Effective LEADers are Conductors…not One-Man Bands

Effective Leaders are conductors who can empower, nurture, and enable others to perform and contribute at their best.

The musicians are on stage, each one preparing and tuning their instruments for the performance ahead. The cacophony from all the other musicians doing the same sounds nothing like the musical score in front of them. This process continues until the Conductor takes the stage. Soon after, with the baton raised, all are poised to begin. As the Conductor brings the baton down, what was noise is magically transformed into music. As the score progresses each orchestral section is queued into the performance by the Conductors baton.  Never does the Conductor stop, sit down, and begin playing an instrument.

Leaders are not one-man bands.

Effective Leaders are conductors who can empower, nurture, and enable others to perform and contribute at their best. This is best accomplished by allowing all team members to work at the edge of their abilities, constantly expanding their skills, knowledge, and abilities. The effective leader embraces this paradigm by letting go and trusting others. There is no time or place for micro-managing here.

The best businesses are not one-man shows.

Letting others contribute maximally enables an organization to magnify their results, achieving what would have been impossible individually. Amazingly, this isn’t even the best part. By allowing others the freedom and opportunity to learn and contribute together, they too begin to exercise their Leadership muscles.


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What Condition is Your Condition in?

Take care of yourself.  Do what makes you happy and enables you to rest and recharge…

 

As Leaders, we are concerned about so many things…

  • how is our organization doing?
  • are we meeting the needs, wants, and desires of our Stakeholders?
  • is our financial health strong?
  • are my decisions sound?
  • do I need more information or less information?
  • should be doing more, or less?
  • are there opportunities I may have missed?
  • is our strategy solid?
  • are my employees happy in their workplace?
  • am I missing Blind Spots?

One question that is not asked frequently enough is…

How are YOU doing?

Just like the airline flight attendants tell us before every flight…

“Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.”

If we don’t put our mask on first, we will very likely not be able to help others that are counting on us.

Remember…

Take care of yourself.  Do what makes you happy and enables you to rest and recharge; exercise, good nutrition, meditation, socializing, time for creative activities are just a few ideas to get you started.

I found this on Spotify…fans of The Big Lebowski may recognize it too!

The Title and Lyric says is well…

“I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in”

The First Edition

So…what condition is YOUR condition in?

 

Going Slow in the Fast Lane

Are we or someone we know Driving Slow in the Fast Lane? Is this slowing others up or hindering their progress?

 

Reading time- 1 min 22 sec

I drive the interstate frequently during my daily commute.

At times it can become a monotonous and hypnotizing experience. I spend the drive time listening to music, podcasts, books on tape, along with thinking and planning my day. Finally, you look around and realize that you don’t remember all the exits you just passed or how long you were deep in thought. It’s crazy how that happens.

It’s like you are on autopilot.

It must happen to others, too, because I encounter a driver going Slow in the Fast Lane, the passing lane every day. And it’s not just cars; trucks are even worse offenders. How could a tractor-trailer driver think they could go “fast” uphill, in the passing lane, yet never do?

The question is, how do I get back up to speed?

So, this got me thinking, having noticed similar scenarios in business with co-workers and employees. They, too, can end up, somehow, going Slow in the Fast lane, hindering the progress of those around them.

The way I see it, there are three possible solutions to remove this obstacle.

The Selfish Way: speed up, swerve around them and leave them behind. In the workplace, this might show itself as manipulation, micromanaging, drama and gossip.

The Get-Out-of-My-Way Way: ride their bumper, flash your high beams and wait for them to change lanes. Highly critical co-workers who exclude and ignore others are demonstrating a Get-Out-of-My-Way mindset.

The Awareness Way: the individual realizes they are hindering others and either speeds up or switches lanes. At work, this is a growth mindset, open to learning, coaching, changing, and helping others achieve their goals.

Do you recognize any of these individuals or behaviors in your workplace?

Are we or someone we know Driving Slow in the Fast Lane? Is this slowing others up or hindering their progress? Are our actions, unbeknownst to ourselves, preventing others from accelerating in their lanes?

Awareness is the first step; taking action is next.

What is your plan to accelerate your Team?

I am asking for a friend.

What’s on your “Do-Not-Do” list?

The items on the Do-Not-Do list are ACTions as compared to tASKS on a To-Do List.

What, a Do Not Do List?

We are all “list” makers; after all, that is how we get the important things done. We can’t cross something off our list unless it first makes it onto the list. Our typical list would contain “prompts” and “reminders” of what tasks, chores, duties, along with other items, need to be done. Our minds are so jam-packed and overflowing with information that to ensure these important items are completed, they “live” in a special place; Our “To-Do” list.

