RapidStart Leadership

Stop Social Loafing: 6 Ways to Get Everyone Working

RapidStart Leadership

How come 1+1+1 does not equal 3? You would think that the more people on a project, the greater the output. Sadly, that’s not always the case. A phenomenon called Social Loafing leads some team members to do the minimum possible. They drag down group productivity like a boat anchor.

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New Leader Checklist: 4 Questions to Ask if You Want to Lead Effectively

RapidStart Leadership

Whether it’s your first leadership position or your fifty-first, taking over can be a challenging business. One key to success? Don’t start out by answering questions; start by asking them.

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Leader Isolation: 6 Ways to Conquer Loneliness at the Top

RapidStart Leadership

We are not alone… …but sometimes it can feel that way. Leadership can bring with it a sense of isolation. You seem to be the only one bearing the burden of responsibility, setting the standard, and trying to balance the demands of your boss with the realities on the ground.

Master the Habit Cycle and Achieve Your Goals

RapidStart Leadership

What if you could turn making good choices into a habit? It’s easy to set a goal. It’s much harder to actually achieve it. Part of the problem is that to make progress, every day you have to choose to put in the effort.

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Winning at Chaos: How to Succeed When it All Falls Apart

RapidStart Leadership

Today is June 9 th. D-Day, the Allied Invasion of Normandy took place 73 years and three days ago, heralding the beginning of the end of the Axis powers in Europe during World War II. Much has been written about the big strategic decisions before the invasion.

Howling at The Moon: One Way to Handle Criticism

RapidStart Leadership

It can be tough to handle criticism. As leaders we need to be open and ready to listen to the good, the bad, and the ugly. How we respond to that criticism after listening can take many forms. The story is told of a man out walking with Abraham Lincoln one day.

Mind the Gap: 8 Ways to Close the Trust Gap on Your Team

RapidStart Leadership

People will only willingly follow you if they trust you, and believe in your destination. But like boarding a train, there comes a moment when they have to step from the platform into the passenger compartment and join you for the ride. Crossing that gap is a leap of faith: It requires trust.

Don’t Fear the Elephants

RapidStart Leadership

Nobody said he was a great mathematician. But he may be the greatest general you never heard of. His actions over 2,000 years ago are a great example of how you can influence your future by the way you react to whats coming at you.

Wading the Mississippi: Six Surprising Secrets of Success I Learned from Ol’ Man River

RapidStart Leadership

What does it take to achieve great things? Last week, I waded across the Mississippi River. Really. And as I thought about that accomplishment, it seemed this great river had a lot to say about what it takes to achieve something great.

Why You Should Value the Nonconformist

RapidStart Leadership

I’m not paying you to agree with me. I’m paying you to think. That’s Colin Powell’s approach to leadership. When it’s time for planning and problem-solving, the best leaders aren’t looking for unity and agreement. They want the opposite. They want dialogue, a clash of ideas.

How to Build Team Culture One Test at a Time

RapidStart Leadership

We all recognize that building team culture is important We know a strong team culture can have a huge positive impact on team effectiveness, employee engagement, and overall productivity. The question is, where does it come from? How do we build it?

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Climbing Solo

RapidStart Leadership

When I hear of the exploits of amateur climbers who somehow manage to summit Mount Everest, it makes me wonder – how many more times has his guide been to the top?

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Grandma’s Law: How to Put the Power of Incentive to Work for You

RapidStart Leadership

There’s a simple law you can apply to your goal setting that will definitely help improve the amount of things you’re able to get done. It’s called Grandma’s Law. Today we’ll talk about how you can put Grandma’s Law to work for you and your team. You Gonna Eat That? transcript).

Creating Unexpected Wins: Leadership Lessons from “Team Short People”

RapidStart Leadership

[Guest Post*] Everyone loves an underdog story, but much of the time, we only perceive the underdogs as such because we are overlooking the strengths that really matter.

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Influencing Outcomes: 3 Ways to Get the Ending You Want

RapidStart Leadership

Can we change opinions by changing expectations? A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology seems to think so. He conducted a simple but revealing experiment that speaks volumes about how humans form opinions. Spoiler alert: we are not nearly as independent-minded as we like to think.

How to be Successful: The 9,051-Step Plan

RapidStart Leadership

Can you imagine climbing a staircase that is one mile high? Seems like a lot, right? It would be the same as climbing the Empire State Building more than four times, the Washington Monument nine times, or Niagara Falls 31 times.

Modeling Success: Three Ways to Communicate Effectively Without Words

RapidStart Leadership

Success doesn’t come easy, and the more complex the challenge, the harder it can be to communicate effectively with your team. Sometimes, the more you talk, the more words can get in the way. One way to cut through the noise is modeling success.

3 Ways You Might be Sabotaging Your Team’s Culture on Day 1

RapidStart Leadership

Your team’s culture is it’s life-blood, its soul. It’s who you are and how you interact as a group. If it’s a good one, your culture can directly contribute to increased employee engagement, rising productivity and decreased turnover.

White Gold: A Story of Persistence

RapidStart Leadership

With obstacles, frustrations and nay-sayers, how do you find the persistence you need to succeed? It’s one thing to have a great idea or an inspiring vision. Sticking with it until you are successful can be an entirely different matter.

