letter to a new manager

How To Push Past That Terrifying Dip In Motivation | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

In career, failure, stress on November 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Seth Godin has written a gem of a book called “The Dip” on the difficult decisions we often need to take as to whether to push through challenging situations versus throw in the towel. I’ve read it a couple of times and though it’s a good read, I am not much closer to knowing on a day-to-day basis when to push through and when not to.   This has lots to do with the fact that I am generally hard-wired to do so.  What has been more important to me of late is that I am now more more conscious that you shouldn’t push through just because you tend to preserve through things – you should take a step back and ask, who does this serve and why? Once you have decided that you should push through, it is always useful to have support as to help pushing past the dips in motivation. Some of the ways from the article hyperlinked below:

“You embrace the uncertainty and discomfort. Lots of people avoid these two things, but without them, you never get good at anything. You never learn anything worthwhile. Embrace these things and grow. [...]

You do it not for success or some end goal, but for the sake of learning. You don’t want to give up every time you face resistance.You let yourself be moved by curiosity: wanting to know what it’s like to get past this, to push through discomfort. You want to find out how this chapter ends. [...]

You pause and remind yourself of the reason you started in the first place: it’s not for personal success but to help people, to strengthen yourself, to inspire others, to make someone’s life a little better, to put a smile on your face. And then you ask yourself: which is more important, this reason for doing this project, or your personal comfort?”

via How To Push Past That Terrifying Dip In Motivation | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

10 Good Reasons to Curb Your Perfectionism | Bonnie St. John

In busyness, career, Flexibility, mindset, perfectionism, risk-taking, strategic thinking, stress on October 28, 2014 at 8:43 pm

This is another excellent article – worth the whole read especially for female leaders.

Top ten reasons:

1. It drives away good people.

2. It causes pain to those you manage.

“Even if they don’t quit working for you, your perfectionism can cause others on your team to put in unnecessary hours, suffer from constant criticism and actually stop taking initiative.”

3. It blocks promotability.

4. It prevents risk-taking.

5. It stops people from applying for new jobs.

6. It impedes innovation.

7. It makes work-life balance impossible.

8. It crowds out networking:

“Too many of the women we coach have to learn to lift up their heads from task completion to look around, build relationships and study their business beyond their own purview. We, as women, tend to criticize men for golfing, drinking together or taking long lunches while we slave away at our desks. Networking is crucial for building trust, strengthening teams and preparing yourself for the next levels of your career.”

9. Makes you seem overly tactical (and not strategic).

“No one will think you can see the big picture or set priorities when you seem focused on the minutia. Being able to let go of your perfectionist tendencies may help you to win more strategic projects.”

10. Takes the focus off the most important things.

via 10 Good Reasons to Curb Your Perfectionism | Bonnie St. John.

If your employees are idiots, you’re the one to blame

In anger and leadership, career, Communication, emotional intelligence, empathy, failure, feedback on October 22, 2014 at 10:37 am

letter to a new manager:

This is a fantastic article – I couldn’t say it better myself. The only thing that I would add is the reminder of how awful it feels when you know you are not performing well at your job and how much worse that it will feel if you feel that you have been “written off” in the work world.

Originally posted on LeadToday:

During workshops and talks I’m often asked about what to do when you’ve hired someone who just isn’t measuring up.

Sometimes people actually tell me the person they hired is an idiot.

I tell people don’t be so hard on yourself. They get a bit of a surprised look on their face because they didn’t intend to be hard on themselves. They intended to point out that in their wisdom they, apparently for some reason, purposefully hired an idiot.

The first problem of course is thinking that one of your people is an idiot. Once one of your people knows your low opinion of them they are unlikely to exceed your low expectations. Never ask or expect less from your people than you need or want them to deliver.

I believe that leadership comes with certain responsibilities. If you actually have the audacity and courage to accept the mantle of…

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