The Lead Yourself First Blog

Three Ways To Have More Fun At Work

Three Ways To Have More Fun At Work

“It’s not fun anymore”… words I was not expecting to hear from the CEO of a highly successful enterprise. Was he referencing the state of his industry or the workplace in general…or both? The CEO was lamenting the fact that everything has changed: Shareholder expectations, demanding clients and a new generation of employees. Sadly, he was losing his passion and belief that work could once again be as enjoyable as his first five, ten, or twenty years had been. Please don’t suggest that he “should” retire. There are many individuals at every level of an organization who feel similarly, regardless of one’s age or position. Continue reading “Three Ways To Have More Fun At Work”

How To Build an Extraordinary Workplace Culture

Three Ways To Sustain An Extraordinary Workplace Culture

How often does one hear a president of a company open an event for his leadership team with the words: “Mom and Dad, I want to thank you for all you do”. Not only were his Mom and Dad in the audience, they were interacting with everyone throughout the entire meeting, from start to finish. The Founder (aka “Dad”) joined both his sons on stage to answer questions from attendees, holding nothing back. More than 300 people hung on his every word; laughing and at times moved to tears, as Dad told stories about the early days, his reasons for starting the company, as well has his vision for future success.  As I witnessed the smiles and animated conversations that ensued during coffee breaks, lunch and the reception afterwards, it was clear that this was no ordinary company. What made it so special? In a word: Culture.

The ability to sustain an extraordinary workplace culture while growing at an unprecedented rate is a scenario that many organizations would like to have. At the same time, preserving the unique attributes that make an enterprise successful can present its own set of challenges. The solution to maintaining an outstanding culture lies in consistently applying the following principles: Continue reading “Three Ways To Sustain An Extraordinary Workplace Culture”

workaholic

Out Of Control: Three Reasons Why We Can’t (Or Won’t) Get Off The Work Treadmill

“There aren’t enough hours in the day.” …The catchcry for the busy professional who laments the fact that if it were possible to cram more hours into a day, he or she would make it so. When will the “crazy busy” (workaholic) lifestyle give way to a more “sane” way of being? If you were to ask most people to answer this question, the likely response would be “perhaps never”. Or, you may hear complete denial regarding the reality of life spinning out of control. Continue reading “Out Of Control: Three Reasons Why We Can’t (Or Won’t) Get Off The Work Treadmill”

Workaholism – A Sanctioned Addiction: A Message For Dedicated Slaves…And Slave Drivers

How do you extricate yourself from an unhealthy work situation? Is it more difficult to do when you relish a challenge? Can you tell the difference between being a workaholic and a hard worker? If you are an employer, are you treating your best people with respect, or are you rewarding hard work with more work? Continue reading “Workaholism – A Sanctioned Addiction: A Message For Dedicated Slaves…And Slave Drivers”

The Value Of Business Relationships: One Constant In A Changing World

“I’m not a people person.” I will never forget hearing those words during a leadership workshop I was facilitating, nor will I forget the newly appointed manager who uttered them. The shocking truth is that according to the extensive Gallup study of 2.5 million manager-led teams in 195 countries, organizations fail to select the right person for the role of manager over 80% of the time.

Imagine the consequences for your employees, customers, and overall business success when a leader lacks critical acumen regarding the value of human-to-human connection. Continue reading “The Value Of Business Relationships: One Constant In A Changing World”

The Usual Suspects: Three Reasons Why Difficult People Win... And What You Can Do About It

The Usual Suspects: Three Reasons Why Difficult People Win… And What You Can Do About It

“She’s not happy unless everyone around her is panicked, nauseous or suicidal.” One of the unforgettable lines from Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) describing her boss, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”. Fortunately, Andy realized that she didn’t need to play her boss’s game, refused to be a doormat and ultimately rose above Miranda’s outrageously dysfunctional behavior. Not only did she gain her respect, she learned to respect herself, succeeded in detaching from the drama and set impenetrable boundaries. Sadly, the same cannot be said for many individuals who work with difficult people. How are they able to push every “hot” button with ease? Why do they win? And what can be done to minimize their negative impact on morale, productivity and workplace cultures? Continue reading “The Usual Suspects: Three Reasons Why Difficult People Win… And What You Can Do About It”

It’s Not You, It’s Me. Four Reasons Why Some Leaders Need to Look In The Mirror

“Mirror Mirror on the Wall. Who’s the Fairest of Them All?” And the Wicked Queen would wait for the magic mirror’s expected response:  “My Queen, you are the fairest in the land.” And so it was, until one day the mirror shockingly revealed that times had changed:  “My Queen, you are the fairest here so true. But Snow White beyond the mountains at the seven Dwarfs is a thousand times more beautiful than you.” Instead of facing the truth, the Wicked Queen vowed to poison Snow White, plotting revenge at every opportunity. Continue reading “It’s Not You, It’s Me. Four Reasons Why Some Leaders Need to Look In The Mirror”

Understanding unconscious bias: Your perception becomes your truth

Spanish philosopher George Santayana said in the Life of Reason: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (1905-1906) If there is any truth to the notion that history repeats itself, then Santayana’s prophetic insights are as relevant today as they were more than 100 years ago. Continue reading “Understanding unconscious bias: Your perception becomes your truth”

Are you a Positive Influencer or a Chronic Complainer? Choose wisely.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with an association that invited me to speak at their annual conference on the subject of influence. Although their membership is extremely diverse, the common denominator for all their members is the fact that they are in a position to profoundly impact their leaders, clients and co-workers on a daily basis. They were keen to learn more about the art and science of influence, and what struck a chord with me was the fact that they were passionate about making a positive difference in their respective workplaces. Continue reading “Are you a Positive Influencer or a Chronic Complainer? Choose wisely.”