RapidStart Leadership

Who’s Your Second? Are We Really Leading, or Just in Charge?

RapidStart Leadership

Are you indispensable? Should you be? We make the plans, give the orders, follow-up on everybody and everything. Nothing happens without our say-so. The machine is humming and we are at the controls. It feels like leadership. But is it? Holding it All Together Stanley was charismatic and brilliant.

21 Acts of Kindness to Make the World a Better Place

RapidStart Leadership

“What’s the maximum effective range of a good deed?” ” It was 4:30 in the morning. Two weary fire fighters walked into a local diner in New Jersey. Smelling of smoke and tired from battling a warehouse fire all night, they were hungry and needed a rest.

Kings, Cannibals, and Cultural Bias: Overcoming the Limitations of Convention

RapidStart Leadership

A strange encounter between a French king and several cannibals from South America sheds light on cultural bias, and what it takes for leaders to see past the limits of our own experience. Are You Not Amazed? Three cannibals stood before the boy king, and they were puzzled.

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Comfortably Uncomfortable: 7 Ways Seeking Discomfort Makes You Better

RapidStart Leadership

Hey, I’m here at a local Park in Minnesota, getting ready to do my weekly tempo run. Believe it or not, I think that there is a very close parallel between learning to run fast and becoming a better leader, and it has to do with discomfort.

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Are You a Potential Leader? 7 Ways to Get Noticed

RapidStart Leadership

Are you a potential leader who’s just looking for an opportunity? Do you think you have what it takes, and just need others to notice your leadership ability? If so, this video is for you.

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Leadership Exercises: 7 Ways to Build Your Influencing Muscles

RapidStart Leadership

Are there any leadership exercises I can do? Someone asked this question recently, and I thought it was a good one. Learning leadership is tricky business. It’s not like practicing musical scales or pumping iron at the gym.

Overcoming Indecision: 7 Ways to Find the Strength to Make the Leap

RapidStart Leadership

“Indecision may or may not be the problem.” ” – Jimmy Buffett Have you ever gotten to the point where you think you know what you want to do, but had a hard time actually committing to doing it?

Finding the Right Direction: How do You Know Which Way to Go?

RapidStart Leadership

Life is full of choices; how do you know the right direction to take? The choice one woman makes while walking alone out in the American southwest can serve as a good example for the rest of us in how to choose the right path to follow.

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The After Action Review: A Leader’s Guide

RapidStart Leadership

How do you improve your team with an After Action Review? The After Action Review (AAR) is a deceptively simple yet powerful way to stimulate the growth and performance of any group of people.

New Manager Nightmares: 11 Creepy Leaders and How to Avoid Morphing Into One

RapidStart Leadership

“Have you experienced New Manager Nightmares?” ” You are going about your business when suddenly a new manager walks in. A dark cloud seems to blot out the sun, reality distorts, work grinds to a halt, and nothing seems normal anymore.

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Leading Experienced People: How to Overcome 3 Dilemmas That Make it Hard

RapidStart Leadership

What is it about leading experienced people that makes it so challenging? They know more than we do. They have been there longer. They already have their ways of doing things. Then we walk in and we’re expected to tell them what to do, and when to do it.

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Guaranteed Bull’s-Eye: How to Put Goal Achievement on Automatic

RapidStart Leadership

How can we be sure our efforts will lead to goal achievement? Here’s a unique way one person answered this question, and what we can learn about how to make sure our own efforts result in the goal achievement we hope for.

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Seeking Discomfort: 7 Ways to Embrace Uncomfortable Feedback

RapidStart Leadership

No one likes to hear that they are not doing well, have weaknesses, or are not measuring up in some way. As leaders it often falls to us to give this kind of feedback to others, and that can be difficult. But what about receiving it?

Team Leadership: 4 Simple Steps to Getting Stuff Done

RapidStart Leadership

“Can Team Leadership really be boiled down into four steps?” ” Leaders are always busy, and whatever we are involved with, things only seem to grow more complicated over time. As complexity grows, it can help to view our roles as leaders in the simplest terms possible.

How to Build Influence: Go From Gofer to Go-To with These 3 Simple Steps

RapidStart Leadership

“How do you build influence if you are the low person on the totem pole?” We all have to start somewhere, and usually that somewhere is at the bottom of the heap. So how is it that some people seem to climb higher faster than others?

Running 50 Miles: 6 Lessons in Perseverance

RapidStart Leadership

What’s it like to run an Ultra-Marathon, and how do you motivate yourself to finish any great challenge? Today’s post will be a little different.

Leadership Interview: 7 Ways to Talk About Leadership Experience When You Don’t Have Any

RapidStart Leadership

“In any leadership interview, they are going to ask about your experience. What if you don’t have any?” Everyone has to start somewhere. Moving up in the organizational hierarchy often involves taking on a formal leadership role.

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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The Power of Asking Questions: 7 Ways Questions are More Powerful Than Answers

RapidStart Leadership

How can asking questions be more powerful than answering them? In the effort to demonstrate our worthiness to lead, often we find ourselves in a hurry to provide answers. People want guidance, direction, and need to understand priorities.

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Leadership Mistakes: 3 Things to Do When You Really Step In It

RapidStart Leadership

What should the leader do when he makes a mistake? Nobody likes to “step in it,” but leadership mistakes will happen. What you do when they occur makes all the difference. Do these three things well, and you may end up with a stronger team than you started with. Stepping In It.

14 Ways to Make People Feel Important

RapidStart Leadership

She started her own business late in life and turned it into a multi-million dollar enterprise. She donated millions to worthy causes. She was once named the most outstanding business woman of the 20th century.

