You accomplish a lot!

Follow Roger Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

If you are like me, and I bet you are, you start each day with a list of things you must accomplish. You have your coffee, review your list, and sit down to start the work required to check off items. Then, the phone rings, or maybe it is an email, or a boss or coworker stops by. There is something new that MUST be done immediately. This  scenario plays out repeatedly; one after another new urgent things that you must handle hit your desk. You look at your clock and its 3 p.m. and nothing on your list has been done. Perhaps you complete a couple of items before the end of the day. But, your list, for the most part, remains, and many items are carried over until the next day.
Do you end your day reviewing your list and feeling like you failed? You failed to accomplish what you set out for yourself. Despite being organized enough to plan your day, you failed to complete much of what you expected of yourself.
Do not despair; you are not alone. Most people end their days exactly as I described above.
I propose a new list, an accomplishments list. At the end of the day, list the things you did accomplish. Review this new list. Ask yourself the following:

  • Did you do things not on you list, but that needed to be done to push toward your goals? If so, perhaps the problem is that you need to be better at making your to do list.
  • Did you do things that you could have  delegated? Another place you can improve.
  • Did you do anything that really was less important than the things on your to do list? Learn to say no, or to add things to a later day’s to do.

Keep a daily accomplishments list. Retain the list and review it occasionally. Some items on the list will be things to know when you are in a review with your leadership, or to add to your resume. I bet that with an accomplishments list you grow at managing your time, and that yo end each work day feeling better about yourself and what you got done.

Share with your social networks Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Know no

Follow Roger Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

Know when to say “no”. We all have limited time. When asked to do something, or to help someone, think about why you would say yes. Think about what you have to give up to be able to say “yes” to a  request. Does it take you away from your family? Does it take you away from something more important, something that affects other people? I am not talking about being selfish or putting your needs before the needs of others. Think through your answer when asked to help.

If you want to know “no” better, here is a great blog by Peter Bregman on the Havard Business Review site, http://blogs.hbr.org/bregman/2013/02/nine-practices-to-help-you-say.html

Share with your social networks Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

Follow Roger Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

I recently observed a conversation between colleagues, just prior to a meeting we were all in. In this conversation one colleague mentioned an idea for the company. During the meeting the colleague who was told the idea mentioned it, without crediting the other colleague. It is human nature to want to make oneself look good in front of peers. In the case above, the person taking the idea did not look better to those in the know. However, if he had included an attribution, he would look good for sharing the idea and being fair. Building up colleagues is a sign of character strength.

Share with your social networks Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Presence

Follow Roger Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

Do you want people to listen when you speak? Do you want them to react? I am guessing you do.

Think of the folks who command respect, who, for you, have charisma. I don’t mean the famous folks. I mean people with whom you interact regularly. Why do you listen when they speak? The next time you have an interaction with this person, pay attention to how they are reacting to you. More than likely they give you their attention.

If you want people to listen when you speak, listen when they speak. Let them know you are truly present in the conversation. If your mind wanders, bring yourself back. Make eye contact. Ask questions relevant to what they are saying.

Presence is a learned skill, and is difficult. Master it and you will command respect.

Share with your social networks Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Learning from #DunkInTheDark

Follow Roger Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

Oreo's Superbowl #DunkInTheDark

The big winner at this year’s SuperBowl was Oreo, as far as marketing, that is. In case you don’t know (How could you not?), there was a partial power outage at this year’s SuperBowl. Quick thinking Oreo marketers tweeted the above within minutes. The tweet was retweeted 14,260 times. Kudos to those marketers. But, even greater kudos to Oreo for empowering someone to make that incredible marketing happen. No committee had to approve the ad. Someone saw an opportunity, and had the power to make it happen. When people are empowered to make decisions, good things happen.

Share with your social networks Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Don’t be afraid of, but master Silence

Follow Roger Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

You can hear, and say much in silence. Our worlds are so full. We always have input. Every second is filled with TV, the internet, social media, the list is never ending. We are conditioned to feel that our world must be this way.

But, sometimes it is good to be quiet, listen, wait.

