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Crisis of Performance 

How to anticipate it by seeing the indicators.

If you wondered to this website via LinkedIn or Facebook to find the Indicators of Impending Crisis, you came to the right place.  Click Here.

Managers, have you ever found yourself surprised by a big crisis in your department or organization? 

Large corporations and small businesses can expect crisis. In fact it is normal. But organizations that don’t see it coming before they are in the midst of it will miss their goals or experience complete failure because of it. There are indicators of impending crisis. If you notice the indicators you can ready the team for what is approaching. 

When you find yourself or team in the midst of a crisis, the looming question is - What do I do now? Actually that is not the most important question to ask, but the most urgent one. The most important question I will address later. 

As the manager - What do you do now?

  • Bring Calm – People in chaos are anxious or feel imminent doom. They rarely work strategically. As the supervisor you should bring calm and optimism to the situation.
  • Act – Don’t just stand there, get moving towards resolution. Bring confidence you’re your leadership.
  • Investigate What – Be careful not to blame. Use your people to understand what happened, so you can understand how to fix.
  • Gather the clean-up team – Some managers assume they need to clean it all up – save the day. But if you want your team to know how to deal with this again, let them be the clean-up team with you.
  • Communicate – You cannot communicate too much. Employees, customers, clients and executives need to hear frequently what the team is doing to bring success back again.

Most of us learn from experiencing crisis how to best benefit from it. Warren Bennis and many leadership gurus helped me learn to get in front of it. One thing I am acutely aware of is that people with more experience and expertise than me, who find themselves in this situation, often react badly. That is why we know what not to do!

What not to do!

  • Close Down
  • Narrow Your Thinking
  • Take Over and Exclude
  • Fix It for All

Now to the important question you should ask. Were there indicators that the crisis was impending?

The resounding answer is YES! But we often miss them.

Based on years of interviewing 100s of managers, we have the list. These indicators include: systems breakdown, behavior of those in charge, messages from employees & customers, and too many assumptions. Some are overt. Some are obscure.

If you supervise a team or manager and have a hunch something is going on that could be a big problem, trust yourself. You might want to assess the situation for indicators of impending crisis so you can act. That list is below.

If you are a new or mature leader who has found yourself in a surprising crisis multiple times, CONTACT US. We can train you and your team to:

  1. Set systems in place to avoid crisis.
  2. Identify the Indicators of Impending Crisis before it affects the success of the organization.
  3. Use the best strategies AT/DURING/AFTER the crisis to prevent another one

Indicators of Impending Crisis

Based on years of interviewing 100s of managers, we have the list. These indicators include: systems breakdown, behavior of those in charge, messages from employees & customers, and too many assumptions. Some are overt. Some are obscure.

If you supervise a team or manager and have a hunch something is going on that could be a big problem, trust yourself. You might want to assess the situation for indicators of impending crisis so you can act. That list is available below.

Click here

Published Articles

Click on links below to access our published articles on ThriveGlobal.

How to Excel at Work: 8 Strategies to Make Sure You Achieve

Blurred Vision: Add clarity to your purpose and vision at work.

Got at new job? Here are 7 ways to succeed early!

 Loggerhead Sea Turtles Need Help Sometimes, So Do Employees

 Burnout Can Begin with Golden Handcuffs 

How Do You Priorities the Tasks on Your To-Do List?

The #1 Most Effective Habit for 

Getting Things Done

None of us have enough time in the day to get everything on our ToDo list completed. It causes frustration, self-doubt, and you to put in more hours for work than you should. This is especially true for leaders of leaders. You not only are managing your own work, but reviewing the results of others.

Many people have tricks, tactics, and systems they use to get more done in the time they have. We use them for a while then just go back to old habits, which are bad habits, of just doing stuff as it comes to you.

The #1 habit that works is to Organize How You Will Use Your Time Before You Start. Simply said do not focus on What you will do but Why you do it.

1. Start every day with a 15 minute check on what is ahead and how it will help you reach your long term goals. Minimize the items on your To Do list are not important in reaching those goals. Maximize the time you spend on those items that will achieve what you expect of yourself. Dr. Stephen Covey said these are Not Urgent & Important tasks. To learn more about his concept check out this article  about Mr. Covey's philosophy.

2. End every week with a review of how you spent your time and how it brought you closer to your objectives.

3. Start every month with an examination of short and long term goals. This will get you back on track. This time will also force you to assess whether your short term goals are really helping you reach what is expected of you.

Use whatever systems you like for scheduling your time, but do not forget the most effective leaders organize their time, based on goals, before they start.

Five Generations in the Same Workplace!

A family reunion with five and six generations together is terrific for learning more about who you are and how different you are from those of all ages and experiences. 

At these reunions, we learn how differently we approach problems and what, if anything, we have in common.

Imagine five generations together in the same workplace interacting and expecting to meet team goals. 

That time is coming!

This HBR article reminds us that very soon Traditionalist, Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Y will be working at the same job. The author, Rebecca Knight, points us in the direction of success by explaining how to cope and excel in the workplace with multiple generations.

Women Can Renew Their Mental Energy

Successful Women Leaders,

Are you exhausted? I am sure many of you are. Being successful at meeting your goals day after day, year after year can drain you. And the higher up in the organization you are, the more responsibility you feel – and you should.

I have coached, interviewed, and designed training with mid-level and executive women who were making positive change for people and the organization. And they are motivated to keep going. I often wonder how they do it. From where do they get their mental strength?

