Spring Cleaning – Video Guide
Just like our homes can get cluttered as the year goes on, our teams can get cluttered with misplaced priorities, ineffective procedures and tasks that no longer serve a valuable purpose. While we should always be on the lookout for waste and activities that are no longer serving our purpose or helping us achieve our mission, planning a spring cleaning activity can help us get focused on making improvements without getting caught up in our normal day-to-day activities.

Spring Cleaning – Video Guide

Just like our homes can get cluttered as the year goes on, our teams can get cluttered with misplaced priorities, ineffective procedures and tasks that no longer serve a valuable purpose. While we should always be on the lookout for waste and activities that are no longer serving our purpose or helping us achieve our mission, planning a spring cleaning activity can help us get focused on making improvements without getting caught up in our normal day-to-day activities.

Depending on how long it has been since you last did a thorough assessment of the activities that your team does on a daily basis, you may find out that there are so many things to review that it makes sense to tackle the most important ones first and come back at a later time to address the others. If you’re wondering where to get started on reviewing a task, procedure or activity, here are a few questions you can ask yourself and your team to determine how to proceed:

Spring Cleaning Questions

  • Does anyone use the results of this task?
  • Does this activity take a large proportion of work time, but is used infrequently?
  • Does the information produced by this process give us insight about our mission or our team, or is it outdated?
  • Is there someone on another team or elsewhere in the organization that uses the outputs?

One of the most challenging parts of a spring cleaning activity is to determine what course of action to follow after we’ve done our assessment. In the video Jason talks about how to determine which tasks to keep, which ones to get rid of and some ways to approach improving on a process that you need to keep, but is inefficient or wasteful.

Photo Credit: By Papypierre1 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

We created this workshop for highly motivated Millennial leaders who aspire to be the leaders of the future and are just starting on their journey. It is aimed at those who want to develop a strong leadership core based on a combination of proven leadership practices and more modern techniques appropriate to our mobile, digital age. There is a strong emphasis on communication, public speaking, networking and professional relationship building as the essential skills any leader needs to be successful. At the end of this intensive, 20-hour workshop you will come away with more confidence in your speaking ability, stronger networking skills, a greater ability to initiate and maintain solid professional relationships and a deeper insight into your own core values, leadership traits and personal leadership style.

PRICE REDUCED! Essential Skills for Millennial Leaders Workshop April 15-17, 2016

We created this workshop for highly motivated Millennial leaders who aspire to be the leaders of the future and are just starting on their journey. It is aimed at those who want to develop a strong leadership core based on a combination of proven leadership practices and more modern techniques appropriate to our mobile, digital age.  There is a strong emphasis on communication, public speaking, networking and professional relationship building as the essential skills any leader needs to be successful.  At the end of this intensive, 20-hour workshop you will come away with more confidence in your speaking ability, stronger networking skills, a greater ability to initiate and maintain solid professional relationships and a deeper insight into your own core values, leadership traits and personal leadership style.

Join us in Historic Downtown Las Vegas for this unique opportunity
to practice your leadership and business skills with other up-and-coming leaders

Friday, April 15th – Sunday, April 17th, 2016
Friday – 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Location: CoOperate On Main
817 S. Main St.
Las Vegas, NV
(map)

Instructors:
Jason LeDuc (bio)
Drew Masur (bio)

Workshop Cost: $499
(does not include food or lodging)

Let us help you maximize your career performance in 2016!

Sign up here for the Essential Skills for Millennial Leaders Workshop!

If you’d like more information on the curriculum, agenda, location or discounts for military and first-responders, call us at 702-625-0896, email us at info@evilgeniusleadership.com or  enter your email in the box below  and we’ll get back to you with an answer to your question ASAP!

The Future is Out There…Lead the Way!

