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The Great Resignation, or Great Reshuffling, or whatever you call it. I’m talking to a whole bunch of people who are re-prioritizing, re-examining, and re-thinking what their work is about.

It’s a major factor in how employees are making decisions right now.

Part of the problem is that everyone has their own priorities and sense of balance. More than ever, it really matters if you have small kids, elderly parents, or are thinking of buying a house when prices are going through the roof.

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There are times when progress is just … S O   S L O W. It seems like I’m getting nowhere and wasting time.

Most of the time, that’s all in my head. The pressure is coming from wanting something Right Now.

But most things take some time to develop.

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You’re the leader, so your job is to tell other people what to do. As if it ever worked that way.

No, you want to lead by inspiration. By example.

Which means that YOU are the first one that needs to change. YOU need to reflect the direction of your organization, and how you want your people to make decisions.

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If you’re a leader, then people will look to your crystal ball to provide some reassurance about the future. The problem, of course, is that you have no magic crystal ball and can’t tell the future better than anyone else.

But did you notice that I used the word “reassurance”? Because that’s what people are really seeking. Being able to tell the future is one way to do that, but not the only way. Honestly, if you try to rely just on THAT skill, people are going to be skeptical because they know that nobody has the ability.

So what is it about, then?

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Culture is a powerful concept in business, identifying the way people actually work together to get stuff done. It’s connected with other larger cultures, of course, including the community, society and country we live in.

Individuals also bring their own micro-culture — how they interact, communicate, make decisions, and so on.

But here I’m focusing on the culture we all share in our organizations. Our key processes interleave with the way we work together as people. We’d like to think that they’re in sync. When they’re not, everyone gets frustrated and the processes don’t work well.

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We all have excuses. My alarm didn’t go off. Someone forgot to tell me. I’ve been busy.

Yeah, there’s always a reason for messing up someone else’s life. It couldn’t possibly be … me!

This is deadly to your reputation as a leader. Leaders are all about getting stuff done – as an individual, and as a team. So when you make an excuse, that’s laying the groundwork for everyone to blame others, and not accomplish very much.

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I’ve been noticing that a lot of people seem to be rethinking their lives now that the pandemic is getting more under control. We’re not out of danger yet by any means, but we’re thinking about whether we should truly go back to life as we knew it a couple of years ago.

I ponder that myself when I think about what 2021 and 2022 should look like for me. I’m of the mind to make some changes.

This raises a couple of questions for you. First, what do you want to increase and what do you want to decrease as you figure out your future?

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We learn very early in life to conform, to fit in, to copy.

Unfortunately this doesn’t usually lead to success in business. And it doesn’t make you a leader.

Instead, you have to figure out how you’re going to be different, to stick out and be memorable. But this takes courage.

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The future will be different than the past. That’s basic, right? Yet we love to make projections based on an expectation that only 2% will change.

Well, the pandemic upended all that. It felt like EVERYTHING changed.

As we achieve a high rate of vaccinations, we’d like to think that we will “return to normal” — namely, 2019. But it’s not happening. We’re moving into something new.

We expect our business leaders to have a clearer view of the future, or at least to act like they do. But we’re in a state where NOBODY really knows what the future holds.

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When inspiration lights you up, the impact can be unstoppable.

I had the chance recently to speak with Gary Nickell, founder of Scott’s Roofing in Colorado. They do commercial and residential roofing work, so not exactly what you might consider a leading edge, fancy industry.

And I have to admit it’s an industry without a great reputation. We can have some severe hailstorms around here, so every year we have numerous people contact us about assessing hail damage – even when there hasn’t been a storm. Many of those people aren’t based here, and may just disappear with your deposit.

Unfortunately, many home maintenance services have this kind of reputation.

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