Skills To Value

Hire Hard or Manage Hard – Skills To Value
This is not the first time you’ve heard us say “hire hard or manage hard”. That’s because we can’t say often enough that who you hire is a critical component for being successful. New hires must complement your existing team while supporting the values of your work culture.  If they don’t, you’ll be spending more time than you’d like addressing the actions and behaviors of the “misfit”.

Career consultant Joseph Liu provides 7 factors to consider for finding the best fit:

1. Emotional Intelligence
Ask your candidate to share personal examples of how they changed their work culture in the past. What struggles did they observe? Were they sensitive to the needs of others? What was their approach?

2. Resilience
How adaptable is the candidate when faced with obstacles, failure, or stress? Again, ask for specifics for the actions taken for attaining desired results.

3. Empathy
Is there sensitivity for colleagues when they are experiencing challenges outside of the workplace? How did they help a colleague work through their issue? Did they truly seem to care?

4. Adaptability
Many workers are now working remotely; some readily accepted this change while others struggled. Ask the candidate to share how they were able to transition from an “in person” work environment to one of teleconferencing.

5. Initiative
How have they prepared for the interview? Did they research your company and the position? Maybe even you? Are they able to self-motivate and influence colleagues? Ask for examples.

6. Tenacity
What does the candidate do to manage setbacks and challenges? Do they maintain their focus for achieving the end goal? Ask for examples.

7. Relationship Management
Working remotely can impact relationships. What or how does the candidate stay connected with colleagues and build relationships? How do they create a strong boss/subordinate relationship?

Don’t neglect required technical skills, but soft skills must be valued. When hiring, look for candidates that possess skills that will positively impact interactions with your team members, and will also be a good fit for your ideal work culture. If not, be prepared to “manage hard”!


Mike and Jan

92% of executives say soft skills were equally or more important than technical skills.
— WSJ Survey

Adaptive Leadership

Challenges requiring adaptive leadership commonly include conflict in the workplace,
the need for new work behaviors, and a change in mindset.
Difficulty adapting to challenges in the workplace is not new, and as leaders we need to ensure that we influence our teams to continue to support our company values, strategies, and the processes required to achieve operational excellence as we deal with changes across the globe. These changes may be major and impact not only new roles and relationships, but also require new behaviors and approaches for how we work.

Ronald Heifetz (founder of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School) and
and Donald Laurie (corporate adviser), share what they view as the differences between “Technical or Routine Leadership” (Style A) compared to “Adaptive Leadership” (Style B) for the following leadership responsibilities:

Style A – Defines problems and provides solutions
Style B –Identifies the adaptive challenge and frames key questions and issues

Style A – Shields the organization from external threats
Style B – Lets the organization feel external pressures within a range it can stand

Style A – Clarifies roles and responsibilities
Style B – Challenges current roles and resists pressure to quickly define new roles

Style A – Restores order
Style B – Exposes conflict or lets it emerge

Style A – Maintains norms
Style B – Challenges unproductive norms

Does one style sound more like you than the other? Perhaps you’re a blend? Being a leader is not easy and it’s up to us share when and how our work culture values must change, and what’s required of us (and others) to adapt to those changes.

We need to be aware of both the existing challenges that are being faced (as well as the potential challenges), understand when stress exists, when change is being resisted, and encourage open communication.  


Mike and Jan

Getting people to do adaptive work is the mark of leadership in a competitive world.
 Ronald Heifetz and Donald Laurie

Coaching – How It Helps

Coaching provides rich and unique development opportunities and helps leaders obtain clarity for strategies, goals, and relationships.
Granted we’re in the coaching business, but we wanted to share that clients have told us that coaching has changed their lives, not just from a business perspective, but also from a personal and family perspective.

1.    Coaching helps you see things from a different perspective

2.    Coaching assists you with creating a path towards desired “next steps” and guides you along that path

3.    Coaches hold you accountable for learning, growing, and transforming

4.    Coaches provide unbiased feedback and assist with navigating challenges

5.    Coaches help you set goals and action plans and provide guidance for their execution

6.    Coaching improveleadership skills, increaseproductivity, and strengthens relationships

7.    A coach is someone you can trust to be concerned about you

Coaching is experiencing explosive growthWhy? The investment pays off.

