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Sunday, April 25, 2021


 We all deal with frustration. Leaders of organizations deal with even more frustration (since organizations are made up of.............humans).

The causes of frustration are simply too many to note. How we choose to deal with frustration is the more important issue. What should we think, say, and do in response to frustration's triggers?

Frustration triggers some typical responses from leaders: Outbursts, harsh words, assignment of blame (to others or ourselves), shutting down (emotionally or intellectually), doing "something" (or "anything") NOW... Anger and reactivity often win the day.

Consider a better approach: Constantly monitor, constantly discuss, constantly assess, constantly plan, constantly deploy, constantly adapt. 

It's called continuous improvement. Getting better, every day, on purpose.

Engaging in the continual habit (both as individuals AND teams) to honestly answer the following questions is beyond powerful:

Are we doing (or attempting to do) worthy work? If not, we should change something.

Are our attempts at worthy work producing good outcomes, at an acceptable pace? If not, we should change something.

Is the work we are doing making for a better future for BOTH us and others? If not, we should change something.

Whatever the subsequent changes made, the power is in the process.

Frustration feels acute, though it's mostly the result chronic problems. Dealing with it on the frontside (habitually rather than reactively - chronically rather than acutely) is by far the better approach. 

But only if BETTERNESS is what we're striving for.

Thursday, April 8, 2021


Leaders have the responsibility of trying to make things better. Almost always, it's a heavy lift. 

Here's one of my favorite definitions of leadership: The craft of moving others by influencing them to do things they would not do of their own accord, or at a pace which they would not undertake for themselves.

Leaders who fail to move organizations toward better futures often fall victim to one or some combination of the 4 DIS-es. 

1) DIStrust - when leaders fail to gain the trust of organizational members or fail to foster a culture of trust in the organization.

2) DISrespect - when leaders signal lack of respect (overtly or covertly) it becomes a cancerous toxin in the system.

3) DIStancing - when leaders disregard feedback, ignore the viewpoints of the customers, or show favoritism to some (which implies disenfranchisement of others).

4) DISsonance - when leaders dishonor the time of others by allowing meetings to be ineffectual time-wasters and engagements with members to be superficial or off-putting.

As leaders, we need not delude ourselves into believing anything positive will ensue if we foster, or allow, those four DISsing dynamics to exist - or worse, to persist - in our organizations. 

Get better. Every day. On purpose.

Sunday, April 4, 2021


 Getting better is a personal choice. We can choose to improve ourselves, either personally or professionally, along several domains: intellectual, physical, or emotional-spiritual.

Two elements determine our success in affecting better futures for ourselves: 

1) Will - Do we have the strong sense of need for a change in status and the drive to put processes in place to make that change?

2) Ability - Do we have the moxie, the skills, the discipline, the capabilities to actually make the changes we deem important to make?

Almost every human on the planet has the Ability piece in their skill set. The most frequent barrier, however, to personal/professional improvement comes in the area of Will. 

These same two dynamics are fundamental to organizational improvement. Wise leaders attend carefully to both aspects - Will and Ability - if they hope to foster a culture of continuous improvement.

But, oh, when they do!!!!

When is it too late to start getting better? When we're dead.

When is the best time to start? Now.