“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John HolmesWhat is your exercise plan this week? Will you take a yoga class or do some Pilates? Have a trainer help you with some weight training? I hope you do have time to take a walk or go to the gym or go for a run. This is not just about reminding you to keep in shape. Yes it is a good idea for you to walk to meetings using the long route, or to take the stairs whenever possible. Both of these are good ideas. Being a leader is about mind, body and spirit. I am asking you to consider another form of heart healthy activity. The type that involves helping others. YOU have the ability to reach your hand out to others and lift them up. It is good for them and it is good for you. The opportunity for you to do this type of lifting is all around you.
- When a colleague has a career set back or disappointment – lift.
- When the team works non-stop to meet an impossible deadline – lift.
- When layoffs or cutbacks are announced – lift.
- When a favorite colleague leaves the team or the company – lift.
- When ‘Murphy’s Law’ strikes and everything that can go wrong, goes
- wrong – lift.
- When a presentation goes badly or a prototype is rejected – lift.
Posted: November 5th, 2014 under Professional development.
- Create a compelling vision out of the potentially vague set of goals that you have been handed
- Motivate an already over extended team to work even more hours on YOUR project
- Remind stakeholders that a team allocated 50% cannot complete the project in half the time
- Stop scope creep while keeping stakeholders happy
- Constructively manage conflict
- Squeeze 2 hours of productivity out of every hour your work
- And be in charge of anything/everything that could possibly somehow be related to your project (even when it isn’t)
“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” – Leo BurnettThere you are, preparing for your team meeting. You have that one team member who asks questions about almost everything you say. Quite frankly, they make you tired. You find yourself dreading the meeting. You find yourself trying to make sure you have an answer for every potential question that she is going to ask you. Certainly that is very draining. Have you ever stopped to consider why she asks so many questions? Have you had a chance to sit back and look at the situation from 20,000 feet? Is she asking questions to taunt you, to hassle you? Or is she asking questions because they need context? Perhaps she is asking questions out of curiosity. No matter why you think she is asking you questions, you are still going to answer her with good information; in a calm professional manner – after all you are a professional! Before you assume that she is asking you questions to hassle you or because she has to know every single detail before she can do their job, consider the value of their questions. If she really is asking you questions to challenge your authority, Good! Bring it on. This is an opportunity to showcase your leadership skills. To show that you are able to accept being challenged. Answer truthfully what you do know and answer truthfully about what you do not know. Allow other people on the team to help step in and fill any gaps. Typically someone who is challenging you will stop once they are satisfied. If she is asking questions because she needs context, then you want to provide that context because you want her to be able to do her job. If this is disruptive in the middle of the team meeting consider having special time with her to make sure she has what she needs to do her job. Or make sure she has time with another lead so that she understands what she needs to do the job. It is possible that her questions are helping other people in the room who are not speaking up. If she is asking questions out of curiosity, this is great! She is engaged and interested in the project. She might be a good problem solver. Once she asks questions it might set her mind into action. She may come up with different and creative approaches to meet the project objectives. Her questions when handled well will help the rest of the team become creative too. You don’t want to discourage the questions. You want to harness the power of those questions for you and the entire team. And if you’re not sure why someone is asking questions, then you should answer their question with your own question. Asking them about the basis of their questions and letting them know that you’re asking so that you can be the most helpful. Let the questions continue! Peace, Margaret