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Mon 24 April 2023
Embracing mistakes is critical for leaders who want to build a successful team and a strong culture for several reasons.

First, it fosters a growth mindset. When leaders and team members are open to mistakes, they are more likely to view them as learning opportunities rather than failures. This mindset encourages experimentation, creativity, and risk-taking, all of which are essential for innovation and growth. In contrast, a culture that fears mistakes can stifle creativity and discourage team members from taking risks.

Embracing mistakes encourages transparency and accountability. When leaders share their own mistakes with their teams, it creates a sense of vulnerability and honesty. This type of transparency helps to build trust between leaders and team members and fosters a culture of accountability. When team members know that mistakes will be acknowledged and addressed, they are more likely to take responsibility for their own actions and work collaboratively to find solutions to problems.

It also helps to break down hierarchies and power structures within organizations. When leaders are willing to admit to mistakes, it sends a message that everyone is fallible and that no one is above making mistakes. This type of culture encourages open communication and collaboration, as team members feel more comfortable sharing their own ideas and perspectives.

When team members are encouraged to view mistakes as learning opportunities, they are more likely to bounce back from setbacks and failures. This resilience can help to strengthen the team's ability to overcome challenges and adapt to change.

After all, the way we respond to mistakes can have a significant impact on our personal and professional growth. In many workplaces, there is a culture of fear surrounding mistakes. Employees may try to hide their mistakes from their supervisors, or they may feel embarrassed and ashamed when they do make a mistake. This culture of fear can lead to a lack of innovation, low morale, and decreased productivity. On the other hand, building a culture that embraces mistakes can lead to growth, innovation, and a stronger sense of team unity.

So, how can leaders build a culture that embraces mistakes? One important step is for leaders to share their own mistakes with their teams. When leaders are transparent about their own mistakes, it sends a message that mistakes are not something to be ashamed of, but rather an opportunity for growth and learning. Sharing mistakes also helps to break down the hierarchy that can exist in some workplaces. When leaders admit to making mistakes, it shows that they are human and can help to create a more collaborative and supportive work environment.

Another way to build a culture that embraces mistakes is to recognize and celebrate when team members make mistakes. This may seem counterintuitive, but when we acknowledge mistakes, we take away the shame and embarrassment that can be associated with them. When team members know that their mistakes will be recognized and celebrated, they are more likely to take risks and try new things. This can lead to increased innovation and growth for both individuals and the team as a whole.

Of course, it is also important to learn from mistakes. When mistakes happen, it is essential to take the time to reflect on what happened and why. This reflection can help individuals and teams to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Leaders can help facilitate this reflection by creating a safe space for team members to discuss their mistakes and share what they have learned.

In addition to reflection, it is important to take action to prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future. This may involve implementing new processes, providing additional training, or making changes to policies and procedures. When team members see that their mistakes are being taken seriously and that action is being taken to prevent similar mistakes in the future, it reinforces the message that mistakes are opportunities for growth, not something to be feared.

Building a culture that embraces mistakes requires ongoing effort and commitment. It is not something that can be achieved overnight, but rather a process that requires consistent attention and reinforcement. Leaders can help to reinforce this culture by consistently modeling the behaviors they want to see in their team members, recognizing and celebrating mistakes, and providing opportunities for reflection and learning.

To build this type of culture, leaders must be willing to share their own mistakes, recognize and celebrate mistakes made by team members, facilitate reflection and learning, take action to prevent similar mistakes in the future, and consistently reinforce the message that mistakes are opportunities for growth. With dedication and commitment, leaders can create a work environment where mistakes are not feared, but rather embraced as a natural part of the learning process.


Mon 17 April 2023
With the ChatGPT revolution upon us, many business leaders have been wondering if there can be a productive application of AI (artificial intelligence) within their business.

Sure, AI can help students plagiarize an essay into a good grade,
but can it help companies increase their teams’ productivity?

One option that my team at Ambition In Motion has been testing is
integrating AI into our goal setting system via our AIM Insights program.

Here’s how it works. Every month we ask the direct reports of a
leader to input their goals. We ask direct reports to determine their own goals
(as opposed to the manager) because research shows that people who set their
own goals are much more likely to achieve them. 

This has been a great system so far, but one challenge is that not
every employee is adept at consistently setting SMART (Specific, Measurable,
Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals. The issue is that while most
people can understand the idea of a SMART goal, it takes practice to get
comfortable setting and achieving SMART goals each month. 

Some managers believe that their employees are incapable of
setting SMART goals. In those cases, those managers are likely micromanaging
and haven’t figured out how to find a balance between their perfectionist
ideals and the practical reality. People are more than just automatons, and
that kind of treatment builds resentment and enables reactive behavior instead
of proactive behavior. 

Employees that can independently set their own SMART goals have a
massive ripple effect on the entire company. When employees set their own SMART
goals, their leader trusts them and doesn’t need to be constantly looking over
their shoulder to make sure they are on track. 

When leaders aren’t constantly looking over their direct reports’ shoulders,
they can effectively lead more people and focus on tasks that can have a
multiplying effect on the business. 

Lastly, both leaders and employees can achieve greater balance
with their work. As opposed to checking, re-checking, and re-checking again a
direct report’s work, the time both leaders and employees are working can be
effectively utilized and allow them to stop working at reasonable hours.

How do we get to a point where employees are autonomously setting
their own SMART goals?

AI!

When a manager sets goals with their direct reports, the manager
thinks that their direct reports are fully participating in the goal-setting
process but in reality, that manager is setting the goals for their direct
reports. Essentially, those managers are enabling their direct reports to not
think for themselves and come up with their own goals and instead tell them
what they want them to do.

