The Daily Read

Great Leadership 8 Condescending Things a Manager Should Avoid Saying to an Employee Here’s eight great phrases to think about.  Do you use any of these in your leadership?  Maybe it’s time to reorient your thinking.  “No one else has a problem with it” was the catch phrase that sent chills up my spine.  My all time favorite is not here but was a daily companion with me for years: “If you don’t like it here, there’s the door.”  Ah, inspirational leadership.

Leadership Now 10 Paradoxical Traits Of Creative People “May you live in interesting times” is considered to be an ancient Chinese curse.  Nowadays, leading a team of creative people (or even worse, creative children!)  could be your greatest blessing/curse.  My children are intensely curious and creative and frustrated me mightily in my delight.  So do the best people I’ve ever worked with.  How you channel that creativity is up to you as the team leader, but the creative team goes much farther than others.  Can you successfully support them while maintaining your own sanity?  Here are ten examples of yin-yang to keep in mind.




The Daily Read

Seth Godin The closer you get to the front, the more power you have over the brand Long after the Berlin Airlift was completed, the pilots were remembered for more than the heroic effort to resupply a trapped city.  They were remembered for the chocolate that was dropped to the children of Berlin from the people of America.  Then there’s those smart phone selfies posted by the fast food workers doing God knows what to their product.  Both leave lasting impressions that are hard to turn around.  So how do you control your project or business right there at the end, where the proverbial rubber meets the road?  Most choose the route of complete and rigid control, but Seth suggests hiring the right people to do the job with that all critical human touch.

Bernard Marr Stop! Don’t Use These Words Like, I seriously had to re-read this to see how many of these phrases I use.  I honestly didn’t expect to see so many, you know?  I mean, really!  And before you know it, those popular phrases work their way into your daily speech.  Not everyone has the same trigger words.  For me, it’s Buzzword Bingo.  The more jargon you speak at me without demonstrating you understand it, the less I listen.  LaQuinta advertising offers “synergistic integration” to “think outside the box”.  Mission accomplished–I remember the ad.  Did you follow that up with the slides showing your plan?  What are your trigger words?

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Inc. Magazine 7 Things Respected People Do If we could all do these seven simple and authentic things, the workplace would be so much more productive and less stressful.  I’m not 100% all the time, but I try so hard to be all of these all the time.  Under promise and over deliver, be comfortable in your own skin, be inclusive…all seven are time-tested and effective approaches. (Tip of the hat to THK for sharing this!)

Seth Godin The Red Lantern This is another Seth Godin That is quick to read and long to ponder.  The Red Lantern is given to the LAST place finisher at the Iditarod.  Have you ever been at the race where long after the first place finishers have passed, the last place finishers are still struggling?  You applaud them as they go by in support because they may be in last place, but still a finisher!  Every workplace has a first place star performer.  The reality of the bell curve demands they also have at least one red lantern performer.  Your RL is an asset to the team because they are on your team, but what are you doing to mentor and develop them?

Thought Leaders 7 Tips for Creating Leadership Sustainability Another seven tip story this morning, this one focuses on the thing we don’t want to do…follow up on the feedback from our own annual review.  Yes, we leaders need work too.  Anyone who has watched (and criticized) any US President knows we know how to do the job better than the actual job holder.  The uncomfortable question you need to confront comes when you are asked – How long have you known you should improve these behaviors? Some use *decades* as the answer.  Dig out last year’s review to peruse after you finish reading.  Today’s bonus word to add to your power vocabulary is: meliorate

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Seth Godin Scuff-Proof Shoes It’s all about ongoing and consistent authentic action.  The more authentic you are, the more bullet resistant you become. “When we know and understand you and your brand, warts and all, it’s really unlikely that a new scuff is going to change our opinion of who you are and what you do.”

Management Excellence Effective Leaders Earn Their Stripes Every Day Another consistent authentic leadership trait is walking the walk every day.  Everyone stumbles, but if you take the time and walk the walk every day, is your stumble just that or another example of being unable to rise to the occasion.  

World Leaders Conference 5 Things Strong Leaders Do Leaders have a lot to do but the biggest one is being part of the team while leading the team.  Points one and two go hand in hand and are many times the hardest lessons to practice.  Strong leaders look for other strong leaders –AND– recognize and value competing opinions.

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Leadership Freak When Candor Means They’re a Jerk I highly value recognizing reality and openly confronting it.  While others ignore the elephant in the room, I like to introduce him around.  However, candor is a tricky minefield.  One person’s reality is another’s brutality.  Dan Rockwell has some great tips on how to think about your candor and how it’s delivered.  

Marc and Angel Hack Life 5 Things You Should Know About Letting Go Here’s another balancing act for the day.  The past made you and is what you bring into the future, but how much of it do you pack into your daily luggage?  What would your daily journey be like if you repacked to reflect not the old you from back in the day but the new and present you, who is developing into the future and even better you?  

Thought Leaders 3 Keys to Inspiring Action One of the greatest challenges is to balance decision evaluation with decision making.  No one wants to make a decision without enough information but no one wants to wait forever for analysis paralysis to pass.  Learning the second key, evaluate the cost of waiting, was a turning point for me.  Give yourself a set period of time to gather all the info you need.  When that time period expires, it’s time for a decision based on what you know now.

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Seth Godin Making Costumes The word “costume” usually evokes thoughts of witches and goblins trick or treating on 31 Oct.  The deeper meaning is as plain as the S on Superman’s chest.  When you see that S, you know what you’re going to get.  Your packaging, your website, yes, even your desk and workspace—that’s your costume.  What’s the image you project?  What’s the delivery on the promise?

Leading Blog 7 Metaphors for Leadership Transformation Where else could *fire* and *snowball* exist together?  Only in leadership.  There’s seven indispensable characteristics to keep in mind each time you settle into the big chair and lead your team. 

Thought Leaders What to do When the Goal Seems too Far Away In Star Trek Voyager, the crew of the Voyager suddenly finds themselves 75,000 light years away from home.  Very few leaders get to actually manage a timeline of this length and complexity even thought it may seem like it to you and your team.  How do you move yourself and your team toward that first step and sustain all the steps to come?  Kelly Gregorio has some good lessons and techniques to use.



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“I Have a Dream” plus 50.  So much completed.  So much more left to do.

Marc and Angel Hack Life 6 Powerful Truths to Start Telling Yourself This is one of those posts that you need to read, digest, and then re-read a few days later.  Do NOT rush through this one if you’re serious about being the best you you can be.  The biggest takeaway for me was  “My weirdness is one of my greatest strengths.”  That’s because you are the only you.

Seth Godin If You Don’t Start You Can’t Fail Another goodie from Seth that deserves a full posting.  It echoes Wayne Gretsky’s “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”   

“It sounds ridiculous when you say it that way. But of course, it is ridiculous. It’s (quite possibly) the reason you’re stalling. On the other hand, there’s no doubt that, “If you don’t start, you will fail.” Not starting and failing lead to precisely the same outcome, with different names.”

Three Star Leadership An Elevator Speech for Bosses The three rules Wally Bock mentions are great and I use them all the time.  The only other one I add is on keeping a good flow of communication: “Don’t surprise me.  I will not surprise you.”