5 things Supporters would ask from you this week, if they weren’t so nice©

5 things Supporters would ask from you – if they weren’t so nice©
by:  Lynda McNutt Foster

(Read below to find out who winner was for the High 5 Monti prize.)

Lynda McNutt Foster Sheila Umberger

Lynda Foster/Sheila Umberger

We all know the type of people that are just plain nice.  They are the one’s that are always asking how they can help. As leaders, Supporters are the type that consider how procedures and policy changes will effect everyone on the team.  Supporters tend to be pretty hard on themselves if they don’t get a task done properly that you were counting on them for.  They are kind.  Thoughtful. On a team, they tend to be the most loyal members.  They have a good tone when speaking to others.  There’s no sense in telling them you have an open door policy because they would never want to bother you.  Supporters, as described in the DISC behavioral model, are the true Superman and Superwomen of the workplace.  They tend to be behind the scenes of a lot of success stories.  They are more than capable of leading.  They may just be waiting to be asked.

They tend to move a little slower than the Drivers or Influencers that we discussed in the last couple of articles.  When being assigned tasks they tend to like to gather as much information, first, and then be allowed to asked questions, later, to be sure they have everything they will need to complete it properly.  There question is “how?” meaning, “How can I help?”  “How would you like to have that done?”

If you aren’t familiar with DISC, it’s a behavioral assessment that measures HOW you behave and your ability to interact effectively with others in work and life, as well as how you respond to challenges like problems, influencing others, the pace of the environment you are in, rules and procedures.  You can find out more here.  

Here are 5 ways to help support your Supporter this week:

  1. HAVE A PERSONAL CONVERSATION:  A Supporter will really appreciate it when co-workers take an interest in them on a personal level and get to know them.  Supporters aren’t as gregarious as the Influencers.  They tend to form fewer bonds with people, but have really strong bonds with the few people that they do interact with.  They like to go a little deeper in interpersonal relationships.  This also can make a Supporter more at ease at work and it feeds their sense of loyalty.
  1. TAKE TIME TO ANSWER QUESTIONS: Supporters REALLY want to do a good job for you and if they feel like they are not sure how to best do that, it can cause a lot of anxiety.  Supporters tend to ask a lot of questions about how you want things done.  This can frustrate a Driver or Influencer because it’s “slowing down the process”, but realize it is normally coming from a place that really wants to do the project well.
  1. ASK FOR THEIR OPINION: Supporters are notorious for being the “quiet one” in the room.  They tend to be very polite and do not want to “bother” you with their opinion.  This does NOT mean that they do not have opinions!  Often, since Supporters tend to be the best listeners and observers, their feedback is incredibly insightful, as they may see things others do not.  If you make a Supporter feel safe and comfortable (see “have a personal conversation above), they may offer insights that others have not seen.
  1. LET THEM TALK: We just established that Supporters can be quiet and polite.  For this reason, in a meeting it can be very easy to “bulldoze” over them.  When you are talking to a Supporter this week, make an effort not to interrupt them.  They often allow interruptions because they tend to be more passive, but slow down and listen for great results.
  1. CLARIFY ROLES: Supporters LOVE to have a sense of stability.  Having clarity on what their role is and what successes they are having at their job feels very good to an S.  Remember, they like to know how they can help, so if their role is clear and they have a good understanding of HOW to do their job well, they will feel a great sense of security and safety.

APPRECIATE A SUPPORTER ON YOUR TEAM THIS WEEK:  Supporters will not ask for appreciation and in fact, they may shy away when you express it to them.  IGNORE how they react and be sure to amply appreciate them!  It’s food for their soul.


Be sure to use “rounding” in an upcoming meeting this week to be sure that all are heard.  The Supporters on your team may not speak up unless you use this method.  Rounding is a technique wherein each person, in a meeting, is given at least 30 seconds to express their thoughts or opinions on a topic or agenda item.   Many times, only the Drivers or Influencers are heard because they are more likely to speak up… this does not mean that everyone else doesn’t have an opinion.  It simply means that they may need to be asked to share in order to feel safe and comfortable to state what’s on their mind.  Their insights might just surprise you.

WINNER of MONTI for February:

Ryan Brooks of Excel Truck Group is the winner of a $25 Amazon gift card.  Ryan, you should have it waiting in your inbox!

