5 for 5 blog – 13 positive actions to do in the next 13 weeks

28 Mar

Photo Mar 27, 10 30 32 PM (1)

For most people, we have already turned the page on Q1 2016 and are headed into Q2. And like we have mentioned on this blog before via manay writers, you have the choice: determine what your priorities are in your calendar or someone will do it for you.

Q2 is actually a great time to take some chances as well as really focusing on your team. By now, you know if your plans are off to a good start and we are also far enough away from the year-end crunch to course correct without panicking.

So here are some ideas that you can implement for your team and yourself over the next 13 weeks. Even grabbing one or two of these should help you connect with and grow your team:

  • For your team:
    Hold an all staff meeting – Moving beyond a traditional staff meeting is important to ensure employees feel connected to what is going on and to be able to ask questions. Plus town halls are a great opportunity to recognize key team and individual accomplishments publicly.
  • Meet with a client every week – This can be challenging for me. Not because there aren’t enough clients, but rather there is a need to come prepared. While striving for the perfect amount of knowledge prior to the meeting almost assures you will never schedule any meetings, finding the right balance to not just report, but rather add value to the client is critical.
  • Have a 1:1 skip level meeting – This is a great way to connect and recognize top performers on your staff’s teams. Particularly for me I am looking to gauge culture and engagement, by problem (trend) spotting across the entire organization.
  • Review talent with a focus on development and succession – Too often I have seen talent reviews folded into a few weeks of work each year. Your team and your manager deserve your best when it comes to succession planning and how you will help foster team and individual development.
  • Organize online folders – This may sound boring, but if you have a company intranet, often times it is nearly impossible to navigate to the right files. And if it is hard for you, think about how much harder it is for your team or an internal client. Even small steps toward tidying up goes a long way.
  • Deep dive to understand one segment of the business (or organization) – Tied in with meeting a client every week, try to focus on deepening your knowledge a particular business unit or function. Ask great open ended questions to discover how you and your team can help the business unit succeed.
  • Look at all the meeting and assignments scheduled in the next 13 weeks; cancel or stop doing something that is no longer of value – Many successful leaders and entrepreneurs are blogging about “Do not do lists”. And while I believe that subtracting routine structures and meetings can seem hard to do, we need to make room for other, more value-add actions by saying no to process and meetings that have outlived their usefulness.
  • Share a video, blog or podcast that has positively impacted you recently – While it requires vulnerability to put information out there, it tells your team that you are committed to learning and secondly, you are not interested in hoarding it for yourself.

For you:

  • Commit time to learn – We have said it on the blog before, you cannot give what you do not have. Leaders have to be learners.
  • Find daily quiet time – This is something I am working a lot harder at these days. Whether you call it mindfulness or deep focus, we need to reduce the noise and clear our minds to solve tricky problems or generate the new ideas our clients need.
  • Call a former colleague or boss that influenced your career – This is about gratitude. Not only is this a chance to remember someone who had an impact on your life or career, but it is a reminder to pay it forward.
  • Send a handwritten note once per month – Admittedly this could be tied in with the previous action to thank a former boss or colleague. But it could also be used to thank a direct or second level staff member. Hand written notes are memorable and inspiring to those that receive them.
  • Do one creative thing per week – While this is different than committing time to learn, it is no less important. Exercising our creativity outside of work by writing, painting, photography or anything is an indirect way to expand our creative agility in the work environment. It doesn’t have to be great, but you do have to try.

Whatever you choose, just start. Q2 is a great opportunity to begin to try one or more of the above items or some of your own. You and your team will be better for your will to make a difference. Let me know in the comments what your big plans are for your team in Q2?

Here are this week’s 5 for 5 articles:

The 8 Secrets to Team Meetings That Don’t Suck—From the World’s Top CEOs – by Kat Moon – via The Muse

What to Do When Your To-Do List Is Holding Up Your Team – by Julia Morgenstern – via Harvard Business Review

Powered by Culture: 3 Ways to Enable Success – by David Clarke – via LinkedIn

Five Steps to Formalizing Forward Thinking in Your Organization – by Lisa Bodell – via Strategy + Business

It is only a season – by Laura Vanderkam – via lauravanderkam.com

all the best, kevin