The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance announced this week that a supplement to the ANSI/APSP/ICC/NPC-12 2016...
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance has awarded the 2019 Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant to the Pueblo Department...
The Texas legislature has passed HB 2858, which allows municipalities in the state to require...
Lyle was ready to pull his hair out. He had transferred from the company's flagship location to a struggling branch store in another state and had done everything he knew to establish trust and build credibility, but nothing seemed to work. Nine months in, he still sensed suspicion and guardedness whenever he walked the floor, and business results were lagging. Finally, he turned to a trusted member of his team for advice and was dumbfounded by the response: "Change your license plates. Every day the employees come to work and see your car in the lot with Illinois license plates. They assume you're just like all the rest: another short-timer who will return to corporate soon enough, so why should they buy in to you? If you want to prove you're here to stay, change your plates!"
Lyle had learned a very small but valuable lesson about leading people: often it is the smallest things that make the biggest difference. It's called Little Leadership. It is simple in concept and easy to do and can be especially helpful when times are tough and resources are scarce. So always be on the lookout for the next "small idea." With a little forethought and a little effort you can reap big results. Below are some tips and ideas to get you started in making Little Leadership work for you.
1. A sweet idea for keeping your ear to the ground. Placing a snack or vending machine nearby makes visiting your workspace a treat. Better yet, a candy dish on your desk will invite people to stop and chat. Dropping by for a bite, people will associate you with those small breaks that help them get through the day. You'll be amazed at the comments you'll hear that will help you keep your finger on the pulse of morale and office politics.
2. Face time: A low-cost investment with a big payoff. Sticking your head in someone's office or dropping by the cubicle to say thanks in person is a very small investment of time that pays big dividends as long as you are sincere and don't overplay your hand. When someone does a particularly good job, don't just make a mental note of it, tell him or her in person. The recipient of your goodwill will feel valued and appreciated for what they do and will be more motivated to keep it up.
3. Remove subtle signs that put people down. Audit your workplace for any subtle practices that divide people based on rank and privilege for no good reason. For example, in the majority of cases, I can't think of any good reason for preferred parking for executives. All it does is serve to reinforce the gulf between employees and management and unnecessarily contribute to a sense of us versus them. If such perks really matter to your executives, you've got the wrong people in positions of power.
4. Handwritten notes can be powerful tools for building relationships. In this electronic age, handwritten correspondence has gone by the boards in favor of e-mail, voicemail and the like. For convenience sake, that's mostly a good thing. But if you want to stand out from the crowd, take the time to hand write a short note to express gratitude or appreciation toward your best customers, clients or prospects. This small gesture will go a long way toward saying "you matter to me" and leaves a very strong impression.
5. Ask, "How are you doing?" and mean it. When times are tough and people are stressed, taking the time to genuinely inquire into how someone is doing sends a powerful message of caring. We're not talking a spill-your-gut session here or in-depth psychotherapy, but taking a minute or two to inquire after a co-worker's sick child or parent or to see how the job is progressing, lets people know you care. As a consequence, they are more likely to care about you and the business.
6. Plan small celebrations. I'm not a big fan of throwing a party for every birthday, anniversary or other milestone, but if your group has been working extra hard lately, plan something small but fun as a reward. Bringing in bagels for breakfast, pizza for lunch, ice cream for a late afternoon break, or maybe a Friday night movie for everyone in the group and their dates are just a few easy and low-cost ways to celebrate success and the hard work it takes to make it happen.
7. Nothing is too small: If it matters to them, it should matter to you. Let's go back to the birthday party situation. If you have a group that likes to celebrate small things like birthdays but you couldn't care less, find a way to support them with these seemingly small issues. Remember the essence and premise of Little Leadership: with people, the little things are the big things. Rather than discounting others' wishes because they do not matter to you, ask people for suggestions on how to accomplish their wishes so work still gets done and everyone wins. Taking little steps like these helps to sustain morale and build your leadership brand and power.
8. Don't assume you know what matters to them. These days it's not unusual for several generations to be working side by side, and it's common for the leader to be significantly older than the youngest cohort. Don't assume that what matters to you matters to them. Find out what seemingly small things are important to all your colleagues and try to provide for them as much as possible. This does not mean you need to compromise your values or lower performance expectations. It does mean you need to work extra hard to make sure you understand what seemingly small things drive the behavior of everyone, especially those different from you.
9. To maximize the benefit of listening to a speech or attending a seminar, think "short and small" to hit it big. When attending educational events, make it your goal to walk away with a short list of just one or two main ideas to focus on going forward. Then, at the beginning of each week, choose one small thing you can do that will make a difference in that area. Over time, those small weekly shifts in behavior will make a big difference in getting the results you seek.
If Little Leadership sounds like common sense, that's because it is. But all too often, it's not common practice. Leaders spend so much time in pursuit of the next big idea that they miss the scores of little ones right in front of them that can have an immediate and lasting impact. So the next time you start thinking about how to improve things at work, think small. The results you'll get may be huge.
Many of us may have had the unfortunate experience of adding soda ash "wrong" to pool water, resulting in a pool that looks like it is filled with milk. In fact, we refer to it as "milking" a pool. Why does that happen?
When we decide, for example, to raise the pH of a pool from 7.2 to 7.6, we calculate how much soda ash is required for that size pool to achieve a 0.4 pH unit increase. A solution of soda ash (sodium carbonate) has a pH of above 11, so when added to pool water the pH...
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The IoT Movement is continuing to take America by storm. According to Statista, smart home devices — or internet-enabled devices that can remotely monitor and control areas of the home — are experiencing exponential growth, which is only expected to accelerate.
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