LeadershipTips

Transformation begins with small but mighty changes.

Ground Yourself

When you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions, practice a “grounding” technique. One option you can use while sitting or standing is to place all of your awareness on the bottom of your feet. You can also do this by wiggling your toes inside your shoe, or visualizing yourself making an outline of each foot, while paying attention to any sensations. Grounding will help you get out of your head and instead focus on your body rather than your emotions.

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Gather Feedback to Grow

To facilitate a system of development consider implementing 360 Feedback opportunities on a regular basis at your organization. Based on the feedback received, people adjust their behavior, develop skills, and can learn to focus on other areas to be more effective.

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Focus on Behaviors

When providing feedback to colleagues and employees, focus on behaviors. As you and your conversation partner discuss an observed event or action, describe specifically what the individual did and the impact that it had. Use action verbs and narrate the sequence as you observed it; then describe what happened as a result. Often, we remember what we “think” we did, or intended to do, but we’re not self-aware enough to know what we actually did.

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Reflect on Your Own Behavior

Take a moment to reflect on how well you are upholding your organization’s values… usually they match your own. Is there room for improvement? Take note of what could be improved in your own behavior.

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Track Your Actions

At the end of each day track your actions on a four-column table. In the first column, list your meetings, calls and tasks. In the 2nd column list the actions you took that align to your organizational standards. In the third column list what you could have done better in adhering to your mission and values. In column four, note opportunities to hold others accountable.

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Empower People to Solve Problems

Good processes arise when the workforce is empowered to identify and solve problems to achieve excellence. Process improvement reinforces and accelerates a culture of performance excellence. Encourage people to be problem solvers by bringing a solution with every problem.

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Grow Owners

Owners are deeply committed to organizational performance. They often take personal responsibility when things go wrong and immediately begin looking for solutions. This is the type of behavior organizations seek to replicate. To grow owners in your organization, find ways to deliberately and publicly highlight displays of ownership behavior in others.

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Get the Team Involved in Action Planning

90-day planning helps us focus on the 90-day priorities and actions that will move us closer to achievement of annual goals. These plans also help to focus our teams. Presenting goals in achievable chunks creates opportunity to celebrate success along the way or make adjustments where needed. Invite your team to provide input as you draft the next 90-day plan.

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Consult a Lawyer

During a crisis it is essential for leaders to consult with a lawyer before releasing information. Once a lawyer is consulted release all of the information allowed as soon as possible. Avoid withholding any information you can legally provide, attempting to hide information can only harm the organization during a crisis, there is no benefit.

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Empower Employees

Give individuals on the front lines the authority to do what it takes to make customers happy, so their issues are solved the first time. Employees closest to the customers are most in tune with customer pain points and how to solve them. Harvest this information for continuous customer service recovery and improvement.

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Track Your Achievements

As you develop and progress throughout your career, it can be useful to track your accomplishments or your career achievements. This is not the same thing as your LinkedIn profile, CV or resume, although tracking your career achievements can influence those materials. Keep your mentors and advocates informed of your development and accomplishments. This can be done digitally through a saved document that is updated, a blog, or a personal website.

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Will or Skill?

When addressing mediocre performance with a low or low solid performer, it’s critical to recognize whether the individual is unwilling to change or is requiring additional skills to change. Prepare for a conversation with the individual based on specific examples of their performance or behavior.

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Know Your Impact

What is your impact? What do you want to be known for? What are you passionate about? What are your special skills or talents? What do you want your legacy to be? Are you taking steps to pursue what is most important to you?

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Avoid Thinking ‘Should’

Don’t focus on how things “should” be. This is a trap that can create unrealistic expectations and undermine happiness. Let go of the control over how an experience should go and enjoy the moment.

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Take Pride in Your Work

Execute your responsibilities to the best of your ability. Your work is a reflection of your personal accountability. Identify ways to go above and beyond in your work to exceed the expectations of your leader and team, and positively affect the organization’s results.

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Identify Your Impact

Remind yourself daily why you do the work you do. What is the end benefit of your efforts? You may not even come in contact with the people you impact, but your work does make a difference in their lives. Focus on finding meaning in your work.

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Use Gratitude to Overcome Obstacles

When you are facing an obstacle it can be helpful to question yourself with a focus on gratitude:

  • What is one thing that is positive or good about this situation?
  • What is the hidden opportunity, or what can I learn from this situation?
  • Does someone have it worse than me right now?
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From Results to Action Plan

After you’ve completed the results rollout process, review the additional data you collected. Then, develop an action plan:

  • List the team’s prioritized actions.
  • Determine a timeline for implementation for each action.
  • Identify the person responsible for successful implementation of each action.
  • Provide the team with the draft 90 Day Action Plan for one last review and opportunity for feedback before implementation.
  • Implement the action plan.
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Seeking a Mentor?

A mentor can provide trusted advice, encouragement, and feedback about your career progress. Before seeking out a mentor, consider your goals for this relationship. How much time are you willing to commit to working with your mentor? You will only get out of mentorship what you put into it.

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Develop Yourself

Set at least one professional development goal for the next 90 days. What skills do you need to strengthen? What actions can you take to strengthen those skills? Are there any upcoming opportunities or additional responsibilities you can take advantage of to support your development plan?

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Why Aren’t We Getting Results?

When individuals or teams aren’t reaching the intended results, schedule a reflection session to review the actions taken and areas that can be improved to achieve success. Then, develop a plan for the individual’s or team’s next steps.

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Keep Track of Your Emotions

As you reflect on your day, note any moments that make you ‘tick,’ or that generate an emotional response from you. Whether or not you managed your reaction, consider keeping a journal to track all of these moments. By tracking these situations, you will notice patterns in behaviors that caused you to react emotionally, and recognize what helps you remain in control of your emotions.

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Offer Freedom within the Fences

The most successful organizations are those that offer employees “freedom within fences.” The standards and expectations are collaboratively set, based on the organization’s goals. Then, leaders and employees creatively operate within the fence. This type of structure is not about control. Progress is monitored and direction is provided for how to achieve success.

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Assign a Champion of the Goal

The organization’s executive leader determines the champion to own each of the goals and its achievement. The focus of the champion is always on how to reach or surpass the target. This is the person responsible for reporting out results at regular intervals and for identifying areas of success. The champion also facilitates discussion of strategy implementation and any needed changes or adjustments. These discussions and decisions always revolve around hitting the goal and increasing performance.

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Develop a Peer Interviewing Team

When team members are included in the hiring of new employees, they take ownership of recruiting and retaining new individuals on the team. Being chosen to interview potential new peers instills a sense of pride in your team and they will feel accountable and be invested in helping that new employee succeed.

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Admit Your Mistakes

When you realize you’ve made a mistake, make amends humbly and immediately. The more time you let pass, the worse the situation can become.

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Be Specific

During performance conversations, address specific actions and behaviors you’ve observed. Avoid talking in generalities.

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Breaking Down Goals

Put your goals into bite-size pieces that are attainable in 90 days. A 90-day plan is the roadmap to success.

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Do Less to Accomplish More

Identify the most important task aligned to your goals each day and finish it first. “By creating less activity, we actually create more urgency. The key is choosing the right activity and making sure it’s implemented to the fullest degree.” -John Kotter

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Back Pocket Ownership

We/They is the act of passing blame to others. Increase ownership behavior and eliminate we/they by visualizing your supervisor in your back pocket.

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