One of the ideas we embrace most passionately Evil Genius Leadership Consultants is that as leaders we need to take the time to get connected with our communities and find ways to listen and understand what challenges people are facing. One of the ways we build this connection is through gathering young, ambitious leaders and business owners as well as aspiring leaders to talk about the leadership issues and problems that you face every day. To make this conversation a reality, we are hosting our next Las Vegas Millennial Leadership Forum on Wednesday, March 16 at Ricardo's Mexican restaurant from 7:30-9:00 PM.

Las Vegas Millennial Leadership Forum – March 16, 2016

One of the ideas we embrace most passionately Evil Genius Leadership Consultants is that as leaders we need to take the time to get connected with our communities and find ways to listen and understand what challenges people are facing.   One of the ways we build this connection is through gathering young, ambitious leaders and business owners as well as aspiring leaders to talk about the leadership issues and problems that you face every day. To make this conversation a reality, we are hosting our next Las Vegas Millennial Leadership Forum on Wednesday, March 16 at Ricardo’s Mexican restaurant from 7:30-9:00 PM.

Las Vegas Millennial Leadership Forum

Would you like to have a voice in how future leaders are developed in your industry? We invite you to bring your challenges, pain points, successes and insights to our leadership forum. Meet other young leaders from the Las Vegas area and enjoy appetizers and drinks as we together discuss the key principles to make ourselves more effective leaders in the Las Vegas community. Our goal is to create an open dialogue about the challenges you face in your workplaces with the managers who lead you, your peers and those you lead and supervise. We really want to make sure that we’re doing good work for the community and addressing the challenges you actually face as leaders, not just what we think you might be dealing with. We’d love to hear about any challenges or successes you can share with us and some areas we’d like to learn more about from you are:

  • What leadership styles are present in your organization and how do they affect your team?
  • What is the leadership culture in your organization and does it help or hinder success?
  • Does your organization communicate effectively?
  • How does your organization manage and resolve conflict?
  • Does your organization provide effective training of communication and public speaking skills?
  • How does your organization approach problem solving and decision-making?

The discussion will help us understand where we as a company can create better programs, workshops and content that will help young Las Vegas leaders better meet their challenges, achieve their goals and advance their careers. Please join us on March 16, 2016 at 7:30 PM for the Las Vegas Millennial Leadership Forum at Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant in Las Vegas. Seating is limited so reserve a spot today with us on Facebook or by emailing us at jason@evilgeniusleadership.com. We’ll be in the event room with some refreshments and are looking forward to hearing your insights and questions!

Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant
4930 W Flamingo Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89103

Directions

Ricardos Map

There is nothing more rewarding than helping young leaders successfully navigate the challenges they face every day and providing that kind of assistance is exactly why we started Evil Genius Leadership Consultants. We love it when you send us your questions and we try our best to provide you with thoughtful answers and practical steps you can use to solve the problem. This week's video answers a question by Felix M. who would like some advice on starting difficult conversations with his team members. In the video we show the steps you can take to plan any difficult conversation to help it go more smoothly as well as some key tips for execution of the conversation.

Starting Difficult Conversations – Video Q&A

There is nothing more rewarding than helping young leaders successfully navigate the challenges they face every day and providing that kind of assistance is exactly why we started Evil Genius Leadership Consultants. We love it when you send us your questions and we try our best to provide you with thoughtful answers and practical steps you can use to solve the problem. This week’s video answers a question by Felix M. who would like some advice on starting difficult conversations with his team members. In the video we show the steps you can take to plan any difficult conversation to help it go more smoothly as well as some key tips for execution of the conversation.

Starting Difficult Conversations – Building a Plan

  1. Figure out exactly the message you want to get across. Think through all of the main points that you want or need to make as part of the conversation.
  2. Determine who needs to be part of the conversation or hear what you have to say.
  3. Consciously choose the location for the conversation. Find a place without any distractions like active work spaces or high traffic areas.
  4. Timing of your conversation is also critical to keep the other members of your conversation focused on your message.

