4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Laurie Maddalena Laurie Maddalena is a dynamic and engaging keynote speaker and leadership consultant. She writes a monthly online column for next generation leaders for CUES and has published articles in Credit … Web: www.envisionexcellence.net Details Create Clarity. Communication is always an important part of leadership, yet during challenging times, clear and frequent communication is more important than ever. In this virtual environment, the best way to create clarity and keep the lines of communication open is to create structures to support dialogue. Connect with each employee individually, preferably through video, at least once a week.At the start of each meeting, take some time for a short team building exercise. Some of my favorites:One word: Ask each person to share one word to describe their state of mind. This is a great exercise to gauge how your employees are feeling.New or Good: What is something new or good that has happened in the last week?Questions: Pick one question that each person answers. For example, “What is the best vacation you have ever been on?”Positivity exercise: Give everyone one minute to write down anything positive that has happened in the past week. Ask each person to share one before the start of the meeting.Ask each person to share a strategy or tip for working successfully from home. Virtual meetings: I recommend at least one team meeting each week and regular check-in calls with your direct reports. One of my clients is holding a morning and end of day check in call with their teams every day. In the morning, they set the goals for the day (creating clarity for what needs to get done) and in the afternoon they check-in on progress. This has kept their projects moving along on schedule. Mediocre and poor managers tend to take the easy route by retreating to their virtual office while focusing on their own technical work. Exceptional leaders know that the effort they put into creating communication structures will keep everyone engaged and on track. Office Hours: Another great practice for supporting your employees is to create weekly “office hours”. Much like a professor has office hours where students can drop in to get help or ask questions, leaders can offer specific times during their week where employees can schedule individual time with you. Hold a virtual coffee or “happy hour” at the end of the week where everyone can bring their favorite drink and catch up socially. It’s important to build-in time for people to connect outside of the typical task-focused meetings.Send a handwritten card or a small gift in the mail to each employee to let them know you are thinking of them. You can order a book, bookmark, coffee mug, journal, or even a box of chocolates right from Amazon (if you search “gift for employee” on Amazon, you will see some great options).Recognize milestones like work anniversaries, birthdays, marriage anniversaries, and baby milestones at the start of weekly team meetings. Encourage employees to share a picture with the milestone. For example, while “homeschooling” my three kids last week, they all (finally) learned how to ride their bikes. A huge win, as it gets them outside more!Communicate and encourage boundaries. Some leaders worry that their employees won’t work hard enough when working from home, but a two-year study from Stanford University showed that employees in the study were 13% more productive when working from home. As leaders, it’s important to encourage employees to set healthy boundaries like taking breaks, stopping work at a certain time, and not checking emails after hours. Model this behavior for your staff and share with them how you create healthy boundaries so you can take care of yourself mentally and physically. Caretake the Culture. It can be challenging to keep a team engaged when they aren’t interacting in person every day, but it is possible to create connection virtually. Here are five tips for ensuring a positive, engaged culture during this challenging time: I’m writing this article from my walk-in closet in the midst of the second month of being at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, it’s the quietest place in my house as we navigate this new normal. My regular office is being used by one of my three kids, who are being “homeschooled” while my husband and I balance running two businesses virtually. I’m not sure how much learning is happening right now, but we are doing our best to manage this challenging situation. This is real life. It’s messy and it’s difficult.Each of your employees has their own situation and challenges during this unprecedented time. Some may have elderly parents who are at high risk, some may find themselves teaching their children while they juggle work, and others may have a spouse who is self-employed or was recently laid off. Each situation is different, yet many of us are experiencing the same emotions of fear, uncertainty, and frustration. Many of my credit union clients worked