The Awesome Leader Blog

I write about anything that can help leaders gain a snappy, specific set of skills for managing up and managing teams.

Here is Your Awesome Leader Coloring Book

leadership Aug 24, 2020

Back to School: No Supplies Needed

August feels different this year. I know you get that.

Back to school doesn't feel or look like back to school. No one is finishing up a vacation, few people are dropping college freshman off, and in California, we are already staying indoors, evading smoke, as wildfires rage around us.

I haven't even been to a Target this month, and usually I'm there at least once in August with my kids, as we check off the school supply list. The list dwindles as they age, and yet it gets more complicated. Why teachers love college-ruled composition notebooks and they are in short supply confounds me. Digging through the large cardboard display box of composition books, searching, searching, and only finding wide-ruled ones. Ahhh.

For me, the best part of going back to school was a new box of crayons, paired with a fresh notebook. I was prepared to color. Not sure what I would be coloring, but I was ready to color with the...
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Managing Negativity: What to Do with the Complainer

leadership leading managing Jul 30, 2020

[Pandemic aside, there is a complainer on almost every team: the person who has a lot to say and most of it is negative. For this blog, I’m not focusing on how to tackle the constant grumbler during COVID-19 times, as I don’t think we have to treat the complainer differently during a pandemic and WFH scenario. Whether we’re wearing masks or not, WFH or not, the complainer needs to change. ]

As a manager, a huge part of your job is to work with all kinds of people, with all kinds of temperaments. An awesome manager is able to recognize and use the strengths of every employee, finding a way to make the varying skills and personalities that make up their teamwork in harmony. It feels right. It sounds right. It’s your favorite playlist and the sound and atmosphere are perfect. 

But imagine when you’re listening to someone learning to play the violin. It’s jarring, and it grates on you. And you might be next door or in a room a bit away, and...

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The Mask, The Terminator, and the 98 Yr Old Leader

 

Focused on Wednesday. Lost on Thursday. And each afternoon feels like a Friday. 

It's hard to stay focused these days, right? I know it's not just me, as many of my coaching clients are saying the same. And my neighbors and my friends.

You might feel productive one day and then lost the next. The commute is gone, so, wow, you're "home" early, and it's nice and warm outside (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere). Is it a Friday? Maybe. Not sure. 

For this newsletter, I have a collection of links and ideas as well as updates on what I've been up to with Awesome Leader projects. They come together in a casual Friday-like manner. 

My thoughts captured by Others: Mentions in the The Economist (Managing Up) and Lattice (Professional Development)

"Sycophants are suffering during this pandemic."

I've read and loved The Economist for years, and my thoughts are now in it.  Sycophants are out of luck. Managing up = building and maintaining relationships...

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"I haven't seen it" + The Magic 8 Ball + BLM

I'm starting off with politics.
 
If that makes you feel uncomfortable, then I think you're lucky that that statement is one of the things that makes you feel uncomfortable today. With all the fears, worries, and lost hopes around us today, yep, you're lucky if this is what gets under your skin. Side note: for my friends outside of the US, apologies that we generate so many headlines. In the words of Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and others credited with this perfect for 2020 quotation, "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without knowing civilization."
 
Trump loves to use Twitter, and he loves to make fun of people. When reporters ask members of the Republican party for their responses to some of the more (whew, this is hard) ill-mannered tweets, these politicians respond with phrases like these:

  • I didn't see it
  • I don't know what you're talking about
  • I'm not familiar with the episode
  • I don't have time for...
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Harvey Milk, and Dogs on Zoom

eq leadership May 16, 2020

Yes, I'm pulling these three together. Keep reading. 

In April, I shared my thoughts about leaders we need to recognize. I wrote about how I needed to remind myself that there are awesome leaders out there, and they are working hard to move us (us = communities, cities, states, provinces, and countries—heck, the world) forward in a safe for all manner. 
 
Before I share ideas on how messy leadership is, a few new (and fun) items to share:
 

  1. I’ve set up two free workshops on EQ (Emotional Intelligence), scheduled for May 21 and 28. Learn more and register here. Each workshop is just an hour long, and I’ll share best practices, practical tips, and also listen to your questions and provide live coaching on your EQ challenges. Join me.
  2. If you haven’t yet seen Scottish sports broadcaster Andrew Cotter holding a Zoom meeting with his two dogs, well, first finish reading this newsletter, and then go...
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