A Real Leader Builds The Next Generation of Leaders

I’ve heard it said, that anyone can have followers, but a real leader builds the next generation of leaders.  I think that is very true.  It is not so difficult to get other people to follow you, if you are smart, and charismatic. How do you build the next generation of leaders?  What does it take?  Can anyone be taught to be a leader?  Or is Leadership an innate skill? I think that leadership is a skill that is taught, and nurtured. Most people do not spring forth as leaders, as many of the soft skills required take time, practice,

When All Else Fails…..3 Tips

Despite the best of planning, things sometimes do not go well.  In fact, sometimes things go horribly, terribly, and most fantastically wrong.  In fact,  I’m currently digging myself out from under a mountain of Girl Scout Cookies in the garage, that we haven’t sold yet, because the weather hasn’t cooperated.  So, what do you do when all else fails? When All Else Fails… Make a New Plan Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and make a new plan.  Throw in some contingency plans, and be realistic about what else you can do.  This is key for someone in a leadership

Living With a Top Girl Scout Cookie Seller

When my oldest daughter started Girl Scouts, she would sell a couple hundred boxes of cookies per year.  It is fairly easy to get to a couple hundred in our family- call all of the relatives, post an order form at work, go door to door in the neighborhood, and work a couple of cookie booths.  Life was great until my youngest daughter entered first grade, and decided that as a first grader she was going to sell 500 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies.  And so it started.  For two months each year, we live, eat, and breathe cookies.  That’s

Writing Is The One School Subject I Use The Most

I find myself spending a significant percentage of each day writing things. I write dozens of emails each day.  I prepare slides for meetings, which involves writing.  And I find myself taking notes.  In short, Writing is the one school subject that I use the most.  I find it hard to describe how much writing I do each day, between all of the tasks I complete, and all of my interactions with colleagues.  I’m not even a technical writer, which is a profession that I would expect to use a lot of writing skills.  Instead, I’m in a technical field

Communicate Early and Often

It is very easy to fall into the trap of assuming that if you work hard, and do great work, you’ll be recognized.  Unfortunately, it’s not always so easy.  If you don’t communicate what you’ve done- early, and often- and claim credit for your achievements, they may go unnoticed.  Therefore, you must communicate early and often. Keeping track of status is a pain.  Communicating status takes time away from other tasks, that you really should be doing.  And writing status is – well- boring.  It’s about things that you’ve already done.  You have to break this mentality, and work on

1 Communication Tip: Ditch Email

If there is one communication tip that I have for people in the modern era, it is that they ditch Email.  Why do I say that? I say that because I think that people rely entirely on Email at times.  I know that I have been guilty of it myself.  Rather than get up, and go find someone, I’ve sent those emails.   You know the kind- asking a question, asking a favor, needing a response.  Sitting in my chair, wondering when I’m going to get a response, wasting time.  So, my suggestion to you is this-  Get up and

Measure Success by The Number of Insanity Comments

Different people have different ways of defining success.  They also have different ways of measuring success.   I am starting to come to the conclusion that I need to start measuring my own success by the number of times that I am told I am insane in a day.  I’m at a half dozen today.  Maybe I’ll get more than that tomorrow. It does make me laugh, quite a lot, and I never quite know how to respond when I’m called crazy.  I think that sanity must be overrated, because I’m having an awfully good time doing what I do.

7 Simple Tips to Improve Productivity at Work

One of the hardest things to handle at work is the constant pinging, poking, and the constant multitasking.  Frankly, it is distracting, and a huge drain on productivity.  So, what are some ways that I ensure that I can focus on what I need to do, and improve my productivity? Here are Some Simple Tips to Improve Productivity Turn off the audible and visible email notifications.  Chances are, if you’re anything like me, you get a bazillion emails a day.  Maybe more.  So, how are you supposed to concentrate if there are constant new mail! notifications?  Turn them off.  Email

Make Deposits to Build Relationships

In every relationship, there is give and take.   There has to be a balance between the giving and the taking.  Giving is Making a Deposit.  Taking is making a Withdrawal.  You must make a lot of deposits to build relationships.  In general it takes 7-10 deposits for every withdrawal.  Withdrawals can come in many forms- a negative comment, a favor you need someone to do, and anything that requires either a concession or a gift from the other person. What are some ways you can make deposits to build relationships? Put 5 coins in your pocket each morning, and

Practice Random Acts of Kindness

One of my favorite pastimes is to practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.  I am coming to learn that giving is sometimes the best gift.  Whether it’s buying someone’s lunch, or randomly giving away a box of Girl Scout Cookies, it is all good.  I think it’s pretty good for my soul too. Some Tips to Practice Random Acts of Kindness Pay for the person behind you in the drive-through.  This is one of the most common random acts of kindness.  This also works on toll roads, or in other similar situations Bring in Doughnuts, cookies,