Thursday, 22 October 2015

Five things a leader does

Leadership is complex and there are lessons to learn for all of us no matter where we see ourselves or where we may think we are on a leadership scale.  

Five things I find helpful to keep myself on track in leading others:

1.  Model the way  
This is about being authentic and genuine with others around you.  By all means learn but please model! Fail here and you will be found out quickly!  Others want to see the evidence of the knowledge and that means how you live consistently.  It's no good talking the talk you have to walk the walk.  Practice what you preach!  Dishing out the latest leadership lesson with no back-up of your example is shallow and short lived, leaving those you attempt to lead confused, frustrated and  and often in despair.

2. Inspire shared vision
It is crucial for a visionary leader to inspire others about the mission and the vision regularly. However, it is also equally important to inspire and allow others to be a part the visionary development process. Good leaders value their teams wisdom, experience, perspectives, challenges, gifts and commitment. This is crucial to anyone who aspires to to be a leader of leaders.  Team also provides accountability to all in fulfilling the vision.

3. Challenge the process
If you want things to be better, if you want others to grow do not settle for the 'status quo.'   Reviews, and analysis are important.  Examine results, look at performance, Ask challenging questions: Why are we doing this? Is what we are doing working?  Where are the weaknesses? What needs to change?  What are the threats?  Develop a strategy from this to implement the actions you need to take to move things forward.  

4. Empower others to make decisions
Delegation without giving authority dis-empowers development and personal growth. Remember that! A leader assists others to make good decisions.  Ask yourself, what does each person on your team need to learn to make better decisions.  Suggest ways the people around you can grow.  Fid resource to help them: books, websites, blogs, podcasts, training events, conferences, visit other churches, meet with other leaders, etc. 

5. Encourage regularly
People who are encouraged thrive!  They sense their contribution is valued and are empowered in their role as part of the team.  Look for opportunities to encourage others in around you constantly.  If issues need to be challenged, take people aside, connect them again to the vision, express their importance and value of their role, then tackle the issues - can we talk about what's not working or what just happened.  Leadership influence for the long haul  rises and falls on this issue.

Monday, 19 October 2015

What followers want the most from their leader

What leadership behavior do employees and team members most want from their leaders?

You’ll be surprised! 
Here is Dan Rockwell to share his insights.
Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

The Leadership Behavior Employees Want The Most

We often search for the most important thing. Christine Porath, associate professor at Georgetown University, along with other researchers, believe the leadership behavior that employees most want is  respect.
48% of people who experience disrespect at work intentionally decrease their work effort. 78% are less committed to their organization.*
“Being treated with respect was more important to employees than recognition and appreciation, communicating an inspiring vision, providing useful feedback — or even opportunities for learning, growth, and development.” Christine Porath
Respect is a feeling, but showing respect is a behavior.

Ten things that make people feel disrespected:

1.  Looking at computer screens and cell phones during conversations.
2.  Outburst of anger.
3.  Cursing and slang.
4.  One sided conversations. Not listening.
5.  Wasting people’s time.
6.  Asking people to re-do work, even though clear instructions weren’t given up front.
7.  Not following up.
8.  Not showing up for meetings.
9.  Aggressiveness.
10.  Lies.

Seven ways to show respect:

1.  Speak to aspirations.
2.  Talk more about strengths than weaknesses.
3.  Ask, “What do you think?”
4.  Take time to ponder suggestions.
5.  Focus on issues not personalities during disagreements.
6.  Say please and thank you.
7.  Feeling understood.
Feeling respected is an individual matter. You must know people in order to respect them. You might try asking, “What could I do that would show my respect for you?”

Three Qualities that enable leaders to show respect:

1.  Humility.
2.  Compassion.
3.  Trust.
What makes you feel disrespected? Respected?
How might leaders make teammates feel respected?

Friday, 16 October 2015


What an amazing Post by Dan Rockwell!

The worst enemy to have is yourself. Others may hold you back, but who can help when you sabotage yourself?

External enemies are easy compared to the accuser within.
external enemies are easy compared to the enemy within

Talented leaders sabotage their leadership when they:

#1. Take control. Leaders are control freaks, but influence requires permission. There’s a difference between taking control and being in control. Coercion works when people don’t feel in control.
The more control you take the less influence you enjoy.
#2. Seize power. It easy for leaders with position to make others feel powerless. Power feels exciting. That’s why you want others to feel powerful.
The seduction of seizing power at the expense of others isolates leaders and dilutes influence. The more power you seize, the more power you need to seize.
In order to give power you must release power.
#3. Compete with team members. It’s easy to win at the expense of others when you control resources and raises. Step back, if you’re the leader, and let others win. When they win, you win.
Roaring lions go further than whipped puppies.
#4. Know more. Leaders who need to know more than others lead dumb teams.
Aspire to be dumb and learn from everyone.
#5. Limit choices. When others have expertise, go with their gut. You’re a fool if you believe your way is always the best way.
Repeat after me, “I could be wrong.” 

3 tips to ramp up leadership influence:

  1. Don’t allow your aspirational self to bully your actual self. The flaws you see in yourself limit your ability to appreciate your strengths.
  2. Practice improvisational leadership. The number one rule of improvisation is “go with – not against.” You might force your will on people, but you lose their hearts.
  3. Tell people your intentions. You have positive stories in your head. They wonder what you’re up to.

Monday, 12 October 2015


One of the best posts I have read from Dan Rockwell.  

Listen to your language. It points to the future.

Habits of speech are the potter’s wheel of leadership. Both you and your organization are formed by the language you repeat.

Choose your language before it forms your future. In order to lead, you must lead your personal habits of speech.

Reflect on your language.  Your  language is a leading indicator.

  1. Do you feel optimistic?
  2. Would you like to hang around with you?
  3. Are you powerful or helpless?

The words you say point the way. 

Choose the focus of your words:
  1. Vision or history.
  2. Opportunity or adversity.
  3. Solutions or problems.
  4. Success or failure.
  5. Strength or weakness.
  6. Likes or dislikes.
  7. Honor or dishonor.
  8. Happiness or unhappiness.
  9. Beauty or ugliness.
  10. Excellence or average.
I’m not suggesting you ignore problems or negative topics. I am saying that successful leaders spend more time talking about solutions than problems, for example.

Successful leaders create common language.

Direction determines destination. Habits of speech create environments and establish direction.   Understand that hared direction requires shared language.

7 ways to create shared language:

  1. Explain the power of shared language to all leaders.
  2. Talk about the same things. Choose two or three topics and talk about them all the time. You dilute your leadership when you talk about too many things.
  3. Invite leaders to craft shared language. “How will we talk to our teams?”
  4. Use the same words. It’s not boring. It’s reinforcing.
  5. Ask the same questions. “How are we engaging new people,” for example.
  6. Listen for common language. When you hear it, reward it.
  7. Confront sideways language. “That’s not our focus right now.”
People who talk alike move in the same direction.

Words create environments, set direction, and make people feel they belong.