OK…I understand that the “flow” of business is often “altered” in light of the holiday season. And most of the time I will admit I do NOT adjust well to the resulting change in intensity, momentum and profession-directed energy. You all know what I mean. But this year I have decided to use the Christmas and New Years events to carve out a TRIPLE III TIME message that still pushes that creativity button. So here goes!
How about if we first use the Christmas time as an opportunity to REMEMBER last years “Best-of-the-Best” personal and professional occurrences! Here’s a list of TOP 10 rememberings to help you think about your own:
- Realizing the positive impact you may have by teaching college classes and making your topics “LIVE”!
- Feeling a special smile show up when you know you can still call your greatest mentor and get beautiful advice.
- Understanding that hi-tech isn’t for everyone and sharing your ebook in a fun printed form.
- Using your professional network to potentially help a true friend find a comfortable career trac forward.
- The “positives” that are returned when you are not afraid or embarrassed to proclaim you are still learning too.
- Getting reminded over and over that reconnecting with family (yes work family too) is priceless.
- Witnessing that some of (or parts of) your past principles and professional are being replicated.
- That the practice of making one new business contact each week…does pay you back.
- Always looking at your personal and professional actions and deciding if they would make your Ma & Dad…and Grandparents proud.
- Taking pride in the belief that colleagues still look to you for new ideas everyday…EVERYDAY.
I will toss out my New Year “Something to look forward to!”…TOP 10 next week.
This quarter my American Society for Public Administration guest columnist article discusses what I term: Transition of Age. Specifically, it focuses on the challenges and opportunities that evolve when new, younger workers become a part of the public administration/public service employment sector. A unique form of professional discomfort is also assessed which impacts both the new but also seasoned employees. I hope you enjoy the discussion. patimes.org/transition-of-age
Innovation is and will always be one of my favorite topics. So as I thought about the holidays and a special LEARNING MOMENTS message for this month…I decided to offer my “10 Wishes for Innovation!” This podcast lasts a little longer but I know it will be worth the extra listening time. Thanks for listening.
If you look up the definition of “decision”, my trusty Webster’s Dictionary in partnership with my Roget’s II Thesaurus brings you results like: 1) The report of a conclusion, 2) The art or process of deciding and words like: Determination, Resolution, Firmness and Definite. So as we apply this weeks TRIPLE III TIME message topic: Decision-Making…do the dictionary definitions and thesaurus words sound like you? Does your Decision-Making style mirror the word description expectations? Simply put: Are you good at quality Decision-Making?
Quality Decision-Making is a principle element of being a great leader. People respond, respect, trust, and support someone who is able to effectively/efficiently arrive at a good decision for action. Well, maybe it’s a good time to look in the mirror and ask yourself: Am I a good decision-maker? Have I ever taken the time to ask myself this question? And to better help you find an answer, consider these Decision-Making quiz questions first:
- Do you enjoy being assigned a Decision-Making role?
- Do you whine because “I” never get to be right on an issue? (But do you also understand it may be because you avoid the responsibility of deciding on an issue!)
- Do you have a method/process/system/style for Decision-Making that people can count on?
- Do you have the confidence to be an effective decision-maker or do you prefer/need a co-decider?
- Do you apply a sense of urgency to the Decision-Making process or do you feel relieved when you can delay the outcome?
Back in my Director-days, everyone that worked with me understood that you were always empowered to make a decision everyday…EVERYDAY. Making no decision…non-action was NOT acceptable. Further it was my policy that no matter what there could always be a better decision on any issue…but no decision usually only made the situation worse!
I think if you answered all of the quiz questions honestly…everyone could improve their Decision-Making capacities. So are you ready…or still deciding?
As the world-of-work continues to evolve and change in our high-tech, global, faster paced employment environment, I am always fascinated with the creation of “new” jobs. You know what I mean! Web Designer, Blog Supervisor, Drone Mechanic, Web-Cast Producer and the list goes on and on. But on a less technological and more face-to-face personal level, do you think anyone ever considered the need/value of retaining An Innovation Advisor?
Yes, I said An Innovation Advisor!
Just as many workplaces have an attorney on retainer for legal advice and document-building, wouldn’t it make sense to use that same approach to have access to someone who could:
- Offer non-traditional service/product concepts.
- Help initiate/expand a culture of innovation in your workplace.
- Coach personnel on the generation of new ideas.
- Suggest alternative communication techniques to enhance everyone’s supported understanding.
- Create new-age linkages with other organizations/businesses.
- Help dissolve the “we have always done it this way” mindset.
- Design fun ways to better bring old and new staff closer together.
- Facilitate an inclusion-style of organizational operations to better benefit from everyone’s skills.
- Assist in Board meeting agenda-building/meeting conduct to attain FULL ENGAGEMENT of members.
- Initiate an ongoing “Staff Recycling” process to ensure everyone has high value and never becomes outdated.
An Innovation Advisor would intentionally not “fit” in any one specific area…and would always remain “unique-in-service” to the person(s) they are working with.
Please give this TOP 10 extra “new job” thought.
This week it is time to try and come to grips with the: Always Better… versus the…But Never Good Enough mindsets of people. I believe in most cases people flow from one side of these mindsets to the other based on the topic or challenge. And that shift is human nature, understandable and AOK!
However for the purpose of this “Always Better…But Never Good Enough” TRIPLE III TIME message, I want everyone to think about how you convey your position on this topic…and why that is so impactful.
