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Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute – a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

Instinct can sometimes be a bad thing!

Do you operate on instinct? Sure you do. How many times have you sat in your car, driven home (or to work) but had absolutely no recollection of the actual specific journey? Yeah, I thought so! In much the same way, you probably rely on leadership instinct to help you manage a variety of situations in the workplace. And leadership instinct serves a very useful purpose; it allows us to learn routine behaviours which have identical or similar outcomes so that we don't have to expend mental energy in situations where they don't serve an optimal objective.

But as leaders, doing things by instinct will not always serve you well. There are three leadership circumstances in which relying on instinct can get you into trouble.

  1. When you want a different outcome. You've heard the old adage — doing the same thing over and over again will give you the same result. Relying on leadership instinct and doing the "same old" will give you more of the "same old".
  2. When the business or workplace environment you're working in has shifted. Working environments are not static; rather they shift and change over time, often due to competitive or social factors. Making decisions based on old experiences in a new environment can spell a recipe for disaster. So check the environment before you resort to instinct.
  3. When the decision-makers in your situation have changed. Sometimes, not only does the environment change, but so do the key players. A new CEO or manager may have a completely different outlook or even agenda, and taking action based on the priorities of a past leader can get you into trouble .... fast!

So as a leader, it's worthwhile to keep your antenna up for when these three possibilities occur. And to be alert to when you need to consciously and deliberately and thoughtfully not fall into the trap of "what has worked for me in the past must work for me in the future."

So what have been your experiences? Are there other circumstances under which you should not rely on instinct? What situations have you faced where leadership instinct was NOT the right way to go? Please share online on my blog at:

The five-step method for crystal-clear communication

Merge's latest column for (Profit Magazine's online portal) focuses on a complaint heard from many a leader — "Why is it that I give what I think are crystal-clear instructions to an employee, only to discover later that they didn’t quite get it?" As common as this issue is, the good news is that the solution is actually fairly easy. In How to Give Instructions Your Employees Will Actually Follow, Merge address this frequent problem of staff not always hearing what you are saying, and lays out five specific steps to give directions in a way so that your employees understand and act – the first time.

Upcoming leadership training events in Edmonton on December 1-2

As we told you in last month's Mega Minute, Merge is excited to be partnering with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta (CPA Alberta) to deliver twelve full-day leadership and workplace communication programs this fall and winter in Edmonton and Calgary. Two of these — Just for Leaders: Project Management 101 and How to Avoid the Most Common First-Time Leader Mistakes — are coming up on December 1 and 2 in Edmonton. Remember that these programs are available to anyone from any organization ... you DO NOT have to be a member of CPA Alberta to register. If you work in a smaller organization that doesn’t have the budget to conduct an on-site leadership training program, this is your chance to invest in yourself and your leaders’ competency and skill development! These one-day sessions are very reasonably priced at $525 per day (and include a continental breakfast and lunch!), a fraction of what it can cost through some commercial vendors. To access these two programs as well as others scheduled out to March 2016, click here.

Turning Managers into Leaders

That if you missed our live event targeted at introverted leaders, it's not too late!

The archived version of this online event is now available for sale at our website. In Success Strategies for the Introverted Leader: "Quiet" CAN win the day!, Merge emphasizes that it's absolutely NOT necessary to become an extrovert in order to be a powerful leader. Introverts bring strong leadership abilities to the table, and in this program you'll learn how to showcase and use your strengths to their best advantage. You’ll learn how to make the most of your natural traits to be recognized as a competent, capable and collaborative leader who knows how to get things done.

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