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Do you ever find yourself wanting to get better at a skill, ability or talent, but you can’t seem to make any progress?

You don’t have to struggle your way blindly through mediocrity there are actually things you can do to get better faster. Here are five tips that might help.

Tip #1. Exposure -Get exposure to experts

I just finished reading Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon. (Check out his TED Talk)   To refine a skill he recommends you find an expert and exhaust yourself studying that one person. Hey says, “If you try to devour the history of your discipline all at once you’ll choke. Instead, chew on one thinker- writer, artist, activist, role model – you really love. Study everything there is to know about that thinker. Then find three people that thinker loved, and find out everything about them.”

Tip #2. Goal Set: Write two to five goals

Establishing a few goals will cause your mind to focus on progress. Think through why you want to learn this skill? What would it look like if you perfected it? How would it benefit you and those you lead? Picture what good performance looks like and then set a few goals you can strive toward. When you write down goals it makes you more accountable especially if you make the goals public by sharing them with a friend or small group. Continue Reading…

Wouldn’t you love to get inside the mind of your leaders to know what they’re thinking? You know what you think about them, but what are they thinking about you? What are they thinking about your organization?

Are they fulfilled in their current role or are they secretly thinking about quitting? Do they feel sure about their work or are they increasingly losing confidence in their role? Do they feel you’ve adequately prepared and resourced them or are they resentful that they’re ill-equipped?

It’s important to know what your leaders are thinking because what they’re thinking determines if they are highly engaged or progressively disengaging from the mission of your organization.

So what’s the secret to knowing what their thinking? Ask them.

Let me give you two ways you can ask: First you can ask in a conversation.

Continue Reading…

Have you ever asked yourself: “How can I get more out of my leaders?” You’re passionate about your organization so it stands to reason you would want to “get more out of” your people.

So you cast a lofty vision to “get more out of” them. You set BHAG’s (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) to “get more out of” them. You establish incentives to “get more out of” them. Some even use fear, guilt or intimidation to “get more out of” them. But while you may see a short-term spike in productivity you’ll see virtually no increase in loyalty, passion or development of your leaders.

Let’s stop and put the shoe on the other foot for a minute. How would you feel if someone was always trying to “get more out of you?” I would feel used, manipulated, or like a cog in the machine.

What if we took a different approach? Instead of trying to “get more out of”, what if we focused on “putting more into” our leaders?

Putting more into our leaders will require that we not just be PASSIONATE about our ORGANIZATION, we must be PASSIONATE about our PEOPLE.

When you’re passionate about your people you ask questions like: What are your gifts? What are your strengths? What are areas you want to grow? What ideas do you have? What is your passion? What are your dreams? What are your values? What excites you most about our mission?

Once you discover what’s already IN your leaders, then you’ll know how you can BELIEVE in, INVEST in and PUT more in them to help them maximize who God created them to be. And when you maximize what is in them you’ll enjoy the overflow of what comes from them.

Great leadership is more about what you can “put into” your leaders rather than what you can “get out of” your leaders.

What are some ways you’re investing in your leaders?