Our reader poll today asks: What’s harder: working from the office or working from home? Office: lots of distractions. I focus better at home and doing things on my own. 41.4% Home: lots of distractions and temptations. I need the structure and social aspects of an office. 58.6% Working from home is hard. Many of you reported being challenged working from home. It seems like a great opportunity until you actually try it. Distractions, lack of structure, and lack of coworker contact are all huge challenges. Having worked from home for 15+ years, I’d suggest a few things. 1. Set and maintain a schedule. Hit your desk at the same time every day. Finish work at the same time. 2. Manage family expectations. Tell them if your door is closed, you’re not there or available. 3. Have a hard break away from work at the end of the day to signal you’re “home” again. Work out. Take a walk. Make it a consistent routine. 4. Make time to socialize. Call or video chat with at least two coworkers per day. Carve out the time to do it. 10 to 15 minutes is all it takes. The more structure and routine you can build around working from home, the easier it is to avoid temptations and deal with distractions. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
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It’s easy for your team to get sidetracked if your strategy has a lot of moving parts. Learn how to prioritize your most meaningful work. A consistent and regularly-scheduled prioritization process helps eliminate distractions and focus your efforts on the most meaningful projects. Some processes are formal while others are simply frequent conversations about priorities. Choose a process that’s appropriate for the size of your organization. I’ve worked for two very different organizations. One was large and one was a small business unit. In the large one we had a very formal prioritization process. All departments were involved, and you had to have a very rigorous business case to get your idea on the list. In the small business unit it was an informal process. We achieved prioritization by allocating budget to different budget owners. We then gave them discretion to choose their own priorities. In the large organization it was very rigorous, but sometimes we lacked agility. It kept us focused, but at the cost of innovating every once in a while. In the small organization it enabled a lot of distractions to happen. People pursued some pet projects. Pet projects and distractions should not be worked on if they haven’t been prioritized. They had a huge impact. In the small business unit I was in we got a lot of small things done, but a lot of times they were disjointed, they lacked impact, and some of them weren’t even on strategy. Build a prioritization process that is appropriate for the size and complexity of your organization, and make sure that process is in charge of allocating resources accordingly. Embedding prioritization Prioritization processes work great for larger projects that require resource allocation. They don’t necessarily change behaviors related to more day-to-day activities. Embedding a prioritization mindset in […]
https://i1.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20210324-Meeting-Sticky-Notes.jpg?fit=1920%2C1280&ssl=112801920Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2021-03-24 06:30:552021-03-24 01:01:14How to Prioritize Your Team's Work and Improve Focus
Self-awareness is a huge perk of being human. Unfortunately, it can also lead to chronic illness. Today’s post is by Steve Adams, CEO of Tiger Performance Institute and author of Unleash the Peak Performer Within You (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Zebras are horse-like creatures with beautifully striped coats that fascinate children and adults alike. Zebras have a distinct advantage over humans in one particularly important area of life: how they manage stress. To understand this phenomenon, we need to begin with the concept of interference. In my book, Unleash the Peak Performer Within You, I share the Performance Formula. Simply stated, it reads: Performance = Skill – Interference What is Interference? Interference is a term representing anything that prevents your skills from taking over to produce a high level of productivity and performance. A short list of potential interference includes anxiety, ADD, emotional control problems, and poor sleep. There are many more sources of interference, and they all get in the way of good performance. Eliminating or reducing your interference represents a direct path to improved performance. As you begin the journey of learning how to reduce interference and change your health trajectory, understanding and strengthening your autonomic nervous system is vital. The Autonomic Nervous System What is the autonomic nervous system (ANS)? The ANS is a branch of your nervous system that regulates involuntary functions and is constantly assessing the environment around you and sending information to the brain. This ongoing process keeps you healthy and safe and goes unnoticed as you go about your day. Its goal is to balance your body to its environment. Functions such as heart rate, salivary secretions, eye dilation, digestion, and adrenaline release are governed by your ANS. Your ANS has two branches, each at one extreme of functioning. These branches are called […]
https://i1.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/20210218-Zebra.jpg?fit=1280%2C853&ssl=18531280Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2021-03-22 08:00:282021-02-21 19:12:34Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers But People Do
Our reader poll today asks: How do you react when you receive unsolicited and unexpected negative feedback? I ignore it. I didn’t ask for it in the first place. 2.3% I get defensive. I explain why the feedback is invalid. 8.7% I sit with it for a while. I have to stew on it before responding or acting. 77.7% I embrace it. I love all kinds of feedback whenever it’s provided. 11.3% Feedback is a gift that must be considered. When receiving unsolicited negative feedback, the overwhelming majority of you try to pause and sit with it before reacting. That’s a wise approach. It gives you time to get out of instinctive and emotional reactive mode. Many times we’ll feel attached when we receive such feedback and it triggers fight or flight mechanisms. By pausing, you get out of the reptilian brain reactions and instead can consider the feedback in a more measured way. That gives you the benefit of being able to parse which portions of the feedback are fair and valid and which ones you’ll choose not to accept. No one likes being surprised with negative feedback. One implication of all this for you as leaders is to be sure you don’t put team members or other colleagues in this fight or flight moment and, when you do provide constructive feedback, give them the courtesy of time to sit back and reflect on it as well. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get […]
