Are You an Asset or a Liability?

Are you an asset or a liability? Are you a good team player who contributes to the team’s success or a social loafer who likes to blend into the background where your lack of effort isn’t easily spotted? Teams and teamwork make for a great sound bite – but in your world – the real world – do they produce the kinds of results your company wants? Or do they create more problems than they are worth? For the most part, management can’t expect to throw people together – call them a team – and have them perform as a team without letting you know what they expect from a good team player.

Worth Remembering … “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi

What would you put on that list if you had to put together a list of what you thought makes a good team player? Would you put:

  • Honesty: I would expect a good team player to be honest and upfront and tell the truth no mattter what. If people can’t trust what you say – they can’t trust you at all.
  • Integrity: I would expect a good team player to have strong moral principles and live by them.
  • Openminded: I would expect a good team player to be open-minded, willing to consider new ideas and not be stuck in the old way of doing things because you’ve always done it that way.
  • Flexible: I would expect a good team player to positively respond to circumstances and changing conditions.
  • Patient: I would expect a good team player to accept delays or problems without becoming annoyed or anxious.
  • Empathetic: I would expect a good team player to understand and share the feelings of other team players.

Worth Remembering … “We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust, and care for each other.” – Unknown

Action speakers louder than words. What are you prepared to do to show everyone on your team – that you are a good team player? Are you an asset or a liability?

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you or your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Being Passionate About Something Isn’t Enough

Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about golf. I love watching it, playing it and reading about it. But just because I am passionate about golf doesn’t mean I will be good at playing it. Being passionate about something isn’t enough. To be good, to be really good at something takes commitment, dedication and hard work. To be good, to be really good at something, you must be consumed by it. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book – “Outliers – The Story of Success.” wrote about the ten thousand hour rule. Researchers believe that ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness. They think it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery. (That works out to someone practicing at least 40 hours a week for 4.8 years)

Worth Remembering … “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when the circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” – Art Turock

How committed are you to be the best version of yourself? How committed are you to do all you must do to reach your full potential? Mozart started writing music at age six, but his first masterwork, No. 9 – K. 271, wasn’t composed until he turned twenty-one. Wayne Gretzky, arguably the greatest hockey player of his or any previous generation, started learning his craft at age three on his backyard rink. Tom Brady was seventh on the quarterback depth chart when he enrolled at Michigan, and Michael Jordan got cut from his high school basketball team.

Worth Remembering … “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour.” – Vince Lombardi

There is no such thing as being too old. Colonel Sanders, at age 65 when most people are looking to retire, founded Kentucky Fried Chicken. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians became the oldest head coach to win the Super Bowl at age 68. Are you satisfied where you are – or are you looking for more? Keep in mind that wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Success, your success, is a planned event. What are you prepared to do to excel in your chosen field of endeavour? Are you ready to commit to a new beginning? Start now!

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Trust is a Two-Way Street

Sometimes you need others to take a leap of faith. Without establishing trust, you’ll have little chance of getting people to come along. If they trust you , they will follow you. If they trust you, they’ll believe that you have their best interest in mind. If they trust you, they’ll know that you aren’t setting them up to fail. Just because you’ve been given a title doesn’t automatically mean they will trust you. Managers and leaders need to earn their trust.

Are you looking to establish trust? Start here

Keep Your Word. Your word is your bond. What ever you say you’re going to do – do it. If they can’t trust what you say – they won’t trust you at all.

Be Honest and Transparent. Tell them the truth – always. If they catch you in a lie – you’ll never regain their trust.

Admit You Don’t Have all the Answers. It’s ok if you don’t have all the answers. However, you need to know who and where to go to to get them.

Communicate Often. Let them know how they are doing – good or bad. It’s important to keep them in the loop. You can’t communicate too much.

Admit When You’ve Made a Mistake. We all make mistakes. Take ownership, learn from them, apologize, and move on.

Resist The Urge to Micro-Manage. A leader’s roll is to teach them what they need to know and then get out of their way and let them do it.

Be True to Your Own Set of Values. Don’t compromize your own set of values. Be true to who you are. Integrity is more than just a word.

Walter Wriston, the former Chairman and CEO of Citicorp, understood that in organizations where people trust and believe in each other, they don’t need to get into regulating and coercing behaviours. They don’t need a policy for every mistake. People in these trusting environments respond with enormous commitment and creativity. Walter Wriston understood that trust is a two-way street.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com.

Learn to Delegate or You Will Die a Slow Death

You’ve got to give up control to get control. Great leaders understand that they can’t do it alone. Great leaders understand that they need to teach others what they need to know and then get out of their way and let them do it. Great leaders understand that if they don’t delegate some of their responsibilities to others, they are robbing them of their opportunity to grow. Learn to delegate or you will end up with a group of people who can’t do anything on their own.

Worth Remembering … “Never learn to do anything. If you don’t learn, you’ll always find someone else to do it for you.” – Mark Twain

Eight Effective Delegation Steps

1 – Decide what you want to delegate: You need to be very clear on what task you are going to delegate and make sure you give them all the tools they will need to complete it.

2 – Decide who you are going to delegate to: Who is capable, and more importantly, who is willing to take on more responsibility?

3 – Create a teachable moment: Demonstrate the task – have them perform that task while you observe them – and once you think they can perform the task satisfactorily – have them do it one more time for good measure.

4 – Ask questions so you know learning has taken place: You need to ask some good open and closed questions to make sure they know what needs to be done.

5 – Monitor their performance: Make sure you follow up with the person shortly after leaving them on their own for the first time. People do what you inspect not what you expect. Follow up – follow up – follow up.

6 – Keep the lines of communication open: Let them know that you are there to support them in any way you can. If they have questions , concerns or issues that need to be addressed let them know that your door is always open.

7 – Hold the person accountable for the results: Standards, like quality, are not open for debate. Hold them accountable for the results, but give them some latitude on how they do it. Resist the urge to micro-manage.

8 – Be a cheer leader: Praise performance. Be quick to acknowledge what they have accomplished.

Worth Remembering … “If you are having as much fun running a big corporation as you did running a piece of it, then you are probably interfering too much with the people who really make it happen.” – James Burke

Whenever you pick up a piece of paper or go to take on a task, I want you to ask yourself, “Is there anyone else who should be doing this besides me?” If the answer is yes – learn to delegate or you will die a slow death.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization please visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly – brian@briansmithpld.com