Recently I found this VERY interesting way to exercise for those over 50.
First, stand on a comfortable floor.
Take a 5-pound potato sack in each hand and then extend your arms out from your side horizontally. Hold that position the best you can for one minute, then relax and repeat two more times.
Each day it will get easier and you will find that you can hold this position a little longer.
After two weeks, increase your strength by holding 10-pound potato sacks.
After one month, try 50-pound potato sacks.
Eventually, you will be able to lift 100-pound sacks in each hand, holding your arms out for one minute.
After you feel confident at this level…put a potato in each sack!!
Isn’t that like teams and leadership? We think we are doing pretty good, only to find we have no substance or value to what we are doing.
Many believe they are focused on the right things only to learn that they are failing to provide any real value. Leaders may believe that they are strong communicators, but if you asked others to be honest they would tell you there isn’t really much to be inspired by. Teams may look and think they are impressive, but when they fail to execute, they simply fail to be of value to their organization.
Many teams and leaders are lifting 100-pound potato sacks with not a single potato in the bag!
A simple thing leaders can do on teams is check-in from time to time to ask if the team believes there are potatoes in the sack. How are we doing as a team? Are we truly strengthening others around us? What could we improve and how can we continue to get stronger? How are we providing value to the larger organization? What are others saying about us?
It is a simple activity and simple questions, but it is a powerful exercise when done consistently and with honest team discussions.
Doing this one thing will ensure that potatoes are regularly in your sack and your team is getting better at providing value.
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I have never really liked the term performance management. It sounds so cookie cutter and boxy. And the term makes it feel like there is more of a focus on management rather than leadership.
The label performance management instills anxiety in employees and leaders alike. It creates strong feelings and opinions and in general just feels really negative.
I prefer the term performance development. Performance Development feels like it is more targeted on doing the right thing for the employee and focused on moving people up and helping them reach their potential – one of a leaders primary roles.
Let me explain more…
Leaders have four options as it pertains “performance management.” They can move people up (development), off (fire or layoff), move to a different role or department, or do nothing (never an option).
A leader’s entire focus first and foremost should be on moving each person on their team up. When that fails, after every opportunity to move up has been provided, then they can move to one of the other options. But these decisions can only come from the heart, a place of genuinely caring for that person.
Years ago I once knew a manager who loved performance management, but for all the wrong reasons. Her concern was never the employees who reported to her. She would regularly put staff on performance management as a threat, not a development opportunity. To this day, I have never known anyone who fired as many people as she did. And quite honestly, few on her team liked her as a leader.
Another manager I knew once would simply dump his employees to other departments to get rid of his low performers. This just simply transferred his problems to another leader and demonstrated in my opinion a lack of integrity on his part.
And I have known many managers who simply chose to do nothing. They lacked the courage and/or energy to do the right thing. It was easier to just ignore the problems and hope that they would go away. The problem with this approach is that the lack of performance and work of the falling stars often falls to the superstars, who eventually burn out. And it causes a whole host of other problems on teams, such as low morale.
So what’s the solution? Let’s start thinking as leaders and not managers. Performance development focuses on leaders developing those they lead, not just managing. It focuses first on moving people up and if that doesn’t work, then doing the right thing for that person, the team and the organization, whatever that might be.
Performance development requires leaders to put the focus on people (because they truly care about them) and not just processes (management).
A new study by scientists at Queen Mary University in London has found that goats recognize different human facial expressions and discovered that they prefer happier facial expressions more than scowling.
20 goats were shown the same human face by scientist. One picture showed someone who was happy and another picture of someone angry. The goats generally went to the happy image and out of curiosity would explore and nuzzle it with their snouts.
News Flash (blinking)! Teammates are also attracted more to happy teammates. Additionally, people are attracted to happy leaders. Are you bringing your happy to the team?
How can you bring more happy? One sure way to bring more happiness into our lives is to give more happiness. If you want a team full of happy and positive teammates, than be happy and positive yourself.
Happiness starts with you and spreads because of you! You can start by serving others, smiling more, complimenting more and celebrating more.
As your team becomes happier, they have an opportunity to help happiness spread throughout the organization. Work as a team to find ways to serve others outside of your team, smile more around the workplace, compliment others frequently beyond your team and bring other teams in to celebrate successes – theirs and your own.
As your organization becomes happier, so do your customers – internally and externally. Everything you personally reflect, that your team reflects and your organization reflects makes everyone better!
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Give the gift of greater collaboration, positive energy and happiness to your team. A game changing TEAM BUILDING book that inspires every member of your team to:
*Put others and the team first
*Serve each other
*Collaborate and work together
*Tell the truth and be transparent
*Be direct and honest in discussions
*Learn from mistakes
*Seek honest feedback from teammates
*Improve personal gratitude
*Refrain from negativity and gossip
*Compliment teammates more frequently
*Celebrate teammates successes
*Extend more kindness
*Seek to understand teammates first before reacting
*Demonstrate greater empathy towards teammates
*Get it done and then some
*Improve personal focus on goals
*Bring solutions, not problems
*Invest in personal development
*Inspire and lead