Quit Solving Your Team’s Problems for Them

How I used 3 words to empower my team & free up my time to lead

Don’t you feel good when you solve a problem at work? Doesn’t it make you feel smart, useful, and valuable? I venture to say that many of us got to our leadership positions because we’re so good at solving problems.

But if you’re going to grow in your career and manage a highly effective team, you can’t spend your time solving all the problems. It will stop you from focusing on the strategic part of your role, and it won’t allow your employees to develop, either.

I’m Already Good at Delegating…

As leaders many of us have mastered the art of delegation when it comes to tasks and projects. But it can be much harder to delegate problem solving, especially when a direct report comes to you with a problem and specifically asks you to solve it. It is especially hard when time is precious, deadlines loom, and complications have arisen.

In those instances, it is tempting to solve the problem yourself. But guess what my advice is? Don’t do it. Do this instead… (more…)

Why Betsy is Such a Confident Negotiator

Negotiating — and teaching negotiation skills to others — are two of my colleague Betsy Flanagan’s favorite things to do. Betsy was teaching negotiation to a group last week and was going through the 6 points of failure in negotiation, and something important emerged in the class. Betsy and I were discussing it and I wanted to share it with our wider community.

Ugh… Conflict…

Here’s what it is: While some people are comfortable with conflict to varying degrees, many people are truly uncomfortable with conflict and are failing at negotiation for this reason. Betsy addressed this in the class by helping to shift the perspective on what conflict is and by reviewing again what negotiation is. And of course by using a basketball analogy (Betsy is a huge Golden State Warriors fan). 

First of All, What is Negotiation?

A negotiation is a discussion for the purpose of reaching agreement when those involved have conflicting goals and vested interests that they are actively protecting or promoting. In a negotiation, the conflict lies in the different interests and goals of the parties involved, not in personalities.

When our goals and interests conflict, it doesn’t have to mean we are in a conflict(more…)

Lisa Duerre Joins LeaderXpress as Managing Partner

We are thrilled to announce that Lisa Duerre has joined the team at LeaderXpress as a Managing Partner. Lisa comes to us from Synopsys, Inc., where she built her expertise in leadership development during her 20 years as a leader in technology talent development and customer success.

Lisa will be blogging here at LeadershipYourWay on the topics of influence, leadership, and talent development.

Lisa DuerreLisa’s life-changing experiences in programs led by Denise Brouillette and LeaderXpress contributed significantly to her leadership success, and she is called to “pay it forward” by bringing the LX leadership principles and programs to as many leaders as possible. Lisa served on the LeaderXpress Advisory Board during the past year, and in her new role she’ll be coaching and training leaders in the areas of influence, leadership, and talent development, as well as focusing her efforts on business development and operations as we expand.

In her most recent position as Senior Director of Marketing for Customer Support Programs & Internal Technical Development programs at Synopsys, Lisa designed and led programs and events that connected over 10,000 customers and increased the skills of over 2,000 engineers annually. (more…)

4 Reasons Leaders Meditate

It was reported last week that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is now using meditation to help him make better decisions. He might not be at the top of your list of leadership role models, considering the amount of commentary about the room he reportedly uses for meditating at work as well as the ongoing reports of problematic behavior and practices at his company.

But his example is the latest in a growing list of business leaders who are looking to meditation to improve their effectiveness — a list which includes execs at Salesforce, Medtronic, and Google.  (more…)

Your Future Self?

Do you know how to order up your future self with the same ease and assurance with which you order food from a restaurant menu? My friend Amy does and she proved it to me recently.

Amy Buck at Wisdom Ridge Ranch

Amy wrote a vision of her future self several years ago as a participant in a program led by Denise Brouillette. This week Amy was looking at past program materials and unearthed her vision for her future self and emailed it to me. I was gobsmacked when I read it because it’s pretty much EXACTLY what Amy’s life is now, and has been for over 5 years, and not at all what her life was like when she wrote it. (more…)

Denise Brouillette’s Legacy

This is one of my favorite pictures of my mother and me. We took it in October 2015 at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. An ussie.

Many of you know that LeaderXpress founder Denise Brouillette (photo, right) passed away in February of this year after contending with an aggressive form of cancer for over two years. Denise was my mother and we worked together at LeaderXpress for the better part of two decades. Here at LeadershipYourWay.com, and previously at DeniseBrouillette.com, Denise blogged regularly, sharing tips and insights on influence and leadership that people could put into action right away. (more…)

Scrap Your New Year’s Resolutions and Do This Instead

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.

No more New Year's resolutions

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I blog about this each year at this time. I don’t set resolutions because they put me in a mindset of struggle and hardship and they rarely work. At the Intentions Event that I’ve been leading in Silicon Valley for 16 years, we do an inspiring process as an alternative to resolutions, and it gets great results. Here it is:

(more…)

3 Things You Can Do Right Now to be More Influential

Have you tried to influence someone lately only to walk away not getting what you went in for?

3 Influence Tips

I was talking about influence with a group of educational consultants last week and I was hearing the same story I’ve heard many more times than I can count: You have a specific request, the person you’re influencing can’t or won’t honor that request, and you walk away frustrated and with nothing.

It doesn’t have to be that way. If this has happened to you recently, there are three things you can do right now as an influencer that will significantly increase your rate of success. All it takes is a little bit of planning – either in your head or on paper.  (more…)

What’s the Big Deal About Meditation?

Over 1000 studies on meditation have shown its positive physical and mental effects and its profound impact on attitude and behavior. Countless articles, blog posts, and books extoll the virtues of what up to 20 minutes of meditation per day can do for us. Will meditation calm frazzled nerves, keep us cool and composed when the going gets tough, give us sharper concentration, make us better listeners, and possibly improve our health and overall well-being? In a word, yes.

meditation and leadership

So Why Don’t We Do It? 

Here are four reasons. (more…)

Managing a High Performer Who Has Some Bad Habits

Have you ever managed, or are you now managing, a stellar performer who has a couple of bad habits?

Giving feedback to high performers

Here’s how one leader described one of her direct reports to me in a conversation this week: “In terms of his knowledge base and the execution of his work, he’s a 10, but he’s been getting on the nerves of a couple of important peers, and it’s becoming a problem. If he does this again, he could blow apart the project our team is about to deliver on.”

This leader, a VP whom I’ll call Tanya, had just found out her high-performing direct report, Kai, a senior director, had recently irked an important peer — a peer who was integral to the execution of their current project. This information came in addition to two complaints about him she got from two of her own other direct reports within the past month.

If you’ve ever faced this kind of situation with someone you manage, or if you are right now, then the advice below is for you.  (more…)