Blog: Leading & Living Courageously

Are you dealing with successes and setbacks effectively?

Whenever you take on a major improvement, breakthrough or transformation in your team or company, it is inevitable that along the way you will have successes and setbacks.  The bigger you play, the bigger your successes and/or setbacks will be. The only way to minimize the setbacks is to play smaller. The only way to increase the successes is to play bigger.  You will have to determine what is more important for you. When it comes to successes and/or setbacks mindset is everything. I was in a meeting with a team that had taken on a big change initiative. We were meeting after two months to review progress and firm up the plan forward. At […]

Stop Prioritizing and Start Promising!

You would think that getting your priorities straight would be the answer to the overwhelming, stressful burden of too many commitments, too little time and scarce resources.  Well, you may want to think again! Setting priorities is definitely a solution, but it isn’t the most powerful and effective one. You write down everything you are supposed to do, want to do, said you would do and have to do. You then take that list and through some form of screening criteria, rank each in order of importance, sense of opportunity, urgency or obligation. You then tackle each item on your to-do list in order of importance starting with the “A” priorities then, as time and capacity […]

How to make your meetings more productive and fulfilling – part two

In my last blog, I stated that one of the most common complaints I hear in organizations is “We have too many meetings.” To coordinate and drive a complex team and business you do need enough points of contacts to make sure plans are clear and people are on the same page. Getting all the stakeholders in one room at one time is often the most effective way to do that. Unfortunately, even though people have the right intent at heart because they don’t know how to run effective conversations people too often leave these meetings feeling that they didn’t produce enough value and progress, and therefore they were a waste of their time. And […]

How to make your meetings more productive and fulfilling – part one

One of the most common complaints I hear in organizations is “we have too many meetings.” I believe in most organizations there are too many meetings. However, I also believe that what is causing people’s frustrations about meetings is the fact that most meetings are ineffective. They don’t produce enough and they don’t leave people with the experience of ‘time well-spent’ and having produced great accomplishments. If you make your meetings much more powerful and effective I believe people will feel differently about “too many meetings.” Here are a few practical tips for making your meetings much more productive and fulfilling: Focus on achieving outcomes, not discussing topics This guideline may seem simple and common […]

How much honesty can you stomach?

If you ask the senior leaders of any organization how things are going in their organization, they would probably give you an upbeat, positive, optimistic description. If you then ask the shop-floor employees, the same question you would probably hear a different story. From many years of experience, I can attest that there is often a dissonance between how senior leaders view their organizational and business reality and how employees do. While senior leaders often paint a rosier picture and claim that things are going well, even if there are issues, their people often highlight all the issues and describe things as not going that well. In addition, employees often express frustrations about their senior […]

Is your team extraordinary? If not, do you know how to make it so?

If you want to know if your team is ORDINARY or EXTRAORDINARY simply ‘put your ear to the ground’ and listen to the internal conversations that are taking place within your team. In an ordinary team when people deal with challenges and new opportunities, the conversations are often oriented around how hard it will be, why it won’t succeed, what are the barriers and problems that will get in the way, and whose fault it is that these problems are in place. Eavesdrop on people’s ‘around the cooler’ conversations and you will most likely hear phrases such as: “This sucks!”,”You would never believe what happened to me today…”, “They only care about themselves…” and “It’s all […]