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Kevin Eikenberry

Because you are reading these words, I am confident you are a believer in ongoing learning and development for yourself and those you lead. Precisely because this is your bias, you may find it hard to understand why your team members aren’t anxiously looking forward to attending the training you offer them or that is in some way made available to them.

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Let me get personal and direct and maybe even get in your face a bit. If you want change to happen in your organization, you’ve got to be willing to change too. More than willing; you must change.

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Perhaps the oldest conundrum of all is — which came first, the chicken or the egg? Perhaps the oldest in the minds of savvy leaders is what is more important, my Customers or my Employees?

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As we plan for the annual goal-setting process (if yours isn’t upon you yet, it will be soon), this is an important question for both your team and for you personally. I’m going to address it for you here because I believe if you want your team to set goals, you should be setting them too.

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It is almost that time of year. It’s about time to start setting your goals for next year. I know it might not be time quite yet, but chances are it is coming. My advice today may be a bit controversial or challenge your assumptions. Are you ready? Don’t set goals. Am I serious? Kinda …

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We all want to pay the mortgage, eat and live comfortably; but is money the only or most important reason we go to work? As a leader it is important to think about this question from two perspectives, so let’s do each of them now.

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I mean no disrespect here, but my bet is, based on my experience and observation, that you don’t completely finish your projects. The lack of completion comes on two levels. You give up before the finish line, and you put the finish line at the wrong place.

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The truth is there is probably as much training available on project management as there is on any leadership topic or skill I could ever write about here. Of course that doesn’t guarantee that we are all getting better at it. In fact, my observation is that even with all of that training, experience and knowledge, most organizations aren’t getting much better at delivering projects on time and on budget.

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Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As I watched the speech again several times to write that piece on communication, I was struck by another, perhaps less obvious lesson.

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It’s been a few weeks since I have mowed a lawn. When you have a soon to be college senior doing his internship but living at home, the job gets delegated. I was thinking this morning that I will be mowing again in the coming weeks — and how I go about mowing my lawn. If I don’t say so myself, I am an expert at mowing lawns — I’ve been pushing and riding lawnmowers since I was about 8 years old. I’ve mowed many different yards, and my yard in Indianapolis hundreds of times.

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