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Reading the “T” leaves

When I was a kid growing up in Missouri, I was mesmerized by the way my mother prepared “sun tea.” After carefully combining the water, tea bags, and oh-so-much-sugar, she would place the large glass container on our sun-splashed porch so the light and heat could work its magic.

Fast-forward many years, and my fascination with tea blossomed, as I became aware of the staggering varieties of leaves and flavors. From alfalfa tea to white tea to everything in between, there’s a flavor for every palate.

When it comes to our world of work, we find we also need variety.

Too often, we operate on autopilot. We stick with well-known methods, or we may neglect to appreciate why something works so well for us while something else does not. If we’re not careful, we may miss out on a better way to get our work done.

I’m helping you hit the pause button and reflect on how you approach your work in this handy worksheet. It invites you to consider your favorite examples of technology, tools, templates, training, and transparency—5 Ts—that help you perform and lead at your best.

You can even hold a “T” party as a team building exercise by sharing it with your team members and comparing responses. I guarantee each of you will learn something new about one another and how you collectively approach your work.


Matt Poepsel, PhD is the author of Expand the Circle: Enlightened Leadership for Our New World of Work and host of the Lead the People podcast. He serves as Vice President & Godfather of Talent Optimization at The Predictive Index. He holds a PhD in Psychology, an MBA, and a Harvard Business School Certificate of Management Excellence. Matt has more than 25 years of leadership experience as a software executive and consultant. He’s also a US Marine, an Ironman triathlon finisher, and a student of Buddhist philosophy.

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