Team Magic

If you had to pick one word to describe the culture of your team what would it be?

  • Collaborative?
  • Energized?
  • Motivated?
  • Committed?

Last week we talked about the “Magic Dust” of individuals; what about the “Magic Dust” of teams?

Team members have a need to truly know one another.  What do they like?  What do they find annoying?  What assignments come easy to each person? What assignments are dreaded?

Successful teams are familiar with Patrick Lencioni’s required behaviors (TRUST, COMMITMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY, attention to RESULTS, and healthy CONFLICT), but the culture of truly knowing and caring about one another is also essential.

Take the time to discover “Team Magic“. You’ll find that when personal and professional connections are made, more is accomplished and the work culture is more enjoyable.

When’s the last time you:

  • Conducted a team assessment?
  • Held a team building event?
  • Solicited team feedback?

Maybe it’s time to take your team on a Custom Team Journey so you can discover and leverage Team Magic!

Magic Dust

Leadership is not about executive position or title. It is about connection and influence. At its highest, leadership is all about adding value to the world and blessing lives through the work you do.—Robin Sharma

Magic Dust.  What does that mean to you?  If you’ve been through PeopleTek’s Leadership Journey program you know that magic dust encompasses:

  • What you’re good at
  • Your unique skills and abilities
  • Qualities that make you more impactful
  • How and where you add the most value

Ideally we are provided opportunities to leverage our special skills and abilities at work, allowing us to add the most value, to find our work fulfilling, and best yet, feel inspired and invigorated!

Each of us in general are pretty good at assessing and scrutinizing what we don’t like doing. We know what we are not good at, but we’re not always clear on what makes us have a great day, or provides us with a sense of accomplishment and generally feeling good.

How would you define a good work day? Does it include leading others or contributing to their success?

This is part of being a leader. Leadership can be formal (ex. direct reports, matrix management, project manager, mentorships, etc), or it could be informal, where your skills lend themselves to you taking “charge”. It can also be related to your ability to build relationships, achieve common goals and objectives, sharing your technical savvy, or simply that you are respected, appreciated, and looked up to.

What leadership qualities do you bring to your team or organization? Are you able to integrate your gifts/strengths both in your career and in your personal life?  It’s great when your ambition and talents serve you rather than enslave you!

This may sound funny, but we have worked with leaders that excel at what they do, are acknowledged and rewarded for their accomplishments, but they quite simply don’t LIKE what they’re doing.

Hopefully that does not apply to you! Knowing and using your magic dust will energize you, and sharing it with others will add to your sense of purpose.

Where do you feel you add the most value?


Click here to read more about MAGIC DUST and SHARING YOUR STRENGTHS

Aware Or Out Of Touch?

Awareness is the ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns . . . it is the state or quality of being aware of something.—Wikipedia

Effective and successful leaders are aware of their skills and gaps, the skills and gaps of those they lead and interact with, and they are also aware of their work culture.

They understand and appreciate differing styles, and they are aware of the pulse on the floor.  How are the satisfaction levels? Does there seem to be negativity in the break room?  Do people speak up or have they gone quiet?

Think about the following topics:

Communication – is it clear, timely, and delivered with sufficient details?

Responsiveness – not everyone processes communication and events as quickly as others. Become aware of who is able to respond immediately, versus those that need more time to process and reflect.

Managing conflict –  conflict is simply differing opinions. However, how conflict is managed can range from avoidance to always butting heads and the need to “win”. Be aware of preferred styles and when they are properly or improperly applied. (All conflict styles matter; it’s knowing when each style is most effective).

Dealing with change – is it embraced or resisted?

Start by assessing yourself.  Which of the above would you say are your strengths? What are the areas to develop?

Next, think about your team as a whole.

  • What do you feel is the major strength?
  • What is one thing you would like to see change?
  • What is the top area of development?
  • If you had to sum up the culture in one word, what would it be?

How aware are you? Don’t neglect increasing your awareness levels! Click here to request a self-assessment (you’ll rate your skills and abilities in 12 areas).


