Find Another Seat (or Challenge) or Get Off the Bus? How to Lead when Skill is High but Will is Low

We’ve all seen someone there before.  We’ve most likely also been there before ourselves.  One of the most, if not the most knowledgeable and experienced person in the room.  The one that can do the task or assignment with his or her eyes closed. Possibly the smartest person in the room.  But somehow, they are also the most disinterested person in the room.  Whether this disengagement comes from boredom or burnout, you can’t be sure, but it is obvious they’d rather be anywhere doing anything other than what they are really good at doing.   You need them to do it,

Tell 🡪Show 🡪 Do: Leading when Someone has High Will and Low Skill

I watched my friend resist the urge to buckle her toddler into her stroller.  She could have done it well and much quicker than her little one, but she took a deep breath and said, “Ok, you buckle yourself in just like I showed you.”  The precious little girl smiled up at her and said, “Okay mommy!” with pure joy.    The same was true with my five-year-old who has wanted so badly to put her hair up in a ponytail holder by herself.   I walked out to the car the other day and she beamed with pride. While waiting

The Lactation Consultant For the Love, Leave Me Alone!: How (Not) to Lead When Skill and Will Are High

Our third child came into the world just perfect, then he stopped breathing and turned blue when he tried to nurse.  After two scary attempts at feeding, the pediatrician on call came in and told us he thought he had a tracheoesophageal fistula.  In laymen’s terms, I came to understand this as a hole between the esophagus and the trachea causing fluid to pass between these two “tubes” when it isn’t supposed to.   This would require surgery to correct, thus requiring a transfer to the NICU.   Scary to say the least, but after getting our new blessing to the

The Number One Thing that Leads to Team Success

The last three books about workplace effectiveness I’ve read have all discussed it.  Two of our clients are having lots of trouble with it. It is what research shows us leads to team success more than any other factor.  It is the concept of psychological safety.  According to Amy Edmondson, a lead researcher on the topic, “Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.”  And according to research conducted by Google:  Following the success of Google’s Project Oxygen research where the People Analytics team studied what makes a great

Leaders, Know the Skill and Will of Those You Lead

I’ve found myself talking about skill and will a lot lately.  Whether it be in one-on-one leadership coaching sessions or in group training, the conversation is often directed towards customizing a leadership approach based on the needs of the person being “led”.  Much of our basic leadership training modules focus on customization based on personality, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. A person’s level of skill in doing a job or task and a person’s will to do the job or task (which includes aspects of personality) are critical to success.  So what is skill and what

Autonomy and Productivity… Better Together!

Tuesdays from 4:00- 5:00 pm.  In the car. While our middle child is in gymnastics, I have found that this hour of concentrated time in a concentrated space leads to some productive homework time with my oldest.  While his newborn brother snoozes in his car seat, we tackle third-grade homework. And there is a lot of it.  Take our list for Tuesday of this past week:  -A math worksheet due Wednesday -At least 10 minutes of multiplication facts practice that has to be signed off on each day by a parent for a grade -Practice for a vocabulary test on

4 Reasons to Outsource

I came across a post on a Facebook group a few weeks ago.  The mom participant posted a question to the group asking how people simplified their lives.  She has three young children, and I took her post to mean she wanted to spend more meaningful time with her kids but didn’t know which direction to take or have the ability to do as a working mom.  Most of the responses to her question came down to two types of responses 1) limit your kids (and your) extracurricular activities 2) outsource.  People recommended outsourcing laundry, grocery shopping, ironing, and clothes

How to Make Personality Differences Work to Your Advantage

Hanging pictures on the wall.  Proofing documents.  Formatting presentations. Checking to make sure calculations in a spreadsheet is correct. I really dislike doing all of these types of tasks.  They all require, quite honestly, a sense of detail and accuracy and, of course, patience that doesn’t come naturally to me.  It’s not how I’m wired. My husband, on the other hand, finds satisfaction in hanging pictures on the wall, taking care to make sure they are level and perfectly spaced and aligned.  He likes to measure, just like he did with the table. And it makes me happy that he finds

The Table

I was so excited about my husband’s Christmas gift in 2018. We had just begun renovating our home which would include an outdoor living space. We discussed wanting a large table in this space to be able to have people over to eat and fellowship regularly.    I contacted a friend who owns a company that does custom woodworking and asked him to get a table created for us.  Nine feet long I told him, sassafras wood, bench seats.  The table wasn’t ready in time for Christmas nor was the space to put it, so I printed a picture of one similar

4 Actions for Simple, Quality Leadership

We welcomed our third child almost three weeks ago.  With five-plus years between this one and our now middle child, we got rid of almost every piece of baby gear we owned. We kept the car seat and base, but come to find out, car seats expire. Who knew?  It’s amazing how many seats, swings, monitors, plastic crap, etc. you can get for a baby. Most move, make noise, light up and can be quite expensive. We had a lot of this stuff for our first child.  So, as we went to decide what “gear” we had to have, we