(Each month we will be awarding one winner from the top tier most engaged participants of goMonti.)

A HUGE HIGH 5 goes out to the amazing team at the City of Roanoke Library system!  They just opened their newly renovated Raleigh Court location.  It’s a must see.  Their training room, that you can rent, is gorgeous and even has a small kitchen area along with small, 2-seater glass rooms for quick sessions or breakouts.  Congratulations to Diane McGuire, the Branch Manager, and her team along with the fantastic Sheila Umberger, Director of  Libraries, who is truly a Wonder Woman for her talents and abilities that are transforming the library system in Roanoke.  (The picture is Sheila and me at the grand opening last Monday (that’s Ken Cronin in the back!)…yeah, that spray tan I got is always way to intense on the first day or two!)

You can reach me at (540) 815-1300, directly, the Cortex Leadership Consulting office at (540) 776-9219, at www.cortexleadership.com or find previous articles at www.lyndamcnuttfoster.com.

Will you read a short letter from Lynda and get hooked this week?

Just passing along some love to you, the leaders, executives and managers I admire the most. Thank you for making the choice to receive this article series, “Lynda’s Launch List” each week.  You and I have been creating this content together, because it is based on your feedback in classes and coaching sessions, since the Launch List was first published in December 13, 2007.  It cracked me up to see the first one I ever posted and distributed on that date.  http://lyndamcnuttfoster.com/today/  We’ve had quite the journey together to build a subscriber base that reaches more than 2,000 executives and their teams each week.

I am grateful for the support so many of you have shown, over the last year, as my husband, Allen Foster and I, launched Cortex Leadership Consulting, which was the merger of a consulting firm I founded more than 20 years ago, McNutt & Associates, Inc.

Our team at Cortex has already coached and trained more than 120 participants in our leadership classes, Leading a Winning Team, and given keynote note speeches about my newest ebooks and audiobook to more than 750 in the last 6 months alone.  Our diverse team of professionals work hard to listen to you, hear your feedback and biggest challenges and respond with content and programs that appear to be transforming you and the teams you lead.  I am hooked on working hard to serve you.  I love what I do and wouldn’t be able to without you!  So, onto what you read this article for each week.

So, will you be hooked on what I discovered for you this week?

Hooked Nir EyalI have not been able to put down Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products, by Nir Eyal.  It started when I watched a short video on YouTube one morning when I was on the elliptical.  Then I bought the 30-minute audio summary.  Next came the Kindle version and the hard copy is on the way.  Why am I devouring every piece of material available on this book?  Simple.  It provides a clear path to how people get hooked on things and then build habits around them. The work Eyal has done focuses on products and services.  A previous article from “Lynda’s Launch List” focused on the book The Power of Habit.   Why I am so interested in the formation of habits is that I want to discover easier and simpler paths for leaders to be hooked on the types of behaviors that lead to their, and their team member’s successes.  Eyal talks about wanting to produce products and services that use what know about getting hooked for the betterment of people rather than simply manipulating them.

Consider some of the book’s key take-a-ways:

Behaviors = Motivation + Ability + Trigger

A behavior is created when there is sufficient motivation, an ability to complete the desired action and a trigger to spark the fuse.

It’s much harder to motivate someone to do something than it is to simply make it easier for them to do it.  In Chip and Dan Heath’s book, Switch, they researched and wrote about how important it is to make the “path” easier during any change you want to see.  Eyal found the same thing to be true.  Simply the steps one needs to follow to get to their reward and they are much more likely to get there.  It works the opposite way as well.  If you want to break a habit, make it WAY more difficult to get to the reward and you will be less likely to chase after it.  For example, it’s much easier to collaborate on a project if you have set days and times to meet and everyone is in attendance.  The harder it is to communicate with one another the more likely it won’t happen.

In other words, if you want to not eat ice cream, don’t buy it in the first place.  If you want to exercise more, make your desk sit on top of your treadmill.  Stop trying to motivate yourself and others and simply make it easy for them to do what you want them to do and connect it with one of the 3 types of rewards people seek.

The 3 types of rewards that people seek are:

Rewards of the tribe…people want to feel connected to others.

Rewards of the hunt…people want information or tangible goods and they like to make a small effort to get them.  They like to complete tasks.