·         Per MetrixGlobal LLC, companies receive an average return of $7.90 for every $1 devoted to executive coaching

·         They also reported a 529% ROI and numerous intangible benefits to the business after studying executive coaching in a Fortune 500 firm

·         Manchester Inc. reports that Executive coaching provides an average ROI of nearly 6 times the coaching cost

·         A Personnel Management Association report states that “Coaching combined with training boosts productivity by an average of 86% compared to 22% with training alone”

Is coaching for everyone?

That depends on whether the person is committed to making changes and is willing to hear things they may not initially agree with.

Some individuals don’t want to hear that they have opportunities to be more effective, and that quite frankly, they themselves may be derailing their own ability to succeed.

They also may be unwilling to step out of their comfort zone and commit to making the time for self-development

Coaching IS for those that have made the choice to become more effective and productive, and understand that others can see things in them that they can’t. They also understand that a coach will help them reach their highest potential.

Per Forbes writer William Arruda, coaching has become a key ingredient in professional success.


Mike and Jan

Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them to learn, rather than teaching them.
— Sir John Whitmore


Success is not the absence of failure, it’s the persistence through failure.
—Aisha Tyler
What does “Persistence” mean to you? One thought is that persistence refers to how long one is able and willing to stick to a task, even when it is challenging. Also, that lack of persistence is when someone is willing to drop a task and move on to something else when roadblocks are encountered.

We’ll simplify it and define it as “the quality of continuing steadily despite problems, challenges, or difficulties” and call them set-backs.

Are you impacted by set-backs or do they fire you up? When you experience them, what are you feeling and how do you adjust? We know not everything goes as planned, and that we may feel dejected when our efforts are derailed (for any reason), but it’s how we respond that matters.  The list below highlights just a few that “persisted” and succeeded:

Abraham Lincoln
Experienced 12 major failures before being elected the 16th U.S. President

Albert Einstein
His teachers said “he wouldn’t amount to much“.

Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven’s music teacher once said “as a composer, he is hopeless“.  

Steve Jobs
He felt he was a public failure when he was fired from Apple.

Walt Disney
Was fired from a newspaper for his lack of imagination.

The Beatles
In 1962 they were told they “had no future in show business” and that “groups with guitars are on the way out”. 

Dr. Seuss
His initial manuscript was rejected 28 times prior to being accepted by Random House/Vanguard Press.

Oprah Winfrey
After seven and a half months in her first job as a TV anchor she was fired and told she was “unfit for television news”.

Expect and plan for set-backs and persist! You will experience failures and face challenges, and when they occur, analyze what happened and why.  Be clear about your strategies and the direction needed to obtain the results you desire, and don’t shy away from continuing steadily despite encountering problems!


Mike and Jan


Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.
–Napoleon Hill



The Art Of Communication

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
—George Bernard Shaw
As leaders there’s a need to be viewed as authentic, trustworthy, and inspiring, and it’s also essential that we are viewed as good communicators.

Have you ever left a meeting thinking you provided clear updates, shared required next steps, and even added dates for deliverables yet you saw a number of blank stares and felt your communication was lacking?

You may have felt that way for a reason. An Interact/Harris Leadership Communication Poll was conducted and employees rated their leaders as follows:

63% – employees were not recognized for their achievements

57% – employees were not given clear directions

52% – leaders did not have sufficient time to meet with them

51% – leaders refused to talk to subordinates

47% – their boss took credit for others’ ideas

39% – constructive feedback was not provided

23% – there was no effort to ask about employees’ lives outside of work

These numbers are certainly nothing to be proud of, but the good news is that we all have the ability to ensure our numbers are better than those reported. Taking them in order:

1.    We need to seriously assess if we recognize accomplishments. If we’re not doing it consistently, why not?

2.    Do we feel we provide clear direction? How could our opinion differ from that of our direct reports?  Do we ever ask how they’ve interpreted the message?

3.    Do we make ourselves available to meet and discuss issues without the employees feeling rushed?

4.    Do we regularly schedule time to meet with our team members?

5.    Have you ever taken credit for work done by another? 

6.    Can you confidently and regularly provide feedback that is both positive as well as for growth opportunities?

7.    Do you invest the time to truly get to know your team?

Are you willing to ask your team how well you communicate (or don’t!)? It may prove interesting to see how your self-scores compare to the team results for these 7 questions.

Let us know what you learn.


