Is it OK for conflict to rattle the chain of command?

Read this now if you want to be a better leader | practice (split each time) | Is it OK for conflict to rattle the chain of command?
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January 9, 2024
SmartBrief on Leadership
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Leading the Way
Read this now if you want to be a better leader
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Procrastination causes stress and unhappiness, but Steve Keating offers a dozen suggestions for overcoming it, such as identifying your fears, setting clear goals, scheduling tasks to make them routine and finding someone to hold you accountable to deadlines and commitments. "Sometimes progress will be big, sometimes it will be small, but the most successful people will tell you that all progress is progress," Keating writes.
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Put it into practice: Removing distractions, imagining the positive outcome of tackling a task now instead of later and rewarding yourself when you're finished can motivate you beyond procrastination, Keating writes. "Make a decision that you will be the person who controls your calendar, not other people, not circumstances or uncontrollable events."
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SmartBrief on Leadership
Is it OK for conflict to rattle the chain of command?
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Managers tend to be split as to whether it's OK for their reports to go over their heads, consultant Marlene Chism writes. If not handled well, it can lead to further dissatisfaction, but a definitive complaint process and transparency can help it work Chism notes.
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Put it into practice: Clearly share steps employees must take regarding complaints or conflicts. They shouldn't skip their manager, but they should be allowed to head to the manager's boss if they're still dissatisfied, Chism suggests. Having a regular path for employees to raise anonymous comments about managers can help.
Read more from Marlene Chism on SmartBrief on Leadership
Smarter Communication
When everyone at work drives you crazy, and you're the only sane, competent one, it might be a sign you need to re-evaluate, writes consultant Robert Whipple, CEO of Leadergrow, in this adaptation of "Leading with Trust Is Like Sailing Downwind." To get a different perspective, write what you think that annoying person would say about you, Whipple suggests, along with 11 other ideas.
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Put it into practice: To minimize irritation with others, share a treat to start a cycle of kindness, and don't get sucked into escalating problems via email or in person, Whipple recommends. To ensure you're putting your best foot forward with others, follow the Golden Rule and develop a personal development plan.
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Smarter Strategy
How long does your organization's strategic planning process take to complete?
Less than a month
1-3 months
3-6 months
6-9 months
More than 9 months
Moving from strategy to execution. While 60% of you reported your strategic planning process takes less than six months, an alarming 40% report that it takes longer with 30% stating it's more than nine months. This can be problematic because the world and markets change rapidly. By the time a plan you started writing nine months ago is ready for implementation, your market conditions may have changed so much that the plan is now irrelevant.

Consider accelerating your base planning process and then updating the plan more frequently as market conditions change. The faster you start deploying your strategic plan and executing the initiatives it contains, the more likely it is you'll be successful and get ahead of your competitors who have longer planning and execution cycles.

-- Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN -- the firm's e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West Point graduate and author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."
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How many times in your career have you jumped into an entirely different industry or area of expertise?
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In Their Own Words
Top leaders know how to balance both long- and short-term goals and resist becoming too focused on their tasks and responsibilities so they can connect with and motivate their team on a more personal level, says Pamela Codispoti Habner, CEO of US Branded Cards & Lending at Citi. "We have to prioritize how we spend our time and how to invest resources to achieve the best outcomes for our customers, the business and the team," Codispoti Habner says.
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Daily Diversion
Moose licking cars? It's a problem in Canada
Moose crave the nutrients in salt, but many are getting their hit from passing cars, licking the salty residue that accumulates from road de-icing, which has prompted Parks Canada to ask drivers to help the moose break that habit by not letting the animals lick their cars. Officials worry that moose will consider cars a convenient salt source, causing more moose-car collisions.
Full Story: CBC News (Canada) (1/7) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Years ago, a friend shared with me her trouble with her immediate boss. She felt her boss didn't like her and felt the same way about her. The antagonistic nature of the relationship meant that my friend felt her manager was always putting everything off to her, making her work overtime and providing little support. My friend felt her boss took advantage of her time and talent and cared little for her life outside the office. She wanted my advice.

Much of what I told her to do is encapsulated well by Robert Whipple. One of the concepts I live by is: "Whatever is missing is what you're not giving." If my friend wanted respect, she should be giving it. If she wanted to feel valued, she should make her boss feel valued. If she needed support, she should be supporting her boss.

We worked out a plan for how to do all of that, and while it was not a magic pill by any means, once she began to give respect, value her boss and support her, there was a shift in the relationship. Within six months or so, they were actually starting to get along. By the end of her tenure in that job, they were friends.

How do you handle those who press all your buttons and annoy you? Share your experience and tips with us.

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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