Rewards of the self…this one is about our desire for learning and mastering new skills.

Social media sites have been genius at getting many of us and I dare say most of a young generation of folks, hooked on their products.  The sites appear free of cost, yet that is only true when users are not valuing the time they are investing in those platforms.  The emotional reward comes when we go to the site and “hunt” to see what is available to us as far as information.  Once we are invested in the sites by having connected and invited our friends to join we become less likely to disconnect from them, even if a better site comes along.

What if we used the principles and practices described in Hooked to get ourselves and our team members hooked on the types of actions that we know lead to lasting results?

What do you want your team to be hooked on?

Sticking to agendas in meetings?

Meeting deadlines?

Having higher quality conversations?

Lower levels of drama between team members?

  1. Start by determining, as a team, one habit you want to create.
  2. Next, discuss the types of rewards (tribe, hunt, self) team members would achieve if they were to create that habit.
  3. Determine what reward team members are getting now from their current behaviors. (Trust me, there’s always a reward or they wouldn’t be doing it.)
  4. Brainstorm what type of external trigger you can create to help cue people to take action on the behavior. If you want meetings to stay on time and on agenda, agree to send agenda’s ahead of time, get agreement to follow it during the session and have a time keeper of the meeting to ensure they stay on track of what has been agreed upon.
  5. Determine how people will be invested, over time, in the new behavior. Maybe team members receive points each time a meeting starts and ends on time and those points add up to rewards.

Footnote:  I hope that each of you have someone in your life, on this Valentine’s Day, that you are hooked on the way I am my amazing, brilliant, and supportive husband, Allen Foster.  I am deeply, madly in love with him and appreciate him for what he has done to make the last 17 years joyful.


How much will interruptions cost you this week?©

There are the interruptions that occur from others and then there are the ones that we do ourselves.  Interesting, isn’t it.  We can get so annoyed by interruptions and yet a study has found that about half of our interruptions, we create.

The effects of interruptions on you and your team:

  • Estimated to cost US Economy $588 billion a year.
  • When employees were asked to calculate the time they lose to interruptions they estimate up to 40-60% of their most productive time at work.
  • A study of knowledge/technology workers found that 82 percent of all interrupted work is resumed the same day, but it takes an average of about 23 minutes to get back to the task.
  • Interruptions can cause significantly more stress. The study found that if you know you are going to be interrupted you work faster, but the cost of that speed is higher levels of stress.
  • Interruptions that are most counterproductive are those that occur that have nothing to do with what you are working on and you have to switch your cognitive resources to completely different topic.
  • In another study of up to 26% of interruptions were classified as “organizational issues”.
  • Interruptions by co-workers is one of the biggest culprits of workplace interruptions.

Ideas for how to handle interruptions:

  • Block off and schedule call-back times on your calendar
  • Set time limits on the interaction or conversation – “Would love to talk! I have about 10 minutes before my next meeting.  OR “Let’s spend about 5 minutes on this and if we can’t solve it quickly, let’s schedule a time to get together to discuss in more detail.”
  • Meet in their office so you can leave when you need to. If they come into your office, get up and go around your desk and stay standing to indicate a need to make the interaction brief.  DON’T simply keep looking at your computer or phone while they are talking to you.
  • Schedule appointments for any interaction that you can, so you can be prepared for the conversation or interaction.
  • Schedule quick, standing, 10-minute huddles, at the beginning of each day, so that you can answer any questions or deal with issues before they develop. People will interrupt you less if you are consistently available to them.  By training them to think more in an “important but not urgent” mindset you will be teaching them how to plan and think ahead.
  • Time batch your most important tasks during periods that match the activities you want to complete. Knocking out your most important tasks of the day before everyone gets in the office is a proven technique of many successful leaders we coach which ensures that they get those tasks done and stay on schedule to reaching their highest level outcomes for the day and week.

EXERCISE with your team this week:

In your team meeting this week, here are some things to discuss in regard to setting team protocols around when someone is available to be interrupted.

