Connecting and Performing Uniquely

9 12 2016

“In general, fashion is decorative, it’s protective, it acknowledges that the world does involve conflict, and you might be attacked by assumptions, presumptions, and attitudes.” ~ Margo Jefferson

On this casual Friday, I hope you are wearing your favorite fashions, representing your sports teams, or whatever it is that, during the “business casual” week, might not represent your personality as much as Fridays allow you to.  Don’t be afraid to use your fashion to tell a story, as long as it’s within dress code.  Sure, someone might attack you with assumptions (for example, a Ravens fan might chide at a co-worker in Steelers gear).  Others who are more conservative might make presumptions on more progressive fashion choices.

The point, leaders, is that people are all unique.  Your challenge is to find whatever it is in them that motivates them and that they get energized by.  Use that connection to make their workday better.  Maybe it’s asking about their child.  Maybe it’s congratulating them on their favorite team winning over the weekend.  It could be that you see their car in the parking lot, and it’s looking sparkly after a good detail job – and you know they’re a “car person”.  Whatever it is, they very likely won’t make you have to guess.  They’ll show you pictures of their kid, wear a sports jersey proudly, or otherwise let their passions leak into their conversations.  Listen, note, and get back to it when you get a chance.  That connection will make them pull harder with you when you need that extra effort.

Speaking of decorative stuff…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.


Set some time each day to work on the passionate part of your job.

29 08 2014

“I’m an early bird, partly because I like to have some quiet time, and partly because by 9am emails being arriving, the phone starts ringing and I have dragons to kill of one sort or another. “ ~Andrew Motion

This quote could just as easily have been about me.  I wake up in the 5:00am hour (admittedly, sometimes I snooze-button until 5:50), and I try really hard (Atlanta traffic has a lot to do with success/failure) to be in the office by 7:15-7:30.  This allows me to set aside time to do my best thinking.  I may work on a deep-dive data project, compose one of these leadership comics, or otherwise jump into something “chewy”.  While some of us have a need/schedule to come in later, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find at least an hour a day to do some deep thinking, instead of reactionary e-mail replying, answering the phone, etc. 

Setting aside that time of day is easier when you love your job, and you have the freedom to work on projects that really jazz you.  For me, that often involves a spreadsheet or  “leadership kumbaya”.  I know, I’m a geek, get used to it!  “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress.  Working hard for something we love is called passion.” ~(unknown author’s FaceBook post).  All I’m saying is to find that time every day to work on the passionate part of your job.  It’ll make the day that much better, and give you something to brag about to your boss. 

Speaking of early bird…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.


Sometimes it’s time to go home and relax…

18 07 2014

“A hot dog at the game beats roast beef at the Ritz” ~Humphrey Bogart

I really like the plethora of quotes that I stumble across as a result of Leigh’s comics.  They sometimes make it easy to tie back to leadership, and other times make me stretch those neurons a bit to find a connection. 

I hope you enjoy these leadership kumbaya comics.  If I’m doing my job well, you’ll occasionally find a bit of wisdom, or, in other words, a leadership tool for your tool belt.  There’s lots of ways to lead, and many of them will be your own, but having a tool to fall back on when you’re up against a tricky management situation can’t hurt, right?  That being said, having roast beef at the office doesn’t compare to having a hot dog on your back deck with friends and family (or a tofurkey burger for my Vegan friends).  Be sure you find that work-life balance.  Most of us here work to pay for our non-work time.  So, love your job if you can (I do!), and be as good at it as you can, but be sure to leave it at the elevator when you leave the office and head home this weekend.  Life’s short, enjoy what you have at home.  If that’s not happening, work harder at finding that enjoyment at home. 

Thanks for all the great work you do at the office, but that shouldn’t be all of it.  Best wishes, and enjoy your weekend!  

Speaking of Beef…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.