WANT TO BE A BETTER LEADER?  Click here to read more!

What Not To Say

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
—George Bernard Shaw

How high would you rate your communication skills? Is your message consistently understood, and are you pleased with your delivery?

Some of us excel at gathering our thoughts and speaking with clear intent almost simultaneously; others of us need a bit more time to plan our message.

Lou Solomon, a communication consultant for Fortune 500 companies, shares that our verbal mistakes will “undermine our credibility and distract from our message”, and it will also impact our ability to influence others.

To be more effective leaders, Ms. Solomon suggests dropping the following phrases from our vocabulary:

1. “I’m confused,” or “I don’t get it.”
Instead of putting all the responsibility on the other person, take co-ownership. Say, “Help me understand your position,” and remain open.

2. “You know what I mean?” and “Does that make sense?”
Asking for constant validation chips away at your command.

3. “I was like…” or “She was like…”
The word “like” is an unsophisticated setup that gets in the way of your clarity and credibility.

4. “Um, ah, uh, you know.”
Watch out for overuse of filler words and practice pausing to counteract the clutter.

5. “I’ve been too busy” or “I started writing an email and forgot to send it.”
Excuses are unattractive. Say, “I apologize for the inconvenience. You will have it by tomorrow.”

6. “Out-of-the-box thinking”
… should be retired. We can’t escape all the buzzword phrases, but ones like this have become boring.

7. “You always…”
Sweeping generalizations lack insight and get in the way of healthy dialogue. Be specific and avoid using vague blame tactics.

8. “I think we should kind of do it this way.”
Tentative language waters down your presence as a confident communicator. Make a solid recommendation and own it.

9. “I hate to say this, but…” and “John is a good person, but…”
Don’t try to disguise criticism with a layer of caring or say things that offer zero value.

10. “Really?”
It’s an all-purpose complaint that sounds like whining. Try making an interesting observation instead.

If you’re like us, when you read through the “WHAT NOT TO SAY” list, a few will stand out and make you give thought as to which one to drop first.

As leaders, there’s a need to be viewed as credible, authentic, and purposeful. Take the time you need to consistently deliver a message that’s understood. What’s your first action step?



Accomplishments / Updates

A great accomplishment shouldn’t be the end of the road,  just the starting point for the next leap forward.
–Harvey Mackay

2017 was a great year for PeopleTek and we look forward to what 2018 brings!

We’re thankful for the relationships that we have with you, and will continue to share leadership tips and increase the number of leadership solutions available for individuals and organizations.

Many of you are familiar with our banner Leadership Journey and custom programs, but there’s more that you may not be aware of.

A new addition to our Journey offerings is the Journey To Mastering Agile Leadership. The focus is for leaders to become acutely aware of their environment, adopt and support the Agile framework, and obtain an understanding of the processes that foster innovation and creativity.

Journey alumni are now eligible to take an exam and become CPL1 certified (Certified Professional Leader).

Many teams and companies leverage our surveys to obtain perceptions and increase their awareness regarding strengths and growth areas identified by their team members. When is the last time you solicited input from your team/organization?

Our 363 plus program remains strong – (it includes feedback/tips/techniques/coaching debrief session).

We have a new online, self-paced class utilizing Everything DiSC Workplace.

We are certified not only for the Everything DiSC tools, but also for 5 Behaviors Of A Cohesive Team.

Our strategic partnership with E-coach has grown even stronger with Leadership Journey and 5 Behaviors content on their new website, along with hundreds of tips, techniques and videos geared towards strengthening leadership skills and behaviors.

And, we’ve expanded our focus for culture transformation/preservation and mergers and acquisitions.

We’re experiencing exciting times and hope you are as well. Please take a moment and reflect on your accomplishments, and click here to access some of our favorite (and simple) leadership challenges.

All the best to you in 2018!



Challenge Yourself!

As 2017 comes to an end, what development commitments have you made?