  1. What are the most costly interruptions that are occurring and when? Is there a pattern to the interruptions?  Are there specific people or projects that are causing them?
  2. Is there a way to prevent interruptions? Are team members interrupting because they don’t have the information they need in order to complete their work?  Is there a way for the team member to obtain the information without having to interrupt?
  3. Are team members feeling like they are being interrupted when in fact the interactions that are occurring are part of their job duties? Is there a way to re-distribute job duties during heavy interruption periods in order to create better work flow and higher levels of customer service?
  4. What are some ways that each team member can stay more focused and not create their own interruptions?
  5. Would team member interruptions be reduced by having a daily 10-min, stand up, huddle? If not, what other idea can the team come up with to help reduce interruptions.

One of our most popular workshops and modules within our Cortex Leadership program is around time management.  If you would like more information on helping your team to become more effective with their time this year, call (540) 776-9219 or CLICK HERE to find out more.

Lynda in the Roanoke Times



Tapping Your Team’s Potential Presentation

What will you do with 3 minutes this week? Lynda’s Launch List, April 16, 2012

There’s so much power in the gaps between our activities. How will you use that time to serve you and your team this week?

WATCH this..When you have 3 min, to be enlightened on how changing your thoughts on a situation can change everything about it. CLICK HERE

 BE this…aware that you can control your feelings rather than your feelings controling you. This paradigm shift is a trait of all great leaders. Once you are in control of your emotions and not allowing them to drive you, you will do more and more of the types of things that will propel you towards higher levels of effectiveness.

TRY this…do jumping jacks, toe touches, knee lifts, or simply walk up and down some steps or through your building for 3 minutes. That’s all it will take to get the blood flowing to your brain and ignite your motivation.

READ this… Here’s 5 ways to build your Self Discipline

DO this…when you have 3 minutes this week, write a note of encouragement to a team member who really needs it. As their leader, it could mean a great deal to them.

Champions realize that their job is the hard stuff. Having those crucial conversations, following through when no one else will, being encouraging when no one else can. YOU are a champion or you wouldn’t be reading this. SHOW UP as one in each moment this week…your team is watching you and I stand firm in believing in you!

How will you spend 80% of your time this week? Lynda’s Launch List wk of 4/9/12

will it be using your SuperPower… with your family on vacation… with your employees as you inspire them to realize their potential… with your clients as you allow them to experience your brilliance and serve them with it… yourself as you celebrate who you are and what you have been able to achieve?
LISTEN TO THIS… Jim Rohn is the man that trained Tony Robbins – it’s worth the 3 minutes to discover who you should be spending 80% of your time with.  Click here
TRY THIS… find something, each day this week, to celebrate about someone on your team or in your family about and DO IT!  Celebrate with them through a supportive note or a card or lunch.  It’s amazing how much it can mean to someone for you to shower them with your appreciation when you get to witness their SuperPower.
READ THIS… if your current business plan is having to be adjusted each month, each year, or even most days in order for you to survive in today’s marketplace.  Turns out there’s a dirty little secret to overnight successes like Angry Birds.  Fastcompany article 
DO THIS…start reading food labels.  What you put into your body you also are feeding your brain with.  Leaders need to use food as fuel.  If you want your brain to work at it’s potential make sure that 80% of the time you are removing things like high fructose corn syrup and other sugars from your daily diet.  Exercise, not because it burns calories, but because you’re a leader and it is ABSOLUTELY the best way to reduce stress and you need to learn healthy ways to reduce stress!
BE THIS…fully present in each moment.  Are you present 80% of the time?  Respect those you serve and love and give them your undivided attention.
This can be your week of renewal.  Recharge your physical, emotional, and mental batteries.  Reload your calendar with appointed times for healthy activities.  Reinvest in those people and projects that will help you move towards your highest level goals.  You are a champion.  You are a leader or you wouldn’t even be reading this.  Use this week to focus on whichever major priority you have chosen is important to you.  Use your SuperPower and celebrate someone elses!

Are you focused, fearless and ready to have fun this week?

