• Third Thursday Tips

February Third Thursday Tips

Was one of your goals to be a better leader this year? It's an area in which we can all probably improve. In this issue, Sydne offers a couple of critical things that you can do to improve your leadership. As always, we appreciate your comments and ideas for future issues.


By Sydne Jacques

In the last two weeks I have had the opportunity to facilitate three team-building sessions for large construction projects, facilitate an executive retreat for a Mayor and his executive staff, chair an AGC committee meeting that focuses on the workforce shortage, and meet with a group of professional speakers who are working on their 2017 business plans.

The common thread that ran through each of these sessions was the power of LEADERSHIP! It doesn't matter which organizations we are involved in – work, home, school, community; I believe that the most important element in determining the culture of each team is the attitude and vision of its leader. I am fortunate to work with many fantastic leaders and learn from each of them. One of the things that I appreciate in a leader is the ability to be humble, teachable and even vulnerable. It is a valuable combination to be strong enough to lead, and, at the same time, be humble enough to listen to and implement the ideas of others.

My first job as an engineer was working for the U.S. Forest Service. As a young engineer, I wanted to learn as much as I could! But even then, I was much more interested in learning leadership than engineering. Our Forest Supervisor at the time was responsible for about 150 people and thousands of acres of land. As busy as he was, at least three times a year he would come into my office and invite me across the street for a milkshake and a chat. He taught me a simple principle of leadership that has stayed with me for over three decades!

A true leader does these three things:

  • The leader establishes a compelling vision of how to improve the organization

  • The leader communicates that vision to everyone in the organization

  • The leader removes employee stumbling blocks, so that others can accomplish the vision

I love these principles! I would also add that the leader also needs to lead with a positive attitude and a high level of energy, because people are much more apt to follow positivity.

My challenge this month is to remember that having a title doesn’t automatically make you a leader. Try implementing one or two or three of these principles in whatever capacity you find yourself. Prepare to be amazed.

The SaneBox App

By Sydne Jacques

Are you overwhelmed with all your e-mails? I recently watched a documentary about the successful businessman John Paul Mitchell. He stated that he does not "do" e-mail, and in that way he is in control of his time and selectively reaches out to people with whom he wants to communicate. It made me a little jealous, but knowing that this is not a possibility in my world, I am always looking for time-saving solutions. I found one that you might want to try.

SaneBox is a service that automatically sorts your e-mail into several folders based on each e-mail's importance. If it thinks that an e-mail is important, it will keep it in your inbox.

Secondary e-mails go into a folder called SaneLater and newsletters are placed in a folder called SaneNews (don't forget to retrieve and read "Building Success!"). E-mails that receive no responses are placed in SaneNoReplies. It takes a little “training” to teach SaneBox what e-mails are important to you, but it is time well-invested! Give it a try, I think you will love it – I know that I do!

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