Three Important Signs for Leaders

November 14, 2018

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Three Important Signs for Leaders

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“This ________ is draining me! I can’t wait for my vacation!”

“I don’t like dealing with _____.”

“I find it annoying when my teammate ________.”

“When I _________, time just flies! I worked right through lunch without realizing it.”

“My favorite part of my work is _________.”

“When my team and I ________, we accomplish amazing things!”


As you read the sentences above, if you are like most, you mentally and somewhat subconsciously filled in the blanks.

Stop right now, and write down what you mentally wrote on those blank lines.

These are powerful signs – indicators.

Just like road signs provide direction, the terms you used to fill in those blanks have the power to give you direction as well.

Where we go wrong in our fast-paced society is that we don’t take the time to pay attention to these indicators.

1. Energizers and Drainers

“This ________ is draining me! I can’t wait for my vacation!”

“When I _________, time just flies! I worked right through lunch without realizing it.”

For example, if you are doing work that drains you, you likely dig in and work harder to get it done. But the problem with that is, the more you get done of the things you don’t like, the more new things you get to do…that you don’t like.

In this fashion, your energy levels become depleted on a daily basis. If you are not careful, your passion will turn to apathy. Left unaddressed, this can have long-term impact on your physical health as well.

While we can’t always do what we like to do 100% of the time, doing what you enjoy at least 70% of the time actually feeds your energy.

We have all witnessed the puzzling irony of two people leaving work at the end of the day. One is tousled and slouching, with dark circles under their sad eyes. The other has a smile on their face and a spring in their step. Both have worked an eight-hour day, but their energy levels are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Chances are, it is the type of work they are doing that made the difference.

Note the drainers and energizers in your life and work. You will begin to see patterns emerge. Major on the energizers and keep the drainers to a minimum.

As a leader, notice how each person on your team leaves work. This is a powerful indicator of engagement. The good news is, you have the ability to help your employee re-engage.

2. Like and Don’t Like

“I don’t like dealing with _____.”

“My favorite part of my work is _________.”

If you talk to a good interior designer, they will tell you the process goes something like this when working with a client: first, we talk about what they do and don’t like. Sometimes, it is easier to determine the pattern of what they do like from negatives (the things they don’t like).

We call this the process of elimination.

What are you doing that you like to do, and what are you doing that you do not like to do?

Go ahead. Make a list.

Again, you will see patterns. Pay special attention to the “don’t likes.”

You may find your “don’t like” list is working on spreadsheets, dealing with too many details, and working in isolation; but your “do like” list is getting things done swiftly and directing a team.

There’s a very simple solution. Based on these indicators, major on your “do like” list as much as you can. That is your most effective zone. Stay at the head of the line, and work with a team. And, for the good of all, stay away from spreadsheets!

That said, there are counterparts in your workplace whose “do like” list looks very much like your “don’t like” list.

If you stop doing what you don’t like, and allow them to do what they “do like,” it creates a bond of highly effective teamwork to where you each accomplish more together than you possibly could alone.

3. Annoying and Synergistic

“I find it annoying when my teammate ________.”

“When my team and I ________, we accomplish amazing things!”

Here is a newsflash: we are not all the same.

Movements that attempt to homogenize societies eventually fail. And they should. The diversity of groups is where those groups derive strengths.

It could very well be that your most annoying teammate is the one who could help you create the most synergy.

While we may tend to gravitate to those who are like us, the most effective leaders are those who reach out to those who are not like them.

This means introverts will find great perspective in reaching out to the extroverts whose chatter may otherwise annoy them. Extroverts benefit when they slow down long enough to listen to the cautions of the introvert or to address the details they present.

What did your answers reveal?

  • Are you doing work that energizes you at least 70% of the time?
  • Are you and your team members doing work you respectively enjoy?
  • Are you combining your differences to create amazing outcomes?

This simple exercise identifies powerful indicators – signs to give you direction. You are in the driver’s seat. Will you follow the signs to greater success in your life and work?


Having trouble seeing the signs in your life and work, or with your team? It is human nature to be a bit nearsighted when it comes to such assessments. If I can be of help to you and your team in this regard, click here to contact me. There are quantifiable assessments you can take to determine the strengths of you and your team – and to put them together to create amazing outcomes.

As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.

When you have a strong team that collaborates well,
you have a competitive advantage.

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