Here you go, the August edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all the past month’s lists here.
Here you go, the August edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all the past month’s lists here.
You can now pre-order my new book H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle.
The book releases on September 22, but if you pre-order before then, you will be eligible to receive the following:
Buy 1 book and receive The Catalyst Leader audio book, an exclusive new (never before released) ebook from me that includes a 20 Day Leadership Makeover, and free registration to a 2 hour video coaching online event with me later this fall.
Buy 5 books and receive all of the above plus a Branded Journal and The Catalyst Leader Small Group DVD Study.
Buy 10 books and receive all of the above plus a complimentary ticket to a future Catalyst One Day or Leadercast event.
Just send a copy of your receipt of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org and then you will receive and have access to the exclusive pre-offers.
Sometimes we just feel stuck. Not that anything is really wrong, but more the sense that we’re not going anywhere. That place where you sense that things are okay, but not great. Where it seems like you are just going through the motions. Dependable and reliable, yes. Consistent, absolutely.
But not necessarily bringing your A-game.
I know the feeling. For me, this usually happens after an event is over, or completing a big project. About 10 days-two weeks later. I usually just feel stuck at that point. I have a hard time being creative, being intentional, getting things done, moving the ball forward, and making decisions. I feel like I’m walking in knee deep mud at these points.
Another time of the year many of us feel stuck is mid to late summer, right about now. You feeling it right now?
If so, here are a few things to do:
1. Get out of your “normal” routine. Break up your schedule. Go on a trip. Visit someone you’ve wanted to see for quite a while. Hang out with people you don’t know but want to learn from. The key on this is break up your “normal” with something that is out of place, out of context, or just simply breaks up the rhythm. Makes you see things from a different vantage point. For me, when I travel, it usually “unsticks” me.
2. Go back to the Basics. Sports teams will go back to the basics to get out of a rut. In football it’s back to “blocking and tackling” or in basketball it’s back to “passing, dribbling, and shooting.” For you, this could mean a number of things, but in essence, returning to the foundations of what you do, why you do it, and how you are uniquely designed to be doing what you are doing.
3. Jump on the Inspiration train. When I get stuck, I usually take time to find some stories of inspiration, read some emails, watch some videos, and allow myself to be re-inspired and re-energized.
4. Talk with someone who motivates you. I also like to make sure I find some time to spend on the phone or in person with people who inspire me, because they usually can pull me out of my funk that I’m in. Make sure you have some people in your life who are motivators and inspiration icons- when you are around them it just fires you up. Could be a friend, a boss, a mentor, or someone you don’t know well. For me, I’ll call Bob Goff. If you know Bob, you know what I mean!
5. Keep it simple stupid. Kiss. Figuratively, not literally…! Start a new to do list with no more than 5 things on it. Get those done. Then move on to the next 5 things to do. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a to do list that is unachievable and not reachable. Focus on simplicity and clarity.
6. Hang around kids. Whether your own kids or someone else’s. Children have a way of providing inspiration because of their imagination, childlike faith, and sense of amazement at everything.
7. Return to the core. What do you love to do? What brings you to life? Maybe it’s reading a good book, or taking a drive in the country, or playing golf, or playing guitar or singing. Reconnecting to our areas of strength and passion usually reignites the momentum.
8. Exercise. Take a run, go swimming, work out, climb a mountain, jump on a bike, water ski, play basketball, or whatever activity fits you.
As leaders, we always are trying our best to create momentum, good morale, team spirit, vision and an overall spirit of enthusiasm on our teams and in our offices.
Here are a few small things that have the potential to kill the company morale quickly:
1. bad tissue in the bathrooms- no one wants the equivalent of sandpaper at the office. invest in the good stuff.
2. charging for coffee- seriously. a bad decision all the way around. and while I’m at it, most companies should quit charging for snacks. Spend a couple hundred bucks to create a free snack bin.
3. standardized approach to your office or cube- let your team add some flare to their area. please.
4. Bad art (or no art) on the walls- I love Successories, but come on, let’s shoot for some actual real art on the walls, not just cheesy leadership posters made for the dentist waiting room or elementary school principal’s offices.
5. a faulty copier or printer- I think there is an international conspiracy to make all copiers bad.
6. Bad furniture- especially uncomfortable chairs. or desks that belong in a junkyard. And please get rid of the fake trees!!
