“My responsibility is leadership, and the minute I get negative, that is going to have an influence on my team.” – Don Shula

Positive Quote: “My responsibility is leadership, and the minute I get negative, that is going to have an influence on my team.” – Don Shula


I find this quote to be true, the outward emotions and reactions a leader makes is watched closely by their team. I usually use the example of air travel… if the flight attendant is crying, yelling, throwing things, rolling their eyes, being rude, or saying that the plane is going to crash does it impact the passenger. Absolutely.


Now I am not saying to be fake or insincere or to hide and pretend to be something you are not. What I am saying, is that as a leader, we need to know and understand that how we react and what we say influences the team.


It raises some questions, that as a leader I should ask myself.


  • When someone brings me bad or not so good news, what do I say, how do I react?
  • When someone disagrees with me, how do I react? Do I get defensive? Do I make excuses? Do I try to justify?
  • Do I say negative things about people when those people are not around? Or worse, when they are around?
  • Do I shut down open discussions in team meetings?
  • Do I reject the ideas and opinions from others without hearing them out fully?
  • Do I make most things urgent and an emergency when I delegate or ask for deliverables?
  • Do I criticize and not applaud?
  • Do I raise my voice more often than not?
  • What is my stress default?


As you can see, there are many ways that we as leaders can negatively impact our team and our environment.


Yes, there is a time and place for constructive negativity, yet, knowing how to phrase it and when to voice it is key. Sometimes the tough and hard message needs to be delivered. There will be times when you need to share negative news or deliver a negative message, yet those times should be tempered with compassion and empathy and not a part of a automatic reaction.


What do you think of this quote?


Have a marvelous Tuesday.



“Change before you have to.” – Jack Welch

Positive Quote: “Change before you have to.” – Jack Welch


This quote reminds me of something I tell my team often. When it comes to metrics, reporting, knowing what to publish…. I tell them that I would rather invest on the front end building something that will answer the questions before they are asked versus having (waiting) for someone to tell me what and how to report and measure.


If you change before you have to, you are able to control your destiny more easily. If you are forced to change or directed to change, you may not have as much flexibility with things.


This also reminds me of the famous Wayne Gretzky quote, something like ‘Play where the puck is going to be and not where it is’…. in both cases, it is about being the driver of change; helping with the evolution of change.


I try to focus on the positive and know that change is a constant. I will embrace change and help define it and mold it as I am possible. To do otherwise, well, to me that is not the position I prefer to be in. I try to look ahead, to read up on my industry, to be aware of the changing tides and directions…this helps me know where the ‘puck’ is going to be.


What do you think of this quote?


Have a marvelous Thursday.


“I attribute my success to this; I never gave or took any excuse.” – Florence Nightingale

Positive Quote: “I attribute my success to this; I never gave or took any excuse.” – Florence Nightingale


I like this quote, it reinforces to me that it is better to look for solutions than excuses. It is one thing to locate an issue or a cause of something, yet it can’t stop there, finding the solution is the next step.


Sometimes this is hard as a leader. Things go wrong, stuff happens, yet a leader has to accept responsibility for what they can or should have controlled versus the blame assignment.


I can share an example of something that for me reinforces the point. Many years back I was challenged with the task of creating a new, formalized team who would be perform triage functions for a help desk environment. Now, the triage function was used, just not fully formalized, it rotated and rather than start from scratch we leveraged the model. I have team leaders (supervisors) who reported to me and they managed the hiring and training. Fast forward a bit in the future and the triage team was transferring over 90% of the calls to the Level 1-2 teams and not solving as much as we anticipated. We anticipated 25-35% could be solved at triage levels. It turns out the training was like making copies of tapes; (I am aging myself again). Imagine, if you make a copy of a copy and copy that copy say 10 times, you have degraded your quality. What we needed and should have done, was create formalized training with Q and A as well as documented, easy to follow step by step procedures. Then also reinforce by requiring continual training as new issues popped up and new solutions were found. Could I have blamed my team leaders? Yes. Did I? No. I accepted responsibility as their manager. I then worked with them and we made it right, so much so, the triage team was blowing away their goals and making a noticeable difference. The approach I took helped me succeed, in fact I was given more opportunities like that one to build new teams to create new support models, etc…


As you can tell this quote has resonated with me personally.