Renewing mental energy is imperative. This article by Merete Wedell-Wedellsborg written for Harvard Business Review gives us insight into how to “know your superchargers, finding work ally, and reducing your anxiety levels.”

Take care, because others need you!

Click here for article

Anticipating Impending Performance Crisis

Managers, raise your hand if...​ ever found yourself surprised when a big mess hit the fan in your department or organization. Now you have a crisis on your hands and you are where the buck stops.

Most of the managers and leaders I have supervised, mentored, and coached have a raised hand.

The looming question is - What do I do now? Actually that is not the most important question to ask, but the most urgent one. We can talk about the most important one later.

What do you do now?

 Bring Calm

 Act

 Investigate What

 Gather the clean-up team

 Communicate

I learned this from crisis in my division that surprised me and by reading books and articles on the subject. One thing I am acutely aware of is that people with more experience and expertise than me who find themselves in this situation often react badly. 

What not to do!

 Close Down

 Narrow Your Thinking

 Take Over and Exclude

 Fix It for All

Now to the important question you should ask.

Were there indicators that the crisis was impending?

The resounding answer is YES! But you missed them.

Based on years of interviewing managers we, at LPR Consulting, have the list. These indicators include: systems breakdown, behavior of those in charge, messages from employees & customers, and too many assumptions. Some are overt. Some are obscure.

Want to learn more?

If you are a new leader or a mature one who has found yourself in a surprising crisis multiple times – contact us at LPR Consulting. We can train/coach you and your team to:

 - Set systems in place to avoid crisis

 - Identify the Indicators of Impending Crisis before it affects the success of the organization

 - Use the best strategies AT/DURING/AFTER the crisis to prevent another one

If you are a new leader or a mature one who has found yourself in a surprising crisis multiple times,

click here to email us for help. 

Top Ten Titles Booklist

Here is a list of books I most frequently use or have significantly influenced my work in leadership development, executive coaching, and business consulting. While reading I use highlighters, page tags, and sticky notes to remind myself what interested me. The number beside the book title is an approximate percentage of the content that I go back to time and time again. In other words, the pages that are dog-eared. 

How Remarkable Women Lead                                                                                                                                    70%

by Joanna Barsh, Susie Cranston

This book was brought to me by a friend that was using it for a Women in Leadership course she was teaching. At first I was hesitant because I did not believe that, in general, women lead differently than men. Once I finished this book I realized that the authors had uncovered how, based on their research, most successful women lead well. The consistencies they found are important for any gender; from finding meaning & purpose to sustaining relationships to equipping your leadership toolkit. If you happen to be female executive, this should be on your bookshelf. Learn from other women who can be your virtual partners in centered leadership.

Favorite quote: “An overdose of passion inspires (people) to keep talking. They mean to listen, but end up talking. And the effect is well known – the more you talk, the less you hear.”

Influencer – The Power To Change Anything                                                                                                         75%

by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

I have always wanted to learn more about how people are motivated to change behavior. Through massive research, these authors have uncovered the strategies successful influencers use. I found that with these strategies, I can also change my behavior and the behavior of others. I have known for a long time that performance is based on a person’s motivation or ability. Now I know this view is too general. Motivation and ability is influenced personally, socially, and structurally. The authors explain the influence methods that work on all six sources.

Favorite quote: “Most of us have our favorite influence methods – just pass a law, just threaten a consequence, or just offer a training program. Bringing a simple solution to a complex and resistant problem almost never works.”

integrity – the courage to meet the demands of reality                                                                                    80%

by Dr. Henry Cloud

Leaders often miss the importance of integrity in leading well. When there are challenges seeing the reality in a situation can improve decision making, assist in achieving goals, and develop those around you. Trusting and being trustworthy takes courage. Dr. Cloud steers us through a process of being courageous enough to see the barriers and overcome them, even if it makes you unpopular.

Favorite quote: “Nothing good is going to happen if you can’t deal with the bad things that are going to happen.”

Smart Choices – A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions                                                                       70%

by John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Kenney, Howard Raiffa

I learned early on that if an employee cannot make good decisions, they will not survive long in an organization. The ability to make better decisions is totally trainable. Many people think they know which decision should be made, but as this book explains that is the first and most critical error that we make. Understanding and applying the authors' Keys to Effective Decision Making will improve your proficiency overnight. Making a good decision is different from being a good decision maker. Smart Choices helps you know the difference.

Favorite quote: “Procrastination is the bane of good decision making. Whatever the reason for putting off a decision – the problem seems hopelessly complex, deciding will be a lot of work, unpleasant emotions may arise – the need to decide won’t go away.”

Start with Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action                                                      90%

by Simon Sinek

As with most of Simon Sinek’s lessons, in this book, he takes an often overlooked or misunderstood concept and makes it crystal clear. In all my years of managing people and projects, there were some employees who I could not bring along. It seemed like everyone else was getting it and I wondered what I was doing wrong. When I first read this book, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was because I did not explain the WHY. Even when I thought I had explained why we were going in this direction, the clarity would become fuzzy as we moved forward. After reading I understood how that continued to happen. I can easily say that mastering Sinek’s concept of inspiring people to move forward with me has significantly improved my coaching, consulting, and training.

Favorite quote: “Loyalty to a company trumps pay and benefits. It’s the cause we come to work for. We don’t want to come to work to build a wall, we come to work to build a cathedral.”

