Creativity vs Complacency

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  While that adage sounds good when you are in a sweet spot, it is not a good mantra.  Individuals will not grow, teams will not develop, and organizations will lose value when they cease to focus on creativity. Continue reading

faithe vs fear

Resolutions aside, what will you “faithe” in 2012?  This old English verb has been reduced to the Americanized noun “faith.”  What once had tangible actions associated with it, now is primarily an intangible force, elusive to all but the over achievers.

Conversely, what will you fear in 2012?  While fear can either be a noun or a verb, it most certainly has an active life in many people.  And you will either be motivated by fear or faithe. Continue reading

Fear

More than ever before I’m discovering how many of us are motivated or “demotivated” by fear…mostly the latter.  The fear of failure; the fear of the unknown; the fear of looking dumb; the fear of not being accepted; the fear of not measuring up; the fear of not having what it takes; or the fear of “whatever”.

 

Fear seems to almost paralyze us and if it doesn’t do that it certainly causes us to hesitate…to doubt…to put off some things we either really want to do (like follow our passion or dream) or think may be too risky (like follow our passion or dream!).

 

This past week we had a group of wonderful college students at the ranch for a day of leadership development.  The day had a positive impact on all of them, some more than others.  I had three students come up to me afterward and they not only hugged me, the held me, seemingly not wanting to let go.  Each of them, through their tears of gratitude, told me that we had helped them overcome some lifelong fears through their experiences that day.  They felt released…set free…to follow their dreams.  Wow!

 

When Jesus started his ministry he restated Isaiah 61:1-2 which, in part, says “He (God) has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners”.  So, how about the rest of us?  Shouldn’t we feel released…freed, as well?  You bet we should!  Let’s put fear aside and go for it as leaders, spouses, parents, friends, and people who have been set free.

Loving the Life of a Leader

Do you love the life of a leader?  No, not the power mistakenly associated with the position.  And not the money mistakenly envied with the title.  To love the life of the leader you must love your life as a leader.  From the CEO, to a member of an executive leadership team, or those who lead in the trenches by influence and excellence, leadership involves responsibility and, at times, hardship.

By managing personnel and implementing policies and procedures, leaders earn their living by making difficult decisions.  Sometimes those decisions are not appreciated.  Often times they are not understood.  Leaders who work to build individuals and teams live in the tension of risk and reward.  I regularly meet with leaders dealing with what seems to be a poor ROI.

With finances and personnel, get rich schemes do not work.  Leading demands consistent investment and patience to see ROI over time.  Loving the life of a leader requires living with the assurance that most people can and want to develop.  Developing people requires constant awareness of their progress on assigned tasks. Making the investment will make you richer.

Have you leveraged time and energy into people, hoping to see great ROI?  Be passionate, patient, and persistent as you track return.  Loving the life of the leader requires knowing the majority of your investments in people will produce positive returns.  Do you fret that your investments are not growing fast enough?  Or do you love the life of a leader, knowing that building people is a process?

Leadership 150: Lessons from 1861 | Mark Persall

Dead men tell no tales.  Really?  Have you ever read the Gettysburg Address?  The leadership of President Lincoln still tells tales.  In Lincoln on Leadership, Donald Phillips gives excellent advice on how to lead in difficult times.  However daunting your leadership future seems, learn from a man who conquered civil war.

  1.  Invest time and money in the ins and outs of human nature.  Leaders need to know why people do what they do.  You must also learn to project behavioral responses.
  2.  Refrain from dictatorial leadership.  People follow dictators out of fear, not respect.  Dictatorial leadership cannot be sustained.
  3.  Seek casual contact with direct reports.  Spending time on their territory affirms their value to the organization while allowing you to gain necessary information.
  4. Set goals and values that motivate your organization to action.  Effective leaders have a vision for the future; complete with goals and actions plans.  Excellent leaders develop people to embrace organizational goals.
  5. Organizations take on the personality of the top leader.  Whatever adjectives are used to describe the senior leader can also describe the organization.  Once a personality weakness is exposed, what the leader does in moderation will be practiced in excess among the team.  Character development starts with senior leaders.

Effective leadership requires constantly learning and adjusting to meet the needs of the moment with implications to the future.  What personality traits affirm your leadership?  Which ones challenge your leadership?

Seeing The Next Leaders: They Are Right in Your Midst

There is a story in the Bible about the choosing of David to be the second king over Israel.  In the story, the prophet Samuel visits David’s father, and essentially begins a “training academy” from among David’s brothers.  Only one of the sons was missing, and that was David.  He was young; he was not old enough, not strong enough, not equipped.  At least that was the human perspective.  But in the economy of God, David was the one rightly equipped (or perhaps at that point being equipped) to become the king.

Sometimes the next set of leaders needed by your company or your non-profit or your school is right in the middle of your existing group of employees/volunteers.

But are you seeing them?  Are you even looking?

Secure Leadership in Insecure Times | Mark Persall

The 4:00 am wake up for the first flight home came really early.  But I was already awake thinking; thinking about the myriad of conversations I had this week with senior leaders in a company I consult with.  As one always looking for themes the theme of the week was insecurity.  What is not detectable in a five minute conversation is readily apparent after several interactions.

Continue reading

10 Things That Hold You Back from Outrageous Success – by Dumb Little Man

Success is something most of us want, but all too frequently never attain.  Start your week with this brief post from the “Dumb Little Man” blog.

If I could show you how you can become an outrageous success, would you be interested?You see, human beings are naturally happy when everything negative is removed. It’s like trying to hold a beach ball underwater. As soon as you let go, it pops back up to the surface.

via 10 Things That Hold You Back from Outrageous Success – by Dumb Little Man.

The Overlap of Work Life and Personal Life | Matthew Green

“Separate your personal life from your work life” or “ Leave everything at the door when you come to work”; phrases often used in the business world.  It may sound good to compartmentalize, but a dangerous practice even when possible to implement. Working with people there will always be an overlap between personal and professional life. Continue reading