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  • feedwordpress 08:31:18 on 2018/03/20 Permalink

    What Every Successful Leader Needs To Know  

    The best leaders exhibit certain traits that make them hugely successful. While a leader’s actions may be scrutinized at all times, there are qualities that make leaders stand apart from the rest. The successful leader knows to apply the traits that have made other leaders strong. What has made other leaders strong is that they know, what they know and what they need to know.

    Every successful leader needs to know the following:

    Make effective decisions. Great leaders are decisive and proactive. They maintain preparation and stay well informed on every issue so they’re ready to make even difficult decisions on the fly. To be a great decision maker requires building consistent sources of good information, organizing that information in a way that allows you to access what you need to know and connecting the dots where you need to. People may say you have great instincts for making the right decision, but it really comes down to preparation.

    Skillful problem solving. Recurrent problems are often symptoms of deeper issues. Quick fixes may seem convenient and smart, but they usually solve only the surface issues, wasting time and resources that could be devoted to a real solution. For getting to the root of any issue, I teach my clients to use the technique of the five whys. If you’re ever been around a preschooler, you know how it works. Drill down to the root of the issue by asking “why?” five times. Then when a countermeasure becomes apparent, follow through to prevent the issue from recurring. Becoming proficient in techniques like the five whys will make you a skillful problem solver.

    Identification of opportunities. Opportunities are all around us. Successful leaders know how to identify them early—not through some mysterious gift but by devoting time and effort every day to tracking and analyzing trends and tendencies in their organization, their community and their industry. They make connections and see options that are invisible to most people.

    Credible leadership style. Of course there’s no single correct leadership style that works for everyone in all situations. To be credible as a leader, you need to be able to adapt your approach when necessary—but it has to be consistently authentic, something that grows out of your identity and values. Equally important is consistency between your leadership and your own actions. Even as they motivate and inspire trust, great leaders accept responsibility and hold themselves accountable for the things they say and do.  Their actions, decisions and motives are all grounded in integrity and trust. Leaders become great when they motivate others to do great things just by being themselves.

    If you want to be a successful leader you need to know what you know and what you don’t know. That means understanding how and when to make a decision, recognizing problems before they appear, constantly looking for opportunities to improve, and being aware of your leadership style.

    Lead From Within:  When people believe in who you are, they’ll likely trust your decisions and actions—and that is always the mark of a successful leader.


    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R


    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post What Every Successful Leader Needs To Know  appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 18:28:14 on 2018/03/16 Permalink
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    Do You Have A Problem Saying No? 


    What are your tips on the best way an assistant can overcome their problem saying no.

    “I have a real problem saying no at work. How do assert myself when I can’t take on any more?” This is one question I frequently here from administrative and executive assistants. I’m sure you many of you have encountered this, so I’d like your advice.

    “I have a problem saying ‘no’ to anyone. In the past, climbing up to the position I presently hold, it was an asset and it helped me to get noticed and promoted, but now I find it has labeled me as the go-to person. With all the duties I am expected to perform, I just can’t help everyone, yet I find myself doing it anyway. How do I decline without sounding difficult or rude?”

    Assistants all over the world have struggled with how to say ‘no’ at work.

    My question to my readers: How have you handled or would handle a similar situation?

    We encourage you to share in the comments below.

    Are you an assistant who doesn’t have any trouble saying no? What has that experience been like for you?

    Are you an assistant who has a problem saying no at work? Does that spill over outside of work? What are some of the biggest obstacles for you in saying no when you simply can’t or shouldn’t accommodate a person’s request of you?

    Do you simply being the ‘go-to’ person and yes is your favorite word? Let’s hear it! Please share below.

    Need more help in the area of asserting yourself? We’ve got your back. Check out my entire series of blogs and webinars that can help you build your assertiveness in the workplace.

    Do you think that saying no to someone means you are a terrible assistant? Check out our article: Qualities of a Great Assistant (spoiler – Yes Man/Woman isn’t on the list of qualities).