Strengths Based Leadership – Great Leaders, Teams and Why People Follow                                          85%

by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie

I am a certified Strengths-Based coach because I first read this book in 2009. It not only guides you through an understanding of the various StengthsFinder Themes but how to lead with your own unique strengths. Attracting and retaining talent is a priority of every supervisor. Employees will stay if their work is meaningful, they can achieve the goals, and enjoy doing it. This all begins with doing the work through their strengths. Successful executives get this, but do not always know how to lead with strengths.

Favorite quote: “Perhaps the ultimate test of a leader is not what you are able to do in the here and now – but instead what continues to grow long after you are gone.”

The Change Cycle – How People Can Survive and Thrive in Organizational Change                             80%

by Ann Salerno & Lillie Brock

When I worked in the corporate world, my coaching/training would sometimes be derailed by the environment of change that was happening to the participants. It is important to address the change and give tools to navigate it even before you attempt to add skills. This book and subsequent certificate of training was a great solution. The six stage Change Cycle is an easy to understand visual that helps people know what to expect of their feelings, thoughts, and behavior in the midst of significant change. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to leading a group through change. The manager has to help employees overcome the barriers to making it through.

Favorite quote: “Change just happens. We don’t need to take it personally.”

The Extraordinary Coach – How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow                                                      90%

by John H. Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett

I have several coaching classes under my belt, but this resource takes me a step above. This book is arranged with summaries at the end of each chapter. But do not be fooled into thinking that is all you need to improve your coaching skills. Read every word and practice it. Zenger and team instruct on how to be a supervisor who coaches their team toward productivity, innovation, and problem solving. These techniques and resources for effective coaching bring people from the current situation to the desired behavior. Support through coaching allows talented people to be successful in new ways. 

Favorite quote: “If coaching is to be a success, it must start with a relationship. Without that relationship, there is not likely to be any conversation of substance.”

The Leadership Challenge – How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations                95%

by James Kouzer, Barry Posner

I first read this several years ago when I was developing a program for operations leaders to move from being good in their role to becoming even better. I have since used this resource as a foundation for a leadership development curriculum I call Lead with Ten. I refer to this book nearly every day. These authors have written about their philosophies of being a successful leader, but also explain what it takes to “mobilize others to want to make extraordinary things happen”. They cover the gamut, from modeling, creating an attractive/attainable vision, to utilizing leaders around you. Being an effective leader does not have to be difficult. It just requires consistent application of the authors' Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.

Favorite quote: “Times change, problems change, technologies change, and people change. Leadership endures.”

Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? – What it Takes to be an Authentic Leader                                 65%

by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones

I have to admit I bought this book because of the title. I often wonder why I should be the designated leader. In coaching and training new and high potential next leaders I have realized most people wonder the same. I read this book to verify I knew what I was doing and to improve my own skills. I have used this material in building relationships, improving the performance of others, and checking my authenticity. This book is the first place is heard the concept of Followership and it was a game changer in my leadership.

Favorite quote: “Aspiring leaders who attempt to mimic their heroes make a fatal error. The point is to be more like yourself, not more like someone else.”

If you are still looking for some great professional and leadership development books, I don’t think you would go wrong with these.

Anything by...

     John P. Kotter, Tom Rath, Patrick Lencioni, Malcolm Gladwell, Warren Bennis, Ken Blanchard, Spencer Johnson

Oldies but goodies 

     The Change Masters by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, The Wisdom of Teams by Jon R. Katzenback and Douglas K. Smith, You’ve Got to Be Believed

      to Be Heard by Bert Decker, Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Good to Great by Jim Collins. Principle-Centered Leadership by Stephen Covey,

     Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher

The Lonesome Leader

Sometimes you feel alone in your leadership; especially if you need to move a team in a different direction. Because you have experienced success in turning things around, you have been chosen to fix multiple issues. You need to make tough decisions. There are expectations that need to be reset and behaviors that you want to change. Being the leader who fixes the mess may feel lonely.

This is a common situation. It is also important for the organization. You know how to do it, but want to avoid feeling alone. Here’s what can help:

  1. Phone a friend. This probably should not be someone at work. It could be a golfing buddy or running partner. Choose someone that knows you well, has been a good listener, and helps you problem-solve. Talking a few times a week can validate that the process, while difficult now, is best for all in the long run.
  2. Strategize with other leaders. Ask others at your level or above to think through the strategy with you. Not only can they inform the process, but will become a cheerleader. Do this only with someone you trust to be discreet. You could create a major roadblock if they talk to others, who talk to others.
  3. Communicate. The team needs to hear why changes are needed. Not only the company line, but the truth about the direction they are headed if no change is made. Describe the difference they will see if there is changed behavior. Be specific about the outcomes you are seeking. Bring them into the discussion about how to reach those outcomes.
  4. Make the tough decisions early. Do not postpone acting on those clear decisions you need to make right away. If someone will not make it through this transition, move them out. The rest of the team is watching. Chances are they see that this person is not right for the team. You will receive quick credibility if you act on what they have seen for a long time.
  5. Celebrate small wins. Everyone needs to know if they are on the right track. Have a weekly WIN meeting with your team which focuses on progress and resetting goals. If there are some on the team that need your individual attention, give that. Even when you need to push them in a new direction, celebrate the fact that you know they can do this.

When you have some clean-up to do, it can bring anxiety and stress. So do yourself a favor - don’t do it alone.

Learn More

As a Leader, are you a Hero or a Guide? 

Which is best?

An article by C.J. Prince in Chief Executive magazine explores what type of leader succeeds as a CEO. And as most answers to the question “What is the best way?” This answer is - It depends

The basic description is Hero leaders can save the day and Guide leaders inspire a team to excel. The best CEO should lead in both ways and understand when to use each approach. The circumstance and the team talent are indicators for which style to use. “Heros are ideal in times of disruption, but in a general daily sense, I prefer Guides” says one of the many executive leaders that Prince interviewed for this article.

