Archive for Leadership

Tensions we don’t even know we have…

Sometimes all we can do, it seems, is carry them. That worry, that constant rumble of thunder in the back of our minds. Does it seem like our best salesperson is disengaging? Will the tests ever find out why our mother has been so low on energy? How can I triage this never-ending flow of issues to be dealt with? Really, can I just go take a very very long nap somewhere?

When news came today that my grandson’s strange symptoms are not Parkinson’s but a rare condition called dysautonomia I cried with relief. In the hall during a break from a meeting. I didn’t even know I was so worried. I had been holding it at arm’s length during the past 8 months of specialists and medical experiments and testing. And practicing positive thinking and bargaining with God and every other possible solution I could think of. But no tears. Not until the pressure came off. There’s a road to walk here that is neither easy nor appealing but so much better than many of the others we had looked down.

This has been a year full of business and personal reliefs that have brought me to sudden tears and shouts of joy. Tension is flowing out of my body, my mind is coming up with clearer answers to problems, I have fresh energy for cutting through the clutter.

It is a shock to realize how much energy has been snarled up in complicated deals, facilities issues, and family changes.

I don’t know about you, but my answer to just about every challenge is to work harder and keep going. Even though I’ve been practicing meditation since I was 11, and know the value of a good workout, those tools often get pushed aside as the workload grows. So do conversations and hang-out time with my long-time friends. Ok, let me just say this – THAT’s crazy!!!

Over the last 20 years, I’ve seen many of my clients fall into the same trap. Of course, I’ve counseled and cajoled and harangued them to breathe, to pause, to get some exercise, to go play. I thought I was doing better than I was for my own self. This year has shown me how much I need to deepen and sharpen the use of my own tools on myself. A little humiliating…

So what are you carrying around with you that is diminishing your performance and your joy?

I just want to say, with all the heart and nagging and cheerleading power and science I can muster:

STOP RIGHT NOW! BREATHE 7 TIMES AND QUIET YOUR MIND. TAKE A WALK. TALK TO A FRIEND.

THAT IS ALL. PEACE/OUT!

 

Posted in: Culture, Leadership

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Leader, Master Your Craft!

Master your craftSometime last year it went quietly cathunk.

Client sessions were flowing, and fascinating. When we hit a danger point, I was deep into not knowing the answers. Sessions left me bone-tired and energized. It took me a few months to notice! I tried to figure out what had happened – who wouldn’t want to be able to replicate that? Then it came to me. I did a bit of back-of-napkin calculating.

Malcolm Gladwell famously said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to truly master a skill. Whether that is the real number, and how to define practice, is hotly debated among expertise scientists (nerd out here) but it gave me a starting point to clarify my experience. Sometime last year I crossed the 10,000-hour mark. 10,000 hours of being in front of leadership teams of SMBs as a consultant, coach, facilitator, teacher, head-banger. I had crossed from journeyman to master of my craft. Like any true master I am deeply aware of how much I still need to learn, hone, refine. I am also aware of how many skills I have, of how they fit together, of the nuances I have at my finger tips and the care and immediacy with which I can apply them. This newfound confidence breeds more confidence, and a sure skill with the scalpel or the balm. It is extraordinarily fun!

My craft is implementing a system that brings members of leadership teams to mastery.

My clients’ craft is leading and managing their teams to bring them to mastery.

Inherent in all this is our ongoing journey to mastery. Pick a leadership skill today to practice, to drill yourself on the way you would run laps to prepare for a game. Notice how well you lead a meeting, then do a post-game analysis. What went well? What could you have done better?

This is the path to mastery, and the path of the master. Have fun with it, and your work will be infused with the joy of learning from experiences that could otherwise be perceived as overwhelming problems.


 

If you need help mastering your craft, Contact me for a complimentary 90 Minute introduction!

Posted in: Leadership

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Jump the Leadership Chasm

shutterstock_155633888Greg had a big people problem – well, person problem. He had built his engineering firm from 3 people to 35 with the help of a good friend’s son. Justin was hired to sell and market – and boy did he! A typical millennial, he was excited to work events where he found customers and great connections. Greg was the closer. Back at the office Justin pivoted to automate the delivery of customer-ready documents. When a different kind of project came through the door, he found an app to manage work flow so his engineers could stay focused on design and specs, then, back out the door again to beat the bushes for more business. Greg and Justin were twin whirlwinds in almost perfect sync.

Then the business grew. Great, right?

If you’ve been there, you know what happened next. Greg needed Justin to focus on what he was hired for – a marketing plan, a sales plan. Justin agreed, but thought Greg’s approach was a little old-fashioned. They hired other people to manage operations and projects. Justin continued to attend events and be great at networking. No plan surfaced. Greg’s frustration met Justin’s “different ideas” about how to plan, but it was hard for them to tell exactly where the breakdown was. The friendship began to deteriorate. Employees got conflicting direction.

Enter the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS). As the leadership team used the Accountability Chart™ to clarify roles they would need to grow to the next level, Justin realized he didn’t want to let go of operations… or sales… or being Greg’s go-to for everything.

Greg:  “We had a conversation that had been brewing for a year. It cleared the air. The next step was painful for all of us.”

Justin:  “Lynda helped us gain the clarity we needed to go our separate ways. I’m grateful that it came to light in a way that kept our relationship whole.”

And now? Someone who loves to market and manage sales has taken over that seat. The team feels more productive and the company is 2 months ahead of its sales targets. Justin continued in a non-leadership role, finishing a couple of projects he was working on while the whole team activated their networks to help him find another company in more of a start-up mode. Justin is thinking that he can make a good living helping companies during those critical first five years – “not everyone thrives with that kind of crazy, but I do!”, he says.

Use the discipline of an accountability chart to define the seats you need for you to get what you want out of your firm in the next year. To learn how, call or write me. I’ll give you 90 minutes of my time so you can see how EOS can help you get the right people in the right seats to attain your vision!

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Posted in: Business Coaching, Leadership, Millenials, Multi Generation Workforce, Planning

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