    Related: How Well Do You Communicate? A guest post by Judi Moreo

    Why Being A People-Pleaser Is Bad For Your Health

    The post Do You Have A Problem Saying No? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 15:30:21 on 2018/03/14 Permalink
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    How to Maximize Time with Your Children 


    Like most working mothers, I just never seemed to have enough time with my two children. Trying to balance work, with raising a family, keeping up with laundry, shopping, cleaning, cooking (the list is endless) was always a challenge.

    As with all working mothers, my biggest concern was for my children. I knew that the time with them had to be quality time well spent. I needed to maximize every moment we had together, just as I know you want to maximize your time with your children.

    Drive time seemed to be the best opportunity since it seemed that a lot of time we spent together was in the car. I decided not to let the kids play with their video games, I turned off my cell phone (NOTHING was more important than my children – whoever it was could wait), and any other distractions.

    One simple thing you can start doing to maximize time with your children.

    I had their full attention and they had mine (of course, I kept my eyes on the road)! So, we started playing quiz games. I would quiz them, they would quiz me. For fun, we kept score. “What is the capital of Florida? Who was the first president of the USA? Annapolis is the capital of what state? If I had $5 and bought a book for $3.75, how much change would I get back? Name five animals that are mammals.” It became so much fun for them (and for me) that they would race to the car so we could start playing our game.

    After school, they couldn’t wait to quiz me on information they had learned that day. I must say, some of their questions really stumped me! This was even instrumental in building their self-esteem. We did this on road trip vacations, as well.

    Amazingly, they grew to become excellent students, with a high level of self-confidence. (At the time of this post.) My son is now finishing his second year at Johns Hopkins Medical School and my daughter has her master’s degree from Northwestern University.

    This post was contributed by Office Dynamics Certified Trainer and Speaker, Kathy Tosoian.

    Working parents, we’d like to hear from you. This is just one idea but there are so many ways we can build stronger connections with our children and maximize our time together. What are some special things you do to maximize time with your children? Please share in the comments below.

    The post How to Maximize Time with Your Children appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 09:00:43 on 2018/03/13 Permalink
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    Getting Everyone on the Same Page (Does More Harm Than Good) 

    Getting everyone on the same page—that is, creating unity of thought and opinion—is a concept that’s highly valued by many leaders. It’s widely thought to make teams more productive and creative. But in my years of experience, that connection is far from reliable. If anything, just the opposite applies: getting everyone on the same page does more harm than good.

    The idea behind this “same page” fixation is that a unified team culture is superior. And that’s true to a limited degree—for example, a sense of shared purpose lends strength to any team. But when you don’t invite and accept differences you weaken creativity, you decrease innovation, and you reduce individuality.

    When you try to make everyone think alike, work alike, and believe alike, you weaken and demotivate the talented and skilled people you’ve hired. You may think you’re building a team, but in reality you’re undermining them.

    Don’t allow yourself to be lured into the “everybody on the same page” trap. Instead, commit to the kind of leadership that builds unity through diversity on your team, by doing the following:

    Appreciate each person for who they are, not who you want them to be. Recognition is motivating, and great leaders appreciate their people for who they are. Instead of trying to mold them into an image of what you want them to be, learn to appreciate their authentic selves, their individual backgrounds, and their capabilities. A solid mix of talents makes for stronger teams and more innovative organizations. Being appreciated for their true self is incredibly uplifting for any employee.

    Identify individual’s strengths and push boundaries. Get to know each individual person’s strengths, then motivate and inspire them to raise their own standards. When you believe in people they will do what they can to come through for you. Work to understand, encourage, and develop your team members’ skills and potential.

    Invite each to contribute and collaborate in notable ways: Too often leaders feel threatened by their people’s capabilities and talents and may even work to suppress them. But encouraging people to excel at what they do best is the soul of leadership—and it leads to great results. Maximizing and meshing talents is how projects get done seamlessly. It’s how you meet deadlines and develop innovative solutions. Collaboration is what teams are built to do.

