SigmaU Blog

How Clarity and Metrics Set your Team up for Success

Yesterday I had a great one-on-one with one of my team members and she said:

“I love that we measure our week based on metrics and not a gut feel! It makes me feel empowered because in the past I may have scored myself based on my emotions that day, but this way I either hit the mark or I don’t and the process is objective”.

This got me thinking about the power of clarity and expectations with teams and how they really are transformative!  Here’s why:

Psychological safety

There’s chaos when people don’t have clear instructions. They often work on what they believe is important, only to find out it’s not at all what their manager had in mind. When you provide metrics-based goals and objectives for team members you create clarity which puts people at ease. This provides a psychological safety net because it’s black and white. They either are achieving or they’re not! The emotion is removed and they know what needs to be...

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Lessons Learned from my Jerry Maguire Meltdown

Last month I had a bit of a meltdown! Do you guys remember the scene in Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise goes from seemingly stable and put together to losing his snizzle? Well, that was me!

To preface this, I should share that we’re almost into a full year of the COVID pandemic. We’re all feeling a little bit of pandemic fatigue. While I consider myself to be both pragmatic and optimistic, I had a moment where I lost my marbles! I was in the middle of having a super productive day and then I received a phone call. I heard about the new curfews in Quebec and possible “industry lockdowns” that were under consideration. I also heard that Ontario may follow suit.

My mind starting swirling! “What about our supply chain?” “What happens to my husband’s company if construction comes to a screeching halt?” “What if essential factories which have been keeping us in business close down?” “What if I have to lay people...

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5 Ways to Build Confidence and Empower Emerging Leaders

As a leader, you’re most likely confident speaking your mind and sharing your vision. You are able to make snap decisions and you feel like your voice is valued and heard. Chances are that many people on your team don’t feel the same way that you do. A part of effective and transformational leadership, I believe, is building up other empowered and confident leaders on your team.

Here are a few ways you can do just that!

1. Have Team Members Lead Meetings

When you create a safe space for team members to take charge and lead a meeting you slowly build their self-confidence muscle. I used to think that as leaders we should set the tone, lead the meeting and wrap up in an efficient way.

During our many Zoom calls during COVID I decided it would be a perfect time to enable each team member to have their turn to lead. We’re a tight knit team and I figured that this was a psychologically safe space for each person to “try it out”. I was astounded by the...

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How to LOVE your people as a leader!

Uncategorized Feb 01, 2021

Love may seem like a strange word to use about your employees but hear me out. I believe that love is a verb! In fact, I have Love Does tattooed on my right foot to remind me that loving is actionable, not just something we say!

With that in mind, I wanted to invite you to explore “loving” your people in the following way:

L – Listen and Learn

Taking time to do one-on-ones with our team members and asking them thought-provoking questions and then listening to what they have to say is so valuable. Take time each week for quick check-in’s or longer strategic coaching sessions once a month to really understand your people’s needs. This means listening for what they are excited about professionally and personally. What motivates each team member? What keeps them up at night? What is the “Why” that sustains them when times get tough? A great coach once reminded me that “we learn so much in the silence.” When we do ask questions,...

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The 6 Ways Achievers Take Action

action leadership Jan 26, 2021

Being a student of high performance and watching those who are the top of their game has been a passion of mine for several years! I’m always amazed that some people are able to create and contribute so much, consistently achieve at high levels and maintain a healthy balance and higher levels of happiness. It dawned on me that these are people of ACTION!

A – Act vs. Overanalyze

Achievers take action even when they’re not ready! They aren’t afraid to show up with imperfect video content, imperfectly written blogs and they execute plans before having every precise detail figured out. This is a key differentiator between achievers and their lower producing peers. Their peers tend to overanalyze the situation, dissect the videos and blogs before sharing them and worry about perfectionism. The cost is twofold. One, the person who really needs to hear your message continues to suffer and two, you miss opportunities that go to the person who is out there making...

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Why You Must Have Courageous Conversations with Your Team & How to Prepare for Them

We’ve all done it! Someone’s behaviour is driving us nuts. Day in and day out it grinds on our nerves. We’re triggered when we see them or hear their voice and yet we do nothing about it! Guess what leaders, you’re not alone! Most of the leaders that I’ve spoken with hate confrontation and, you know what, I did too. It wasn’t until I learned how to have them in a different way that I learned to embrace them and have them on a regular basis. Like any muscle, the courage muscle - once stretched - becomes stronger and it’s a muscle required in a leadership role.

Defining courageous conversions, feedback and confrontation in a different way

Courageous conversations: are conversations which take you outside of your comfort zone. They may make you feel exposed or vulnerable and typically something important is on the line.

Feedback: is simply bringing awareness to a pattern in someone’s behaviour so that they can improve future performance.

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Growth: Make this Season Count!

“Many of my successes have come on the back of pain”! I heard this on a podcast this morning and I thought about the season that we’re in right now. Many people were hopeful that with the turning of the clock and an official new year that our pandemic-adjusted lives would be drastically different. By now, the reality has most likely hit, and we realize that life is pretty similar to what it was a few months or a few weeks ago. There is, however, the same gift available to each of us during this season and that is the gift of GROWTH!

G – Gratitude

Despite what is happening all around us, there is so much for each of us to be grateful for. We can either use this time to see the bad around us, fill our minds with so much negative news that our heads are spinning, get caught up in the discourse and drama of politics or we can focus on what we can control: our mindset. Having an attitude that is focused on all of life’s blessings, despite our current...

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5 Ways to Build Momentum as you Strive to Reach your Goals!

Getting started is often the hardest part about accomplishing a goal. We know what we want but the task seems like a huge undertaking and daunting. We start doubting ourselves and our capacity to take on the challenge and another day slips by with our dream of becoming a new person! I’ve been there and so I wanted to share a few steps you might consider taking to make your next goal a reality!

#1 - Act right away!

Take one small action immediately after you set a goal. Example. I’m going to pay my house off by 2025 is a huge goal! Its great to have that on our vision board, read it out loud daily but if we stop there chances of paying off that bad boy is slim to none! One action step that could be taken right away would be to cancel your weekly cleaning services and have the $125/week come out of your chequing and go directly on to the principle of your mortgage. Now you’ve taken action on that big goal with a small task that will reap huge rewards!

#2 - Set...

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Hiring and Firing for Core Values and Culture Fit

My mentor Bob told me, “Hire slowly and fire quickly Nikki”. While I’d love to stand here and tell you that I took his advice and acted accordingly every single time, I didn’t! There were times that I waited WAY too long to pull the trigger. Perhaps you can relate.  Few leaders have ever thought to themselves after firing someone, “Man, I wish I kept him/her around longer.” When we know, we know.

The role of values in your hiring process

What brings an extra level of clarity to the decision is when you base the decision on culture and core values.  They become your compass and North Star and there’s total clarity which happens very quickly when you’re basing decisions on this type of alignment.

We recently did a “Core Values in Action” workshop for a small team. They have never sprinkled core value questions into their interview process. We mapped out exactly how core values would show up in how people would...

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Gratitude and Intention for Leadership Success

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t wake up every morning with a spring in my step and an eagerness to serve others. In fact, there are some mornings that I want to roll over, pull up the sheets, snuggle my basenji and let someone else be the boss for the day!

I’ve experienced some of my darkest times as a leader during COVID. Battling negative conversations in my mind about the future of the economy, will our savings run dry if this continues for years, will I have to lay people off if there’s a second wave, will it just be Friday already! Anyone else relate? Bueller, Bueller?

Gratitude: a powerful remedy

All that said, I will share with you a powerful way to remedy a funk and that is by practicing gratitude and setting intentions. I started doing a gratitude journal about four years ago and it is a fantastic way to rebalance and reframe your thinking. At the end of the day, while this year has been a rollercoaster ride, there is still SO much to be grateful...

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