Rest This Labor Day

Well, the weekend we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived.

Labor Day Weekend.

The last hurrah of summer. A weekend of great sales. The last regulated day off before Thanksgiving (don’t think about how far away that is!).

Many times we take a day, like Labor Day, to do or finish all those things we don’t anticipate we’ll have time for in the next couple of months.

But, we want to encourage you to rest. Yes – rest. Not necessarily sleeping in, but taking the time to really give yourself a break- either mentally, physically, or emotionally.

It’s important for rest to be apart of our lives on a consistent basis. But for now, take a break this weekend. You deserve it.

Advertisements

Leading People First

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has really taken off in the past few weeks raising awareness about ALS but also giving people a feeling of unity for a common purpose.

When we lead from knowing where we are going and what we are doing it brings unity (and also encourages peoples to do some pretty crazy things… like pouring ice water on their heads!)

But, sometimes it’s easy to get distracted by all the tasks that need to be accomplished that we lose sight of the people we are leading.

With deadlines looming, new goals being added, and the lingering feeling that your boss is going to want to have that conversation with you- it’s no wonder your team can get overlooked.

So, what is something we can do to manage the things to allow you time to look at the bigger picture?

Entrepreneur has 10 helpful suggestions for managing your time in ways that work. What’s one place to start?

Try starting every morning by taking some time (15-30 minutes) to plan out your day. Identify a couple of items that have to get done, incorporate time for interruptions, and schedule in a little time to plan for your team and their development. We recommend even blocking that time on your calendar, so it doesn’t get lost or taken up by other things.

Having a better handle on what to expect for your day will give you the ability to manage each task.

From there, it is easier to balance the tasks that need to get done and spending time with the people you are leading.

(Im) Perfect

I know, I know… just the title makes you cringe.

And, if I’m honest, it makes me cringe too. You mean something may not be perfect? Not on my watch!

What have you done to make sure that it is true? Everything. Literally… everything.

And, how do you feel? Overworked. Stressed. Exhausted. The list goes on.

We heard from Trish Brooks, a couple of weeks ago about the concept that “we don’t delegate because of a fear that the employee may not meet our (sometimes perfectionist) standards.”

So, Trish, how would you recommend working past this fear?

First, connect with a time when you were given the responsibility for a project that was slightly over your head.

Think about how great the learning was, how engaged you were, how grateful you were for the trust of your boss.

Remember that you were successful!

Are you willing to give that same gift to your employees?

Your role as a people leader is to lead the people first (not the product – the product work will be good if you lead the people).

Developing people is a huge part of your role; one of the most important parts!

Take a moment to let those last two lines sink in… maybe even read them one more time.

When we think about delegating a task in terms of giving the gift of developing the people around us, it creates different perspective.

Choose one direct report who you would like to begin (or continue!) developing.

Now, look at your workload and choose one task that you can [deep breath] delegate to that person.

Creating Vision

It’s another Friday.

Another day. Ending another week. Coming to the end of the summer.

You wake up. Leave for work. Grab your (much needed) coffee. Manage more tasks than you thought you could. Have a meeting about something that’s not going right. Schedule a follow up meeting to address the issue. Go home. And, do it all again the next day.

As the vacations are wrapping up and we are bracing for the (long) hall of work until Thanksgiving, it can be easy to let the routine of life begin taking over.

Chances are, you are not the only one feeling this way.

Sure, your bosses have vision and purpose for what they are doing. But what about you? And, what about your team?

Vision is what gives you and your team direction on where you are going and why you do what you do.

Creating a personal and team vision gives purpose to the day in and day out routine.

Ready to create your vision statement? Consider these questions:

  • What is the thing that inspires you to be the manager you are?  
  • How can you use what inspires you to inspire your team?
  • What are you proud of?
  • What do you want to accomplish together?

This week, let’s carve out 15 minutes to answer the questions above and begin creating vision for your team.

But, What Will I Do?

You have your (long) list of tasks that needs to get done this week. Yet, in reality, you know you can’t do it all (and, well, sleep at some point too). Then again- if you delegate what is left for you to do?

Last week we heard from Jennifer Jones that one of the reasons we don’t delegate is because we wonder what our job will become if we “give away” all the tasks we are doing.

Here’s her advice on how to work past “what you will do”.

Jennifer Jones “The technique is to determine what you will “do” instead.

Explore the role of leader and manager.

See that, in addition to “doing,” there are many important things for leaders to engage in (vision, strategy, inspiration, motivation, training a successor, etc.).

It’s also important to have the perspective that it’s the leader’s job to develop the skills of their people through delegating with guidance.

Thanks, Jennifer!

As a manager, your job is so much more than simply checking off tasks on a to do list.

So, here’s this week’s challenge:

1. Choose one task you can delegate… and do it!

2. Then, in your newly found time, start thinking about what the purpose of your team is.