Leaders, what (really) happens when you leave the room?

It’s that time of year. The end of one “cycle” and the beginning of another.

In other words, time to reflect, envision, decide. Then act.

According to Bill Donahue with Lead Change here’s how I interpret three ways to take that first step to self-evaluate and reflect upon your leadership:

Dig Through Past Decisions. Use them as a guide or a “wise teacher” as you consider whether you would do something again. If you do, what would you change? How accountable are you for taking both credit and blame? What are the ripple effects of your decisions, actions and/or lack thereof? And, can you look at your decisions with clear-eyed honesty?

Revitalize Your Relationships. I seriously love this question—and it kinda hurts for any leader to think about if they’re really trying to be more effective:

What happens when you leave the room?

Are your team members and organization members ready to take up the sword with you and for you? To carry on that mission with the gusto you envision? Honestly. What would that look like on a daily basis, on the ground, and with absolute unwavering integrity to yourself and others? What’s it worth to you if you build those relationships? What’s it worth if you don’t?

Take Note of Transforming Moments. Your vast and varied experiences aren’t going to matter a bit if you don’t evaluate them and find the lessons within. Whether super obvious or buried under some layers, how are you going to use those lessons to move– or better yet, thrive— forward? And yep, those personal, vocational, and communal experiences can certainly overlap. Some of the best transformative moments in one area will help you transform in an entirely different one, so quit separating your ideas and see what happens when you apply and combine takeaways in new arenas of your life.

What are you waiting for? Today is the day to start digging in to your leadership story, one person, one decision, one experience at a time.

You know me by now, so if you’re doing all of this with a marker in hand, you know your thinking and leadership will become a whole lot clearer. If you want someone to partner strategically with you to do that, let’s chat.

Three Reasons to Use Stickpeople as Strategists

Why make such a big deal out of simple sketches? What’s up? And how on earth can stickpeople transform my culture at work?

Simple. In theory, that is. In practice, it kinda hurts your brain, but it’s worth it.

Reason #1:

If you can co-create and talk through ideas, thinking and sketching, sketching and thinking, then you’re going to find clarity, not only in your outcome, but also your processes, each person’s role(s), and next steps.

Reason #2:

When you’re sketching and thinking, chances are pretty solid that you’re innovating and trying new ideas. Rather than criticize someone for a crazy idea, the sketch allows you to sit with the idea and use it as a focal point. When everyone has the opportunity to wield a marker, sketching and making thinking visible leads to a culture of “what if…” instead of stultifying silence and compliance.

Reason #3:

Drill that mess down. Rather than talk AT your team for an hour, sketching out ideas helps you drill down to the absolute essence and crystallize takeaways for your audience. When planning your meeting / talk/ presentation, sketch it out first. (And yes, stickpeople are your best friends!). Once that’s hammered out, what do you truly want others to walk away knowing? How will you know they know it?

What are you waiting for? Get your markers flowing and put those stickpeople to work!

How to Thank a Veteran

Happy Veterans’ Day to all those who have served or are currently serving in our armed forces. As a veteran myself, I tend not to talk to others about my service, and it makes me a little uncomfortable when people “thank” me or want to shake my hand for my service.

I don’t want to discount those efforts, but I do want to provide options for those who truly want to thank veterans for their service. And with me, it’s certainly far more about how we live our lives and the actions we take rather than words we say.

I created the video above for students, but I think everyone can resonate. May you all live your lives fully and not take what we have for granted.


PS–Consider how using visuals in your organization’s videos can make them more personable and accessible to your audience. What worked for you in this video? What ideas did it spark for your work?