Day 9 – You get what you inspect, not what you expect

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What you Allow21 Days of Leadership

“Tina, I’m feeling frustrated that my team isn’t getting stuff done when they said they would.”

I hear a variation of this from business owners at least once a week, and I get it – when stuff isn’t getting done it can be downright annoying!

There are a few reasons why this may be happening, but one of the most common that I see – and the easiest to fix! – is that you aren’t holding them accountable.

It is one thing to ask someone to do something, but if you don’t hold them accountable then it leaves the request as an open loop. Which means the work may or may not get done, especially when that person is juggling multiple priorities and multiple clients (as many virtual support professionals are).

The easiest way to hold someone accountable? Ask them about it.

You get what you inspect – what you ask about – and not just what you expect. Or as I like to say (somewhat tongue in cheek), the squeaky wheel gets the grease. 😉

Agree on a deadline. Remind them of that deadline (via your weekly team meetings and automating reminders in your virtual office/ project management tool) and ask them about the status of the task the day BEFORE it’s due. If they don’t get the work done have them own the reason why and come to you with a solution and/or new timeline.

It’s human nature to want to do great work. No one wants to be the person to show up and not have their work done. And yet, most of us need a loving reminder of what is coming up and when it’s due. We need to know that someone is waiting on us and that the work we do matters.

Yes, I get that you may wish you never had to ask questions and follow up with your team. That you could just hand them a task and they would just get everything done without you having to check in at all. That falls more into the realm of abdication vs. delegation.

A leader embraces that it is part of their job to create a culture of accountability. To create a team where people own up to what did and didn’t get done, and why.

And the beauty is – once you create a culture of accountability you won’t have to ask so much. It’s a good thing.

I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.

#21daysofleadership #day9 #inspectdontexpect #LEADMastermind

How Positive Thinking Might be Killing your Business

By | General Biz, Leadership, Success Mindset | 11 Comments

In the book Good to Great by Jim Collins he shares the story of Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest ranking US military officer in the “Hanoi Hilton” POW camp during the Vietman War. During his eight year imprisonment Stockdale was tortured regularly before his release in February 1973.

How did Stockdale manage to survive an experience where many others perished?

In his own words, he refused to become an optimist.

“The optimists were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again.

And they died of a broken heart.”

Put simply, every time they hoped for the best – kept positive – and then had their hopes dashed they lost faith in their survival. And this loss of faith impacted their ability to survive the harsh challenges of their reality.

Thus was born Stockdale’s Paradox, which states:

“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

When I read this story the other day it gave me pause and made me wonder – could positive thinking be killing our success?

The promise of positive thinking is two fold: Read More

Day 8 – Asking for help when you don’t need it

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Need Quote21 Days of Leadership

There is a common thread in the people who are attracted to my work. They are hard working, smart and determined.

Throw a challenge their way and they will figure it out. Give them something to do and they will roll up their sleeves and make it happen.

They are problem solvers. High-achievers. All of their lives everyone has come to them when they need help because they know that it will be taken care of.

And this is exactly the reason why many of them are not good leaders (yet).

When you are strong, smart and reliable you learn to default to your own capabilities to get stuff done. To make things happen.

You’ve spent a lifetime taking care of business and doing it well. You trust your ability to get things done in exactly the way you want to.

This will only take you so far in your success and to move beyond it will require a change.

As a leader you need to learn how to ask for help – not because you need it, but because you want it.

The truth is that you may not NEED the help. Chances are that you can ‘do it all’ but do you really WANT to?

The call to lead is often a call to receive. To have the courage to ask for help and take it when given.

This isn’t always easy – I struggle with this as do many of my clients. This is the reason why I lovingly call myself a recovering control freak. 😉

Yes – you can do it all, but my wish for you is that you don’t have to.

I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.

#21daysofleadership #day8 #receivetogive #LEADMastermind

Day 7 – Be a boredom fighter for your people

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21 Days of Leadership

I have a team that people envy. I know this because they tell me. 😉

My team is 100% committed to the business and our vision. They are trustworthy and reliable. They show up. Do great work. Bring ideas. And they stick around for years.

What am I doing as a leader to help encourage this?

Simple – my #1 goal with my team members is to ensure that they get to GROW. They get to do work that allows them to expand and become more of who they really want to be.

I used to work as a recruiter in Calgary years ago, and part of my work entailed interviewing people who were looking for new jobs. The #1 reason they wanted to leave their current job?

