How Leaders Fail

“Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” Peter F. Drucker

The Biggest Mistakes Leaders Make

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-hard-day-image22576797Breaking agreements and not keeping promises
Other people assume a promise from a leader will be kept. And when you fail to follow-through on any level, it breaks trust. It creates dis-ease and mistrust on all levels and calls into question your credibility. Don’t make commitments you can’t keep. Renegotiate them, delegate them, but do not break promises.

• Emotional outbursts. I had a boss who screamed at everyone, for no reason. I’ve seen other leaders do this, and all it does is alienate others around you. DO NOT VENT on your staff. They deserve better. Go to therapy, work out, get the anger out before you come to work.

• Lack of empathy: Not understanding how your people feel after a work crisis, not giving them comp time when they have worked overtime for many days, not being compassionate when your people have a family emergency. You must demonstrate compassion. Your staff are first and foremost people; treat them with respect and caring.

• Not Giving Appreciation or Praise
70% of American workers are actively disengaged. 88% of American workers NEVER receive thanks for the work they have done!  There’s a correlation. Praise people specifically in writing for a job well done. Say thank you publicly to others for their work. Express your thanks often.

• Not Being Transparent
More than ever, leaders need to tell the truth and address fear and rumors. Even if you can’t tell the whole story, acknowledge that yes, change is happening, and you are doing everything in your power to resolve issues quickly. Update your people often. Acknowledge their worries and be honest in responses. Maintain an optimistic approach and keep them updated every step of the way.

 

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Are You Getting Enough Hugs to be Healthy?

You Need More Than You Think!

 

Me and Cinderella

Me and Cinderella- the woman who gave me my hugs growing up!

According to noted American pyschologist and educator, Virginia Satir, we need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day for growth.

Most people are lucky if they get 1 or 2 hugs a day.

So up your intake and give hugs freely.  Recently, I was visiting one of the non-profits I volunteer for and talking to a little boy, stroking his back. He just leaned in for a hug, which I was more than happy to give.  We all need touch, and in this day and age, hugging can heal so much.  Take the time to give full-on, heart-felt hugs to others as a way of sharing.  The rewards for everyone are so worth it.

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Asking For Help is Smart

Don’t Deny Others the Chance to Assist

Holding the hand of anotherRecently, I heard from a  friend in the hospital who is critically ill.  She had been there for 5 days and was calling to let me know.  I was so grateful to know what was going on, to be able to pray for her and check on her.  I only wish she had let me know sooner. Another dear friend recently learned he has cancer, but reached out to me weeks after the diagnosis.  Those are weeks I could have been there for him, helping him sort through solutions, fear and pain.

Most of us have a tendency to put others first, and to not ask for help. And that’s a mistake.  Martyring ourselves by saying we don’t want to bother others or trouble them denies us the gifts of love and support.  We also deserve help, especially in difficult times.

Some people prefer to go off and isolate themselves while they figure things out,
and I respect that.  However, isolation can lead to depression and negative thinking, at a time when loved ones could provide compassion and understanding. Scientists have shown that reaching out to other people during a stressful event is an effective way to improve your outlook.  So your perspective could improve dramatically.

You never know- you might get some great solutions to problems you are having, connecting you with valuable resources you never knew existed.  Share your life, share with your loved ones, and allow yourself to be supported. You are worthy of it.

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How to Prevent Last Minute Unpleasant Surprises

Proactive Strategy and Collaboration Make a Huge Difference

Clock from Stress ExpressDo you ever feel you are at the mercy of others when it comes to meeting your deadlines? Are you frequently caught short in terms of time or resources because one of your clients waited until the last minute to ask for your help? Does one of your vendors let you down on the same service over and over again?

In each of these circumstances, it would be ideal if your employees, clients or vendors changed. But in reality, that’s not very likely to happen.

What You Can Do to Be Proactive

A far better approach is to be proactive. Ask your customers and clients what their plans are for the next 12 months. Ask them what projects they might need your support with and when the deadlines are for those projects.

Then mark your calendar and check back in with them regularly to see if they are on schedule. Be proactive and notify vendors that they will have work coming to them at a certain time and have them block out time in their schedule for you.  This way, you work on your terms at your pace and you are not caught by surprise nearly as often. Clients and vendors usually appreciate the advance planning and everything goes more smoothly.

 

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The Why Do It List- TIme Management Tool

Exhausted woman on files

THis woman needs a nap!

What are your true priorities?

Most of us are overwhelmed at work every day with “To Do” lists that never end.  Mike Vardy, author and blogger, says to approach your list differently.
 