This is micromanagement.

The best leaders share an objective that their team needs to
achieve and the key results that they believe it takes to achieve that outcome.
They then empower their direct reports to achieve those key results in whatever
fashion they deem fit. Remember, you are paying these people for their skills
and expertise: learn to trust their instincts.

This leadership style works when direct reports know how to
effectively set SMART goals. It falls flat when employees don’t know how to set
SMART goals.

The reason why AI can be so powerful in this process is the
immediacy of the feedback.

Behavior change and positive habit formation occur when one’s
pattern is disrupted and the feedback they receive is immediate.

Leaders could make themselves available immediately after a direct
report has set their goals to share their feedback on whether the goal is SMART
or not, but that is incredibly time-intensive and not conducive to the leader
achieving their own tasks that they need to focus on. There is interesting
research from Cal Newport on the mental residue people build when they switch
tasks throughout the day. If a leader were to take this route and make
themselves available every time an employee sets a new goal, they would be
constantly switching tasks, building mental residue, and diminishing their own
productivity.

Essentially, leaders are busy and there needs to be a better way
for employees to get immediate feedback on their goals.

AI changes all of that with the immediacy of feedback. In our AIM
Insights program, when employees set goals every month, our AI integration
gives those employees immediate feedback as to whether or not their goal is
SMART. If it is SMART, AIM Insights gives immediate positive reinforcement to
employees that their goal is SMART. If it is not SMART, AIM Insights gives
employees suggestions on how they can re-write that goal as a SMART goal. 

This AI integration into AIM Insights has increased the number of
SMART goals set by employees, their ability to autonomously set SMART goals on
their own, and subsequently, those employees’ and leaders’ productivity.

The ripple effect ramifications from this type of innovation can
be huge for the productivity of teams. Sure, employees will be more productive
in less time worked, but they will also be more resilient. 

Employees (and really everyone) tend to be resistant to change, so
when a company pivots their business model or the way they work, there is
always some amount of resistance that is met with the proposed change. 

When the process in which employees set goals doesn’t change, only
the objective, they are more likely to embrace the change in direction because
the way in which they set goals and achieve key results doesn’t change. The way
in which they work doesn’t materially change, only the objective and key results.
This makes for a more resilient team and that’s able to adapt to change. 

This can positively affect the way in which companies integrate
people and strategies during mergers and acquisitions, enter new business
opportunities and markets, succession plan and promote people, and any other
action that might disrupt the way in which employees currently work.

Companies and leaders that can quickly adopt AI into productive
applications will give themselves a major boost into the future.

Wed 12 April 2023
As a leader, one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal is the power of framing. How you frame a message can have a significant impact on how it is received and can ultimately determine whether or not you achieve your desired outcome. In this blog post, we'll explore the concept of framing and provide some informative tips on how to use it effectively.

What is framing?
Framing is the process of defining the meaning of a message by selecting certain aspects of it and highlighting them while ignoring others. This can be done in a variety of ways, including through the use of language, images, or other visual cues.
Upload your picture so we can use it for facial recognition software? Hard no. Upload your picture so we can show you what you will look like in 30 years? Yes. By framing their request in terms of wanting to see what you'll look like in 30 years, they are able to achieve their desired outcome of obtaining your photo, which they can then use for any purpose. However, if they had simply asked for your photo for facial recognition purposes, they may not have been as successful.

Why is framing important for leaders?
As a leader, you are constantly communicating with your team, whether it's in the form of emails, presentations, or one-on-one conversations. How you frame your message can have a significant impact on how it is received and can ultimately determine whether or not you achieve your desired outcome.
Framing is essential for leaders because it helps shape how individuals perceive and understand information. A leader's ability to effectively frame an issue or situation can significantly impact how their team members respond, engage, and work towards achieving common goals.
A leader who frames an issue in a positive and productive manner can help to foster a sense of optimism, inspiration, and motivation within their team. Conversely, a leader who frames an issue in a negative, pessimistic, or divisive manner can create a sense of disengagement, apathy, and demotivation.
By framing your message in a way that resonates with your team and highlights the benefits to them, you can increase the chances of success and create a more positive working environment. For example, by highlighting the benefits of a project or task, a leader can motivate team members to work harder and more efficiently. Similarly, by framing challenges as opportunities for growth and learning, a leader can encourage team members to develop new skills and approaches, leading to increased productivity.
Effective framing also helps to create a shared sense of purpose and direction among team members, which can further enhance productivity. When everyone is aligned on the same goals and understands how their work contributes to achieving those goals, they are more likely to be motivated and productive.


Here are 5 tips for using framing effectively as a leader:

Know your audience
Before you start framing your message, it's important to know your audience. What are their needs, desires, and fears? How can you frame your message in a way that speaks to them and addresses their concerns?
For example, if you're trying to sell a new product to your team, you'll want to frame your message in a way that highlights the benefits of the product and how it can make their lives easier. If you're addressing a sensitive issue, such as layoffs, you'll want to frame your message in a way that acknowledges the impact on your team and highlights any support that will be provided.

Highlight the benefits
One of the most effective ways to frame your message is to highlight the benefits to your team. How will this message benefit them? What positive outcomes can they expect?
For example, if you're asking your team to work overtime to meet a tight deadline, you'll want to frame your message in a way that highlights the importance of the project and the positive impact it will have on the company.

Use positive language
The language you use can have a big impact on how your message is received. Using positive language can help create a more positive and motivating environment.
For example, instead of saying "We can't afford to fail on this project," you could say "We have a great opportunity to succeed on this project and make a real impact."

