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Management Craft



Catalyzing conversations about management and leadership since 2004. Join in!



Updated: 2014-12-28T16:28:06-06:00

 



How to Unleash Possibility in 2015

2014-12-28T16:28:06-06:00

Happy New Year! This is a favorite time of year because it offers a metaphorical mulligan on how we live. It is important to re-connect to our calling and choose – re-commit – the way forward that will best fuel...Happy New Year! This is a favorite time of year because it offers a metaphorical mulligan on how we live. It is important to re-connect to our calling and choose – re-commit – the way forward that will best fuel our happiness and contribution. Below are three blog posts I wrote several years ago that I re-read and enjoy during the New Year. In addition, I have included an edited version of my essay, “The Butterfly Effect”, which I humbly believe has the power to transform lives (not because of my writing, but because of the butterfly effect itself). I hope you enjoy these pieces and launch into the New Year with exuberance and peace.  Sincerely, Lisa You are Amazing Even if Today You Are Off Course Originally published on Management Craft December 30, 2009 I thought I would end the year's blog postings on a high note and with a call for self-forgiveness as a vehicle for refocusing on generating the life and work you desire. You are amazing. I know this! If you and I enjoyed a chat over foaming lattes, I am sure that your greatness would shine bright and I would find your hopes and dreams inspiring. Everyone I meet possesses clear and special talents. I love to discover the source of a person’s passions and am fascinated by our diverse natures. Every night on the TV, we see people at their best, but more often, they are at their worst (crime shows, reality TV, Jerry Springer). If everyone is amazing, what’s going on? I think that stress and the dizzying circumstances of our lives can push us off course. We know this is not how things ought to be. We know that we have something greater and more compelling to offer the world. Even so, we get farther off course with each mismatched turn. You are amazing even if today you are off course. You have the potential to contribute to society and live a wonderful and fulfilling life. You can get back on track. I have worked with people who choose to stop moving in the wrong direction and see a new set of possibilities. They flap their butterfly wings fast and furious, manifesting joy and wonder along the way. They ooze exuberance and become flexibly strong, like a tall Sequoia tree swaying in the wind. An awesome force of nature. What’s your goal? Do you need an adjustment? You can start right now. Define - Answer - Act - Use that energy to repeat. Ask: What can I do in the next 12 hours to get unstuck? (Do one big or five tiny things then rejoice) Which is more powerful - physical or mental barriers? (Hint: it's likely mental - obliterate the barriers by taking on a new perspective) 
 What two things can I do for the next five days to get back on track? 
Isn't it more complex than this? Yes, of course it is, but if you act like it isn't - guess what? It will become simpler. And yes, this is familiar. To generate breakthroughs: Define goals that inspire you and share them broadly. Take forward action in support of goals. Make requests that move things forward. 
 Do all these things and you will create velocity. Getting back on course can be this simple - elegant and simple - powerful and simple. But we all get off course sometimes and that does not make us any less amazing - we're like Ferrari sport cars parked in our garages. Not performing because the engine is off. Turn the key and go for a ride. 
 Are you off course? Here is a thought about how to get back on track. Originally published on Management Craft April 20, 2012 Yesterday I was reminded of a post I did a couple of years ago called, You are Amazing Even if Today You are Off Course. I have been thinking about this topic a lot this week. Partially because I want to ensure that I stay on course with my goals but also because I see how hard we are on ourselves and the toll this takes on our spirit and desire to keep moving forward. Shorterm"itis" perhaps. I think[...]



Found on a Scrap of Paper

2014-11-30T19:23:43-06:00

I was cleaning some stuff out and found a piece of paper with the following thoughts: Think progress, believe in progress, push for progress. Build confidence You are what you think you are - be brilliant. Believe, really believe, you...

I was cleaning some stuff out and found a piece of paper with the following thoughts:

Think progress, believe in progress, push for progress.

Build confidence

You are what you think you are - be brilliant.

Believe, really believe, you can move mountains. Believe in great results.

My attitudes are more important than my intelligence.

Use big, positive, energizing words.

Monopolize listening, not talking.

Cure yourself of excuseitis.

Look for ideas everywhere.

Share everything.

