Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for October, 2013

A teen offers a few words of wisdom.

I married quite young, as did my son. So today, I’m fortunate to be enjoying an awesome relationship with my 14-year-old granddaughter. In addition to her being dear to me, I find I’m often learning from her view of life.

This is a gem that she gave me the other day that I immediately related to the workplace, so I thought I’d share it with you. I’d be interested in your thoughts and experiences.

We were talking about her JV Volleyball team’s discouraging losing streak. When I asked her how she felt about it she told me that she didn’t think that she and her teammates were bad players, but she thinks the “drama” and talking behind each other’s backs is why they’re having such a tough season.

She finished by simply stating: “I think we’re not winning because we’re not really a team.”

Like I said…a gem.

Random thoughts about leadership.

Every once and a while I jot down a random idea from my experiences or observations at work. Here are a few that I’ve noted in the last several months, so I thought I’d share them. I hope you find one or more helpful…or at the least, validating.

– When you’re up against an important or taxing decision, and you’ve already gathered the data you need, but you’re still perplexed—if you have the luxury of time—let it simmer. Letting go of it for a bit and taking a relaxed approach to creative or strategic thinking will generate a great deal more new and helpful ideas. Frantic thinking will generate stress and often paralyze your ability to move forward.

– If you google the term “leadership development models” you’ll see that there are 32 million links available on the subject. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who couldn’t possibly keep up.

– If you have a leadership role, but no one is following you, are you still a leader or are you just the person struggling with the higher-paying job?

– In an effort to demonstrate action, I often see leaders promise more than they, or their teams, can deliver. Want to build your team’s trust? Promise only what you know you can deliver, and engage your teams to set target dates that involve their participation.

– Leaders often measure organizational success only by profitability. In my experience, what’s most important to measure is what’s behind the scenes keeping the profitability sustainable.

– I always find it so interesting that leaders or managers are baffled by someone’s lack of accountability. Yet, they seldom ask themselves why they allow it.

– The most awesome and successful leaders I’ve met or worked with—and who are most respected by their employees—have a perfect balance between business acumen and people skills.

How about you? Do you have any random thoughts about leadership that you’d like to share?