Address potential objections
Before you start framing your message, think about any potential objections your team might have. How can you address these objections in your framing?
For example, if you're announcing a new policy that might be unpopular, you could acknowledge the potential concerns and provide reassurance that you're working to address them.

Practice, practice, practice
Finally, it's important to practice your framing skills. Take the time to practice framing your message in different ways and getting feedback from your team. This will help you refine your skills and become a more effective communicator.

The power of framing is an essential tool for any leader. By using the right language, highlighting the benefits, and addressing potential objections, you can create a more positive and motivating environment that helps you achieve your goals. So the next time you need to communicate with your team, take the time to think about how you want to frame your message.


Tue 28 March 2023
Managing your boss' expectations while keeping your team excited can be a challenging task, but it is essential for maintaining a productive and harmonious work environment. As a leader, you need to ensure that your team is motivated, engaged, and productive, while also meeting your boss' expectations and goals. 
Finding this balance between your boss’ expectations and your teams’ engagement often becomes more challenging in ever-changing situations. For example, a Fortune 500 company acquired a startup company in hopes of expanding their reach and innovation. 
The new team was thrilled to be a part of such a successful company, but they soon realized that the integration process was not going as smoothly as they had hoped. The leaders of the company tried several different approaches for the new team to focus on, but they kept changing the direction, leaving the startup team feeling burnt out and confused.
The first few weeks after the acquisition were exciting, as the team worked on exciting new projects and was given free reign to explore their creativity. But as time went on, the team began to feel the pressure of the constantly changing direction. They struggled to keep up with the ever-changing expectations and goals, which left them feeling drained.
As the weeks went on, the team's frustration continued to grow. They felt like they were constantly spinning their wheels, trying to keep up with the latest directive from their leaders. 
These are the 7 best practices to best help the manager of this team keep their team’s spirits high and stay on track with their new boss’ goals: 

  1. Understand Your Boss' Expectations:
The first step to managing your boss' expectations is to understand what they expect from you and your team. This requires clear communication and regular check-ins to ensure that you are on the same page. Your boss may have specific goals, timelines, or preferences that they want you to follow. Make sure you understand what is expected of you and your team, and communicate any challenges or concerns that you may have.

2. Keep Your Team Informed:
Once you have a clear understanding of your boss' expectations, it is important to communicate this information to your team. Share the goals and expectations with your team and ensure that they understand the importance of meeting them. Keep your team informed about any changes in direction or new priorities from your boss. This will help your team to stay focused and motivated, and it will also prevent any surprises that could impact their work.

3. Set Realistic Expectations:
It is important to set realistic expectations for your team that align with your boss' expectations. Don't overpromise and underdeliver. This can lead to disappointment and frustration, both from your boss and your team. Instead, set realistic goals and timelines that are achievable for your team. Work with your team to break down tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces, and set clear deadlines for each task. This will help your team to stay motivated and on track.

4. Encourage Feedback and Collaboration:
Encourage your team to provide feedback and collaborate with each other. This can help your team to stay engaged and motivated. It can also help to identify any potential issues or challenges early on, which can be addressed before they become bigger problems. Provide opportunities for your team to share their ideas and suggestions, and listen to their feedback. This will help to build trust and respect within your team, and it will also foster a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement.

5. Recognize and Celebrate Achievements:
Recognizing and celebrating achievements is a great way to keep your team excited and motivated. Celebrate when your team meets a goal or completes a project, and acknowledge their hard work and contributions. This can be as simple as a shout-out in a team meeting or as elaborate as a team outing or celebration. Recognizing your team's achievements will help to build morale and foster a positive work environment.

6. Provide Opportunities for Growth and Development:
Providing opportunities for growth and development is another great way to keep your team excited and motivated. Offer training, mentorship, or stretch assignments to help your team to develop their skills and advance their careers. This will show your team that you are invested in their success and that you value their contributions to the team. It will also help to keep your team engaged and motivated, as they work towards achieving their goals.

7. Communicate Regularly with Your Boss:
Regular communication with your boss is key to managing their expectations. Keep them informed about your team's progress, any challenges or roadblocks, and any successes or achievements. If there are any changes to the timeline or goals, communicate these changes to your boss as soon as possible. This will help to build trust and open communication between you and your boss, which is essential for maintaining a positive work environment.


All in all, managing your boss' expectations while keeping your team excited requires clear communication, realistic expectations, feedback and collaboration, recognition and celebration, opportunities for growth and development, and regular communication with your boss.
For the Fortune 500 company mentioned above, after reviewing these methods, the team manager called a meeting with the leaders of the company to discuss the challenges that the team was facing. The manager explained that while they were excited to be a part of the company, they were struggling to keep up with the changing expectations and goals.
After some discussion, the leaders of the company and the team came up with a plan to address the challenges. With a clear plan in place, the team began to feel more confident and motivated. They knew that their leaders were committed to their success and were invested in helping them achieve their goals. Over time, the team began to thrive, and their work began to make a significant impact on the company.
By working together, the leaders and the team were able to overcome the challenges they faced, and ultimately achieve success.


Tue 28 March 2023
Leadership is a critical aspect of any organization, and the skills and abilities of its leaders can significantly impact its success. However, not all leaders have had the benefit of formal training, and many may find themselves struggling to keep up with the demands of their roles. Fortunately, there are several effective ways for managers to upskill leaders who have received minimal formal training. Some of these include opportunities, while others include actual education.

