Plug the Leaks ... and Fast!
It's Just Like Sugar!
We put so much effort and attention into counting dollars, tracking expenses, investing in the newest technology, and charting our strategic pathway to the future – and those are all valuable activities. But it is the rare leader who connects a dollar value to every minute spent in putting off direct feedback and clearing up petty conflicts, confused communication, and ongoing office drama.
Listen in or read on for more on where time (and therefore money) gets wasted and what you can do about it.
Open the Invitation
Gossip is as addictive as sugar. It can also be damaging and slowly wear and tear at the vital framework that keeps a group or a team cohesive, a family solidified, and an organization moving towards its goals. Breaking the gossip habit is a powerful way you can positively impact your own happiness, even when you’re feeling powerless. Here's how...
Roaring Fires in the Night Sky
Many years ago, the National Indian Youth Leadership Project’s Mac Hall taught me an incredible lesson about bringing programs into the world. He said, “We only go where we are invited,” meaning we could provide information, but we wait to be asked. We didn’t assume we knew what was best for a community. Instead, we trusted that, when the time was right, their invitation would come.
Listen in (or read on) for more about my time on the Acoma Pueblo and working with Mac, and also my invitation for you.
Let Go of the Rock, Revisited
We went camping a few weekends ago, and I’m pretty good at building campfires, but it’s close to impossible to build a good fire with bad wood.
Fortunately, our sad, smoky little fire was rescued by two pairs of gentlemen on two separate occasions. With their tattoos and camos, they appeared to be the opposite of us. But it turned out we had at least one thing in common, and answering the question it raised connected all of us, despite all.
Listen in to hear how our paths crossed and what I found there.
Your Future Self and the Sirens’ Song
When we clutch and cling to what we treasure, our tightly closed fist prevents us from accepting anything more, and it can also prevent our moving forward with ease and freedom.
Listen in (or read on) for a short, sweet story about a child who learned to open her fist, which, in turn, opened my eyes – and also a list of nine rocks that many of us hold onto.
When a Canned Approach Just Won't Do
Do you easily make commitments to behavioral changes, but you struggle with following through? The keys to fulfilling your commitments despite external and internal challenges are found in the ancient story of Ulysses and the Sirens’ deadly song.
He had himself tied to the mast of his ship and his crew’s ears plugged so they wouldn’t be tempted to their doom, but you can simply think about when and how you’ll need support, and then ask for it. Read on or listen in for more about this commonly missing piece…
Are You Feeling Boxed In at Work?
Ready-made seminars can be helpful, but there are times when a canned approach to leadership won’t get you where you want to go. It’s most effective to tweak the best practices to suit your work style instead of the other way around.
Listen in or read on for a case study on Results-driven Ron, who struggles to sit through meetings that continue in discussion long after he’s ready to take action. The steps he learned in an active listening seminar felt false and frustrating, but our customized strategy is a far better fit.
Get the Most and Best from Your Brain
Not every dissatisfied employee can easily walk away from their job. Government employees especially can find themselves with accumulated benefits such that it’s in their best interest to stay. But even in the private sector, you can leave behind a challenging employer, coworker, or supervisor, but unless you see how you contributed to the challenges, you’ll likely find the same situations at your next job.
Listen in (or read on) for 3 questions to ask yourself when the going gets so tough that you’re thinking of going.
Unblock Your Perspective: Listen More, Learn More, and Get More Done
Are you using your brain power as effectively and efficiently as possible? To do your best work, it’s important to create an environment that suits and satisfies your brain, as well as a schedule for tackling tough tasks when your brain is at its best.
Listen in (or read on) for tips on tidying up, sorting out, making way, and letting go so your brain has space – and energy – to do the most amazing things.
How Office Drama Costs Your Organization, Part 2
Our ego wants to protect us from being wrong, and in our effort to be right, we may close our mind to other perspectives, supporting our isolated view even when we would benefit from seeing what things look like from someone else’s perspective.
Listen in (or read on) for two stories on perspective-taking – one imaginary and one true – that demonstrate how listening better and more often can help your organization move forward and get more done.
