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The Importance of Leaders Creating Time Weekly for “Strategic Thinking Time”

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/the-importance-of-leaders-creating-time-weekly-for-strategic-thinking-time/

This month we are focusing on Strategic Design by creating time in your schedule for Strategic Thinking.

Why it Matters

As leaders we create our future, we do not predict our future. Therefore, if you are not intentional about creating time for strategic thinking your future will be the same as the past.

Leadership Strategy

Successful Leaders start by planning their time for strategic thinking. At Awesome Journey we call this “Strategic Thinking Time”, time for reviewing data, time for research, time for thinking about how to connect what appear as unconnected opportunities. It is also a time to challenge your thinking by being in conversations with others who can ask you thoughtful questions to poke at your thinking.

Leadership Challenge

Take some time and answer the following questions:

  1. How much time are you spending on day-to-day operational issues vs time for longer-term strategic thinking and planning?
  2. Are your decision-making efforts on short-term issues or on long-term strategies?
  3. Who are you involving in your strategic thinking conversations?
  4. Is your strategic thinking time focused on rigorous analysis or on hunches & gut feel?
  5. Who are your thought leaders you learn from to cultivate your strategic thinking?

Awesome Read:  Six Essential Skills of Strategic Thinking

https://hbr.org/2013/01/strategic-leadership-the-esssential-skills

Have an Awesome Month Leading with Impact!

The Accountability Conversation that Happens Within a High Performing Team

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/the-accountability-conversation-that-happens-within-a-high-performing-team/

Last month we shared the importance of acknowledgement when a teammate performs in a manner that supports the team and organization. That is one form of an accountability conversation that reinforces positive behaviours. But what if the opposite occurs, or a breakdown, where someone didn’t do what was agreed upon? Then a different accountability conversation needs to happen.

Why it Matters

Account – ability. It’s key to achieving business results and critical in supporting change and growth.

When done right, an accountability conversation leads to business outcomes and increased performance for team members who keep their word.

Leadership Insights

You will, at some point, need to hold someone accountable. This is simply a part of leadership. The good news is team members want your feedback. They want to know where they stand. They want to know what they’re doing right and what needs improvement.

Leadership Challenge

Identify two accountability conversations you need to have with team members to support delivering the business results that we have promised.

Leadership Strategy

Start by ensuring time is planned for follow-up/fallout conversations, both for acknowledgement and feedback around the specific task which will include accountability.

Awesome Read:  How Do Leaders Hold People Accountable?

Have an Awesome Month Leading with Impact!

Acknowledgment – A “Must Have” for a High Performing Team

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/acknowledgment-a-must-have-for-a-high-performing-team/
Wanting to be recognized is a basic human need. As such, to acknowledge and recognize are key human drivers of employee performance and engagement”. – Lynda Monk, Author

Why it Matters

Teammates need to feel pride in what they do. Acknowledgement not only gives
your team a sense of pride, but motivation to be accomplished. Acknowledgement
creates a culture for others to step-up, so they get recognized as well. This causes
great performance to become contagious within an organization.

Leadership Insights

Acknowledgment also needs to be given effectively or it can actually backfire and
could become a demotivator. Dan Pink’s Video: The Surprising Truth About What
Motivates Us, (11 minutes)
,
points to giving effective acknowledgement that
motivates.

Leadership Challenge

Effective acknowledgement should include these 2 key components:

  1. Be specific about a contribution that the person you are acknowledging
    made.
  2. Speak to the impact that the contribution had to the team, company or to a
    client.

Example:

“Lisa, last week you responded to our newest client’s request within 3 hours. Your
sense of urgency and responsiveness really honors our value of being a client
centric organization. They were very impressed and want to do more business with
us. Thank you!”

Being specific in an acknowledgment may empower others to use their “gifts of
greatness”, like responsiveness, to make a difference.

Leadership Strategy

Acknowledge 5 employees or colleagues this week and make sure you follow the
two (2) steps above.

Awesome Reference

The Powerful Impact of Acknowledging Good Work – https://www.inc.com/laura-garnett/acknowledgment-the-new-charisma-at-work.html

Have an Awesome Month Leading with Impact!