Are you thinking?
As a leader…did the person you just talked to about performing or achievements in a certain area walk away with a: “there is always a better way approach to this challenge” understanding? Or were they saying under their breath: “No matter what I do it will never be good enough”? Or if you want to say it another way: “I guess I will give it another whack and we will see if it works better!”…versus… “There is no use even trying because I’m just going to get the same not-good-enough answer?” At home or at work, with young children or with adults…leaving the discussion with an “Always Better” instead of a “But Never Good Enough” tone is truly the difference between day or night regarding support and motivation.
I have experienced those that fall on both sides of the Always Better…But Never Good Enough mode of operation. Personally I admit I have never been satisfied with the status quo and pushed hard to find that Always Better way. However, I hope I avoid/avoided conveying a But Never Good Enough attitude.
How about you?
As I have continued to grow and develop in my small business owner role and as a professional consultant, one of the areas that I believe is often overlooked when involved in assessing professional leadership is: Measuring PRIDE. Let me explain.
When you think about quality leadership traits most often you identify: poise under pressure, a great communicator, understanding of issues, a fair compromiser and visionary as some of the top ones. But do you ever think about someone’s ability to express their PRIDE with style, sincerity, and with the right amount of passion (but not brag) as important traits? Logically wouldn’t it be appropriate to apply Measuring PRIDE when you are interviewing someone for a job, considering someone as a business partner and/or agreeing to be a professional reference for anyone? I believe Measuring PRIDE is a true reflection of someone’s leadership character.
So what’s the TRIPLE III TIME point?
As you go forward as a professional please consider Measuring YOUR PRIDE with style, sincerity and passion when you think about:
- Being a friend
- Personal achievements
- Educational achievements
- Professional achievements
- Volunteer efforts
- Mentoring opportunities
- Allowing someone to help you
- Leaving a legacy
- Level of commitment
- Partnership requests
I think addressing these TOP 10 Measuring PRIDE considerations will help you be appropriately recognized as positive, humble and success-driven.
This semester I am again teaching an American Government & Politics course for an area community college. And one of the most important and interesting class assignments is the preparation and presentation of a one or two-page Position Paper each week. Position Papers allow students to pick an issue that they are passionate about…an issue that could realize improvement if it were addressed by a government body…and create discussion about what might be the differing public opinions on the issue. The issues selected and the resulting class discussions are a blast!
Well this week a young lady presented her Position Paper on: Snakes as Therapy Pets. It was obvious she had done adequate research and offered examples of where, when and how different snake species are utilized as therapy pets. The class and I listened…but I have to admit I did not listen as well as I should have. Whether it was my long-term fear of snakes, my internal debate on the class interest in this topic or my own personal nervousness about the snake topic in any form…I began applying: SELECTIVE LISTENING.
You know what I mean…and we are ALL guilty at some point.
SELECTIVE LISTENING basically means that you listen with less interest and with a mindset that has moved on to another topic. SELECTIVE LISTENING seems to occur mostly because of your lack of interest in the speaker and/or interest in what they are talking about. So think for a moment…would I have been SELECT LISTENING if Clint Eastwood, Mark Zuckerberg or my mentor Dr. Bender were discussing the value of snakes as therapy pets? Would I have listened more intently, with more support, and with a more sincere interest in a quality two-way discussion on the topic?
Today, I believe that in so many areas of our personal and professional worlds…we have too much SELECTIVE LISTENING. The high volume of information exchange has somehow numbed our listening capacities. Unfortunately this includes listening in the areas of politics, parenting, communities, friendships and even within family households.
Bottomline: This TRIPLE III TIME message recommends that you work hard to reduce the frequency and areas that cause you to engage in SELECTIVE LISTENING. Why…because?
- You will regret not listening and learning from the words of an aging family member.
- You should not disregard the value of the words of a young child/adult
- You should not ignore the non-traditional words/beliefs/ideas of those you meet everyday.
Even though this podcast is coming to you from my deer blind and has a few extra shuffling noises because it’s cold in here…I really hope you enjoy my explanation of what I mean when I mention The “CAUSE”! And because it was requested by a great friend…it has special personal and professional meaning.
The strategies for self and/or organizational improvement span a wide variety of topics. One that has come up recently…and although we have touched on it before…is someone’s first impression. But more specifically what do they see when they come through your business door?
So maybe it’s time for a fun test! Have you ever tried to pretend it is your first time visiting one of your business locations and REALLY assessing what you see/hear/feel/smell? All of your senses contribute to your impressions of how positive (or not so positive) you feel during your first visit.
Next as you proceed into the office/business space:
- Are there old, outdated materials posted that automatically project an “old news” image?
- Are desks and workspaces organized and reflective of action?
- When you are greeted do you feel a sense of professional energy?
- Is the lighting good/adequate…or do you have to maneuver to find appropriate reading light?
- By looking around do you observe “answers to your basic questions” …or are you surrounded by confusion or being overwhelmed?
As you can guess there are a number of “What Do They See?” issues that are critical to your professional image. More importantly everyone needs to understand that continuous improvement is NOT just for employees…it is for your facilities/promotional materials/websites too!
ALWAYS FRESH is a good strategy as you address the “What Do They See?” challenge. And remember…there is nothing that can be labeled “TOO FRESH!”