    Have everyone own their leadership. Work to have everyone find ways to step up and show leadership at some point. Start by assigning them leadership over small projects involving a handful of people. When you do, you build not only a team but a team of leaders—inspiring growth and helping your people advance. Leaders aren’t born, they’re made when you allow them to own their identity and capabilities.

    Great companies, leaders and managers all focus on collaboration and on developing each person’s capacities and having them bring their individual gifts to the collective effort.

    Lead from within: People who come together create progress, and succeed together, but it takes a diverse group to make it happen.


    N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R


    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post Getting Everyone on the Same Page (Does More Harm Than Good) appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 21:30:52 on 2018/03/09 Permalink
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    Setting Healthy Boundaries Today 



    Setting Healthy Boundaries

    I was teaching a class two weeks ago from the Star Achievement Series®.  Our theme for that day was the attitude component of Star Achievement. Under that umbrella, we addressed topics such as self-management vs. stress management, learning specific difficult people types and how to handle each of them, the benefits of conflict and much more.  Of course, we had plenty to talk about and one tip an attendee mentioned was, “setting healthy boundaries.”  She definitely got a big star for that one because setting healthy boundaries is important!

    So, what kind of boundaries are we talking about and with whom? After all, as administrative assistants and executive assistants, you sometimes feel like you can’t set boundaries or you might get fired or your leader will think you are not a team player. Some people think when I’m talking about setting boundaries, they have to do with sexual harassment in the workplace.

    When and where to set boundaries

    Boundaries can be set anytime, any place, on anything, and with any person. I’ll give you a perfect example that just happened to me this morning as I was traveling.  I was at the Las Vegas airport in the security line and was in line to pass my carry on through the screening process. (Keep in mind; I’ve been traveling for 20 years about 75% of the time, each year so I know what to do.) I was quickly placing my laptop in the bin, folding my raincoat up, taking off my shoes, and putting my purse on the conveyor when all of a sudden, this young woman who had been in line behind me, stepped right in front of me with 2 suitcases and placed them on the conveyor. She still needed to take off her shoes – and she didn’t know she was supposed to take off her sweat jacket.

    You are probably thinking, “So what?” So what? It was rude that she thought she could just jump in front of me especially when she was not ready herself. It was not as if she said, “May I go ahead of you?” or I looked behind me and said to her, “You can go ahead of me.” I nicely told her that she couldn’t cut in front of me. Of course, she looked at me in shock and made a few comments. (I will spare the details of our back and forth dialogue.) She finally took her items and moved behind me and told me to have a nice day.

    Addressing boundaries

    A boundary in the office for an administrative assistant can be as simple as addressing a coworker or manager who constantly steps into your workspace and takes your pens or pads and does not ask or return them.  If that bothers you, you need to say something.

    Another boundary you might need to set is your accessibility after hours to your leader as far as emails go. This is becoming a huge problem. As I travel the country and talk to hundreds of administrative office professionals ranging from administrators to executive assistants, I’m hearing them say they are spending too much of their personal time (evenings or weekends) managing and/or responding to emails from their leader.  One administrative assistant, who’ll I’ll call Sue for anonymity reasons, said that originally her manager did not expect her to check business emails and take action on non-work hours.  But she wanted to get a jump on things or was curious as to what was going on or wanted to read emails on Sunday night to be prepared for Monday morning. The problem is… she started responding to her leader’s emails and taking action steps if required. Now, she is frustrated because she spends 50% of her weekend working. I told her, “She created the monster.”  It wasn’t required of her and while she thought nothing of it at first, it snowballed and now she will have to say something to her leader.

    Rules to follow

    First, do not create situations that you will later regret.

    Second, people will act as we allow them to. If you don’t say something when something isn’t right, then the person assumes it is okay.

    Third, professionally communicate when setting boundaries yet be firm.

    Setting healthy boundaries is good for you and the other person.  It teaches them how to work with you in a way that stimulates win-win situations. You feel good for reasons that are too many to even mention in this blog. A few are that you feel confident, peaceful, in control (not walked over), respected, like a peer or business partner and viewed as a leader.

    Good luck with setting healthy boundaries!



    The post Setting Healthy Boundaries Today appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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