Mike and Jan

Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.
–Paul J. Meyer



Mindset and Awareness

5 Pillars For Success by Natasha Graziano
Let’s assume that we all want to succeed. If that’s true (and yes, we know what assume means to some!), we need to have clear aspirations and define what success means to us.  As leaders, this also applies to our teams and organizations. Think in terms of “where are we now” and “where do we want to be”?

Also assess your mindset. Are you focused? Are you self-aware? Do you truly know what you want to achieve?

Natasha Graziano, Mindset Coach and Motivational Speaker provides 5 Pillars to assist with creating success both personally and professionally:

     1. Get clarity on your vision
You’ve heard us time and again share the need to have documented vision, mission, and goal statements, and that all of our behaviors must support achieving them. Graziano adds that “Most people mess up at this first hurdle because they don’t actually know what they want”. Having a clear and written vision will help with clarity for taking the necessary actions required to move forward.

    2. Remove the blockages
What barriers are getting in your way of success? Do you have “Gremlins” that limit your beliefs or that are immobilizing you?  Graziano shares “Once we realize we are standing in our own way of the thing we want, we can begin to move forward“.

    3. Replace old beliefs with new beliefs
We all have baggage and have had experiences that negatively impacted our mindset. What have you learned from them? What beliefs and thoughts can be replaced with some that will better serve you? The idea is that we learn from the negativity we’ve experienced, let them go, and now focus on our desires with positive energy that will help us achieve our vision.

    4. Expand your vision
Don’t think of what’s happened in the past; think outside of the box; don’t limit yourself; step out of your comfort zone. What is it you truly want?  Graziano adds “start dreaming bigger“.

    5. Take inspired action
Graziano says “When the doing and the thinking are aligned, you’re able to achieve massive success”. It takes that first step, it takes commitment, and it takes action.

How’s your mindset?  Are you determined? Are you self-aware and focused on what it is you want? Are you willing to take that first step?

Wishing you success!
Mike and Jan

Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.
–Steve Maraboli   

Books On Leadership

Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.
–Harry S. Truman
We often get asked for leadership book recommendations. It’s not easy to choose as there are hundreds of books that provide valuable content, but our top 5 picks are:
QBQ – The Question Behind The Question by John G. Miller
An oldy but goody, accountability is often an issue in the workplace and pointing fingers can be a by-product. This book explains that without personal accountability it’s difficult to succeed and attain desired goals, and it provides methods for regularly practicing accountability.

The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team by Patrick Lencioni
Learn about five root causes that contribute to teams failing (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results), and how one can address poor teamwork by implementing specific strategies.

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
It’s all up to us. We must be self-aware and take responsibility for our choices. Covey addresses the following 7 habits that are required for success: Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, Synergize, and Sharpen the Saw.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
Learn insights for becoming a more powerful and effective leader and obtain tips to improve your leadership skills and abilities and for influencing others. Maxwell says: If you want to be a leader, the good news is that you can do it. Everyone has the potential, but it isn’t accomplished overnight. It requires perseverance.  This is closely aligned with our motto:
“Leadership is a process, not an event”!

The Power Of Focus by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Les Hewitt
Obtain specific strategies for maintaining focus positioning you to achieve results and increase levels of success. Without focus, unnecessary internal struggles exist, waffling occurs, and results are delayed.

There are hundreds of books that speak to leadership skills, abilities, and behaviors and for making you more self-aware while enhancing your emotional intelligence. A Harvard Business Review article shared that “reading for just six minutes can reduce stress by 68% and is beneficial for stressed leaders/managers and C-level executives”.

Commit to making the time to read!
Mike and Jan

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.
— Margaret Fuller

Managing Your Boss

The greatest gift of leadership is a boss who wants you to be successful.
Jon Taffer
Can we really manage our boss? Not really, but what can do is work towards building a good relationship (or at least improve it).  Having aligned expectations, regular communications, being accountable, and interacting in a style that works for them all lend themselves to strengthening and building a trusting relationship.
Liz Ryan, CEO Human Workplace recommends what NOT to do:
1.    Don’t start a conversation with your boss when you’re mad or upset. Wait until you calm down.

2.    Don’t fall into a win/lose mentality and start counting the number of times your boss said “yes” to one of your requests versus the times they said “No”. Rather, focus on your work, your team’s work and your mission.

3.    Don’t go to your manager with a list of complaints. Convert your complaints into practical suggestions whenever you can.