Challenge yourself!  Below are our 12 “Courageability” factors that impact leadership success:

  1. Live and work with passion
  2. Document and share your goals
  3. Commit to addressing and tracking your goals
  4. Understand and leverage your strengths and the strengths of others
  5. Communicate with confidence and clarity
  6. Manage conflict and understand how it can be inspirational
  7. Develop others
  8. Effectively delegate
  9. Enrich your skill-set
  10. Remain controlled
  11. Reward and recognize others with regularity
  12. Learn to succeed from your failures

Which 3 do you find most challenging? Begin the New Year by committing to take the necessary actions for becoming a more effective leader.

Wishing you success and prosperity! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Leadership Is A Gift

Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. You have to be worthy of it.
–General Mark Welsh, Commander of U.S. Air Forces (retired)

Leadership.  We all know it’s not easy, but do you consider it a gift? As leaders, we influence others, hopefully in a positive way.  When you think back over the leaders you’ve worked for in the past, did any stand out? If yes, why?

We’ve worked for leaders that were for lack of a better word “memorable” – some because they inspired and motivated us and others, and then a few because they did exactly the opposite.

General Welsh felt that a key role of a boss was to lead others to success.  Here are some tips he shared for successful leadership:

Be credible.
Be authentic. Mean what you say, commit to it, and ensure your behaviors are aligned.

Pay attention.
What’s working well and what isn’t? What’s the pulse of your work environment? Does a healthy culture exist?

Be prepared to make decisions.
We may not have all the answers, but we can ask the right questions and conduct due diligence so we make informed and impactful decisions.

Know and support your people.
What’s going on in their life personally, how can you help them grow professionally? Leverage their strengths, learn their aspirations, and provide development opportunities.

Is your boss a worthy leader? Do you consider yourself to be a worthy leader? Any stories you’d like to share?


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Mindset Re-Swizzle

Rule your mind or it will rule you.–Horace

How’s your personal and professional mindset? As 2017 is coming to a close, are you still energized and motivated? Would a “re-swizzled” mindset help? SUCCESS magazine (January 2018) provides content on the following:

Mentally and physically; incorporate exercise in both.

Every day build in time for self-reflection or meditation.

Replace your negative thoughts and words with “I can/I will” verbiage.

What’s your purpose and intent? Do your behaviors support them?

Pause and reflect on new perspectives and alternative views.

We all have to manage the unexpected; don’t let them derail you.

Commit to continual self-development; add reading to your goals.

Being a leader requires courage!

Be accountable; hold others accountable; document improvement possibilities.

Set stretch goals and establish steps to help stay on track on reflect progress.

How can you re-swizzle your mindset to benefit your life and career?


Read about

Saying “NO” Is An Art

The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.
–Tony Blair

Saying “no” is difficult for many of us, but this simple word must be incorporated into our vocabulary. We need to understand why it’s difficult for us, and the ramifications for our reluctance. 

We all want to succeed, our pace never slows down, we know we can juggle and accomplish amazing things, and because of this, we’re sometimes guilty of over committing.

That’s when we need to remember that saying NO is an option (and an art!).

Things to think about:

  • If we say “yes”, what tasks will be negatively impacted?
  • Are we compromising our ability to deliver quality work?
  • How many additional hours are we willing to add to our schedule?
  • Does the task clearly support our goals and priorities?

We also have the option to counter-offer: I’d love to support that initiative; I may need help assessing what could be reassigned elsewhere or postponed.

Other tips:

  • Have a plan in place to handle distractions and interruptions
  • Know how to prioritize, be willing to re-prioritize, and commit to your decisions
  • Set boundaries based on your priorities and say no to those outside your boundaries
  • Be open and flexible, but realistic
  • Practice the ways in which you can respond

Be true to yourself and your priorities, and don’t compromise quality. Remember that over-using a strength (our desire to achieve), could result in a weakness. (And it’s likely to create self-imposed stress!).


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Listen To Understand

The biggest communication problem is that we don’t listen to understand, we listen to reply.

This week we’re going to talk about listening again. Why? Because we frequently receive feedback that communication, and especially listening skills, are areas that require work.

