Friday, June 28, 2019

6 Exit Tickets to Improve your Leadership

Exit tickets have been proven to elicit formative assessment data that drives instruction. At the end of a lesson, an exit ticket is a quick check to see which students learned and which students are still struggling. Then the data from yielded from the exit ticket is leveraged to make adjustments to the next day’s lesson.

Well, it makes good sense to employ exit tickets as much as possible to strengthen instruction, so wouldn’t it make even better sense if leaders used exit tickets to strengthen their leadership?  After all leadership is nothing more than teaching folks how to get better at what they do. 

Think about this.
  • We have meetings. Are they getting it?  
  • We have trainings. Did they learn it?
  • We send communication. Do they understand it?

If you answered these questions with “I don’t know”, then the answer for some folks in your organization will be a definite no. To strengthen your leadership, here are 6 strategies to use exit tickets to strengthen your leadership by knowing if your people are with you.

6 Exit Tickets for Leaders
  1. Sticky Note Feedback - Provide sticky notes to your staff and at the end of the meeting or training, have them leave you with information that they don’t understand or need more clarification. 
  2. Hand signs - Quickly poll the group with a thumbs up or down or fist of 5 (rating scale) to gauge their comfort with new information. 
  3. Google Form - This tech tool allows you to get specific information from individuals through ratings or responses. 
  4. Mentimeter - CLICK HERE for a great tech tool that participants can anonymously leave ratings, feedback or questions. 
  5. Plickers - CLICK HERE for a tech-tool in the form of a paper-based QR code that participants can answer multiple choice or true/false questions while you can scan the entire room with your cell phone. 
  6. One & One - Before people leave the meeting, give a note card to participants  and ask them to write down one positive and one question or concern they have from your meeting or training. 

At the end of the day, your leadership is based entirely on how much your followers gain from your influence. You will never truly know your impact until you ask for help from those you serve. Exit tickets are a quick and powerful way to both gauge their knowledge and comfort as well as your effectiveness as a communicator and leader. 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

7 Serves of a Super Leader

Leadership is service. It’s influence. It drives cultural and structural change. If you get down to the heart of leadership, it is the galvanizing force that permanently shapes an organization.

So what is the driving force of leadership?  At the end of the day, it is how the leader serves. Now you may be thinking, “Not every leader serves”.  Well actually every leader does serve. It’s just that some are self-serving, while others are not. Here’s what I mean. 

Weak leaders serve:
  • Themselves first and others if it feels right. 
  • The status quo. 
  • At the cost of customers. 
  • Safety and easiness,
  • Negativity 

Super leaders serve:
  • Others first and themselves last. 
  • A quest for continuous improvement all in an effort to avoid the comfort and stagnation of the status quo. 
  • Customers as if it were an investment in the organization,
  • Innovators and a better way of doing things
  • High expectations and accountability,
  • Optimism to every one,
  • A higher calling. 
Weak leaders serve at the cost of the organization’s future, but super leaders alter the current trajectory of that organization forever. The difference between those two leaders always comes down to one question. 

Are you here to serve yourself or everyone else?

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

7 Escape Routes from the Silo Syndrome

The other day I was driving the beautiful roads of west Texas, and I came upon a row of silos.  During the summertime, silos are busy being filled with the bountiful harvest on their route to the market and eventually into our grocery cart.  If you think about it, silos are the final resting place for once thriving, growing seeds.

Are You in a Silo?
In our work, getting stuck in our very own silo is safe.  It is comfortable, but we must remember that no growth can occur in a silo.  No meaningful iteration of our work can occur simply because we close off our minds and therefore ideas to the possibility of purposeful improvement. 

Silos are vacuums of isolation, pure and simple, and too often, people withdraw to a silo and limit their life from discovering its true purpose.  You were built for something amazing, but you won't find out what it is if you spend your life in a silo.

Escaping the Silo Syndrome
Excellent people make sure that they escape the allure of the silo syndrome, which is the purposeful decision to isolate, withdraw, and avoid learning from others in order to save face.  These people escape their personalized silo in the following ways:

  • learning from others,
  • showing their flaws to others,
  • asking for help,
  • observing,
  • challenging the status quo,
  • fighting for more effective and efficient ways of doing,
  • sharing their excellence with others.
Have you Escaped your Silo?
Safe is easy, but that's not what you were built for.  Silos offer comfort, but it is in the form of novacaine.  Step out of your personal silo.  Stop seeking comfort, and embrace your "uncomfort" zone.  Your work and those you work with will thank you for it.