Archive for April, 2013



Work Smarter Not Harder

Working hard and working smart are not synonyms. Yes you can work both smart and hard, but you can also spend a lot of effort and fail at the end of the day. Here are a few principles on how to work smarter that I have learned by watching successful leaders and managers as well as those who got them wrong. While these principles are simple…even obvious…they seem to elude us quite often. Do what only you can do for your organization. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Once I was the technology expert for my company–doing everything from troubleshooting network connections to installing printers and drivers. Granted, there were only 3 of us in the early days. Today I don’t even know how to use the fax machine or get a conference call started. I had to let those things go or I could never…

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Five Professional Types That Can Derail Your Team

You don’t wan to mess with these guys, much less have them on your staff. If any of these professional types finds his way into your team, make sure you deal with them swiftly and remove them from power as soon as possible. In my experience, the longer they stay, the faster your business or ministry will be derailed. It’s not a matter of if, but of when. Old School Board. No these are not school board members who are old, but old board members who have lost touch with anything current. “Social media? That’s just an0ther fad.” I have seen more dynamic ideas die during ministry presentations due to board members’ inabilities to grasp the importance and significance of communicating with digital natives. If your board has more people in their 70s and 80s than people in their 30s and 40s you might be in trouble, serious trouble. IT…

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The Art of Selling Creative Services

Selling new ideas can be tough. If you are a creative type, that’s even tougher. Usually people who need your services realize they need help but often don’t trust the young, creative professional because, by and large, creative people scare them. From the way you dress, to the language you use, all the way to your non-corporate haircut, you can make your potential client nervous. The sooner you realize this dynamic, the sooner you can overcome it. It happens to me quite often. I’m creative, opinionated, and Brazilian. I make a lot of people nervous. Here’s a simple strategy I use when dealing with those non-creative professionals. Understand where their pain is. What do they “think” they need from me? Sometimes what they need and their perception of the need are not the same. Regardless, you must always start from their perspective, no matter your assessment of the situation. Speak…

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Leadership 101: The Team is More Important Than Any One of Its Members

I’m responsible for my team. Anything or anyone who threatens the well being of my group becomes an issue I must deal with it. That is true even if the problem happens to be a team member…even a friend. That was a difficult lesson for me to learn. As a young manager, I remember coming to the realization that a good friend I had hired for a leadership position in the organization I managed was misplaced. While he had the temperament and personality for the job, he lacked the organizational skills to be effective at a  high level. No amount of training or coaching would bring him up to par. I agonized for months about what to do, even though intuitively I knew he could no longer lead that program. In the meanwhile I saw his performance continue to falter, his team flounder, and the entire organization under-perform. I was…

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