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Archive - April, 2009

Advance to "Go"

In Monopoly, there are several moves that can be made during the game.  You can invest early or you can pay rent.  You can build houses or hotels.  You can draw a Chance card and advance directly to Go, or you can get stuck with one of the ” Do not pass Go.  Do not collect $200” cards.  This card selection stinks in the board game and in the game of life.

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In the business world, sometimes we’re caught off our game.  We get overloaded with work; we’re trying to reduce an Inbox from 2,000 down to 0, or we accept too many meetings meetings thereby limiting the amount of time to get work done. 

I had one of those rare  “off” moments last week.  I was knee-deep in a discussion with coworkers where solutions to a problem were being figured out.  The discussion ran long, and before I knew it, I was going to be late for a meeting.   I was scattered as I power walked into the other person’s office.  The start of the meeting could have been much better than it was, and because it was just two people, there was slim chance that my lack of focus went unnoticed.   The other person became disengaged, and it was work to get the discussion back on track.  I walked out feeling like I’d just lost an hour and left the wrong impression. 

I stewed for two days over that bad meeting.  Did I lose value with the other person because it hadn’t gone as well as intended?  Would I now be viewed as less capable because of it?   And then God reminded me that we can’t go through life pushing the rewind button.  Our hearts were not  made to bear the torture of regret, or the sting of guilt.   We all make mistakes.  And it’s through acknowledging the mistakes and looking for ways to minimize repeats that we learn the biggest lessons.

My lesson was that I need to say “no” more often so that I make time to focus on what’s most important while at work.  I probably wouldn’t have gotten the picture as clearly had I not screwed up in such grandiose style.  Praise God that we get second chances…the “advance to Go” card, if you will.

What mess-up have you made where God has used it to teach you a valuable lesson?

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The Power of a Great Meeting and Open Doors

Yesterday, I sat in a meeting that changed my outlook on several things at work.  I learned about changes in how we’ll communicate with each other, how we’ll be more accountable to each other, and how we’re going to work together better as we reach for the Same Goals.  It was empowering.   And I needed it.  

An open door...

An open door...

In this same meeting, I learned more about the two doors.

Last Friday, I had noticed something different about these two doors.  They were pushed completely open.  We’re so used to seeing them closed that I thought maybe the a/c had leaked or something had burned in the microwave and the space had to be aired out.  Those doors always being closed represented exclusivity, power…an ivory tower one dared not enter unless really necessary.   

Yesterday, I learned that the light bulb had come on and these doors would be open all the time.   That simple act told everyone outside that they are important and worth the risk of distraction.  And sending that message gains a huge amount of respect from ones followers.  The biggest win will be for those inside because others will see them in a new light.  Approachable.  Looking for connection.

I am excited about the days ahead.  There is a renewed vision.  A new sense of teamwork.  My attitude has shifted.  And all it took was one great meeting and two open doors…

What actions have you seen at work recently that give you a glimpse of great leadership?

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