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Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Greetings! Back in December I let you know I was no longer blogging on this site and invited you to move with me to my new site.

I’ve since done some significant work to revise even that, and now I have something entirely new to share with you. I hope you’ll follow me there and stay in touch!

Come join me at insight.lauraprisc.com

In fact, if you don’t join me there, and opt-in to my new email list, you won’t be able to enjoy the insights, wisdom, and lessons I share with my inner circle on leadership, personal development, communication, engagement, and team-building, because I’m not blogging there, either!

I stay in touch with my inner circle only thru email these days, and only with those who are seriously interested in growing themselves.

These principles and ideas are applicable to every area of your life, whether you own your own business, are the CEO of someone else’s business, are a manager, supervisor, individual contributor, have a desire to start your own business, or are simply interested in growing yourself!

Look, I know I’m not a good fit for everyone, but I may still be a good fit for you. So, if you want to find out. Come on over to insight.lauraprisc.com and opt-in. I will never spam you or share your information and you can opt-out anytime if you decide it’s not a good fit.

I truly do hope to see you there.

In the meantime, have an intentional day.

Positively!

Laura

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Maybe you think that if you don’t think about it, pretend it’s not there, it might go away?

I assure you, it won’t! In fact, it will become bigger the longer you allow it to fester. Conflict comes with a lot of baggage — mostly our own, stuffed full over the course of our lives with a lot of stuff gathered during previous conflicts and experiences with the person in question.

Last week, two of my coaching participants were working through how to deal with some conflict that had been plaguing their work lives for some time. As we all know, what happens at work bleeds into what happens outside of work, and vice versa, so it wasn’t just something they were thinking about, dreading, 8-5, but all day.

One said he felt deflated when he left work because of what appears to be an idealogical misalignment with a coworker. He wanted to down play it, make it less significant than it actually is. The other was interested in maybe bringing me in as a facilitator without having attempted to work through it herself.

The conversations we had were direct, uncomfortable, and filled with apprehension and fear. Dealing with conflict is rarely a fun thing; rarely something we look forward to with positive expectations. But we all know, we have to deal with it somehow, some way, or it will eat at us daily until something happens.

It’s similar to dealing with acute versus chronic pain in our bodies. We can experience it every time we have an encounter with that person, which is like a slow death; or, we can commit to bringing it out in the open and working through it intentionally, and experience that discomfort all at once.

What I know is this: If we don’t deal with it in a straightforward manner, it causes us to leak energy throughout our day and over time it wears us out. It’s keeps us from performing at higher levels, from accomplishing more, from experiencing healthy, constructive relationships, and from experiencing joy…in all areas of our lives.

And, working through it will help you grow…as a person, friend, spouse, colleague, and leader. This is a skill that will serve you well throughout your life, because conflict will appear, again, at some point, as it inevitably does. And when it does, although it won’t be less comfortable, you can approach it with a little more skill and confidence, knowing you’ve walked through a similar fire before and survived.

 

 

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Image  This photo was taken in the courtyard of the Presidential Palace in Guatemala City, as we prepared for a ceremony including John Maxwell, Guatemala Prospera, and the Guatemalan President.

Exactly a year ago this week, I was in Guatemala City, one of 150 John C. Maxwell Certified Coaches teaching a Transformational Leadership process to ~19,000 leaders within the seven streams of influence. All of those leaders committed to taking a small group of people through the Transformational Leadership process over the course of 30 weeks. That’s right — 30 weeks! During that time, they would study and apply each of The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, as described by John in his book of the same name, as well as 15 Values, as defined by the Guatemalan people based on what they thought would be crucial in changing the culture in their country.

Today, those 19,000 leaders have taught and influenced nearly ~200,000 citizens within their country, and the work continues.

Make no mistake, that trip changed thousands of lives, not the least of which were the Coaches who traveled to a far-off land to give of themselves to people they’ve never met, and may never see, again. It certainly changed mine, in ways I find it hard to articulate, even today, one year later.

