Tip 22: 3 Simple Steps to Providing Feedback

One of the critical communication breakdowns I see teams make is not providing others with feedback.

For some reason, this is one of the hardest things for people to do in the work place. I am not entirely sure why, except to say that people either don't know how to provide feedback to others, it can be very uncomfortable, or both.

Team members want feedback - both positive and constructive. But it has to be delivered in a timely manner and in a way that is specific enough so that people understand the behaviors that need to be changed.

All Heroes Don’t Wear Capes

I was in the Apple Store today. I had a scheduled meeting with a Genius (an Apple tech support guru) at 2:00. You’d never know we were in a recession by the number of people in the store at 2:00 in the afternoon on a Tuesday. Anyway, the Genius who was helping me with my iPhone had a shirt on that said “Not all heroes wear capes.”

Consistency and Curiosity: A Balancing Act of Leadership Characteristics (Part 4)

This is the fourth of four posts about the sometimes opposing characteristics that are required of leaders. In Part 1, I talked about the need to balance courage with humility, in Part 2 the need to balance strength with vulnerability, and in Part 3 the need to balance being demanding with empathy.

The 5 Costliest Mistakes Teams Make

Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Time: 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM MDT

Balancing Experience and Possibilities

I turned 40 this past Saturday and was enlightened by a number of experiences. My Uncle Mike sent me an email that said, "It's fun going up the hill, but don't go over the hill." Thanks Uncle Mike, but how do I know when I am at the top?

Tip 21: Courage Not Conformity

I have spoken a lot in recent blog posts about courage and how it is such an important leadership characteristic. But courage is also an important team member characteristic.

Earl Nightengale once said that, "The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice...it's conformity."

Demanding and Empathetic: A Balancing Act of Leadership Characteristics (Part 3)

In my two previous posts, I mentioned that leadership often requires the ability to balance sometimes opposing characteristics. In Part 1, I touched on the balance of Courage with Humility. In Part 2, I talked about the balance of Strength and Vulnerability.

The third set of characteristics that I believe is required of a successful leader is the balance of being Demanding with being Empathetic.

Strength and Vulnerability: A Balancing Act of Leadership Characteristics (Part 2)

In my recent blog post, Courage and Humility: A Balancing Act of Leadership Characteristics, I mentioned that leadership often requires a unique balance of sometimes opposing characteristics. In Part 1,  I spoke wrote about Courage and Humility.

The second set of characteristics that I believe is required of a successful leader is the balance of strength with vulnerability.

Do You Have the Courage to Lead?

Climbing at 19,000' in Ecuador

Just because you have the title of "leader" doesn't make you are a leader. And just because you don't have the title of leader doesn't mean you aren't a leader.

People are called upon to do many things - both inside and outside of the workplace. Those who have the courage to do the right things, especially when the right things are difficult to do, deserve the title of leader.
Consider the following:

Tip #20: The "Commander's Intent"

When army officers issue an operations order, they include a statement in the order called "Commanders Intent." The purpose of this statement is to provide people with guidance so that decisions can be made and action can be taken in the face of ambiguity.

The same can be applied in the work place. If you are a leader, make sure your people understand the overall purpose of the task at hand. If you are a team member, take responsibility for understanding how your task fits into the bigger picture.

Add clarity in the face of ambiguity. Understand your "manager's intent."