  • On-the-Job Training- One of the most effective ways to upskill leaders is through on-the-job training. This approach involves providing leaders with opportunities to learn and develop new skills while they are actively engaged in their roles. This can include assigning them to new projects or tasks that challenge their abilities and providing them with feedback and support as they progress.
  • Mentorship and Coaching- Another effective way to upskill leaders is through mentorship and coaching. This approach involves pairing leaders with experienced mentors or coaches who can guide them through the process of developing new skills. Mentors or coaches can provide regular feedback and support, as well as offer insights into best practices and strategies for success. One way great tool to help upskill untrained leaders is AIM Insights which provides both coaching and metrics to help leaders better understand their teams.
  • Online Courses and Workshops- Many online courses and workshops are available that can help leaders develop new skills. These courses cover a wide range of topics, from leadership and management to specific technical skills, and can be completed at the leader's own pace. Online courses and workshops are particularly useful for leaders who may not have the time or resources to attend in-person training programs. Sponsoring manager’s further education can also go a long way in developing a leader and their loyalty.
  • Conferences and Networking Events- Attending conferences and networking events is another excellent way for leaders to upskill. These events provide opportunities to hear from experts, exchange ideas with peers, and build valuable professional connections. Leaders can learn about new trends and best practices and gain insights into how other organizations are approaching similar challenges.
  • Job Shadowing and Cross-Training- Job shadowing and cross-training opportunities can help leaders gain exposure to different areas of the organization and develop a broader range of skills. This approach involves temporarily switching roles with another leader or team member or spending time observing and learning from someone in a different part of the organization. Leaders can gain valuable insights into how different teams and departments operate and learn new skills that they can apply in their own roles.

In addition to the actions mentioned above, there are a few actions that direct reports and leadership can take, along with senior managers. As a leader, you have a responsibility to help newer managers learn more about leadership. Effective leadership is essential to the success of any organization, and providing guidance and support to new managers can help them develop the skills they need to be successful in their roles.

  • Encourage Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing- Encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing among managers can also help unskilled managers improve their skills. Managers who have more experience and expertise can offer valuable insights and guidance to their less experienced colleagues. Creating a culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing can help managers feel more comfortable seeking advice and support from their peers and can facilitate the sharing of best practices and lessons learned.
  • Be a Role Model- One of the most effective ways to help newer managers learn about leadership is to lead by example. As a manager, you should model the behaviors and qualities that you want to see in your team. By demonstrating strong leadership skills, you can show newer managers what effective leadership looks like in action.
  • Provide Clear Expectations and Goals- Managers who lack experience or skills may struggle to meet the expectations of their roles. Providing clear expectations and goals can help managers understand what is expected of them and what they need to achieve. Setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) can help managers stay focused and motivated and can provide a roadmap for their development.
  • Offer Regular Feedback and Support -Another way to help an unskilled manager is by offering regular feedback and support. Managers who are new to their roles or who lack experience may struggle to identify areas for improvement and may not know how to address them effectively. Regular feedback and support can help managers understand their strengths and weaknesses, identify areas for improvement, and develop plans to address any shortcomings.
  • Delegate Responsibilities- Delegating responsibilities to newer managers can help them develop their leadership skills. By giving them ownership over projects or initiatives, you can provide them with opportunities to practice decision-making, communication, and other leadership skills. Be sure to provide clear guidance and support as needed but allow them to take the lead and learn from their experiences.
  • Provide Opportunities for Leadership Development- Providing opportunities for newer managers to develop their leadership skills can help them build confidence and improve their performance. Consider offering leadership development programs, mentoring, or coaching to help them build the skills they need to be effective leaders.
  • Encourage Continuous Learning- Effective leaders are always learning and growing. Encourage newer managers to seek out learning opportunities, such as attending leadership seminars or workshops, reading books on leadership, or networking with other leaders in their industry. By supporting their professional development, you can help them build the skills and knowledge they need to be successful leaders.

Helping untrained managers develop the skills they need to succeed is critical to the success of any organization. Providing training and development opportunities, offering regular feedback and support, encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing, providing clear expectations and goals, and offering coaching and mentoring are all effective ways to help unskill managers improve their skills and become more effective leaders. By investing in the development of their managers, organizations can improve their overall performance and achieve greater success. 



Fri 10 March 2023
Leading a team can be challenging, especially when you are not an expert in the type of work being done. It's essential to have a clear understanding of your role as a leader and how to build a strong team that can work together to achieve success.

 While it might seem a little daunting to have to lead a team that does something you have no ideas on how to do, it is important to remember that this is common practice in all sorts of industries. Captains of cruise ships do not necessarily know how to operate the galley, but are often required to oversee the entire operation, including the cooks. The concepts travel across all sorts of businesses.

Business magnate Elon Musk used the phrase “ I didn’t go to Harvard, but I employ people who did.” This phrase should embody your mindset with this problem. In the context of a manager who isn't an expert in the type of work being done, this phrase suggests that the manager may not have the same level of technical knowledge or experience as their employees, but they recognize and value the expertise of their team members. The manager understands that their role is to lead and support the team, rather than to be the expert in every aspect of the work.

By acknowledging the strengths and expertise of their team members, the manager can leverage those skills and knowledge to achieve the goals of the organization. The manager can also provide guidance, mentorship, and resources to help their team members succeed, even if the manager doesn't have the same level of technical expertise.

This article will go into a few ideas on how to manage despite inexperience with a task.

  1. Build a Strong Team

As a leader who is not an expert in the type of work being done, it's crucial to build a strong team. Look for individuals who have the necessary skills and experience, and who can work well together as a team. Hire people who are passionate about the work being done and who have a strong desire to learn and grow. Encourage your team members to share their knowledge and expertise with one another and create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected.