Click on the link below and read this article to find out the characteristics of Hero/Guide leaderships style as a CEO.  


                 YIKES I have a new job!                                                               Now you have that new role - now what?

In my experience of promoting hundreds of employees to leadership positions, I uncovered a few questions that newly promoted leaders should be able to answer.

     1) I knew the job well enough to be promoted, but do I know how to lead others in the job?

     2) Is this the team that I need in order to be successful? Who are they and what are their unique strengths?

     3) In my new position I have a different supervisor. What is expected of me now?

    4) I need to develop a vision to be my path. Where do I start?

You need to be able to answer these questions in the first 90 days. Do you need help?   Let our e-workbook guide you through a process of introspection while you discover what you need to do in the first 90 days.

Fill in the information below and we will send you the e-workbook YIKES! 

A Leadership Development Resource  e-book

YIKES!  Can I do this job?

Submit the information below so we can send you this resource!

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Why We Need Best Friends at Work

When it comes to retaining top talent, nothing works like loyalty to the people or the vision. In my years of coaching and training mid and VP level leaders, it is clear that it is easier to get passed the minor challenges when you keep the people in mind. If you have friends at work, you tend to want to do the work, stay engaged, and be more productive. Here is the evidence. Gallup research shows us why having friends at work, even best friends, makes a difference in the bottom line. 

Click Here for Why We Need Best Friends at Work

New Year’s ToDo List to Simplify Your Work

This is the time of year people get serious about things they want accomplish for the year. My resolutions are different. They are not BIG changes I want to make, which are hard to sustain. They are actually tasks that will make my time at work more efficient so I can really turn off at the end of the day.  These items might be helpful to you. Feel free to poach from my list. 

  1. Organize e-files so I can find any document in less than 60 seconds.

It is a major time waster to look for something in your e-files and not be able to find it quickly. If I am searching my own documents more than a few minutes, I get distracted and will not get back to my original task sometimes for hours! The reason for not finding something is rarely about your memory, it is about your organization systems and labeling routine. Here are some quick tips:

  • File documents the way you think about them – for me, that is by the goal for keeping it.  Correspondence to the team is not in the folder called Team Correspondence; it is listed under the topic. If I am writing a document to clarify financial expectations, it is filed under Financials.
  • When saving articles, they are listed by topic – Leadership Development, Change Management, etc. Not in a folder called Articles.

  •  For the multiple departments or projects I manage, I have separate folders for each with sub-folders. For example:

             Orientation Consulting Project

                  Project plan



                 Vendor updates 





               Challenges and Accomplishments

2. Clear my desk to minimize distractions.

Sometimes my desk looks like an archeological dig. I can find everything I have been doing for the last two weeks piled on top of one another, but it takes me a while to remember how far back I was working on that project. I get easily distracted by the pile, wondering if I should re-read that article, go back to those conference call notes, or update someone on my progress toward a goal in the pile. I end up doing those tasks rather than what I intended to do when I sat down at my desk. Sometimes it is so bad; I cannot see my goals written on several scraps of paper (which is another problem).

Nearly everyone has a file drawer in their desk space. File things in that drawer in a way that makes them easy to find when needed. Labels could be: Immediate ToDo, Outstanding Projects, Upcoming Meeting Items, Goal Progress, etc. File things out of site that you do not need for the current work item. They will be there when you need them.

3. Unsubscribe to unwanted website feeds.

We all get too much email. And we are frustrated when that website feed from the grocery store or that company you once bought something from shows up every day. We curse and delete frequently. My ToDo is to commit fifteen minutes a day this week until I have unsubscribed to those unwanted emails that fill up my inbox.

4. Clean your email InBox

I have colleagues who have thousands of emails in their InBox. To me this is similar to having a pile of papers on your desk six feet high. You know the emails are there, but it takes a while to find the ones you need to do act on. You are most likely to forget that you are supposed to follow-up if it is hidden behind 1500 emails. I am proud to say I am good about creating email folders which makes it easier to know where that important content is, but sometimes I get lazy about cleaning out the InBox.

So here is my ToDo item for this month – get the InBox down below 50 emails. The way to do that is the same as how I learned to handle snail mail in the old days. Stephanie Winston in her book Organized for Success calls it TRAF.

      Toss it – If you really don’t need it after your read it, delete it.

      Refer it – If it concerns something you are not responsible for, pass it on to the person who is. Or if you need

                     to follow-up on it, make a folder for that person and move it there.

      Act on it – If you need to respond in some way, do that within a few hours. Don’t let it sit there. After you

                     have acted on it, toss it or put that sent email in the appropriate folder.

      File it – Similar to A. Filing is action. If it has email content that is important to your goals, file it in the

                    appropriate folder. It does not need to stay in the InBox.

Set aside time at least once a week to deal with InBox. That means putting in an appointment in your calendar to do it. You will thank me.

5. Delete email Trash folder (after you do #4)

Many email systems have limits on how much email you can store. And that usually includes all folders. So periodically delete what is in your Trash folder. It is like the trashcan in your office. Do you really need it to be full all the time? It feels good to get the old stuff out of there. Take out the Trash and you have room for more. I suggest deleting the Sent folder periodically also.

