Are you ready to get back to school?

Are you ready to get back to school?

Are you ready to go back to school

Many may think of January as the time to start a new year, but now that I’m a mom, September seems a much better option.

Following a summer of vacations, sunshine, and road trips, I’m not the only one that got out of a regular rhythm at work.  Looking around the office, it’s not hard to see how teams can get out of step.  There were very few days my team was all in the office at the same time.  A rhythm becomes impossible.

Just like with school age children, who scramble off to far corners during the summer and come back together in September.  As adults, it’s not much different.  As the weather cools, there are more days when we are all together, collectively moving things forward.

As I work with my son to get back into the school discipline of early mornings and homework, it’s not difficult to see the correlation between the end of summer for children and adults.  Watching the student / teacher interactions, here are 3 actions we can take as individuals and leaders to get the back to school mindset going, no matter what we do.
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The New Leadership Possibility

The New Leadership Possibility

The new leadership possibility

In every region, there are major supermarkets that compete for our grocery dollars.  For as long as my husband can remember, there has always been a Demoulas nearby.  True locals still call it that, even though the name is now Market Basket.

If you are not from New England, you may not have heard the name Market Basket or Demoulas.  At least until recently.

I’m still new here, even after 11 years.  I’m used to living in places where everyone is transient.  Where you shop where it’s convenient, not with any sense of loyalty.  If I drive by a particular grocery store and realize I need something, that’s the one I use.

My husband – and many other locals – goes out of his way to shop at a particular store.  And that store is Market Basket.

As I drive around town, it is likely I will pass at least one MB storefront.  Now former employees stand outside on corners, asking that Artie T, their beloved CEO, be reinstated.  Drivers honk and wave, yelling support from their cars.  They also show support with the empty parking lots.  Consumers will not return until the CEO does.
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We are Groot – 3 Unsung Qualities of Superheroes (Leaders)

We are Groot – 3 Unsung Qualities of Superheroes (Leaders)

Unsung qualities of superheroes

As most of you know, summer movie season is when I revert to my inner child and jump up and down in my seat in theaters.  This year is no exception.  I waited for months and, finally, the Marvel installment I had been waiting for was here.  And it was worth the wait.

In every Marvel movie, I try to connect with the story beneath the story.  In this case, I fell in love with one character immediately.  The first viewing was pure joy and laughter.  I had to watch it a second time to savor it.

That’s right…twice.  And I’m considering a third.  It is that good and now ranks #1 on my Marvel list.

If you have not seen the movie and intend to, you may want to wait to read on.  Though I do not intend to provide spoilers, I do reference specific scenes you may want to experience for yourself.

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Boss vs Leader – Perspective at Ages 7 and 41

Boss vs Leader – Perspective at Ages 7 and 41

Boss vs Leader

Recently, my son told me that he’s the boss of a small group of friends.

I suggested that he was the leader, not the boss.  That at work, even though I’m what he would consider to be “in charge,” I think of myself as the leader, not the boss.

“What does that mean?”

So I laid out the differences between leading and bossing.  Leaders ensure their teams have a say in how things move forward.  That they are encouraged to participate and make solutions their own.

In his vernacular, “They get to help decide what games you play and how you play them.  They don’t just do what you tell them to do.”
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When Giving Advice – Open Up or Shut Down?

When Giving Advice – Open Up or Shut Down?

Open Up or Close Down?

How we approach advice heavily influences how it is received.  When we walk into a discussion with someone, we have a choice to be open or closed, whether it is our minds, ears, ideas or feedback.

What does it look like to be open?

Being open means open to the possibility…

  • That this person understands the nature of his or her issue and what needs to be done, but would appreciate a sounding board.
  • That they have considered alternatives we might offer and have valid reasons why they have discounted them.
  • That we have not been in this situation and the best we can offer is support and understanding, but not advice.

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