Is Achieving Your Goals like a Game of Tug-of-War?

As a business owner or a department head, do you have a strategy for your team? How successful are you at achieving your strategy year over year? What if I said you would be more successful if you did less?

One of the greatest pitfalls I see companies fall into when executing their strategic plan is trying to do too much at once. After going through a strategic brainstorming session, there are so many great ideas on the table. A five-year vision is developed, then the two-year strategic objectives, and finally the tactical initiatives they wish to accomplish that year. Once nicely laid out on a board or in a three-ring binder with page protectors and full-color pages, leaders begin assigning team members to champion each of the tactical initiatives. After receiving their assignments, everyone goes their own separate ways until next year. Continue reading

Where’s the Hot Water?

I was rinsing out the coffee pot and getting frustrated that the water wouldn’t seem to get hot. Irritated, I started lamenting to myself that we needed a new water heater – and why did we buy a house that needed so much fixing up? Long after the water should have been hot, I checked the faucet. You’ll never get hot water out of the cold water faucet. Oops. Continue reading

What Type of Goal-Setter Are You?

How often do you stop and reflect on where you’ve been and where you are going? There are those who are religious only on Easter and Christmas; I feel the same can be said about people who only set goals as the New Year approaches. To change your life, you have to start with the little activities. The once-a-year, big activities don’t influence our lives as much as our daily choices. If you want to see change in your life, here are a few habits I suggest: Continue reading

Which Is Better: A Manager or a Leader?

It’s time to do away with the archaic manager vs. leader dichotomy! The comparison was developed in a time where we didn’t really understand what leadership was. A time when bosses were autocratic, and people worked more to provide for their family and less for personal fulfillment. Now we get it. We understand the concepts of management and leadership. Staying in this mindset is limiting. It causes people to say things like, “I’m a manager. I don’t need to be a leader,” or, “Since I’m a leader, I shouldn’t be doing these management pieces.” It’s time to move our thoughts away from a discrete manager/leader model to a management spectrum and leadership spectrum.

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Still Pulling All-Nighters?

At some point you just have to let it go. You set the gears in motion and then let the outcome happen. I see a lot of people trying to control the minutia all the way until the end. They are pulling all-nighters right before a deadline, calling everyone in a panic to follow up on tasks. While tying up loose ends and validating the upcoming tasks is a value-added activity, there comes a point where it starts detracting from overall performance. Continue reading

Finish Strong

Death by a thousand cuts. Ever had a project like that? One problem after another. The next fire drill starting before the last one finished. I’m sure everyone has been in this position, whether at work, volunteering, or with a project at home. How do you avoid giving up? Don’t throw in the towel; here are some tips to finish strong: Continue reading

Maybe It’s Time to Panic!

As deadlines near, there is something in the air – panic! While this isn’t always the case, it frequently is. A big project or deal has hit do-or-die time, and suddenly leaders within the organization worry about whether the company will meet with success. What can often be seen in that moment is more involvement from upper-level leaders and a lot more oversight, with a little bit of micromanaging thrown in for good measure.

Critical projects and deals warrant involvement from key leadership. If a lot is at stake, it’s understandable why upper management should be asking the right questions; these people often can bring the right perspective to avoid unnecessary hiccups. But, if you are a leader in this position, pause and ask yourself these questions before jumping in: Continue reading

Are You Playing out of Bounds?

What do you value? What are you not willing to compromise? When companies write mission and vision statements, often they begin with value statements. Frequently their value statements talk about a commitment to the environment, being involved in the community, upholding quality and innovation, etc. What are your values?

When we set goals, it’s important to take time and explore what we stand for. What do we really value in life? Family? Time not working? Travel? It’s a very individual choice, and one person’s choice isn’t necessarily better than another person’s. As you decide what your driving values are, don’t be fake. Be honest with yourself. If you don’t care about volunteering in the community, don’t say that it’s a value! If you want to have enough financial security that you can take a sabbatical from work every two years, that’s fine, too! The important thing is this: be honest with yourself about your values, and use that as a basis for making your decisions. Continue reading

Tips to Overcome Barriers

Do you ever become disheartened when facing what seems like an insurmountable obstacle? Sometimes those obstacles are so huge that we abandon our goals. This week we had Kris Harty, aka “The Short Chick with the Walking Stick,” on the show talking about overcoming challenges blocking our path to success. Here were a few of the tips mentioned:  Continue reading

How to Find Meaningful Work

Recently a shift has occurred in the minds of employees. No longer are people working for just a paycheck. Increasing numbers of people want to make a difference in the world through their job. Meaning is becoming more important. Being able to believe in a company’s purpose is more important. How do you find work that will bring more satisfaction without sacrificing the pay? We brought on Nathaniel Koloc from ReWork to find out. Here are some of the things we talked about:

It’s not a career ladder. If you want to be happy, you need to get the idea of a career ladder out of your head. That’s very limiting. To pursue the career ladder, you have to be content staying with one position for a long time. Instead, think about your career in a non-linear fashion. It’s okay to move sideways and even backwards in order to gain skills and knowledge to build a strong career portfolio. Be strategic and think about positions that will serve you in your long-term goals. Continue reading