I’ve learned, without question, what it means to offer something of significance to someone else; some thing that will change lives in unimaginable, possibly indescribable ways. As I sit in my office today, in West Virginia, I think fondly of my week with such amazing people doing such amazing, life-giving work. I long to be there with them, again.

The good news is, I am confident that opportunity will come again, and perhaps even sooner than I imagine. Since our time in Guatemala City last June, the John Maxwell Team has been invited to do the same work in several other countries in Central America.

To my fellow coaches, the leaders of the John Maxwell Team, the talented translators who shared their time and language, and the people of Guatemala who welcomed us into their country, offices, churches, and businesses…Thank You. I am blessed by you. I look forward to being with you all, again, soon.

If this appeals to you, watch this short video on our trip to Guatemala. And if you long to taste significance and are interested in joining this amazing team, here’s your invitation. I hope you join our tribe! Be sure to tell them I sent you!

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Over the course of my life, I’ve not been known as the most diplomatic person, so perhaps you’ll forgive my choice of words.

This blog was posted today from a “builder” I have been following, and whom I respect immensely. In this post, Chet Scott points out that high performers self-identify and emerge from the pack. As a manager or leader, you don’t have to search for them…they will demonstrate who they are in a number of ways, and as a manager/leader, you get what you deserve. Here are a few things to watch for:

High performers seek feedback. They want to know how they are doing and will ask for feedback from people they respect, frequently. If you don’t respond with honest, candid feedback — both positive and constructive — they will know you’re feeding them a line, and over time their respect for you will deteriorate.

High performers seek challenge. They are not satisfied with, nor willing to accept, mediocrity. These are the people who will ask for more responsibility, look for projects and opportunities to continually learn, grow, and stretch themselves. They are hungry and if you don’t feed them, they will find someone who will.

High performers seek other high performers. They don’t want to be the smartest people in the room; they actively seek out people who are ahead of them in whatever it is they seek to learn or achieve, so they can learn from those who have gone before them.

High performers don’t get hung up in the HOW. These folks are internally driven, motivated to achieve. They are inspired by WHY, and if you can connect them to the Why of what needs to be done, they will find the way — the How — to make it happen, and they will attract those resources to them.

The question now is: What kind of a team do you deserve? As Chet says, do you need to kick your own a_ _, and demonstrate what you’re capable of, so you can attract high performers? If not, you will attract who you are and they will perform at, or lower than, your level.

So do the hard work, scrutinize who you are and what you have to offer before you evaluate the performance of your team. If you seek change in your team or organization, you need to start with you.

If you don’t have a “builder” or coach to help you through this process, I strongly encourage you to find one. Speaking from experience, you won’t get there on your own.

___________________

If you’re curious about my self-identified lack of diplomacy, here’s a little insight…

Over the course of my life, I’ve not been known as the most diplomatic person. You may find this ironic, considering my chosen career — Corporate Communication — for the past 20+ years, but it’s true. In fact, I went through a Harrison Assessment a number of years ago, and my “diplomacy” score was very low, which was brought to my attention by the VP of Marketing, with whom I worked frequently. He considered it a potential disaster waiting to happen, given my job.

Here’s how I explained it to him. The Harrison Assessment offers statements like “I enjoy diplomacy in my work.” As you go through the assessment, you note whether the statement is like you or not like you. As a professional communicator, word choice is extremely important; words matter, so choose them carefully. I think of “enjoy” in terms of pleasure, satisfaction, etc…So, while I understand and appreciate the need for diplomacy, and am perfectly capable of discerning when I need to practice it, I don’t “enjoy” it.

That’s it…

 

 

 

 

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Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.  ~Henry David Thoreau*

This is so true; don’t you think? Consider this…how would your life be different today if you hadn’t believed in yourself?

How would your world be different today if other leaders hadn’t believed in their potential, their vision, their mission?

What if:

  • Abraham Lincoln hadn’t believed slaves should be freed?
  • John F. Kennedy, Jr., hadn’t believed a man could walk on the moon?
  • Martin Luther King hadn’t believed in the dream of equality for all?
  • Susan B. Anthony hadn’t believed women should vote?
  • Jonas Salk hadn’t believed polio could be cured?