They were bored. They didn’t see any room for advancement and learning, so they choose to leave.

If you want to attract and KEEP the best people, part of your job as a leader is to make sure that they don’t get bored. That they always have room to grow and expand in the work that they are doing.

Now it is important to ensure that their growth path matches what the business wants and needs from them. When that is no longer true then it may be time for that person to move on. (The only time any of my team members have left in the past 5 years was when their growth path was no longer something they could do in my business – so it was time to move on.)

Do you know what your team members long-term goals and aspirations are? If not now is the time to ask.

What can you do to help your team members grow and expand? Is there another role they could take on (and likewise an old role to let go of?) Is there any training or additional support that would help them on their path?

Give your team opportunities that they won’t find elsewhere and they will stay for the long run.

I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.

#21daysofleadership #day7 #boredomfighter #LEADMastermind

Day 6 – Making TO vs FROM decisions

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | One Comment

21 Days of Leadership

All decisions are either moving you towards what you want
taking you away from what you don’t want.

A TO decision will often feel uncomfortable in the moment, but it will have a longer term payoff.

For example, you decide to hire someone for your business. It’s scary to invest that money in the moment but you do it because you know that in order to get to the next level you have to get stuff off your plate.

Spending that extra money in the moment is uncomfortable, but the long term payoff is worth it.

A FROM decision will feel better in the moment, but it doesn’t necessarily support your long term vision and goals.

Take the same example from above – instead of investing in additional help you decide to keep doing it on your own.

This may feel much better in the moment but the long term effects may be undesirable. Yes, you’ve relieved the pressure/fear for now but a year down the road you may be stuck in the same spot doing the same things.

Put simply – any decision you make is either taking you closer TO your vision, or its moving you away FROM your vision.

Which do you choose today?

I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.

#21daysofleadership #day6 #towardsthevision #LEADMastermind

Day 5 – The more you do, the less you lead

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Can do Anything21 Days of Leadership

“A big problem when it comes to women business owners is that many don’t think of themselves as a CEO. Instead they think of themselves as sort of a chief multi-tasker and the person who should be doing everything in the business. While that may at times work on the home front, in a business that is not the best way to go. A CEO of a growing company has to be able to step back and make plans and engage other people in doing the work.”

This is from the May 2012 Forbes article ‘Why Women-Owned Businesses Don’t Grow’

Put simply – when we try to do it all we will hit a limit of how much we can do. And this will determine how big our business can grow.

The more doing you keep on your plate, the less time and energy you will have to lead. To lay out a vision. To make decisions. To plan ahead.

A leader knows theirs strengths and understands their role in the business – and will actively look to bring in other people to do the rest.

If you have big dreams – a big vision – then you are being called to lead. You are being called to let go of something so that you can focus on taking it to the next level.

What do you need to let go of? It’s time.

I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.

Day 4 – People follow what you do – not what you say

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Inspirational motivational quote. You are what you do not what you say you'll do. Simple trendy design.

21 Days of Leadership

There is a truth in parenting that our kids are paying WAY more attention to our actions than our words.

We can tell them that they are spending too much time on their electronics, but if we never put our phones down our words are meaningless.

We can ask them to be respectful with their words, but if we yell at the person who cuts us off in traffic they will do the same.

There have been many times when my girls do something that I told them not to do, but the hard truth is that they are doing it because they see me doing it too! Ouch.

The same is true in leadership – people will follow what you DO, not what you SAY.

Don’t ask your team to get things done in a timely manner if you are always late with your own work.

Don’t ask your clients to go the extra mile if you are always looking for the shortcut.

Don’t ask the people around you to have a positive attitude if you show up frustrated, panicked or grumpy.

Words have power. But actions speak the truth.

The right words might bring people to you – might pique their interest and get them excited about possibilities – but it is your actions that will determine if they stick around.

At the end of the day what people are paying attention to is what you DO, not what you say you are going to do.

If you aren’t seeing the results you want from the people around you (your team or clients) you need to ask yourself.

Are my actions aligned with my words? Am I keeping my promises?

Am I showing up as the best example of what is possible for my clients? My team?

Where do I need to step it up? (and yes, we all need to step it up at times)

Your actions will always speak louder than words.

What are they saying about you?

I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.