Effective Meetings are a Cornerstone of a High Performing Culture

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/effective-meetings-are-a-cornerstone-of-a-high-performing-culture%ef%bf%bc/

Great leaders understand the importance of team meetings, the impact on culture, productivity and the understanding that producing a great meeting takes intentional design and deliberate effort.   

Why it matters

An effective team meeting helps teams align on the topics of discussion, air any concerns or obstacles, and have clarity on future actions.

This is fundamental in creating your High Performing Culture.

Leadership Insights

Improving the effectiveness of team meetings is one of the most important things a manager can do as a leader. It’s surprising how many managers are proud to proclaim their dislike of meetings, but to generate action, achieve significant results, solve problems, make decisions, inform, inspire, collaborate, and motivate, managers need to work with their people!

Leadership Strategy

Don’t delegate the agenda planning to another team member. As the leader, it’s your meeting to design and run. To put yourself in the proper frame of mind, ask and answer the following question:

1. What kind of meeting is it? (i.e.: Check-in, strategic etc.)
2. After this meeting are actions being generated?
3. Are my team members clear about how to collaborate well to get the results we are looking to co-create?

Awesome Reference:

12 Team Meeting Ideas to Engage Your Employees
Death By Meeting By Patrick M. Lencioni

Have an Awesome month leader!

“Do Less” So You Have Time To “See More”

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/do-less-so-you-have-time-to-see-more/

Every day you hustle to get things done and you plan out what you’re going to do and when. Add on tackling unexpected and new tasks, never losing focus on where you are going. All of this is good because planning helps you achieve your goals. But how often do you take the time to step back and reflect on what happened? Or “watch the game film” as sport teams and athletes do? 

Why it Matters

There is as much to learn from what you do well as in what mistakes you made and the problems you encountered. Accomplishments and “breakdowns” are learning opportunities if you take the time to practice noticing, reflecting, and contemplating to strengthen your mental muscle to “See More”.

Leadership Insights

“To transform your business begins with transforming yourself. Why, because to grow your business you don’t need to do more you need to learn to see more to see the gaps to support change, to grow.” Tony Zampella, Bhavana Learning Group

Leadership Strategy

Identifying gaps starts with developing a practice of “Daily reflection”. Start off simple, when finishing off your day, take 15 minutes to reflect by writing down a couple of things that went well and a couple that didn’t. From here we can look for gaps and create a plan to improve performance.

Awesome Read:

 5 Powerful Reasons to Make Reflection a Daily Learning Habit, and How to Do It

Have an Awesome Month Leaders!

Making the Switch from Perfection to Excellence

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/making-the-switch-from-perfection-to-excellence/

Over the next couple of months, we will be looking at different roadblocks to leadership. This month we invite you to look with us at the drive to be perfect and how it can limit us from leading. 

Why it Matters?

In the article The Problem with Perfection by Mel Schwartz he states, “The pursuit of perfection limits our ability to be present and literally robs us of the vitality of life.” Meaning, when we are not present as leaders, we stop listening as leaders, we start to get transaction focused and stop being people focused which can limit our team’s growth.

Leadership Insights

When a leader is in a Mindset of Perfection, they see mistakes as final and as a judgement on performance, viewing a lack of perfection as failure. “Who’s at fault” is a common phrase used and an example of this way of thinking.

When a leader is in a Mindset of Excellence, mistakes are viewed as learnings and an important pillar to improvement and achieving sustainable excellent results.

Leadership Strategy

To start shifting your mindset from perfection to excellence, start thinking differently about mistakes and/or breakdowns, and ask a different set of questions like…

1. What was missing?
2. What did we learn from this? 

Our Relationship to Breakdowns Affects How We Lead

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/our-relationship-to-breakdowns-affects-how-we-lead/

We learn from a young age that breakdowns shouldn’t happen and are bad events in our lives to be avoided. At AJ, we tell a different story; breakdowns are the key to improvement. No matter your experience level, you’re bound to have breakdowns, especially if you are taking on something big at work or in life.