Looking at the opposite, the flip side of things can often be more powerful and revealing. In this instance, let’s consider the juxtaposed “Do-Not-Do” list.

Do-Not-Do List.

Don’t…

  • procrastinate…others depend on you.
  • delay decisions…remember, ACTion is the hard part.
  • micromanage…let your people work to their full potential.
  • do what others can do better than you…your time can never be recaptured.
  • make things more complex…

    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci

  • talk before listening…let others speak; you will be amazed at what they say.
  • put yourself first…because you think you are right does not make it so (HiPPO).
  • spend more than you earn…do this, and you may work for a very long time.
  • solve everyone’s problems…others learn when they solve their problems.
  • break a promise…
    “I Meant what I said and said what I meant.”  Dr. Seuss
  • follow the crowds..rarely are they smarter than you.
  • compare yourself to others…

    “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde

  • add more to your To-Do List…more is not better; better is better.
  • Say “Yes” automatically…remember your Do Not Do List (Saying No).
  • Major in the Minor…it’s the little things that are most distracting.
  • strive for being busy…being productive is a better choice.
  • (add yours here…)
  • (and here…)

There you go, my Do-Not-Do list, at least for now. This list is less task-specific, acting more like a “filter” to your To-Do list.

The items on the Do-Not-Do list are ACTions as compared to tASKS on a To-Do List.

With time, as one becomes better, more productive, more accountable, and more goal-orientated many of the items on this list will become habitual and automatic. Just imagine how your focus, productivity, and time management will soar while the distractions that “clog up” your day will disappear.

So…what’s on your Do-Not-Do List?

Dealing with Difficult Employees: Nip it in the bud!

People rise and fall to meet your level of expectations for them.
John C. Maxwell

It’s human nature to avoid what is painful, regardless if the pain is physical, emotional, financial, or even at work.

Do any of these sound familiar in your workplace?

  • tardiness
  • bickering
  • absenteeism
  • micromanaging
  • backstabbing
  • employee turnover
  • rules are not followed
  • you walk on eggshells
  • cliques have formed
  • employees team up against others
  • fingerpointing
  • the workplace is stressful and chaotic
  • you move or reassign a problematic employee
  • you have a Drama
  • Gossip
  • you are held hostage by employees
  • people say one thing yet do another
  • requests are ignored
  • poor morale
  • Finally, things appear to be getting worse rather than better?
If any of the above are present in your workplace, then it is time for ACTion.

People rise and fall to meet your level of expectations for them.
John C. Maxwell

This dysfunction prevents your organization from achieving its goals. Even worse, if left unchecked, it could create a hostile work environment. Your employees know precisely what is going, who the instigator is, and are watching you! You must ACT.

You have two choices.
1. ACT, quell the dysfunction, unit your Team, improve morale and get back on track to serving your clients and achieving your goals.
2. inACTion shouts even louder, demonstrating to everyone your inability to lead, your favoritism and selfishness, and your disregard for your Team and the Clients you serve.

The cure is ACTion!

Without a doubt, managing your workforce and engaging in difficult conversations are some of the most demanding and most challenging tasks a Leader will face.

To begin, set employee expectations and hold everyone accountable. Yes, this is much easier said than done! These are complex tasks, but delaying them magnifies the dysfunction and makes the “cure” even harder.
To make these conversations easier, stick to the facts. The facts are always more precise and fresher in everyone’s mind when current.

Don’t dig up things from the past.

 

Use the following formula:
1. State the employee’s defined job duties, your expectations.
2. Review the employee’s present behavior and the adverse effect it has on the business.
3. Coach the employee on the desired behavior and outcome.
4. Schedule a time to monitor their progress, that’s accountability.

Remember: Attitude Reflects Leadership, always!

Once your Team sees you are taking action and holding people accountable, they will take notice. After all, aligning and motivating your workforce is what an effective Leader does.

I/O- Input to Output- How is Yours?

More is not always better.  Better is better.

 

So, how is your Input to Output.?

If you are like most people today your I to O ratio is magnitudes greater than one.  We receive inputs from so many sources in our connected and web-enabled world.  Sometimes though the inputs are so numerous that we can’t possibly interpret or make sense out of them.

More is not always better.  Better is better.

Somehow we must filter all these inputs so we can produce an output that is valuable to us and what we wish to accomplish.

Stop seeking more and more complexity like a Rube Goldberg Machine.

Seek Quality Inputs rather than Quantity.  This way you have a fighting chance to obtain the Output you desire.

