It’s 3:45PM and you're hard at work. You're in “the zone” where everything is coming together with ease and clarity.
You're so close to finishing the critical presentation you’re making tomorrow morning about how to get the project back on schedule.
One more hour of working on it and you’ll be done! You're confident it will be a compelling, and much needed, solution to the project’s biggest problem.
At this very moment, a meeting reminder for a 4:00PM meeting pops up on your laptop. You knew about the meeting because it’s a standing meeting held every week to “review” the project.
This meeting is notoriously long, boring and poorly run. Everyone, including yourself, dreads it.
And then you suddenly remember the promise you made to your kids earlier this morning. You’d be home on time tonight to play their favorite new game in the backyard. You told them they could count on it.
What will you...
Last week many people shared their biggest pet peeve about meetings.
Whoa! At the top of the list was AGENDAS!
An agenda is one of those essential tools we need to conduct effective meetings.
Conducting a meeting without a solid agenda is like taking a long trip without ever looking at a map or using gps.
I’ve led thousands of meetings in companies and on projects around the world. And I’ve endured thousands more. I know a thing or two about effective meetings.
If you want to reduce your frustration around meeting agendas, use my 7 meeting agenda essentials. You can get them in this free one-page download. I’m confident this will help you!
P.S. Have you taken our Meeting Superpowers quiz? Access it here.
Seems like every time I work with a leader, or team, they bring up the subject of meetings.
Typically they want to know what they can do to improve the meetings they lead.
Or if there is anything they can do to make the dreadful meetings they attend, more bearable.
Invariably they ask me something along the line of “Is there any way to reduce the ridiculous number of meetings we have, so we can get our real work done?”
So what about you?
What’s your biggest pet peeve about meetings?
What would you like to know about dramatically improving meetings?
Click Here to Answer Meeting Questions.
P.S. Want to find out if you have Meeting Superpowers? Take our fun, quick quiz by clicking here.
P.S.S. Be sure to let me know your answers to those two questions.
This morning, I finished writing an email to a group of awesome people in my leadership coaching program. I pressed send. And the email was on its way to their inboxes.
The little red circle on my email indicated that, while I was writing, an email had arrived in my inbox.
So, I opened it.
Suddenly, I was sitting at my desk crying. Now, just so you know, that’s not an everyday kind of thing for me. In fact, I don’t recall ever sitting at my desk crying. But after I read that email, the tears overflowed.
It was from the son of one of my former clients and said: “Dad passed away suddenly yesterday. You are on his 'short list' of those that must be told. And I regrettably am the one that must tell you.”
I first worked with Richard over 17 years ago. He was an executive with a construction company and together we led a team to create and launch a corporate university for the people who worked for him. He was smart, kind, generous and one of the most...
When I was just a little girl, growing up in South Carolina, we always went to the beach for a week each summer.
It was a magical time.
I have wonderful memories of times there at my favorite South Carolina beach.
In recent years I’ve been returning to that same beach where those memories were made.
I LOVE TO PLAN
The most recent trip to the beach was last week.
I had planned for months leading up to it.
I love the anticipation that comes with planning.
I knew the activities we would enjoy.
The places we would eat.
Which direction, and how far, I would walk each day.
I am a natural born planner.
And I had this all planned.
It was going to be a great week.
Yes, one wonderful week of relaxing.
Of walking on the beach.
And getting lots of sleep. Oh yes, glorious (much needed) sleep.
Then the hurricane formed way out in the Atlantic Ocean.
Then it got closer.
Then mandatory evacuation orders were issued.
So, we evacuated...
50 hours after arriving.
It’s hard to believe.
My oldest grandson
started playing baseball 10 years ago.
He was 6 years old.
In less than a month
he’ll be able to drive a car by himself!
I remember his first game like it was yesterday.
It was AWESOME.
It was more fun than I can possibly describe.
I remember that the wind in West Texas
was blowing like crazy
with gusts up to 60 mph.
You could literally eat dirt. We did.
And that most of the kids on the team
had never played a single
competitive baseball game.
His team was the “Texas Longhorns”.
And I was actually seen in public
wearing Texas Longhorn colors
and screaming “Hook ‘em Horns”.
The Longhorn stuff was a tough pill
for this devoted Clemson Tiger to take.
But as I said that Saturday,
“anything for our grandson.”
Spoken like a true grandparent.
But back to the game.
It started right at the top
(IT ALWAYS DOES).
On a recent Saturday afternoon
while cheering on my favorite college team, the Clemson Tigers,
at a basketball game
I started thinking about encouragement.
College basketball players sure do get a lot of encouragement.
They get encouragement from
thousands of screaming fans,
the pep band,
and the cheerleaders.
And it doesn’t stop there.
fans on their sofas at home,
all provide encouragement.
Now let’s think about your project.
How much encouragement are your “players” (team members) getting?
Virtually none at all?
I’ve coached leaders on hundreds of projects.
Projects ranging from $10 Million to $18 Billion Total Installed Cost
In 10 countries and on 5 continents.
And diverse cultures.
And you know what?
I have yet to have a project team tell me they are getting adequate encouragement.
Many team members are getting so little encouragement
that they are ready to throw in the towel.
Decisions are crucial on capital projects.
Decisions AND the decision making process impact everything about a project.
Project teams need decisions.
Teams can only be effective with decisions.
High quality decisions.
Well communicated decisions.
Without decisions teams flounder and slog along.
And the project takes a big hit financially.
One aspect of decision making need some serious attention is:
I’ve consulted coached leaders on hundreds of projects.
Projects ranging from $10 Million to $18 Billion Total Installed Cost.
And you know what?
On the vast majority of projects, decision authority is either...
Not clearly defined,
OR not defined at all.
It is not uncommon for a team member to wait for a critical decision...for weeks…
Or even months.
They assume that someone is making the decision they need.
It was a typical Wednesday morning.
I was jogging on our ranch in West Texas.
Jogging is not something I enjoy, or even do much of.
I was “training” for the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. That’s a story for another day.
On this Wednesday, I was jogging on a very familiar road on the ranch. It was my usual route.
The weather was warm. The sky blue and everything was wonderful.
Wonderful, that is, until I encountered the...
But this was not an ordinary rattlesnake!
This rattlesnake was HUGE!
Had I not been paying attention to the terrain, I would have stepped on the snake! Thankfully, I saw it.
And I froze in my tracks...
... and waited until it slithered its huge self away.
Suddenly I was physically ill. I was nauseous and shaking.
I was sick from the sight of it.
And how HUGE it was!
I'm telling you, that snake may have been the biggest rattlesnake in West Texas! And there’s lots of rattlesnakes in West...