Article Archives

Tell us what your team struggles with

Most of us are more familiar with what it feels like to work on an unsatisfactory or average team. Why? Because teams are made up of people – and individual people are complex. When you bring together a collection of individuals, the teams they make up are infinitely more complicated. How, then, would most of us know if we happen to be lucky enough to work on an extraordinary team?

Accountability Not Perfection

I once worked with a woman who would hold up a project if she disagreed with the use (or lack) of the Oxford comma. Or any questionable grammar, no matter how small or subjective. Consequently, correspondence would be late. Tiny projects would grind to a halt. She was unrelenting in her quest for what she believed was perfection.

My very favorite 4-letter word begins with “F.”

That word is “fail.” (I bet that’s not what you were thinking.) Why? It’s simple, really. When we fail, we learn. When we learn, we grow. When we grow, we have a much better chance at succeeding – as long as we keep going. Failure is a natural, normal process. To repeat: FAILURE IS A NATURAL, NORMAL PROCESS. It is a learning tool, not a weapon.

What do you think you see?

Guest post by Lori E. Green: We judge. It’s human nature – indeed many studies suggest judging one’s surroundings, including the people with whom we’re interacting, is essential for survival and is a highly-developed skill through generations of evolution. As we’ve become more evolved and our understanding of our fellow human beings progresses, does the need for judging still exist?

Purpose means you show up anyway

This morning, I took a red-eye flight home from a conference that was several time zones away. It was a terrific but intense conference for entrepreneurs, and I am bone-tired. Yet I am sitting here at my computer anyway, taking a risk that what I am writing now could turn out to be a confused jumble, because I am moved to achieve my company’s purpose. Today, I just don’t have the energy to find much motivation, but I am pushing myself because my purpose is so strong that I can’t resist it. I am truly inspired to show up. That’s the difference between purpose and motivation. Purpose is stable and solid. It gets us moving and keeps us going in the right direction, even when motivation is lacking. When we have purpose

The lost art of apologizing

Guest post by Lori E. Green. I was surprised by a recent news item about Ohio’s Governor John Kasich noting he had issued an apology to the local newspaper. He had called their reporting about some state-wide information “fake news.” Thing is, this report was based on figures released by his department. When corrected numbers were issued by that same department, and reported in the newspaper, Governor Kasich called the editor to say “I’m sorry.”
This made me realize two things:

“It’s complicated” Is True

When I was a kid, one of my family chores was washing the dishes in the evening several times a week.  I grew up in a farming community back in the 80s, when almost nobody had a fancy electric appliance called a “dishwasher.” There were 6 of us in my family, so dishwashing was no small task, either.
My mom and dad each gave me advice about how to get dishes as clean as possible. Mom said to use plenty of soap, and Dad said to use the hottest water I could bear to stick my hands in. I ended up with seriously chapped hands most of the time. My friend Tom pointed out something to me about my dad’s advice…

Accountability: Plan Implementation – Mistake #5 of 5

Years ago, I was managing the paperwork to close a high 6-figure deal, and all I needed was for the people who worked several levels above me to sign it. The project had been in the hopper for years and finishing it was deemed a priority by the organization. I had crossed all of the “t”s and dotted all of the “i”s, checked and re-checked the numbers and made certain that all of the players were truly committed and on board. Yet when push came to shove, my supervisor’s supervisors refused to move forward on the needed documentation.

No Support for Task and Status Managers: Plan Implementation – Mistake #4 of 5

I used to work for a supervisor whose favorite pastime was assigning seemingly impossible projects to me. He would stride into my office, drop a thick file folder on my desk, and say, “Well, Kay, you’re not going to like this one bit, but there’s something I need you to take on. Read through this and figure it out. The deadlines are in there. Good luck.” Which I soon learned was his code for, “This is a project that nobody else will touch because everybody is arguing about how our systems aren’t designed to handle this. And nobody is going to give you help or access to anything, either.”

Kay Coughlin, CEO, Facilitator on Fire, is passionate about helping teams turn roadblocks into ACTION and transforming teamwork into TEAMS THAT WORK BETTER.