2. Be a Good Communicator

Effective communication is one of the most important skills a leader can have. As a leader who is not an expert in the type of work being done, it's essential to be clear, concise, and consistent in your communication. Keep your team informed about what is happening and be available to answer their questions. Regular communication helps to build trust and fosters a sense of teamwork and collaboration. Have frequent 1:1s with your direct reports to determine how to keep moving forward with your tasks.

3. Be a Problem Solver

A good problem solver can be useful in many different situations. When faced with a challenge, work with your team to find creative solutions that are feasible and effective. Don't be afraid to try new things and take calculated risks. Encourage your team to do the same, and create an environment where failure is seen as a learning opportunity rather than a mistake.

4. Learn from Your Team

As a leader who is not an expert in the type of work being done, it's important to learn from your team members who are. Take the time to understand what they do and how they do it. Ask questions, listen to their ideas, and be open to feedback. By doing this, you can gain a better understanding of the work being done and the challenges your team faces. It also helps to build trust and respect with your team members, as they will appreciate your interest in their work.

5. Set Clear Expectations

It is essential to set clear expectations for your team. This includes goals, deadlines, and performance expectations. By setting clear expectations, you can help your team stay on track and achieve success. Make sure your team understands what is expected of them and what success looks like. Provide regular feedback and celebrate successes along the way.

6. Be Humble

It's okay to admit when you don't know something. As a leader who is not an expert in the type of work being done, it's important to be humble. Acknowledge your limitations and rely on your team to fill in the gaps. This approach not only shows your team members that you value their expertise, but it also creates a sense of trust and respect.

7. Focus on Leadership Skills

As a leader who is not an expert in the type of work being done, it's especially essential to focus on your leadership skills. This includes skills like delegation, decision making, and problem-solving. It's also important to develop your emotional intelligence, as this will help you understand and relate to your team members.

8. Be a Visionary

As a leader, it's important to have a clear vision for your team. This includes understanding the goals and objectives of the organization and how your team fits into that vision. Communicate your vision to your team and inspire them to work towards achieving it. By having a clear vision, you can create a sense of purpose and direction for your team. Understanding your leadership style and work mentality can assist with this.

9. Be a Coach

As a leader who is not an expert in the topics that you are attempting to manage, it is vital for you to stick to the topics that you have more credibility in, or topics that you are also more comfortable in. Attempting to show expertise in a topic you have no experience will make you look worse in your direct reports’ eyes. Be a mentor to your staff. In addition to that, assist them in setting SMART Goals, and utilize AIM Insights with them. Improve their overall office skills, and assist wherever you can.


In conclusion, leading effectively when you are not an expert in the type of work being done requires a combination of humility, strong communication skills, problem-solving ability, and the ability to build and empower a strong team. By focusing on these key elements, you can overcome the challenges of leading in an unfamiliar field and achieve success.



Fri 10 March 2023
Leaders can lose energy on off days due to various reasons, such as stress, overwhelm, lack of sleep, physical illness, or personal issues. These factors can drain a leader's physical and mental energy, making it challenging to focus on their responsibilities and make effective decisions.
Leaders who prioritize their energy levels can maintain their focus and motivation, leading to better decision-making, communication, and productivity. They can also avoid burnout, which is a common problem among leaders. Burnout can lead to physical and mental health problems, decreased job satisfaction, and reduced performance.
To prioritize their energy levels, leaders can take breaks throughout the day, engage in physical activity, practice mindfulness or meditation, and prioritize rest and sleep. By taking care of themselves, leaders can improve their well-being and maintain their ability to lead effectively over the long term.
Leaders need to prioritize their mental health and energy levels, even when they're having an off day, for several reasons:

  • Improved decision-making: Leaders are responsible for making critical decisions that can have a significant impact on their organization. When a leader is tired, stressed, or overwhelmed, their decision-making abilities can be impaired, leading to poor choices that can harm the business. Prioritizing mental health and energy levels can help leaders make better decisions that benefit the organization.
  • Better communication: Communication is a vital aspect of leadership, and when a leader is feeling drained or unproductive, their ability to communicate effectively can suffer. Prioritizing mental health and energy levels can help leaders communicate with their team members and stakeholders more clearly and effectively, leading to better relationships and improved outcomes.
  • Increased productivity: When a leader is feeling drained or unproductive, it can be challenging to motivate their team and achieve their goals. Prioritizing mental health and energy levels can help leaders boost their productivity, leading to better results for the organization.
  • Role modeling: Leaders set the tone for their organization, and their behavior can influence their team members' mental health and well-being. By prioritizing their own mental health and energy levels, leaders can role model healthy behaviors and promote a positive work culture.
  • Burnout prevention: Burnout is a common problem among leaders in the business world, and it can lead to significant consequences for the individual and the organization. By prioritizing their mental health and energy levels, leaders can reduce the risk of burnout and maintain their ability to lead effectively over the long term.

Taking care of oneself is not only beneficial to the leader but also to the entire organization. Leaders who prioritize their mental health and energy levels will be better equipped to handle the challenges of their role and achieve their goals over the long term.
Here are 6 top suggestions for prioritizing your mental health and re-energizing yourself through your leadership role. 

  1. Take a break
The first step in re-energizing yourself as a leader is to take a break. Sometimes, all you need is a few minutes of quiet time to reset your mind and clear your thoughts. Take a walk outside, practice some deep breathing exercises, or simply sit in a quiet room and relax for a few minutes.

2. Get moving
In the opposite respect, physical exercise is an excellent way to re-energize your body and mind. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which can improve your mood and help you feel more alert and focused. You don't need to spend hours at the gym to reap the benefits of exercise. Even a short walk or a few minutes of stretching can be enough to boost your energy levels and help you refocus.

