Author Archives: Karen Snyder

Leadership - Performance Management

Leadership Team Activity

I had a great morning this morning. I sat down with six CEOs, and we drafted out on a sheet of legal paper the senior leadership teams and their strengths, integrity, competence, collaboration, and ability to role model. The list goes on, but this is how we got started. We assessed how well they did in each of these areas; and these senior leaders were terrific. But of course, every group can get better. Our next part of the project will be to determine an action plan for each company and each leader so that they can get better. It’s exciting work and I’m so glad these senior leaders are doing it, and I’d love to do it for your organization.

I’m Karen Snyder and I help people to be more productive at work.

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If You Woke Up And “It” Was No Longer There

November. The Month of Gratitude.

The next time you can’t sleep, try this appreciation exercise. My amazing mentor Glenna Salsbury taught it to me years ago, and I rely on it often.

Imagine that anything you fail to be grateful for today, is then gone tomorrow.

Are you grateful for the birds chirping? The heat in your apartment? What about running water?

Are you grateful you have a job? A paycheck? A desk? Colleagues, students, patients, customers, members, clients who depend on you?

Are you grateful for your brain? Your hair? Your toes that help you balance? People who have physical limitations might suggest that the rest of us be more appreciative.

And food…so many choices here! Sometimes I am grateful that I have food. Other times that someone other than me prepared the food. And what about a perfectly delicious peach with juice dripping down my chin, or apple desserts with cinnamon!  

Pleasant dreams, and try this exercise the next time you need a restful sleep.

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Feedback and Recognition - Performance Management

Weeds and Stragglers

I have a small flower garden outside of my office window. The purpose of it is clear: to give me and my team something beautiful to look at as we come and go from the office and while we are working.

Typically, I do all the planting, mulching, and weeding myself. Unfortunately, several weeks ago I ran into poison ivy, and I am quite allergic. Therefore, I found a landscaper, Wills, to do the job, and of course I planned to provide full disclosure of the poison ivy. When I started to tell Wills about the venomous vine, he dismissed me saying, “I couldn’t do my job if I didn’t recognize it and know how to contain it.” The point was well taken, and I quit giving directions.

We agreed on a date when I would be available, but it rained, and so we had to reschedule to a day when I was away with clients. Wills came and “cleaned up the garden,” but due to my work schedule, it was several days before I could see his work. I was so surprised! He had cleaned out so much! The garden looked completely different with fewer flowers and shrubs.

I didn’t think I liked that so many of my seedlings were gone, but nevertheless, they were gone. When Wills came to pick up his check, he expected me to be thrilled. When I said, “You really took out a lot. I actually liked the smaller plants you took out.”
Wills said, “Do you think the garden looks better overall?” I had to admit that it did. Then he said, “Mrs. Snyder, you aren’t a nursery. You are one person who wants a pretty garden, right?” I had to agree with him on that as well.

Furthermore, he added, “I want it to look nice in the spring. I had to remove some of the plants to make room for the others that are trying to grow.”  
Hmmm, I thought as I peered out my office window. I wonder how many organizations use Wills’ philosophy?

Does your organization take a step back and look at the big picture periodically, in order to make changes and get where you want to be next quarter, next year, or even after that? Additionally, there are assessments that can help with these appraisals. Let me know if I can recommend some to you for your organization. Taking a long look always brings insights.  

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