4.    Don’t ask your boss to adjudicate arguments with co-workers unless you and your co-worker agree there is no alternative.

5.    Don’t be shy about asking for feedback or asking for advice on a situation you haven’t handled before.

6.    Don’t forget to keep your manager informed of positive things you hear about the team, the company, and your manager him-or-herself. Nobody gets enough acknowledgment!

7.    Don’t assume your boss knows important news you hear or read during the day. If you think the new information would be valuable to your manager, pass it on.

8.    Don’t bash your manager to other employees, or vice versa.

9.    Don’t ask your boss to solve tiny problems you could solve on your own.

10. Don’t assume that because your manager is different from you — with a different gender, age, nationality or life story — that you can’t be real with them. We can all bring more of ourselves to work and it would be good for all of us if we did!

Having a strong relationship with your boss impacts the entire organization. It helps create a desired work culture, the achievement of results, and increased satisfaction levels. And, you won’t likely have the desire to look for another job!

Mike and Jan

A Perfect Employee Is The One Who Inspires His Boss As Much As His Boss Inspires Him… Thanks For Being My Inspiration.
—Anna Teams

Universal Leadership Principles and Behaviors

Leadership, in its simplest form, means the act of getting individuals aligned and moving in the same direction toward a desired outcome.

Gallup/Clifton Strengths

Leadership has many definitions and we’ve shared them over the years. One of our more basic definitions is Taking others where they’ve never gone before and wouldn’t go by themselves. This covers a lot of territory.  Examples include goal attainment, career development, self-awareness, coaching, team synergy, and the list goes on and on.

Gallup, famous for their polling, completed one of their largest studies where over 14,000,000 employees, 2,000 organizations, and 559 job studies provided input for identifying what they viewed as the most essential competencies required for successful leaders. The results:

  • Build relationships
  • Develop people
  • Lead change
  • Inspire others
  • Think critically
  • Communicate clearly
  • Create accountability

We feel we can’t omit TRUST as an essential competency for leaders. Leaders that are trusted, are viewed as having high levels of integrity, and are considered authentic, make teams thrive and more readily achieve desired goals.

Lines of communication are open, individual and team confidence grows, and there’s a willingness for innovative thinking and taking risks without the fear of repercussions.

Effective leaders build a culture where accountability and responsibility are the “norm”. There’s no fear of bad reviews, demotions, or embarrassment, and feedback sessions are actually looked forward to!  They know that their leader will be respectful and honoring while delivering feedback, that the leader truly wants team members and the team to grow and succeed, and that they want to help each individual establish a career path and create and track their progress.

Claremont Graduate University Professor Paul Zak wrote that people in high trust workplaces compared to low-trust workplaces experienced the following:

74% less stress

106% more energy at work

50% higher productivity

13% fewer sick days

76% more engagement

29% more satisfaction with their lives

40% less burnout

This is definitely aligned with Patrick Lencioni’s Five Behaviors Of A Cohesive Team model where trust is the foundation for success. Regardless of how many leadership competencies one possesses, without trust a leader’s skills and abilities will always be limited.  Any disagreement?    

Guiding Principles

Does your place of work operate within a set of principles that clearly guide team members? Do they define how employees are to be treated, how employees will optimally interact with one another, and how the needs of clients, internal/external customers, and shareholders are best serviced?

Remember, it all starts with the employees. This includes satisfaction levels, attrition, general work engagement, and that employees leave “their boss, not their job”. The quality of leadership makes individuals and companies thrive while reducing turnover.

In Success Magazine, May/June 2022, Editor Tristan Ahumada shares 6 Leadership Principles of quality leadership he feels are necessary for leaders of all levels and they can be remembered as I SPARK. Excerpts include:

Innovation: Great leaders look for opportunities that will be impactful

Systems: Great leaders understand the need for systems and processes and their ability for reuse  

People First: People must be truly valued and treated well, in order to achieve success    

Awareness: Leaders understand the impact they have on others and the repercussions their actions and words will have

Resilience: Leaders must have grit and determination to deal with tough times and failures

Kindness: This is sometimes forgotten; great leadersare empathetic and compassionate, build relationships and unite people.

As a leader, what principles do you support and promote within your organization? Are there any that Mr. Ahumada provided that you could incorporate? Think I SPARK!

Relationships need to be built and maintained How would you evaluate the kind of relationships you have with your boss and your direct reports?  Do you find that you are most often in sync with them or that your relationship is “hit or miss”?

