April 2010 Newsletter

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Leader HQ Newsletter
April 2010

Here’s to hoping that April’s showers will bring more good things than just flowers… Please enjoy this month’s Leader HQ Newsletter and share it with a friend.

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“Make a Difference Every Day”

The book, The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn, tells the tale of a real life postal worker, Fred Shea, who brought customer service to extraordinary levels. The author notes that great performances don’t have to be an exception, every individual makes a difference.

Even if you haven’t read the book, it’s a thought worth pondering. Every person does make a difference. Sanborn goes on to ask the question, “‘What kind of difference is each of us making?’ every day.” Sanborn’s point is important enough for leaders that it bears fleshing out.

It’s easy to make a difference at work. The real issue is whether the difference is positive or negative. With the increased responsibilities managers now hold, it can be easy to fall into the trap of being somewhat negative. However, effective leaders don’t allow negative feelings to take control. They find ways to turn themselves and their teams around.

Here are a few ways that you can re-invigorate yourself or the members of your team, making a positive difference to the people around you at work.

Help Someone Learn Something New – By investing a little time in someone else, you’re helping to develop your team and sharpening your own expertise. The lucky person will enjoy the extra attention and in the long term, you will have increased your ability to delegate important tasks.

Make A Conscious Decision To “Go The Extra Mile” – The saying may be a bit clichéd, but when put into practice it can make an impressive difference. Take one task or deliverable and focus on making it the best it can be. Your increased focus may not only spark new ideas for this project, but for the other things you are working on as well.

Have A Real Conversation With Your Leader – Find out what energizes them or keeps them on track. This isn’t a suggestion to do some brown-nosing, but a self-initiated learning opportunity. Not close enough to the boss to ask that kind of question? That’s a sign that now may be just the right time to develop that relationship.

Online Resource

There’s a lot of truth to the old saying “Time flies when you’re having
fun.” Unfortunately, time also flies when you’re not having fun.

The sense of things moving faster than you can keep up can lead to feelings of stress. The Mayo Clinic website has a wealth of information on recognizing and managing stress, including some practical advice in the article “Time management: Tips to reduce stress and improve productivity.” You can read the article here.

On the Bookshelf

Keeping the members of their team motivated is a task every leader faces at some point of their career. Sometimes, the most challenging part is finding the right words. For those times, the book Perfect Phrases for Motivating & Rewarding Employees may be just what is needed.

Written by a Mother-Daughter team, Harriet Diamond and Linda Eve Diamond, this book begins with general information on why workplace motivation is important and how managers can be more effective in motivating their staff. The real payoff, however, is in Part Two. In this section, example phrases are given for a wide range of situations: from dealing with a good employee who is reluctant to take a next level position, to picking a team’s spirits up after an unsuccessful project. The suggested phases are also good conversation starters for dealing with other issues in your team such as “reckless overachievers” (“Great work! Did everyone on the team get a chance to review it?”) or dealing with bad publicity (“We would like to take responsibility for where we’ve gone wrong and go forward in a positive direction. We need your help in creating a positive, forward-thinking environment”).

Perfect Phrases for Motivating & Rewarding Employees is a worthwhile purchase if you need a little help in keeping your team motivated, or are looking for ways to start meaningful discussions with your team. It’s available here on Amazon.

Recipe for Success

Learning how to deliver effective feedback is just one of the ingredients for improving team performance. Call Leader HQ and let us help you create your Recipe for Success.

This month’s recipe is for Spicy Black Beans and Rice. This makes a great side dish or you can double the quantity for a vegetarian main course.

Spicy Black Beans and Rice

1 cup uncooked rice
1 16 oz can of Black Beans
1 10 oz can of RO*TEL® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles–(if you’re highly adventurous, try the RO*TEL® Hot)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 bay leaf


1. Prepare rice on stove top or in rice cooker according to package directions. Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, add black beans (do not drain), tomatoes and their juice, along with the remaining seasonings.
3. Cook the mixture over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it starts. Remove from heat and serve beans over white rice.

Serves 2-3.

In This Issue
Make a Difference Every Day
Online Resource
On the Bookshelf
Recipe for Success – Spicy Black Beans and Rice
Leader HQ is not the biggest Leadership & Organizational Development firm. Our mission won’t allow us to be huge.  In business, big companies typically have large HR or Talent Development teams in house. Leader HQ is focused on small and mid-sized companies who recognize that developing Great Leaders is important, but don’t have internal resources to handle this important function.  Staying small allows us to remain focused on serving your needs; not just one time, but for the long term. Visit our website at www.LeaderHQ.com for more information on our programs and services.

Leader HQ – We turn bosses into Leaders.

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