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

1 Great Way to Grow in Your Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are a distinguishing factor in what makes people successful.  I’m not talking about us all needing to be extraverts, I’m talking about us being able to understand ourselves and others and relate to people in a way that builds connections and relationships.  Many people refer to this as emotional intelligence.  I often hear employers talk about how job candidates’ interpersonal skills are lacking.  Components of this include poor communication skills, low self-awareness, inability to control emotions and to read and respond to emotion in others.  Many cite the constant connection to technology leading to the demise of strong

4 Ways to Abide in Order to Learn

Note: This is the second of a two-part post on the value of abiding in patience in order to achieve the best kind of learning. The previous post focuses on the value of this practice, whereas this post focuses on how to actually do it.  As leaders, we are often called to help others learn.  To grow people in ways that lead to positive outcomes for themselves and for those they impact is our job. Leaders make more leaders.  And this need to facilitate learning is sometimes hard to figure out how to do because we often have a hard time