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  • feedwordpress 09:00:12 on 2018/05/08 Permalink
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    The Unexpected Quality Every Successful Leader Needs 

    It’s never hard to find a discussion—in this blog and lots of other places, online and off—of the skills that are required for good leadership. Among the most important is one that surprisingly is rarely mentioned: curiosity, the secret gift of creative people and successful leaders.

    Curious people have a beginner’s mind—empty, free, unbiased, and unoccupied with the baggage of trying to be an expert. They’re open to all possibilities and are able to view even the most familiar things from a fresh perspective.

    Curious leaders are deep thinkers, great listeners and even better questioners. Here are seven ways to foster your own curiosity:

    Embrace what you don’t know. As leaders, we often think we have to serve up all the answers. But the best leaders are comfortable with not knowing. When they don’t know something, they don’t try to fake it. They’re aware of what they don’t know and unafraid to admit it. They’re open to learning new things because they’re free from pretending they already know everything. The best leaders leverage their ignorance to open the door on new knowledge.

    Know that everything begins with “why.” Part of my job as a coach is helping people dive deeper into their thinking, and a trick I use with many of my clients is to ask the question Why?— not once or twice, but five or six times in sequence from a single question, going as far as possible into an idea. Asking yourself Why? again and again will challenge you to confront your obstacles, formulate and frame the questions, articulate the issues and go deeper.

    Be ready to reframe your thinking. It’s easy in these fast-paced times to feel that you can’t keep up, and from there to become overwhelmed. There’s a certain amount of stability to be gained by sticking to the fundamentals, but eventually the best leaders realize the limits of the lens through which they’ve been viewing the world. From there, they’re ready to construct a whole new frame of reference that will help them face the challenges and opportunities they couldn’t even imagine a few years ago.

    Learn to navigate challenges. New challenges are everywhere, and more seem to crop up daily. Navigating change and challenges is a key competency of the best leaders. One helpful mental model consists of asking three questions: Why? What if? and How? Asking Why? helps you understand the challenge. What if? helps you imagine and weigh different solutions, and How? challenges you to take concrete action and maintain accountability. This technique can give you a fresh outlook on problems, challenges and solutions.

    Understand that knowledge is becoming obsolete: In an era when information increases exponentially, it’s impossible to retain everything. Effective leaders know what to commit to memory and have the skills to find the rest. And for a curious mind, asking the questions is just as important as finding the answers.

    Avoid small-minded questions. If you ask small questions, you’re going to get small ideas that do nothing to advance your thinking. To innovate you have to ask expansive questions. It’s not always easy to do in a business culture where leaders are expected to act as if they know everything and hierarchy is the norm. But newer models emphasizing flexibility, speed and collaborative inquiry are friendlier to the kind of curiosity that asks the big questions.

    Step back to move forward. It’s easy to stay caught in a cycle where we’re so focused on our day-to-day issues that we never seem to have time to slow down and really think. Maybe more than any other factor, the pressure of short-term demands shuts out curiosity. That’s why it’s so important that leaders learn to pause and take a couple of steps back. A little distance creates perspective and expands your point of view to take in a bigger picture.

    The most important thing a business leader should do today is become the chief question asker. Curiosity leads to creativity, innovation and transformation. The more questions you ask, the more you know and the more effective you will become. And when you take the next step, from asking questions to taking action, that’s where leadership is at its best.

    Lead from within: Curiosity is the unexpected quality that makes the difference between a good leader and a great leader.


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

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    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 The Unexpected Quality Every Successful Leader Needs appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:36:52 on 2018/05/07 Permalink
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    Forever A Student 

     

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    I am so jazzed! Yesterday I flew to San Diego (with Jill and Brian from ODI), to attend the ATD  International Conference and Exposition for 3 days. This is the training industry’s premier event with about 10,000 attendees, 300+ breakout sessions, and more than 600+ exhibitors. It’s amazing and can be overwhelming.

     

    I am excited to be the student this week. As you know, I am usually the teacher. At heart, I have always been a student and absolutely love to learn. I enjoy attending our industry event because I learn new trends and how they will impact me, our industry and businesses in general. I am exposed to hundreds of ideas and meet interesting people from around the world.

     

    In perusing the more than 300+ sessions, I noticed a several themes/trends. Here are two that intrigue me and should interest you.

