Everything rises and falls on Leadership

EVERYTHING!!  It is easy to see this wherever you go.  If something in your life is not going well, assume you have the ability to improve the situation. Ask yourself, “what can I do to lead myself, and or others to a different and better solution or practice.”  If good things are happening, it is because someone is exercising leadership (it might be you!).  If mediocrity prevails, it is because someone isn’t leading very effectively (it might be you!).

For more on this check out this short video:

How to Help Inexperience Employees be Successful

I ran across the article below from a twitter feed that I follow.  Excellent article with good advice for mentors or others working with new employees. What I like about the information is that if you ARE a new hire, or relatively inexperienced in a leadership role, you can learn a lot about how to make yourself more successful.  Here is the first part of the article:

Seasoned workers often complain about the unrealistic expectations and mistaken judgments of young, inexperienced employees. Yet organizations need junior people, beginners who aren’t aware of, or even interested in, everything their predecessors have done for the last 10 years.

But you can ease junior employees’ entry, help them be more productive, and encourage their receptivity to senior colleagues’ intentions and concerns. Here are some ways to start young staffers off on the right foot and keep them on track.

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Defensive

When challenged, if your first thoughts and words are to defend your actions, to offer reasons or excuses, or find someone to blame…you are being defensive. When you respond defensively you effectively say that you are not qualified for leadership. If it happens often you might as well be saying “I’m not qualified for my position.” Phrases like “I was just…”or “But you don’t understand…” or “It’s not my fault” are defensive phrases.

For more on this, check out this short video:

Excel – Tip – Setting conditional Formatting

Sometimes, even with the ability to filter and sort in all the ways you have learned so far, it would be nice if there was some way to make some information “pop” visually so that you could better identify certain data-points which may affect a decision or outcome.  That is where conditional formatting comes in.  The use in this tutorial of conditional formatting is barely scratching the surface of what is available but I think you will see the potential and hopefully experiment with this truly powerful feature.

Everyone has the same number of hours in a day

Here is an interesting exercise which I have found quite enlightening the times I’ve done it.  Keep track of your day in a log accounting for every minute of your day in 15 minute blocks for a week.  Log how much time you spent answering emails, on Facebook, talking with coworkers, making phone calls, eating, driving, watching TV, surfing the internet, etc.

For more on this – check out this short video:

Excel – Tip – Separating Data within a Cell

Now that you know how to filter and sort – what do you do when there isn’t a column with just the data you need? If you have a column which contains that information but it is mixed in with other information, this video will show you one way to separate out that information. Once you have pulled out the specific information you need into a separate column, you can then filter and sort just as you learned in the first tutorial.

All of life can be reduced to relationships

This is a fundamental principle of life.  Everything comes down to relationships. How we interact with others, and the quality of our relationships, is more indicative of potential success than how smart you are. Those who recognize this and work to maintain positive relationships are more likely to succeed, be healthier, happier, and have less stress in their lives.

For more on this check out the short video below:

Excel – Tip – Filter and Sort

The ability to filter and sort large blocks of data within an Excel spreasheet makes it possible to identify the right information necessary to make data-driven decisions. Excel has a very easy process for turning the entire spreadsheet into a table that can be easily filtered and sorted.  This first tip is the beginning of the process.  I will be sharing others over the next few weeks which will expand on this initial idea.  Trust me, this is a BIG deal and will make you look like a star to your co-workers and boss.  Be sure to watch the follow-up tutorials which expand on this ability.

Whose Fault Is It??

The word: “Whose Fault is it?” should rarely, if ever, come out of your mouth. Very little good comes from laying blame. Blame is the response of poor leadership.  It is indicative of someone who is more interested in self-validation and self-preservation, than success.  Instead of blame, focus on why the problem happened, what led up to it, and how it can be avoided in the future; or fixed so that it doesn’t happen again.

For more on this check ou the short video below:

Seek Opportunities to Present

Shortly out of college, many years ago, I found myself as Pastor of a small congregation in Pennsylvania. In that role I learned a few things which have definitely contributed to my life since then. One of those has to do with public speaking.

Preaching, even to a small crowd, can be intimidating. This is true on so many levels, but the one which crosses over to the student experience is the fact that the more you do anything, the better you typically get at it. Preaching two or three times a week honed my presentation skills. I read additional books on how to preach effectively and practiced different styles. When God led me into higher education I was easily able to transition into the classroom, because I had become comfortable in front of an audience.

The Growth Mindset indicates that while some may have a natural talent for something, like public speaking, anyone can develop skills and abilities to excel and even surpass those with more talent, who refuse to apply themselves. My experience as a Pastor demonstrated the truth of that to me.  But, becoming better at public speaking or anything else requires effort.

That takes me to the title of this post: “Seek Opportunities to Present.” Volunteering to present in class about any subject will do two things, it will continue to improve your ability to make effective presentations, and you will learn the material better, and retain the information longer.  Really, apart from the nerves, it is a win-win proposition.