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Shawn Stratton works with organizations to strengthen leadership skills that translate into powerful teams.  Founder of the LiveMore Group, an organization that helps people maximize their potential and productivity, Shawn has designed presentations and retreats for both small businesses and large corporations, offering teams of all sizes the inspiration and tools to flourish in this unpredictable, exciting economic environment.

Don’t Bring the Problem Without a Solution

Don’t Bring the Problem Without a Solution

As a leader, people come to you with problems weekly, daily and in some unfortunate cases hourly. Is this your fault, their fault or the system’s? Wouldn’t it be better if the person with the problem delivered a solution or at least a potential solution at the same time? Fortunately, you can have some control over this problem parade. You just need to role model and insist that your teams adopt the “Don’t Bring the Problem without a Solution” philosophy. I was recently hired a consultant on a website project and like most projects things weren’t always turning out as expected. I am sure there were many minor hiccups I didn’t hear about but when there was a fairly major problem that could potentially cost me more than originally anticipated, the consultant came to me to address the issue. As the conversation started out, I was becoming more frustrated picturing a further delay and increased cost of the project, or worst a problem he couldn’t fix. As he continued with his explanation, I became pleasantly surprised that after he finished telling me about the problem, he went into not only one but two potential solutions. This response left me going from frustrated and disappointed to impressed and optimistic. How Can You Get Your Team To Take On The “Don’t Bring The Problem Without A Solution” Approach? It starts with you! Like most things in leadership, if you want your people to adopt or maintain a behavior, they need to see you role modeling it consistently. As a leader, you are probably coming up with solutions to problems all the...

How Leaders Have Their Teams Self Police

Team discipline is an essential element of any high performance team and the leader cannot direct it alone. Sure, a team leader’s responsibility is to lay out clear expectations and a compelling purpose for the team mission but a huge part of team discipline has to come from within the team. If a leader spends his or her time preaching discipline and wagging fingers, their efforts to control the discipline within the team will soon fall on deaf ears. There is a reason people have a harder time speaking in front of their peer group. Their reason is that they care how they will be viewed amongst their cohort more than a group of strangers they will probably never see or hear from again. To quote an example of this from my experience, when leading expedition teams that I had no hand in selecting, friends would often ask me, “what do you do if you have a bad team?” and “what keeps them from going all Lord of the Flies (a classic novel where a well-behaved party of schoolboys trapped in the wilderness has turned into a tribe of faceless, murderous savages) out there in the mountains?” Quality Teams Self Police You may ask that if effective team discipline comes from within the team, is it out of the leader’s hands entirely? No, not at all. In every team, there are people who naturally emerge as leaders in their own right. There may be a vocal leader, a silent leader, the one with the most experience, one who has the highest level of a specific talent, oozes the most...
How to Motivate With Progress

How to Motivate With Progress

  Of all the things that can boost inner work life, the most important is making progress in meaningful work, when a job gives them the opportunity to experience achievement. Workplace Motivation Tips from Shoveling Snow This is another post under the topic of Managing Underperformers in the lead up to my upcoming webinar and course under the same topic. Perplexing to many, I have always enjoyed shoveling snow. Besides the bonus of fresh air and exercise that comes with shoveling a driveway, I was mostly motivated by seeing continuous progress in meaningful work. Fortunately, progress is easy to see when shoveling (when it has stopped snowing) and sure it may not be the most meaningful work but the driveway does need to be cleared to get the car in and out and my family will be happy to have a clear driveway. That’s meaning enough for me…. When I have the time to do a good job. As a leader, if you are struggling with unmotivated team members, take a close look at not just their roles and responsibilities but the actual work they do day in, day out. Are they able to see the actual progress in their work and how it is contributing to the project or team goal? Perhaps they are unaware of the impact their progress has on the team. When we think about progress, we often imagine how good it feels to achieve a long-term goal or experience a major breakthrough. These big wins are great, but they are relatively rare. If the progress of someone’s work is not clear to them, you...

 

Shawn Stratton, Leadership Motivational Speaker and Consultant

“His use of story telling, humor and photography delivered a powerful message on the importance of finding our true passion as an indicator of success. ” -Ian Shortall read more