Ideas Leadership Life Self Leadership

No Such Thing As Wasted Effort

When I apply myself I expect to see a return for my effort. None of us want to do something for nothing. We want some sort of return. A reward of sort for energy used. Some gain for all the pain we might have gone through.

At different times, for different reasons the results will vary. Sometimes we will see a great return. Perhaps an exponential one. At other times we get what we expected. Then there are those times we seem to get less than what we hoped for. Even worse, we get nothing.

Ideas Leadership Life

Sixty Caution Potholes – Message Overload

I’m a student of communication in leadership (& yes, life too).

There is more than one message I get from this photo I took. The thing is, there is the speed limit sign and a mistake they made was add another message, causing “message overload”.

“Message overload guarantees a level of distortion in the messages being conveyed.

Great communication is core to great leadership. Make sure you never load other messages onto others.


Be clear on the context and parameters a of each communique. It is always helpful to establish the boundaries of discussions and communication as it combats ambiguity. Ambiguity often births discord and division. The discord and division can be clear as well as subtle, hidden.


Never piggy-back a message or communique on another. Respect the importance of each message and craft your message. Never communicate a lot of new ideas with a shotgun approach. Important messages deserve surgical treatment.

One Way

I’m sure the guy who put this sign thinks it’s clear; “Speed limit is sixty and be careful, there are potholes”. I laughed when I saw the sign because my initial interpretation was, “They have put sixty caution potholes?! What happened to other ‘traffic calming devices’?”

Never assume your message is as clear to others as it is to you, the sender [Click to Tweet]

This may be a rather obvious thing. Right? Wrong. Leaders and teams still stand to make this same mistake. Assumptions have destroyed teams, relationships and organisations. Rather err on the side of verifying that you understand messages and, likewise have been understood.

Hence the importance of feedback systems.

Why You DON’T Get The Feedback You Need | Part 1
Why You DON’T Get The Feedback You Need | Part 2


Remember: communication only takes place when message on the receivers end is received and understood as indented by the sender.

Never piggy back messages on each other. Always establish context and parameters for your message or communique. Have clear feedback systems to make sure that messages or communications are well understood by all parties involved and affected.

Published via Pressgram


Accountability | Dealing With Frustration As A Leader

Leaders who cannot manage frustration are ineffective. No one wants to follow them. One of the least attractive leaders is a tantrum bomb of a leader.

A leader’s ability to address frustration in his teams and manage his own is critical for high intensity and performance environments. Leaders who manage frustration well are more likely to lead well.

Related: More Than 5 Reasons Your Team Is Frustrated With Your Leadership 

The first step for any leader to address their frustration is being aware of their frustration triggers. He or she must be in touch with his internal state.

One of the next keys of managing frustration is accountability.


Share with someone trustworthy when you’re frustrated. Try to get to the source and somehow create steps and measures keep you away from the frustration and its potential paralysis.

Agree on consequences when you have badly handled your frustration. In a healthy team environment, it might even be a great thing for the team to talk about their frustration triggers and thresholds. Leaders can participate in this space and share their shortcomings.

When leaders are open about some of their shortcomings, it helps those they lead to come alongside them in areas of their shortcomings.

(PS: Watch that you don’t mess up accountability.)

Companionship is another important key in the accountability mix. Dr. Henry Cloud says that research showed that stress could be reduced by up to fifty percent when it is shared. The importance of companionship cannot be overemphasized.

Step Away | Dealing With Frustration As A Leader
YOU | Dealing With Frustration As A Leader 
Ignore? | Leading a Frustrated Team [Part 1]
Hear | Leading a Frustrated Team [Part 2]
Cool | Leading A Frustrated Team [Part 3]
The Presence | Leading A Frustrated Team [Part 4]
Ground Rules and Fences | Leading a Frustrated Team [Part 5]
Communication | Leading A Frustrated Team [Part 6]

[Photo Credit: Zach Klein]

Self Leadership

YOU | Dealing With Frustration As A Leader

As a result of the ongoing series on Leading A Frustrated Team, I’ve received a number of requests from leaders asking me to write about how to deal with frustration as a leader. It is one of those things that cannot be completely separated from leading. Frustration, I mean.

You can never address anything that you’re not willing to confront. For frustrated leaders: you will always be frustrated unless you do something about it.


The starting point in handling frustration is identifying what frustrates you. Similar to the ‘Influence Audit, you need to take stock of the things that unsettle and overwhelm you. As it goes, if you have no idea what pushes you off the edge you’re going to be a casualty of the same thing often.

Reflect and take not of instances of frustration and see if you can find any patterns. Journaling your leadership journey can be a great part of keeping track.

(I’m glad I took Michael Hyatt’s advice and started using Day One, a Mac / iOS journaling app. Some of the coolest things about it are that it can be easier to track certain topics. You can use tags and have a search feature. If you use it perhaps consider using a particular tag for you to be able to track times of frustration.)

You need to identify the source of the frustration. One of the mistakes I’ve made in leadership is assumed that those I led were the cause of frustration. There are times when I’ve been the source of my frustration.

Be honest with yourself. Not only that but somehow found a way to blame my team without vocalizing it. Don’t make excuses by putting the blame on others or circumstances.

You may want to do a consult with your team, colleagues or superiors. Ask them what they see frustrating you. Find out what they see you do or how they see you act when you’re frustrated.

I’m sorry if you were looking for a different kind of silver bullet for the first step, but identifying the source of frustration is the starting point.

Solutions can only be crafted when the problems are clear.

What frustrates you as a leader?

[Photo Credit: marvin L]