I do not remember when I wrote these ideas. I don't remember why I wrote them. But it seems like a good filter from which to start a new week.

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The Privilege of Leadership and Four Promises We Should Make Team Members

2014-11-23T11:01:20-06:00

This is a reflective time of the year for me. We are urged to say “thanks” to give to others and then to embark on the New Year with gusto. It’s a lot to take in! And for me, this...This is a reflective time of the year for me. We are urged to say “thanks” to give to others and then to embark on the New Year with gusto. It’s a lot to take in! And for me, this year is extra deep/important because I will be starting a new job. Many of you know that a few years ago I jumped back into an internal role so that I could set aside the stress and strain of the road warrior life. My role was as an internal organization development consultant. This is work that I enjoy. Even so, it did not have as much of the leadership and management elements that I love – love so much that I have studied it for 30 years and written 13 books about it. So beginning next week, I will be taking a new internal role – in the same organization – that offers more opportunity to use leadership and management. And it is through this lens that I offer this post. I have written for years that I believe that leadership is a privilege. What I mean by this is that it is a special gift, an opportunity to show up in a bigger way. Imagine this fictional scenario. Scientists have determined that the world is going to come to an end. They are sending a group of 500 people to a neighboring planet to create a new world. Now imagine you have been chosen to go. It’s awesome and heavy and calls upon all 500 to be the best and most impactful people possible. Nobody gets to be a slacker and they would not dare to. I see leadership the same way – sure, it might not be so life-and-death, but we are creating a new world and we need to show up in the biggest and best possible way. This is the privilege and the burden of leadership and why I like it so much. I am thankful for the opportunity. And to launch into the New Year with gusto, I am going to deliver on the following promises (that I think will serve you well, should you promise the same/similar) to those on my team and my peers: I care deeply about enabling your success and will show this with my actions. You will be the first to know, not the last, if I have concerns. I believe that candor is one way we show respect and care. I will urge us all – me, you, the whole team – to be better every day. This will feel exciting and like pressure at times. Courage, audacity, and passion are important daily emotions and I will encourage them. You will feel special and valued. That’s my contract with myself. What are the promises you should make your team? [...]



Note to Self: What matters most, shows up most. What shows up most, matters most.

2014-10-05T14:34:09-05:00

I have had some form of ADHD since I was a kid. The tests revealed that I suffer from a bad case of anticipation (that's something they actually measure!). What this means is that I tend to have and practice...I have had some form of ADHD since I was a kid. The tests revealed that I suffer from a bad case of anticipation (that's something they actually measure!). What this means is that I tend to have and practice imaginary conversations in advance of real ones. It's quite twisted. Yesterday I was having such an imaginary conversation and caught myself "saying" (thinking, really, I don't speak these imaginary conversation aloud), "this is what matters most to me; this is what's most important." My imaginary conversations include all parts/parties and the person I was pretending to talk with said, "well, I see no evidence of this." In other words, he was calling BS on my proclamation that XYZ was what matters most. This reminds me of a real conversation I have had many times with leaders who say that poorly performing employees are not meeting their expectations. Almost always I respond, "He/She is meeting your expectations." Expectations are set through act and communication, and you don't get to count your inner thoughts and intentions as expectations if your actions and verbal discussions don't jive with them. When the bad employee has good performance reviews and has not been held accountable for his/her poor performance, I can only conclude that everything is actually tick-a-dee-boo (I belive this is a Canadian term). In other words, expectations are those standards that we clearly communication and are willing to hold others accountable for. Expectations are out there, not neatly tucked away in our brains. In other words, what matters most are those things that we clearly communicate and are willing to hold ourselves accountable for acting in congruence with. Priorities are out there, not neatly tucked away in our brains. In both of these examples, we need to have a moment of truth with ourselves. Does this REALLY matter so much? Only when I act that way can I claim that it does. And if I don't, the next question is - what does matter and am I happy with this? This is not an epiphany, but it is a reminder. And an opportunity to flash your own BS card before someone else does and makes you feel like a fool/failure/fraud. Or, to use positive psychology and all that glass is half full stuff, we should figure this out so we can unleash a more inspiring and impactful possibility for our lives/work. Either way.... [...]