overtime for weeks to get their employees set up remotely to ensure they could serve their members as effectively as possible. Some are strategizing how to handle the uncertain economic outlook as we navigate this change. These are all important and urgent responsibilities that credit union leaders need to navigate. But leadership is not just about solving problems. There is another important responsibility that we should not forget while we continue to ensure our operations run as smoothly as possible – caretaking the culture. Now, more than ever, it is important for leaders in organizations to put leadership into practice. Leadership is not a title or position. Leadership is a verb—it requires action. Just like a garden requires water, soil, and sun to thrive, relationships require cultivation to thrive. This means leaders need to show up, connect, support, and provide clarity; especially during challenging times. Exceptional leaders will rise to the challenge and seamlessly do what they do best: connect, listen, support, and encourage every human being who is on their team. But, I fear mediocre managers will hide behind their laptops and focus on technical work, rather than the important actions required of great leadership.Below are three areas to focus on to be an exceptional leader and manage your team in this uncertain time:Acknowledge and address emotions. This is so important during this time, and cannot be overlooked. Employees aren’t looking for a cheerleader to tell them to think positive and everything will be fine. It’s important to provide hope for our employees, but only after we have acknowledged their feelings. Each manager must connect individually with each of your employees (preferably through video if you are working remotely) to understand the impact this challenging situation has had on them personally. This means scheduling a one-on-one video call with every one of your employees to ask them how they are doing during this challenging time. Not only will this allow your employee to express their fears and challenges so they can work through those uncertainties, but also knowing this information will allow you to support each individual better. I led a virtual leadership session this morning where we spent 45 minutes allowing the twelve leaders to share how this virus has impacted them personally, and how they are navigating the changes. By the end of the 45 minutes, the leaders were more positive and were sharing tips with each other on how to work in a virtual environment more effectively. One of the worst things leaders can do in a crisis is to gloss over the hard part (emotions) and focus on plans of action. People need to feel heard and understood before they can move to problem solving. You simply cannot ignore human emotions and fears. Your employees will appreciate that you care about them and their families, and they will respond with more discretionary effort. The Kubler-Ross Model—Stages of Grief is a great resource to understand how humans process not only grief, but also big changes such as mergers, layoffs, and pandemics. Being human and transparent during this time will allow you to deepen your connections with each employee and keep them engaged in their work. Remember, it is your responsibility as a leader to provide support, remove obstacles, and create connections for your team. It takes even more effort to do this in a virtual environment. And, this is our job as leaders. Leadership is a privilege and a responsibility, and it takes daily effort and consistent practices to show up as an exceptional leader each day for your team.
GCC’S SECOND-division captain Devon Lord and GNIC all-rounder Ryan Shun starred with ball and bat to propel the Red Star Cricket Club to victory in the Etobicoke and District 50-Over Cricket League on Saturday at Caledonia Park, in Toronto, Canada.Both local-based Guyanese cricketers, they travelled up for the league, which runs until the end of October.For Lord, this is his second year playing for Red Star, while Shun is playing for the first time this season.The GNIC cricketer has had a relatively good run outside of Guyana, given that he did well for the Munroe Road Cricket Club in a premier two league in Trinidad earlier this year.Lord played two previous games, prior to last Saturday’s victory, but he batted late and did not get the opportunity to bowl. Shun, on the other hand, played his second game on Saturday and has looked solid with the bat so far, given that he followed up his 47, over a week ago, with 63 not out two days ago.In their clash against Melbourne CC, Red Star won the toss and reached 158-2 off of 34 overs before rain ended the innings prematurely.Shun, batting at number three, led the attack. He struck four fours and three sixes in a top score of 63 not out.In reply, Lord made light work of the middle order. The left-arm spinner finished with 4-30 from six overs.The GCC cricketer was also outstanding with the ball in the league last year, after finishing with a team high 24 wickets.
