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

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?

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

Why Cooperation is Not Enough

When my now adult daughters were children at home, I thought the key to overcoming sibling rivalry was cooperation.  Boy, was I ever wrong.  A battle of the wills preceded cooperation.  Who will succumb first?  Cooperation happened when one or the other acquiesced.

Coaching teams of ministry and business professionals towards fulfilling a common goal brought a breakthrough, personally and professionally.  Inevitably cooperation was seen as compromise.  What is the lowest common denominator that we can agree to?  Cooperation held both parties back.  Negotiators talk people into cooperating.  Leaders lead people into collaborating. Continue reading