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”
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”
Think “Win-Win” isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration. – Stephen Covey
All great managers aim to get the best out of negotiations for all parties, to get what Covey famously called a win/win. A win/win is when both sides walk away from situation having gained, when both sides are happy enough with the outcome. The importance of striving to get a win/win is applicable to almost any scenario at work, be it: negotiations with a supplier, feedback with a staff member or disciplining a student as a teacher. For each scenario to work well, both parties needs a win. However the key thing to understand about win/win is the “win” isn’t about both sides getting what they wanted, it is rather about them getting what they needed. Continue reading “Win/Win and believing in a third way”
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else: you are the one who gets burned.” — Buddha
Great leaders very often have high EQ as a key part of leading people is understanding how they think and feel and having the capacity to use this knowledge to achieve goals. Managers who can do this well nearly always understand how emotions are formed and what triggers them. They also understand how they relate alongside reason. In general it is important for managers to understand that whereas reason might be the explanation applied to a decision, it invariable was the emotion which actually triggered making the decision, at least in the first stages, which is why when resolving conflict, great leaders address the emotional source of problems as well as the logical reasoning given. Continue reading “Understanding Emotional Triggers”
People who believe they can and people who believe they cannot are both usually right – Jo Owen
Great leaders must dream and aim high. High aspirations push us forward and upward, low aspirations hold us back. Staff follow managers who aspire to bring out the best in them; people follow leaders who have a dream and make them believe the improbable is possible. High aspirations come in many forms: quality of work, quantity of sales, teamwork achieved and also in personal development. Leaders must aspire big in the areas that matter in their work and the very best managers will create a team culture of aspiring to great things. Continue reading “High Aspirations: if you want 10, aim for 20.”
Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to manage conflict with peaceful means.- Ronald Reagan
Ask any new manager to rank what they fear or dislike most about man-management and you are likely to find “dealing with conflict” is high on their list. However, effective conflict management is probably one of the key abilities great managers must have. Some degree of conflict at work is inevitable. Indeed I would argue that a certain amount of conflict is healthy for an organization as each conflict moment – dealt with well – offers the individuals involved an opportunity to realign their feelings and find even greater understanding than before. Continue reading “Dealing with conflict head on”
To live a more balanced existence, you have to recognize that not doing everything that comes along is okay. There’s no need to overextend yourself. All it takes is realizing that it’s all right to say no when necessary and then focus on your highest priorities. – Stephen Covey
Putting “first things first” is making sure to always do the most important and critical things first and developing this as a success habit. Not only is this important for achieving more but it is proven that both stress and procrastination is caused by delaying the things you gut tells you must be done first. Of course it is easy to know you should “put first things first” and harder to actually consistently do it which is what we will look at here. Continue reading “First things first”
Anchor: something that serves to hold firmly, a reliable or principle support.
Maintaining motivation levels on challenging projects or through long periods of intensive work is both challenging individually and on the group level. Keeping the end in mind, the reason why you are doing things, is easier said than done when you are half way towards a very time consuming objective. This is where having anchor events matter. Anchor events, as the name suggests, are organizated activities that join together the reasons why you are doing a project. They provide an anchor to remind all involved why they are working so hard on a project and give everyone a point to aim for which is closer than the end goal. Long term goals may have multiple anchor events binding them together. Continue reading “Power of Anchor Events”
Character is our heart and soul, personality is merely our voice.
Great managers understand the difference between personality and character. Personality is the outer shell influencing how we are perceived and how we are judged in concrete moments. Character meanwhile is our inner core and determines who we actually are and influences how people define us in more definitive ways, like as friends, partners and leaders. Character is something built up over time and when developed right should rarely change, personality has many faces and is subject to constant development. Understanding the difference between the two is important in leadership. Continue reading “Character versus personality”
What a tragedy it would be if you lived your entire life without discovering who you are, without reaching your full potential. – Ray Mancini
One of the greatest human motivators is to identify, tap into and then release potential inside of ourselves and of others. Releasing potential in its simplest form is improving and taking clear steps towards being the best version of our-self. Great managers harness this and create a culture of releasing and realizing potential, one where staff believe getting better is not only necessary but possible. Continue reading “Harnessing potential”