Quote of the Day

“The greatest mistake physicians make is that they attempt to cure the body without attempting to cure the mind; yet the mind and body are one and should not be treated separatley.”

Plato

The Final Round

So I am beginning the final month with EQmentor. My mentor and I have both been so busy the past few weeks it’s been hard to stay on top of things.

I will say that I appreciate the fact that my mentor treats me as an adult and not a student and realizes that I have a job and responsibilities. My mentor never overloads me with busy work. Every assignment I’ve received is more of a suggestion and has been completely relevant to what is going on in my work or personal life.

There is a plethora of resources on the EQmentor Web site once you are logged in. There are worksheets for each EQ area that you can work through on your own or with your mentor. The worksheets are indexed by title and by EQ area so you can easily find ones that relate to the area you want to improve.

As I’ve said before though, the most useful thing for me has been having a mentor who works in the position I was promoted to at the beginning of my EQmentor journey. Most of our discussions have gone beyond what is contained on the worksheets and are more directly related to my job.

This last month with consist of a lot of wrap up and planning for the future beyond my time with my mentor when I am on my own.

Leadership

Recent posts have gotten me to thinking about what makes a good leader.

I am thinking of someone I know who I think is an excellent leader. She is always willing to listen. She helps you discover ideas rather than just telling you what you should do. She inspires greatness and creativity in people all around her–beyond just her staff.

The hard part for me is to make the transition from telling people what to do or suggesting what people should do to inspiring them to create their own ideas. Maybe this is something that comes with time? Or maybe this comes from the culture of an organization?

Wikipedia, surprisingly, has a great entry about leadership, and I love this statement.

Management involves power by position.
Leadership involves power by influence.

The article goes on to list twelve distinctions between leaders and managers by Warren Bennis (1989):

  • Managers administer, leaders innovate
  • Managers ask how and when, leaders ask what and why
  • Managers focus on systems, leaders focus on people
  • Managers do things right, leaders do the right things
  • Managers maintain, leaders develop
  • Managers rely on control, leaders inspire trust
  • Managers have a short-term perspective, leaders have a longer-term perspective
  • Managers accept the status-quo, leaders challenge the status-quo
  • Managers have an eye on the bottom line, leaders have an eye on the horizon
  • Managers imitate, leaders originate
  • Managers emulate the classic good soldier, leaders are their own person
  • Managers copy, leaders show originality

How did you make the transition from follower to leader or manager to leader? I’d love to hear from you and share your story.

Time Management

One of my struggles over the past few months has been finding a time management system that works. I have tried every system out there over the past year and I have to say I’ve finally determined that time management systems are extremely personal. What works for one person will not work for another and even if it does work for another person it may work in an entirely different way.

So I’ve found what works for me is David Allen’s GTD or Getting Things Done system with pen and paper. Call me old fashioned but I like the feeling of using a pen to cross items off my To Do list.

I use a separate page or pages for projects.

I use a separate page for diffent contexts of tasks: @Computer, @Desk, @Home, etc.

I cross reference projects and tasks using numbers and letters. Letters for projects and numbers for tasks.

Like I said it works for me. But I’d love to hear what works for you?

A Day of Rememberance

September 11th is such a hard day to be at work. This year more so for some reason. My thoughts are with all the friends and families who lost someone on this day.

Review Time

Earlier today I had my annual performance review. It was ok. Alright it was dissappointing. It’s really hard to take “feedback” when it’s only given once a year. This results in a lot of surprises and is generally unfair to employees.

I don’t want to sound like a whiner. But it would be nice to hear throughout the year how I’m doing, do I need anything, and am I on target with my goals. This is the first time in my professional career that I’ve not had written goals approved on by my manager and me. Normally I would be relieved that I have such flexibility and trust…except that I know every year it will be used against me during my annual review.

The current manager I have is overwhelmed and it shows.

Instead of looking at this with extremely critical eyes, I’m looking at this as a learning experience. Things I will not do as a manager. I hope that this doesn’t work the day the list of things I will not do as a parent does. 🙂

Month 5

I can’t believe Month 5 is here already. What a whirlwind. Since beginning the EQmentor program my job has changed so much and my responsibilities have increased as well. While this is a wonderful thing, it has made it challenging for me to keep up with my mentoring journey.

My mentor has been on top of me about this and we have had some great discussions about time management and work-life-family balance.

Initially when we began our mentoring relationship we were really focused on improving my weak EQ areas – self regulation and social skills. I have been lucky enough to have a mentor who has the same job I have been promoted to. The focus of our interactions recently has been more on how to handle some of the new challenges I face in my job. For instance I had to create a strategic plan. Having never done this I didn’t even know where to start. My mentor sent me the framework of his or her strategic plan and I used this to get started with my own plan.

I am so happy that I was matched with a mentor in my field. This has been like having a personal guru to guide me along in my new role.