What do you think of this quote?


Have a fantastic Monday.


Do you counquer your fears or yourself? Posiive Quote by Edmund Hillary

Positive Quote: “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary


This quote reminds me of growing up in southern California. When I was about 9-10 years old, we lived in an apartment beside a canyon. To my young mind the canyon was huge and vast. I spent many a day afterschool climbing down and around it. Fast forward a few decades and I am taking my family to see where I grew up, the schools I went to, and other key places for me as a child… we see the canyon, except now to my adult eyes it seems smaller, not as deep or as large. Granted, it is still a canyon, yet seems tame compared to my memories as a child.


What does this have to do with the quote, you may be wondering. Well, it reminds me that perspective is everything. We are not conquering a mountain or even a canyon. It is not the external forces that can be where the fear lays yet the fear lies in us. Conquering our fear gets us to climb the mountains, go into those canyons, fly in those airplanes, or anything else that scares us.


Now I am not saying everyone should be fearless. An amount of fear can be healthy. I am saying that when we sense ourselves becoming hesitant or just flat out scared, we should ask ourselves why and see if the fear is actually us and not our external influences.


Some fears stay with us and can be managed but not removed. Every person has lived through life experiences that make them who they are today. Knowing what your triggers are can be most helpful in understanding that the mountain is not a mountain but a hill.


As you can see, this quote has me thinking.


What do you think of this quote?


Have a fabulous Friday.


“Until you try, you don’t know what you can’t do.” – Henry James

Positive Quote: “Until you try, you don’t know what you can’t do.” – Henry James

This quote is so simple, yet says so much. I cannot even hope to count how many times I have heard people say they can’t do something. When I ask them if they have ever tried, more often than not the response I get back is no, but it won’t work.

The quote has me asking myself how we as leaders can create an environment where it is safe to try and fail or safe to try and maybe halfway succeed. Is perfection the expectation? If so, is it realistic? Each work environment is different, there are ramifications to mistakes that can be quite severe, such as a pilot crashing a plane, an airline losing your luggage, a doctor operating on the wrong patient. While I know not all mistakes can lead to something like this, for quite a few jobs, they do. I think the challenge as a leader is to locate those areas where you can stretch your people in ways and with tasks or projects that if they make a mistake, there is a safety net in place. That safety net can be a peer review, a double check, an operating procedure, a status report, or touch base, and so many more types of support.

This quote also has me asking myself what new thing have I tried recently? Am I challenging myself, am I learning new things, and am I finding out what I can possibly do.

What do you think of this quote?

Have a marvelous Wednesday.


“You get the best efforts from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.” – Bob Nelson

Positive Quote: “You get the best efforts from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.” – Bob Nelson


I have found this quote to be true. Lighting a fire beneath others has short term effects. You may see improvement, yet it won’t last long. In order to see long term effects, you have to help set the environment for people to be able to self-motivate, to build the fire within them to succeed and exceed. Once someone is intrinsically motivated, they will not only do what they need to as part of their job responsibilities, yet they will look for ways to improve, to change the landscape and to grow themselves.


This quote reminds me of an experience I had many years ago in managing a help desk environment. One of the goals people had was occupancy, the amount of time they were logged in and available to take calls and/or on calls. Granted, this was only one goal of many and it was the complete picture of the goals that showed success. One KPI (key performance indicator) is not indicative of a full picture. Well, this one person perhaps did not fully understand how their leadership hierarchy looked at the overall picture. Their occupancy rate was great, yet their call volume was not great and their talk time was not good as well. The picture did not add up, so a peeling back of layers was started. To make a long story short, the person was using the work phone to call their cell phone which simulated that they were on a call and accounted for the anomalies that were being seen. It was the negative side effect of the difference between lighting a fire beneath them (their performance goals) and the fire not being within them (lack of internal motivation on achieving the goals). I smile when I remember this story, it is an example I use from time to time to show and help others understand that one metric, and one goal does not a complete picture show.


What do you think of this quote?


Have a terrific Tuesday.