What’s your comfort level sharing stories about your personal life or discussing challenges you are facing at work?

Tips for Emerging Leaders and Beyond

At times organizations are only developing their Emerging Leaders with Leadership Development and Coaching. Some C Suite Leaders of the organization say “that’s not for me, it’s for them. 

What I find when doing organizational assessments is that the same basic skills that every leader must get better at are what leaders at all levels struggle with. It’s applying the basics of developing a Team, building a culture, and getting to honor and know each and every person that works with us. It’s soft skills like communicating clearly and respectfully and holding each other accountable. It is finding out the heart and minds of the people that work with us and for us. To do that we must cultivate a coaching and mentoring attitude. In order to do that you must have each person’s trust.

When distrust is the default – we lack the ability to debate or collaborate.
Edelman Data & Intelligence (DxI)

As a leader of any level, what impacts your ability to trust someone? Do you start with an even playing field where you are open and accepting or are you more inclined to reluctantly accept what is being shared and need to learn more? There is no right or perfect approach the key is to be aware of how you approach to trust and what is needed to be trusted by each other.

Edelman Data & Intelligence (DxI) has been conducting annual trust surveys for over 20 years.  For the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer, data was gathered from survey results obtained in November of 2021, with input from over 36,000 respondents from 28 countries.   

The findings:

  • Nearly 60% of the respondents have the default tendency to distrust and require more evidence
  • Distrust is now society’s default emotion
  • 64% say it’s to a point where people are incapable of having constructive and civil debates
  • Gone is the ability to collaborate on differences
  • 60% will choose a place to work based on their beliefs and values

Having over half of your colleagues/team members lacking the ability to trust certainly impacts your work culture as trust is the essential ingredient for building strong teams, supporting common goals, and producing results.

As a leader you have the ability to impact trust levels. Some ideas include:

  • Share your expectations (and live them)
  • Be authentic and transparent
  • Mean what you say
  • Keep confidences
  • Follow through on your commitments
  • No hidden agendas are allowed
  • Don’t disregard morale issues
  • Build relationships and take the time to “know” your colleagues/direct reports
  • Listen
  • Don’t ignore unhealthy conflict
  • Provide healthy, constructive feedback (with specifics)
  • Solicit feedback
  • Utilize Emotional Intelligence

Invest in building trust. When trust levels are lacking, stress, turnover, morale, gossip, productivity, and satisfaction ratings are impacted. When trust levels are high, the ability to collaborate, achieve results, and be open and vulnerable are also high.

When we truly care about a culture of trust we create an environment where each person is honored and respected for the skills, abilities and talents we have.

We have a learning culture where the development of our mindset is a top priority. We help each other achieve their desired goals and objectives. It’s not just about me, me, me it’s about we.

Could you do more to improve the ability to trust? Could your peers?

Some tips for emerging leaders that you should learn

If you read and study the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team by Patrick Lencioni you find there are concrete areas to measure and develop. The key is to 1) know what they are 2) measure the areas 3) develop plans to close the gaps that exist in each area.  The areas are:  Trust (what this entire article is about, Conflict (being able to address issues without fears or repercussions 3) Accountability (being accountable to each other no matter what level or title 4) Commitment (being committed to common goals and objectives 5) Results

There is a specific process to building and team by undoing The Five Dysfunctions. It’s best to just start. Find out where you are with being trusted as an individual or organization. Do an assessment to find out where you are. Sometimes this has to be done with outside expertise because who would open up with internal colleagues? Is there even enough trust that when you run the assessment at all? What are the barriers getting in the way? Is the organization safe and free to be vulnerable with each other? Can a problem be identified without people getting upset and angry to the point of

holding grudges for a long time? I recently had a client who said “we can’t discuss that hear because I am afraid of how Senior Management may react”.  Once you start the process it’s best to be open and honest with each other about what was heard. This gives permission for others to do the same. If the CEO or head of a department or organization shares what they heard and that they are starting a process to correct some things then it gives others permission they too can have a problem in their team and can work on it to correct and make it better.

For example, there are many leaders who don’t understand how their roles and those of their team connect to the overall goals and objectives of the company. Even when the leader who runs the organization does they don’t connect the dots for those that work for them. So when doing a survey or assessment it comes out that things like communication isn’t clear, we don’t know where we are ultimately going, and we don’t fully understand our role. Instead of being defensive about this, a leader needs to take charge, be open about the gap that was identified, and talk about the future with clarity. 

