Tag Archive - Communication

Teamwork: Rookies Versus Veterans

Rookies Vs. Veterans

“That’s not going to work.”  Every time my most experienced people said this, I cringed.  I had a team with eight veterans and four rookies.  I soon realized that our team’s experience was killing innovation.

Each time a veteran spoke, it hurt us or helped us.  Experience kept us from moving forward into new territory.   At times, experience helped us make wise decisions and other times it kept us from growing. Continue Reading…

When Is It Right To Quit The Fight

Why am I still fighting?

It was a good old knock down, drag out fight.  We had chosen our sides and were all vehemently sure of our positions.

In Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, he expends 20% of his thesis on the need for healthy conflict on a team.  He says, and I believe, that without conflict it is highly unlikely a team is making the best decisions for an organization.

If this is true then by Lencioni’s scorecard, this was going to be a FANTASTIC decision!  But, in the midst of it all, I quietly raised my hand and gave in.  It was right to give up this fight. Continue Reading…

Three Things That Kill A Good Idea

Idea Killer

The death of a good idea is a tragedy.  Many individuals bring forward great ideas only to see them assaulted by three different assassins.

I have watched the assaults and done nothing.  Yet, I wondered why my team was stagnating and not moving forward.  I was asleep at the wheel.

These assassins were individuals, groups and/or processes.  All three were the result of an inattentive leader-me.  But once I learned how to identify these assassins, I was able to save some great ideas from the clutches of death. Continue Reading…

Strengths / Weaknesses – The Same Coin

Both Sides Are Me

I’m an idea guy.  I love to brainstorm and come up with ideas on how to make things better.  I am also someone who can ignore the details or forget about them quickly.

The more I work with leaders the more I realize I am not alone.  All of us have strengths that can also be our weaknesses. They are two sides of the same coin.  Our strengths often turn into weaknesses when they are misapplied or taken to an extreme.

This blog was my top blog from 2013.

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Communication: To Speak or To Be Heard?

Goal:  To Speak or To Be Heard

If I just want to speak then no thought is needed.  I can just let her rip!  If I want to be heard, then I must pay attention to what words I say and how I present them.

I was reading an article on communication recently.  The article gave me some good tips for changing my style to meet the needs of my audience.

In the comments section, another reader felt that changing his style was a cop out.  He described himself as someone who did not hold back.  As a result, people saw him as too aggressive or even caustic.

I am taking two weeks off to be with my family.  I will be back with new blogs next week.

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3 Disciplines For Being Productive Versus Busy

Busy Bee

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates.  There is plenty of movement but you never know if it is going forward, backward or sideways.”

-H. Jackson Brown

Me:  “Hey Laura.  How are things going?”

Laura:  “It’s been a busy week Dave.  I’ve been running non-stop since Monday.”

I always want to surround myself with talented high-energy people.  These people energize me.  But, they can also wear me out.  Why?  Because many believe that doing a lot of STUFF makes a difference.

I am taking two weeks off with my family.  I will be reposting previous blogs during that time.  Have a blessed Christmas!

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Leadership Inertia- Friend & Foe

Isaac Newton

For a leader, inertia is both a friend and a foe.  In 1687, Isaac Newton published his famous theory on inertia.  Summarized it simply states, “A body at rest tends to stay at rest while a body in motion tends to stay in motion.”

For a leader, understanding the theory of inertia is critical to leading a successful team.

I met Isaac Newton at least twice my senior year in high school.  The first time was in Mr. Berger’s physics class.  The second time was when a girl friend’s car wouldn’t start.

This is reposted from June 2012.  I am working with a team that has a lot of inertia….

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Leading Up – 3 Keys To Confronting Your Boss

Leading Up is Up To Me!

Confronting your boss is not fun. When I have done it, I have been met with anger, indifference, and/or passive aggressiveness. I have also seen some very positive reactions as well.

When I speak to groups about Building A Culture of Leadership within an organization, I always discuss the need for those without the title to speak up and lead up. I can usually count on someone approaching me after the program with a problem.

Some people tell me about their boss and the issues they will encounter if they attempt to lead up. I usually respond with empathy and one of two quotes from my dad:

Just because it isn’t easy to do does not mean you should not be doing it!
• Whoever said leadership was going to be easy?

These quotes have some bite to them, but they are true nonetheless. Continue Reading…

The 4 Word Response To Angry Emails

How Not To Respond

Email is a terrible way to communicate.  There are multiple studies showing about 50% of all emails are misinterpreted.  My experience and your experience probably support that fact.

I have received angry emails from my customers, my peers and my leaders through the years.  They can make me both angry and frustrated.  Unfortunately, the way I choose to respond to those emails usually escalates the emotions involved.

We all have a choice in how we respond to these messages.

I have reposted this from December 2012 due to recent questions from some clients on effective communication.

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Four Leadership Lessons From 20 Years of Marriage

Leadership Lessons From Marriage

On my wedding day my dad, General Jim Anderson shared with me his secret to a successful marriage.

The General:  “Buddy, before your mom and I got married we decided that I would make all the big decisions and she would make all the small decisions.”

Me:  “I really like the sound of that!” I said through a grin.

The General: “And in 30 years of marriage there hasn’t been a big decision yet.”

I have learned a lot about life, love and leadership from being married to Elizabeth.  Not all of the lessons were easy to learn.  But, they have made me a better leader not just at home, but at work as well. Continue Reading…

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