Day 3 – Leadership is the ultimate act of courage

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21 Days of Leadership

It takes courage to take a stand.courage To put your self out there and say “this is what I believe is possible – will you join me?”

It takes courage to ask. To make an offer and ask a client to commit to working with you. To ask a team member to invest their time and energy in working with you.

It takes courage to love. To care so deeply about something that really matters. To pour yourself into something that could hurt if it doesn’t come to fruition.

Leadership is not safe the safe path. It doesn’t allow us to take it easy. It doesn’t allow us to wait for certainty. It doesn’t allow us to hide in the shadows until someone gives us permission to shine.

Leadership calls us out. Calls us to take a risk and put ourselves out there for a vision that has no guarantee of success.

The bigger the impact you wish to have the more courage will be required of you.

Courage is a solo act, however it can be cultivated in a community of other leaders who are on the same path. I’m creating this community in my new LEAD Mastermind – message me if you are curious to learn more.

#21daysofleadership #day3 #courageisyoursuperpower #LEADMastermind

Day 2 – Your ideas could be killing your business

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

Consistency21 Days of Leadership

Imagine you want to grow a tree.

First you plant the seed. Then you spend time tending to the seed – giving it what it needs to grow.

Everyday that you tend to the seed it grows – a little bit at a time. You may not see the growth in the moment but when you look back to where you started you can see the progress.

What happens if we plant a seed and then leave it? It dies. Plain and simple.

Maybe we found another seed that was more exciting and offered the promise of bigger leaves. Maybe we just got bored of doing the same things every day to tend to that seed. Maybe we got impatient because it wasn’t growing as fast as we wanted it to.

Our ideas are the seeds of our business. They are the starting point of all success.

But every time you embrace a new idea it has the power to halt your progress. It has the power to distract you from your current path.

As entrepreneurs we love our ideas. We call our friends to say “OMG I just had the best idea!” We brag about them on Facebook and tease people with their promise. We hold them close in case someone tries to ‘steal’ them from us.

(Interesting to note that no one owns an idea until they bring it to fruition – Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic is an amazing read on this topic.)

We jump at every new idea thinking that it’s THE ONE that will finally bring us what we want.

We wear our diagnosis of Bright Shiny Object Syndrome like a badge of honor, excusing us from the responsibility of completion because we had ‘another great idea.’

Ideas could be killing your business.

Consistency is what separates the leaders from the seekers.

The ability to say NO more than you ever say yes. To stay committed to your original idea even when it gets tough or loses it’s shiny glow.

To pause and explore an idea fully before taking on the commitment to ‘raise it’ to maturity.

The power of a leader lies in staying steadfastly committed to the original idea – to the vision. To ensuring that the team is working every single day towards that vision.

Consistency is the power that fuels success. It may not be sexy – but it works.

We are going to be exploring the balance of consistency and ideas in my new LEAD Mastermind – if you are interested message me for details.

#21daysofleadership #day2 #consistencytrumpsideas #LEADMastermind

Day 1 – What do you want to be famous for?

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | One Comment

Make me Famous21 Days of Leadership

“God, make me famous. Make me stand out so I can make a big difference in the world”

This quote jumped out at me when I was listening to a Joel Osteen podcast this morning re: Asking Big.

And I will admit – my first reaction to this was resistance. The thought of asking to be famous felt selfish in a “who the hell do you think you are Tina” kind of way.

But let’s be real – I can’t lead anyone if they don’t know who I am. If I don’t stand out. If I’m not famous in my own right.

The definition of famous is ‘known about by many people’. Being famous is simply being known by the people you are meant to serve.

And so my question for you today is simple:

What do you want to be famous for?

A leader must first CLAIM her desire to be famous – to be known for the impact that she is meant to have in the world.

Until you own this desire fully you will never create the success you want. You will not attract the right clients. You will not make enough money. You will feel stuck and frustrated in your efforts.

Leadership asks that you go all in – you can’t have one foot in the world of safety (hiding) and the other in the world of impact (fame).

Today I ask you to boldly proclaim what you want to be famous for.

I’ll go first.

I want to be famous for helping women find the courage to lead. Lead themselves. Lead their clients. Lead their businesses. Lead their teams.

I want to be known as a leader of leaders.

Now it’s your turn – Share here in the comments and stake your claim.

I’m right here with you.

#21daysofleadership #day1 #claimyourfame #ownyourdesire #LEADMastermind