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”
― Will_Rogers

 

I was recently an observer in a negotiation session. On one side of the table was a master, across from him a novice. The novice spoke constantly, asking and answering his questions. The master would make a point, then wait, not very long, for the novice would immediately start speaking again. The master had the novice handing him everything he wanted, and more.

When you get the chance, observe a really good speaker. Observe how they use silence. She will make a point, then step back and wait, letting her point sink in. Silence in speech conveys intelligence and mastery of subject.

When we are in negotiations, or speaking in front of an audience, 5 seconds seems like an eternity. Our minds race. We are thinking about a multitude of things at the same time. But, to everyone else 5 seconds of silence is a chance their minds to absorb what was just said. Or, in negotiations, silence is a chance to make decisions, possibly to concede points.

Silence is uncomfortable. We must learn to be comfortable with it.

Share with your social networks Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Highlighter caps and changing perspective

Follow Roger Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

Earlier today I was highlighting some lines in a printed report I have to hand out in a meeting. I was merrily highlighting when I noticed the cap of my highlighter was missing, I had stuck it onto the back side of the marker. Since I am easily distracted, I HAD to find that cap. I searched all around my desk, on the floor, in my desk drawers, everywhere! Finally, I walked to the other side of my desk, looked back where I had been sitting, and there, under my chair, was the evasive cap. I just had to look from a different point of view.

Isn’t problem-solving often like my episode with the highlighter cap? We search for a solution for far too long. We think we are looking everywhere for the answer. However, many times we limit our search to our current perspective, and to within our comfort zone.

Next time you are faced with a problem, or a decision, step back; look from a different angle. Imagine you are a different person; perhaps a person from a different era. How would that person approach the issue? What if you change the nature of the problem?

If we can learn to change our perspective, many times we will find the answer is quite obvious.

Share with your social networks Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Don’t be a survey of one

Follow Roger Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

What do I mean by ‘Don’t be a survey of one’? When faced with a decision, be certain to fully vet any preconceived notions that may be based on your own point of view. Don’t assume that because you always or never do something, that everyone else also does or does not. Change your perspective, look at your choices from all angles. Consider how your competitor may view the choices.

Share with your social networks Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Opinions, Dedication, and Forward Movement

Follow Roger Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

When a leader seeks council from her team, does she get truth, or does the team tell her what they think she wants to hear? Sometimes lieutenants answer a request for an opinion with reinforcement of their leader’s position. Seth Godin said in his post on the subject, “If you want to get things moving at a meeting or in an online forum, start discussing what to order for lunch. Even the most reticent attendee has something to contribute.” But, when it something of import, most folks are quiet, or agreeable.

If a leader asks her team for council, that leader must sincerely want to know their thoughts.  After hearing the various ideas, weigh each and make a decision. Don’t look for validation through opinion requests.

Most decisions do not require input. Leaders are where they are because of a history of good decisions. If you are in a leadership position, make decisions boldly – whether they are based on opinions from your lieutenants or on your experience, insight, or even gut feeling. If you are on a team and are asked your opinion, give your opinion and give it boldly.

If you are leading me and ask my opinion, know you will get honest feedback even if it is not what you want to hear. I will argue and fight for my point of view to my fullest ability. If  you decide to proceed against my opinion, know I will follow your direction and will drive your idea as strongly as if it were my own.

Share with your social networks Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The role of a Leader – Vision

Follow Roger Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrss

“You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” 

— Mark Twain

A common goal for a team drives forward momentum. As a leader, one must know where it is his team is headed. More importantly, he must continuously, clearly and concisely convey that goal to the team.

I am not talking about a dream. A dream is more vague, less thought-out than is vision. Vision is concrete and precise. Don’t get me wrong; dreams are important. Dreams can easily evolve into vision. But, vision is much more difficult than dreams.

  • Vision must be bold, but within grasp
  • A leader must continuously and enthusiastically remind his team of the vision
  • Vision must inspire the team
  • Vision is necessary for focus

Leading a team without having a vision, or without conveying that vision is akin to taking part in an archery competition blindfolded and with no target. With no target, you do not know where to aim. A great leader removes the blindfolds, gives the best possible bow, and points the team to the target – repeatedly.

Go and lead with bold vision!

Share with your social networks Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail