Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

Can you lean into your discomfort without falling on your face?

We live in a world of ground rules. These are those unspoken codes of conduct that help determine how we’re going to interact with one another. They are often stronger than any stated agreements we have with each other.

I work with one organization which has an institutionalized, unspoken ground rule for meetings: Be fifteen minutes late. It doesn’t matter how often agendas are published with “official” starting times, everyone knows there’s no sense in getting there on time, because the real groun drule is be fifteen minutes late. Those who ignore that ground rule quickly learn they should bring fifteen minutes worth of things to do while they wait for the others to arrive. In this organization, there’s Pacific Standard Time, and there’s Our Organization Standard Time, which runs fifteen minutes late.

For leaders, there are two ground rules which can have a dramatic impact on their performance: Be here now, and Lean into your discomfort.

Be here now.

I call this the zen groundrule. It means staying focused on what’s happening right in front of you at this moment of time, rather than dwelling on things that are happening outside this moment. It means when you’re in a meeting, you stay focused on the meeting, not on thinking about the emails and voice mails that may be piling up awaiting your return. It means turning OFF your cell phone (or putting it on vibrate, should you need to be available for an emergency). There’s an old zen koan which goes something like, “When you’re washing the dishes, wash the dishes.” Be here, now.

Are you spending too much time imagining what might happen in the future or dwelling on what happened in the past? If so, you’re robbing yourself (and others) of the power and possibilities of the present.

Lean into your discomfort.

Acts of leadership are often accompanied by discomfort. Whether it’s voicing an unpopular opinion, or staying quiet and really listening to the other person, whether it’s taking a risk and trusting your judgment, whether it’s accepting responsibility for a mistake or forcing yourself to ask for help, if you’re going to lead, you’re need to be willing to lean into your discomfort. A testament to your strength as a leader is your willingness to put yourself out there.

When have you leaned into your discomfort lately and made a difference?

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.