No traffic on the extra mile. You can do it even with no fans in the stands. Stop long enough only to catch your breath and reclaim your focus! #letsgo #lifecoach
Leaders just might have to remind themselves from time to time that they have what it takes to succeed. Your ability helps you adapt/adjust to what is happening. Even when you hit a rough patch it doesn’t always mean you have to come up with a new plan. You may just need to have confidence in the plan you have and see it through! Maybe it’s not “the plan” that needs to change…maybe its your perspective that needs an extreme makeover.
For most of us, childhood was a carefree time, an age of innocence, discovery, and creativity. Many of the stories we learned in childhood remain with us today. I am going to encourage you, through this blog post, to channel your inner adolescence and add to your reading list some children’s books which offer up valuable lessons in leadership.
1. Where the Wild Things are – Maurice Sendak
This delightful book magnifies the need for imagination, creativity, and the return to reality and stability.
2. The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
A thought provoking dissertation on the power of imagination and creativity. It gives us pause to study the give and take in interpersonal relationships and the laws of reciprocity.
3. The Very Hungry Catepillar – Eric Carte
The metamorphosis and transformation of this bug with a voracious appetite draws parallels between the maturing of individuals both personally and professionally. Evolution of a person and their purpose can be examined through the eyes of this simplistic and inspiring story.
4. The Lorax – Dr. Theodor Suess Geisel
Here we examine what happens when “too much” becomes “not enough.” Leaders do well to understand their obligations as stewards of the resources (people and environmental) which are entrusted to their care. Greed breeds social and organizational irresponsibility. This is a word to the wise about the land mines found on the path of success.
5. The Little Red Hen – Paul Galdon
This classic tale of determination and perseverance, despite a lack of help and support serves as an inspiring and motivating text for leaders. The proverbial show must go on even as resources become scarce. Personal initiative is paramount to achieving goals and objectives despite resistance and lack of support.
All of these great books have valuable morals which are applicable to the role of leadership. So many times we define, dissect, explain a problem using big words, cliches, buzz words, and run-on sentences. These stories leave off all the bravado and focus on the central themes in succinct ways. They are “easy reads” that do not take much time to digest and absorb. You might feel a little silly, but, you’ll be better for having indulged your inner adolescent!
ENNA A BACHELOR
After a long weekend, especially during the summer, the productivity at the beginning of the week may be a bit sluggish. Leaders should take this into consideration and think of ways to motivate your team into a productive state of mind. Here’s a few suggestions to pump up the team:
1. Consider an inspiring quote placed on each team members desk. If the team is too big for this to be feasible then consider strategically placing them in common team work areas or “water cooler” locations. One of my favorite spots is on the microwave door or the refrigerator. Folks are always warming up coffee or tea or putting something in the fridge. Surprise them with inspiration where they would least expect it!
2. Feed them….So simple and yet so satisfying. Everyone enjoys the fresh fruit or donut holes (pick your poison) that they didn’t have to buy themselves.
3. Consider projects that give back or help others when time permits on Mondays. Nothing motivates like helping others. Community service builds team unity, camaraderie and relieves stress. This may not be something you can do every Monday but maybe monthly or quarterly you can schedule an activity of this sort. Be creative! There is plenty you can do right in the office or consider a “field trip” to the community for hands on service projects. Have a daycare in your building or close to the office? Consider reading to the children for an hour on Mondays!
4. Lead by example. As a leader, come in with a positive attitude and a pleasant disposition. You set the tone by your demeanor. Don’t kill the joy buzz in the office with your melancholy attitude or Eor-like (you know, Winnie the Pooh’s somber side kick) disposition. Pep it up!
5. Meeting free Mondays? Yep! I said it. If at all possible try to keep Monday’s free of lengthy meetings and conference calls. This cannot always be avoided but consider at least making the morning this way if you can. Give folks a chance to “warm up” before they are thrown into the proverbial lion’s den.
6. Start off the week thanking folks for what was accomplished last week and in advance for this weeks projected successes. This is a great way to transform yourself from the “Task Master” to the “Kudo King or Queen.” Instead of the “to do’s” consider changing it to the “thank you’….” Thank you for following up with….. Thank you for return calls to Mr. Important Stakeholder….. Thank you for preparing the agenda for Thursday’s meeting for my review…. Thank you for scheduling the quarterly conference call…. Try framing statements with an eye on appreciating others. Not that every statement or request has to be syrupy sweet but you get the idea…show appreciation.
What are some things you do to get your team motivated? Please share!