Building Trust: Declare your Intentions

As a leader you will have to make big decisions that affect many of the people you need. Oftentimes you are not able to talk about all the details surrounding decisions you have to make. This could be because of a directive given to you by those higher up in the organization, or you may not be able to reveal everything to your employees until after you’ve gathered the information, had time to process and pray about a decision or direction you want to take your team. Employees are smart (or at least they should be if you hired them) so they will know when something is up or if the winds of change are blowing and in the vacuum of good communication they will begin to develop their own scenarios to explain what is happening and why.

So how can you mitigate these sidebar conversations without revealing too much information up front?

Declare your intentions.

I’ve come to understand that this can be incredibly beneficial both for you as a leader and for the peace of mind of those you lead. Your employees understand that sometimes you can’t give them all the information, here are 3 things to consider when declaring your intentions.

  1. Why does a decision or change needs to be made.
  2. How will this change be good for your team/the organization
  3. Reassure them that they will have an opportunity to give input before a final decision is made

What other helpful things could you communicate to your team about your intentions?

1 Step to Becoming a Better Leader.

Employee feedback.

If you want to be a better boss, some of the best information you can get is from your employees.

Whether you realize it or not they are watching you constantly, observing how you dress, how you handle challenges, and how you speak to other employees. They are analyzing your behaviour and your motives and they are very critical. But just because employees see your weaknesses doesn’t mean they will necessarily tell you about them. We’d all like to believe that we have such great trust and respect from our staff that they would surely come and tell us if they were concerned about something we were doing, or saying; but it doesn’t happen by accident.

Here are a few ideas on how to get honest feedback and put it into practice. Read the rest of this entry

How to Correct Your Staff with Class

Share what you appreciate about them

In almost all cases, what is great about a team member far exceeds what needs to be corrected. I think we need to emphasize this truth and make sure we take time during the conversation to recognize all that the individual already contributes. If there is more bad than good, you’ve hired badly and you can’t dump that on them, you have to own it. Read the rest of this entry

3 Life Lessons from the Mountain Top

From the top of Pike's Peak, Colorado Springs CO - 14,000ft

1. See the big picture.

Its very easy to get caught up in the urgent details of everyday life, in fact most of my time is consumed with these types of demands. I was reminded that you need to create space for yourself to step back from the demands of everyday life and survey the whole landscape of your life.

(more…)

Design Memory Lane – Hello Kelly CD Artwork

A long time client of mine just got back in touch with me to help him design his new CD. The band’s name is Hello Kelly and I’ve been privledged to work with the lead singer Francois Goudreault on every cover since the band got started in 2004. What I’ve liked about each one is that Francois always wanted to tell a story on the front, to create an experience or feeling with each design.

So here is all the covers in order, they are still some of my favorite pieces I’ve ever done.

“Modern Day Nostalgia”

The goal with this cover was to created the feeling of a late fall evening growing up as a kid in Ontario Canada

Read the rest of this entry

How to Announce an Acquisition

Rapping monkey…so good I wish I had done it.

Twitter makes you more Generous?

What?

This can’t be true, social networking is just a waste of time isn’t it?

Apparently not, according to new research participating in social networks like twitter and Facebook release a chemical into your brain called Oxytocin which correlates with feelings of generosity, trust, empathy.

Social networking could therefore be even more important for not-for-profit fundraisers than other marketers when you consider the following:

  1. People avidly using social nets like Facebook and Twitter to “relate” show higher levels of oxytocin … in other words, tweeting is good for your health! (not really important for fundraising, but cool nonetheless)
  2. Higher levels of oxytocin produces more generosity toward charities and causes, not just toward individuals.

How much more? In the research control group the individuals given Oxytocin gave 48% more than the group who received the placebos and were exposed to commercials from different charities.

You can read the full story on fast-company’s website

So spend some time on twitter or facebook today and become a more generous person!

Marketing Inspiration: Charity: Water

Charity Water is a website I stumbled over a year ago and I was instantly inspired, not just by what they do, but also how they present what they do.

For those of you who are not familiar with charity: water, take a few minutes and watch this video:

I’m a huge fan of what charity: water is doing, and how it is doing it. Traditionally not-for-profit marketing prided itself on how bad or cheaply they could do their marketing, not Charity: Water. They have made a conscious decision to invest into their marketing campaigns with great design, high production quality, and well designed online tools.

They have set a new bar in not-for-profit marketing, and I’m inspired to respond to the challenge at Compassion

Thank you Charity: Water for teaching us about the importance of clean water, and great marketing.

Its been a year, how time flies

Well it has been almost a year since I posted anything on this blog. I thought that blogging may not really be for me.

I’m not a particularly strong writer, I’m more of a verbal communicator.

I can’t pretend that I’m really an expert on anything, thats not to say I don’t have some good thoughts and ideas, but I’m hardly the person to come to for authorative answers on just about anything. So what do I have to contribute?

So I’ve decided to take a new approach and see how that goes, short blog postings, with little nuggets of wisdom I’m learning, experiences I’m having, great content I’ve found, or questions that I wouldn’t mind some input from others on to gain more nuggets of wisdom.

We’ll see how it goes…

Idolatry – How do you know if you’ve made a good thing into a God thing

Finding joy in a gift from God, rather than in God the giver.

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