Plan To Be Spontaneous - Is That A Thing?

Uncategorized Oct 12, 2021

Every month, I take some time to review my tactical plan, and by October of each year, I am starting to formally ink my plan for the following year. This year, I wanted to bring you along for the ride and share a bit of why I think planning is so important and how you can start leveraging it in your own life and leadership.

If you were to visit my home, you would find a house of opposites. The risk lover and the risk-averse. The tv watcher and the bookworm. The meat-eater and the flegan (flexible vegan). The planner and the spontaneous. We are just a microcosm of a world full of opposites, preferences, and choices. 

You may love to plan, or you may hate to plan (or maybe you're a mixture of both). However, no matter where you are on the spectrum, here is one thing I know to be true - if you want to be successful, you have to plan to succeed. In this blog, we'll explore five benefits of planning for leaders and their teams that I have realized throughout my career. 

 

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3 Reasons We Need Friends at Work

Uncategorized Sep 14, 2021

September is friendship month, and as we head into the next few weeks, I encourage you to take some time to celebrate, connect, and reevaluate your relationships at work. There are probably more, but here are three strong reasons why your relationships with your work tribes do and should matter. If you have a friend at work, let's explore why we should keep them strong. If you don't, let's explore why we should start to shift our thinking today.

What is a Friend?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a friend is someone attached to us by affection or esteem, one that is not hostile. When most of us think of friendship, we think of people for whom we feel affection - our people, the folks we feel emotionally connected to. However, a friend can also be someone that we hold in great esteem. So now that we have broadened our thinking about friendship a bit, that opens the door for more relationships, especially at work. Here are three reasons why that matters:

Friends...

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In the Real World, Does Balance Exist?

Uncategorized Aug 10, 2021

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend, and she said that one of the things she would love to achieve is better balance! When I survey women in my programs and conferences about issues they are grappling with, balance is always at the top of the list. Now I have a personal view about balance, but before I share that, let's consider the dictionary definition of balance. Balance is a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. 

As a general rule, most of us tend to think of balance or the balance of life in the context of the noun definition. Balance is a place where our spiritual, mental, and physical are all aligned. It's the place where we feel peaceful, satisfied, and at the top of our games.  

However, my personal view is that perfect alignment is, well, just plain old, not possible. I mean, who gets to exist in a constant state of perfect harmony all the time, in fact ANY time? In my experience life does not work that way....

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4 Conversations Leaders & Employees Should Have At Work

Uncategorized Jul 06, 2021

Throughout my career, I've been responsible for creating development strategies for organizations. One thing that always stuck out for me is that in almost every organization, the number one development area is communication. The type of communication varies dramatically depending on level and position. However, the one fact that firmly remains is we all want to communicate effectively to convey information, deliver results, and create connections. 

Whether you're a leader or an employee, there are four conversations that you should be having on a very regular basis. 

This month my theme is Conversation's Matter, and today's blog will explore some of the conversations that we - the collective "we," both leaders and employees - should be having regularly. 

The "What Makes You Tick" Conversation 

The first conversation is the what makes you tick conversation? 

Now, most people, when they start a new role, skip this conversation because most of the onboarding...

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Introducing 3 Voices Practical Choices: Designing Desirable Organizations of the Future

Uncategorized Jun 22, 2021

Real change happens when people choose to let down walls and invite someone different in. Today we introduce you to 3 Voices Practical Choices. This thought leadership series brings together "the unlikely team" of Lorene, Leah & Gavin to discuss everyday actions companies and individuals can take to create a more inclusive world. While the issues may be complex, change can be accelerated through daily, intentional, heartfelt conversations and actions that break down barriers and walls. So welcome to our conversation, always with each other and sometimes with a guest. Every article that we share will help us move; you move, companies move, and be the change that we want to see in the world. Let's get started! 

Meet the Voices 

Why is DEI Important to you, and how did you come to connect with 3 Voices Practical Choices?

Lorene: 

Growing up in the large Caribbean island of Jamaica, my childhood affirmed that I was important, valued, included, and that anything was...

