Sunday, February 25, 2018

KS Work Hacks, Feb 2018

When I run into old friends and colleagues and they ask me what I'm up to, I try to summarize it briefly in two words: "Leadership Development." But what does this look like? Meeting with executives to help them map out their management and leadership more strategically; training younger employees in how to lead teams; partnering with companies in creating smarter structures internally...

I could not have predicted this new trajectory of work, but I'm loving it! In the midst of it all, I am working hard to maintain a bank of useful (as opposed to #wasteoftime or #totallyobvious) articles that touch on many of the topics that come up in my client conversations.

So here are a few articles from that treasure trove. Hope you find one or two useful! If you want to share any feedback or ask follow-up questions, email me at Ciao for now.

These To-Do List Methods Will Help You Finally Get OrganizedI got this article from Fast Company magazine and honestly, I should list that as a separate hack! I find this magazine engaging, readable and a great way to keep up on cultural, technological and professional trends (though I'll admit I sometimes don't even understand what they're talking about!) There are not one but NINE different to-do list methods given here... c'mon! How can you go wrong? This is one of the main conversations I have with clients: HOW DO I GET EVERYTHING DONE AND STILL HAVE A LIFE?! Check out this list - I'm a fan of #4 and #6, personally.

Stop Letting Email Control Your Work Day. Yep, I could list Harvard Business Review as another magazine hack. And the best shortcut is -- their blogs are actually helpful. As for email, I know, I know... it's a necessary evil in our lives. But let's be honest, I like email better than talking on the phone! So repeat after me: "Email is not evil... Email is my friend." This article breaks it down and helps you get the power back. This sentence says it all: "Clearly, we need to learn to make email work for us and re-frame it as a tool for executing on our priorities."

How to Work from Home When You Have Kids. I work from home and have done so for many years... before it was cool, even. BUT I only have two needy cats, not children! I often encourage clients to look into creating some space at home for concentrated "head down" work, where they won't get interrupted by colleagues popping in or ever-present requests to come to yet another meeting, and many have found it helpful. HOWEVER, if you have children, this requires some strategy. Hope this article provides some pointers.

21st Century Fundraising Realities. Many of my clients are in the non-profit world, where I have spent the bulk of my career. This one's for you ! But to quote Bob Dylan, the times, they are a-changing. As this article states, "Donors appear to want to be more directly involved and many gravitate to smaller groups where it might seem like their dollar goes further." This article highlights many of the new trends in fundraising. Have no fear, there is hope.

How to Manage Someone Who Thinks Everything is Urgent. Hey, I feel your pain. I had a client years ago who described her boss as a "hair-on-fire" sort of leader. She dreaded his emails, texts and meetings. If you have to work with someone like this, there are some good ideas here to help you cope.

Not Good Leadership Material? Good. The World Needs Followers. I totally dig this article! It's written by Susan Cain, who gained some fame in writing a book last year titled "Quiet" about being an introvert. As someone who has spent nearly her entire life trying to understand what "leadership" is all about, from running senior prom to running a private school to training seventy adult volunteers to training interns, I never plumb the depths of all there is to learn about leadership. This article names a very important aspect of leadership: followership! Not only does Cain provide some valuable insights regarding the ways we are all gifted differently, but she also shines a light on our celebrity-obsessed, power-worshipping culture. Don't skip it.

Strengths Finder Frequency. There's a good chance if I've had you as a client that I've talked about Strengths Finder with you. It never fails to provide excellent information on how you work and how others might get things done. This is a fun and useful chart that describes the overall frequency of each of the strengths among the millions who have taken the Strengths Finder assessment. Let me know if you want me to "translate" this chart. Enjoy!

I'll end with this: I read Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr last fall. It's a fantastic and humbling collection of his sermons. This quote stops me cold:

Why should we love our enemies? The first reason is fairly obvious.
Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness
to a night already devoid of stars.

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