Maintaining Connectivity to Your Team

There is a slew of tools to ensure you’re constantly in contact with your team – SLACK, Skype, Hangouts – to name a few.  Sometimes we use these as scheduled interactions and mass announcement platforms with more one way then both way communications.

But the moments that generate the genuine gratitude from your teams are the random interactions – the text message to grab a bite, the call to see what’s up and how it’s going, the email to see if you need help with anything you are working on.

It’s not the medium that we need to get better at when connecting with remote teams, it’s the message, we’ve lost the importance of the message and supplanted it with tools, hoping they elevate our message and make it that much better.

When it comes to your team – don’t let the medium drive your message.

Focus on the Moments, Not the Game

It’s easy to look at a game, a job, a task, an anything and get down on yourself for having messed up and lost.

So easy in fact that we don’t need anyone’s help to see what went wrong.

But as a Leader, you need to pivot, you need to step back, this game is over, this project is done and now it’s time to focus on the next one.  Even if it’s not over, you need to dig deep and focus on your team – what moments they shone in, where they did well and where they need to improve.

They aren’t looking for a pat on the back that everything’s going to be okay, they aren’t looking to you to absolve them for their mistakes, they are looking for someone to guide them through their next challenge.

Whether you lead a team of leaders or lead a team where you are the sole leader the role is evolving, it’s in the trenches, it’s side-by-side, but it’s becoming more about guiding people, letting them fail, giving them guidance, and pushing them to try again.

But it starts with moments within a game and not the game itself.

Ease Up on the Self-Critique

When we are so focussed on a problem, looking in, staring at, trying to solve it, trying to make it better, adding, deleting, writing, erasing, training, stopping, we sometimes forget to stop being so critical of ourselves and take a step back to look at what we’ve really accomplished.

We shouldn’t be driven by external factors, but sometimes they are a great way to slap us upside the head and remind us.

“You are doing good work, you are getting there, don’t stop now.”

So next time you feel frustrated, step away, look at things from a distance and take a moment to realize how far you’ve come.

Not my Job, What about your Career?

When we say that something is not our job what we are really saying is that this has no place in my career.

Perhaps it’s not our skill set, maybe it’s not something we are used to doing, maybe it’s something we feel is less than what we normally do.

Dangerous assumptions all around.

Because maybe, just maybe it might not be our job, but it might be the offroad adventure that our career yearning for.

Growing Pains

You’d think it would get easier with experience.

You’d think these feelings of discomfort would subside when you get going.

You’d think it’d get a little easier the second time around.

You’d think the same problems at different places would be resolved quicker.

But you’d be wrong – these are the growing pains that stay with us as we go through the first, second, third and sometimes “n” times of trying to get better and improve itself.  They are not always easy, sometimes downright frustrating and always fraught with varying degrees of craptivity.

The question is whether you are willing to live with the Growing Pains or Give Up.