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.

What’s the Difference Between Manager and Leader, and Why Does It Matter?

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Why should we care about the difference between manager and leader? I was having coffee with a new friend last week. He had been recently promoted to his first supervisory position.

Problem Solving Steps: 3 Steps to Take Before You Take Any Steps

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Is the first problem solving step really ‘Identify the Problem?’ If you’ve ever watched someone who is tired or emotional struggling to solve a problem, you know that somebody forgot a step in the problem solving process.

Leading When Things Go Wrong: Playing Soccer on the Ice

RapidStart Leadership

What do you do when things go wrong? Leading can seem fun and easy when things are going our way, but it’s when things go wrong that true leaders emerge.

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The Leader Apprentice: 5 Ways to Master the Learning Mindset

RapidStart Leadership

Kennedy said that “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other,” so how do we make sure we keep learning? It’s easy to get caught up in the daily business of getting things done.

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Getting Them to Listen: How to Get People to Hear What You are Saying

RapidStart Leadership

Why should anyone listen to you? If you’re trying to lead people, one of the first challenges you face might be just getting them to listen. This can be doubly challenging if you happen to be newer to the team or younger than the others.

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Unstoppable: 12 Ways to Find the Courage to Continue

RapidStart Leadership

“How do your find the courage to continue?” ” Teddy Roosevelt once reminded us that “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.” ” But in our struggles to achieve, that difficulty can be enough to make us want to quit. Where can we … Unstoppable: 12 Ways to Find the Courage to Continue Read More ». The post Unstoppable: 12 Ways to Find the Courage to Continue appeared first on RapidStart Leadership.

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Bad vs. Good: Why Does the Bad Seem to Outweigh the Good?

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“When it comes to Bad vs. Good, why do bad things get all the attention?” ” There’s a struggle between good and bad and it’s happening on our teams. The bad news? The “bad” is far more powerful than the “good.” ” The good news?

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Who’s in Your Canoe? 5 Things to Consider When Building a New Team

RapidStart Leadership

I’m building a new team; who should be on it? Often we just inherit the teams we lead, but occasionally we have the opportunity to build a new team from scratch. How do you know who to pick? Here are five action steps you can take when building a … Who’s in Your Canoe?

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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.

The Ransberger Pivot: How to Win an Argument By Not Arguing

RapidStart Leadership

“Do you ever really ‘win’ an argument?” When someone says something that we don’t agree with, our first impulse is often to contradict or correct them. They are wrong. We are right. Then they argue back. The debate becomes heated, personal, and ultimately counterproductive. No minds are changed.

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Optimization: Surprising Lessons in Efficiency from the Ant World

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“How can you optimize a system that’s error-prone?” ” As humans, we are fallable. In our efforts to achieve, produce, and progress, we make mistakes, we misjudge, we stumble. Any enterprise that involves humans will, by definition, be imperfect.

Leading Virtual Teams: 12 Powerful Ways to Lead a Team You Can’t See

RapidStart Leadership

How do you lead a team that’s not there? It’s hard enough to be a good leader when your teammates are in the same room. But what about when they aren’t even in the same time zone? When you can’t look someone directly in the eye, things get much more challenging.

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Leading Volunteers: How to Keep Them Coming Back

RapidStart Leadership

How do you lead people who aren’t on your payroll? Since moving to Minnesota, I’ve wanted to get engaged locally as a volunteer. Last month I signed up to help at a local agency, and it was a great experience.

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The Leader’s Triple-A Club: How to Navigate the Hazardous Highways of Leadership

RapidStart Leadership

Not long ago, my son called me from Oregon. He was driving some friends to the airport when his car suddenly quit and wouldn’t restart. Beyond attempting to diagnose the problem over the phone, there was little I could do to help from where I was in Minnesota.

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Demotivation: 7 Ways You Might Be Killing Your Team’s Spirit

RapidStart Leadership

Could your efforts to lead actually lead to demotivation? A team’s spirit means everything when it comes to productivity, engagement, and satisfaction. But sometimes, despite our best intentions, the way we lead can become a source of demotivation.

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Sharpen Your Thinking: 25 Ways to Hone Your Thinking Skills

RapidStart Leadership

Leaders should be independant thinkers. Whether you are trying to develop a vision statement, solve a problem at work, or influence the team, leaders have to think about where they are going and how they are going to get there.

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Could Your Incentive System Be Hindering Performance?

RapidStart Leadership

What if that carrot we offer actually slows them down? In the effort to motivate our teammates, we are quick to offer carrots we think will incentivize them to greater efforts.

Refining the Plan: Hamburgers on the Tennis Court?

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How do you know if your plan will work? Having a solid plan is one thing; knowing that it will work is something entirely different.

Micromanagement: 7 Signs You’re a Micromanager and What to Do About It

RapidStart Leadership

Could you be guilty of micromanagement? The micromanager has been called the bully of the business world, and micromanagement is responsible for killing motivation, eroding trust, and leading to waste and inefficiency.

15 Pretty Good Virtual Team Building Ideas

RapidStart Leadership

What kind of virtual team building can I do with my distributed team? We all know that teamwork is critical to getting things done through people. Building cohesive teams is already a challenge when everybody is face to face.

The Role of Fear in Leadership: Is it Better to be Feared or Loved as a Leader?

RapidStart Leadership

Is it better to be feared or loved as a leader? It’s an age-old question that seems to keep cropping up. Authoratative writers talk about how leaders need to be open, transparent, empathetic, and willing to listen.