7. technology issues- computer issues, incompetent IT people, and slow responses will cripple your team. Invest here or else.
8. public recognition that is incorrect- make sure you know who actually did a great job before handing out the kudos at the company picnic or staff meeting to the wrong person. this is a total demotivator.
9. a new policy every week- whether it is expense reports, insurance, office furniture, parking, kitchen etiquette, IT, pets, pranks, profits, spouses, travel, meals, hiring, firing, vacation, talking, sleeping, phones, dating, child care, meetings, conference rooms, dish policy, management, health care, reporting, new forms, recycling, etc., etc. etc. Change is good, but can quickly overwhelm the system. Constant change can be incredibly draining.
10. fun Police- there is one in every company, and their entire reason for living is to make you feel guilty for any kind of fun in the office. Punch them directly in the throat. Just kidding, sort of. And of course the IT/Tech guy who blocks every helpful internet download or interesting website is a real joy to have around.
11. Reserved parking spaces- my thoughts here always lead back to the movie Office Space. Reserve spaces for guests and customers, but give up on the reserved spot for the employee of the month.
12. Reality Deprivation- especially by those in charge. Lack of objectivity and proper perspective can lead to really bad decisions, and ultimately, keeping really bad policies and bad objectives in place because of complete unawareness of reality. Many times ignoring reality can lead to drastic issues, and potentially a sharp decline in a thriving core business because of lack of self awareness.
13. too many meetings- if you are an executive or team leader, this is usually your fault, because you feel like you need to schedule meetings in order to seem busy. Stop it. When in doubt, don’t meet. Just execute. Don’t talk more about it. Just get it done. No one needs more meetings. No one.
14. unmet promises- i’m guilty of this one. I admit it. and it is a morale killer. Leaders- don’t throw out promises you can’t keep because you feel like the leadership moment demands it. Hold your tongue, or be prepared to deliver.
15. Unnecessary Dress codes- This one creates more water cooler talk than maybe anything else. If you can be casual, then just be casual.
16. Punishing all for the sake of one- another one I’ve been guilty of before. Instead of confronting one person regarding an issue, a whole new company policy or nasty email is created or sent geared towards the whole team but everyone on the team knows its meant for only one person.
17. Catering to the Brown nosers- this happens all the time. And usually everyone is aware of who the brown nosers are except the boss. This drives get it done type leaders crazy.
18. A reward that doesn’t fit the accomplishment- You just brought in a $100,000 client… here’s a $50 gift card to Applebees. Or you save the company $75,000 in expenses… thanks for the new mousepad and 2 free movie tickets.
19. Sending an official printed “memo” to all staff as a reprimand- Really??
20. Inviting feedback but then punishing those who give it- this happens way more often than it should. In an attempt to have an “open door” policy as an organization, a survey is sent or a question is raised in a staff meeting. And of course someone speaks up, but then that person is relegated to the “bad list.” Don’t punish the messenger, or reward them. Just be willing to listen to them.
What would you add to the list?
Leaders: Who are you accountable to?
1. Who speaks truth into your life? Your spouse? Your best friend? Your boss? Your co-workers? Your small group?
2. Who has the right to honestly tell you when you are wrong, and make sure you stay in touch with reality?
3. Who is asking you the difficult questions that everyone else around you may be thinking but don’t want to bring up?
4. Do you have someone, or a group of people, who will challenge you, tell you when you are wrong, confront you on the tough issues, and make your aware of areas where you might be missing the mark?
If not, figure this out. Quick. If you are surrounded by only yes people, you’re probably unaware of things that could be jeopardizing your leadership. This is a major land mine for leaders.
We all have dysfunctions. Every leader does. But our healthy response to our own dysfunctions depends on how much we let others “in” and give them full access to pushing back and kicking us in the tail if we are off base.
For many leaders, the greatest threat to our influence right now is our tendency to read our own press clippings, and continually put a “wall” up around us that protects us from any kind of honest feedback.
Don’t do this. Avoid the temptation to “remove” yourself from healthy accountability. Refuse the impulse to start surrounding yourself with people who are there only to protect you from reality. Insulation itself is not bad, but too much of it will allow reality deprivation to set in, which can be costly.
We need people around us who will tell us what we don’t want to hear, when we don’t want to hear it. Identify these people in your life, and give them full access to keeping you in check.
So, my question to you…. who is this in your life?
Here you go, the July edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all the past month’s lists here.