Keeping The Saw Sharp

One of my favorite quotes comes from Abe Lincoln.  He is cited as saying, “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” Basically, he would spend two-thirds of his time improving the tools that make him effective at his work. Sounds easy, but how can a person remember to spend time sharpening instead of continuing to struggle through life’s daily challenges?

“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” - Abraham Lincoln Click To Tweet
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Just Send Them to a Workshop!

I just left a meeting with a prospective client. Like most of our clients, she came to me because she thinks her team needs some training. “They need to take responsibility. They need to communicate better. They need some motivation. I want to send them to a workshop!”

If it’s not an actual statement, at least the thought goes through the minds of managers and executives across the globe daily. But should you send them to a workshop?

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The Reality of “The Supervisor Sandwich”

Confrontation is certainly not the easiest part of being a manager. In fact, it’s probably your least favorite. It’s human nature to avoid interpersonal discord. Many people hope a problem just corrects itself without our intervention. But, is that manner of thinking really reality? How can you provide coaching for an employee, co-worker, or even your own supervisor and have it be a positive experience?

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Today an Employee. Tomorrow a Manager.

Jack is really good at what he does. He shows up on time. He gets his work done. He helps his co-workers. He’s efficient – a good “do-er.” So you decide to promote Jack to a management position. Now, he’s struggling and not meeting your expectations. How many times have we seen this scenario?

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Leadership. It’s Not About You.

There are no less than 14,000 books on leadership. Probably more. All the time, we are entertained by speakers. We attend workshops and seminars. We read the books. Everyone has the magic formula of what it takes to be a great leader. Has anyone ever followed up to see if those who attend these workshops, listened to the speaker, or read the books have become better leaders?

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Raise the Bar…Here’s your Sign!

In our line of work, we tend to get calls from all kinds of managers. Managers who are frustrated with their teams. Managers who want their employees to have extensive leadership training because they just aren’t ‘getting it.’  These managers say “Jump” expecting their employees to respond in harmony with “How high?” Instead, the only response they get is their people looking at them with a look of bewilderment. These employees are thinking, “Yep – I knew he had a screw loose…”

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Do you want to be a Leader? Time for a Look in the Mirror

Do you want to be a leader? If I asked this in a room full of people, I’d probably get a unanimous head nod…Yes. The next question is, though…Do people around you see you as a leader?

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A Challenge for You

We often find ourselves frustrated when one of our co-workers or employees makes the statement, “But that’s my job” or “That’s the way I’ve always done it.”  It challenges us to help the person understand why things need to change. The question is, though, have you challenged yourself lately? Are you doing things because that’s what you’ve always done? Have you asked yourself, “Why am I doing that?”

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Leadership…Blah, Blah, Blah!

In our line of work, we are asked to facilitate A LOT of classes on leadership! It’s a hot topic. Every company wants its people, especially management, to lead. And really, it makes good business sense to get your people demonstrating better leadership behaviors. The fact of the matter is, though, it’s not as easy as you think…there are a lot of issues that accompany the pursuit of leadership.

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I Don’t Need Leadership Training!

“I’m an executive in our company. I don’t need leadership training!”

I would venture to guess that the majority of people who are members of a company’s executive team would think, if not actually say, these words. But if we asked those same executives if someone else on their team needed to improve their leadership skills, we’d get an irrefutable “Yes!”

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