You can find more details on how to build an effective plan for your difficult conversation in the video. We also talk about why these kinds of conversations can be difficult to help get you in the right mindset to craft your message and the tone of your discussion. Also check out the end of the video for a few key tactics to use during your difficult conversation to keep it moving smoothly while addressing the concerns of your team and getting your message across at the same time.

 

Photo Credit: By Lourdes S. (Day 14: I Don’t Know ANY of This!) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A lot of times we hear that leadership is all about motivating others and there are a variety of opinion on what the best way is to motivate others. If you've been checking out this site for a while, you know that we are very skeptical of one-size-fits-all solutions. At Evil Genius Leadership Consultants we normally advocate for doing your own research on a topic and pulling the best practices together to create your own approach. Choosing an approach towards getting your team all moving in the same direction is no different. Based on organizational behavior research we approach the idea of motivation from a different perspective; not by looking for a method or process to motivate others, but by understanding how human beings are motivated to behave the way they do.

Motivating Others – Video Guide

A lot of times we hear that leadership is all about motivating others and there are a variety of opinion on what the best way is to motivate others. If you’ve been checking out this site for a while, you know that we are very skeptical of one-size-fits-all solutions. At Evil Genius Leadership Consultants we normally advocate for doing your own research on a topic and pulling the best practices together to create your own approach. Choosing an approach towards getting your team all moving in the same direction is no different. Based on organizational behavior research we approach the idea of motivation from a different perspective; not by looking for a method or process to motivate others, but by understanding how human beings are motivated to behave the way they do.

Understanding Motivation vs. Motivating Others

The research tells us that every human being is motivated both intrinsically and extrinsically to varying degrees. Intrinsic motivation is that motivation is felt when task performance serves as its own reward. Put another way, this is the idea of personal satisfaction for a job well done. Extrinsic motivation is motivation controlled by some contingency that depends on task performance. This is the idea of increased pay, bonuses, benefits or other rewards based on results. The contingencies could also be negative, like getting fired or disciplined for not meeting a minimum standard.

It’s tempting to think that intrinsic motivation is better than extrinsic motivation but it’s more reasonable to approach the idea from the perspective that everyone is both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated to some degree. Our job as leaders is to get to know the people on our team and understand this mix of motivational behavior in each individual. Once we understand what makes each person on our team tick, we can find creative ways to appeal to both their intrinsically and extrinsically motivated sides to enhance their performance and make the team stronger.

Check out the video for some detailed ways you can appeal to your team members intrinsically and extrinsically motivated sides.

One of the reasons we become leaders is to influence others in a positive direction to make the world a better place, but we often underestimate our ability and feel that we are not important enough or experienced enough to have much sway over what others think. The reality is that we have an influence over those around us every day but just don't consciously think about it. Most people care about their organizations and are open about discussion and debate about how to best achieve the results we want. If each of us really thought about it we all have at least one or two areas where we have some extensive knowledge or perspective that we can use to help shape others opinions about how to move forward successfully. Being conscious of the influence we have on others and using it wisely to promote positive change is one of our most important responsibilities as leaders.

Influence – Video Guide

One of the reasons we become leaders is to influence others in a positive direction to make the world a better place, but we often underestimate our ability and feel that we are not important enough or experienced enough to have much sway over what others think. The reality is that we have an influence over those around us every day but just don’t consciously think about it. Most people care about their organizations and are open about discussion and debate about how to best achieve the results we want. If each of us really thought about it we all have at least one or two areas where we have some extensive knowledge or perspective that we can use to help shape others opinions about how to move forward successfully. Being conscious of the influence we have on others and using it wisely to promote positive change is one of our most important responsibilities as leaders.

Positive Ways to Influence Others

  1. Find the knowledge and expertise that you have that no one else has
  2. Figure out who the audience is or the group of people who this topic is important to and share your thoughts and ideas with them
  3. Tell your story – use real examples and experiences from your own life to emphasize the points you’re trying to make
  4. Pick your moments wisely – sharing  your thoughts and experiences at the appropriate moment is often more important than what you share

Setting ourselves up with a positive mindset about influence before we share is critical to getting our message across. Approaching conversations from the perspective of sharing and being open-minded is often received better than if we are seeking to portray ourselves as an expert or persuading others to get our own way.

Photo Credit: By West Midlands Police from West Midlands, United Kingdom [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Presidents' Day remind us of our commitment as leaders to continue a life-long study of leadership. One of the most effective ways we can pursue those studies is to take a look back at our role models and assess how they applied leadership to accomplish their goals. Looking at a wide variety of leaders and leadership styles gives us a number of different sources to help us define our own leadership style.

Role Models – Video Challenge

Presidents’ Day reminds us of our commitment as leaders to continue a life-long study of leadership. One of the most effective ways we can pursue those studies is to take a look back at our role models and assess how they applied leadership to accomplish their goals. Looking at a wide variety of leaders and leadership styles gives us a number of different sources to help us define our own leadership style.

Assessing Our Role Models

When we think about successful leaders, especially on Presidents’ Day, we tend to think about widely known leaders of historical significance, but our study of leadership doesn’t have to be focused on the most powerful or successful leaders in history. We can learn just as much, if not more, from leaders we have experienced first-hand in our own lives. We can also learn a great deal from leaders who weren’t always successful in their endeavors. Reflecting on how those role models dealt with failure and overcame significant challenges can give us even greater insight into the kind of leaders we want to be.

Remember, nobody is perfect, including ourselves and our role models, so as we examine traits and qualities made these leaders successful or unsuccessful, we may find some qualities that we don’t find so desirable. This is okay though, because we don’t have to emulate only one leader or leadership style to create our own. We can choose the traits and qualities that we think will make us most successful as leaders and incorporate them from a wide range of leadership styles. Creating our own leadership style based on our core values will help us to be genuine and authentic leaders.

Take a few minutes this Presidents’ Day to find some role models that you admire and think about which aspects of their leadership traits and skills you’d like to adopt into your own leadership style.

As Valentine's Day approache, we're probably all focused on our significant other or the personal relationships we have in our lives, but this is also a good time to reflect on how we go about building professional relationships with others. Professional relationships are very much like personal relationships in that the best ones are based on a genuine connection with other people, not based on selling something or getting something out of the relationship. If we want to be successful building professional relationships, we need to be focused on making that genuine connection from the very first meeting and maintaining it through the life of the relationship.

Building Professional Relationships – Video Guide

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we’re probably all focused on our significant other or the personal relationships we have in our lives, but this is also a good time to reflect on how we go about building professional relationships with others. Professional relationships are very much like personal relationships in that the best ones are based on a genuine connection with other people, not based on selling something or getting something out of the relationship. If we want to be successful building professional relationships, we need to be focused on making that genuine connection from the very first meeting and maintaining it through the life of the relationship.

Tips for Building Professional Relationships

  1. Consider who you want to build relationships with. They could be people in your current occupation or industry, other industries or maybe they share a similar passion or interest. Being conscious about who you want to bring into you want to bring into your network and why can help foster that genuine connection.
  2. Go where these people are. If you’re looking to make a connection with people in a certain industry or field, you’ve got to find them where they usually are. Networking events, meetup groups, trade shows and conferences are all great ways to connect with people who have specific areas of interest and expertise. Don’t forget social media and online forums too.
  3. Approach the connections you want to make. This may sound scary but you can’t start building professional relationships with people until you start talking to them. Remember that we’re trying to build an authentic connection, so don’t approach them trying to sell your product or service; just get to know them and find out what they’re interested in and passionate about. It’s okay to be selective about who you start a professional relationship with, so if you find that you’re just not connecting with someone you don’t need to pursue that relationship further.
  4. Maintain the relationship. Once you have that relationship established it’s important to keep the connection going. You don’t need to talk with the person every day, but checking in once in a while over email or meeting up for coffee are great ways to maintain the relationship.

