Archive for the ‘Jenn’s Trends’ Category
January 29, 2013 | No Comments »
By Jenn Herman
Groundhog Day is traditionally thought to be a Pennsylvania German celebration whereby a groundhog predicts the remaining duration of winter. Celebrated on February 2nd every year, if the groundhog emerges and sees his shadow, he scurries back into his hole, signaling another 6 weeks of winter. Conversely, if he doesn’t see his shadow and emerges from the burrow, spring will come early.
Are you leading like a groundhog? Are you hiding from your own shadow, fearing more winter-like tough times and only coming out when it looks like the coast is clear? You’ve earned this position of leadership and those around you will follow your lead. If you choose to bury your head and weather the storm, so will they. How can we expect our employees to be creative, think up new solutions, or suggest alternatives if we aren’t actively doing the same?
We need to stop hiding from the challenges and face them head on. If we all sit back and wait for the seas to calm, innovation will move at a snail’s pace. As a leader, you need to take the helm of the ship and guide your organization in the direction you want it to go. Most of us have endured numerous trials and tribulations over the years. That’s just part of the journey. It’s how we deal with those challenges and overcome them that help to define who we become as leaders and plot the path of our organizations. The satisfaction and transformation that comes from overcoming the obstacles in our way, empowers us to succeed in ways we can’t necessarily imagine. Many of the greatest leaders and innovators have proven this: Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Mother Teresa, or Mark Zuckerberg. If Mark Zuckerberg had hid from his proverbial shadow, we probably wouldn’t have Facebook today. While you may not agree completely with their political approach or management styles, you can see how their determination overcame challenges, resistance, and tough times to successfully move their organizations beyond the norm and to the forefront of change or innovation. Growth, success, and innovation all depend on taking chances, risking failure, and overcoming the obstacles that we fear. So, while we have to challenge these obstacles, we need not do so blindly. Devise a plan, involve your team, and execute your strategy.
In all reality, since 1887, Punxsutawney Phil’s weather predictions have only been correct 39% of the time. So while it’s a fun tradition, don’t let stories cloud your leadership expertise. Be realistic, not superstitious. Lead your team and your organization based on facts and strategy while adhering to your organization’s goals and ethos. Let’s stop acting like groundhogs and confront that shadow. When all is said and done, that obstacle you face may end up being as fleeting as a shadow after all.
December 11, 2012 | No Comments »
By Jenn Herman
It’s that time of the year when business meetings, dinner parties, Holiday parties, special events, and family commitments have cluttered your calendar to the point where only a Jedi-master can make sense of it! It’s the Holiday Season and it’s year-end at work. If you’re like most of us, you’re starting to pull out your hair at the stress that is inevitably lingering on the horizon.
As leaders and managers, it is our responsibility to guide those around us and lead by example. Your employees and co-workers are looking to you to see how you handle everything right now. So, if this time of year is starting to bog you down, here are 5 key leadership skills – translated into holiday survival skills – to help you navigate the rest of the year.
- Patience. In business, we know we have to be patient and use our time wisely. So why is it that when we hit the shopping mall during the holiday season, we turn into vultures pecking at parking spaces? Take a deep breath, and travel prepared and patient. Give yourself enough time to complete your tasks and understand that whether you’re in the checkout line at the store, at the airport, or really anywhere this time of year, so is everyone else. Plan your time, errands, and travel ahead of time so you’re not left scrambling on December 24th.
- Listen. One of the best skills of any leader and manager is the ability to listen to others to gain valuable insight through verbal and silent clues. When it comes time to purchase the gifts for those around you – listen to them. Are they giving you hints about what they would like? If not, what are their interests, hobbies, style? All of these “hints” will lead you in the right direction for the perfect gift.
- Wisdom. Only with time and experiences can we really become wise. In business, you have gained valuable bits of wisdom over the years and are now experts in your fields and respected leaders. Likewise, we’ve been through countless holiday seasons before, so why do we keep repeating the same mistakes every year? Learn from years past. What worked, what didn’t work? What relieved some stress? What got the kids the most excited? Use that wisdom to help make this year go smoothly.
- Innovation. Today’s business is all about innovation and doing something new. How can you be different from your competitors, what will set you apart? Let’s use that same idea to have our own unique holiday. If you have die-hard family traditions, by all means, keep them in place. But try adding something different this year to spice it up – drive around and look at Christmas lights in your neighborhood, buy a gingerbread house kit to entertain the kids, perform Random Acts of Kindness for strangers every day leading up to December 25th. You’ll be surprised how one new fun holiday experience can lighten the pressure you feel this time of year.
- Balance. We always strive to find that perfect balance between work and personal life. And on a daily basis we often have to set priorities to determine where that balance lies. This time of year increases those demands and only further encourages the need for setting priorities. Make sure that you set time for you as well. Whether it’s going to the gym, getting a massage, having a quiet dinner at home – do what you need to do to keep yourself sane for the rest of the year!
Hopefully these tips will help guide you to a less stressful, well-organized, and rewarding holiday and year-end.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year of health, happiness, and prosperity!