Monthly Archives: December 2013

Happy New Year

Colorful FireworksHappy New Year everyone!

Celebrate the joys and successes of 2013 and get ready for an amazing 2014!

Let’s make this the best year ever.

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Top 5 Posts of 2013

Office party

Thanks to everyone who stopped by, commented and shared my posts this past year.  Here are the top 5 posts from the year:

  1. 5 People Every Team Needs
  2. Defining Personal Productivity
  3. 10 Tips for Project Success
  4. A Leadership Parable
  5. Making Hard Choices

I’m looking forward to 2014 and sharing more thoughts with you as well as learning from your comments and feedback.

Let’s make 2014 the best year yet!  Have a great New Year!!

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If you would like help developing your project management or leadership skills contact me at carol@delta-group-llc.com.  I can help you create clarity around your goals, develop a strategy to reach them and support your during your efforts.

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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays

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December 24, 2013 · 11:42 am

Thoughts for Dec 19th

BelieveTo accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
Anatole France

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.
Colin Powell

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Do You Want More From Your Team?

Team MtgAs the year winds down leaders and project managers review the performance and progress of their teams.  If you find that your team is falling short of where you would like or need them to be it’s time to take action to correct it.  By making those plans now you can set the stage for a more successful 2014.

What can you do to get things moving in the right direction?  Here are 4 steps you can take now to build a plan for success.

  1. Assess & analyze:  Where is the root cause of the underperformance?  Is it lack of ability?  Lack of capacity?   Lack of commitment?  Look at the team overall, including yourself and look at each individual.  You may find that some members lack the needed skills while other lacks a commitment to the project/team which is leading to an overall lack of capacity to get everything done.
  2. Develop:  Once you know the cause of the underperformance you can create development plans to address the gaps.  If a particular person doesn’t have the skills they need create a development plan to help them build those skills quickly.    Sometimes a team member needs to develop the ability to do more work by learning time management skills or working more efficiently.  Look at what can be developed in each person to benefit the team.
  3. Trim the deadwood:  After you look at each person you may find that there is someone on the team who just is not the right fit.  They may not have the aptitude for the work to be done or they may not be able to develop the needed skills.  Cut them from the team to make room for someone who can help the team achieve more. 
  4. Encourage:  It’s most likely the team knows they are not hitting their marks and that is very discouraging to people.  Help them see that they can reach the needed performance and that you believe in them.  Taking the first three steps will help them see your commitment to their success and will help them become committed to improving.  A positive outlook will create a positive environment where people want to do better.  Spell out the facts of the situation and build hope for a better tomorrow.

This will take some time to do well and yet it can yield amazing performance improvements that it’s worth the time.  Underperforming teams can be turned around with time and attention.  You need to figure out what can be done to meet your targets and how you can help the team get there.

While looking at the team’s performance you have to take a hard look at your performance relative to the team.  Are you being the leader they need to achieve the project or team goals?  Ask them how you can better support them and then listen to their feedback.  Some of it may be hard to hear so just absorb the information.  Take the time to reflect on what you are told and implement the changes that will help you grow and help your team succeed.  Your willingness to change will help set the stage for them to change as well.  If you want them to change their performance you need to go first, so model what you want from them.  They will like you for it and will respond well.

Learn to be a coach that helps their team achieve more and accomplish great things.  As you develop or refine your coaching skills you will grow as a leader and become capable of leading teams in any situation.  You can become a better coach by working with a coach to grow your skills and abilities.  Again, you will be modeling the behavior you want from your team and developing yourself at the same time.  Win-Win

To get more from your team you must be aware of the gaps and be willing to help close those gaps by developing the team’s skills or getting the right people on the team.  It’s up to you as a leader or project manager to make sure your team is set to deliver as required.

If you are curios on how a coach could help you click here for information on a special offer designed to help you get more out of your team in 2014.  We can help you do more personally and help you prepare your team for a fantastic year.

