RapidStart Leadership

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.

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.

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

RapidStart Leadership

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.

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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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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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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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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How to be a Great Boss: 9 Ways to Get a 5-Star Rating From Your Team

RapidStart Leadership

What does it take to be a great boss? Some bosses are more memorable than others, and some perhaps you’d like to forget. But what does it take to be a great boss? What distinguishes the one that people remember years later as the leader who made a difference?

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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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Keeping Your LeaderShip Afloat: 4 Ways to Get Your Head Above Water

RapidStart Leadership

Does it sometimes feel like your attempts at leading are like, oh, I don’t know, paddling a half-submerged pumpkin down a river? . Last weekend I had the privilege of watching people attempt to do exactly that.

Building Influence – 6 Ways to Earn Respect

RapidStart Leadership

What’s the secret to building influence? Becoming more influential is actually a pretty simple matter. But simple doesn’t mean easy.

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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Skills for the Introverted Leader: 6 Ways to Expand Your Comfort Zone

RapidStart Leadership

What skills does an introverted leader need to develop? Statistically, about half of us tend towards introversion (I’m definitely one of them). That fact doesn’t exclude us from being effective leaders.

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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.

How to Tell if You Are Sinking or Swimming as a Leader

RapidStart Leadership

How can 80% of people believe themselves to be above average leaders? One of the many challenges of being a leader is knowing how well you are doing. Are you sinking or swimming? It can be hard to really know, and yet knowing is the key to becoming better at it.

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How to Stay Optimistic: 3 Questions to Ask Before You Give Up

RapidStart Leadership

How can you stay optimistic in the face of failure? Failure is a natural part of doing business, of being human, and of attempting to do things you haven’t done before. And when we fail, there’s a natural tendency to want to give up. It’s hard to stay optimistic.

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Everyday Winners – How to Build Mental Toughness One Day at a Time

RapidStart Leadership

How do you win the daily struggle to get out the door? Temperatures have been dropping lately. Now it takes more effort to get out the door for my morning run. Yesterday I had to analyze the weather. Contend with warm clothing decisions. Wrestle them all on.

Space to Think: 8 Ways to Find Quiet in a Noisy World

RapidStart Leadership

How do you find the space to think in a noisy world? We are bombarded all day long by messages telling us what to do, and what to think. Someone else is always trying to put their thoughts into our heads.

Book Notes – Originals by Adam Grant

RapidStart Leadership

What does it take to question the status quo and produce something original? That’s the question that author Adam Grant poses in his 2016 book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. The answer he reaches might surprise you.

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Paper Couch

RapidStart Leadership

With our kids out of the house, we are moving from Pennsylvania to be closer to family in the Midwest. One of the many challenges of this move is to make sure we will be able to fit into the new place. We are shrinking from a single-family house to a town home.

6 Powerful Ways Leaders Reflect, and how Reflection Makes Your Team Great

RapidStart Leadership

What is reflection for leaders? Reflection sounds like a passive exercise you do by yourself. It seems to involve sitting in a chair in a darkened room and journaling about the meaning of things. Maybe that’s part of it, but I think for leaders there is much more to it than that.

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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.

Listening Skills for Leaders: 8 Ways to be Sure You Get the Message

RapidStart Leadership

Have you ever been in a situation where you had something to say, but people didn’t seem to be listening? How did that make you feel? I’m guessing your response would not include words like “understood,” or “respected.”

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Book Notes – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

RapidStart Leadership

What do you do when your team is falling apart? We all know that in most cases you can accomplish more as a team than as an individual. But what happens when the “teamwork” part erodes away and all you have left is a group of individuals masquerading as a team?

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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.

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Stop Yourself! 4 Ways to Grow Your Team by Shutting Your Mouth

RapidStart Leadership

As leaders we are responsible for getting things done through people. But in our rush to see results, we risk becoming our own worst enemy. If we are not careful, our well-meaning actions can breed frustration, cause discontent, and undermine trust.

Answering the Call of Leadership

RapidStart Leadership

When the call of leadership comes, what will you do? Often what makes leaders stand out are not the great deeds but the small acts. Many of these actions may even go unnoticed by most.

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.

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.

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.

How to Build Team Culture From the Ground Up

RapidStart Leadership

Every team will develop its own distinctive culture. A good culture can be positive, supporting, and contribute to greater productivity, employee engagement, and satisfaction. A bad one can have the opposite effect.

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The Golden Rule, With a Twist

RapidStart Leadership

No written word nor spoken plea, Can teach your team what they should be, Nor all the books on all the shelves, It’s what the leader is himself. – from Wooden on Leadership. The most powerful form of leading is personal example. It’s a simple idea. Be the way you want others to be.