RapidStart Leadership Blog

How to Stay Optimistic: 3 Questions to Ask Before You Give Up

How can you stay optimistic in the face of failure?
Failure is a natural part of doing business, of being human, and of attempting to do things you haven’t done before.  And when we fail, there’s a natural tendency to want to give up.  It’s hard to stay optimistic.

But before you pull the plug and succumb to a gloomy “it’ll never work” outlook, there are three questions you should ask yourself.  They could make the difference between giving up and achieving what you set out to accomplish.

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Answering the Call of Leadership

When the call of leadership comes, what will you do?
Often what makes leaders stand out are not the great deeds but the small acts.  Many of these actions may even go unnoticed by most.  But cumulatively they demonstrate where the leader’s heart lies, and they build the kind of loyalty that makes teams strong and successful.

This is a story of one such simple act over 50 years ago that left a life-long impression.  The call of leadership came, and the way this leader handled it serves as a great model for us all.

Here’s what happened.

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Leading Volunteers: How to Keep Them Coming Back

How do you lead people who aren’t on your payroll?
Since moving to Minnesota, I’ve wanted to get engaged locally as a volunteer.  Last month I signed up to help at a local agency, and it was a great experience.

The way they worked with the volunteers made it fun, productive and has had me coming back weekly ever since.  Today I’ll share the many things that went right, so that if you find yourself in the business of leading volunteers you’ll have them coming back for more, too.

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Leading Virtual Teams: 12 Powerful Ways to Lead a Team You Can’t See

How do you lead a team that’s not there?
It’s hard enough to be a good leader when your teammates are in the same room.  But what about when they aren’t even in the same time zone?

When you can’t look someone directly in the eye, things get much more challenging.  Yet leading virtual teams is the future.  Studies show that 25% of jobs involve teaming from distant locations.  That number is only going to grow.

If you are a leader, chances are good you may be leading some of them soon, if you aren’t already.  So today we’ll look at 12 things you can do to overcome the challenge of leading a team that’s somewhere else.

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By |November 14th, 2017|Communicate, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on Leading Virtual Teams: 12 Powerful Ways to Lead a Team You Can’t See

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Everyday Winners – How to Build Mental Toughness One Day at a Time

How do you win the daily struggle to get out the door?
Temperatures have been dropping lately.  Now it takes more effort to get out the door for my morning run.

Yesterday I  had to analyze the weather.  Contend with warm clothing decisions.  Wrestle them all on.  Shiver through the first mile until the blood started to flow.

Part of me did not want to fight with the layers of clothing, stumble through the darkness, or brace against the chill.  Wouldn’t it be nicer to stay inside where it’s warm?

We all face struggles like this if we are in the business of trying to accomplish something.  It can be tough to get yourself out the door.

How do you build mental toughness?  How do you get past the struggle?

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By |November 9th, 2017|Learn Concepts, Motivation, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on Everyday Winners – How to Build Mental Toughness One Day at a Time

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Building Influence – 6 Ways to Earn Respect

What’s the secret to building influence?
Becoming more influential is actually a pretty simple matter.  But simple doesn’t mean easy.  One evening not too long ago, someone gave me a brief demonstration of how to go about building influence, and showed that any of us can do it, if we are willing to make the effort.

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By |November 7th, 2017|Learn Concepts, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on Building Influence – 6 Ways to Earn Respect

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Visionary Leadership: When Social Proof Fails

What is visionary leadership?
In 1921, an explorer and naturalist named William Beebe was trekking through the jungle in Guyana.  He came across a large colony of ants marching along a path that they had made.

Curious, he followed the little ant highway to see where they were going.

After a quarter mile of climbing over logs, skirting around trees and breaking through the underbush, he found that he was right back where he started.

The ants were marching in an enormous circle, each ant following the ants up ahead.  It was social proof.  After all, why would all those ants follow a trail if it wasn’t going somewhere?

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By |November 2nd, 2017|Learn Concepts, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on Visionary Leadership: When Social Proof Fails

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Delegating Effectively: It’s Not Tennis

If I’m delegating effectively, why do I always seem to have the ball?
We all know that as leaders we need to delegate effectively.  As one boss even told me, “You have to delegate or die!” But sometimes it can seem like that ball keeps bouncing back into your hands.

You start to wonder, what’s the point of delegating if I still end up doing all the work?  I think it all has to do with understanding what game you are playing.

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By |October 31st, 2017|RapidStart Leadership Blog, Take Action, Written Blog|Comments Off on Delegating Effectively: It’s Not Tennis

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6 Powerful Ways Leaders Reflect, and how Reflection Makes Your Team Great

What is reflection for leaders?
Reflection sounds like a passive exercise you do by yourself.  It seems to involve sitting in a chair in a darkened room and journaling about the meaning of things.  Maybe that’s part of it, but I think for leaders there is much more to it than that.

Leaders reflect actively, selectively, constantly, and in public.  And through their active reflection, they build skillful, capable teams that continuously become better versions of themselves.  Here’s how they do it.

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By |October 24th, 2017|Learn Concepts, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on 6 Powerful Ways Leaders Reflect, and how Reflection Makes Your Team Great

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Keeping Your LeaderShip Afloat: 4 Ways to Get Your Head Above Water

Does it sometimes feel like your attempts at leading are like, oh, I don’t know, paddling a half-submerged pumpkin down a river? 
Last weekend I had the privilege of watching people attempt to do exactly that.  Join me for a video of what happened, and some thoughts about how to keep your LeaderShip afloat, even if it seems to have turned into a Great Wallowing Pumpkin.

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By |October 17th, 2017|Learn Concepts, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on Keeping Your LeaderShip Afloat: 4 Ways to Get Your Head Above Water

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