The Agony of Realizing: It's All Social

2014-09-28T15:50:45-05:00

I am doing some research for a work project on retention. I am racking my brain trying to find a study I read a few years ago that said: Rock Star employees - best performers - generally underperform when they...I am doing some research for a work project on retention. I am racking my brain trying to find a study I read a few years ago that said: Rock Star employees - best performers - generally underperform when they quit for another/better job BECAUSE what makes them the best performer is not their individual skills. It's their social network, relationships, and the system they have created around them that is a "human performance machine." It said something like this. I hope to find it. But even if I do not find it, we can explore this more here on the blog (I can still call it my blog even if I have been woefully neglecting it, right?) because it makes perfect sense. We don't need no stinking research study to come to this conclusion. Having the study helps, of course, when you need to share this with others who are not so convinced (read: lack common sense). What are the implications of this for leaders? I can think of two. First, as leaders who want to optimize performance, we need to ensure that we do everything we can to help new employees build their social networks and connections QUICKLY and WELL. Performance is fueled by our teams, tribes, networks, and relationships. If employees don't have enough or strong social connections, they will not be able to do their best work. The second implication is that as leaders, we are also performers. So this stuff applies to us. And this is where the title of this post came from. As I was searching for the study, I reflected on my career and regrets that I came to this realization so late. In fact, I stunk at it for much of my early career. I am a natural recluse and it pains me to know how relationship oriented this WHOLE WIDE WORLD is! OK, that's dramatic, but please hear this. If you are a natural extrovert, you might not get what I am saying. I grew up with a definition of success that did not feature other people in it. I know, quite ironic that I have spent much of my career writing about management and leadership, which are, social acts. I think I coined that phrase, in fact: Management is a social act. The whole thing, the 14 books, the career missteps, have been lessons for me. So as I reflect on this obvious truth - performance is fueled by human connections - I torment, too, because I know that I have to work at this and be deliberate about building and managing my working relationships. I have colleagues and friends who are naturals. I admire and envy them. Envy is such an ugly emotion, don't you think? OK, I think I will try to just admire them and perhaps learn from them. When I make an effort, I am quite good at the care and feeding of my social connections. Introverts can be GREAT at this, but they need to write reminders on their calendars to do it. It might not occur to us otherwise. This, by the way, does not render the effort fake or unworthy. It's called conscious coupling. (Couldn't resist.) [...]



My bike makes me want to be a better rider. #Leadership

2014-08-18T21:41:26-05:00

I have a new bike. It's an awesome steel Gunnar Sport frame, with SRAM Force 22 componments, carbon seat post and handlebar, Speedplay pedals/clips and a Selle Anitomica seat. And it's ORANGE! My bike is so great that it makes...I have a new bike. It's an awesome steel Gunnar Sport frame, with SRAM Force 22 componments, carbon seat post and handlebar, Speedplay pedals/clips and a Selle Anitomica seat. And it's ORANGE! My bike is so great that it makes me want to be a better rider. What does this have to do with leadership? In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell shared the Broken Windows Theory which emphasizes the power of context. (when broken windows were fixed, crime went down) At my current job, each member of our small team brought in a poster that inspired us and we hung them in our common area. They spark energy and fun. Context is everything, isn't it? I am not suggesting that the key to high performance is spending more money on nice things, but I am saying that when we admire our surroundings and when we feel good about our resources, we hold ourselves accountable to do better. It's not a sure thing - spruce things up to perform better - but if the sprucing up touches us emotionally it will have a greater impact. Organize a team Spring cleaning. Hang some art. Organize your office. Create a shared reading library. Re-do the bulletin board. Bring in a few plants. Meet in the "nice" meeting room. You can also spruce up the mind - encourage bigger thinking by acknowledging and highlighting your team's ideas. Spruce up your listening and those you are listening to will show up in a bigger way. The possibilities are endless and many don't cost a dime to implement. My bike on the other hand....well.... she's totally worth it (yes, my bike is a she and her name is Blaze). Here's a pic. Makes me smile. [...]