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Make sure your team has a clear understanding of how their goals relate to your organization’s broader vision and mission. For a goal to be relevant, it has to tie to the broader purpose and goals of the entire organization. Your strategy is going to help drive that. The strategy consists of a desired future state and definition of how you’re going to get there. You should break that strategy down into smaller, interim goals on that path. Every goal that gets set in the organization should be linked to that broader element of your strategy. How to Tie Your Goals to the Broader Mission How do you do that? Take a look at your vision and your mission. Look at where you’re going as an organization. Break that down into major themes over the course of the strategic planning period. For each theme, break that down into actions you’ll have to take to achieve that theme. For each action, break that down into sub-actions until you can set an individual goal for each of those actions. Case Study: Lawn and Garden Company I worked for a lawn and garden company at one point and I was in the strategic planning group. We said we’re no longer going to just be a lawn and garden company. We’re going to move into outdoor living. It was a much broader expansion strategy. For each part of the organization, we set goals that were tied to that outdoor living strategy. Our consumer package goods business had goals for new product line expansion and getting into new categories. Our services business had goals for offering new services. Even in the strategy group, we had goals for achieving that outdoor living strategy. We had goals for how many acquisitions we would do and what categories […]
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Will Big Data and artificial intelligence ever make CEOs obsolete? Which human leadership traits, if any, are irreplaceable? Today’s post is by Gerald Sindell, partner of The Identity Dynamics Institute It seems like a ridiculous question to ask, somewhat like wondering whether cars really need drivers. Just imagine all the things a driver does every second in order to reach a specific destination: taking in vast amounts of inputs about current conditions of the vehicle’s motion, receiving thousands of changing data points from all the visual clues about lanes, traffic, signs, pedestrians, and all the other moving vehicles in the vicinity, then comparing all this information to a previously set route, and making all the complex choices necessary to arrive safely. You could almost think about that driver as being on the receiving end of a firehose of data, sorting out the most important patterns and then turning all of that into a best course of action — the very definition of intelligence. And that’s why we’ve come so close to going from data that one human can process, to Big Data, which requires dozens of sensors to process. With increasingly vast bodies of knowledge about experiences, one can see how business intelligence, with enough computing power, became artificial intelligence. And so, before too long, the taxi you’re about to hail in Phoenix shows up; Poof! No driver necessary. Which brings us back to those folks in the corporate driver’s seat — the CEO. Doesn’t much of a CEO’s job consist of being on the receiving end of ever-increasing floods of data that can now be gleaned in real time from inputs around the globe? The tick of every sale quickly contributes to a pattern revealing how the marketplace is receiving our products at every given moment. Supply chains are […]
Our reader poll today asks: How do you deal with procrastinators on your team? I give them artificial deadlines to create a buffer so things aren’t last minute. 26% I break tasks down for them and set smaller interim milestones. 34% I allocate time-sensitive work to other team members to avoid issues with this person.6% I give them the deadline and step back. It’s up to them whether they hit it or not. 28% I fuel the last-minute frenzy because I’m also a procrastinator. 6% Soon! I promise… Procrastination kills quality, increases stress, and generally can make work much less enjoyable. If you have procrastinators on your team, it seems the preferred approach is to either set artificial deadlines to force actions sooner or break tasks down into smaller chunks with interim milestones. While the former approach can work, it only works for a while until the procrastinator gets wise to your game. Once they know the deadline isn’t a real deadline, you’re back in the same jam. Consider setting smaller interim milestones. Coach them on how to break down their own work. Try to get to the root of the issue and coach them on it. Is it that they overestimate their capabilities? Underestimate a task’s complexity? Fail to account for common roadblocks? Lack the ability to break big projects into small tasks? Once you understand the root of their issues, you can help them improve their skills in that area. So what are you waiting for? Go help your procrastinators deal with their challenges. Now. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this […]
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Assembling a high-performing team involves more than just finding great talent. Follow this 7-step formula to develop the team of your dreams. As a leader, one of your most critical responsibilities is to turn your team into what can be considered a high-performing team. And to do that, there are seven elements that you need to bring together to turn your team from one that just exists to one that’s considered high-performing:
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