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    Wednesday
    Oct032012

    Blog Stats Overload...Be DECISIVE!

    I don't often look at the stats of this site.  Overall traffic, keywords, geographic breakdown of visitors, etc, but recently I spent a few minutes looking through a bunch of stats and analysis.  Here are the 3 conclusions that I drew:

    1. There is a statistic for everything - Hey "Apple Computer, using Firefox, in New York State, on August 11th @ 7:52pm." I'm super thankful for your visit...I really feel like we connected!

    2. Good Content is Timeless - Blog posts that I wrote over a years ago still get regular hits.  If you write about stuff that matters...people will not stop finding use for it.

    3. Be Decisive! - The number 1 post was THIS ONE on being Decisive.  From the number of visits, to the keywords in Google (multiple spellings, contexts, etc).

    I was immediately struck with the conclusion that being decisive is difficult, and as such is rare.  In a manager/leader, in a friend/partner in a parent, sibling, co-worker...you name it!

    It's so refreshing being around decisive people.  Thankfully, the team that I get to work with regularly is decisive and pushes me to be as well.  I always say that I would rather have a decisively bad plan, that can be adapted and refined than an indecisive good one, that takes too many people, too much time to implement.

    A lesson that isn't as much learned, as it is committed to fighting against...Be Decisive. Be Intentional.  It's what everyone wants...so let's give it to them!

    Monday
    Oct012012

    How to Lead: Influence By Relationships

    Leadership is influencing and motivating others to work towards an established goal that furthers their organization and/or movement. Where there is any strong leader, there is a group of followers willing to be led. As such, it is the leader ‘s responsibility to establish goals to measure the progress of their leadership, in turn allowing those being led to evaluate themselves within the context of the group.

    The use of autonomy and ownership harness group enthusiasm and allows group members to work towards a mutually established goal rather than the goal or solution assigned by the leader. Motivation allows leaders to use the skills within the group, freeing them up to oversee the group and cast a continuous vision as progress is made. A leader is ultimately measured by is effectiveness, and because of that, the team surrounding them must be equipped and managed to support the goals of that leader.

    The act of managing fulfills many principles of leadership. Motivating and mobilizing workers, bringing out team strengths and working through team weakness ‘ are just two small aspects to the role management undertakes. The role of the manager can often be overlooked in the name of team leadership, as teams breakdown barriers and help to balance the disbursement of duties. Although effective, teams without a central vision and visionary behind it risk losing focus and developing large inefficiencies.

    One of the key oversights that leaders fail to release is their responsibility to cast vision and set organizational goals. Although managers require leadership skills to motivate subordinates to complete the task at hand, leading as a concept maintains a much more macro view of any given situation of conflict.

    The responsibility of a leader is to maintain a ‘trailblazing ‘ attitude, paving the way for others to follow, casting vision that sets the direction for organizations ranging from 10 to 10 million people. Leaders must have a diverse skill set and have the ability to prioritize and conceptualize solutions in order to maximize and define their role as a leader, differentiating themselves from managers who focus more on keeping teams on track and motivating employees. Servant leadership essentially elevates others to greater levels and motivates the team as a whole, increasing employee moral and developing inter company relationships.

    Monday
    Sep242012

    Stress Is Inefficient

    The issue of stress in the workplace is becoming a growing concern amongst managers and organizations everywhere. Workloads are on the rise, and in order to accommodate, so are the hours being put in by employees. Organizational structure prevents managers from addressing stress in high levels outside of the realm of the organization.

    By increasing workflow and communication within the organization, managers can limit workplace stress, attempting to isolate employee stress to issues within their personal life. Maintaining a low level of workplace stress is vital to the success of an organization practically in that is minimizes health concerns of employees, saving the organization potential heath benefit costs and lost hours to allow for recovery. By minimizing both physiological and psychological symptoms, managers can work with employees to address the issues at the source, breeding relational community at multiple organizational levels.

    Managing the needs of employees (both at home and at work) is vital to the longevity of any organization. Designing programs to help alleviate workplace stress, and assist in employee efficiency is a necessary step to successful management and a healthy workplace. As each employee comes from different situations and circumstances, it is important that these programs take into consideration the varying degree of employee values and expectations. The degree to which employees embrace the ideals of a healthy workplace directly relates to the ability to the organization to decrease workplace stress and increase productivity.

    One of the keys to minimize workplace stress is instilling order within the organization. It is important for management to take the initiative in breeding a stress-free work environment, using both programs and positive reinforcement to break stressful habits and encourage workplace community. Lower levels of workplace stress decrease employee turnover, boost morale and increase productivity, essentially helping organizations to become better equipped to run much more effectively. Career planning is a commonly utilized management tool, as it removes the barrier that upper-management often faces between their employees, and allows for a sense of worth an importance to be maintained at every level of the organization.

    Sunday
    Sep022012

    Social Media 101

    I found this great "Cheat Sheet" for understnading Social Media.  A little basic for most...but still gives a clear and comprehensive outline.

    Wednesday
    Aug082012

    How the "F" Word Can Change Your Life

    Focus.

    I know, I committed the ultimate blogging sin of guising an otherwise regular or even stale topic with the promise of a big F-Bomb...
    I'm not really Sorry.

    It is one of many defining features of successful people...a steady, yet endless stream of focus.  Passion, skill, network...all of these things are critical, but in the end...the trait that gets it done when everyone has gone home is a unwavering focus on the end goal.

    One of the difficult things in leading staff and people in general is that focus is extremely difficult to teach.  I remember as a kid hating to read.  I just couldn't sit still long enough and found the arduous task of reading so taxing that I could simply not handle it.  Now, I love reading.  What has changed?  I read at roughly the same level today that I did in high school and college.  I have greater freedom and more places to put spare time then ever before (kids, work, etc.)...so what changed?

    Focus.

    See, I figured out that when I read, I educate myself.  I enhance my understanding of issues, the world and people around me...improving my interactions and evolving my perspective.  By seeing an end-game that is appealing (personal development) I allot myself the discipline to build focus around the task (reading) to get the job done.  Finishing the book becomes a task worth conquering, instead of a chore that needs enduring.

    This is a simple example, but the principle can be applied across many areas of life.  When I drive myself to greater levels of focus, I enable the priorities I have established to be accomplished.  I have never heard an athlete after crossing the finish line say;

    "Wow...that training really wasn't worth it"

    It was the focus on the finish line that got them...to the finish line.  Discipline falls aside, when focus on the goal is lost.