One day you might get more Out than was put In!

 

 

Engine or Caboose? Lead or Follow? Which one are you?

The magic happens at the Engine, seeing what lies ahead and choosing when, where, and how you will get there.

Engine or Caboose?

Lead or Follow?

It’s a simple choice, one or the other. There is no middle ground.

How often do you follow someone else’s recommendation or idea? It could be a product choice, investment idea, or business decision.

At times being the Caboose feels safer. It’s easier to be pulled along, not having to determine where, when, and how fast you will travel.

The magic happens at the Engine, seeing what lies ahead and choosing when, where, and how you will get there.

You can’t lead from behind.

Information: What can you Remove and not Notice?

We can filter the information we receive and consume in much the same way to help reduce Noise and make the information Signal clearer.

We are inundated with information and data every day. With information, more is not always better.

Every day we use data in the form of sound and images, which have undergone some form of data compression to make transmission, use, and storage more efficient.

We have GIF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, VECTOR, and RAW data formats with imaging. Audio formats include MP#, ACC, WAV, FLAC, and AIFF, to name a few. When we enjoy viewing pictures or listening to music, we are not thinking of the data that has been removed; we are enjoying the benefits of technology that has chosen to optimize for our benefit.

We can filter the information we receive and consume in much the same way to help reduce Noise and make the information Signal clearer.

Do you use Social Media for information (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), or do you have a News Outlet you go to (NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times)? You might aggregate your favorite websites and blog posts using RSS feeds, or you might search more precisely with Google Scholar or PubMed. Finally, you might go directly to the primary source, including Books or Journal Articles.

Whatever your choice, make sure your source fits your needs and intended use. More information is not helpful if Paralysis Analysis sets in. Are you optimizing for Speed, Size, or Quality?

Information is endless today. Know your objective before you embark on your search.

 

More Signal or More Noise? Which Do You Provide? Prefer?

Signals are filled with valuable information, are received gladly, and consumed entirely, leaving the recipient anxious to hear from you again.

 

How do you communicate with your audience? your customers? your patients?

Do you send Signals? or Do you send Noise?

Signals are filled with valuable information, are received gladly, and consumed entirely, leaving the recipient anxious to hear from you again.

Noise is annoying, it interrupts,  it steals our attention, it’s phony, it’s malarky.  Noise is avoided, deleted, and ignored.  If consumed by accident it leaves the recipient feeling flimflammed.

Which do you prefer to receive? Signals or Noise?

Today’s Markets are exceedingly Noisy. Seems everyone is competing for the attention of someone. You are told you must have the most Likes, Follows, and Shares to be of any value. If you don’t you must fix and improve those Metrics or risk falling behind. Falling behind? I didn’t know this was a race!

The tactics to inflate your social media metrics are pure noise. It must be to gain the attention of someone, anyone. In the process, you risk annoying the exact audience you wish to serve. Too many Click baits, pop-ups, emails, or newsletters and you run the chance of being deleted, unfollowed, and turned off. You lost your chance to create a loyal customer.

Try instead to send Signals, something of Value that is received with excitement. The Signal is so clear and that it is received with anticipation. This Signal would be missed if not received.

These valuable Signals must be uniquely crafted for the people you wish to serve and the change you wish to create. These Signals should serve to inform and educate, not sell. These Signals can be Art of various forms as well. Whichever medium or content your audience prefers delivered through their preferred channel.

Signals are Content that Informs and Educate.

Your website, blog, newsletter, pdf’s, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts must contain your original content, content that you own, not content that is “canned”, “subscribed to”, or “templated”. You can’t be different, stand out, or be found if you look like everyone else.

Yes, this is hard work. Yes, this takes effort and thought. Do the work and your audience and influence will grow.

 

 

What’s your SUPERpower?

What do you do well? What do you enjoy doing most? What comes easy and natural for you? That’s your SUPERpower!

So what is your SUPERpower?

Did you even know you have one? Well, you do!

Let’s pause for a few moments and think. What do you do well? What do you enjoy doing most? What comes easy and natural for you? What leverages the most significant results for you with minimal inputs? What brings new clients, customers, or patients to you? Why do they seek you out rather than your competitors?

These are your SUPERpowers! They are unique to you. It would be time well spent identifying them, knowing them, and magnifying them through more learning and study.

Remember, you can’t be all things to all people.

Know what you do well and do it. News of your SUPERpower will spread. Your SUPERpowers will attract the others that you seek to serve and need your skills.

Is it possible that what you enjoy pulls you to engage and learn more, making you better in the process while at the same time finding more Joy?

Funny how that happens!