Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I wish I knew who first brought this to my attention; I am eternally grateful. I would credit the author if I knew who it was - they're very smart. This is a great mentoring conversation to have.

Delegation is something done badly just about everywhere. It's hard to delegate among family and friends; it's expected at work and expected to not go well. Part of bad delegation is not clearly understanding the level of responsibility being handed off. Managers forget to say; people forget to ask.

Delegation is not about letting go of the final sign off. I can completely delegate getting the car cleaned (where, when, by whom, how) and yet still pay for it. My manager can delegate a project to me but I still will need his signature even if all the decisions are mine.

Level 1: I do it myself.  No help. No input. My brain and strength alone. 

Level 2: I do it but some folks need to give me input. I may not take the input at the end but I will listen because I asked for it. Maybe I will even  hand off a small part for someone else to do. I'm busy browning the chicken so can you chop the onions for the meal I'm making (that your input - chicken or shrimp - has already influenced).

Level 3: We do it together. ha! in what universe does that work? The decision must be made and if we all keep debating the choices I'm never going to pick a solution. Someone always owns the final word.

Level 4: You do it with input from me. My personal favourite... backseat driving :-) Which is not, of course, true delegation so ignore that example. Really, it's your final decision but I will attempt to shape the outcome as I'm giving up the ownership to you but not letting go all the way... (I should write a whole post on level 4: Learning to pry the "delegater's" fingers further off the project. Post a comment if you agree...)

Level 5: You do it. Enough said

Do you know your level of authority across your projects?

hmmm.... do I?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Do this now and be successful!

It's everywhere and it's driving me nuts. Superlatives. Extra exclamations!! Promises of shortcuts and quick solutions. The cliche or quote to unlock the one 'aha!' moment that was holding you back (!!!!).

There is no silver bullet, no magic one-size-fits-all formula for success (however you define it).

The next time you see The Top Ten List to <perfection /success> or A Few Easy Steps to <perfection/success> or The <perfect> Way to Attain <success>.... or Be <better / perfect> with these Hacks! .... Pause.  Laugh. Enjoy the author's perspective. Keep yours.

Remember that:

  • There is no shortcut for showing up and putting effort into a project or idea. 
  • Mistakes are necessary. If we only needed the conclusions, there would be no new ideas or experiments.
  • Your definition of success and your plan to get there has as much merit as anyone else's.
  • Some days we don't need to be better... we just need to be.

Wandering through LinkedIn has its merits... I saw this quote on LI which articulated a piece of my frustration this week. Of course it was a quote; I'm not immune just tired of it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Repeat Test

I found this post on LinkedIn this past weekend.

This is a highly effective way to avoid wasting time. Print copies of this updated image and follow instructions from my 2013 article here: https://goo.gl/XrSwoZ
I found it very easy to rank my working day hours but not as easy for my personal time. Was playing an hour of Disco Bees a waste or a repeat? Was laundry virtuous and repeatable or a dirty chore? Was coffee with my neighbour valuable? 
I also struggle with changing the 'red' zones required of me at work because, often, someone else has considered them 'green.' 
It's a good conversation to have with your mentor: how to spend the time; how to change the time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Title of my speech?

I've recently been asked to chair the Canadian Institute's 3rd Women\'s Leadership Forum East. It should be an amazing day. Minister Patty Hajdu, Minister for the Status of Women in Canada will be there as will many terrific voices, opinions, and shoes.

So I've been debating what to say to open the day. What theme? What message?

  • If I were a dictator, here's what I'd do first to change things?
  • Challenge all rules except this one?
  • Show your roots; show your bra strap; show yourself?
  • Ask questions and the person who answers might learn something new?
  • When nothing is going right, laugh a little?

It is typical me that I know what I'll be wearing before I know what I'll be saying... Watch for the polka dress...