     

    • Thriving in a disruptive workplace. One write up says: To thrive in a disruptive and accelerating world, you must develop a crucial new survival capability. Conscious leadership is the capacity to evolve and change. The obsession with being the smartest person in the room doesn’t work anymore. Being conscious is your key for adapting and thriving in a changing world. Using your conscious mind as an asset is a new way to think and feel—a new way to stand out from the crowd.

     

    • The ability to think and be creative. One of the session write-ups says: Many of our current systems train us to function: We learn the routine. We master the process. The problem? We have lost the ability to think critically, to be creative, and to contemplate ideas of the unknown. Standards, procedures, technology, and incessant demand for short-term results over long-term planning dominate our lives and plans. But the losers have become the long-term health of employees and organizations. When you think, you grow. When you grow, you learn. When you learn, you thrive.

     

    I plan to do some Facebook Lives from the conference and share some key learning points so check out our Office Dynamics Facebook page.

     

    Wishing you a great week of learning as well.

     

    joan_burge_signature

    Joan Burge
    Founder & CEO

     

    The post Forever A Student appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 22:00:37 on 2018/05/06 Permalink
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    Meeting New People as an Administrative Professional 

     

    conference reception for networking

    Meeting new people as an Administrative Professional is cool! Think about all the people you have met because of the people you support and where you work. Where else would you meet such a broad range of individuals? Many executive assistants and administrative assistants work with a variety of cultures. Even in my “good” old days as an executive assistant, I worked with people from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and France.

    In our company, we have been so fortunate to meet administrative professionals from Russia, Japan, Italy, and Qatar.

    Then think of all the high-caliber people you have met through your executive or organization. Do you ever stop and think about how fortunate you are to have met such a repertoire of people? What about any local networks you have developed through your job?

    Do you ever stop to think how fortunate you are to meet so many diverse individuals because you work in the administrative profession? How many people would you not know if you didn’t work in the administrative profession—or for the executive you support? Are you showing an interest in others? Do you extend yourself to learn about people even though they don’t think just like you? Do you try to know the people your executive knows? Do you display a good attitude with everyone you meet? Is your network vast?

    Be Cool! Get to know others — you may learn something new — and you never know who they might know that you need to know!

     

    joan_burge_signature

    Joan Burge
    Founder and CEO

     

     

    The post Meeting New People as an Administrative Professional appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 21:33:29 on 2018/05/05 Permalink
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    Interacting with the World and Work 

    Administrative_Assistant_Designation_Certification

    During a class I was teaching, a high-level executive assistant that I admire said to her peers, “At our company, we insulate ourselves. We think we are the best executive assistants alive, but we are not. We have much to learn.” This executive assistant is a seasoned professional with 25+ years of experience in the administrative profession. Her statement came after she had attended the Office Dynamics Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence where she interacted with hundreds of executive and administrative assistants from around the globe. It took courage for her to admit that which shows that she is a mature individual.

     

    The good news about working in an organization for 15+ years is that you really know your organization. You have history, experience, industry knowledge; you know where to find information and how to utilize your resources; you are comfortable. The downside is that a person begins to believe that this is the only way the world works. And so you can have a group of executive assistants who believe they operate at the very highest level, yet they have not exposed themselves to assistants outside of their realm.

     

    Are you insulated?

     

    How many external networks do you have? How many administrative conferences have you attended in the past 5 years? What is the number of external executive assistants you have met outside your city and/or state? Are you uncomfortable around assistants who don’t think exactly like you do? Are you open to hearing new ideas? Do you believe that you have more room to grow and excel? Whatever your belief is, that is what you are living.

     

    I remember when I first moved away from Cleveland, Ohio after living there for 24 years, I believed every other city in the USA was like where I grew up. I traveled with my parents to nice places for vacations and I attended administrative conferences outside of Cleveland and considered myself fairly worldly. But when I started moving around to different states because of my husband’s great career in outdoor advertising, I learned that wasn’t so. I’ve lived in 8 states in 25 years ranging from North Carolina to Virginia, Tennessee, Michigan to Nevada and more. I learned a great deal from every place we lived, the people I met, and by opening my eyes. I am thankful that my husband, Dave, urged me to leave Cleveland, OH and go on an exciting adventure with him. I have hundreds of people to thank for enriching my life.