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What is Your Mission? Leadership and Mission

Success2What is you mission?  Do you know what is your purpose or calling?  Have you taken the time to determine what you are called to do and how you will measure your success?  As humans we have the opportunity to determine what we will do and how we will do it.  We can choose to live a life with a purpose, to pursue a mission.  If you are a leader knowing your mission is critical to the success of your team.  A vision alone will not create success for you or your team.

When you share your vision as a leader you are creating a picture of success for your team.  By taking it one step further and sharing a mission statement you give your team a framework that defines how they will help create that success.  The mission is task oriented and so is action oriented.  This gives your team the start of a road map to reach success.  The mission statement becomes a compass and helps determine direction for your activities and those of your team.

A mission statement clearly identifies your purpose and identifies measures of success.  It provides a simple and easy message of the primary objective for you and your team.  A well done mission statement sets the stage for setting goals throughout an organization.  Aligning individual, department, and corporate goals with the mission allows everyone to understand how they connect to the bigger picture of what is to be done.  That alignment helps with engagement because people know how they are contributing to the overall mission.

Missions are translated a series of tasks or activities to reach the goal specified in the mission statement.  This translation helps break down the mission into actionable steps people can take to reach the goal.  The goal is often tied to the vision which defines the purpose in terms of values.  The vision is often a statement of the experience people will have with an organization and may be directed to external customers or shareholders.  The mission defines how the internal team will bring the vision to life.

So as a leader you need to create a vision of the future for your team and to help guide them on their journey to success you need to give them a mission as well.  The mission statement can become the rallying point for team efforts which creates momentum and success.  Share your vision and mission often with your team so they know where they are going and how they will get there.   Keep your mission fresh and consistent with your current situation.  Make changes if needed to adapt to new opportunities.

As 2014 approaches take time to review your personal mission and your organization’s mission.  Is your purpose clearly defined and aligned with your current circumstances?  Start planning for how you will accomplish this mission in 2014 so you can hit the ground running as the new year begins.

To explore more about Leadership and Mission join me as I co-host the Lead With Giants TweetChat with Dan Forbes on Monday December 16th at 7:00 pm (#leadwithgiants).  We would love have you share your ideas and thoughts around this topic.

 

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Are You Moving Forward?

GoThis is a time of the year when many of us look back on what we accomplished during the year.  Did we achieve our New Year resolutions?  Did we move closer to our big life goals?  There are a wide variety of similar questions we ask ourselves whenever we reflect on our success.  It’s important to reflect on our achievements and understand what we accomplished.  However, it’s even more important to look at what our vision and mission really are and how do we get there.  This is a great time of the year to identify how we can move forward in our life.  We then set the stage for even greater achievement after the first of the year.

To achieve anything we have to first envision what it is we want.  These may come in the form of written goals, a clear vision and/or mission statement, a vision board or just a deep sense of what we are called to do.  Being clear on the desired endpoint is a critical step in reaching it.  How do you know what to do if you aren’t clear on where you are going?  This clarity takes time to develop; you must get in touch with your skills, your passion and who you want to be in the world.  Establishing that vision of your future world creates a mindset that allows you to start moving towards it with purpose and determination.

Once you know where you are going it’s time to get moving forward.  It can be hard to create a vision for the future but it’s even harder to take action to get there.  Dreaming is so much easier than getting down into the trenches and working hard to reach your goal.  Part of the reason taking action is so hard is because we of goals think in terms of grand accomplishments or big projects.  Instead take the time to identify the first simple steps you need to take to reach your goal.  This is about what can you do first, then what would come second, then what’s third.  Start with the first things to do and the steps required after that will become clear.

You really don’t need a plan of action that details every single thing you must do to reach your goal.  In fact, if you spend time creating that detailed of a plan you are closing the door on flexibility and new opportunities.  As well, you set yourself up for failure.  If you have a highly detailed plan and a detour comes up that is the right thing for you to do it creates a conflict – do I go with my plan or the detour?  Many then get stuck or start second guessing their decision.  This stops them from moving forward and they end up not reaching their goals.