How Office Drama Costs Your Organization, Part 1
The story about a meeting meltdown and its aftermath continues...
In this second and final “episode”, you’ll see how the chaos spread through the management tier all day and well into the night.
As with last week’s Part 1, as you listen to or read the tale, notice how – and how many – people were affected, and think about all the places where you hear time (and, therefore, money) leaking out of this organization due to a single moment of drama and the subsequent distractions and confusion.
This story about a meltdown in a meeting and the chaos that followed is based on a situation that occurred in an organization I worked with. As you listen to the tale, notice how – and how many – people were affected, and think about all the places where you hear time (and, therefore, money) leaking out of this organization due to a single moment of drama and the subsequent distractions and chaos.
The Isolated Leader
Unwritten rules are rules that we’ve created or adopted that govern our decision-making and our behavior patterns. They’re barely noticeable to anyone else, but when they’re challenged, they cause us discomfort, bring up conflict within us, and make us wonder – and judge – why other people don’t follow the same rules we do.
Listen in (or read on) to see how unwritten rules impact your relationships at work and at home and, maybe, hold you back from your full potential. And to hear the thing about my Christmas tree...
Don't Take It Personally
Isolation is a common thread among leaders who wish they hadn’t gone into leadership. The higher you move up in an organization, the less time there is to work in your area of passion and strength, the more you become the guard dog and keeper of secrets, and the fewer people you can talk to about decisions that weigh on your heart.
Listen in for six characteristics of isolated leaders plus three simple strategies they can use to re-engage with their work, their life, and the people around them.
How many times during the course of your day do you overhear things, see things, read things and take them personally? Choosing to be curious and to ask questions is the pathway away from drama and chaos. Join Beth as she uncovers why we take things personally and how you can disrupt that tendency. Just proclaiming “I will not take things personally!” isn’t enough to switch us. Instead, Beth explains how taking things personally is a practice, a choice.
Shut the Dang Door!
Hearing what someone said isn’t always enough – you may need to actually listen. Active listening takes a bit more work but will save you time and energy in the long run.
Listen in (or read on) for: an explanation of active listening, three questions you can ask to encourage a deeper conversation, how little of your undivided attention is needed to satisfy others, and how one of my daughters taught me all this when she was just two-and-a-half years old.
“You can only call me for three reasons…”
“I have an open door policy.” Oh my gosh, those words just make me shudder. Why am I opposed to an open door policy when it’s often pushed as the way to be a “connected leader”? Because an open door policy has the opposite effect. When you have an open door policy, you’re not connected to or present for anything.
Listen in (or read on) for how an open door policy hinders your productivity, robs the people around you of learning opportunities, and nibbles away at your time, plus 5 simple tips for setting things right.
Start With Strawberries: Lessons and Reflections from New CEO Cara Crye
Exhaustion and fatigue are common themes with many of my clients, and I’ve realized they haven’t given themselves permission to set boundaries. In fact, the tendency is quite the opposite. Somewhere along the way, we get the message to give all of our kindness, time, and energy to others and to keep none for ourselves. But nurturing ourselves first is the only sustainable way forward. Listen in for the surprising boundaries that set me free, a few words that create space, and one word that takes it away.
Anger’s Many Disguises
A special treat: An interview with Cara Crye, new CEO of the Farm Supply Company. Cara began working at Farm Supply fresh out of college and worked her way up through the ranks to follow the prior CEO’s 52-year tenure. If you’re looking to move up within your organization, or even tap into a leadership position in a new organization, you are going to hear some invaluable tips and areas to begin working on so you can increase your self-awareness and become a charismatic, engaging, and successful leader.
Anger is not a pure emotion, but a mask for painful emotions such as sadness, fear, and disappointment. At the same time, anger can hide behind numbness, defensiveness, or a feeling of power. Anger plays tricks on our ego, distances us from others (and ourselves), and can have a boosting effect as powerful – and as short-lived – as a sugar rush.
Read or listen in for more on anger’s many disguises, and learn how to dissipate your anger by asking yourself a few simple, yet powerful, questions about your situation.