End each day with reflection

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How you end the day determines how well you start the next.

“Tomorrow is another day” Scarlett O’Hara famously said in Gone with the Wind, committing to make tomorrow different in order to save her family farm. The same attitude of each day being better, or more productive, should apply to our work. However too many managers fall into either surviving days or just getting by. In the first “firefighter” scenario, the manager pinballs between “emergencies” and in the latter the apathetic leader fails to implement the discipline habits needed to improve. In both scenarios time is not made for reflection and analysis and each day starts as it had an ended, pin-balling or with apathy, but what great leaders should be doing is ending the day with quadrant II reflection. Continue reading “End each day with reflection”


Establish success habits

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You don’t decide your future your habits do.

It might sound obvious to say one should have good work habits, yet most of us don’t do enough to establish these for our-self, let alone push our team to develop good ones. We often do even less to break bad ones. Habits are the micro disciplined actions that determine how our work days pan out. They are the actions we repeat because they serve a purpose to us to do so. Habits at work come in 3 forms: the good ones, the bad ones and those that don’t matter and many are work and responsibility specific, rather than just being universal. Continue reading “Establish success habits”

Seek to be respected over being liked

Respected over liked

Great leaders are like great parents: they nurture and care for their team but likewise they don’t cater to all their whims.

There are many ways to commit leadership suicide but perhaps one of the most repeated by young or inexperienced managers is confusing their own personal want to be liked with leadership’s need to be respected. No manager will succeed in leading people if they are disliked and feared, the days of military style leadership in the work place, that of command and control, are well behind us. However likewise seeking popularity as an objective of leadership is just as prone to failure as it is short cut to weakness. In the short term term you will be popular but in the long term when hard decisions are required you will fail. If the currency of leadership were popularity, you would either avoid difficult decisions and difficult conversations or have the way you deal with them clouded by your own personal need to be popular or liked. As a leader you have to get your team to want to follow you but this will come from being a respected, fair and effective leader, it will not come from seeking to be liked. Continue reading “Seek to be respected over being liked”

Understanding different communication channels

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Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.— Plato

There is no more important leadership skill than being an effective communicator. However being an effective communicator is one of the most challenging things for any manager. Human beings have developed so many ways of getting their msg across. What communicationsbegan first with hands signals and pictures, developed into thousands of spoken and written languages. Communication changed even further with the development of; mail service, the telephone, the internet, social media and text messaging to name but a few. Work communication went from being mainly face to face communication in the same location to modern international companies where workers communicate with each other and colleagues via handfuls of means from various points in the world. More communication channels however does not in itself equal better communication, it rather just means we have more opportunities to get our msg across in more instant and frequent ways but we still need to learn to use them well. Continue reading “Understanding different communication channels”

Letting out creative genius

Creative genius

Developing the skill of creativity, like with any other skill, takes time…. Honor its flow and its magic. Allow it to become your Life Force. Train Creativity daily. – Nataša Nuit Pantović, Conscious Creativity; Mindfulness Meditations

In Roman religion, the genius was a spirit of divine nature that was present in every individual person, place, or thing. It was said that sometimes people’s own genius would come to visit them  – like a guardian angel – and from this interconnection between spirit and man would come great wisdom and inspiration. Later in renaissance times, the Roman genius mixed with Christian theology and it was often implied that the creative genius of artists was in some way divine, as if gifted from god himself. Whatever your opinion on the origin or existence of “genius”, what in management is important to recognize is that creative thoughts and ideas come often in “spark like moments” and hence need given the best opportunity to be let out. Continue reading “Letting out creative genius”

Active Listening: seek to understand first

Be an active listener_ seek to understand first.

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. – Stephen R.Covey

“Knowledge is power” as the famous statement goes, however to gain useful knowledge we must listen properly. Listening well is not as simple as just being silent and waiting your turn to speak, it’s so much more than just hearing. Listening is an active process by which we make sense of, assess, and respond to what we hear. Being a good listener is a vital skill of a manager and it is it is not something that should be taken for granted as it is an ability that is learned and maintained with hard work.

Being a good listener is an important skill of a great manager.

Continue reading “Active Listening: seek to understand first”