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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.

5 Ways to Change Organizations from the Middle

5 Ways to Change Organizations from the Middle

  I was recently speaking with a participant at a conference I was presenting at and he was telling me about the loss of productivity because of their use of an older, slow piece of software. Many times, when people are underperforming, it is because of the individuals’ behaviors but often the cause is lack of resources or the system. When the equipment or system is causing poor performance in a department, it is the manager’s role to do everything possible to influence the senior leadership to provide adequate equipment and / or alter the system. We have heard the organizational change has to come from the top down. Yes, this may be true, but what about if you are in a middle management leadership position. Your employees are looking to you for leadership and to create any changes needed to support them in their roles. Too often senior leaders are making decisions for the organization without direct knowledge of what is really needed and the impact it will have. In the LEAN LEADERSHIP model that Toyota made famous, organizations seek to bring their decision making to the bottom of the leadership hierarchy as often as possible. Tapping into the knowledge of frontline workers by asking them what they need to perform their jobs faster and better, organizations can save an enormous about of time and money. As a workplace leader, your responsibility is to make it easier for your team to do their job. That’s not saying you need to make the job easy for them. You need to prevent or remove obstacles obstructing them in the process...
Near Miss or Good Catch – There’s A Lot to Learn!

Near Miss or Good Catch – There’s A Lot to Learn!

Last week, I presented at a project management conference on leading a safety culture, a culture where near misses are seen as a significant learning opportunity and not as potential disasters that are swept under the rug for fear of reprisal or job loss. A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage – but had the potential to do so. It is safe to say that of the dozens of the minor and major incidents I was involved in over 15 years of leading expeditions, most, if not all, were successfully resolved due to past learning from documented near miss situations, everything from arranging and paying for an Indian military helicopter to perform a dramatic rescue at 12000 feet in the Himalayas, to managing challenging river crossings in the Yukon to encountering grizzly bears deep in the back country of Alaska. Fortunately, most organizations I worked with had progressive cultures around documenting and learning from near misses. Unfortunately, not all organizations are like this. Recently, I have been speaking with some project managers who work in a culture of fear of disciplinary action for being involved with a near miss incident. This fear has caused them to not want to report near misses and minor incidents. Alternatively, I know of several organizations that have rephrased the term ‘near miss’ to ‘good catch’. I know it is only semantics but in an area that usually conjures up fear, semantics can be important. One company not only expected to report ‘good catches’ on potentially dangerous situations but also have their employees report “good catches’ of...
Hardworking vs. Smart – Developing Locus of Control from an Early Age

Hardworking vs. Smart – Developing Locus of Control from an Early Age

Part 2 Most of my life, people have told me I was hardworking, especially my schoolteachers. It always felt a bit odd because I didn’t necessarily feel like I was working harder than anyone else. Perhaps they would say it because I didn’t do particularly well with their testing methods, but still wanted to build my confidence because being called a hard worker by someone of authority feels good. Or perhaps they understood locus of control (LOC) and wanted me to develop a strong external LOC in me from an early age. As I discussed in last week’s post (How Your Locus of Control Explains Your Thoughts, Actions, and Motivations), LOC measures generalized belief in internal versus external control of reinforcement. In the post, I have mentioned an example of how the US Marines develop an internal LOC among their new recruits. Here, I will give another example of how this can be developed in children as well as adults. Don’t Tell Them They Are Smart! Someone’s LOC can be influenced through training and feedback, especially children. New York Times’ business reporter Charles Duhigg highlights one experiment by Stanford physiologist, Carol Dweck to demonstrate this in his book, Smarter, Faster, Better. The experiment gave students in grade 5 a series of challenging puzzles to complete. All were told they did well. Half of them were told they must have worked hard at solving the problems. The other half were told you must be really smart for solving the problems. The second round of puzzles included some easier and more challenging ones. The kids who were praised for their intelligence...

 

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