Five Questions Every Leader Must Answer About Change

Doug Dickerson on Leadership


Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable. – Denis Waitley

The story is told of Karl Benz, who in 1866 drove his first automobile through the streets of Munich, Germany. He named his car the Mercedes Benz, after his daughter Mercedes. The machine angered the citizens, because it was noisy and scared the children and horses.

Pressured by the citizens, the local officials immediately established a speed limit for “horseless carriages” of 3.5 miles per hour in the city limits and 7 miles per hour outside the city limits. Benz knew he could never develop a market for his car and compete against horses if he had to creep along at those speeds, so he invited the mayor of the town for a ride.

The mayor accepted. Benz then arranged for a milkman to park his horse and wagon on a certain street, and, as…

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BYOM – Bring Your Own Motivation

Great words of encouragement.

Brian Smith - Enhancing Lives & Transforming Leadership

images (28)If you are waiting for someone else to jump-start your career, promote you because you’re a nice person or get your life back on track, you’re going to be waiting for a very long time. Everyone has a long list of things that they’d like to accomplish and making sure you’re happy isn’t one of them. Motivation is inside out – never outside in. No one can motivate you – but you. Until you take that first step and show some initiative, everything will remain the same. Nothing changes until you do. Others can help you by creating an environment that is conducive to getting you off your couch, but until you’re convinced it’s the right move to make – it’s a safe bet that you’re staying put.

If you aren’t happy doing what you’re doing, then what’s it going to take to get you doing what you’d rather be…

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Don’t Be a Hero

The 16%

I bet you weren’t expecting this title in a leadership blog, but the truth is that leaders can’t do it all.

I’ve had a few coworkers (and I bet you have too) who want to be the “super employee”. Even though they have tons of things already on their plate, they always say they can add more to it. Eventually, their work days are spent coming in early and working late—all while accepting more tasks to add to their never-ending list.

They think continually overworking themselves will get them into a position of leadership because they are constantly “burning the midnight oil.” (Note: I am fully aware that some organizations are understaffed and overworked. I’m talking about the people who would take on every task regardless.)

On the surface, this sounds like an ideal employee to promote. However, these types of employees possess traits that are completely contradictory…

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Strategic Thinkers Ask “Why” and “When”

Five easy steps to avoid misunderstandings.

Talent Management Strategist

The Coaching Clinic Encouraging routine strategic thinking may be the most important thing you can do as a leader. It’s not an easy skill to teach or learn, because it is as much a mindset as a set of techniques – but it’s not impossible – especially if you apply a simple 5-step conversation model. One key is to ask powerful discovery questions. Using this 5-step conversation model consistently will reinforce a common conversation approach at all levels in the organization. Consider these ways to cultivate strategic thinkers (since they often make the most highly effective leaders):
  • Encourage people to ask “why” and “when.” Consistently asking these whenever a course of action is being considered enables people to fully understand the goal it aims to achieve and its impact.
  • Have managers set aside time for strategic planning discussions. Make it a regular part of their job, and connect them with mentors who excel…

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Everything Must Lead to Your Final Conclusion

Live to Write - Write to Live

Everything, absolutely everything must lead to your final conclusion.

This is “rule” I was teaching my Technical Writing students as we were discussing feasibility reports.

If the information is not necessary, don’t include it. If the information is too long (charts, graphs, tables) and takes away from the final message then either remove it or put it an appendix to be looked at later, but take it out of the report.

Never let anything get in the way of your final conclusion that should lead to an action. (A feasibility report usually looks at various scenarios and makes a recommendation on the best one based on presented facts.)

ConclusionWe discussed creating a feasibility report on the college getting a baseball field. First we brainstormed header topics and then put them into a preliminary order. Because most people are uncomfortable with money, the students put the “Cost” section near the bottom.

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