6. Use your calendar to prioritize your time so you reach your goals.

Every few months or so, I have to remind myself that my calendar is mine. It is to be used as a tool to reach my goals. I say it out loud, “The calendar is mine and it belongs to me!” I know it is time to say that when I have too many appointments scheduled that get in the way of doing my work.

The way you schedule time should reflect progress toward personal and professional goals. Block out time for that on your calendar, or it may slip from your memory. For instance:

      • If you are a parent, I assume you have a goal to do that very well. So put in your calendar time to call your daughter when

        she arrives home from school every day. Schedule time to attend your son’s soccer games. You show up better at work

        when you are feeling good about your whole self.

    • If you lead a team of people, a goal should be to keep them engaged and productive. So set a reoccurring calendar

       appointment to talk with each team member about their work and progress toward goals. Also block out time on

       your calendar to strategically plan the next team meeting. Then set another appointment after the meeting to review

       and follow-up. Meetings can be a time waster, so make sure you don’t plan or conduct them on the fly. If you are not

       sure why this is important you might read Patrick Lencioni’s book Death by Meeting.

Make sure your calendar is not full of meetings/calls that will not help you meet you goals. There will be a few of those appointments, but now is the time to review and reduce time spent reaching other people’s goals rather than your own.

7. Identify Time Wasters and minimize them.

Time Wasters impede success. You may not be conscious of what things are wasting your time. So this is a good time to make a list. What did you do yesterday that was a waste of time? What have you done in the last month that was a waste of time? Name it.

Most people say their Time Wasters include attending some meetings or calls, being stopped in the hallway by a particularly chatty co-worker, and/or a request to do something that is not in your scope of work.

Review your list. Write beside at least ½ of them how you will eliminate them.

8. Distractions eat productivity. Recognize them and move them to dessert.

At the end of the day, you want to have made progress toward your goals. Distractions, like Time Wasters get in the way of that. Distractions are most often created by me, rather than others. Here are a few distractions that are hard to break:

    • When researching something to solve a problem, I see something else interesting to read/do and move over to that.

       Twenty minutes later I realize I got distracted. It wasn’t a waste of time, because I might need that new information later.

    • Going through my email is important. In fact there is content daily that needs attention. So a few times a day, I review

       email to follow-up on a critical matter. But often I begin reading email and follow a thread that is unrelated or I shift

       over to email from my favorite colleagues. One hour later, I realize I did not finish attending to the problem I was originally

       trying to solve.

Distractions are usually something you want to do – but not right now. Keep a note pad on your desk so you can write them down when they come to mind. Think about them as dessert after a healthy dinner. You can still do mindless web surfing or chat with a favorite colleague. But wait until you have finished the work you intended to do so you can reach your goals.

9. Be transparent about the more organized you!

Don’t keep your newly organized self a secret. Tell others what you are doing, so they will know why you are TRAFing #4 or changing the way you use your calendar #6. They will ultimately notice the difference in you, but spread the word. Talk openly with your supervisor about your ideas to reduce time wasters #7 and distractions #8 because you might attend less meetings or calls. Discuss with those you supervise about your new found efficiency, so you can be more responsive to them. Being transparent will be a good model for others and your supervisor will be impressed with your increased productivity.

10. Schedule maintenance time.

Now that you are more organized, don’t wait until the next New Year to do this again. It takes a lot of time to do it once a year and only a few minutes to stay organized. Maintaining your files, emails, and prioritizing your time will continue to benefit your stress level and job satisfaction. Put on your calendar, at least once a month (more frequently if you can), an appointment to maintain the work you have done. Commit to keeping these 10 ToDo items where you can reach them. I can make that easy for you. Send me you email address by using the Contact Us page of this website and I can send you a Quickview card to print and check off each at each appointment you make to stay organized.

The Evolution of Customer Service Philosophy

There has been an evolution in philosophy of how to handle an upset customer. At one time business employees were told not apologize because it might admit guilt. Then the approach of customer service changed. Customers were extended an apology to diffuse the situation in hopes they would walk away happy and stick with your business. The Harvard Business Review (HBR) article Sorry is Not Enough, reminds us the way to keep customers is to fix the problem. The apology may diffuse, but the customer will still walk away from your business if the problem in not fixed for the long term. Enjoy and learn from  this article.

Why do you need a leadership coach?

Most executives reached their position by being successful in prior roles. They stay in their position by continuing that success. Some executives believe they know everything they need to know to be successful in the future. So it might seem they do not need a coach.

However, thinking through decisions with a skilled coach “on the other side of you” will help you develop further in the changing landscape of business. Complacency is dangerous. Managing the same way you always have, will give you last year’s results.

John Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett in their book The Extraordinary Coach define coaching as “Interactions that help the individual being coached to expand awareness, discover superior solutions, and make and implement better decisions.” Zenger and Stinnett outline ten ways that coaching pays off for the individual and the organization. Here are a just a few reasons why you should consider engaging a coach.

  1. Give new meaning to work. Link the work to the vision and job enjoyment.
  2. Build a stronger culture. Create a workplace where people are respected and respectful not only for what they can produce, but for unique perspectives, skills, and attributes.
  3. Improve resilience. You and your team will need to thrive in chaos and evolve at a higher level because of those experiences.

  4. Enhance your ability to see what is coming. The future will hold new challenges and opportunities. See them before they arrive and quickly move to change the organization to flourish in years to come.

The cost of engaging a leadership development coach can significantly pay off in your future success. LPR Consulting can help. We are here for you.

Should you leave your job?

This is the time of year many contemplate a change in their life or in their job.  It is hard to know if a new job should be in your future. Your work brings in the money and gives you somewhere to go every day. But do you want more? Are you wondering whether you should begin the job search?    