3. Connect with others
Leadership can be a lonely job, but you don't have to face it alone. Connecting with others can be an excellent way to re-energize yourself and gain some perspective on your situation. Talk to a trusted friend or colleague, join a professional group or network, or seek out a mentor or coach who can offer guidance and support.

4. Try something new
If you're feeling stuck in a rut, trying something new can be a great way to re-energize yourself and gain some fresh perspective. Take a new class, try a new hobby, or simply explore a new part of your city or town. Getting out of your comfort zone can be intimidating, but it can also be a powerful way to re-energize your mind and body.

5. Practice self-care
As a leader, you're responsible for taking care of others, but it's essential to take care of yourself too. Practicing self-care can be an excellent way to re-energize yourself and regain your focus and productivity. This might involve getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, taking regular breaks, or indulging in a favorite hobby or activity.

6. Focus on the big picture
When you're having an off day, it can be easy to get bogged down in the details and lose sight of the big picture. Focusing on your long-term goals and vision can be an excellent way to re-energize yourself and gain some perspective. Take some time to reflect on why you're in your leadership role and what you hope to achieve in the long term.

Leadership is not an easy job, and even the most accomplished leaders have their off days. 
It is crucial for leaders to prioritize their energy levels when they're having an off day. Leaders are responsible for guiding their teams and making critical decisions that can impact the organization's success. When a leader is feeling drained or unproductive, it can affect their ability to lead effectively and achieve their goals.


Thu 23 February 2023
In today's fast-paced and competitive business world, organizations must continuously strive to improve their efficiency and productivity. One way to achieve this is through the use of SMART goals. SMART goals provide a framework for employees to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives that can help them focus their efforts and achieve their goals efficiently. 
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It's a widely used framework for setting goals that helps to ensure that goals are well-defined, realistic, and achievable.
  1. Specific: Goals should be clear and specific, so that it's easy to understand what the goal is and what needs to be accomplished.
  2. Measurable: Goals should be quantifiable, so that progress can be tracked and success can be determined.
  3. Achievable: Goals should be realistic and achievable, given the resources and limitations available.
  4. Relevant: Goals should be relevant to the overall objectives of the individual or organization and align with their values and priorities.
  5. Time-bound: Goals should have a specific deadline, so that there is a sense of urgency and accountability to achieve the goal within a specific timeframe.
 
Here are the benefits of using SMART goals and how they can increase efficiency and organization in the workplace.
 
Clarity and Focus
The first benefit of using SMART goals is that they provide clarity and focus for employees. When employees know what they need to achieve and have a specific goal to work towards, they are better able to focus their efforts and avoid distractions. This increased focus leads to greater efficiency and productivity, as employees are better able to manage their time and resources.
 
Prioritization
Another benefit of SMART goals is that they help employees prioritize their tasks and activities. When employees have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, they can prioritize their work and ensure that they are working on the most important tasks first. This reduces wasted time and effort on less critical tasks, leading to better use of time and resources.
 
Motivation and Engagement
SMART goals also increase employee motivation and engagement. When employees have a specific goal to work towards, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and motivated to achieve their objectives. This increased motivation leads to greater productivity and efficiency, as employees are more committed to their work and focused on achieving their goals.
 
Measurement and Accountability
The 'M' in SMART stands for measurable, which means that progress towards the goal can be tracked and measured. This provides a sense of accomplishment and progress, which can motivate employees to work more efficiently. It also provides a basis for accountability, as employees can be held responsible for meeting their objectives.
 
 
SMART Goals: A Guide to Helping Your Employees Achieve Their Objectives
 
Goal-setting is a critical component of success in both personal and professional life. However, setting goals is not enough; they must be well-defined, measurable, and achievable in order to be effective. By setting SMART goals, individuals and organizations can focus their efforts, track their progress, and increase their chances of achieving their desired outcomes.
 
Here is a 5-step guide on how to teach your employees to set SMART goals and help them achieve their objectives.
 
  1. Teach Employees to Set Specific Goals
The first step in the SMART goal-setting process is to ensure that the goals are specific. Employees should be encouraged to define exactly what they want to achieve and the outcomes they are hoping for. Specific goals help to provide clarity and focus, making it easier for employees to determine what they need to do to achieve their objectives.
An efficient employee 
 
2. Emphasize the Importance of Measurable Goals
The next step is to ensure that the goals are measurable. This means that employees should be able to track their progress and determine whether they are on track to achieve their goals. Measurable goals also provide a sense of accomplishment as employees see the progress they are making towards their objectives.
 
3. Encourage Achievable Goals
Goals should be achievable, meaning that they should be realistic given the resources and limitations of the employees and the organization. Helping employees to set achievable goals can increase their confidence and motivation, as they see that their efforts are making a tangible difference.
 
4. Focus on Relevant Goals
Goals should be relevant to the employee's job and the organization's objectives. Relevant goals help to ensure that the employee's efforts are aligned with the organization's priorities, and that their goals are contributing to the overall success of the company.
 
5. Emphasize the Importance of Time-bound Goals
Finally, goals should be time-bound, meaning that they should have a specific deadline. This provides a sense of urgency and helps to keep employees focused on their objectives. It also allows for regular check-ins and progress updates to ensure that the goals are on track to be achieved.
 
