Professional Tips

EP. 55- how to take great notes and get the most of your meetings

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You are in a meeting with the Team, the boss, a client or maybe colleague and want to make sure you don’t miss anything important. Later, as you review notes from the meeting, you struggle to understand what they say, (let alone what they mean.) How can that be? After all, you were the one taking the notes, right? Are there better ways to handle meeting notes? What do others do and how does that work for them? Should I even be in this meeting at all? If you have ever had this experience, join Voltage CEO Jeff Smith and Principal Consultant Lee Hubert will share tips and tools on How to Take Great Notes and Get the Most out of Your Meetings. [Read transcript here]

EP. 48- how to ensure you have the right talent at the right time

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You work hard to get to know what your customers want and how much they are willing to pay for it. You define the right strategies for your business’ future. However, when you look around at your team, you do not always have enough of the right talent to fully implement and lead your strategies. Businesses in every industry face this growing challenge, especially as your organizational chart has holes caused by Baby Boomers retiring in greater numbers, and Gen X’ers and Millennials not quite ready to step into senior roles. Please join Jeff Smith and his guest Joanne Loce, as they discuss demographic trends and their impact on succession planning and talent development in the workplace. Joanne is Managing Partner of Fortify Leadership Group and a leading expert on Talent Development who has hosted numerous conferences on this important topic. [Read transcript here]

EP. 41- letters from lincoln

We sometimes encounter challenging or difficult personalities in our professional or personal lives. Our 16th President was no exception. Abraham Lincoln had lots on his plate and was masterful at working through all kinds on people to meet the challenges of his day. How do we tap into and apply an individual’s strengths while navigating their weaknesses? What are the best ways to handle an emotionally upset person? How best to offer constructive criticism without it being perceived as persecution? When should we be willing to apologize? How to address poor judgment and maintain a solid leadership reputation? What to do with the “loose cannon” type personality? If your organization or team is looking for sound, practical management tips and tools that can be applied immediately, you won’t want to miss this VoltCast Letters from Lincoln - (George Meade & Joe Hooker) hosted by Voltage Principal Consultant Lee Hubert with Special Guest Steve K. Rogstad. [Read transcript here]

EP. 40- what i didn't do on my summer vacation

Remember when you were kids and anticipated summer vacation? The feeling of sheer joy, being “free” to do whatever and having the time to do! That kid is still very much alive and well, although with years of work – life conditioning, may need a refresher on how to really unplug. This means managing what we will not do on our summer family vacations and planning well to hold to that. Easier said than done? Should I take calls? Should I beavailable by email or Text? The challenge is to “Manage Out!” This means planning what we will NOT do on our summer vacation. Please join us on our next VoltCast as Voltage CEO Jeff Smith and Principal Consultant Lee Hubert will share some tips and practical guidance on how to make this summer’s vacation the best and most memorable for everybody. [Read transcript here]

EP. 39- the challenge of change- our top 5 lessons learned

Change is both a constant and a challenging part of our professional lives. Leading change and managing change are different skills, and learning to navigate both processes successfully is essential to long term leadership success. Tune in to hear Jeff and Jennifer’s Top 5 Lessons Learned. With both Success Stories and Pitfalls to Avoid, these lessons in change are gleaned from Voltage Leadership’s most successful and challenging client engagements. [Read transcript here]

EP. 38- give back time- alla breve...!

“Alla Breve” is Italian musical term for “cut the playing time” or play faster. There is some wisdom here to share as we are often faced the reality of “doing less”, ie cutting the time or “doing more” aka playing faster. How to apply Alla Breve in our professional and personal lives goes a long way to determining if the sounds we fill the air with are melodic and harmonious vs off pitch and in the wrong key. Are we habitually “out of time” running from one meeting to another? Is there an on-going sense of frustration that that the task doesn’t fit the time? How can we shorten the time needed to do what we need to do? When orchestrating plans, are we being realistic? When was the last time we intentionally gave back time to somebody else? When was the last time we actually had time “given back”? Don’t miss our next VoltCast if you’d like to learn the answers to these questions. Voltage CEO Jeff Smith and Principal Consultant Lee Hubert will share tips and tools on giving back time! [Read transcript here]

EP. 35- time, energy, people and communication

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What separates our best days at work from the most challenging ones? What do they have in common? What might we have done differently? How can we improve next time? How do we make every day at work the best it can possibly be for everybody, including the end users of our work product? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, you won’t want to miss our next VoltCast: Illuminating Leadership, Time, Energy, People & Communication. We will explore practical tips, tools and lesson learned with Ms Kari Lightner, Director – Regional Health Clinics at Bath Community Hospital, Hot Springs, Virginia. [Read transcript here]

EP. 32- hurry up and slow down - win - what's important now?

