Skip to main content
Category

Leadership

Thoughts and insights on how to be a better leader.

How to Speed Up Your Team

By Leadership
Leaders are people who want to get things done. That's why we lead teams, organizations, or businesses. We have dreams and visions, goals and objectives, and a finite amount of time in which to operate (i.e., no one lives forever!). And it often means having to work with people to get things done. The question is: what is the best way to speed up your team? Because we want to get things done, we're constantly looking for better ways to do things. Not shortcuts - unless the shortcut produces a better result. Typically, we're refining our systems and structures to be more efficient. The idea is simple: the more efficient we become, the more we will be able to do - and quicker. Now, don't get me wrong - I'm no fan of inefficiency. I believe our organizations can always be more efficient. But there is one tool in a...
Read More

How to Make Better Decisions

By Leadership
Do I start this post with a statistic or a gripping story? Should it be a short post or an expanded article? Focused on relationships, leadership, or organizational behavior? And when should I write it - today or tomorrow? So many decisions. Life is filled with decisions, ranging from simple decisions about having a second or third cup of coffee to more complex decisions that affect cities, states, and countries. Even when we've neurologically automated our decisions, they are still decisions. Hundreds of times throughout the day, I'm making a decision - to check email, when to use the restroom, or how to raise money for a project. With so many decisions facing us every day, you'd think we'd be experts by now at making decisions. But we're not. In some cases, we keep making the same bad decision hoping it will eventually transform itself into a good decision. But...
Read More

Are You Interested or Committed

By Leadership
Years ago, I had a coworker who every Thursday afternoon would say the same thing at the same time: "I've hit my 32." As in 32 hours. As in "my work week is now over and I'm leaving." He would often update us on how many hours (or minutes) he had left before hitting his 32. The first time I heard it, I thought it was funny -- then I realized he wasn't joking. He was serious. In his mind, his job responsibilities expired the moment he hit 32 hours. One time he hit his 32 in the middle of a conversation. "It's your problem now" was his response. As you might imagine, his attitude didn't do much to "win friends or influence people" -- most noticeably among his coworkers. In the words of Ken Blanchard, he was interested but not committed. “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When...
Read More

Why Common Sense Doesn’t Translate to Common Practice

By Leadership
My father once told me something that you have probably heard in some shape or form. He told me, "Ken, if common sense was truly common then more people would have it." As I've thought about this over the years, I've come to realize that some people have truly uncommon sense - they are able to anticipate things others cannot. They see opportunities where others see a blank page or a problem. Many of our innovations and advances have originated from this uncommon outside-the-box thinking. But I say this not to diminish the importance of common sense. Common sense and how it is applied forms the basic building blocks of life, relationships, finances, and so much more. Common sense provides shared pathways of understanding and tools for navigating life. Over thousands of years, the human race has discovered and developed certain operating principles that both save time and lives. Simply...
Read More

Avoiding the Undertow

By Leadership
Have you ever left a conversation and wondered, "What just happened?" Or, you leave feeling worse or more discouraged or even angry. You may have been swept up into the undertow of someone else's emotions. An undertow is a current of water that lies below a peaceful surface. It's a powerful current that can sweep the strongest of swimmers out to sea. And you may not know it's there until it's too late. Truth be told, there are people who would love for you to swim in the undertow of their dysfunctions. Their pity needs a party and you're invited. But just say no. Getting swept up in the undertow is different than feeling genuine empathy and compassion. Empathy and compassion are healthy and can lead the person towards healing. The undertow will just pull you further and further down. Experience and Background 25+ years of senior leadership experience masters...
Read More