A few years ago I found myself walking onto a stage to deliver a presentation to a large audience. This was my first presentation to such a large group - there were more than 250 participants in this room - and I felt myself break out in a cold sweat as my heart began to race. Even though I knew the content like the back of my hand, the thought of so many people staring at me and eagerly waiting for my nuggets of wisdom left me feeling nervous and inadequate.
Years later, I look back on that experience and I am grateful that my confidence has grown and I can speak to groups of any size with a calm and enthusiastic heart. Years of practice have served me well, along with lessons learned from John Maxwell's Law of Preparation. Allow me to share a few of these lessons with you today.
First, take a moment to reflect on a recent speaking or teaching opportunity. Perhaps you spoke to a large group in a brightly lit ballroom, or maybe you led...
Have you ever experienced a trip to your homeplace with memories and find out there is more to your story than you remembered? What is the significance of sharing your story and how does it relate to leadership? I notice when in communication with others, people pull out their phones and share pictures or stories that are funny, dramatic or inspirational. Stories are how we connect with others and most people don’t want to sit and hear about statistics and charts. Recently, traveling to visit my 93-year-old stepdad at our homeplace in the Midwest who raised four “little women” on a farm, I became aware of the story he is still writing while living his life with intention. We shared stories, pictures and events ranging from his service in the Korean War to his most recent move to a townhome from the family farm. He has lived an awesome life and this poem from Edwin Markham summarizes what I witnessed:
There is a destiny that...
Leaders create a vision and the people will follow. With so many changes in the workplace over the last three years, especially the rise of remote workers, how do leaders keep the vision alive and communicate to employees that their work contributes to the end result? How do leaders set boundaries that determine whether the people will thrive or fail? This article will only touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding leadership boundaries and how they apply to creating a vision.
In my work coaching leaders who work with hybrid and remote teams, I see three common questions:
Have you noticed how many "Now Hiring" signs are popping up these days? Across the country, businesses are looking for help and struggling to find it. America finds itself with a bevy of open positions and a shortage of labor to fill them. So, what's missing?
As I look back on my interactions with professionals over the last year and a half, I see more fear and less joy in the workplace. This certainly makes sense given the changes and uncertainty that the pandemic has brought. Looking ahead, I believe leaders who intentionally bring joy to the workplace can make a difference for their companies and their team members. I hope these thoughts will encourage you to take a risk and see what high joy can do for you.
Joy is a funny thing. It strengthens our relationships, reduces our stress, improves our immune system, protects our resiliency after setbacks, and spreads from person to person to transforms lives.
As leaders, we can focus on...
Two years ago, I worked with a company selling new construction homes. This was a significant learning curve for me, as I was working in sales in a completely new industry. Each project was a massive undertaking to pull together a diverse group of subcontractors and laborers to complete a beautiful masterpiece. I always had great respect for all of the hands and feet that worked together to achieve the end goal of a move-in-ready home.
As I worked in this role, it became clear to me that efficient communication was very important. Three different groups - the construction manager, the sales team, and the client - had to work together and agree on clear timelines to make sure nothing fell through the cracks. The stakes are sky-high when you're working on million-dollar homes, and the client is emotionally invested in the end result.
Perhaps you have managed a project with lots of moving parts and seen the need to set...
One Word . . . have you chosen your one word for the year 2020? Are you thinking maybe I should change it given the circumstances we are living? This idea for me was inspired by a book written by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page called “One Word that will Change Your Life.”
During my career in sales, marketing, facilitating and coaching, I have used many acronyms to keep my mind and behavior engaged positively toward making a difference in others’ lives. I haven’t done it perfectly and sometimes my actions may not have provided positive encouragement as desired. However, by following the instructions provided in this book, I have seen positive strides in my thinking and behavior.
Before I share with you my word selected for 2020, here is a word for you to consider adopting in your daily practice. This word adopted 15 years ago has dramatically impacted a positive change in my life. HALT - are you Hungry, Angry...