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It seems like we are surrounded by the need for speed. We want it and we want it now. Speed seems to be reinforced at every turn. We want that red traffic light to turn green, now, (What are they waiting for?) We want business results to come fast, (especially in Q1) and without much hassle. We want everything from our computers to our toasters to run fast, fast, fast. As we look at the world around us, we see people moving at a frantic pace. With smart phones and email everywhere, it seems as if all of us are addicted to "instant gratification" and find it hard to slow down or wait for anything. Maybe it's time to slow down a little. We tend to see more details when we slow down and really look at our surroundings, including relationships. If you can identify with “living at the speed of life” you won’t want to miss the next Voltcast when Voltage CEO, Jeff Smith and Principal Consultant Lee Hubert how to WIN the human race by focusing on “What’s Important Now” practical tips. [Read transcript here]

EP. 31- how's your attitude indicator?

The attitude indicator on an airplane is very important. It informs the pilot of the orientation of the aircraft relative to the horizon, so it must be correct at all times regardless of the plane's movements. This means that the attitude indicator needs to be continually monitored to ensure a smooth flight and level glide path. It is likewise with us. As Chuck Swindoll points out, “Attitude can make or break a company, an organization a church or even a family.” Are we aware of what our attitude indicators really are? Have we checked our attitude indicator recently? Are we monitoring our attitude indicator periodically? How are our attitude indicators kept from drifting? Are we continuously on Auto-Pilot? The answers to these questions above go a long way to determining our personal and profession flight path. We have heard it said that Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it. This means turning off our personal auto-pilot about what we thought we knew. [Read transcript here]

EP. 30- share the load: the give and take of deliberate delegation

We all have assignments that are better off shared. They may be too large for us to successfully accomplish alone, or they may carry the opportunity to develop our team. Perhaps we have a project or task perfectly suited for the talents of someone else. Delegation is the dance of prioritization, productivity, pressure, and people development: the art of developing both others and ourselves. Join Jeff Smith and his co-host and colleague Jennifer Owen-O’Quill, Leadership and Strategy Consultant at Voltage Leadership Consulting, as they explore the art of Deliberate Delegation. What assignments will you share today? Listen in for some fresh insights and discover how to find the sweet spot where time and talents intersect.

EP. 26- alleviating anxiety and cultivating civility in your workplace

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When tensions run high because of high workloads, looming deadlines, or un-addressed conflict, people’s relationships suffer. And when relationships suffer, your productivity takes a hit. Join us for this week’s VoltCast Illuminating Leadership as Jennifer Owen-O’Quill, a certified Conversational Intelligence™ Coach, joins us to address the intersection between anxiety, civility and performance capacity. You can anticipate a lively conversation as Jeff and Jennifer share strategies for alleviating anxiety, and tips and tactics that build trust, resilience, and creativity on your teams. Candor, civility and creativity are linked. Tune in to learn how those three elements drive the capacity of your team. [Transcript Here]

EP. 24- how do choices you make impact your relationships?

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Can you believe what Ted said to me? Did you see what Janet did at our last meeting? What is your attitude when you walk into a meeting? What is your intention for your next 1:1 with your direct report? Please join us for our next Voltcast: Illuminating Leadership Radio show where we will be tackling these questions with our guests Nancy Smyth and Sharon Eakes. These authors wrote “Chocolate or Lunch—How Choices Impact Relationships.” We will be covering case studies from our professional experience and coaching clients to share how to get the most out of your relationships in all areas of life. We will provide tools and tips on how to achieve greater results and help you hit your goals while also increasing your satisfaction. [Read transcript here]

EP. 19- got a minute...? how to best invest each minute of your day!

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Time, the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in an irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. How many times have you been asked, "Got a minute…?” We can think of 10,080 reasons why this is an important question to answer. We all have 168 hours in a week (10,080 minutes.) How we spend them and who we spend them with often defines our success and quality of life. Is your calendar out of control? Do you find the time for the things that are really important? Do you often feel drained of energy due to competing time demands? Are there too many distractions? Would you like helpful ideas and practical tips for “creating” time? As with many things, Time can either be a terrible task master or a great servant. Please join Jeff Smith and Lee Hubert for the answers to these and other important questions. Got a minute…?

EP. 17- what are you going to be great at this year?

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It is that time of year where we set goals, make resolutions, assess our life and profess our need for change. Yet, most of us revert back to our old ways by mid-January to early February. Are we just fooling ourselves into thinking we need to change? Is our will power just terrible? Is change really even possible? These are all good questions. I believe many of us have good intentions to change but we do not really have a path that will lead us to change. Additionally, many of us try to change too much or too quickly to be successful. Okay, should I just give up now? No way! Please join Jennifer Owen-O’Quill and Jeff Smith as we will share some of our best practices about goal setting and provide inspiration for you from our client’s stories. We are looking forward to you joining us at our next Voltcast: Illuminating Leadership and hearing some of your best practices around goal setting.

