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.


Happy Bonehead Friday

10 07 2015

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom” ~ Thomas Jefferson

I’ll be honest.  Today, I am a bonehead – but I’ll be a little wiser today than I was yesterday.  I knew (yesterday) I had a doctor’s appt today at 9am, and I was planning to work from home, then either telecommute or come into the office afterwards.  Then I woke up and thought “It’s casual-jeans-day Friday!” and jumped up into my jeans and drove downtown – bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to walk around the office saying “Happy Friday!” to all you great folks.  Then I logged in, opened my calendar for the day, and banged my head against my desk, because now I get to turn around and drive back to the suburbs!

The leadership lesson here is to not let enthusiasm push you out of your game plan.  ALMOST every morning, the first thing I do is turn off the alarm clock, and check my work calendar on the iPhone.  This tells me how I have to dress, and allows me to get my head in the game for whatever meetings are coming.  Today, I was so psyched to throw on blue jeans that I got out of my rhythm, and now I get to make 2 hellish commutes in 3 hours.  So, find hightly effective habits that work for you, and stick with them.  I’m going to be more likely next time to REMEMBER to check the calendar.  These habits shouldn’t be the “rut that you live in”, but they should give some structure, and build some efficiency around the workday that throws something new at you every day.  This is me celebrating my mistakes, in the hope that you don’t have to make it to learn from it.  HAPPY FRIDAY!

Speaking of honesty…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.

Open up your present.

2 05 2014

“Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  And today?  Today is a gift.  That’s why we call it the present.” ~B. Olatunji

In a business world of project management, strategic planning, monthly goals, and other long-range things that we have to focus on as leaders, don’t forget to take the time to enjoy today.  Let your team know that you’re present, and care about what they’re doing.  Take a deep breath, look around, and find something to praise. Then look a little forward to the end of your shift and realize that IT’S FRIDAY!

Speaking of Mystery…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.

Being a monkey’s uncle – what’s not to love?

23 08 2013

“My uncle’s dying wish – he wanted me on this lap.  He was in the electric chair.” ~Rodney Dangerfield

 Sometimes it’s OK to pair a funny comic with a funny quote, without too much leadership Kumbaya.  And in saying that, I guess I’m saying that sometimes it’s OK to enjoy a casual Friday, and put any pressing matters that can wait off until Monday (but not Tuesday!). 

 I hope you all have a great weekend. Speaking of Uncle’s & nephews… 



Rubes cartoons used with permission.