Watch this week’s video to get more detail on how to apply these tips to your own professional relationships.

It's still pretty early in the year and while everyone on the team is focused on upcoming goals and improvements, it's a good time to consider starting new initiatives that improve out team's ability to complete their mission or make their lives easier. As we all know, change is hard for most human beings to embrace so it's important that we are clear with ourselves about the purpose for the change as well as what any of the benefits and impacts may be before we implement.

Starting New Initiatives – Video Guide

It’s still pretty early in the year and while everyone on the team is focused on upcoming goals and improvements, it’s a good time to consider starting new initiatives that improve our team’s ability to complete their mission or make their lives easier. As we all know, change is hard for most human beings to embrace so it’s important that we are clear with ourselves about the purpose for the change as well as what any of the benefits and impacts may be before we implement.

Tips for Starting New Initiatives

As stated above, it’s critical that we have a very clear picture in our own mind of why we want to bring about change and what the potential benefits are. Before starting new initiatives we should also do some research to see who might be impacted by the change and how, whether they are members of our own team or someone else in our organization. Clarity in these areas helps us minimize impacts and maximize benefits, which will help others embrace the change more easily.

Once we have an initial plan, it’s helpful to “shop it around” to key stakeholders and other people we trust and respect to get their feedback on it before we try to implement change. Getting some fresh eyes on the plan can show us how we might be affecting others in a way that we didn’t originally intend. Many initiatives are started with good intentions,  but the get derailed because the unintended consequences to others create resistance. Some careful forethought and prior coordination can go a long way towards getting others on board with the new initiative.

When starting new initiatives there are some key ideas to keep in mind as we enter the execution phase. Clearly communicating the new expectations to the team and other key stakeholders is a good place to start. Holding everyone accountable for the new role is critical to the success of any new initiative. Giving credit and recognition to the team for making a difficult change let’s the team know they’re appreciated and helps them share in the newly acquired benefits.

Now that we've recovered from the holidays and we've got a few weeks of 2016 under our belt, it's time to start thinking about some ways that we can make our team stronger, better and faster over the coming year. One of the ways we can make these kind of improvements is through team building exercises. While these kinds of activities can take away from the time we have to get work done they often pay significant benefits in helping us assess our team's strengths and capabilities as well as giving us an idea of what areas we might want to help our team members improve upon. Taking a little bit of time at the beginning of the year to do this kind of assessment can help give us an idea of what specific capabilities we'd like to have each of our team members work on for their next evaluation period.

Team Building Exercises – Video Guide

Now that we’ve recovered from the holidays and we’ve got a few weeks of 2016 under our belt, it’s time to start thinking about some ways that we can make our team stronger, better and faster over the coming year. One of the ways we can make these kind of improvements is through team building exercises. While these kinds of activities can take away from the time we have to get work done they often pay significant benefits in helping us assess our team’s strengths and capabilities as well as giving us an idea of what areas we might want to help our team members improve upon. Taking a little bit of time at the beginning of the year to do this kind of assessment can help give us an idea of what specific capabilities we’d like to have each of our team members work on for their next evaluation period.

Team Building Exercises You Can Do

Team building exercises don’t need to be elaborate or time consuming to be effective. What we want to do is find an activity that will help challenge and develop the communication, problem solving and leadership skills of our team members. There are a lot of team building exercises out there but one that is very effective at developing the kind of skills we talked about is the Marshmallow Challenge. This exercise requires only a little preparation using inexpensive items you can get from your local supermarket and should take less than an hour to complete, including discussion after the exercise. If executed properly, the Marshmallow Challenge should challenge all of your team members’ critical skills without taking away too much time from their regular activities.

Give this exercise a try and let us know how it goes for you. If all of your team members get through this exercise without being challenged, it might be time to consider an even more challenging exercise for them next time!

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