As I watched the performers with my family last night at Cirque du Soleil at the Roanoke Civic Center, I thought about how fearless and focused they were and how much fun it has to be to perform like they do.  May this list help you on your journey this week.
WATCH THISCirque du Soleil Quidam (7:58) and see if it doesn’t inspire you to motivate yourself and your team to reach slightly higher this week. What the performer does at 6:52 is amazing! 
DO THIS… be generous with compliments and constructive encouragement.  Those you are leading need to know if they are moving in the right direction or the wrong one.  They are executing your vision.  Do they clearly know what that vision is and whether you value and appreciate their efforts?  Don’t take your A players for granted or they will be someone elses one day.
READ THIS…  6 Habits of Strategic Thinkers,  this article will guide you to Anticipate, Think Critically, Interpret, Decide, Align and Learn your way to great leadership qualities.
DO YOU WANT THIS… lessons with many chapters or one’s that can fit on a flyer.
Choose one task this week that is not urgent but very important.  If you and your team have already created a vision, how long has it been since you clearly communicated it.  Does each player know what their part is?  Do they know when they’re doing a good job and where they need to improve?  Both types of feedback are important.  If a leader above you doesn’t communicate both sides of that equation, be the change you want to see.  You are a champion.  Act with the highest of integrity in every situation this week.  You set the tone and can effect the mood.  Be fearless.  Be focused.  Have fun!

Do you have a clear intention for this week?

LOOK at this… a picture of yourself when you were 12.  What would you say to that person?  Are you living the life you imagined?  What would that 12 year old say to you?
TRY this… create a complete list of each of the things you know you need to accomplish this week and next to each one write how long you think it will take.  Now categorize each item under 3 different categories… A.  Will make me money now.  B.  Will make me money later.  C.  Necessary for sanity and health and important relationship maintenance.  At the end of the week review the list and see how long each task actually took.  The difference might surprise you.
READ this…Facebook will automatically convert your business fan page to a timeline at the end of this week.  THIS ARTICLE will help you navigate this important change for your business. 
REWIND to …. January 1.  What were your intentions for this year?  How is it going?  Do you need to hit rewind or reset all together?  
WATCH this… John Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership- about 30 minutes.  Good stuff if your intention this week is to be a better leader.
CONSIDER this… You are more than capable of creating the life you want.  You influence others more than you think that you do.  What influence will you have this week?
I believe in you!  You are strong, smart and more than capable of starting and ending this week with the clearest of intentions.  You don’t have to do anything that goes viral, or doubles your annual sales, or gets noticed by anyone other than yourself.   You just have to do better than you did last week.  Just one step.  You’re one, small, clear intention away from wherever you want to end up.  Be the best you that you can possibly be this week!

Congratulations to all those starting the Amp Up Your Leadership course this week!  Good luck on your journey!

Thank you to all the Master’s Class participants that attended Lunch with Lynda last week, about building better customer relationships and sales conversions. You are amazing business owners!

Thank you to Cathy Dick for producing our first ever props for creating a persona.  It’s been cool to see how they are in use!

Thank you to so many that have encouraged me to create these lists and keep sending them.


What’s your mood going into this week?

Lynda’s Launch List will help you save time, and other resources to propel you productively forward this week.

TRY this… FB has a video app that anyone can use from your FB account.  Simply click on chat and click on the picture of the little video camera on the top right hand side of your chat box.   Like magic, it hooks you up to Skype and calls the person.  SAVE precious TIME not driving to an appt but instead, see if you can change just ONE appt to a video call this week.  It’s like you’re face-to-face without the trip time.

READ this… and know who to, when to, and how to delegate.  CLICK HERE to read the article.  GREAT stuff!
EXPECT this… from people that want to meet during your peak performance hours… that they deliver a high level of value.
ACCEPT this… only premium performances from yourself and your team this week.

WATCH this… (language warning – this guy is raw but wonderful!)  Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Crush It! and business owner that knows how to make money through social media – 2 min Q & A excerpt from fantastic 1-hour speech to Inc audience.  Worth the 2 minutes and then you’ll want more for sure.  CLICK HERE  to watch video.
DO this… the next time you get angry.  Grab some ice and put it in both hands and squeeze tightly.  Doing this each time you feel super angry can program your brain to associate the level of anger with pain and will help curb those strong emotions in the future.
You are a championIf you have read down this far I KNOW that you are a champion.  You have the deepest desire to win!  It is that passion and drive that will make this week productive and make you an even more effective leader.  Dig deep, keep going.  Reach higher.  People are watching you.  You make a difference.
Thank you to Kimberly Eakin and Allen Foster who submitted items this week for consideration on the list.  You guys are so dog gone smart – I appreciate you!

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