, so give the employee a second and a third chance to step up to the plate. However, by the third meeting if nothing is really changing and the “cat” is still sick, then it is time for action. Performance improvement plans work. They are like a red flag that time is running out. Make them factual, specific, with time lines. And you can “unhire” if you must. Often employers who are caring and helpful have a difficult time...

Real Leaders Practice Safe Stress ™

  Stress and anxiety have been at the boiling point for the last year, and depending where you live, the weather has been the proverbial icing on the cake.   As a leader in a company, your health is vital to keep the engines of your business revved and going smoothly. Sadly, when stress hits the hot button, most of us forget about eating right, sleeping soundly and exercising regularly.   More and more, usually fit executives are putting on weight, which can drive insulin levels up, causing worries about diabetes. Grabbing that handful of pretzels or peanuts for lunch or feasting on cold pizza day after day, you increase the chances of higher blood pressure.   Research indicates that losing your job can send your health spiraling downwards. Even more complicated is the fact that those whose jobs are safe feel the impact and also are having cardiac and other stress-related symptoms.   Eating, sleeping, exercise; most executives know what to do, and in easier times, do it. So, what can we learn from these complex times? The first question is: how do we maintain a healthy attitude?   Attitude is the driver!  And attitude is more complex that just having a positive outlook. It means learning how to stay in the “Safe Stress Zone™ ” and learning how to create a work setting that is not too extreme in being too flexible or too rigid. In “Don’t Bring It to Work”  there are tips and tools for leaders to create a balanced setting for your workforce.   You can also send an e-mail to maryjane@ceoptions.com, and we...

Leadership and Early Adapters

The following video has gone viral and is lots of fun to watch. It teaches some good lessons about the “first follower” as a leader. These early adapters are visionaries in their own right, and help make a movement happen.   In the video, we are talking about dancing at the beach: lots of fun and freedom and spontaneity. I would like to present a question and would love responses from all who are thinking about the ethics of followership.                                 WHO ARE YOU WILLING TO FOLLOW????   We have become so addicted to sound bites and quick, short answers that depth is replaced by clever.   Think about it: dancing on the beach, sure, what the heck, it’s fun, fast and finished.   Now ponder something that has more staying power, more meat to it…….   Would you follow the leader if it polarizes and excludes?  And more importantly, when situations become murky and the movement becomes dissident, out of control, then what? Would you stand up and say “stop?”   Please send your answers to info@sylvialafair.com and receive a copy of my white paper on “Why It’s So Tough to...