Are you contagious?

Medical experts are predicting this year’s flu season to be one of the worst in recent history. Yet, the flu isn’t the only thing that’s highly contagious right now. Your attitude can be just as infectious. (more…)

Hey Girlfriends! Today, I wanted to speak to all my sisters out there, both young and old. If you’re a guy, keep reading as I’m sure you’ll learn something, or you may want to pass this on to your daughters!

I’m so happy to be a woman in today’s world. When I was a little girl, I was kinda jealous of my brothers. As boys they got to take their shirt off outside when it got hot and hide behind a tree when they needed to pee. But I figured out how to adapt with a tank top and quick potty breaks. Ha! I was a competitive brat, and no boy was going to outdo me on the basketball court or even in the front yard playing tackle football.

I took that same vigor and zest into the business world as an adult. Today I am a successful business woman, and I’m excited about my future. In fact, I’m more excited about the future than I am about the present. (more…)

Though I know firsthand that there are many kind, hardworking, positive and helpful employees who work within every state and federal agency, we all know that some entities have a well-known and less-than-positive reputation that causes us to cringe at the mere idea of having to call or visit them.

For example, if you just Google, “visiting the DMV,” top links include articles on “7 Secrets for Surviving the DMV” and “How to Get Through the DMV with Your Sanity Intact.” Imagine if there were entire blog posts dedicated to surviving a visit to your organization! Yet, when it comes government entities, we have to continue utilizing them, even if we don’t enjoy the experience.

Well, the purpose of this article isn’t to come down hard on public entities or their employees. However, a less-than-positive work experience with one of our own state agencies this past week (that included a 45-minute on-hold time, followed by a disconnected phone call because the phones “shut off” at 4:30, which was preceded by a refusal to call us back if the phone was disconnected because they “don’t do call backs”) got me thinking. (more…)

Our organization’s payroll team has recently gone through a software change, and if you’ve ever been through a significant technology change like that, you probably just groaned and shook your head in shared sympathy. There just isn’t room for error when it comes to dealing with others’ paychecks, so the stress level among this team has been heightened, to say the least.

I had the chance to sit in on this team’s meeting this week, and their leader asked everyone to come to the meeting with a few ways they have worked to stay positive in the midst of this stressful and sometimes frustrating transition. (more…)

Discussing “attitude” is so overdone. Yet here I am writing about it because of a job threatening experience last week. (more…)

There are always two ways to frame our outlook on life. Two options for how we choose to view and react to our present circumstances. We can dwell on the disappointments, the sadness, the frustrating. Or we can choose to focus on the encouraging, the uplifting, the good in the midst of the bad.  Of course, flipping our negative perspective into a positive one doesn’t change the realities of a crummy situation, but it does change how we go through it.

The holidays have a way of bringing out the best and sometimes the worst in us, so over the next few days, I’d like to challenge you to:

  • Choose to be grateful for access to good food and the money to buy it as you stand in those long grocery lines.
  • Choose to be grateful for safe, reliable transportation as you encounter the bumper-to-bumper traffic that accompanies a busy shopping season.
  • Choose to be grateful for warm homes, warm clothes, and warm workplaces in the midst of winter’s coming cold.
  • Choose to be grateful for your in-laws. If it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t have your spouse!

This season, challenge yourself not to regard “thanksgiving” as simply an event or a meal (or a whole lot of work!), but as an action that you will commit to doing more of in every season. It won’t erase your challenges, but it will improve your outlook and, most importantly, it will encourage others along the way.

You’ve probably encountered this challenge if you’ve worked long enough or in a company large enough. You and another teammate just can’t seem to get along. Maybe you didn’t get off on the right foot. Maybe it was all a misunderstanding, or maybe the interpersonal conflict is intentional. Maybe they don’t like the way you walk, talk, act or look. Or maybe it’s all in your head.

We can’t expect to be BFFs with everyone on the team, but in most cases we should be expected to interact professionally and cordially with everyone. Getting along with colleagues, especially someone we don’t particularly see eye to eye with, is an indication of our character and our maturity as leaders.

Have a teammate you just don’t get along with? Here are five things you should start doing, and five things you should stop. (more…)

You’ve been preparing for this moment. You have worked hard for a long time to prove yourself worthy, giving it your all. Then, one day the call finally comes, but it wasn’t the one you were expecting. The promotion was given to someone else. You feel disappointed, confused, even angry! This was the job you had spent years preparing for, and now it’s gone.

So now what? Let’s start with what NOT to do. (more…)

In an effort to “keep it going,” we will resume blogging on leadership this week, and what better topic to start off with than Keep it Going?!

But what does that mean, keep it going? Keep what going? With our loss still fresh in our world, here are my top 10 leader lessons that are helping me keep it going.

  1. Keep moving forward. While situations and challenges harm the path you originally planned to take, it doesn’t mean you stop.
  2. Consider any movement good progress. When faced with challenges, just keep moving. Don’t try to cure it, fix it, or heal it. These things will someday be the result of your steadiness in keeping it going. (more…)

Quit worrying about finding the smartest people. Stop searching for the perfect employees – the ones who have it all figured out, can work unsupervised, and demand little time and attention. (more…)