     

    joan_burge_signature

    Joan Burge
    Founder and CEO

     

     

    The post Interacting with the World and Work appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:00:25 on 2018/05/04 Permalink
    Tags: , admin skills, , , delegate, efficiency, organization systems, , , , , , , ,   

    9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills 

    delegate_work

    Organization skills are the one thing most successful business owners have in common.

    Without the ability to organize your work and your resources, you could be twisting in the wind in no time. You may have been able to muddle along back in the day, but in today’s competitive environment, you need to work any advantage in your favor.

    Fortunately, there are at least 9 ways to improve your organization skills without too much effort on your part.

    Be proactive

    be proactive

    Most people take the work one day at a time, coming in ready to take on whatever happens. However, that means you are reacting to a situation rather than preparing for it in advance. The best way to make the most of your day is to prepare for it in advance. Know what you need to do for the next day and make preparations for them before you leave for the day. This not only takes the guesswork out of your workday, it might even give you some insights or ideas of how to do the work better.

    Make a list

    Part of being proactive is making a list of all the things you need to do for each day. The benefits f this is of course so you don’t forget anything. An added bonus to making a list is crossing it out. It gives you not only a concrete way to keep track of the tasks you need to do, but it motivates you to keep doing it because it gives you such a sense of satisfaction and accomplishing crossing each item on your list. This is putting all your ducks in a row, and you shoot them down one by one, metaphorically speaking.

    Make a schedule

    At the same time you are planning the day and making your list of tasks, you should make a schedule, giving each task a prescribed time to do each one. You can ensure you meet all your deadlines, and nothing is left by the wayside.

    Be an early bird

    office early bird

    You are more likely to get more things done, and in time, if you start early. Of course, this should reflect on the work schedule you make, but getting started early also means there are other things you can do to keep you on your toes, such as daily exercise and a good breakfast. Starting early also means you avoid stress by having plenty of time to get to work and do anything else you need to do.

    Establish a filing system

    Most of your files are probably going to be digital, but you still need to know where everything you need is stored. Looking for lost files will take up as much of your time as looking for misplaced items. You need to make sure all your files are in its proper place. You should also have a master document of all your files, and the location of those files.

    Make the most of your prime time

    Everybody has a certain time of the day when they are most productive. Some work better early in the morning, while others work best in the evening. You should schedule all your most demanding or challenging work during this time. Of course, if your business involves meeting with other people, you need to coordinate your prime time with theirs.

    Minimize interruptions

    You may think it is obvious, but you waste a lot of time dealing with interruptions to your work. This is why it is important to make a schedule. Follow the schedule and avoid distractions as much as possible. Turn off your mobile phone, close the door to your office, and avoid useless meetings. If you travel frequently, you should travel in as comfortable surroundings as you can so you can do work.

    Learn to delegate

    learn to delegate

    You might think you are saving money by doing everything yourself. The fact is, you can save a considerable amount of time and effort by delegating tasks to the right people and focusing on core activities that will make you money. Bookkeeping, web administration, content creation, and marketing are just some areas you should outsource to professionals like Scholar Advisor for example.

    Organize your workplace

    Whether you work alone, or you have employees, you want to arrange your work area so you can be more efficient. You can minimize the time and effort it takes to get things done. Even putting the photocopier next to where you keep your paper supplies can help save a few steps and trips that ultimately increase your productivity, and that of your employees.

    Organization skills are crucial to the success of any business. Some people are naturally organized, but you even if you aren’t, you can develop them. These 9 ways can help you improve your organization skills in practical and workable ways.

    Image Credits:
    Team Silhouettes https://pixabay.com/en/team-silhouettes-personal-965093/
    Early Bird https://pixabay.com/en/grouse-sunrise-scotland-birding-1107407/
    Team Spirit https://pixabay.com/en/businessman-team-spirit-teamwork-1492563/

     

    We want to hear from you, what are your favorite tips for better organization? Share some of your organization skills, tips and tricks in the comments below.

     

    Stacey Marone is a freelance writer and adviser who helps individuals and organizations get better results in leadership and time-management. In her free time, she also does volunteer work and organizes activities for children. Her passions involve painting, reading, and writing. You can follow her on twitter.

     

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    The post 9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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