Invest in yourself by spending a little money to make a really important decision. Engage a coach to help you think through your feelings.   At LPR Consulting, we can do that.  The first 20 minutes are FREE.  Leave your contact information in the Contact Us section of our website.

In the meantime, here is an article that might help you explore - The Warning Signs You Need a New Job

New Job? Seven ways to succeed early!

You will be at your peak motivation the first few weeks in a new job. Take advantage of that enthusiasm to learn all you can about the role, the people, and how you will bring value.

Here are seven strategies for making it a great place to work.

You have heard these before. Perhaps your parents said these things when you entered high school or college.

     1. Come ready to work - everyday. That means be on time, show your appreciation, and perform each task/project the best you can.

     2. Be comfortable with ambiguity. You will know less about what is expected and how to get it done than you have in a while. It may be a new feeling for you. Don’t let it slow you down. This discomfort will pass as you gain more knowledge.

     3. Trust and be trustworthy. You are joining a group of people you do not know. Assume they can be trusted and deserve respect. When you agree to get something done or help someone - follow through. Behave with respect at every turn. This makes the next two strategies much easier.

     4. Ask for help. You are expected to not understand it all. Asking for help is the best way to know who the experts are. It lets others know you are interested in learning. And it keeps you from making mistakes early on.

     5. Be curious. The people you work with will be very important to your success. So find out who they are, what work they do, and their interests. Also let them get to know you.

     6. Get organized. You may not have access to the calendar or company systems right away or they may be confusing to use. So create systems for yourself. You want to accomplish what is expected and, with so much coming at you, things easily slip through the cracks. Remembering names of people, hitting deadlines, showing up for meetings, and being responsive will increase confidence others have in you.

     7. Communicate. Make sure your supervisor knows the progress you are making toward goals the two of you set together. Team members need to hear about your advancement and stumbling blocks with projects you are jointly working on.

The right job for you makes a big difference in your life. You enjoy your work and feel better about yourself. There will be a wider circle of people who admire you. So set yourself on the right path in the first weeks with these simple strategies.

Learn More

Networking Effectively

Networking is the name of the game. That is how you get a new job, build a team of support, and expand a business. Effective networking takes specific skills and a whole lot of curiosity. When you check the word “networking” in the Thesaurus you get “schmoozing”. If you conduct yourself with that approach, people see right through it. It is self-promotion 101. This is why networking has a bad reputation. Most people hate doing it.

I like to think of networking as a way to meet interesting people. Without intentionality, I would never have broadened my group of friends and learned so much about the world. The key is listening first and then connecting with new ideas, experiences, and another human.

In this article in Entrepreneur by Jason Feifer, I was reminded about the difference in bad networking and networking that works so well that people thank you for it. Click to see Jason’s article!

Learn More

Are you making progress down your leadership development path?

When working with those who want to become a better leader, I am reminded of Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken. Many people think they need to become a leader just like someone else they know. But learning to lead from your unique strengths and style is much more important. Mentors are great to use as a model, but don't try to become them. Become you, with all the best lessons you have learned. Take the road less traveled by for it will make all the difference. 

 If you need help creating your road, contact us by leaving your email on the Contact Us page.

Articles and Resources

Blog postings and articles to learn how to be a better leader.

An ongoing series of informational entries

Principles of Adult Learning by Malcolm Knowles

March 15, 2017

Anyone supervising, training, or mentoring adults should be aware of Malcolm Knowles' Principles of Adult Learning. Adults or employees will not change behavior because you said it is a good idea. Reach their mind and heart by knowing how they learn. Jeff Cobb's article will help you understand - 

Click here to access

Developing Yourself as a Leader: Be a Drone, Not a Pilot Flying 35,000 Feet Up

March 15, 2017

Most of us have heard the leadership advice manage from 35,000 feet above it all. I heard it from mentors, leadership speakers, and read about it in countless articles. And I took it seriously. But I am here to tell you, it does not work. That is how some big mistakes are made.

Read more on LinkedIn

Communicating the Vision: Do you have messengers in the back of the building?

March 15, 2017

My first supervisory role was as director of a child care center. I thought that because I was a nice, good person and had some interpersonal skills, I could successfully manage the job. However, I was young and naïve and quickly learned that managing was also about leading people. It was inevitable that I would fail if I did not get people in the back of the building to believe in my vision. 

They were my vision messengers in the back of the building; that is employees who I did not see or interact with on a regular basis.

Those who supervise must be skilled in managing and leading. It is not either/or but both.

What is the difference between managing and leading? Warren Bennis has a great list of the differences in his book On Becoming a Leader. These are a few that have particularly influenced my leadership journey – check out his book for the full list.

The manager administers; the leader innovates.

The manager maintains; the leader develops.

The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long range perspective.

The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.

The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.

Leaders must get work done through others; therefore be able to influence. Leadership begins with a vision. When employees understand and are attracted to the vision, it will guide the work in the organization.

Vision is best defined and understood during the creation of an organization and subsequently at the time of each new hire. The term organization, in this context, refers to the company, your department, or your team. But it also means your work. Do you know why you do what you do? Do you know how your work fits in the larger picture? Not just what is expected, but why the work you are doing is important. Simon Sinek, in his book START WITH WHY, explains the correlation between being an inspired leader, someone others want to work for/with, and not having a successful following. The difference is how the leader communicates the vision. Inspired leaders first articulate WHY you will be doing this work. They then explain WHAT you will be doing and HOW to do it. The vision should be believable, attractive, and achievable. It will need to be explained in a way that reaches the heart first. It must be something the employees can feel passionate about. When this happens, the vision becomes the reason to do the work with the highest quality.