Chat with me this Wednesday on #nextchat about Accountability and Engagement

2014-07-20T16:33:32-05:00

Hello everyone. I am pleased to be SHRM's guest on their next #NextChat. What's a #NextChat you ask? #Nextchat is a Twitter chat hosted by SHRM We Know Next on the @WeKnowNext Twitter handle that occurs every Wednesday at 3...

Hello everyone. I am pleased to be SHRM's guest on their next #NextChat. What's a #NextChat you ask?

#Nextchat is a Twitter chat hosted by SHRM We Know Next  on the @WeKnowNext Twitter handle that occurs every Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. It explores various human resources topics each week to encourage an conversation between HR and other business professionals and to ensure that followers are up-to-date on the latest HR news, information, trends and best practices. You can see chat previews and recaps are posted on the Next Blog.  “Learn. Share. Network. >> #Nextchat”

Basically, it works like this. Every week there is a topic and a guest. This week the topic is accountability and engagement and I am the guest. :-) The hosts, SHRM, start and feed the twitter discussion by throwing out questions related to the topic. I answer those questions but so can you and anyone interested in the topic. And then I will respond to other answers and questions posted by anyone using the #nextchat hashtag (if it relates to the topic, or perhaps even if it doesn't if it is an interesting question like, "What is the meaning of life?")

You can look up the conversation anytime after it has occurred, but why not join me live and be a part of the discussion? If you are interested in either accountability or engagement or the mysterious interplay between them, this is the place to be.

Date: This Wednesday, July 23rd.

Time: 3p.m. Eastern Time

Where: On the internet twitterverse, hashtag #nextchat hosted by SHRM @weknownext.

Hope you can be there!!!! Good times and mind blowing ideas guaranteed!!

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Are we too willing to fritter our time away? A few observations about relevance and meaning.

2014-07-09T21:42:43-05:00

Bill and I spent a week kayaking in the Great Bear Rain Forest. It was a great trip and you can see my pictures on Flickr here. We had two kayaking guides, one who was a 25 year old man....Bill and I spent a week kayaking in the Great Bear Rain Forest. It was a great trip and you can see my pictures on Flickr here. We had two kayaking guides, one who was a 25 year old man. One evening as we were finishing our dessert, he shared an underwater video he recorded a couple of years ago. During the off-season, he dives and explores the wild waterways in the region where we kayaked (we traveled with Mothership Adventures, you can see more here). He shot the video for a regional conservation blog. He did it because of his love for the the flora and fauna in the Great Bear Rainforest area. I can remember being inspired and impressed by his work and dedication and commented to him that it is impressive how focused and committed he was at his young age (and made some comment like, "most of us were pumping gas and blowing our money on flashy shoes at 25"). On Facebook, I shared a post about a man and his family who took a year to live off the grid. They saved and planned and live well and slow. You can see that here. When he came back to "regular life" he was struck at how stressed and uptight his friends seemed. Contrast these two examples with this one. When we got back from vacation, I checked Google News. In the list of "Top Stories" was a headline that Jessica Simpson, flubbed her wedding vows.That's a top story? Really? Do we really care about this? It just got me thinking about the time and attention we waste on meaningless things. And the opportunity costs of living like this. I am not suggesting that mindless entertainment is all bad. Relaxing and recharging is important. But shouldn't our downtime also be enriching? Or at least some of it? Shouldn't this fluff stuff be like the dinner mint that rounds our our life and not a major part of our experience? And no offense to Jessica Simpson - I bet she felt the news story was ridiculous, too. It strikes me that those who are making the greatest impact make more interesting and useful choices about how they spend their precious time. [...]



Where a friend found my book!

