appreciate the weirdness!

Picture by Lauren Allen

People are incredibly, and frustratingly unique and complex. As a good leader, we are not to to to stamp out that weirdness – that uniqueness – but to maximize it to make strong teams.

“Well-roundedness is a misguided and futile objective when it comes to individual people; but when it comes to teams it’s an absolute necessity. The more diverse the team members, the more weird, spiky, and idiosyncratic they are, the more well-rounded the team.”

Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall in “Nine Lies About Work”.

Embrace the weirdness of your team members to build a well-rounded team.

Another way of thinking about leadership

Here is another way of thinking about leadership from someone I enjoy – Simon Sinek.

“The leaders of great organizations do not see people as a commodity to be managed to grow money. They see the money as the commodity to be managed to help grow their people.”

Simon Sinek in “Leaders Eat Last”

“To see money as subordinate to people and not the other way around is fundamental to creating a culture in which the people naturally pull together to advance the business.”

Simon Sinek in “Leaders Eat Last”

“Nine Lies About Work”

Nine Lies About Work” is an excellent book by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall that address nine common misconceptions that are a bit faddish in the organizational world right now and they quickly get to the heart of the matter in this book.

This is a book I would recommend adding to your library.

humility in the workplace – a self-awareness issue

What does “humility in the workplace” mean? Why is it important?

For many, the word humility has many connotations. Some are very positive and some not so positive. It seems some people equate humility to weakness and being a “doormat”. I beg to differ from that view of humility. In true humility, there is great strength.

Regarding humility in the workplace, for me it means – An objective understanding, an awareness, of the strengths a person brings to an organization as well as an objective understanding, an awareness, of their gaps – their weaknesses or gaps in knowledge – thus an understanding of their need for others to be effective.

A proper understanding of humility results in an understanding of people’s need for others to be effective in their role in the organization (and life in general). That understanding should result in someone who greatly values collaboration and understands the need to be a good teammate at work.

Humility in the workplace is not weaknesses – it is a strength and wisdom.

Do you want to be more effective – try some humility at work (works at home as well!)

Have a great day!
BG

 

“The Crisp Meeting” by Seth Godin

The Crisp Meeting is a great post by Seth Godin that gives you a framework for creating meetings that enhance your work instead of them becoming a drain on your productivity. Following is an excerpt from the post:

The crisp meeting is one of a series. It’s driven by purpose and intent. It’s guided by questions:

Who should be in the room?

What’s the advance preparation we ought to engage in? (at least an hour for every meeting that’s worth holding).

What’s the budget?

What’s the deadline?

The post has several more excellent questions to be asked in preparation for a meeting and some pithy thoughts as you might expect from Mr. Godin. It is worth a read in my opinion.

 

BG

“Consensus is a Four Letter Word”

ACTS – an acrostic for leaders

Dave Kraft is a wise man and was my former leadership coach. In an excellent post he talks about the application of ACTS in a particular situation and this post is a worthwhile read in my opinion.

So, let’s look at ACTS in a general sense and how a leader might apply it to their life.

A – ACCOUNTABLE: Are you truly accountable to someone(s) in your life? Truly accountable? Is someone willing to ask you the hard questions and pursue you until you deal with those questions? Are they willing to challenge questionable behaviors in your life?

C – CONFESSIONAL: Do you confess and own your sin or do you try to shift the blame? Mature leaders accept rebuke, confess their sin, and own their sin.

T – TEACHABLE: Are you teachable as a leader? Are you willing to receive honest inquiries from those you lead? And others? Do you realize that there are many people smarter than you and some of them are on the team you lead?

S – SUSTAINABLE: Is the pace you are setting for your team sustainable? Are your expectations realistic? Are you providing the resources to your team that they need to meet your expectations? What about your team’s work-life balance?

Here is how Dave applies ACTS:

1. Good and genuine accountability, coupled with vulnerability and transparency.
2. A clear value in keeping short accounts, with sin being quickly confessed and owned.
3. An attitude of being teachable and open to new ideas and ways of thinking.
4. A culture of pacing that is realistic and sustainable, resulting in good morale and joy.

Now, how can you apply ACTS in your life?

BG

candor is important for successful feedback – Ed Catmull

Candor quote

leading when you’re not the expert

Have you ever been in a situation where you were leading an area in which you had little or no expertise? Where many of your team knew much more about the area/industry than you? How did you handle yourself? What did you do?

For me, except for the first two years of my military life, that has pretty much been the case most of my working life. I now am once again in the situation of leading a team that has much more technical expertise in our area than I do. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a good leadership team who want to be even better. I have learned to choose to trust my team and to do my best to take care of them while they take care of business. Of course, I do learn the technical aspects in each new situation, but it is often the case that I will never catch up to the experts I have led and do lead now. So I have learned to give power away and to take care of my team. So far that has worked for me – not perfectly of course – but it has worked.

One of the best books on this subject, in my opinion, is L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around. Following is  TEDx Talk by David Marquet – it’s worth watching if you are interested in a better way of leading others.

why you should cancel your weekly staff meeting

Interesting article on The Muse about four reasons to cancel your weekly staff meetings. They just might make sense – what do you think?

1. Interruptions Are Productivity (and Potentially Profit) Killers

2. Instant Messaging is an Effective Way to Get Most News Out—Faster

3. There Are Other Ways to Meet

4. Every Meeting Should be Planned With Productivity in Mind

Click here to read the full article – it will make you think about how you do meetings.

BG