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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!

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!

Why Giving Feedback is an Essential Leadership Skill

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/why-giving-feedback-is-an-essential-leadership-skill/

One key characteristic of a good leader is that they are able to reach organizational goals by motivating others. Giving constructive feedback helps individuals grow by learning how they can improve and by reinforcing the activities they are doing well.

Why it matters?

  • Feedback supports employees to see their blind spots that impact their performance
  • Feedback helps employees achieve their goals
  • Feedback builds trust between the leader and employee
  • Feedback influences employee engagement
  • Feedback reinforces individual accountability

Leadership Insights

If I asked your leaders what they are working on, their gifts and/or areas of opportunity, could they answer? Would it match what you would say? The answer should be the same and if its not, you have some work to do (feedback).

Challenge: Have ongoing conversations with your leaders to provide feedback like someone did for you in your leadership journey. It may be a difficult conversation, but the benefits are endless to them as a learner, you as leader and your company in achieving awesome results.

Awesome Read:

How Successful Leaders Give Honest Feedback That Inspires People and Does Not Hurt Their Ego

Have an awesome month leaders!

Are You a “Wing-It” or a “Designer”?

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/are-you-a-wing-it-or-a-designer/

What type of leader are you?

Are you a “Wing-It” or a “Designer” leader in your life?

 

What’s the difference?

  • The “Wing-It’s” – The “Wing-It’s” get-by and survive with little to no preparation and hope for the best. A wing-it mindset is driven by the belief that they can handle a conversation without quality preparation and design. A “Wing-It” thinks and acts completely in the moment with outcomes that are not predictable or repeatable.
  • The “Designers” – A “Designer” is intentional and creates (through generative language and actions) the outcomes they desire. “Designers” prepare, coordinate with others, and show up knowing the outcome they wish to achieve. Generally, desired outcomes are pre-determined, and actions are aligned to create the desired outcomes.

“Wing-It’s” are individuals, teams and organizations that want to grow their companies, improve performance, and achieve results, but get stuck due to a lack of intentional design in their conversations to move forward.

As a company grows, its demands, requirements, and needs change. Behaviors and ways of doing things that enabled the company to get by, survive, and just-make-it-happen in the past become incompatible with the future the company wants to create.

A “Wing-It” just wants to get it done, while a “Designer” wants it to be intentional, repeatable, and to provide the desired results.

As executive leadership coaches, we strive to move “Wing-It’s” to become “Designers”.

Moving from a “Wing-It” to a “Designer” mindset starts with your “Way of Being”.

When you choose to be intentional by being a designer of your conversations, then your actions and behaviors become intentional, and eventually, your words and actions become reflected in the outcomes, results, and performance that is produced on a consistent basis.

 

“Wing-It’s” Vs “Designers”

Wing-It vs Designer

For most new business leaders, it is the wing-it mindset that starts the company and keeps the lights on, and then as time goes on and the needs of the company grow and develop, the company begins to need “Designers” who can create desired outcomes through intentional design.

“Designers,” think and act intentionally and strategically because they have a strong relationship to time which makes them reliable with their word. They create the plans that provide the focus needed to achieve KPI’s (key performance indicators) and can measure the effectiveness of the efforts.

 

Leadership Challenge:

What is one thing you are going to design, through intentional preparation, to create the outcome you desire over the next 7 days?

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