Leadership View #6: Some Problems Can’t Be “Solved”

Leadership View #6: Some Problems Can’t Be “Solved”

 Leadership View #6: Some problems can’t be “solved” (and, hopefully, made to go away) – they must be managed and may require the leader’s repetitive attention and time. As leaders and managers, we have been taught to find the root cause and fix the problem. This Leadership View seems to fly in the face of that. What do you mean "some problems can't be solved"? For me the key word here is repetition. For anything to be sustainable, it must be repeated. We humans get distracted, forget what we learned and have to be reminded. This is what Vistage is all about. Our members hear from a speaker 8 times a year. Do you really think each speaker brings something new to the table? Rather, they often are reinforcing a similar message. And, we hear the message differently depending on where we are in our lives and our businesses at the time. An entrepreneur leading a start-up will hear a leadership message differently 10 years...
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Celebrate Your Gift

Celebrate Your Gift

At this gift-giving time of the year, I am reminded that we all have natural gifts. The notion that we can constantly make ourselves better, in theory, is a great idea. But when does it become too much? For me, the best way to answer this question is to notice our strengths and work to enhance them. In my Vistage work, and as a leadership coach and advisor, I refer to this as discovering and working in our genius. While personal growth and development are part of living a full life, and after all this is what Vistage is all about, I wonder sometimes if we have become so focused on achieving that we are never able to appreciate who we are or what we have already accomplished. For me, the best way to avoid the “better, better, better” trap is to ask the following questions: What am I already good at? What do I need to do to become excellent at this? Of the things I am not good at and...
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Leadership Habit: What If I Can't Today?

Leadership Habit: What If I Can't Today?

We as leaders are told all the time that everyone is always watching us. A smile, a frown, silence, all are interpreted as "a sign". And since most of us think in terms of impact on ourselves, our followers interpret these "signs" as a sign of something that impacts them. This of course frequently results in "absent information, people make stuff up". As leaders, we hear this and interpret it to mean, we need to be "on" all the time. Yikes, especially the introvert leaders say, that is exhausting!! What if instead, when we are feeling pressured, angry, sad, depleted, we let our folks know that we are working on whatever problem has put us temporarily out of commission, "I had a tough conversation this morning and I am distracted by that, I will look for you later this afternoon so we can talk about your issue". For me, time and time again I have seen this sort of human response draw people...
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Leadership Habit: Because That's The Way We've Always Done It….

Leadership Habit: Because That's The Way We've Always Done It….

Several years ago, I was working with a key executive who had been in his position for many years. We were discussing the way things were done in his department and every time I asked him the reason why they did something a particular way, his answer was "because that's the way we've always done it".  Over time, this answer became a private joke between the two of us as we worked together to modernize his department. One of my favorite examples of this habit is the seat belt announcement on airplanes.  Once, I heard a flight attendant put it this way "for those of you who have never been in a car..." Clearly at least this one flight attendant shared the same humor as my key executive friend and me.  And yet, this announcement continues on every airline. Perhaps it is time for someone (FAA, Airlines?) to pause and ask, "What should our safety message be?" And, for each of us to ask,  has "that's...
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