EP. 16- lessons learned from 2016

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Wow, 2016 was a fast-paced, full of change and interesting year. We will be reviewing lessons learned from our own business and from our client’s experiences. We will be sharing thoughts on acquisitions, new product launches, hiring new talent, firing some talent, moving to new locations and other case studies that we worked with in 2016. Please join Jeff Smith on Voltcast Illuminating Leadership as he will also share his own learning's from launching a radio show, writing a book and other thoughts from a successful year.

EP. 14- are you ready to compete for talent?

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Are you ready to Compete for Talent? As our economy cycles things change and people move. According to recent job satisfaction surveys, about 1 in 3 workers will change jobs in the next 6 months, (Saba), 49.5% of employees are "not engaged" and another 16.5% are “actively disengaged." (Gallup) Significant numbers of people have stayed in jobs that are less than optimal for various reasons waiting for their “window of opportunity.” Many organizations are now taking a fresh look at making Winning Cultural Moves in order to foster better workforce engagement and retention. As the economy creates better jobs, employers who are unprepared will pay a high price in turn over. There is an old business saying that says, “Culture beats strategy every time." What then should forward looking leaders be thinking about? Please join Voltage CEO Jeff Smith, and his guest Principal Consultant Lee Hubert on the next Voltcast to explore the answers to these and other questions. Are you ready to Compete?

EP. 9- taking time to be present

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Are you achieving important desired outcomes for the day, the week, month or year? Are you managing your time or is it managing you? Does it feel like there is never enough time to focus on what is really important to you? How would those around you, your boss, your direct reports, your family describe your ability to be present with them? If you have pondered those or other questions about how to best manage your time in order to be the best you can be at what you do, please join us for our next VoltCast ‘Taking Time to be Present.’ Jeff Smith will explore these and other questions about managing time with Lee Hubert, Principal Consultant with Voltage Leadership. This promises to be a fast-moving practical discussion on time management with insights on how to design your time for the highest levels of personal and team effectiveness. [Read Transcript]

EP. 8- behind the manager's closed door

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Do you ever wonder what happens behind the closed door? Are you curious if you are having the right types of conversations with your employees? Do you wonder if you are the only one that leaves some of the conversations with headaches? Are you curious if there are better ways to structure tough conversations with employees? If these questions intrigue you, then please join us for our next Voltcast. Jeff Smith will explore these and other critical questions that manager’s must address with Lee Hubert, Principal Consultant with Voltage Leadership. We will discuss best practices for 1:1 meetings, how to deal with a challenging employee, motivational ideas, disciplinary conversations, giving recognition and even effective team meetings. This practical conversation will help leaders become better at the challenging conversations and help them enter these conversations with more confidence. [Read Transcript]

    EP. 7- making 'shift' happen: escaping the dreaded drama triangle (DDT) with the empowerment dynamic (TED)

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    Are you a Victim of Drama? Ever wonder why there seems to be so much drama on your Team or at your company? How much does drama cost your organization in lost productivity, turnover, absenteeism and low morale? On our next Voltcast, Jeff Smith will explore these and other questions surrounding the impact of 'drama' in the workplace with Lee Hubert, Principal Consultant with Voltage Leadership. When colleagues adopt one of three primary dysfunctional roles at work, the result is often what we term a 'Cultural Bermuda Triangle.' This can be a place where the company or Team's vision, mission, and productivity can be 'lost.' As David Emerald points this out in his book 'The Power of TED, The Empowerment Dynamic' the antidote to the Dreaded Drama Triangle starts with understanding what role a person may be in and then taking steps to move into healthy roles by focusing on what we want -vs what we don't want.- Tune in to this week's Voltcast and Make'Shift' Happen...! [Read Transcript Here]

    EP. 6- coaching for peak performance

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    How do we develop and retain high performing talent? By paying attention to our people. But how? This week Jeff and Jennifer will discuss ways to develop your skill at developing others so that you have successful employees and a winning team. From defining roles and setting expectations, to spotting success and sharing appreciation, they will share best practices for communicating, coaching, encouraging and correcting your team. Learn about the High Potential Zone, a playing field where, with the right moves our teams can cross home plate again and again by hitting the bases of Roles, Recognition, Review and Refine. This week, Jeff and Jennifer take you from the pitcher’s mound and around all 4 bases, with the tips and tools to get your people off the bench, and from hitting the first pitch to rounding home plate. It is our people that win the game for us, and for our businesses to grow and thrive our people need to be growing too. [Read Transcript Here]