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FAILURE OR FEEDBACK? Why Leaders Need to Embrace Their Failures

Uncategorized May 11, 2021

One of the greatest fears that most people have, is the fear of failure. From the time we are children, we are taught that success is achieving. Good grades, first in sports, best school project. We are taught to win, to want to be out front, to build a “portfolio” that will get us into the best colleges and lead us into the right future roles. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that those things are bad or worth striving for. BUT the question is how do we deal with failure? Society teaches us to push for the top, but does not readily create the cushion to land on when we at some point inevitably fail. 

Curious, I asked the following question on social media…

Complete this sentence. There is no such thing as failure, only... 

I then waited with anticipation to see what people would say and was pleasantly surprised to get so many thoughtful responses. Here are my top 5: 

  1. There is no such thing as failure, only perspective

  2. There...

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Try Something New - 4 Tips To Drive Your Business or Lead Your Team

Uncategorized Apr 06, 2021

Here at Conduit International, aka leah jm dean headquarters, we've embraced April as the month to try something new. 

Now I love organization, and I am always on the lookout for ways to drive results creating a plan and then strategically executing on that plan. However, I know for some, the very thought of planning makes you want to cringe.

This month, I wanted to share a few of the things that I do to stay on top of my work and get results with my team. As you kick off the next quarter, I hope you find one tip to help you drive your business and your results forward. 

 

Be Intentional - 90 Minute Sprints (tested)

In the last 6-9 months I have implemented something called 90 Minute Sprints.

90 Minute Sprints is a method of work that requires me to be very, very intentional about the project that I am working on.

In its simplest form, I pick a task and focus on JUST THAT task for 90 minutes, nothing else, nothing more. Everything else except that task is turned OFF -...

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4 Ways To LIFT Women 2021

It's March plus it’s Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day just came and went. This month is a month filled with so much inspiration surrounding us, encouraging us to empower women. And while it's an important opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women, it's also important we use this time to:

  • recognize that there are still inequities that exist around the world,
  • amplify and support the voices of others, and
  • encourage and inspire the next generation of women.

The best way to do all that and more is by taking time this month to LIFT each other up, to LIFT women and empower each other, and notice that when we support and LIFT women we can bring about positive change and create a more equal world. Take time today to L.I.F.T. a woman up in your life:

  • Actively LISTEN When They Speak
  • INCLUDE Them At The Table
  • FEATURE their work and their businesses
  • Reward Them In TANGIBLE Ways

Let's dive further into how we can LIFT women in 2021.

Actively...

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No Matter What’s Next, You’ll Need Your Tribe

blog Feb 11, 2021
 

2020 was tough, to say the least.

Between the pandemic turning our world upside down and unprecedented challenges we never imagined, many of us couldn't wait until 2020 was over and 2021 to be here. Now that 2021 is here, many of us are still doing our best to adapt to the “new normal." It's hard not to feel anxious about the future, especially in light of a new year.

One thing we know for certain is that regardless of what happens next, you’ll still need your tribe and support group. Hopefully, you’ve been leaning into your relationships already for comfort and support. If you haven’t, it’s not too late to start. Our relationships are key to our well-being, and as we continue to manage the stress and uncertainty of the coronavirus, we need our relationships now more than ever. Let’s look at the reasons why.

The following is adapted from Assemble the Tribe.

Support Helps Us Grow

Our support networks don’t just pick us up when...

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LJDM Holiday Message - Wishing you a happy holiday, from my family to yours

annual holiday message Dec 24, 2020

The holidays remind us about each other 

By almost any measure, 2020 has been an incredible year. The world has experienced so much loss and pain. However, in the midst of hardship, we have also seen the beauty of humanity and been reminded of the importance of family and relationships.  As I pause and reflect, I would like to share my annual Holiday Message. From my family to yours, Happy Holidays. 

Even if we can't be physically together as friends and family, my prayer is that we can still find ways to love each other and connect. Whether we are together, apart, or remembering loved ones, let us take the time to connect with our tribes any way that we can. We need people and they need us, especially this holiday season.  

Thank you to each and every one of you, for your love, support, well wishes, and friendship as we connect and build our tribes in a whole new way. Be well, stay safe, and stay connected.

Xo 

Leah 

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