Why it Matters?

Breakdowns are a tool for improvement. How much game film do the great teams watch after their performance? Yes, they celebrate what they did well, but they also look to see what they can improve on. Even after the best of wins, the greats are looking for breakdowns to upgrade for the next game and show up better.

Leadership Insights

As a leader, can you let go of seeing a breakdown as something is wrong that needs to be fixed, determining whose fault it was? Will you try on seeing a breakdown as an invitation to discover what is missing for us to create the outcome we desire for the next time.

Leadership Strategy

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” — John Powell

Over the next few weeks, get into a conversation about breakdowns and the opportunity to learn to see what’s missing to apply for next time by:

  1. Planning time to identify and discuss breakdowns after scheduled events (look at game film).
  2. Identify what was missing to put in place to ensure success next time.

The link below offers some more practices that can support in reversing burnout in yourself and others.

Awesome Reference

5 Failure: The Secret to our Success is one of our favourite videos on learning from breakdowns.

Have an awesome month, leader! 

Getting Back in the Game

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/getting-back-in-the-game/

As we approach the second anniversary of COVID-19, more and more professionals are “hitting the wall” and burnout is at an all time high across all market segments.

Toss on top winter, cold weather, and January’s shorter days with less sun and you have the instant cherry on top of a doom and gloom recipe for burnout.

Why it Matters?

It is no secret that burnout has a direct impact on your ability to produce results. Not to mention, it impacts how effectively you lead others, who are likely burnt out as well and will need extra motivation from you to perform.

Leadership Insights

Burnout is different from stress. Stress can be managed by tactics like taking time off, going on vacation or rest. Burnout is a type of exhaustion that can be very difficult to turn around or recover from and does not go away on its own.

Leadership Strategy

Burnout can be transformed through the following set of practices:

  1. Prioritize self-care – make time for self-care and add to your calendar so its reliably in existence.
  2. Set firm boundaries and agreements – it’s ok to take a knee and shut it down.
  3. Get support – find an accountability partner that can pull you to the surface (presence), so you can pause, breathe, reset and start winning the race again.
  4. Change your mindset – reframe something that shows up as a negative/bad/wrong. Ask yourself, what is the learning in this?

The link below offers some more practices that can support in reversing burnout in yourself and others.

Awesome Read

5 Things to Do When You’re on the Edge of Burnout

Have an awesome month, leader! 

2022 Leadership Book List

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/2022-leadership-book-list/

The Awesome Journey Team would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season and thank you for having us as part of your transformation and growth in 2021.

As we move forward into the new year, we invite you to take the time needed to rest your mind, expand your resilience, allowing openness to change and new possibilities to emerge.

Check out our 2022 Book List for the leaders in your life. Click HERE to download.

 

Responsiveness: The difference between Succeeding and Failing

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/responsiveness-the-difference-between-succeeding-and-failing/

With the amazing advancements of technology, we receive more messages than ever before that allow us to get connected, get updated and receive requests almost immediately, from both clients and team members. How do we respond effectively?

Why it matters
Running a great business is about so much more than offering a great product or service. Your responsiveness to prospects, clients/customers and others can be a huge difference-maker in whether you succeed or don’t succeed as a team or even a business.

Leadership Insights
Responsiveness is absolutely critical for creating better relationships, trust, and rapport with clients and the people on your team. Responsiveness doesn’t necessarily mean immediately; it means having a system or structure in place so you can respond to inquiries within a reasonable time frame.

Leadership Strategy
3 practices to improve responsiveness:

  1. As a team, create an agreement to what your standards need to be around responding to clients, team members and other stakeholders.
  2. As leaders, scan through your e-mails received in the last 24 hours before you shut down for the day to make sure you didn’t miss something. At Awesome Journey, we call this Completing Your Day.
  3. Determine priority. We get more messages than ever before, but don’t let the overwhelming number of non-essential messages get in the way of healthy and necessary responsiveness.

Awesome Read:
The Importance of Responsiveness

Have an Awesome Month Leaders!

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