Showing posts from January, 2018

Failing Does Not Make You A Failure

It is Super Bowl week so there is a lot of talk about the upcoming football game. Media people are running around trying to find any angle they can to find an interesting story. One of the most interesting stories in all of professional football is the ongoing success of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Whether you like the Patriots or not you can't help but be amazed at the run those two have had in their careers. Many would argue that Bill Belichick is the most successful NFL coach in history, and it is hard to argue with five championships. But what is even more interesting is that his first job as a head coach was with the Cleveland Browns where he only had one winning seasons in the five he was with the team. Bonus fact, his defensive coordinator was Nick Saban for the first four seasons. Many would argue Saban is one of the greatest college football coaches of all time. The point is, that before two coaches became the best in the business they failed. They din't stop there

Stop Whining - Get After It

If you like to feel inadequate in comparing yourself to others one person you definitely want to follow is Jocko Willink ( @jockowillink ). He is an ex-Navy Seal who wakes up at 4:30 every morning to work out and is unmoved by excuses, no matter how good you think they are. He entertains random ask me anything sessions when waiting in an airport and I find myself laughing at the blunt, short responses that are obvious yet profound. I guarantee a fair number of answers will involve steak (best meal/dessert/snack or compliment to steak) and burpees (favorite exercise, answer to boredom or about anything). My favorite though, was his response to the question, "What do you do if you get stuck in a rut?" "I get unstuck." Following him is part entertainment and part daily reminder that most obstacles we think we face are really just that, a thought in our head and not a real obstacle. Usually the person that is holding us back is the person we see in the mirror. Tell yo

LEAD - Love, Effort, Attitude, Discipline.

I love social media. Well, I love a part of social media, the part that directs you to inspiring nuggets and words of wisdom, all the rest of the garbage I could care less about. Recently I came across Levi Nelson, or  @RLeviNelson on Twitter. Many of his posts have #LEAD in them which stands for Love, Effort, Attitude and Discipline. I love what these four words represent. If you want to be a leader, a really great leader, you have to have these four things in your life. You need to love the people you lead, if you don't care about them you won't do whatever you need to for them to succeed. You need to put in the effort, nothing in life worth having ever came easy, no matter how easy it looks for others. You need to have a positive attitude. You need to have discipline because there are no off days. I probably realize more today that too often we see great leadership as charismatic and inspirational. It would be nice to have those qualities and it certainly helps to get peo

Thoughts On The Annual Review

As a manager it is the time of year that I get to go through the process of writing and completing performance reviews on those that I get the privileged to lead. I see far too many managers go through this process with dread and annoyance. If your attitude towards doing performance reviews sounds like that I think it is a reflection of you as a manager and you might want to consider why you are in a management position in the first place. As a manager of people you are entrusted with the development and support of the people that report to you. It is your job to do everything you can to help make them successful and achieve their goals. Their annual performance review is the time to do that. Make sure you set aside time and treat it as the most important task you have done all year, because it probably is. If you are an employee that feels you are subjected to the annual review process, you need to realize that you aren't helping the process. As a manager, it is so much easier a

Can't Get That Song Out Of My Head

In my last post I talked about our responsibility in making sure our message is understood. To change our presentation to make sure everyone gets the message. But that is only when your message isn't understood. If the message is clear then it changes to make sure everyone has taken it into their hearts and minds. That they live it out every day. Think of a company that tries to drive home their core values or a parent that tries to reinforce family rules. The best way to do that is to keep the words the same. To be a broken record. Get it to the point that they sing your message like the song you can't get out of your head.

Beating Your Head Against The Wall

One of the biggest complaints that I hear from people I work with is how they feel people don't listen to them. You wouldn't believe the number of times someone says, "I told them about that." They are frustrated because they continue to repeat it over and over again and they just don't get it. They continue to have the same problems and just don't understand why things don't improve. One of the most valuable skills you can have, no matter what your job, is to be able to take a problem that people feel stuck with and get things moving. When a group feels frustrated because someone doesn't get it, figure out how to step back and do whatever it takes to get everyone on the same page as to what the problem is. Most people think that it is important to be able to provide solutions. That is important, but before you can think about a solution you need to understand what the problem is. It isn't just about you understanding the problem though, the wh

Challenges Of Teams And The Teammate You Choose To Be

Teams are funny because you don't have a lot of control over who your teammates are. Work teams, sports teams, family teams - you can choose to quit and find a different team, sometimes. Decide if that is a better fit for you out there. But there is no way to know if you like everyone on the team, let alone if you can be productive teammates. Any team you choose to be a part of there is a chance not everyone likes you. It is hard to tell some times with the different personality types and how they interact with you and the rest of the team. Those that don't say hardly anything, they sit in a meeting but don't say a word. Do they agree or disagree? You never feel like you know where you stand. Those that act nice but you know don't like you. They smile, converse and seem fully engaged, but you know how they are and the way they talk about other teammates. What do they say behind others backs and how do they act to them?  Those that want what is best for the team but

Leaders Need Leaders

There are many days as a manager I feel like I'm a good manager, but a terrible leader. Managing to me is making sure the work gets done. Does everyone know their tasks and accomplish them? Is the paperwork done, the reports written and the performance evaluated? If I'm being honest it isn't that hard to be a manager. But leadership is so much more difficult. Leadership is inspiring people to work together to achieve a common goal. It is easy to have a goal, but a common goal? Too many people have their own goals or they really just don't care, they just want to do their job and collect their paycheck. That is where leadership comes in. It is one thing to know what the goal is, but to support it, care about it and do what is needed to help achieve the goal? It is so much harder. It is why I think there are a lot of people in management positions that aren't very good leaders. All managers aren't leaders, but you don't have to be a manager to be a leader. An

One Word For 2018

It is that time of year again, when people start making many goals and resolutions for what they want to get done in 2018. Most are lost or forgotten before January is over. We make it so complicated that it is impossible to remember them all and achieve them throughout the year. A couple of years ago I came across the idea of One Word to define a theme for an entire year for you to focus on. A single word that becomes a focal point. I've done it for the last couple of years and it is so easy to remember, so simple to focus on and definitely life changing. In 2016 my word was Move, in 2017 it was Fire. I'm still working on what that word will be for 2018 but it has me anticipating what a great year 2018 will be. When you look to 2018, I would encourage you to find your One Word. A word to have Courage, Passion, Love or Joy. A word to help you Encourage, Listen, Focus or simply cause a Ruckus. Great things are ahead for you in the new year. There is much that you are meant to