1. Making the Leap Toward Top Performance

    May 22, 2015 by Elaine Suess

    When it comes to leadership lessons, stories using frogs continue to “hop up.” There’s no doubt that making these frog lessons part of your everyday practice will lead to improved performance.

    Three Frogs
    I believe it was Harvey McKay who told a story of three frogs, two of which decided to jump from their lily pads into the water. The question is asked – how many frogs remained on the pads?

    The answer is three, because even though the frogs decided to jump doesn’t mean they took action.

    Two Frogs
    I’ve previously shared my derivation of a derivation on frogs — Begin each day “eating a green frog” or two first thing in the morning. Your green frog is what you’ve been putting off that is draining your energy or negatively impacting your focus. If you “eat” the frog in the morning, you’ll accomplish an important task or goal and free up energy for the rest of the day. (This is especially helpful for those who have an MBTI preference for “Perceiving.”)

    Leadership Lexicon
    These “frog habits” lead to two words to include in your leadership lexicon: “intentional” and “deliberate.”

    WHATBeing IntentionalIf you need to jump off the lily pad, prepare for your best jump.
    Congratulations! You are setting intentions to be the “best possible you” at work.  Now, what do you need to be intentional about? A few questions you might consider answering:

    • What are you doing well, and how can you do more of it?
    • What barriers are keeping you from working at your best, and how will you remove or overcome them?
    • What specifically do you need to apply energy to in order to improve your performance?
    • What is one thing you can do to help an employee move forward in a meaningful way?

    First the WHAT, then the HOW

    HOWTaking Deliberate Action – Make the jump! Eat that frog!
    Now that you’ve set the intention to make positive changes in specific areas, what do you need to do to put that intention into action? Research shows the more specific you are, the more likely you will be to succeed.

    Below is a sampling of “hows” that come up regularly with my clients at every level. Simple, but not always easy:  

    • Start with a plan for each day or week
    • Create a daily frog habit – be diligent about eating the frog
    • Don’t check email before making your plan for the day
    • Schedule meetings with yourself on your calendar, and keep the meeting as if it’s with someone else
    • Set boundaries and expectations to remove distractions that keep you from accomplishing your goals

    Without a doubt, these “frogs” can help you improve your performance. Now, jump to it!


  2. The Importance of Breathing

    September 30, 2013 by Elaine Suess
    I returned from a week in Maine in early September. I mostly stayed “off the grid,” enjoyed $8 lobster, time with friends, and the beautiful scenery. The trip was fantastic, and it made me think about rats. 
    Rats have been fueling research studies for quite some time. I’m not much in the habit of talking about them, but I would like to share a study with you. 
    In this particular study, our long-tailed friends were put to the test finding cheese in a maze (if you can imagine). 
    A Maze Ing
    Here’s how the study worked:
    R1 was put into a maze to find cheese. (more…)

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