2014-06-24T20:03:07-05:00

A friend sent me this picture - it's my latest book, Double the Love, with a nice shelf space at the International SHRM Conference. Woohoo! I particularly love that my book is shelved higher than, How to Work for an...A friend sent me this picture - it's my latest book, Double the Love, with a nice shelf space at the International SHRM Conference. Woohoo! I particularly love that my book is shelved higher than, How to Work for an Idiot (What an idea for a book...Who's going to keep that on his or her desk?... Only idiots, clearly. How ironic!). We writers LOVE it when people send us pictures of our books (unless they're in the Super Bargain bins, then we don't want to know) so feel free to take a picture and send it to me anytime! I received another bit of good news on the bookfront today, my publisher put up a website for the book. You can find it here. I sure would appreciate you sharing this with anyone you know who has an interest in accountability and engagement. And if you have read (or skimmed! hey, I'm a realist) my book and like it, I would love it if you posted a review on Amazon. Thanks! One more thing.... I know of three people who are using the book for management training and one asked if I would be willing to sign them all for her managers. The answer is Heck Yes! If you would like to give my book to your management team, let me know and I will make it special for you. Perhaps we could even do a kick off call or webinar. I would love to engage with folks on this topic. Looking at the picture above again, I think my book is clearly the prettiest, don't you?! [...]



Secret #11 - The secret to performance velocity is design.

2014-06-15T15:31:23-05:00

I thought I would do a few posts sharing a few editorial comments on the "Secrets" I shared in Double the Love. There are 11 secrets in the book, and this post discusses the last one. The secret to performance...I thought I would do a few posts sharing a few editorial comments on the "Secrets" I shared in Double the Love. There are 11 secrets in the book, and this post discusses the last one. The secret to performance velocity is design. Be intentional and create the world you seek. In the book, I talk about this secret using the metaphor of the bento box. Like this one: Doesn't this look yummy? Thinking about it now, I bet I was really hungry when I selected this metaphor. I might not get all the way through this post before suggesting to hubby Bill that we go for some great Japanese food! I love the contrasts between the miso soup, the crunchy tempura, the wasabi on the sushi, the earthy rice dishes, and the sweet ending. But I digress... I love bento box meals because they make me feel complete. The idea for the bento is elegant and simple. Everything has a place and the number of places leads to greater diversity in food items. Look again at the picture. If you were given this for a meal, you would not ask for more. It is all there. The same goes for each day and week and month and year. We all have a virtual bento that serves as a framework for how we will spend precious time. You might not think you have a leadership bento, but you do. The design is there. The $64,000 question (which strike me needs to be adjusted for inflation to about $467,000) is, does the current design serve your goals and intentions? I ask this question a lot when I work with leaders, especially when I am coaching. We have many more things that we'd LOVE to do and accomplish than we can in a day. It's OK to dream big as long as we don't go into victim mode when we can't complete everything: Whaaa! I can't get anything done! Whaagh! My meetings take up too much time! Boohoo! I don't have time to exercise, I'm too busy! (Sorry, that one's mine.) Phooey! I can't control my calendar! If you tend to wallow in victim mode, it would be better to dial back the goals or learn how to get out of victim mode. You don't want your goals to serve as a reminder of your constant failures, if that is how you see them (hint: highly successful people have HUGE goals, but see the gap as a work in progress, not a current failure). And we need to embrace the idea of making progress in several areas concurrently. Notice I did not say "multitask." We can only do one thing at a time, research has shown us that multitasking is a myth. We can, however, make progress on many things in a given day or week by thoughtfully CHOOSING how we spend our time. This is where design comes in. We can't plan for everything, but the more we operate with a bento box mindset, the more we will accomplish. Design everything you want to accomplish into your week and then be flexible (again, we don't want to slip into victimitis). This is better than rolling into Monday morning without a plan and lamenting that the week will inevitably get sucked away from you by the multitude of daily fires you need to fight and fights you need to mediate. Whaagh! Be more Zen about it. Plan. Do. Flex. Plan. Do. Flex. Create your leadership bento box and feel more satisfied. And this is why I believe that design is the secret to performance velocity (engagement with progress). [...]



