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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...
How to Handle Difficult Personalities at Work

How to Handle Difficult Personalities at Work

You know the type, the guy or gal who is always pointing their finger at someone else when a mistake is made, or when the project is stalled. How annoyed do you get when there is no accountability, no responsibility for what is happening? I tend to almost hyperventilate! I want to yell “What is the matter with you? Why can’t you at least say maybe, just maybe, you play a part in the problem?” Yet, as a boss I know (and of course you know) that yelling and showing your utter frustration won’t work. So, what to do? ASK ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONS It goes like this: Boss: “I see that the project is running behind and I am concerned about when it will be completed.” Direct Report: “Well, John was out for several vacation days and Barbara said she was in overdrive with another project and they did not live up to their part in the project. It’s not my fault.” Boss: “I know ‘stuff happens’ however the project is already late. What can YOU do to get it back on track?” Direct Report: “I just have to wait for them I can’t do anything till they do their jobs.” ***** Now this is where you can help your employee learn and grow rather than just stay with the blame game. Boss: “What ideas can we come up with together right now to get the project back on track? Let’s brain storm. Come on, give me some of your good and creative thoughts and I will help where I can. You start.” ****** This is exactly what is needed...

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Knowledge of human relationships no longer belongs only to the psychology crowd. It belongs to all of us. Every leader or emerging leader in today’s workplace needs to look below the surface and answer the age old question when someone shoots himself in the foot “Why did he just do what he did?” We need to know why she just put her foot in her mouth. Why they have “egg” on their faces. If you are ever to deal with office politics (and that takes place whether you are in a traditional corporation, an entrepreneurial start-up, a family firm, or a non-profit association) you better get a handle on what makes people tick. FIRST, look inside. That’s right. Look at what flips your lid, what sets your blood boiling, what makes you madder than hell. Once you can begin to name the people and situations that get you hopping mad you can decide what to do about them. NEXT, pay attention to those around you. How do they respond when someone sets their teeth on edge, when they feel torn to shreds, when they feel like a knife was shoved in their back? Once you have learned to look at the interactions that occur in all human relationships and figured out how to decode the mixed messages that are always at the heart of office politics you become the real leader you have always wanted to be. That’s right! Learn to see how behavior patterns you learned (and everyone else has also) in your original organization, the family play out at work and you are in the driver’s seat....

Leadership, Violence, and Vigilance: Ray Rice, Roger Goodell, and the NFL

Remember where you were on September 11, 2001? Now, 13 years later can you answer this question: how did it change the way you see the world? For many it activated fear to a new level, for others the desire to crush the enemy, whoever they are. For some, it was the beginning of thinking about life and what matters in a deeper more holistic way. What about YOU? Is it a more violent world? Or has social media merely given us access to what goes on underneath the superficial that has been around, since people were in caves and tribes? People hurting and hating people; you would think we would have learned new ways of resolving conflicts by now. It just ain’t so. I believe we have been looking in all the wrong places for ways to resolve conflict. We still use “JUBLA” (Judging, Blaming and Attacking) as the way out of our discontent. My “Total Leadership Connections™”Program was to be launched on September 11, 2001. Of course we had to wait. And last month we started our 59th program. What I teach, what is missing, is that we do not look deeply enough as to why we punch and push and pull each other physically or verbally and therefore emotionally. Now, Ray Rice is on the chopping block for domestic violence. Comments are flying to flame the fire to fire Commissioner Roger Goodell. Then it will be time to go after the whole NFL. And when that is over there will be others, somewhere, anywhere we can judge, blame, and attack. Here is what we are missing: what forms us is family, culture,...

Corporate Team Building: Creative Team Building Exercises

Newest research, hot off the press is that we live longer by standing and walking around. So many of us are chained to computers and sit, sit, sit all day long. More stand up desks are being sold and even ones that are attached to a tread mill. Everyone knows being thin and rich is good. Well, we won’t get there if we do not start moving around more. The research suggests that we should walk around while on the phone or at least take breaks every half hour and get a glass of water of a cup of coffee that makes us have a bit of a break. Here are some other ways to exercise at work. Hey do you… 1. Jump to conclusions? 2. Fly off the handle? 3. Push your luck? 4. Dodge responsibility? 5. Run down your co-workers? Guess there are now other ways to stay fit besides just plain old walking around. Seriously though, we are a species that is meant to run and walk and move around. So, how about setting the timer on your computer and take a stretch break every fifteen minutes or half hour. Your body will thank...

Leadership Development: Breaking the Mold with Giants and Glee

  San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy refers to his team, now getting ready for the World Series as a “bunch of misfits.” Huh? They played super ball in their series against the Phillies. Misfits?   Switch to Glee, the hit TV show that is capturing the minds and hearts of our nation; the story of a high school singing club full of misfits. These kids get along best with each other, having to do end runs around the popular kids.   Back to the Giants; lots of those who played so well in the series that just ended were cast out of other teams. Their visionary General Manager caught lots of flack all the while saying stuff like, “there is a plan, you’ll see” and he had to believe in those he chose to join the team. Not surprising that their informal song became Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin”; and they are doing just what the song suggests!   The common theme is that those who seem at odds with the traditional image of success can make it happen, can come in first; and win our hearts in the process. This is more than merely the David and Goliath saga; it is the beginning of a trend that will become more and more important in the coming years.   Thanks to Wall Street, our celebrity addicted culture, and down and dirty dealings in the political arena we are seeing that what looks good on the surface is not to be trusted. The tide may be turning to those who are real, who have true grit, play their hearts out,...