Tag Archives: transition

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3 Tips for Translating Vision Into Action

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Converting vision into action is often a workplace trouble spot. People can’t always see or clearly understand how they will accomplish their goals or do their part for bringing the vision of the organization to fruition.

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While it might sound absurd on the surface, think about the last time you said or heard, “I don’t even know where to get started.” Sometimes it is difficult to get started when the task in front of you looks too big or too lofty to complete.

People might look at their desk, open a closet door or peak into their favorite storage space and think that cleaning it up or organizing the mess is just too difficult. Procrastination is at least one of the trouble spots for getting more organized or translating vision into action, but there are plenty of others.

What about you, can you translate vision into action?

Workplace Vision to Action

When your boss, the CEO, or even the board of directions sets performance goals sometimes the hardest part is getting started. Sometimes when you consider the forecasts they seem to be based on lofty aspirations, stretch goals, or to be coming from the place where unicorns live. If you don’t know where to begin, you’re not alone. Here are a few tips that might help:

  1. Break goals into smaller pieces. If you are looking at an annual budget you can begin by breaking things down into quarters, months, or even weeks. Keep in mind that in many cases results are not achieved in a perfect linear fashion. There might be peaks as well as valleys, and some cyclical nature to achieving results. Sometimes smaller pieces will help you to identify your initial focus.
  2. Jump in and get started. When it feels like you don’t know where to start, and you just can’t seem to figure it all out, try to focus on just jumping in, launch into it. Do something, move something, change something, take some kind of action. Sometimes once you are in motion some of the pieces will start to come together. Quite simply, you can’t finish if you never start.
  3. Focus on wins. One of the best motivators for what to do next is to remember your successes or past accomplishments. Identify and always reflect on something that was successful no matter how small it may seem. Sometimes making the decision to get started might represent your first win. Collect all of your wins together, pile them up, look at them, think about what would have happened without these and focus on achieving more.

Translating vision into action typically doesn’t require you to find the unicorn. It does sometimes require focus, persistence, and tenacity. It might be easy to claim that the goal is too big, has never been achieved before, or cannot be accomplished with current resources but those all sound like excuses to me. If you’re really going to make something happen, you’re going to have to recognize that excuses are useless.

– DEG

See also: Do You Actualize the Vision?

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author. Some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Are You Hungry For Change?

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Recently I was driving to a local sandwich shop contemplating what I would order. While driving I was asking myself, “A half or a whole sub, how hungry am I?”

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I’m one of those breakfast, lunch, and dinner people who eat at very close to the same time every day. I insist on it, I need it. On this day I was about an hour past my desired lunch break and I felt very hungry. I ordered a whole sub, and loved every bite.

Through my business I’m often asked to address specific change related issues through a speaking or training event, or sometimes I’m hired to coach people who are struggling with performance or having difficulty with change. In perhaps all of these cases, I ask myself, “Are they really hungry?” Change isn’t easy, and no one said it has to be, but it is much easier when the organization or individual team members are hungry (metaphorically) for change.

Creating Hunger

Sometimes client expectations require me to rally the employees, get them fired up, and get them all moving in the same direction, or in other scenarios they may want me to help the internal team members who are responsible for change learn how to create buy-in. Typically there are a few key points I use to create greater engagement and buy-in, making them a little bit hungrier for change.

  1. Openly discuss the problem. While the team cannot continuously agonize over the problem or dwell on the forces that are now applying pressure, it is often more effective to start by selling the problem first, then the solution. Teams that agree on the general characteristics of the problem are much more excited about moving forward with a solution.
  2. Agree on internal and external factors. Change often has more than one factor applying pressure to employee teams or organizations. There are often external factors such as technology, the economy, or changing government regulations and at the same time there can be internal factors such as leadership and vision, workforce preparedness, and even past performance failures. Openly recognizing and communicating on how these factors will be addressed adds comfort and builds trust.
  3. Value and respect time. Change often requires trust, and change like trust takes time. Unfortunately not every employee will buy-in as quickly or easily when compared with others, and once buy-in has occurred not every employee will transition at the same pace. Sometimes a little patience in the early stages helps shorten the length of time required to successfully complete the transition.

