Called to Lead: Delegation Part 6

 

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Never Forget to Say Thank You!

 

I hate sounding like everyone’s mom but you must never, EVER forget your manners. Whether you are overseeing an event or an organization, working with volunteers or high paid professionals, you must ALWAYS REMEMBER TO SAY THANK YOU!

This is vitally important when you are working with volunteers. Most volunteers work hard for no pay. Many if not most do the work out because they feel called to serve. However, everyone wants to know their hard work is appreciated. Too often, once an event or term (for those serving on a board or committee) is over, the leader walks away, musing over the great job THEY did. Yes, they did do a great job, with a lot of help.

You simply must show your appreciation. At the very least, send a handwritten note thanking each volunteer. Yes, handwritten. They put in a lot of time. The least you can do is take some time to write a brief not thanking each & everyone of your helpers for they contribution to making your event, year, organization, etc a success. If you are able, you might give each person a small gift to thank them. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can even be something you made. You just need to let them know you really appreciate how hard they worked & how good they made you look! Take my word for it, you will have an easier time gathering volunteers for your next endeavor if you treat your current volunteers like royalty.

So, what if they are employees. I mean, after all, they’re getting PAID aren’t they? Why should I have to say “thank you” when they are simply doing their job? Well, first off, if all you want them to do is the barest minimum required, then go ahead & refuse to thank them. Before you do that though, you should understand the hierarchy of needs. I’m not going to teach the entire structure but I am going to share the short version. Maslow’s  hierarchy is a motivational theory. At the bottom, people are working for basic needs. On the next step, they are working for their safety. If you want people that are going to give more than expected, then you need to show your appreciation. People higher on that hierarchy seek to belong, to strengthen their self esteem. On the final level, people seek personal growth & fulfillment. Once you get past the first two levels, pay is not the motivator. While those people like appreciation, they prefer something more substantial. While the people on the top 3 levels like monetary rewards, they need more in order to be satisfied with their position. You MUST let them know you not only see the great job they are doing, you also appreciate THEM! It’s not just about the job, it’s about them!

Now you might think the idea of thanking people is outdated. WERE YOU RAISED IN A CAVE? Good manners are NEVER outdated. Good manners help you know you are always doing the right thing. Now, if saying thank you makes you uncomfortable because no one else in the organization acts that way, in other words, like a civilized human being, then TOUGH! If you want to be a leader, you must do the things no one else is willing or able to do. A leader must be willing to blaze a trail, even if it means clearing an old, little used trail, THEN DO IT! Otherwise, you are simply a  follower! Is that what you really want!

It takes so little to show people that you appreciate them. Yet the rewards for them AND YOU are tremendous.

Called to Lead Series: Delegation Part 5

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Never Criticize

 

I have a confession to make, well, actually 2 confessions: I am borderline OCD & I struggle with anxiety. Both conditions are mild & only cause me slight problems. My darling husband, the Infamous Mr. D is so wonderful about all this. I once apologized for being so fussy about something. He told me I wasn’t fussy. I simply like things a certain way. Why shouldn’t I insist they be that way if that’s what I want?

While this attitude of wanting things MY way may work well at home & with family, it doesn’t always fly when serving as a leader. An effective leader must surrender control to those assigned tasks & trust they will do an incredible job with their assignment. Easier said than done!

When we are given the responsibility for an event, project, etc., we often begin with a vision of the end result. After all, leaders tend to be visionaries so this is only natural. Then we do our best to share that vision with our team, allowing for them to adapt the vision to fit their gifts & talents. We must remember we took the time to do our research, selecting the right people for each task according to their skill set. We must accept the fact the end result may reflect our vision but from a different angle as each member of the team applies their perception of the vision. this is when trouble may begin.

Sometimes its tough to remember our vision did not come down a mountain craved in stone tablets. Our vision is a living idea that evolves as new people are added to the process. Each person brings their perspective of the vision, making it better, even stronger. However, as the source of origin for the vision, we may have a difficult time accepting any changes to the original. We may believe it was perfect to begin. How dare these charlatans trifle with perfection! Without thinking, it becomes easy to criticize the adaptation to the vision, pointing out perceived flaws & weaknesses. BIG MISTAKE!

Unless we want to do EVERYTHING ourselves, we must be able to surrender the vision to members of our team & allow them to adapt their portion as needed. Remember, NO MICROMANAGING! We must hand it over & trust our decision to add them to the team & trust their ability to do the job efficiently & creatively.

When someone has changed my vision, I have had to take a breath before speaking. I say something pleasant without committing myself until I have time to consider the changes. Once I take a step back, I usually find I like the things that have been changed, added, subtracted or whatever. The ideas brought to the vision by others have only strengthened the original, not weakened it. If I do find their changes just won’t work for whatever reason, I gently point this out & begin a discussion on ways to make the improvements that will work.

No one likes to admit their idea wasn’t just brilliant but also perfect the way it began. Let’s face it, though, even a genius idea like the incandescent lightbulb took thousands & thousands of tries before Edison arrived at the perfect combination of materials that worked. Be open to improvement & never give up!

The Power of 5: Achieving Your Goals 5 Steps at a Time

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In business and life, it’s mandatory to set goals. Earl Nightingale defined success as the progressive realization of a predetermined goal. Without goals, you’re on the journey of life without direction. Would you begin a long trip with no idea which road to take to reach your destination? I don’t think so! Then why would you continue on the most important journey of all, your life, without a clear idea how to proceed?

