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Recently, a client told me about an employee who not only quit, but burned bridges with the company, its management and many co-workers on his way out the door. This accomplished nothing. Worse, before the bridge was burned (to the ground), the company would have considered rehiring this person in the future. People get mad, disagree and are frustrated at times. This certainly can happen when someone is leaving a company. This is short-sighted. These type of actions can seriously affect your future opportunities.  In business, acting on emotions can have a long lasting effect. You may never even know…
Making hard decisions isn’t easy. But as my wife says, “hard decisions, easy life or easy decisions, hard life.” This is true in your personal life and your business. In business, employees and peers are watching. If you fail to act, or delay acting, people will notice. This will negatively affect you effectiveness as a leader. This is about credibility. When you deal with issues, others on your team learn how their actions or inactions will affect their responsibilities and roles, and, ultimately, their employment. Many leaders leave negative situations to chance positing the situation will work itself out. Most…
The divisiveness in our country because of partisan politics is disappointing on many levels. People demean others they know and don’t know on social media and anywhere else they can leave comments. People physically attack others at protests and even drive cars into crowds. This really is unbelievable if you think about it. In many ways, our country is coming apart at the seams. I know people’s positions on political issues are shaped by their core beliefs. No one is going to change another’s core beliefs through an online comment, an in person confrontation, or even a courteous conversation. What…
It’s a skill to fully listen to one or more people in a conversation. If you want to test how people are listening, ask them to repeat back to you the message or direction you were trying to convey. You will be surprised at how often the other person wasn’t fully listening or took something different from your words than you meant. That’s right, someone can be listening, but take something different from what you said than you meant. I struggle with active listening because my mind goes into overdrive on what I want to say or how I want…
A few years ago I read a quote that resonated with me. I happened upon the quote this week and had the same reaction. The quote is “Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”  This insightful statement is by Buckminster Fuller, and he is correct on many levels.  We all have potential, but realizing that potential takes work.  Think about the intelligent people you have known who are disinterested in learning or otherwise do not apply themselves. No matter your definition of success, in most settings, hard work beats intelligence. Learning goes hand in hand…
Teams are important. It takes people to have a team. For a team to perform optimally, each person must have a voice and be allowed to contribute.  This has been on my mind in relation to a corporate client who, while having a management team, really has a top down decision making process driven by a single person, the owner. I was asked to participate in a meeting on issues related to a legal matter. Each member of the team of four was allowed to speak. After each one spoke I watched and listened to the owner kind of acknowledge…
Most of us are connected to our phones, tablets or computers more than ever right now. From the time we wake up until the time we go to sleep, most of us are a few steps from our office from anywhere in our home. Like many, my summer travel plans were cancelled, taking away a time I actually disconnect from work and email. Losing that time and the current circumstances are wearing on me and those around me. We all need a break, but it’s hard to do when day and night are spent in the same place. It’s always…
Imagine you are in a car with others on a long drive, have somewhere to be, and out of nowhere traffic on the highway comes to a stop. What is your first reaction? It may be to curse under your breath (or out loud). It may be to voice your frustration or you may be upset knowing you will be late to your destination. I had this happen earlier this week. My first reaction definitely was frustration. But then I sat back and thought about what I can control and what I can’t control. It didn’t make sitting in traffic…
Organization is more important than ever. Many of us are working remotely. Even if you aren’t, being organized makes a difference. If you have children, school is about to start around the country with remote learning, pulling even more on your time. Being organized will put you in the best position to be successful in all facets of your life. Now is the time to organize or, if you are organized, to reorganize. Delay rarely helps in any situation and disorganization leads to disaster. It not only can make you late on your commitments, it can adversely affect your business…
Most professionals still are working remotely and will be for the foreseeable future. This makes mentoring relationships more challenging. You can have phone calls or Zoom calls with a mentor or accountability partner, but mentoring relationships grow from forging a relationship based on knowing each other. Getting to know each other is harder to do by phone or Zoom unless that close relationship already existed. Even then, it’s not as good as being able to spend time together in person. All of this makes beginning new mentoring relationships more challenging because it’s easier to build the relationship and trust through…
Have you ever trained or practiced something with a goal in mind, such as improving your time on your daily run, memorizing your lines for your role at the local theater, or something similar? When you do, you have to make time to work up to your goal. With no preparation, you may finish the race, but it won’t be fast and you likely will feel it in your body for quite some time. If you don’t practice those lines and really get them down, the opening night will be uncomfortable, at best. These are examples of why preparation matters.…
I have been thinking about change during the last few months as many businesses have had to convert to remote working, and others have lost their jobs or businesses. It caused me to go back to a post I wrote in January 2014, which resonates today (and everyday). I have updated it, but it remains truth that change is constant. Winners know this. What do I mean?  Being able to adjust on the fly is important.  In my world it can mean abandoning the entire oral argument you spent hours preparing because of a question or statement by the judge,…
Reputation takes a lifetime to build and mere seconds to lose. This is why your reputation and the reputation of your business matter in all you do during work hours and outside of those hours. This relates both to an overall picture of what others think and what you do that fits within those general thoughts, or not. We all are ambassadors for the companies we work for. No role is bigger or smaller than other roles, just different. All roles are important and allow your business to function. It’s important to act in a manner that reflects well on…
Being healthy obviously is good for you. It also is good for your business. It gives you energy. You can work out with others, including people you work with, customers, referral sources, etc. It is what you make it, and that can turn into something powerful in your life. People seemed to really get into exercise when the quarantines and stay at home orders started. As time has gone by (and it has gotten really hot where I live), the amount of people I see out exercising, even early morning, has significantly decreased. We all should make exercising part of…
Do you set goals? You should, and they should be in writing. If you have, you should revisit them often to see where you are on the road to achieving your goals. Writing goals and not reviewing them will negatively affect your chance to reach them. You need to write down your goals. I currently am outlining my goals because June is the fiscal year end for my firm. Everyone at my firm writes down SMART goals for the next fiscal year. We also have mentoring and accountability groups that meet throughout the year to discuss goals and help our…
What are  you doing right now? Are you focusing on reading these words? Do you have an eye on your email, texts, or social media? If you are working from home, are you dealing with your children? Or maybe you are do some combination or all of these activities.  Or are you on the phone?  We all think we can multi-task and do it well, but the truth is we can’t. How many times a day, when you are on the phone, can you hear the keyboard and mouse clicks on the other end of the line?  Are they taking…