Feeding Your Community

2014-06-08T15:04:30-05:00

Oh, golly, I have not been doing a very good job for my blog community. It has been far too long since I posted. Or better said, it has been far too long since I contributed (there is a difference...Oh, golly, I have not been doing a very good job for my blog community. It has been far too long since I posted. Or better said, it has been far too long since I contributed (there is a difference - I could post every day with something that sounds like "buy my new book" but that would not contribute to you at all.) I am a lax blogger. I have not shared a new post in FOREVER! And I am a lax book marketer (all writers must be marketers or risk being unread - the ultimate failure). Ideally, I would be "out there" with book-related posts and readings and speeches but I am nowhere. And it is not because the book is not important to me; in fact, I REALLY want my latest to do well and be widely read. And the lesson in all this is that if we want to belong to a vibrant community we have to feed it. We have to do our part to make it better and keep it alive. Honestly, this is an area of weakness for me. I am most comfortable being an introverted recluse. I could honestly be alone in the wilderness for a long time and not freak out. I don't invite people to coffee and I should. I rarely take the initiative to meet new people at conferences. And I am not very good at keeping up with people - people who I care about, BTW. I have not gone to see my father in far too long.  Ok, that was a good vent. I feel a bit better now. I know some folks that are GREAT at this. Phil Gerbyshak, Terry Starbucker, Raj Setty, Kevin Eikenberry, Kare Anderson and so many others. I bow to you! Feeding the community is a deliberate thing, but does not need to be a huge burden. We can do one or two things each week to feed our communities. Send out a few emails asking to connect. Do 10 minutes of MBWA. Contribute to social media (with something other than a picture of your lunch entre). Thank someone. Offer your help. FEEDing a community looks like: Support - Helping some make progress and move forward. This an awesome gift. Innovation and expansion - Being a provocateur, helping someone think bigger. Education - Offering mentoring, coaching, and helping people grow. Re-resonate - Sometimes we like a well-delivered reminder to "snap" us back into alignment. Case in point - How many books about success say basically the same thing? Millions! And yet we like to read each slightly new spin. Messages like that success does not make us happy..... We know this! Following - Being there and being a good team member. Doing our part. Connecting - Building relationships, creating common bonds and using our diverse talents. Showing care that warms people. Of the above criteria, I am naturally better at Innovation and Education. I stink at Support, Following, and Connecting. I will do them when asked, but I don't show as much initiative in these areas as I would like. What about you? I know I am not the only one who struggles to feed their communities. I am going to shoot for one contribution on this blog per week (requests to buy my book don't count toward the goal). If you have any burning management questions you'd like me to address, let me know. Otherwise it will be a surprise! I want to be a better community member. [...]



Competencies for #Coaching - My Top Picks #Management

2014-05-18T15:59:01-05:00

I am working on a project to create coaching training for folks inside organizations - the training will be geared towards leaders, HR folks, and anyone else who wants to learn how to be an effective coach for others. To...I am working on a project to create coaching training for folks inside organizations - the training will be geared towards leaders, HR folks, and anyone else who wants to learn how to be an effective coach for others. To anchor the program, I have created a list of the most important competencies that coaches need to be effective. These aren't the ONLY competencies, but the ones that - in my humble opinion - make the greatest positive difference to the coaching discussion. I am wondering, do you agree? Please drop me an email or a comment on this post to weigh in. Thanks! Most Important Competencies for Coaching Others Increasing learner coachability: Coaching starts with a learner. If the learner is not coachable or not interested in the coaching, stop. It is a waste of time. Great coaches know how to help learners become more open to coaching. This involves observation, empathy, exercising good timing, communicating based on preferred tendencies, reframing, and much more. Service orientation: Coaching is a service and we cannot be successful if the learner perceives that we are helping to satisfy OUR needs or wants. At its core, coaching is service-oriented help, driven by the interests and needs of the learner (not by us). Deep listening: This is not active listening but something much more in tune. Deep listening occurs when we are and show interest. When we take in what the learner is saying and resist the urge to mentally practice our responses while he or she is talking. It is being here now with the learner and seeking to understand from their point of view. Questioning: Other than listening, which should take the majority of the time, the coaching discussion is about uncovering barriers and exploring alternative paths forward. To do this well, we need to ask great questions. This is not a straightforward skill. I know many people who are smart but who ask dumb questions. The conversation goes nowhere interesting. Enhancing perspective: Have you noticed that one of the most common reasons people get stuck is that they have lost perspective? They make mountains out of molehills. Or molehills out of mountains. Or they are operating based on faulty assumptions. Or they are responding disproportionally. These are all problems of perspective. Great coaches are able to help learners adopt a more helpful perspective of the situations about which they are struggling. Systems thinking: A coaching conversation is an exploration that meanders and connects on many levels. Coaches need to be able to make those connections and help the learner see them as well. The best path forward almost always has many tentacles. Inspiring action: We are all so tired, and busy, and comfortable with today's ways. Great coaches will catalyze the desire to make something NEW happen. Not in a controlling way, but in ways that make the learner feel energized, powerful, and optimistic. Managing agreements: Coaching discussions often circle around goals and actions. And so we need to be able to effectively facilitate a results-oriented discussion and call on learner when they break their agreements. We don't want to become micro-managers - this would mean we aren't really coaching - but we don't want to waste our time with someone who won't take their own goals seriously. Love: Taking initiative on another's behalf. But beware, this should be done only if the learner wants it. Those of you who are recovering control freaks, like I am, might be tempted to take over and handle things for the learner. This is not coaching...[...]