But here is the rub. Most people in your organization do not know the vision. There may be a vision statement in the employee handbook or posted on the wall in the employee lounge. But do employees know how the vision translates to their work and their unique value? Often they do not. So they just go about doing the job without really understanding the purpose and how it fits in the larger organization. Where will this connection come from? The employees who work in the back of the building (or department) are your best advocates and communicators of the vision - not the executives or the supervisors. Colleagues communicating the vision have daily opportunity to talk about it with other employees and customers - more so than the supervisors. And their word has credibility.

In business today, the message must be clear. We know the message is working when the people who do the work well are admired for it by their peers. So how do we create messengers in the back of the building? Here is one example: Due to growth, the HR department has experienced an increase in the number of employees, which in turn requires more managers in the department. They prefer not to hire externally, but grow them from the existing team. To achieve this, the HR executives decide that the vision for the upcoming year should be Grow Future Leaders. This vision is explained in meetings, communicated through email, and discussed in individual meetings with department heads.

But that is not enough. There must be messengers in the back of the building. These messengers are proof that the vision is alive, understood, and acted upon. The way an organization allocates resources (financial and human) illustrates their commitment to the vision and the employees. 

 In the case of the HR vision Grow Future Leaders, the commitment looks like this:

1. Introducing employees to a comprehensive succession plan for development and promotion.

2. Mentoring new employees from day one on the expectations of their role and their work.

3. Providing skill development through formal education via tuition reimbursement.

4. Training and empowering employees with high potential to make decisions.

5. Promoting a culture of feedback. It is given and received often, and used as a tool to improve performance and increase potential.

If there are messengers in the back of your building, they will be talking about how they are benefiting from a vision-led organization. They know the vision and see it in action. The vision goes viral when employees embrace it and benefit from it. In turn, they tell others which attracts more talent.

Starting now, talk to more people in your organization who could be your messengers of the vision!

Want to know more about your strengths?

March 15, 2017

Strengths-based coaching is a great way to explore how your talents benefit you. LPR Consulting can help you analyze your talents and provide coaching so they become strengths that produce great results at work and in relationships.

Contact us for a free introduction to StrengthFinders.

Giving Feedback for Positive Growth

March 15, 2017

I spoke to a client recently about building a culture of giving feedback among her team. Her team was not used to it and thought it was always negative. One piece of advice I gave was, "if your team is complaining about feedback, you are not giving it correctly or frequently enough." Then we explored my training called Giving Feedback to People You Really Like. The premise is, if you believe feedback is helpful for growth of a professional friend, you will understand why it is imperative to give it to everyone who works for you.

Contact me if your team could use that training. 

Blurred Vision

March 15, 2017

Have you recently felt you were not sure about the value of your work or whether you are moving in the right direction to reach the expected outcome? If yes, then the vision of your work is blurred.

The direction is clear when the vision for your team is well-defined. Without a vision that is evident and attractive, employees are just doing their own thing.

Creating a vision should be a collective process. Good leaders understand that the executives might set the mission, but how your team achieves it should be a creative process involving team members. When you are new to a team, there should be time spent with your supervisor about why and how we do this work. If you need transparency around the vision, sit down with your supervisor and ask some questions to understand. 

Here are a few suggestions:

• What is the vision for our team or department?

• How are we contributing to the overall mission of the company?

• What values do you have, as our leader, about how we do our work?

• What does success of our team look like to you?

• How do I fit in to this vision?

If your supervisor is unable to answer these questions, then there is a great opportunity for her to create a vision with your team. This process could improve team engagement and increase results toward company goals. Your supervisor will thank you for helping her remove the blurred vision for the team.

If you want more information about creating a vision, one of my favorite resources is a Harvard Business Review article Building Your Company’s Vision by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras.

The Best Leaders Thrive After a Storm

March 15, 2017

Years of managing people will tell you that there is often a storm coming. The storm can make you and your team stronger or tear the team apart. The outcome has to do with how well prepared you are as the leader and the resiliency of your team.

I got my first taste of storms that can crush in my first manager role. I hired people with whom I was comfortable. I had a team similar to me in style and belief. We liked each other and had fun together. No conflict, just good times. Then we had a customer crisis. Customers were challenging the service and demanding more from us. But the team stuck together and kept moving to our drummer. Customers talked to one another and began leaving our business behind. All of a sudden we could not meet the targeted bottom line. Directives came from above to reduce costs. I was told to lay off employees. I hesitated, thinking I could turn this around. But the storm kept coming my way and the future looked menacing. Employees were stressed and left. I almost lost my job.

After that storm moved on, I knew I needed to learn how to lead instead of manage friends at work. So I hired people different from me, sometimes more talented than me. I began to ask customers what they needed and strategically planned how we could deliver that. My new team wrote a vision together then practiced making decisions based on that vision. We had “storm drills” where we confronted issues and created a new process that worked better because of that situation.

When my biggest storm hit, we were ready. I had diverse thinkers and problem solvers. The individuals on the team knew their job and did their job well. There were messengers in the back of the building who would motivate employees who were worried. Satisfied customers were willing to talk with customers who were anxious. We all knew how to focus on the positive outcome that was possible. When the storm passed, we were even stronger and had better practices. There were customers who kept referring others to our services. Employees felt valued because of their part in building a better workplace. We did not survive the storm, we thrived from it.