Other approaches might work and in some cases additional effort will be required. A downsizing effort is much different from an expansion, economic recession may call for different tactics when compared with growth, and a new process or procedure will typically take individuals out of their comfort zones and will require time to move from discomfort back to comfort. Even workforce generations can be a special consideration for keeping people hungry throughout the transition.

Remember that change isn’t always easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not necessary, desirable, and worth it.

Individuals or Teams

Most of this logic applies to personal change in much the same way that it applies to teams or entire organizations. Workplace change is a collaboration of effort typically requiring individuals to get on board and as acceptance grows the group unites in their effort. The amount of buy-in or engagement of the effort begins with each individual connecting their role and responsibility with the bigger picture, what I often describe as having a sense of purpose. When the problem and their purpose are clear, and the need for change is recognized (sell the problem not the solution), people will usually be hungry for change.

How hungry are you?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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transitioning supervisors

5 Skills for Transitioning Supervisors

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You have to start somewhere and probably most of today’s best workplace leaders were once just part of the crowd. Transitioning supervisors, those who are moving from working as a peer to becoming a boss isn’t always easy, but with some energy spent in the proper areas new supervisors can make it look easy.

It happened to me, one day your just part of the team and the next, well, you’ve become a boss. While there is a certain amount of pride and admiration associated with your new role, there is also a lot of fear and the possibility of conflict when supervising those who you previously worked with as peers.

There are many skills that should be addressed and there are numerous books, seminars, and coaching or mentoring experiences available that can save you time and a lot of frustration. This is important not only for the person transitioning to supervisor but also for those who are now direct reports.

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While it is difficult to highlight only a few, below are five skills that every transitioning supervisor should master:

  1. Ability to build trust. Everybody seems to understand the need for trust, but very few put in the hard work required to create it. Trust is often challenging to build and can be taken away in a moment. Work with your team to minimize complaining and blaming, make a commitment to decisions and actions, be available, and be consistent. These are considered to be some of the most fundamental building blocks of trust, know them, do them, and you’ll be on your way to a more trusting environment.
  2. Use empathy. Many new supervisors feel a lot of schedule pressure; they are often still doing much of their previous role only now they are also responsible to supervise. New supervisors are sometimes reluctant to get involved in problems because honestly, they don’t believe they should have any. Remember that empathy is not sympathy, empathy means that you don’t necessarily agree or disagree but that you have some understanding of a situation or problem. Being more empathetic means improving your listening skills.
  3. Become a better listener. Listening is not the same thing as hearing, it is a developed skill. Listen with the intent to develop an understanding. Make time to listen, listen to learn and not just to formulate a response. Make every attempt to break down barriers, filters, and stereotypes. Often when we feel that we really know someone we formulate our opinion before they speak, this is known as framing, and if you do it, stop.
  4. Purposely collect feedback. As much as you may feel some discomfort in your new role, those who now report to you also have to get a feel for this new environment. Be very open to feedback, in fact, work to collect it whenever possible. Place value in conversations and avoid chronic use of electronic (email) communication. Connect face-to-face, through video tools, or by telephone and develop the new relationship as a supervisor and direct report.
  5. Have conversations not confrontations. Make all of your communication clear, open, and honest. Always work from facts not opinions and base any difficult conversations on observations and not hearsay. The use of vague language or glossing over issues only contributes to the problem. Praising an employee is easy, addressing difficulties may be more challenging but when the communication is open and timely it reduces the feeling of confrontation.

It’s important for supervisors to commit to the time and resources required to advance their skills. While sometimes the method of transition is to merely give a title, a small salary increase, and turn you loose, it is never too late to work towards improving your supervisory (managers, directors, et al) skill set.

Every strong supervisor today started someplace, never forget where you came from, but it is where you are going now that may be most important.

Transition wisely.

– DEG

Originally posted on October 12, 2016, last updated on January 18, 2019.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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