Leaders that shine the brightest…

61911292aea61a901c5c651a44a14014.originalLeaders that are looking to  shine through their own hard work, perseverance and positive attitude are never looking for the spotlight.  Those that are looking to get credit (or worse “take credit”) are those that waste their time doing this rather than getting their hands dirty doing any work.  I remember a terrible example of someone trying to steal credit in my professional life.  Our organization had just had a new management team come in and the leadership team was going around the room explaining roles, responsibilities and some quick accomplishments of programs in each of their divisions.  As we went around the room, another department head who had been overtly insecure in her new job role proceeded to take credit for a program that I had been intricate in developing.  I had helped to lead a team of professionals who had been dedicated and focused on one thing – getting the work done.  That’s all, simply just getting the work at hand done and done well.

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Lessons in a Leader’s Life

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The best part of learning is the action that closely follows the lesson.

We have all heard the phrase “use it or lose it”.  This applies to many aspects of our life, not just the often associated physical fitness part of our lives that we immediately think of after hearing this.  It applies to our brains, our psyche, our influence, and in the leader’s world, our learning ability.  In the life of the leader, learning is the capacity to effect change as a result of turning new information into action.  The greatest of leaders do this proactively in response to new information that must be integrated in a world where information overload and more data “magically” translates into “better” outcomes.

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Leaders Who Lead Best are Led by Others

You will know the mark of a good leader when you feel it.
You will know the mark of a good leader when you feel the impact of their lessons.

Do you have a mentor? Is there someone that you turn to when you need direction or guidance on critical decisions? Some are lucky enough to be able to confidently turn to more than one adviser. Maybe you are experienced enough to be a mentor and have earned the trust of someone that turns to you in times of indecision.  A great leader is never ashamed to seek the input of those that are successful and have been Continue reading Leaders Who Lead Best are Led by Others

Top 5 Leadership Qualities

deep_blue_ocean_by_welshdragon-d3318l2So you want to be a more effective leader? Want to stop and think about how your leadership ability is shaping up? Here is a quick list that serves as a reminder to qualities you need to sharpen to help you stay on track. Self awareness is not included on this list, but if you were interested enough to read this, you are probably doing okay with this one.

1. Integrity – THIS IS A BIG ONE!! And it also requires that you have many other positive qualities to be able to demonstrate this one. Doing the right thing when it counts most and when it may not even be noticed. You do what is right for others, not with yourself in mind.  You have the moral compass built in to your dashboard.  You should never have to search for it, its always helping you navigate your way through LIFE.

2. Composed – You never panic. Others turn to you and see a quiet calm that is not only reassuring, but is quite contagious. Too often managers have only two modes – laissez faire and CODE RED!! Being composed does not mean you are indifferent to the world around you. It is that you remain level headed and have your mind in a state that allows you to make the best decisions when it counts most.

3.  Responsive – not quite the same as one that only reacts to issues or problems.  This is a trait that is seen in leaders that hear or see things that others do not.  In your every day experiences, you challenge what you see and respond to a situation that others consider as being “just fine’.  In other words, “status quo” is the root of all evil for the responsive leader.

4.  Motivated – the great leader knows the hardest part of any project is getting started. Great leaders take the initiative to get things started and get things done!  Their work also inspires others to get their hands dirty and get things done!

5.  Humble – it’s just as important to know what you don’t know.   Many managers are running around the office letting everyone know what their expertise is. I admire those that are running around learning from the expertise and experience of others.

The Complexities of Communication

20130227000428_communicatewithclarityCommunication is simple.  Quite simple, actually.  People hear what they want to hear.  Conversely, people also express what they think others want to hear as well.  It shouldn’t be surprising, with these two tenets of communication then, that there is often communication mishaps that occur on a regular basis.  This happens at work, this happens at home – it happens in life.  Communication is almost always filtered through another person’s perception. The messages that enter into one’s mind have a lot of information and experience to compete against – and that is not even considering the emotional aspect.

Good leaders know how to do many things very well.  In fact they excel at almost everything.  However, the most effective leaders that rise above even the greatest of leaders, know best how to skillfully communicate.  It is the hallmark of great leadership – to be able to convey to others the vision and the mission of the organization, put succinctly to inspire and motivate others to ACT.  The most intelligent people can have the greatest ideas and vision and believe that they have inspired others to act.  But did everyone hear the same thing?  Is each individual inspired to carry out their task knowing where they fit in the big picture?

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” 

George Bernard Shaw

10 Virtues to Look for in Your Leader

on_the_horizon_by_ollisiponkoski-d73jcq9I just wanted to have some fun with the word “LEADERSHIP” today and so I quickly put together some traits to look for in the Leader that you might be striving to become.  There are some days that one of these traits is more important than the others.  Some days where we need to add a quality that is not listed here.  And of course, there are even some days that we look for Divine Intervention!  As you read this, I hope that you will think about whether these traits are found in the Leader within you. It is a quick read, so enjoy!

LOYALTY: show your team that you will do anything for them and they will do everything for you.

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Communication is in the ear of the beholder

Discussion

“People hear what they want to hear…”  I am sure that those words have often been uttered to excuse the occasional miscommunication in the workplace.  A manager’s worst nightmare – people walk away from a meeting with 17 different interpretations of the messages delivered in said meeting.  And there were only fifteen people in the room!!

Great leaders tend to have one feature in common amongst them.  They are ALL excellent communicators.  Sure, there are other traits that many great leaders possess, but to command a following that catapults the leader to a mega-status, effective, clear and Continue reading Communication is in the ear of the beholder