Want to know more about your strengths?

Working from your strengths can help you stand out from the crowd.

March 15, 2017

Strengths-based coaching is a great way to explore how your talents benefit you. LPR Consulting can help you analyze your talents and provide coaching so they become strengths that produce great results at work and in relationships.

Contact us for a FREE one hour StrengthFinders coaching session!

Managing Through Crisis

January 15, 2017

I, like many, searched my resources and the internet for how to deal with yet another terrible crisis. The Las Vegas massacre seems like another addition to a new normal. I found an article in Psychology Today that was helpful to me and might be for you.

If you are a manager or supervisor of people - remember not only you are feeling this, but so are your employees. Lead with kindness and respect.  

(Click here to access Managing Anxiety After a Mass Shooting.)

Be Accountable to Other's Success - FIRST!

February 14, 2017

This article reminds us how building a culture of accountability helps the bottom line.

People frequently ask me, "How do I hold my employees accountable?"

"Change the culture" is usually my first response.

The second response is "Tell me about how you are being accountable for their success?"

As Gordon Tredgold's article (click below) explains, there are many ways to help employees want to be a part of a successful organization. It starts with how you lead them.

Priorities! How do I determine how to use my time?

March 15, 2017

I have developed a quick and easy way to select which emails or phone calls need my attention right away. It works for how I will spend my time the next hour, day or weekend.

If I have two (or more) conflicting balls that I’m juggling at one time, I decide which is crystal and which is rubber.

Crystal balls are those events important to my long term goals. If I don't take this call or attend this event, I will drop that crystal ball and it will shatter. I will never be able to recover it. So if I choose something else, I am missing a critical point in reaching my goals.

Rubber balls are those items which bounce so I can get it done the next time it bounces up. Rubber ball events are rarely so important to my long term goals that I must do them right now.

Want more time management tips? Use the contact card to reach us!

Priorities should be based on your long term goals. I like to use Stephen Covey's Urgent and Important quadrant to help me prioritize. Check out his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to learn more about Covey's method. Or just contact us. We can help your define your goals and prioritize your time.

Millennials are here to stay. To keep the best, 

transform your culture.

March 15, 2017

Millennials, those born between 1980-1996, are filling the workforce. Roughly 73 million Americans are Millennials*1. In fact, data shows that by 2020 more than 50% of the workforce will be millennials*2. They will want to work differently than previous generations. They want to join companies open to their new ways of thinking and interacting. They want clarity around the meaning and purpose of the work. To attract them and keep them, there needs to be a culture which welcomes their values.

The Gallup, Inc.© report, State of the American Workplace*3 examines the level of engagement at work. The startling number is only 33% of U.S. employees are engaged at work. Gallup isolated the data to compare Millennials to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. They found that Millennials are the generation least engaged (31%). An alarming trend is that percentage is going down. In 2017 only 29% of employed Millennials are engaged at work.

So why does that matter? Because when two-thirds of employees are not engaged, they just show up. They may be in the meeting or in front of their computer, but they are not productive nor do they really care about the bottom line success of the organization. That person in the meeting or at their computer is likely to be looking for a new job. The data from the State of the American Workplace found that 51% of U.S. employees say there are actively looking for a new job.

Unemployment is low in the U.S. (4.1%) 4*. However when I talk with clients about their most frequent keeps-me-up-at-night worry, most say it is employee turnover and the challenge of finding the best next employee.

It is not difficult to find out what Millennials want in their work environment.

Just ask them. They are dying to tell you.

Millennials with high potential for leadership, who I have coached, say job engagement and respect for their values is what they want. They also say that managers rarely build a workplace culture where they and their ideas are welcome. To find out what your Millennials want from work ask three questions. Do this frequently (weekly if you can manage it, but at the least monthly) of each employee you manage:

  1. Tell me about the work you are doing that make it interesting to come to work?
  2. How does your current project matter in the bigger picture?
  3. As your supervisor, what do you need from me to encourage your creativity and purpose?

These questions will bring about discussion that hits at the heart of what Millennials want from their work. And they want you to know. They want to trust you to build a culture which accepts them.

The Gallup article How Millennials Want to Work and Live, outlines what Millennials tell us and the consequences of not listening. This list of imperatives for those leading Millennials is not difficult, but different from the way Boomers and Gen-Xers were managed. Here are a few keys to building a workplace culture where Millennials want to be.

I like and need frequent feedback. The study found that “Employees who meet regularly with their manager generate higher performance for their team and company.” So work it in your weekly schedule to meet with each employee and discuss their work, strengths, and interests.

I am wired. Millennials find most information they need on the internet. From their smart phone, they manage their finances, read the news, shop, read blogs, and talk to their colleagues. So encourage them to do project research on their devices, don’t ask them to put them away.

I can be loyal. There is a misconception that Millennials are not loyal. It is true that when it comes to consumer loyalty they don’t need it. The consumer experience must line up with their values. But once a supervisor, a company vision, or a kind of coffee aligns with what they believe, they are all in. So understand their values and build a workplace culture that allows them to be and do what they believe then you’ve got loyalty.

Millennials are an amazing generation. Know them, love them, and lead them. You and your organization will be better for it!

*1 Gallup, Inc. 2016 How Millennials Want to Work and Live

*2 Pew Research Center May 11 2015 Millennials surpass Gen Xers as the largest generation in U.S. labor force

*3 Gallup, Inc. State of the American Workplace released 2017 based on data from 2015 and 2016

*4 Trading Economics, United States Unemployment Rate as of October 2017.