So look at your goals and ask yourself these questions to get moving forward today:

  • What can I do today to move towards my goal?
  • How can I take advantage of the resources I have at hand to help reach my goal?
  • Who could help me move forward today?
  • Where can I learn a needed skill or gain a resource I need today?
  • Why am I procrastinating on working towards my goals?
  • If I take no action today when will I take that next step?

Moving forward towards your dreams and your goals is a series of small steps that ultimately get you where you want to go.  You just have to take the first one to start moving forward.   As you move forward your goals will get closer to you and you will find the next steps to take in front of you.

What step will you take today?

If you are stuck and would like help figuring out how to start moving forward contact me for a Jump-Start Coaching Session.

carol@delta-group-llc.com

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Quote for Dec 10th

Wise Owl

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Wisdom is the accumulation of knowledge.  Knowledge is understanding that is gained from experience.  As you go about your daily activities do you seek knowledge?  If so, do you then look at how it can add to the knowledge you already have, will it change your perception or opinion of a situation?  This is how you take knowledge and gain wisdom.  When you have started to gain wisdom you can then apply your knowledge to new situations and solve challenges that previously seemed insurmountable.  The first step is to learn from your daily experiences.  Keep learning each and every day.

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Rising Above Adversity

As I read all the information about the life on Nelson Mandela one thing that struck me was his ability to forgive and move forward.  After spending years in prison he emerged and embraced his oppressors when he was elected to office.  He went out of his way to bring the two sides of South Africa together to create a new unified future for that country.  His legacy will live forever.

The lesson for us as leaders is that we can rise above adversity by being willing to let go of the hurt and bitterness.  There will be people who oppose our ideas and actions.  This leads to arguments and heated battles.  Often these workplace battles leave people hurt and bitter.  As leaders we must repair these rifts and heal the pain.  When we set aside our own pain we can move forward to create new opportunities.  By working with our opponents to find a new ways to work together we create a better and stronger future for our organizations.

The challenge is finding ways to build a bridge that will allow you to collaborate in the future.  Here are some ways to take those first steps forward:

  • Let go of bitterness:  Hanging onto your anger, hatred or bitterness will keep you stuck in that ugly place of hostility.  Let it go to open the doors for a better tomorrow.
  • Look for common ground:  There are things that you and people who oppose you have in common.  Find those items to start building a future that benefits both.
  • Acknowledge their perspective:  You don’t have to agree with or even like other’s perspectives on issues; however they have a right to their feelings and opinions.  Be willing to acknowledge their thoughts without accepting them as yours.  A great phrase is “I can see you feel strongly about….”  That shows your willingness to listen to them.
  • Extend the olive branch:  Be first to reach out to others to mend rifts and resolve disagreements.  Your willingness to find a way to move forward can help them open up to you.
  • Be sincere:  Make sure that in all you do you are sincere in your efforts to build a better future.  Doing it just to look good will be obvious.  When you sincerely want to improve the situation it will ring true and people will be more willing to work with you.

The key to all of this is to be true to yourself and your ideals while honoring and accepting the ideals of others.  When you embrace your opponents you can create a new environment where everyone feels included and will work towards the same goals.  By consistently and sincerely reaching out to others you become someone everyone admires, even when they don’t agree with everything you say or do.  You show you are working towards the good of all, not just a few.  Nelson Mandela changed the world by doing just that quietly, consistently and sincerely.  He held firm to his beliefs and welcomed those who opposed and oppressed him resulting in a stronger and better society.

What could you accomplish if you rise above adversity and embrace your opponents?

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison. ~ Nelson Mandela

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Quote for Dec 3rd

When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.
W. Clement Stone

Have you identified what you want to do with your life?  As 2013 draws to a close it is the time to be looking ahead to what you will accomplish in 2014.  Determine what you want to do over the next year and start creating an action plan to make it happen.  Now is the ideal time to get the ball rolling so that as the calendar turns to 2014 you will already be moving forward in the direction you have chosen.

If you, or someone you know, would like help in developing a clear mission and a strategy to achieve it, contact me at carol@delta-group-llc.com.

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