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Archive for December, 2014


Build a Super Team in 2015

Developing your team to succeed is a leadership responsibility. As we start a new year, take some time to decide how you can strengthen their skills and give them new ones. The more knowledge your team has, the more positively productive they can be.shutterstock_95843581

  • Share the vision. Make sure everyone on your team knows the company’s vision, your department’s role in realizing that vision, and their contributions to help make that vision a reality.
  •  Provide growth opportunities. Encourage your employees to stretch and grow by giving them developmental assignments. Review what you currently do that could be handled by a team member with the proper coaching. See my blog post Delegate for Results for more information.
  • Offer professional training programs. Investing in training that is delivered by experts is smart leadership. Help employees be more effective by improving communication, writing, productivity, emotional intelligence, stress management, and so on. See my blog post Training Makes Employees Positively Productive.

A strong leader helps his or her team improve performance by giving praise when it’s deserved and motivating the team to achieve even more. Keep employees focused on raising the bar and groom them to achieve more than they think is possible. Encourage them to have a can-do mindset—the difference that makes the difference!

Happy New Year! May 2015 be your best year ever!


Merry Christmas!

Merry-Christmas-Photos-11I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year!  May your holiday be filled with all good things!


Enhance Your Leadership Skills

Leadership is all about having a can-do attitude. Good leaders are high achievers that look for opportunities to succeed while also inspiring others to succeed. Here are five tips for cultivating leadership in 2015. shutterstock_97221119

  1. Take calculated risks. Leaders must be good at assessing the risks and rewards of opportunities. Weigh the options, analyze worst-case scenarios, identify mitigation strategies, and understand the consequences of a decision. Once the pros and cons are vetted, act decisively and confidently.
  1. Develop high emotional intelligence. This means you need to cultivate empathy for others, understand your own strengths and weaknesses, be aware of how others respond to you, and know how to act appropriately in challenging situations. Leadership isn’t being in command of others; it’s being in command of yourself so that others want to follow you and emulate you.
  1. Build a network you can rely on. Leaders are connected; they create networks both within and outside their organizations. Having a network gives you a pool of people you can call on for advice, information, and consultation. See my blog post Networking for Results for more tips.
  1. Be a perpetual learner. Leaders know they will never know it all, so they keep learning and growing. Take more classes, read and listen to more books, talk to people who are experts in areas you want to develop.
  1. Don’t turn mistakes into failures. Leaders have a realistic view of situations and realize that mistakes aren’t failures; they are valuable feedback! If you get off track or make a mistake, take action to rectify the situation, but don’t stop there. Analyze what went wrong and what you can learn. As baseball great Babe Ruth once said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

Set an intention for 2015 to enhance your leadership skills by focusing on these five areas. Check out my e-learning course Lead4Results for a convenient way to enhance your leadership skills in your own time and at your own pace.


Avoid Office Party Blunders

Holiday office parties can be great fun that let coworkers and colleagues deepen workplace relationships. While there are benefits to socializing at the office, the holiday party also has pitfalls that can damage your professional reputation if you aren’t careful.shutterstock_230996554

  • Let your hair down—but not too much! It’s fine to be relaxed and have fun, but keep things in moderation. If alcohol is served, limit your intake and make sure you eat while you drink. Becoming too uninhibited can lead to words and actions you might regret the next day.
  • Meet and mingle. It’s tempting to stay with people you know, but the holiday office party is a good time to reconnect with those you haven’t seen or spoken with in a while. Make a point to get to know someone new or someone you only know by phone.
  • Remember whom you work for. If customers are at the party or if a customer invites you to their office party, you have to be on your best behavior since you represent your organization. Avoid talking shop and focus on getting to know your customers better as individuals. At customer events, it is smart to avoid alcohol and stick to soda or sparkling water.
  • Ask permission before taking photos. You may want to take some shots on your phone, just make sure you have people’s permission. It can be annoying to have someone whip out a phone and start shooting. Be careful what you post on social media since you might embarrass someone—or yourself!—or violate your company’s policies or that of your customers.

Making a positive impression at the office party will demonstrate your professionalism to your customers, coworkers, and management. It is an opportunity to make a good impression and be noticed in all the right ways.


Holiday Gift Giving Guidelines

Holiday gift giving is a challenge for many business people. How much to spend? What kind of gift? Do you send it to the person or the office? You don’t want to send something that is too personal, but you do want to acknowledge people. So what do you do? Here is a quick guide to business gift giving for the

  • Make sure you know the rules. Most organizations have policies for what their employees can give and receive in the way of gifts or gratuities. Read your own guidelines and make sure your team understands them, too. Ask your clients and customers about their organization’s rules to ensure you aren’t violating them and putting the customer in an awkward position.
  • What about a gift for your manager? This can be tricky. You want to be politically correct and choose something that represents your appreciation of him or her. A handwritten note with a token gift, such as a basket of treats or homemade sweets, usually works. Also consider a team gift by asking your coworkers to chip in. Don’t put pressure on anyone by asking for a specific amount to contribute; just ask people to give what they want.
  • What about gifts for your employees? If you are a manager or supervisor, think about a gift the whole team can share, such as having lunch catered in or hosting an ice cream and cake afternoon.

If your office exchanges gifts or has a “Secret Santa” tradition, choose a gift that fits the person if you know them. If you don’t know them very well, choose something most people can use, such as candles or a gift card for gas or a local restaurant.

Gift-giving the right way can strengthen workplace relationships and help you acknowledge the people you work with. Choose thoughtfully, and you will enjoy the smiles on people’s faces when they open your gift! See also my blog post Plan Now to Wow Your Customers This Holiday Season