Six Things to Keep in Mind Before Goal Setting

Although January is typically the time of year when we turn to goal setting, too often, it is a waste of time. Let’s be honest. How many times have you achieved all of your yearly goals?

The problem is not with goals. Goals provide focus, create momentum and help us stay on track.

The problem is with the goal setting process itself – choosing the right goals and setting up the right support for them.

Before you set goals this year, keep these 6 things in mind:

1. Start with your current goals.

When goal setting, keep your previous goals in mind to create a sense of flow. Don’t just start over anew each year. For goals that have been accomplished, identify the next . . . → Read More: Six Things to Keep in Mind Before Goal Setting

2014 in Review - My Top 10 Blog Posts

Top 10 Posts 2014

I have come to look forward to my annual end of the year blog review. It’s an opportunity to take my own advice and reflect on the big picture before I jump into the new year. It always provides some insights and some surprises.

This was a banner year for my blog, averaging close to 50,000 views a month. I was included on many of the top leadership blogger lists, and in December I was included in Inc. Magazine’s 100 Top Leadership Speakers.

I’m delighted my blog is so widely viewed because I put a lot of effort into crafting my posts. I aim to provide original content that is relevant, practical, challenging, and include actionable advice. My goal for 2015 is to shorten my . . . → Read More: 2014 in Review – My Top 10 Blog Posts

How to Maximize Your Energy When You Don't Have a Lot

Many of us find our energy dissipates at this time of year when the days are short and the nights are long.

Instead of trying to muscle your way through it, here’s how to maximize the energy you do have.

Even when your energy is lower than usual, there will be periods in the day when it is higher than others. It’s important to identify these times so you can plan for them.

How to Maximize Your Higher Energy Times Protect the time of day when you have the most energy. Use this time for the priorities that require your greatest mental acuity. Don’t schedule meetings or non-essential tasks during this time. Stop multi-tasking. Studies have repeatedly shown that when you multi-task, you have . . . → Read More: How to Maximize Your Energy When You Don’t Have a Lot

Overworked and Overwhelmed? Try The Mindfulness Alternative

Scott Eblin, author Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative

I had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Eblin, one of my favorite leadership experts, about mindfulness – the focus of his excellent new book Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative.

Mindfulness is getting a lot of attention these days. A number of Fortune 500 companies, including Google, AOL, Apple and Aetna, now offer mindfulness classes for employees. In a recent blog post, I discussed mindfulness in the workplace.

Delving deeper into this topic, Scott explains what mindfulness is, how the practice of mindfulness helps with the very real challenges we face today, and some simple and easy things you can do to begin practicing it right now.

This 15 minute podcast, the length of a TED talk, is packed with helpful information. . . . → Read More: Overworked and Overwhelmed? Try The Mindfulness Alternative

Why Your Company Values Might Not Matter

Company Values Blocked

Why are so few companies values-driven? Even when they start down that path, why do they wind up dead-ended?

A 2012 study shows “employees want their organizations to display honesty and integrity in business activities,” and “when leaders behave consistently with the core values, they earn employees’ trust and confidence.”

More so, it makes good business sense – research shows high-trust companies significantly outperform those that aren’t in the marketplace.

So why do so many companies fail in their effort? Here’s a true story and the 5 common errors they made that will derail any effort, including yours.

A True and Typical Story

This is a true story, but the name has been withheld to protect… well, frankly, me. It is an organization I am . . . → Read More: Why Your Company Values Might Not Matter

Strive for Greatness

 

 

The secret to greatness lies in the small actions we each take every day.

Although we won’t all be recognized by history, each of us is capable of achieving greatness through our everyday actions.

Most of the good in the world is built on the accumulated efforts of ordinary people doing small things in a great way.

 

7 Keys to Greatness

Be clear that your actions serve a higher purpose, and are not simply self-serving. Know what an excellent job looks like. Start with the end in mind. Make a full effort. Give it your full attention. Be willing to make mistakes; use them as learning opportunities. See it through to the end. Don’t settle for less than you are . . . → Read More: Strive For Greatness

4 Steps Toward Collaborative Leadership

Ferguson Protest

If you are tired of “us vs. them” attitudes… if you are feeling frustrated or hopeless about those who don’t agree with your views… if you are concerned about the polarization in this world today… if you are waiting for leadership that unites instead of divides…

… the best place to start is by taking responsibility for yourself.

Polarization is Self-Reinforcing

If you only talk with people who agree with you and only read and listen to news sources that hold your own viewpoint, you will get distorted, filtered information that simply reinforces your viewpoint.

Unless we let go of foregone conclusions, only looking for proof of what we already believe, we are doomed to be stuck at deeply opposing, unresolvable poles.

Set your viewpoint . . . → Read More: 4 Steps Toward Collaborative Leadership

The Two Faces of Leadership

Two Faces of Leadership

There are two faces of leadership.

One face looks forward – because leadership is about going somewhere.

That face of leadership focuses on questions like:

1. Where are we going?

2. Why? What is the purpose?

3. How will we get there? What are our key strategies?

4. What will guide our journey? What values will guide behavior and decision-making?

The other face of leadership looks back at who’s following – at building organizational capacity and ensuring people have what they need to move forward easily.

That face of leadership focuses on questions like:

1. What skills do people need and how can we support development?

2. What resources do people need? (e.g. . . . → Read More: The Two Faces of Leadership

Let Go of Control But Keep Responsibility

Connection and Reflection

 

Last week I had the honor and pleasure of co-chairing the Berrett-Koehler Authors Cooperative annual retreat, attended by over 70 people – ranging in age from 25 to 83, and enriched with authors from Slovenia, Singapore and Australia.

Each year I look forward to this retreat where I gather with fellow authors and community members to exchange ideas, connect around issues, and deepen friendships.

Although we focus on many different topics and approaches, we are joined by a shared commitment to the mission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers – to create a world that works for all.

I had assumed I would be working instead of participating in this year’s retreat. Although I frequently design and facilitate these kinds of large-group, interactive meetings, there’s more . . . → Read More: Let Go of Control But Keep Responsibility