Another point to be clear with is that everyone is responsible for the change that must occur. That means everyone no matter what level or role. A way to further understand this point is discussed in a book by John Miller called the QBQ.  I love this book because it  clearly states we all own everything that happens. It is our responsibility to work on the problem. The book gives examples of questions we each must ask, what can I do to solve this issue, how can I help and provide support or a solution? Not questions like why is this happening and who is to blame. If you do anything with this article purchase that book and implement the QBQ throughout your organization. What we’ve seen is that when these processes are started there is immediate progress made. Not only with trust but all of the other four dysfunctions begin to improve.  Remember this is a process and not an event. What this means is that it’s like going to a gym to build physical muscles. It takes time and effort. Leadership, Team and Organizational muscles are the same. They must be developed over time. How we communicate, handle conflict, set our vision, mission and goals and hold each other accountbale is a career-long process.

Are You Accountable?

Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.
–Bob Proctor
We’ve recently been told that accountability issues are increasing in the workplace. Do you agree?  Do you find that colleagues (and maybe even you) find that being accountable is difficult?

If yes, we think the top 3 reasons may be:
  1. Not wanting to look bad
  2. Fear that others may lose their appreciation for us
  3. We’re unable to be vulnerable since relationships and maybe even job security could be impacted 

Like it or not, we all make mistakes. Sadly, and all too often, that includes justifying why we did (or said) what we did. And to make us feel better, we self-rationalize why we did it, and add “why” and “however” to what we’re saying in hopes of lessening our error.

Doing this does not help and in reality pretty much does the opposite. We need to realize that the lack of accountability does not serve us well. We lose the trust of others, we sever relationships, we get avoided, we get labeled, and team morale is diminished when lack of accountability is not addressed.

Siddharth Chaudhary, author at FocusU, views the 4 Steps To Accountability as:
  • Mustering the Courage to SEE IT
  • Finding the Heart to OWN IT
  • Obtaining the wisdom to SOLVE IT
  • Exercising the means to DO IT

Author John G. Miller shares his views and they include “owning up”:
  • I did it.
  • I was wrong.
  • It’s my fault.
  • I shouldn’t have said that.
  • I shouldn’t have done that.
  • I’m sorry.
  • I will change today.

Don’t make excuses, don’t ignore that an error has occurred (or that you dropped the ball), and don’t point fingers. If you erred, own it and learn from it. This builds levels of trust, helps with integrity, and earns respect.


Mike and Jan

Accountability breeds response-ability.
–Stephen Covey

Balancing Quality with Quantity

Does quality always matter more than quantity?
It’s not uncommon to work at a frantic pace with the work environment setting unrealistic expectations for needed deliverables. This may impact us (and our team), resulting in lower quality work, morale issues, intense work relationships, and high stress levels.

This does not mean that long hours and critical deadlines won’t be experienced, but as skilled leaders we must monitor work-loads for intensity and pace (for both exceptional performers as well as under achievers).

TIPS include:
  • Set priorities and identify 3 to 5 things that must be accomplished.  Studies show that only about 50% of a worker’s time is spent on goal specific activities. The rest of the time gets diverted to other tasks that are not mission critical.
  • Have clear goals, tasks and objectives and standards with measurable objectives. Set stretch goals and checkpoints and encourage feedback.
  • Establish best practices; debrief deliverables for what went well and what to be aware of, have documented processes and procedures.
  • Have a clear business case for the resources you will require (staff, funding, materials, and support).
  • Make sure you (or your project manager) possess the skills required to delegate, empower, and inspire the team, communicate, plan, and set clear priorities.  If not, invest in developing the missing skills.
  • Be prepared to take risks.  Thinking outside of the box and tough negotiations may be necessary to attain what is required.  This may also include making mistakes and failing to deliver what is expected.  Again, debrief what went well and what did not.

As leaders, we need to understand how we, and our teams, react to stress.  Some are energized by it, others debilitated by it.  Watch how team members interact, ask how they are doing, and don’t disregard the need to balance life outside of work.

We need to truly understand when quality work is being impacted by the quantity of work that must be done.  Are you able to help others find the appropriate balance?


Mike and Jan

We need to provide value to our organization and one way is to ensure we deliver quality results.