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Independence Day: 7 Ways to Defuse Conflict and Assert Your Freedom

RapidStart Leadership

Do our reflexive reactions cause unnecessary fireworks? Conflict is inevitable in any human enterprise; how we handle that conflict is where leadership comes in. Too often we seem bound to react instinctively: voices rise, pressure grows, and soon it’s fireworks like the 4th of July.

Building Bridges: How Leaders Grow Loyalty

RapidStart Leadership

Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across. – Sun Tzu, Art of War. How do you grow loyalty? Consider this story. A marketing specialist was given her first major assignment to test market a new product. She worked on the project diligently, giving it her best effort.

Leading Spaghetti – Using Your Noodle to Get Your Pasta to Cooperate

RapidStart Leadership

“If you’re a leader, you don’t push wet spaghetti, you pull it.” ” – Bill Mauldin. Bill Mauldin was a famous cartoonist for Stars and Stripes, the newspaper widely read by American GIs during World War II.

Flight Lessons: Preparing Your Leaders for Success

RapidStart Leadership

Are you giving your teammates flight lessons? As leaders, the best indicator of our success is the success of those we are responsible for.

Stage Magic: 3 Ways to Amplify Your Leadership Message

RapidStart Leadership

Getting our leadership message across to the team can be a challenge. But as leaders, we can forget that by virtue of our position, we are up on a stage. And like the stage occupied by actors and musicians, there are some great tools available to us, if we’re smart about how we use them.

Book Notes: It Worked for Me

RapidStart Leadership

I hope you have problems. That’s a good thing, really. A book I read recently cast a whole new light on what it means to have problems as a leader, and what you should do about them.

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The Simple Secret to the Best PowerPoint Presentation I Ever Saw

RapidStart Leadership

It was the best PowerPoint presentation I had ever seen. It happened over 10 years ago, but even now I can remember specifics. What made it so memorable? So effective? In this post, I’ll tell you the simple presentation secret, and how you can use it to add power to your presentations.

Play Your Part

RapidStart Leadership

Are you giving it your best? I was watching The Tonight Show recently – the opening monologues are often funny, and other parts of the show can be entertaining. The musical guest that night seemed interesting, so I fast forwarded to watch their performance.

Pulling Together: What it Takes to Build Group Cohesion

RapidStart Leadership

When you all pull together, it pulls you all together. What happens if you have two groups of people who don’t like working together? How do you get them to function as one?

Book Notes – Blue Ocean Strategy: How Leaders Drive Change

RapidStart Leadership

Leadership is about influencing people in a specific direction, but sometimes that direction needs to change. A book I just read provides a great framework to figure out when you need to change, and what strategic direction to head.

What is Your Leadership Legacy?

RapidStart Leadership

One of the greatest challenges for leaders is focusing on the invisible part of what we do. Even as we go about the business of getting things done every day, we are also doing something else.

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6 Steps You Should Take Immediately as a New Manager

RapidStart Leadership

They made you a new manager. Now what? Whatever you did to become a new manager is probably not enough to help you be successful there. Leading well is a skill set of its own. To help you make the adjustment successfully, it helps to have a plan.

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Leadership Incubator

RapidStart Leadership

I think one thing often overlooked in the world of leadership is patience. We’re always in a hurry to get things done. We have to produce results immediately. Yesterday, if at all possible. To make that happen, some leaders reduce themselves to the idea of “the louder and harsher the better.”.

Disrupting the Routine: 7 Ways to Change for the Good

RapidStart Leadership

There are some who will tell you, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I don’t necessarily agree. “Functioning” doesn’t always mean “fully optimized,” and without change, we risk falling into a rut, losing perspective, and falling behind.

From Disaster to Master: Five Presentation Tips to Cut Through the Static

RapidStart Leadership

There are two parts to a presentation: your message, and how you transmit that message to your audience. Too often a good message can get lost in the static of a bad transmission. Not long ago I was on the receiving end of this unfortunate combination.

On Duty: The Meaning of Leadership in a Risk-Filled World

RapidStart Leadership

She is a jet pilot, Ph.D., federal agent, and Amazon best-selling author. And she is a leader. Johnson assumed her duties as a law enforcement agent at about the same time the Twin Towers were falling in New York.

Waiting for the Light to Change

RapidStart Leadership

Are you waiting for permission to proceed? Traffic signals organize and coordinate the flow of traffic. They keep things safe and orderly. We wait for the green light to proceed. Organizations have managers and supervisors. They direct the traffic too.

Anatomy of a Fall

RapidStart Leadership

Saturday. A mountainous trail half-marathon. Mile 11.5. Rocky down-slope. Running. Legs are tired. They feel like clumsy chunks of solid rubber with hamburger for feet. Left foot finds an unseen rock, and stops short. Then the right foot joins the mutiny.

Mini-Post: Spotlight the Support

RapidStart Leadership

My daughter is a big fan of Lin Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton. She was home on spring break recently, so we took her to see an earlier production of his : In the Heights.

Mini-Post: Finish What You Start – It Will Set You Apart

RapidStart Leadership

Starting something is fun. It’s exciting. Everything is new, the possibilities seem limitless. Potential is everywhere. It takes only a moment to make a promise or set a goal. Delivering is harder. It takes effort. The excitement fades. Everything seems to take longer than it should.

No Car, No Phone, No Clue: 10 Life Lessons from a Treasure Hunt

RapidStart Leadership

It was anything but a normal way to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. But despite many unexpected trials, it was also one of the best days we’d had together in a while.