“Inside the 20s” runs on Tuesdays. To comment on this story, email Nick at [email protected] or visit dailytrojan.com.Follow him on Twitter @NickSelbe Don’t believe everything you read. At least, that’s how the saying goes.Because if you read statistics about USC’s defense in 2013, you would believe that the Trojans had one of the top defensive units in all of college football.So far this season, USC ranks eighth in the nation in points per game allowed at 10.0. The team is second in the NCAA in rushing yards allowed per game (43.7), fourth in total yards allowed per game (212.3), second in sacks (12.0) and sixth in interceptions, which is particularly encouraging given the amount of uncertainty surrounding the Trojans’ secondary entering this season.But remember: don’t believe everything you read. Numbers might never lie, but they don’t always tell the whole truth.Hawai’i, Washington State and Boston College, the three opponents USC has faced this season, all finished 2012 ranked 102nd or worse in scoring offense, and only the Cougars finished higher than 100th last season in total offense (96th). So, no, as impressive as USC’s defense has been, it hasn’t really seen a formidable opponent yet in 2013.All of that will change Saturday when Utah State comes to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Last season, the Aggies, playing in the now-defunct Western Athletic Conference, which is a non-BCS automatic qualifying conference, ranked 21st in the country in total offense and 26th in scoring offense en route to an 11-2 record and a respectable No. 16 spot in the final rankings of the Associated Press poll.This season, the results have been even more staggering, though they should be taken with an enormous grain of salt. Utah State is eighth in scoring offense and 12th in total offense, but those numbers are bolstered by wins against overmatched Air Force and FCS Weber State. Utah State’s lone loss this year came against the Pac-12’s Utah, but the team still racked up 487 yards of total offense.But the reason Utah State poses such a threat to the stout USC defense is mostly because of one player: junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton. At 6-foot-2 and 200 lbs., he’s physically imposing and a dangerous open-field runner. He leads the Aggies in rushing yards this season and has more than 1,000 yards rushing for his career. He ranks ninth in the nation in passer rating this season, and finished 17th in that category in 2012.USC fans most likely shudder at the thought of going up against a dual-threat quarterback, and rightfully so. The list of running gunslingers that have burned Trojan defenses in the past decade is an impressive one: Texas’ Vince Young in 2006, Washington’s Jake Locker in 2010, Arizona’s Matt Scott in 2012 and every Oregon quarterback from 2007 onward: Dennis Dixon, Jeremiah Masoli, Darron Thomas and current Ducks signal-caller Marcus Mariota.Making matters worse for USC is Keeton’s penchant for rising to the occasion against the big boys of the BCS. In his four career games against BCS automatic qualifying teams, Keeton has completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 924 yards, thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions and rushed for 279 yards on 55 carries (5.1 yards per rush) and three touchdowns. Simply put, Keeton shows up ready to play against higher competition.Utah State’s offensive proficiency can be directly attributed to Keeton’s arrival. In 2010, the year before Keeton’s freshman campaign, the Aggies averaged 22 points per game and amassed 4,168 yards of total offense. In 2011 and 2012, they averaged 33.6 and 34.9 points per game, respectively, and had nearly 6,000 yards of total offense each season.The purpose of all these gaudy statistics is to show that USC’s defense will finally face a worthy adversary this Saturday. Coming into the season, questions surrounded the Trojans’ defense: How would Pendergast’s new scheme work? Would the secondary improve? Could the team still pressure the quarterback with only three down linemen?Those questions have, for the most part, been answered. But now the main question that remain remains is simple — is this for real?We’ll find out on Saturday. If the USC defense can stymie a gifted quarterback the likes of which it has consistently struggled with time in and time out in recent years, then I’ll go all in on this Trojan defense. If the defense can force some turnovers and keep Keeton and Co. out of the end zone, then you can call me a believer.Until then, color me skeptical.
Burgess manager Pat Cremin sees their County Senior Hurling Championship quarter final match this weekend as a 50/50 game.His side will take on Templederry Kenyons.That’s the first part of a double header of last eight action at Semple Stadium on Sunday, with Thurles also hosting two quarter-finals on Saturday. Burgess came from behind to beat Borris-Ileigh last Sunday, while Templederry Kenyons powered past Moycarkey-Borris.We’ll have regular updates here on Tipp FM from the senior hurling quarter finals.