Come Across Flawed and Awesome! Great new book by @karenhough

2014-05-18T15:21:21-05:00

I wanted to let you know about a new book that is out that I think could help us all be more effective when we are the one in the front of the room - training, presenting, facilitating, or even...I wanted to let you know about a new book that is out that I think could help us all be more effective when we are the one in the front of the room - training, presenting, facilitating, or even entertaining. It is called, Be the Best Bad Presenter Ever: Break the Rules, Make Mistakes, and Win Them Over by Karen Hough. Isn’t that the best title ever? Great cover, too. I have been following Hough’s work for years and have used her book on Improv techniques for facilitator training. When I was first trained to be a facilitator, back in the Ice Age, I was an overly practiced and polished trainer hiding behind well-honed facilitation techniques. You know the type: "Effective" but BORING! (which is not really effective, now is it?) "Practiced" but CLUELESS about what's really going on! (which is not really practiced, now is it?) In the last 15 years or so, I have come to believe that being engaging and imperfect (highly imperfect in my caes), deeply into the discussion and less like clockwork (read: gets off track sometimes) is the better way to go. This new book does a great job making this case and providing ideas for how we can be highly flawed and awesome at the same time (and suggests that you cannot be awesome UNLESS you are also highly flawed, which I love and agree with). Now you might be thinking, Lisa, you just like this book because it gives you license to be highly imperfect….. well there is that, I suppose…… But, I agree with Hough not just because she is validating my current approach, but because she is sharing useful and unconventional tips for how we can connect better and have a more meaningful impact on others – and that is the secret sauce for any type of presentation. Here is the book on Amazon. This book, in combination with Nancy Duarte’s Resonate make a powerful duo for all of us who need to convey ideas and techniques such that the learner is motivated to use them. [...]



My New Book, Double the Love - Now Available on Amazon!

2014-04-18T21:53:26-05:00

I am very pleased to let you all know that my new book, Double the Love: 11 Secrets for Cultivating Highly Accountable and Engaged Teams , is available on Amazon.com. Right now, the paperback version is available. The e-book format... I am very pleased to let you all know that my new book, Double the Love: 11 Secrets for Cultivating Highly Accountable and Engaged Teams, is available on Amazon.com. Right now, the paperback version is available. The e-book format will be on amazon within a week. I hope you will check it out and can't wait to hear your feedback. The book features a model that I have been using with leaders and groups for several years. It tends to resonate with folks, so I hope the same is true for you. A bunch of fabulous people reviewed the pre-production version of the book and offered their endorsements. Here's what they said (listed in alphabetical order): “Reading this book is like having Lisa sitting next to you sharing her wisdom and whispering her secrets in your ear. Her intriguing style will captivate you from the start; lead you through a model, practical advice, and workshop activities; and leave you wondering how quickly you can implement one of her brilliant ideas. Lisa is the consummate story teller who combines real-world recommendations with wit and humor, leaving you laughing, reflecting, and wanting more.” Elaine Biech author, The Business of Consulting and editor, The ASTD Leadership Handbook “If you want better business results, open your mind, a good bottle of red, and read Double the Love. Author Lisa guides with her unique mix of wit, big experience and perspective in a way that that challenges leaders beliefs and actions about accountability and the holy grail of discretionary effort.” Randy Boek, Professional Outsider and President, Route Two “Extra love doesn't cost you anything, so why don't more leaders give it away? Double the Love will give you the must-have tools to deliver better results, get promoted faster, and inspire others to do it, too!“ Cory Bouck, Director of Organizational Development & Learning at Johnsonville Sausage; author of The Lens of Leadership: Being the Leader Others WANT to Follow  “Another amazing book!  I absolutely love the fact that I can grab it, apply the tools and be inspired to make my work world a better place.  Double the Love is engaging me and making me feel empowered! I’m printing the page on “20 Ways to Be an Advocate” because they are great reminders of how easy it is to make someone’s day and build a relationship.” Johna Campbell, Senior Manager of HR, Kollmorgen  “If you want to transform your teams and get them to perform better, you need to know the secret. If you REALLY want your teams to perform better, you'll need the secrets in 2 areas: accountability and engagement. Thankfully, this book focuses on simple (though not always easy) ways you can double your love and thus double (or MORE) your love, er, results. And not only can you learn the secrets - you can learn how to actually use them - to do more, and, most importantly, to maximize the performance of your team. Believe it: You CAN double the love!” Phil Gerbyshak, author, speaker and VP of Sales and Marketing for Advisology  “With her usual playful style, Lisa has once again delivered an accessible yet hard-hitting primer on some of the biggest challenges facing leaders today.  Striking the right balance between accountability and engagement is an art form.  The structure of the book makes it a thought-provoking primer on the theory behind her 11 secrets for building strong teams, and also a very practical field guide for how to bring these ideas to life.  I already found three[...]