He says make a list of the top things you need to do this week, including workfamily, personal, etc. with the answers to the question Why do it” after each. Knowing the WHY instantly clarifies what has greatest value in your life. Then schedule your week. 
 
All too often, we let the real priorities in our lives, people, loved ones, exercise, fun, slide under the overwhelm of work.  And then we end up unhappy and unhealthy and resentful.  Once you know why you want to do something, you can prioritize what is most important and be sure your to do list is meaningful for you.

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©2013 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Speak Kind Words- Avoid Gossip

Have you ever noticed that some words impact you very differently than others? As Stephen Covey writes in the introduction to Aspire by Kevin Hall : “words sell and words repel, words lead and words impede, words heal and words kill.”  

Male Gossips 2What words do you use in your conversations with co-workers, employees, loved ones?  How about what you say to yourself?  Out of the 70,000 thoughts we have a day, many of those are negative and judgmental, especially towards ourselves. Become aware of the words you use and the tone with which they are delivered; you could make or break someone’s day.

And before you share some juicy piece of gossip, ask yourself these three questions:

- Is it truthful?

- Is is necessary?

- Is it uplifting?

 

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©2013 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

 

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Helping Others in a Crisis

When a crisis occurs, whether a sudden storm, hurricane, tornado, earthquake or even car accident, people often wonder how they can help.  And while donating to relief organizations is fine, your actions can make a huge difference.  Here are a few ways to help:
 
• Reach out - check in regularly with those you know have experienced trauma or damage. Show them your love and caring, mail them food and toys for the kids, call often and give hugs.
 
• Refuel- many people without power are at risk of cold, starvation and dehydration.  If you have a generator or extra food and water, share with others.
 
 Routine- help others get back to some of their regular routines. Even small rituals are soothing and bring back a sense of familiar
 
• Renew- if live you close by and your loved ones are in trouble, invite them to stay with you or at least have some meals at your home while they sort everything out
 
• Rebuild - you may not be a general contractor, but you can help save someone thousands of dollars by organizing  your friends, getting some gloves and removing damaged walls etc
when it is safe.We recently experienced a big problem with mold and having friends come over and help move our furniture out was a huge help.
 
• Spend time listening.  Often the shock of an act of nature takes days and weeks to set in.
Be there for them and offer hope. People in crisis can go into depression very easily.
 
• Change their mindset - give them new things to think about, share good news of things they can look forward to, focus on the improvements.

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Make the Most of Your Millenial Employees

Shaking handsMillenials are one of the fastest growing employee groups worldwide, and they have the most customer interaction of any age segment. Managers often wonder how to motivate them, since they crave flexibility and meaning.  Here are a few tips from expert Jason Dorsey:

• Give them at least 10 seconds of specific feedback a month from a senior person (they like communication)
 
• Make their first day at work memorable; start them on a less stressful day than Monday and pair them with a same gender peer for the office tour (they’ll ask better questions)
 
• Honor their birthday in a special way as they like to celebrate all month long
 
• Coach them to ask for opportunities to demonstrate their potential; they want to grow and move up
 

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Keep Your Employees with these Key Questions

Have you read this book? First, Break All the Rules, What the World’s Great Managers Do Differently is a compilation of the findings of Gallup poll researchers who interviewed over 1 million employees, 80,000 managers and 400 companies.  The book makes several great points.

One is how to determine the strength of any workplace. Ask your employees these questions:

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?

8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?

9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

10. Do I have a best friend at work?

11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?

12. This last year, have I had the opportunities at work to learn and grow?

 

These are the  core elements needed to attract, focus, and keep the most talented employees.  The first 6 questions are the most important fundamental questions that often get jumped over.  That is a critical mistake, because those 6 are foundational before any employee can even consider vision, mission, and growth.

 

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The Power of Choice: Stand in Your Power

Say No

There are so many times in our lives when we can choose to be courageous, strong, and live in our integrity, and there are times when some of us do not.
Regardless of peer or political pressure in any situation, you ultimately have yourself and God to be accountable to.  Live in the authentic nature of who you are, make decisions and take actions that resonate with you  and your values, and you will always be able to respect yourself.  There are infinite opportunities to do the right thing and be the best you can be.  Choose wisely.

 

“To win or lose,
To love or hate,
To try or quit,
To risk or withdraw,
To accelerate or hesitate,
To dream or stagnate,
To open or close,
To succeed or fail,
To live or die.
Everyone of these starts with a CHOICE.”
Snowden McFall

 

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