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Ideas to Improve Your Performance
  • Next time you are in a discussion that seems to be turning into an argument, don't defend your side. Instead, inquire about the other point of view and confirm your understanding.

  • Identify mutual interests and shared goals in conflicts. Doing so makes the choice of alternatives far easier.




Do You Really Need Consensus?

When I'm working with a group of leaders, I take note of important decisions being delayed, stalled, and even abandoned, because of a lack of consensus. Frequently, in an effort to achieve unanimous support, opportunities are missed, problems are exacerbated, and a lot of energy, time, and effort is wasted. While important for all leaders to create strong alignment in a successful team, that shouldn't be mistaken for consensus. Excellent leaders determine what is in the best interest of the company, or team, and work hard to collaborate and establish common ground. Don't let consensus get in the way of your success. The people you lead will respect leadership strength.

My favorite illustration of this was shared with me years ago, about an interaction between Secretary of State George Marshall and President Harry Truman, and it has stuck with me. Marshall was very much opposed to Truman's decision to recognize the "new" state of Israel in 1948 (as was the vast majority of Truman's foreign policy team). As Truman signed declarations in the Oval Office, he noticed his Marshall exiting out the side door of the office. He later said to him, "I know we disagree on this but I hope it doesn't affect our relationship for the future." To which Marshall replied, "Mr. President, one does not hold it against a man who's job it is to make decisions when he makes one."

Like I said, people you lead will respect that.



A Slice of Life Balance           

  • When I was a kid, I always read the "laughter is the best medicine" section of my grandfather's Readers Digest. Actually it's the only section I read. Look for and create some reasons to laugh this summer.
  • And since it is summer time, I hope you have some plans to take a mid year break. Even a short break of a few days can provide great renewal. Don't skip it.