Free Webinar on Accountability and Engagement

2014-04-14T13:29:58-05:00

Hello all! I will be doing a webinar for BrightTALK on Accountability and Engagement, and helping leaders learn how to optimize both, on this Thursday, April 17th, at noon Eastern. It will be just 45 minutes and is free to...

Hello all!

I will be doing a webinar for BrightTALK on Accountability and Engagement, and helping leaders learn how to optimize both, on this Thursday, April 17th, at noon Eastern. It will be just 45 minutes and is free to attend. You can use this link to register.

(image) The webinar is being recorded and so you can also view it shortly after the live version. Use the same link above to access the recorded webinar.

During this webinar, I will share a model of accountability and engagement and discuss three of the 11 secrets I have outlined in my upcoming book, Double the Love: 11 Secrets to Cultivating Highly Accountable and Engaged Teams. The target audience for this webinar is HR, Training, OD, and Leaders (you!).

And for my HR/Training/OD pals, my webinar is part of a series called the HR Management Summit - check out all the free webinars here.

I hope you can attend the webinar - I just finished the slide deck and I think you will enjoy it and find it insanely useful.

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The Quality of Resonance: Conversations that Move Things Forward and that Matter

2014-03-15T09:32:59-05:00

I was reflecting today on the last several years of work - the situations and outcomes I am most proud of and those that struggled and that I need to learn from. One characteristic seems central to both the successes...I was reflecting today on the last several years of work - the situations and outcomes I am most proud of and those that struggled and that I need to learn from. One characteristic seems central to both the successes and failure. Resonance. Did the conversation spark thinking? Were people moved from inaction to action? Could I see new light and energy within the person or group? Are discussions evocative (coming from within) and/or provocative (external interest)? In 30 days I will turn 50 and one of the most helpful lessons I have learned is that it is not WHAT we do as a leader that matters but how what we do IMPACTS OTHERS. If we can work in ways that help catalyze the actions of others, our contribution multiplies. But not all conversations are ripe for intervention. Timing is important. And sometimes this means holding back. I was talking to a younger leader yesterday about a meeting that we both attended. She felt that I could have been more talkative - that I could have shaped their thinking. But in this situation, the participants had already decided the conversation that needed to happen and anytime the discussion veered off their path, they yanked it back. It was not the right time to rock their world, they did not have the listening for it. Her response what that this awareness must be something that I have learned from experience because she had not thought about whether the timing was right (It was a meeting, so the timing is is assumed to be right, right? Often, no!). What I value, more than anything, is when my work kicks off discussion and action that reverberates in ways that lead to progress. I have gotten better at recognizing when this is happening as it is happening and that's cool, too. How about you, what aspect of your work do you most value?   [...]