AIM Insights is an online platform designed to help managers and employees collaborate more effectively on goal-setting and performance management. It provides managers with tools to help employees set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals, track progress towards those goals, and receive feedback and coaching throughout the process. Here are some ways AIM Insights allows managers to help their employees set and achieve their goals:
 
●       Facilitates goal setting: AIM Insights provides a structured process for setting goals, including prompts for identifying areas of focus, creating measurable objectives, and setting timelines for completion. Managers can use this process to guide employees in setting meaningful goals that align with the organization's overall objectives.
●       Tracks progress: The platform allows employees to track their progress towards their goals and provides managers with visibility into that progress. This enables managers to identify potential roadblocks and provide support and guidance to help employees overcome them.
●       Provides feedback: AIM Insights encourages ongoing feedback and coaching between managers and employees. Managers can use the platform to provide feedback on employee performance, offer suggestions for improvement, and recognize progress towards goals.
●       Supports performance conversations: AIM Insights facilitates regular performance conversations between managers and employees. This allows them to review progress towards goals, discuss any challenges, and adjust goals as needed.
 
The use of SMART goals is an effective way to increase efficiency and organization in the workplace. By providing clarity and focus, prioritization, motivation and engagement, measurement and accountability, and organization and planning, SMART goals help employees achieve their objectives efficiently and effectively. Organizations that encourage the use of SMART goals can expect to see increased productivity, improved performance, and greater success in achieving their goals.
By using AIM Insights, managers can help their employees set goals that are aligned with the organization's objectives, track progress towards those goals, and provide ongoing feedback and coaching to support goal achievement. This, in turn, can improve employee engagement, motivation, and overall performance.
Once employees have set their SMART goals, it is important for leaders to review their goals and help them achieve their objectives. This can be done through regular check-ins and progress updates, as well as providing resources and support to help employees overcome any obstacles they may face.
Teaching your employees to set SMART goals is a valuable investment in the success of both the employees and the organization. By providing clear guidelines and support, leaders can help employees achieve their objectives, increase their satisfaction and motivation, and contribute to the overall success of the company.
Thu 23 February 2023
Perfectionism is a trait that many managers struggle with. On the surface, striving for excellence and attention to detail can seem like positive attributes, but when taken to extremes, perfectionism can lead to negative outcomes, such as burnout, micromanagement, and missed deadlines. Managers will be challenged to properly strike a balance between achieving perfection and being overly attentive.

The Pros and Cons of Perfectionism

It is important to note that being a perfectionist is not entirely negative- here are some reasons why being a perfectionist can be advantageous for a manager:

·        High standards can lead to better quality work: When a manager has high standards for their team, it can encourage team members to put in the extra effort to produce higher quality work.
·        Attention to detail can prevent mistakes: When a manager is focused on achieving perfection, they are more likely to catch mistakes or errors before they become bigger problems.
·        Perfectionism can drive innovation: A manager who is always looking for ways to improve and achieve better results can inspire team members to think outside the box and innovate.
·        Perfectionism can set a positive example: When a manager holds themselves to a high standard, it can inspire team members to do the same and strive for excellence in their own work.
·        Perfectionism can enhance the company's reputation: High-quality work can help establish the company as a leader in its field, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

On the contrary, being too much of a perfectionist can have negative consequences, such as the following:

·        Perfectionism can lead to a lack of progress: When managers are too focused on perfection, they may spend too much time obsessing over details instead of moving forward. This can lead to missed deadlines and missed opportunities.
·        Perfectionism can lead to burnout: Managers who are perfectionists may put excessive pressure on themselves and their team members, leading to burnout and stress.
·        Perfectionism can hinder creativity: When managers are too rigid in their expectations, team members may be less likely to take risks or suggest new ideas for fear of falling short of impossible standards.
·        Perfectionism can damage morale: Team members may feel discouraged and demotivated if they feel they can never meet their manager's high expectations.
·        Perfectionism can be expensive: Striving for absolute perfection can result in unnecessary expenditures of time, money, and other resources.

So with all of this in mind, it isn’t surprising that many managers struggle to find the ideal balance for just how perfect they should be. Here are some tips on how to do so-

 

1)     Set Realistic Goals

One of the main reasons why managers become perfectionists is that they set unrealistic goals for themselves and their team. While it's important to aim high and challenge yourself, it's equally crucial to be realistic about what can be achieved within a given timeframe.

To avoid falling into this trap, managers should start by breaking down larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. They should also ensure that each task has a clear deadline and is achievable within the given timeframe.

Use SMART criteria to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This approach helps ensure that goals are focused, measurable, and achievable within a given timeframe. SMART goals are a core component to how leaders can manage their team using AIM Insights. Here is an article on how to set SMART goals

 

2)     Prioritize Tasks

Another way to avoid perfectionism is to prioritize tasks according to their level of importance. Managers should focus on completing the most critical tasks first, and then move on to less urgent ones. Prioritizing tasks can be daunting at first, so the key in prioritizing is as follows:

a.      Identify the most urgent tasks that require immediate attention.
b.      Determine which tasks will have the greatest impact on the organization's goals and objectives.
c.      Consider the resources available, including time, budget, and personnel, and allocate them to the most critical tasks.
d.      Break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps to help manage time and resources more effectively.
e.      Regularly review and adjust priorities as circumstances change.

 

3)     Embrace Mistakes

Perfectionists often have a hard time dealing with mistakes or failures. They tend to view these as a reflection of their own inadequacies, which can lead to self-doubt and anxiety.

To avoid falling into this trap, managers should try to adopt a growth mindset. This means embracing mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as a sign of failure.

By viewing mistakes as learning opportunities, managers can become more resilient and better equipped to handle challenges in the future.

4)     Delegate Tasks

Another way to avoid perfectionism is to delegate tasks to team members. Managers often feel like they need to do everything themselves to ensure that it's done correctly, but this can be a recipe for burnout and inefficiency.

