Graduation “season” is well underway. So for the new graduate, let me offer the following:
As you begin your life’s journey, you will come across more things that you will not like before you find that one thing that “clicks.” That search is a good thing because you are learning a lot as you go.
You’re at a great time in your life and it’s time to “get in the game.” Here are several points to keep in mind: Continue reading
Of all the skills the best leaders possess, the most important one – in my opinion – is the ability to listen effectively.
When you listen effectively, you learn the right information. The right information is everything you, as the leader, need to properly assess a situation and in turn, make the right decision to get the right things done. Plus, listening effectively sends the message that “you care.”
Listening is a difficult skill to learn and master because it requires you to use your very best effort and focus to:
- Sort through the clutter and emotion that often is associated with some conversations.
- Ignore the distractions that are a part of all our days.
- Eliminate all the unnecessary and unsolicited opinions of those involved.
- Get the right facts.
There is an old expression “There are two sides to every story and then there’s the truth.” That sums up the challenges associated with being able to listen effectively. Continue reading
Throughout my corporate career, I was always in a leadership position with my team depending on me to do the right thing to help them learn and grow to perform at their best level. Why? Well, simple really, because the single most important factor that will determine the success of your company is the quality of the team you assemble, develop and use. Or, in other words, lead.
Leaders succeed by getting the right results on a timely basis. You achieve those results from the work performed by your team – not you alone. If you accept that, then how you help your team find, develop and properly use their full capabilities to bring out their individual and collective greatness is a leader’s most important task.
As such, a leader can only be as good as the performance of their team. And, the team will only be as good as the limitations the leader places on their own performance. In other words, your team will mimic – repeat – your best work habits and your worst work habits.
So, the question to ask yourself is, “Are you setting the best leadership and example you can for your team?” Continue reading
In today’s challenging business environment, everyone struggles with how to get more done, work harder and longer hours, multi-tasking (multi-dumb!), working faster along with a full range of tricks and shortcuts. Yet despite everyone’s best intentions, the struggle continues every day at desks all around the world.
So, the solution may just be something simpler but challenging for those so set in their ways that they are unwilling to fully embrace the degree of personal change required. Here are the 4 steps – habits – you should consider adopting: Continue reading
Many of you go through life constantly worrying or obsessing over what others might think about you. You go out of your way to be liked; so much so you even compromise on your own values. You try way too hard to be part of who you perceive to be the “in” crowd. Most of these “crowds” really don’t care about you, so you end up being “alone” in a group. Why not be your own “in” crowd and attract the right people to be with? Stop looking for permission to act even though no one’s permission is needed. You are driven to want to be liked versus being respected. Stop sacrificing your own self-esteem and self-worth for others. Be the person who you respect first—the rest becomes easy after that.
Each of us at some point or another deal with “Clutter” – mentally and more frequently in our office – specifically on our desks and work areas. Uncontrolled clutter can be devastating to you and your team, and it sends the wrong message to your customers.
Early in my career I suffered from “clutteritis” (not sure if that’s a word but it fits here). I was at USLIFE and serving as Senior Vice President of Human Resources when I had to admit to and “own” the fact that I was suffering from clutteritis. This revelation took place for me when my boss – the Chairman & CEO – walked into my office took one look around and said, “Chris, if I ever wanted anything lost, I would send it to you!” Then he turned around and left. Multiple files on my desk, more on the floor and yet even more debris on my windowsill. I was losing the clutter battle and didn’t realize it.
That day and those words have stuck with me over the years.
I use this story periodically with my clients. A close cousin to clutteritis and a symptom of it is multi-tasking (or as I call it “multi-dumb”). But being “multi-dumb” will be the subject of a future Wake-Up call. Continue reading
To achieve success, you have to know how to deal with distractions – and we all know that there can be a lot of them. Sometimes we allow them to get us off course. Distractions like moving from crisis to crisis, or being pulled in multiple directions take a serious toll on us mentally, physically and financially.
Here are several things that you can take action on to effectively manage distractions: Continue reading
It’s been said that a day without learning is a day without living. When you stop learning or close your mind to learning, you become stagnant and you die – first intellectually, then emotionally and then…well, you know. As Stephen Covey wrote in his “7 Habits…” piece – always sharpen the saw. Coach Wooden once said, “It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that counts.” Always ask yourself, “What can I do to improve?”
Once you have learned something, practice it until you are good at it. Real success comes from those who practice; in life, there is no room for “winging it”. Coach Lou Carnesca of St. John’s University said it best, “Nothing takes place on the court that doesn’t first take place in practice.”
Let me share with you some things that I have learned over the years… Continue reading