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Ideas to ignite your personal, team and company performance

Welcome to the Evolving Strategies monthly newsletter providing you with ideas to ignite personal, team and company performance during change. Evolving Strategies is a consulting firm helping companies and people learn, change and lead. Have a topic or challenge you'd like to see addressed? Email us. Thank you - Sandy

Cowgirl Courage

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"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." -John Wayne (1907-1979), American actor

My southern roots produce my visceral reaction to this quote. It is so easy for me to remember being frightened to saddle up on Old Paint, but my father made sure that I would still jump up on this gentle giant and ride anyway. After all, there was no turning back after my family drove out to the horse farm. My only other option would have been to hang out with those stinky old men with smelly stuff under their bottom lip.

Have you ever wanted to throw in the towel when faced with an organizational or personal change that is greeting you as your eyes flutter open in the morning?

One of my favorite leaders early in my career used to remind her team at the start of each large-scale organizational change project that ‘You can eat an elephant, but you can only do so one bite at a time.’ Translation: try chunking, a more flexible learning style allowing you to absorb change, to take in information and to keep your momentum going.

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It’s All in The Dings

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“Any job, big or small, do it right, or not at all.” – Char Schwan, (1942 – 2013), treasured wife, mother, daughter, aunt, friend, confidant... and many other roles to so many people.

What an amazing role model I had in my Aunt Char. She led an incredible life full of love and wonder. As I think of her home where many of us created lifelong memories, I recall her beautiful grandfather clock that delivered a lovely chime every 15 minutes. The way she lived her life was almost as if every ding of that clock was a trigger for her to ponder, “Whose life can I impact right now?”

She didn’t wait for twelve o’clock, when she heard the majestic chimes that sound twice a day; she brought joy, wisdom, love, support and faith to others with every little ‘ding.’ Aunt Char taught me that life is made in the smallest of moments, not the grandest of gestures.

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Empower Employees: Try 3 Before Me

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“Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda, Star Wars’ Jedi Master



Empowering team members is a tactic that leaders are encouraged to use. But is empowerment something leaders magically give to or do for others? Or do people already have tremendous power? I believe the answer is the latter. It is not a matter of giving your staff power but enabling them to use the power and skills they already have. Allow them to do.

Recently, a senior leader and I were discussing effective steps to accelerate a change in his managers’ behavior –[from them coming to him to solve problems to them solving problems on their own.] Here’s what he did.

Action / Management: Try Three Before Me

Request that an employee who reports to you try three solutions to solving a problem or making a decision that he typically asks you to do BEFORE approaching you for assistance.

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About Sandy Schwan:

Sandy is the managing partner of Evolving Strategies LLC, a consulting firm helping companies and people learn, change and lead. 

 
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Sandra M. Schwan
Evolving Strategies LLC
1660 N. LaSalle Drive
Suite 3011
Chicago, IL 60614 USA

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