In 100 Words: We Can Talk Ourselves into Doom and Gloom

November 1st, 2022 by Troy Schrock

Unfortunately, the human psyche can tend toward the negative.  We struggle to keep equilibrium around the good and positive, our progress and blessings.  Depending on your information inputs, the tendency can be amplified or balanced. 

Here are three simple actions leaders can take with their teams to shift their information inputs:

  • Begin meetings with each person sharing a bright spot from both their professional and personal lives.
  • Write an encouraging note (or email or text message) to several people each week.
  • Take time to celebrate monthly, quarterly, and yearly successes as a team.

I’m sure you have some additional ideas.

“If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.”   Calvin Coolidge

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In 100 Words: Sharpen Your Resilience Thinking – Practical Considerations

September 15th, 2022 by Troy Schrock

What vulnerabilities have been revealed in your organization with the significant market changes the last few years?  You should consider internal – thought processes and operating patterns – along with external factors.

In addressing key vulnerabilities through resilience thinking, the following carry greater weight in decisions:

  • People ahead of processes.
  • Balance Sheet strength.
  • Non-cost factors – availability, speed, and more limited offerings.
  • Contingencies and alternatives.
  • More frequent leadership team connection and outward communication.

Though decisions favoring resiliency result in natural redundancy (extra cost), when delivery and availability are at stake, leaders yield margin to fulfil already sold commitments or keep sales engines running.

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”  Peter Drucker

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In 100 Words: Sharpen Your Resilience Thinking – The Why

August 1st, 2022 by Troy Schrock

Leaders have had a two-year crash course on a resilience mindset vs a mindset of maximizing efficiencies.  The global system which allowed for decades of squeezing ever greater profits out of systems, networks and supply chains has unraveled.  The pandemic and Ukraine war are simply two recent accelerators of a decade plus trend away from global inter-connectedness and toward nationalism (e.g., China policies, U.K. Brexit, and U.S. populist movement).

While change was always a norm, greater change will be the new norm so continue building the resilience mindset.  Think flexible systems.  Build sufficient financial and talent resources to weather turbulence.

Resilience is “The capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still retain its basic function and structure.”  Brian Walker and David Salt in Resilience Thinking

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In 100 Words: The Accountability Weakness

June 15th, 2022 by Troy Schrock

Pat Lencioni calls accountability “the universal challenge” of teams.  In The Advantage he notes global data from their Five Dysfunctions of a Team Assessment show 65% of assessments are “red” for accountability (vs. green or yellow).

Surprising?  Maybe.  Consider how much accountability stings.  Do I want my attitude, behavior, or work to be scrutinized more closely?  Not likely.  Yet calling out others invites others to call me out.

Are you willing to lead by example?  If so, accountability can become a strength.  While there will be times you require help or forgiveness, you will also experience delivering on more commitments.

“Courage is the main quality of leadership, in my opinion, no matter where it is exercised.”  Walt Disney

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In 100 Words: Two Traits of Effective CEOs

May 2nd, 2022 by Troy Schrock

An aspiring senior leader recently asked me what I thought was the most important trait of an effective CEO.  Two traits came to mind:

  1. They sincerely care about the people on their team and in their organization.
  2. They make decisions.  This involves making both tough and timely decisions.  A clear decision gets resources focused.  You can always adjust if the decision was wrong.

I don’t consider these two traits leadership “laws” or “rules.”  I have simply observed these characteristics in effective CEOs.  How do these two traits resonate with your experience of effective CEOs (or leaders in general)?

“Leadership is not being in charge, it is about taking care of people in your charge.”   Simon Sinek

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In 100 Words: Breaking Inertia

March 15th, 2022 by Troy Schrock

Inertia – resistance to change in speed or direction – is a powerful force.  Significant energy is required to break inertia which can be good or bad for leaders.  Inertia works in a leader’s favor when it is built around valuable routines, habits, and attitudes.  The more momentum you build in the right direction the easier it is to maintain.

Conversely, inertia works against you when built around negative routines, habits, and attitudes.  It takes committed effort to break the cycle and restart momentum in a positive direction.

How can you spin your positive inertia flywheels?  Where should you break negative inertia? 

“Leaders must wake people out of inertia.  They must get people excited about something they’ve never seen before, something that does not yet exist.”   Rosabeth Moss Kanter

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