Attitude and Skills
There is a tale of a boss who is unhappy with the work of his employees. Is it their attitude or lack of skill? He looks in the mirror, struggling to figure it out. Frustrated and at his wit’s end, he decides that he will hold a gun to their heads and tell them, “get it done!” If they do the work, then it is clear that their attitude is the problem. If they say, “well, shoot me because I can’t do it,” then it is a skills problem. Too easy, right?
While the story is extreme, fostering the right attitude and providing the right talent and skills is leader business. It might be the most important aspect of business and Teams. It starts with you and your attitude. Here are few ways to improve the attitude and skills of your Team, while doing the same for yourself:     
1. Make sure everyone knows that their work is essential. Create buy-in by discussing the thinking behind and the importance of your vision and mission, goals, values, and strategy.
·        Get people involved in defining them
·        Take the time to answer questions and challenges
·        When someone asks why it means they care
2. Get your employees the training, resources, and guidance to do their jobs well.
·        If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well; if it’s not worth doing well, it’s probably not worth doing
·        Set up your employees for success
·        Align work with people’s natural inclinations (see our PROM Servant Leader archetypes
 for a simple way to start)
·        People who report using their natural strengths each day are 2X to 3X more productive than their peers
3. Let people know that you appreciate who they are and what they do.
·        Coach people to be the best versions of themselves (see our PROM Servant Leader archetypes
 a simple way to start)
·        Do not subconsciously try to turn them into clones of you. Nothing says, “I don’t appreciate you,” quite like efforts to turn people into a mini-me or suggestions that they hide their identities. Instead, help them contribute as their best and most authentic selves.
·        Take special care to ensure that your most vulnerable employees feel the safety and confidence that they can contribute as their best and most authentic selves
·        Your most vulnerable employees tend to be those who look, think, or act differently than the majority
·        Recognize people’s contributions in ways that they want to be recognized
Look in the mirror. Do you see opportunity because of the attitude you foster and the skills you provide?

As I wrapped up my stay in Colorado, resilience kept revealing itself. I treasure my talks with my 91-year dad who attributes his resilience to habits of walking, laughing, and worrying less. I spent time in my old neighborhood where I first developed a sense of Team and it has served me well. I’ve been fortunate to have been on some great athletic Teams, Army Teams, national security Teams, and leadership Teams. While resilience starts with the individual, its greatest impact is on the Team.
My friend and colleague Christopher Kolenda, Ph.D. developed some very useful ways to Build Team Resilience:

1. Encourage good personal habits (sleep, eating, exercise, relationships).

2. Sustain your organizational rhythm – predictability is like a stabilizer that keeps your Team centered and focused.

3. Emphasize meaningful routines so that people quickly recover a sense of normalcy and control when disaster strikes or things begin falling apart.

4. Celebrate wins – rack up small wins to build confidence and momentum.

5. Use mini-resets to regain focus – review goals, actions steps, what’s missing, in-stride adjustments. Ready. Go.

6. Coach people to be the best versions of themselves – people stick with you when they know you appreciate them as people and their contributions.

7. Ownership – no one ever washed a rental car. Create ownership in success (the mission and vision; game-plan). People are not on the Team; they are the Team. People will bounce back when they have a stake in the success.

8. Challenge – empower people to make decisions; underwrite their mistakes. Coach them to learn. Build good judgment and resilience when the stakes are low, so those qualities are present when the stakes are high.

9. Talk about good and bad events. No blame-game. What happened, why did it happen? Get the facts and agreement on the facts. What can we learn?

10. Morale is more important than mood – Mood=sugar donut, Morale=your Team’s level of confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline.
Lastly, set up your emerging leaders and employees for success. Get them the training, resources, and guidance to do their jobs well. If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

The Biden administration has been stubbornly tone-deaf about the outrage and disappointment that many Americans feel about the disintegration of the Afghan government and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan after we spent 20 years and over $2 trillion, suffering over 2300 US service members killed in action and thousands wounded.

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The President has been steadfast in his decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan and has defended it fiercely as the meltdown unfolded. The generals talk about working with the Taliban to help American citizens get out of the country. Diplomats whisper about recognizing a new Taliban-heavy government.

Many Americans are furious about all of it, and the administration’s explanations and rationalizations seem to dig the hole deeper. Unless the administration acknowledges the emotions of so many Americans, they’ll be unable to rally them for the difficult choices ahead.

As an expert business owner, you face tough choices all of the time. The stakes are different, but the emotions are genuine: fear about starting or growing your business, anger at a partner that let you down, joy at gaining a new client and supporter, anxiety about investing in yourself, joy at seeing your clients get to new heights.

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Emotions affect your judgment. People mostly make decisions based on emotion and then rationalize the decision after the fact. Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman shows how this process can lead to major errors.

Here’s what to do when you’re facing a challenging decision.

1. Label the emotion that you feel: anger, sadness, joy, contentment, surprise, fear, confusion, among others.

2. Identify the circumstances that are driving each emotion.

3. Develop options to get to your goals.

4. Decide which one is best and act on it.

Creating space between emotion and action, in action:

I’m concerned that an investment in my business won’t pay off (fear of wasting time and money). The best way to reach my goals and shorten my path to success is by getting the right support. Here are ways to do that: A, B, C.

Which one has the best potential payoff at the lowest risk?

BOOM! You got this!

What’s your top takeaway? Please share your thoughts!

“Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s the judgment that something else is more important than that fear.” Ambrose Redmoon

Ah, yes. Courage. Courage to fight for the mask mandates and vaccinations or courage to fight against them. Courage to be kind through adversity (wink wink). Courage to help with hurricane Ida. Courage to offer Afghan aid. Courage—it’s everywhere. 

How courageous are you when it comes to your business? You have the ability to be an industry influencer. Are you there yet? We’ve all seen the comfort zone graphics, but have you ever thought about how that applies to your business and your industry? If you’re not learning, innovating, and choosing courage then you’re losing ground and fast. Think of Netflix. They went from sending DVDs in the mail to live-streaming. They had the courage to adapt and change. Apple had the courage to remove the keypad. That was one heck of a courageous move and it worked! On the flip side, complacency kills: Blockbuster, Sears, ToysRUS stayed in their comfort zones.

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Your deliberate courage AND that of your employees have the ability to change the world around you. I’ve been told time and time again how courageous I was to quit my principal job to move into business consulting. With that courage has come incredible growth, re-energizing passion, and so much fun! My desire to help business leaders innovate and influence through courage is at an all-time high. Great things can happen when you take the leap.
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How to choose courage:

  1. Encourage innovation, celebrate mistakes, and learn from those mistakes. Growth occurs through adversity.
  2. Block off time to reflect throughout the week. What can you do better? Where are your inefficiencies? What have you tried? What worked? What hasn’t worked? Where are other businesses within your industry headed? Can you beat them? Do you have a trusted advisor to help you with these questions? Why not?
  3. Listen earnestly. Ask your employees for their great ideas. 
  4. When trying something new, define the metrics and celebrate small and big successes.
  5. Stop talking and start doing! 

Are you asking yourself, “How do I do this?” I can help!

[email protected]

Out of Many, One