Mastering a skill takes years, whether it is teaching, becoming a great leader, a parent or world-class speaker. Like the Bamboo Farmer that I reference in my speeches and my first book Water The Bamboo the key to mastery lies in one’s ability to be focused and disciplined for years.
I believe you should use most of your time and energy focusing on your strengths. However, leaders must reserve some time to improve their weaknesses.
The first step in any improvement is awareness. It is difficult, if not impossible, to improve weaknesses if you are not aware of it. Seeing yourself in action or paying close attention can help you identify your weaknesses. Getting honest feedback from those you respect is a gift, so receive feedback with an open mind. However, if you receive a singular piece of feedback from someone, verify it with others as well since feedback is subjective.
As a leader, you must embrace change and remain a student, or find yourself perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.
You can long for the good old days as much as you want—I miss going to Blockbuster too. Enjoy the memories, but you must move forward and prepare for the world of today and tomorrow.
In chapter six of my book, What’s Going Well, I teach readers how to apply the What’s Going Well mindset professionally.
In my experience, the workplace is one of the last places people receive genuine appreciation and acknowledgment—and it shouldn’t be. Recognizing people for their accomplishments and acknowledging a job well-done are essential to employee engagement and satisfaction; it also boosts productivity, changes behavior, and impacts the overall workplace culture!
This year I have noticed an interesting pattern. When clients request a keynote presentation, I ask which speech they want me to deliver--one focused on Water The Bamboo, Unleashing the Potential of Teams and Individuals or What’s Going Well? The Question that Changes Everything?
It’s been about a 50–50 split.
I developed a keynote and a half day workshop around the What’s Going Well mindset. Below is a short video that gives you a flavor of the new book and keynote.
Every year instead of setting a New Year’s resolutions, I pick a word that I use as a theme throughout the year. Last year, 2018, I chose the word “momentum.” I have to give momentum lots of credit for helping me power through and finish my new book, What’s Going Well.
Creating a What’s Going Well culture puts team members in an optimistic frame of mind, and interpersonal bonds and team relationships are strengthened at a deeper and more sincere level. The strong relationships that result lead to increased job satisfaction, engagement and loyalty. Acts of cooperation, teamwork and empathy generated by a What’s Going Well culture can also directly influence an organization’s bottom line. A What’s Going Well culture is a competitive advantage for organizations that implement it broadly and systematically.
Now that your NCAA Final Four Bracket is busted – thank you University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers! – we can start talking baseball. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate the lessons that can be found in baseball. I was not much of a baseball player growing up, but I did make the thirteen-year-old "All Star" Babe Ruth team (I didn’t make it because of skill – there were barely enough 13-year olds in my region to field a team).
My recent blog post titled Is Your Dog a Better Leader Than You? received a lot of great feedback but also seemed to spark a bit of controversy. Some readers have suggested that their cats have better leadership qualities. It was not my intent to ruffle any feathers – it is of course the year of the dog NOT the cat.
Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Dog! If your year didn't quite get off to the start you wanted, think about using Chinese New Year – this Friday, February 16th – as a reboot!
In Water The Bamboo, my book on leadership and teamwork, I encourage Bamboo Farmers to create a Bamboo Circle. A Bamboo Circle is made up of interconnected relationships that help a Bamboo Farmer reach their goals.
Conflict is normal and sometimes necessary to progress. Many people view conflict as negative but, in reality, it’s not always a bad thing. In fact, it has the potential to bring mission-critical issues to light. After all, conflict is often the result of misaligned expectations, so dealing with conflict the right way can strengthen team communication and improve culture.
For leaders to be effective, they must work well with all types of people; it is essential to managing a successful team. To improve your relationship skills, here are 5 important principles for getting along with others.
It is true that in some instances "fake it 'til you make it" makes sense but most of the time this is a losing strategy for a leader. Fake leaders can be found everywhere and are easy to identify. They give us an uneasy feeling that they shouldn't be trusted. Fake leaders end up losing respect, struggling to gain trust, and failing to create meaningful, lasting relationships.
I’ve had the good fortune of planning and facilitating numerous transformational leadership retreats across a wide range of industries. And while many leaders mistakenly believe there's no value in stopping and retreating, my experience has shown otherwise.
A lot of my work with leaders and teams is centered around how to increase and sustain employee engagement. When people first begin their jobs, they are typically fully engaged, but this initial enthusiasm eventually fades into "what's next?" or thinking the bamboo grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
In my work as a professional speaker and leadership trainer, I've learned a great deal about how strong organizational cultures are created and maintained. One of the biggest roadblocks to an effective organizational culture I see again and again is the mission and values of the organization are misaligned with how decisions are made. Whether it comes in the form of miscommunication or power imbalances, misaligned purpose begets a sub-par organizational culture.
The first thing to know about leadership is that good leaders are great coaches. Being a good coach is a challenging, long-term duty but it's one of the most rewarding things you can do. After all, what's better than helping others reach their potential for the benefit of the entire team?