SpeakStrong Newsletter December 2011

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  #405, December, 2011 www.speakstrong.com  


Humble Leadership: Tim Tebow is a game changer – and i’m not talking football

NIA and SpeakStrong make great gifts

Lean PowerPhrase: What is preventing the operator from running this way?

LuAnn and Creating Your Own Job Opportunities

What are you courting?

Books by the box


Check out my other blog articles!


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Humble Leadership: Tim Tebow is a game changer – and I’m not talking about football

Broncos football got interesting again, thanks to quarterback Tim Tebow. He’s starting a lot of conversations, and the conversation that interests me most is about how he models humble leadership. In a world of narcissistic celebrities it’s a breath of fresh air to Tebowhear the voice of one who doesn’t let success go to his head. It’s quotes like this one that are the real game changers. 

  • I know I had a lot of help. Offensive line did a great job and receivers stepped up and made me look a lot better than I really am.

The more Tebow talks, the more inspiring he is. He continually says the “right” things in ways that only sincere people can.

Is this guy for real? It sure seems like it. And that pleases and encourages me. We get to see what humility looks like in someone whose star is rising.



NIA and SpeakStrong make great gifts: Free upgrade to priority shipping in the US

Have you ever danced your way to clarity? I offer NIA dance DVDs because I love them. Plus, there’s nothing like freeform dance and exercise to help you find your voice to SpeakStrong. If I’m stuck on how to say something, a good dance session will shake me loose.Boys reading Power Phrases

So check out my dance DVDs.

And also, many people tell me my books are very welcome gifts among people of all ages. Like in this pic. Thanks Paul, for sending it!

For the rest of this week, I offer a free upgrade to priority shipping for all US orders. Just note in the special instructions that you’d like the upgrade.

Visit my store


Lean PowerPhrase: What is preventing the operator from running this way?

In my last newsletter I featured the PowerPhrase:

  • How do you want the process to operate?

This week I have the follow-up to that phrase.

  • What is preventing the operator from running this way?

In our offices, we might adapt the question to things like,

  • What is preventing the sales force from recording their sales the way we instruct them?

The point is, we know how we want the process to work and if it’s not working that way, instead of going into blame, we go into problem-solving. This phrase assumes – as lean managers do – that people want to do good work and need support in overcoming obstacles, not criticism when their work falls short.

So here’s an example most everyone will relate to. Your overloaded inbox. I totally overbooked myself this summer and am still playing catch up. My inbox topped 2000 emails. So I have a process – a system to catch up. I have a target ideal for number of emails in my inbox on an ongoing basis. To get there, I have a target to reduce my inbox by each week and a target for each day. My initial target numbers were much higher than the targets I set now, because initially I had a lot of low-hanging fruit – emails that I didn’t need to take action on.

I also have systems to manage the emails that come in. My process is to handle most email as it arrives, and every one by the end of the day. I’m not quite there yet.

So to get there, Manager Meryl asks Operator Meryl,

  • What prevents you from acting on that email now?

Sometimes the answer is that I don’t have a place to file it. That gets me improving my filing system. The key is to observe my thinking when I process each email. That’s where I get the data I need to work ON my email management system as I work IN it.

So what prevents you from operating at the highest level? There could be quite an opportunity in your answer.



LuAnn and Creating Your Own Job Opportunities

I was in Phoenix last week, leading The Ultimate Admin, where we talked about how important it is to create your own job opportunities by seeing the needs in the workplace and filling them. The comic Luann illustrated this well. When TJ’s new boss hands him a list of tasks, he responds by defining his job for himself. His list says he won’t do toilets, empty trash or run errands but he will double sales.


(Click here for the blog post for a larger version of the strip.) Okay, if you take this example too literally, it could get you fired. You might not want to start out with what you won’t do. But TJ does illustrate the concept of upshifting your job by adding value. And once you’re doing work that uses your very best skills, you have a strong case for moving away from the work that doesn’t. 

What an awesome group of professionals we had in Phoenix! Several had done just that – seen a need and filled it, making their jobs more interesting, productive and fun. Are you working by your own design, not default?



What are you courting?

CourtRhonda posted an interesting article about her speed-dating experience. In ten "dates," not one man asked her about herself. She has since married a wonderful man, but he triggered her ire when she called home each day while travelling to have him tell her about his day, but never inquire about hers. On day five, Rhonda asked, "Don’t you even want to hear about my day?" He noticed his omission, apologized, inquired about her day, and has been more attentive ever since. A success story?

Yes… and… In my way of thinking, if ten men and her wonderful hubby all talk about themselves and don’t think to inquire about her, it might be a trait, not a flaw.



Books by the box

With the holidays coming up, consider giving people the gift of the perfect words. You can get books for you whole team at a great price when you order books by the box. Or, just get yourself a book or two to prepare yourself to communicate effectively throughout the holiday rush.

That’s it for now. It’s so nice to be back.

SpeakStrong and collaborate without compromise

Got a communication question? Ask me!

Want to use any of the articles on your site? You are welcome to with this bio:
Meryl Runion is the creator of the SpeakStrong Method. You can find her at www.speakstrong.com

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