When Failure Actually IS an Option

failureWe’ve all failed from time to time. I know I certainly have.

But failure should never be seen as a negative occurrence. But rather, as an opportunity to teach or learn, and grow.

It’s only when people don’t learn from their mistakes that you begin to have a problem.

As a leader, you should allow your teams room for mistakes and errors, and make sure they know they shouldn’t fear failure.

Writing for FastCompany.com, executive creative director of Doner Los Angeles, Rob Palmer reminds us that when people know they have a safe place to land if they try something different, yet fail, they will become less risk-averse, and more open to new strategies and ideas.

“Next thing you know,” he writes, “you will have nurtured a culture of risk-takers that care as much about the success of their workplace as you do.”

He shares a few things he’s learned about failure over the years, and they apply to most industries or organizations. Read more

Productivity: How to Beat the New Week Blahs

productivityAfter the long winter most of us in the United States have endured this year, Mondays feel even more unwelcome than usual. 

Greeting another week when you’re feeling less than motivated is a difficult task. But it’s not an impossible one.

And there are small tricks you can use to make heading into yet another (cold, wintery) week feel less like a mountain to climb, and help increase your productivity.

Writing in a recent Inc.com article, entrepreneur Kevin Daum shares six tips for re-energizing your week. Read more

Great Leaders and Human Mistakes

great leadersWe talk about great leadership often here on the blog. And there’s a reason we do that.

Being a great leader isn’t easy. After all, even great leaders are only human, and as such have faults and weaknesses, as well as families, responsibilities, commitments, and other stressors outside of their work lives.

Writing for HeartfeltLeadership.com, psychiatrist and business consultant Dr. Mark Goulston shares what he calls “Ten Things Smart Founders Do To Mess Up Their Company”.

Reading through the list, I think you could replace “founders” with leaders – of any type – and still come up with the same results.

Let’s have a look at our top five, and see if you’re making any of these mistakes in either your business or personal lives. Read more

Character: Three Ways To Build It

characterThere is probably no more important leadership trait than character. 

If you have it you can lead effectively, and people will follow.

If you do not have it?

You will have a much harder time convincing teams to respect and admire you, let alone follow you.

Here are three ways that character is built and what we can do to develop this important leadership trait. Read more

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

CreditHarry Truman once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish, if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

And while there’s a lot of truth in that statement, the reality is, most people like to be recognized for the hard work they do.

We’ve all faced experiences at one point or another in our careers where someone else took credit for our work. Perhaps your manager got the public recognition for a project you did 75 percent of the leg work on. Or, you were part of team effort to accomplish a major task, and somehow, one team member ended up being congratulated just a little more heartily than the rest.

When employees are regularly over-looked, and not given credit where it is due, eventually they’ll stop working as hard. They will have learned that giving 110 percent isn’t really worth the effort. At best you’ll end up with sub-standard output. At worst, you will lose good employees as they look elsewhere to be rewarded for their knowledge and experience.

And you don’t want either of those thing happening in your organization.

Sachin H. Jain wrote about this issue in a recent post for Harvard Business Review. He has led teams in in government, academia, clinical medicine, and the private sector, and as such has devised his own set of rules to help manage ‘giving credit where credit is due’.

Here are his top three: Read more