Mondays can be challenging. As the first day back to work, it requires us to leave behind our relaxing weekends and jump back into the grind. Making matters worse, we have to reestablish routines that got interrupted by the relative serenity of Saturday and Sunday. No wonder some studies find Monday to be the second least productive day of the work week, after Friday.
Legal holidays present similar challenges. With a few right around the corner, it would be wise for us to review some ways to jump back into work feet first and get more done.
Since R+R is often associated with a weekend’s gift of “rest and relaxation”, let’s use R+S to connote Monday’s “return and success”.Read More
- Do you feel that your time at work is not as well spent as it needs to be?
- Are you a busy entrepreneur or team leader who seeks to accomplish a great deal despite being understaffed and overstretched?
- Do you have a sense of what you can achieve or become that you can’t seem to actualize?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of the above, then you may need to look more carefully at your goal-setting practices.
Goal setting is a critical component of any growth process, personal or professional. There are many benefits of setting goals, including…
- Clarity and Focus – Goals motivate us to cut through the weeds and get focused on what’s really important.
- Planning – Goals help us map out the necessary steps to achieve our desired result.
- Accountability – Goals force us to set and meet deadlines and be accountable to others.
- Transparency – When shared, goals help others understand what we’re focused on.
- Self-esteem – Goals raise our self-confidence as we see ourselves grow and progress.
Summer is now fully upon us. School is out and many of us have planned or will soon get around to planning summer vacations with family and friends.
The relaxed days of late June, July, and August present all of us with some special opportunities that I like to think of as summertime “r’s.”
Review – Summer is a great time to take a step back and reflect upon your professional practice. Were you successful in meeting your goals? If not, what stopped you?
Resolve and revise – Set new goals over the summer. (Need help with goals setting? Grab a FREE copy of my Clear Targets Action Sheet here.) Also, be sure to review your personal mission statement and core values. (You can grab a values list here.) Much can happen in a year, in terms of shaping your direction and principles. Use these months to make new commitments while also revising your existing purpose and value documents.
In my previous post about understaffed leaders, we spoke of the importance of becoming more influential to maximize their impact and get the most from their teams. In this post, we focus on the “C” of “E.P.I.C.”, how to communicate more clearly and openly.
All leaders need to communicate clearly and openly. But strong communication is particularly important for those who lead understaffed teams. And great communication starts with great listening. In your conversations, focus mainly on listening rather than speaking. This will open up the communication lines and deepen trust.
You may think that you are communicating well. I did, too. But the only way to know for sure is to ask.
Start with this simple question: Overall, how would you rate my/our internal communication?Read More
This past Wednesday I released my 26th Lead to Succeed podcast episode. This means that I just celebrated its first half-year anniversary. Mazel tov!
This is very exciting to me because it means that Lead to Succeed has survived the “podcaster’s dip” that plagues so many folks who rush to get their message out but quickly become discouraged and drop it (drops often occur between 7-10 shows and again between 20-25 episodes).
What do I attribute my “sustained success” to? Here’s a short list that I came up with.
- Letting the idea settle – So often, we get inspired to do something and decide “in the moment” to go out and make it happen. More often than not, though, spontaneous action is not sustainable action. We all benefit from taking time to think and consider the implications of our actions before jumping in full throttle. In my case, a few months passed from the time that I began to seriously consider podcasting until my first episode was released.
In our first E.P.I.C. post, we spoke of the importance of setting clear expectations (“E”) that empower leaders and their teams to be strategic, take initiative, innovate, and deliver desired results. In this post, we will focus on the second “E.P.I.C.” component, pulling your team together and connect them deeply to the mission (“P”).
You’ve seen it many times. The bickering. The lack of healthy communication. Folks sitting quietly at their desks, hoping to stay under the radar and not be burdened with more work, let alone someone else’s work. Other folks prioritizing their wants and needs over those of the team.
Territorialism. Silos.Read More
When I began in July, 2010, as head of school of a 360-student, independent K-8, my administrative team and I simply did not have the manpower or the competitive advantage that so many other schools in our community enjoyed.
Staffing shortages were everywhere. We had no admissions director or marketing professional. There was no resource room, let alone anyone to staff it. Computers were formally taught only to our youngest grades, and by the librarian. Our athletics coaches were all volunteers. They even drove our kids to the games since we had no budget for bussing.
And then there was our administration. The three of us shouldered a myriad of responsibilities that extended well beyond conventional school leadership. Compounding the problem were the expectations from our board, who expected me to significantly raise the school’s academic standard after years of perceived complacency. Stress levels were high as we all tried to do more with less.Read More
ONLY two days, or TWO DAYS? YEAH!
Well, it depends on your perspective.
For a couple of weeks in the middle of winter, I had tried to move my workout routine from mid-morning to early-morning, as in 5:15 AM.
I thought that the benefits of a top-of-the-morning, pre-prayer workout would be enormous.
I would be able to pray and work with added energy and focus.
I could skip the morning coffee and would be motivated to eat a healthier, leaner breakfast.
My mornings would be more open, allowing me to get more done.
It would also make for fewer wardrobe changes.
But I just couldn’t pull it off.Read More