Vision Meets Engagement

31 Jul
by Bridget DiCello

Successful companies are comprised of visionary leaders at all levels and engaged employees throughout the organization.  As a leader, there are many opportunities in your day and week to engage your team in seemingly small ways with powerful results.



If you desire to create a project plan, an agenda, a policy, a job description, a quality checklist, or document a process; as a leader you may be tempted to do it yourself.  Afterall, you know the information best, understand the big picture, and can probably do it faster than any team member. And you don’t have to take the time to delegate or hold them accountable.



The process of creating, even creating something like a policy that seems simple, can be energizing as well as provide a reality check. It often makes sense to delegate the creation of a draft document to a member of your team.



Reasons to delegate the draft:



1. The process of creating is empowering, fun and can energize your employees.



2. Asking someone to commit to paper what they believe they understand can be extremely revealing to them and to you regarding what they know and understand.


3. The employee who creates the draft has more buy-in to the product, even after you offer your insight, edits and make changes.



4. You may never take the time to do it yourself, even if you are quicker and more knowledgeable, and therefore it will not get done.



5. It keeps you from getting stuck in the details.  You can review and edit the draft with your big picture and visionary perspective, catching opportunities to improve the draft to more precisely make progress towards company goals.



So next time you are about to create something, ask yourself who on your team should be involved, and who will execute on it. Then ask them to draft it first. Be sure to tell them they are creating a draft, so they are not disappointed when you edit it. Then you can add your vision of what your team is capable of accomplishing to the draft. A true team effort!


Purposeful Days

07 Jun
by Bridget DiCello

In order to manage your time well, you only need to make the best decision every moment of every day. The question is how to make those best decisions. Some of the most effective people plan and execute their day based on well thought out goals that are specific and measurable.

It is difficult to be disciplined enough to write those specific goals and keep them top of mind. However, sometimes even more difficult is truly being excited and passionate in spite of the pressures of the day. That passion and excitement exists when your goals are aligned with your personal vision and purpose.

A purposeful day does not necessarily mean it was, or was not, hectic or stressful.

What do you need to accomplish today to feel successful and fulfilled at the end of the day? What is that important to you? Much of your day may be filled with urgent tasks, but you may not feel content unless you spend some time on the more important and less urgent activities.

Dr. Buckminster Fuller tells us that each person looks out into the world and sees things that “need to be done” and we need to go do those things because no one else sees the world exactly as we do, and if we don’t do these things, they will never get done.

What do you see that needs to be done? And are you making progress every day?

Each one of us can only work so hard day after day unless we are working toward something, and for a purpose, even if it will take some time to see results.

If you are not energized by what you are doing every day, maybe it is time to revisit your passion and purpose. One of the most effective ways to do this is to make your “What bugs me” list. For me, my list contains many situations where people are not living up to their potential, are wasting their talents, their time or their resources. I am most energized by the days where I can help people work towards discovering greatness and potential in themselves and others.

What bugs you? And what do you see that needs to be done when you look out into the world? Are you making progress in those areas in big and small ways every day?

Plan your day. Execute the plan. Evaluate the day. Be sure the evaluation is based on not only someone else’s goals, but also the purpose and vision you have for yourself.

My Way – Why do I have to fight for it?

01 May
by Bridget DiCello

As an owner or leader, do you find yourself defending, selling or fighting for your standards, expectations and values? There is a fine line between demanding and expecting compliance, and creating a team of intelligent people who are thinking and engaged, yet still executing on the vision and plan you have for your department or business.

Passionately Share Clear Expectations


It’s hard to get upset with a boss who is authentically passionate about customers, taking great care of them, and doing business in the right way. You must avoid expecting compliance because it’s the rule or just because you said so. Your team members must understand why it’s important, but not be allowed the liberty to grill you with questions about every plan, process or method you implement.


So often expectations are in a leader’s head, but are not shared, not shared often enough, or not shared in a way that others really understand them. Team members need to engage – think about, talk about, report on and execute on their tasks, and why they are important to your customers and company values. And they need to hear your expectations over and over in a variety of different ways – and see those values in what you do and how you spend your time.


The distance from your head to your mouth is very long, and you may not be as clear as you think you are, and as you need to be. Expectations fall prey to assumptions, assumed agreement, what they think you really mean, and what they think is really best for you and the business. If you leave ambiguity, others will do what they think best, sometimes what is easiest and what enables them to stay in their comfort zone.


Without micromanaging, what you expect must be communicated, starting with job descriptions, processes/procedures and evaluations, and continuing with ongoing coaching conversations and accountability through measuring metrics and regular reporting. Answering the question, “What do you want me to do?” can be difficult and is more often communicated as what you don’t want someone to do. What do I do when I don’t have what I need? Yell at who was supposed to give it to me? Make do without? Go find it myself? What is the proper protocol?

Business is not a democracy!

The owner’s or leader’s vision is incredibly important. It is this individual vision that makes the business successful – generic businesses that do it like everyone else don’t last. If a leader envisions a very collaborative culture, that’s fine and will work if that is what they passionately believe in, but that’s not the only or best answer in every situation.

The employees’ role is to execute the vision, and use their expertise, wisdom, knowledge and intelligence to execute well and share insights and ideas of how to do that better – not to disagree with the vision and fight it every step of the way.

Look out into the world…

30 Oct
by Bridget DiCello

A little boy wrote to a famous scientist, Buckminster Fuller, and asked him, “Dr. Fuller, what should I be when I grow up?” Dr. Fuller wrote back, “I can’t tell you what to be when you grow up. You have to look out into the world, see what you see that needs to be done, and go do it. No one looks at the world exactly as you do. So if you see something that needs to be done, and you don’t do it, it will go undone.”

What do you see that needs to be different, needs to change, or should happen a different way? Have you decided to go out and ‘fix’ that piece of the world?

No one sees the world exactly as you do…

We each have our opinions, maybe moreso on frustrating days in the workplace, and have a picture how things should happen. This is the basis of our individual vision.

The horse who is a little crazy…

I grew up riding horses, and I would always choose the horse with too much spunk over one I had to kick to get moving. I like to interact with people who are stronger in their opinions – and are able to turn that into productive movement forward – a challenge I would gladly take on in riding a horse. (However, it hurts more now to get bucked off than it did 20 years ago. )

We all have a little craziness inside us.

Our opinions. Our frustrations. Our grumblings. And if we listen closely, behind them all, we hear how we look at the world, and we also receive our mission in life – not from someone else, but from where our passions, values and drive points each one of us individually.

Never ignore those frustrations.

There is a strong value behind what is upsetting to you. I get frustrated by bad drivers, especially those who move slowly in the left lane. But it is not because I think what I have to do is so important, that my time is more valuable than theirs or that I think for some reason that I deserve to go first and should not have to wait. For me in particular, it bothers me because they are either unobservant or defiant, both unproductive behaviors. If we were each observing others for how we could help someone in some way or move out of their way if that is the best way to help, we could all accomplish more every day.  This leads me to work with people who wish to be more productive to increase their level of critical observation and strategize in order to remove their defiance.

What drives you crazy?

Make a list on a particularly frustrating day. Then, take Dr. Fuller’s advice, and use that information of how you see the world to determine your marching orders for making your workplace and this world, a better place.