While participating in a conversation, conference call, feedback session, or having any dialogue at all, are you truly listening?

An informal poll was conducted asking “Do You Listen To Reply”?  Meaning, does preparing your response take priority over hearing the whole “story”. Are you concentrating so much on your reply that you stopped listening?

-50% of the respondents admitted that sometimes they focused on their reply
-Another 33% admitted it was rare, but they too concentrated more on their reply than on what was being said.

Dr. Ralph Nichols has conducted numerous listening studies and has found that we spend 40 percent of our day listening to others, but retain just 25 percent of what we hear. We’re missing out on a lot!

Leadership consultant Andy Eklund provides the following tips:

1. Get rid of outside distractions.
2. Open your mind. Don’t judge. Only listen.
3. Listen for the big picture, not the details
4. Note, but don’t judge, non-verbal communications.
5. Do not jump to conclusions or interrupt.
6. Paraphrase the big picture, then add in details.
7. Challenge yourself first. It’s very possible you may disagree. If so, ask yourself Under what circumstance might this be true?

Listening may not include having a dialogue. Sometimes the person speaking has the sole intent to share or vent. Feel honored to be a sounding board and realize that no reply may be your best action!

Do you listen to understand?



10 Mistakes

Smart, successful people are by no means immune to making mistakes; they simply have the tools in place to learn from their errors.– Travis Bradberry

Dr. Travis Bradberry believes there are 10 mistakes smart people never make twice, and he feels “emotionally intelligent people embrace mistakes for what they are—great opportunities to learn”. 

So, what’s the first step?  Admitting that you made a mistake and committing to learning from it so it’s not repeated.

Here’s what he views as the top 10 mistakes:

Believing in someone or something that’s too good to be true. Some people are so charismatic and so confident that it can be tempting to follow anything they say. Don’t be naïve!

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. If you want a different result, you must change your approach.

Failing to delay gratification. Gratification doesn’t come quickly and hard work comes long before the reward.

Operating without a budget. Budgets, both professionally and personally, establish discipline, and discipline is the foundation of quality work.

Losing sight of the big picture. Assess your daily priorities against your goals; are they aligned?

Not doing your homework. There’s no substitute for hard work and due diligence.

Trying to be someone you’re not. Happiness and success demand authenticity.

Trying to please everyone. It’s not possible to please everybody, and trying to please everyone pleases no one.

Playing the victim. To play the victim, you have to give up your power, and you can’t put a price on that.

Trying to change someone. The only way that people change is through the desire and wherewithal to change themselves.

Author Paulo Coelho simply states “When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore: it is a decision.”

Words to live by!


Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.– Bruce Lee

Lead With Humor – It’s An Art!

A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.–Dwight D. Eisenhower

Humor, like any behavior, requires skills and timing.  When properly used it can motivate and influence others, as well as reduce stress and tension among individuals and teams.

Humor has also been linked with our emotional intelligence competencies. Daniel Goleman,(EQ author/expert), shares “Research on humor at work reveals that a well-timed joke or playful laughter can stimulate creativity, open lines of communication, enhance a sense of connection and trust, and, of course make work more fun”.

When NOT properly used:

  • Humor may be disruptive and ill received
  • Humor may be misinterpreted and cause ill feelings

It’s important to know your audience.  You’ll want to avoid humor that is sexist, ethnic, politically or religiously based (or any type of humor used at another’s expense). It’s also best not to use humor when delivering important messages or when addressing issues or problems.

Bryan Lattimore, author The Art of Humor, states that humor can be used:

  • As a way to break the ice in stiff or uncomfortable business situations
  • As an effective bonding technique – a wonderful way to build common ground with other employees
  • As a way to break down resistance
  • As a much needed way to improve the content, enjoyment, and ultimately the productivity of meetings
  • As a way to assign work when people can’t take any more
  • As a wonderful way to ease and control tension

For some using humor is a natural talent, for others it’s awkward. Observe others in your organization that are deemed funny.

What can you learn from them?  Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and give humor a try!


Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.–Victor Borge