Perhaps the problem is a lack of vision. I find many people are unable to set goals, to lay out a predetermined path for their lives because they have no idea where they want to end up once they arrive. In that case, it becomes necessary to establish your ultimate destination before you begin. This enables you to set goals that take you farther and farther along your path, toward your goal.

As a blogger, writer, podcaster & more, I must constantly set goals for my life & business. I must have a clear idea where I am and where I want to go to lead my life along that path. When I first began this process, I found overwhelming. How do I determine where I need to go? How do I decide where I should end up at a predetermined time in my life? What steps do I take along the way to ensure I arrive at my destination? I was working to set goals for the coming year and found myself unable to proceed. The coming year! I was having trouble what I should do the coming DAY! I was in trouble.

I realized it was not enough to think only of the coming year. To have a productive year, I needed to be working on goals that helped me accomplish my long term goals. That meant I needed to set long term goals for my business and life.

When I first sat down to do this, I came up with a long list of items that I wanted to accomplish in the coming year alone. As I studied the list, I realized I was setting myself up for frustration. All I was creating was a list of items that would be carried over, uncompleted, from year to year. I didn’t want this. I believe goals should be achievable but have stretch. I wasn’t certain what to do.

Then it hit me. I remembered something I had read in one of my Mary Kay Ash books. Mary Kay advised her sales consultants to follow her example of only setting 5 goals a day. By listing only 5 items on their to-do list, Mary Kay from her own experience knew that anyone could easily accomplish the things they needed to get done for the day. The list was to be created at night before going to bed. I had been using this technique for a while and found it worked very well. If I needed to make phone calls, I would make the calls 1 item on the list but no more than 5 calls. If I needed to make more than 5 calls, then I would create another item on the list.

So, I began to think, why not use the same technique for setting long term goals? The Power of 5 was born. It’s very simple. I went 5 years into the future. I personally find it is easier to go forward and work my way back than the other way around. I thought about my business. What did it look like? What had I accomplished? What was I on the verge of accomplishing? Then I made a list of 5 things that I had accomplish 5 years in the future. I always write each goal in present tense, as if it were a reality, which it is. You see, once I create the goal and commit it to paper, once I accept the possibility of it being accomplished, my mind begins to subconsciously create ways to accomplish the goal. My mind accepts each item as reality and acts on it accordingly.

Next, I considered a year from now. To be a year closer to accomplishing my 5 year goals, what 5 things do I need to accomplish in the coming year? Then, I thought a month ahead. What 5 things did I need to do to bring me a month closer to the annual goals? Each week, I study the monthly goals and set 5 goals for the week that bring me closer to accomplishing the monthly goals and each evening, I study the weekly list so I can set goals that insure each day helps me to complete the weekly goals.

I am finding it much easier to accomplish the items on my list because they are not overwhelming. If I finish all 5 things on my daily list, then I refer to my weekly list and decide what else I might do to whittle away at the week tasks. Just like eating an elephant, I bring myself one bite closer to those 5 year goals everyday.

You can create your Power of 5 list anytime. Right now is the perfect time. Sit down and look 5 years into the future. Who are you? What are you doing? What are you about to accomplish? Create a list of 5 things that you see happening right then. Your goals should reflect the different aspects of your professional life. For example, if you are an author and speaker, you want a goal for each of these areas. You want each item to be as specific as you are able to make it. If the items are vague, you are not going to accomplish them. Your mind cannot act upon a vague idea. You need to give your mind a specific goal upon which it may act and accomplish.

Next, come back to one year in the future. What 5 things do you need to accomplish in one year’s time to be on schedule for your 5 year goals? Then go to a month out. What do you need to accomplish by then to complete your annual goals? Then set goals for the coming week to nibble away at your monthly goals. Finally, each evening before you go to bed, make your list of 5 for the following day. Study the list from that day. If you did not accomplish something, determine why. You might have set a goal that was too big to be finished in one day. Learn from that mistake and create more realistic goals to avoid frustration. Perhaps something came up to prevent you from finishing the list. That happens sometimes. Resist the urge to beat yourself up and add the item to tomorrow’s list. Perhaps the task doesn’t even need to be done. Then cross it off the list and forget about it Tomorrow is an opportunity for a fresh start. Take advantage of it

The Power of 5 is a great tool to help you accomplish the incredible goals you see ahead of you. That makes for a Life of Simple Joy!

Goal Setting is Paramount to Your Success

It’s Monday & that mean a fresh start to a new week. Throw that negative attitude toward Monday right out the window! Monday gives each of us a fresh start, an opportunity to examine the days ahead & create a plan of action. I really believe each of us should take time to plan out our week on Sunday so we are ready for action when Monday morning dawns. However, if you haven’t determined where you want your life to end up when Friday comes, you still have time. And I brought you some help!

This wonderful article on goal setting is from Addicted 2 Success. It offers practical ways for you to set & achieve goals today, this week & on into the year. Take a moment to read & then GET WITH IT! Time is moving by & you are simply sitting there! Now, shake off those Monday blues & smile! You have a fabulous week waiting for you!

Goal Setting is Paramount to Your Success