These are just a few examples; given time, and putting our heads together, we could probably come up with a list that would span countless pages of how others’ (and our own) beliefs have changed our lives, our communities, and our world.

Regardless of what stage of life — and leadership — you may be in, know that the first step you must take to move forward is the believe in yourself, in your dream, and your ability to accomplish it.

Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.  ~Charles F. Kettering

Do so, and success will surely follow.

Do so, and you will change the lives of more people than you can imagine, at levels you may not even be aware of.

Do so…we need you!

___________

Note: This concludes this 12-month, focused Intentional Leadership journey. Thank you for accompanying me. Remember, it is a journey; even though our study together is ended, it doesn’t mean you must or should stop working through this process. This work, this guide, is archived for you on this site, and you are welcome to revisit it — even go through the whole process, or pieces of it, as the need arises — at any time in the future.

*From the Intentional Leadership booklet, by Giant Impact.

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It’s hard to believe, but this will be our last daily post on this Intentional Leadership journey. I will, of course, provide a wrap-up of this month’s focus on Belief, tomorrow…but for today, I’d like to walk you through our Friday ritual one last time.

On this day, I am beginning a new coaching engagement with another John Maxwell Certified coach, and will spend some time learning about the goals and challenges of a colleague on an Advisory Board I am part of, with the intent of understanding how I might add value to her and her team in the new year.

I am preparing for a number of upcoming significant events in my life, including fun, travel, visiting distant family, continuing to work with several mentoring participants, and planning my new year. The fun and travel come first, as I will be at the Chris Isaak Concert with my husband tomorrow night, then off to Washington State on Sunday for some time with my family before the holidays. It won’t be all play, however. This is the beauty of working in my passion zone; I can do it from nearly any location on earth (assuming there’s a cell signal and internet access!) at almost any time of day or night, as my creativity does not live by a “work schedule.”

Again, I will spend a significant amount of time in the coming weeks preparing for the coming new year, following deep reflection on the year we are so close to ending.

I can say with absolute honesty, that Belief is the perfect theme for me to end this Intentional Leadership journey. Without belief in myself, my purpose, my passion, and my plan, I would not be here with you at all. While I know there are many challenges and obstacles ahead, I fully belief I am on the right path, doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

I hope you can say the same for yourself. If you can’t, I strongly encourage you to find a coach or a mentor to help you work through the process of discovering what that path is for you, and then developing a plan for going after it!

In the meantime, how will you spend your weekend? With whom will you spend it?

What is vying for your time, attention, and energy?

What do you have in mind for closing out this year and moving into 2014?

Whatever it is, I hope you’re intentional about it.

Thank you for joining me on this journey; it’s been my pleasure. I hope you’ve learned as much as I have and have moved yourself and your team/organization forward in many ways.

I hope you’ll continue to stop in and read. I have a lot on my mind and will continue to be here writing, sharing thoughts, and asking questions…at least once a week.

If you have questions, comments, and/or topics you would like to explore together, I would love to hear them. Use the comment box below or send me an email.

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Spend some time today with your action plan, from earlier this week, and your calendar. Enter tasks, reminders, and action notes to your calendar — for the next 30 days — to ensure you are acting on your commitment to move forward into your opportunity. Use this, also, to track your progress toward achieving your goal. *

My mentor, John Maxwell, often says that it’s important to not only write down our goals, but also to write out the discreet steps we need to take to actually reach those goals. People who do this consistently — taking even small steps each day toward a stated goal — are much more likely to accomplish great things.

As you write out your tasks, actions, and reminders, consider any fears or doubts that will move into your consciousness, and could keep you from reaching your goals. Being aware of them, before they rear their ugly heads, allows you the opportunity to plan how you will respond (thoughtfully and intentionally) when they do arise. Plan for their arrival and what actions you will take to counter them.

Finally, take a few minutes to think back over the last four weeks and our focus on Belief. Jot down a few thoughts or actions that have impacted you this month.

*From the Intentional Leadership booklet, by Giant Impact.

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