Delegating tasks not only helps managers to free up their time, but it also empowers team members to take ownership of their work and develop new skills. Using tools such as AIM Insights can also assist in determining how much a direct report already has on their plate before delegating further tasks on to them. Furthermore, it is important to make sure that these members are okay with additional responsibilities or are being adequately compensated for the increase in their role.

5)     Set Boundaries

Perfectionists often have a hard time setting boundaries around their work. They may feel like they need to be available at all times and respond to every email or message immediately.

To avoid falling into this trap, managers should set clear boundaries around their work hours and availability. This means turning off their work phone and email outside of work hours and being clear about their response times.

Setting boundaries can help managers to create a better work-life balance and avoid burnout.

6)     Focus on the Big Picture

Finally, managers can avoid perfectionism by focusing on the big picture. While attention to detail is important, it's equally crucial to keep the larger goals in mind.

By focusing on the bigger picture, managers can avoid getting bogged down in minor details and maintain perspective on what really matters.

Perfectionism can be a challenging trait to overcome, but it's essential for managers to find a healthy balance between quality and efficiency. By setting realistic goals, prioritizing tasks, embracing mistakes, delegating tasks, setting boundaries, and focusing on the big picture, managers can avoid falling into the trap of perfectionism and become more effective leaders.

Thu 9 February 2023
In January 2023, Ambition in Motion CEO Garrett Mintz faced an interesting  quandary that a participant brought to the table in an Executive Mastermind group meeting. This executive talked about the lavish praises that  her CEO had given her, but also made note of the fact that her CEO had effectively quadrupled her responsibilities. In addition to this,  despite the dramatic increase in responsibilities, this executive had received no proportionate increase in pay or benefits. 

This is a phenomenon known as contradictory feedback. While this normally happens from different managers having different expectations, goals, or communication styles, it can also happen implicitly as well. In this case, giving the praise seemed to be a reward, but additional responsibilities with no pay? That feels like a punishment. While in this case an executive fell victim to this, it could easily happen to a direct report because of poor management. Let’s talk about how to properly recognize your employees.  Recognition falls into two distinct categories: constructive criticism and properly rewarding employees. Both categories help make up effective managerial recognition. 

Giving good constructive criticism is an important aspect of being a manager, as it helps to build trust, improve performance, and promote personal and professional growth.  It is important to remember that constructive criticism should be an ongoing process, not just a one-time event. Managers should strive to create a culture of open and honest feedback, where individuals feel comfortable giving and receiving feedback, and where feedback is used as a tool for growth and improvement. By doing so, they can help to create a workplace where individuals feel valued and motivated, and where they can reach their full potential. Here are some tips for giving effective feedback to your direct reports:

·        Specific and actionable: Constructive criticism should be specific and actionable, focusing on specific behaviors or actions that need improvement, rather than generalizations or blanket statements. For example, instead of saying "you're not doing a good job," you could say "I noticed that you missed this deadline, can we discuss ways to prevent that from happening in the future?"
·        Timing: Constructive criticism should be given in a timely manner, as close to the event as possible. Delaying feedback can make it less effective and more difficult to address the issue.
·        Focus on improvement: The goal of constructive criticism is to help the individual improve, not to punish or discredit them. Feedback should be focused on helping the individual understand what they need to do differently in the future.
·        Follow-up: Constructive criticism should be followed up with regular coaching, mentoring, or feedback sessions to monitor progress and provide additional support as needed.

While criticism and praise are important aspects of recognizing and rewarding good employees, it should not be the only form of reward. They are not enough to motivate and engage employees and can quickly become meaningless if overused. Additionally, praise may not always align with the individual's personal and professional goals and may not provide tangible benefits that are important to the employee.

To be effective, rewards for good employees should be diverse and tailored to the individual's needs and preferences. The following rewards provide tangible and nontangible benefits that employees can see and feel and help to show that their efforts are valued and appreciated.

1)     Flexibility and autonomy: Allowing employees to have more control over their work, such as flexible hours or the ability to work remotely, can be a powerful reward. By giving employees the freedom to manage their own time, you are showing them that you trust and value their abilities.
2)     Professional development opportunities: Investing in your employees' professional growth and development is a great way to reward and retain top talent. Offer training and development opportunities, such as workshops, conferences, mastermind groups or mentorship programs, to help employees improve their skills and advance in their careers. For help promoting these benefits, use this resource.
3)     Monetary rewards: Financial incentives, such as bonuses, can be an effective way to reward employees for their hard work. However, it is important to be mindful of the reasons for the reward, and to ensure that it is tied to specific performance metrics and achievements. Using a tool such as AIM Insights can make tracking specific metrics from employees much easier.
4)     Time off: Providing employees with additional time off, such as paid time off, can be a valuable reward. This can include a flexible schedule, additional paid vacation days, or a paid day off for a special occasion.
5)     Employee events and activities: Organizing employee events and activities, such as team building exercises, company outings, or social events, can be a fun and effective way to reward employees. These types of events provide opportunities for employees to bond and have fun and can help to foster a positive and motivated work environment.
6)     Autonomy and trust: This can include giving employees more control over their work and allowing them to take ownership of their projects.
7)     Support and resources: This can include providing employees with the resources and support they need to succeed, such as access to technology, tools, or training, like AIM Insights.
8)     Job enrichment: Providing employees with new and challenging responsibilities or allowing them to take on additional projects or tasks, can be a rewarding and motivating experience. By giving employees the opportunity to grow and develop their skills, you are showing them that you value their contributions and trust in their abilities.

Managers can help to build trust and improve performance among their direct reports by giving good criticism. The key is to be clear, specific, and solution-focused, and to encourage open and honest dialogue. In addition to that, by taking a creative and holistic approach to rewarding employees, managers can help to foster a positive and motivated work environment. 

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