Pump

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Destructive leadership rations energy. Productive leadership pumps energy into everyone freely.

To share so much, we first have to find and tap for ourselves a virtually unlimited source. And where will find such a source? It’s right here and it’s called appreciation.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Bad, Good, and Great Leaders

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Bad leaders try to keep things as they always have been. They mostly push and struggle. Good leaders try to enlist others to create the better ways or better world they envision. They are generally positive, usually effective, but may push and struggle, too. Great leaders focus on the present. They are curious and tickled to see how it all (the situations, us, our goals) will unfold. They help us create the future we envision.

Be great. It’s in you.

 

In your corner

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Britt Selvtelle cc

cogs

This Is The Leaders’ Job

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Leading
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As leaders, our job is not really about finance, operations, sales, strategy, law, board- and investor relations, HR, labor relations, regulations, or marketing–though these things are important and we may be good at them. Our job is not really about making decisions or giving orders. And it’s definitely not about being strong, smart, or right.

Our job, ultimately, is about designing, building, and maintaining the best environment for all that work to get done. This includes

  • committing to win-win relationships with all who matter (including building a win-win-loving team),
  • stewarding that compelling story about who we are, how we help, and our desired goals,
  • building the systems and norms to allow for a natural, low-resistance flow of work, and
  • encouraging our inner-games (i.e. our thinking and beliefs) to support our win-win, our flow, and our story.

 

In your corner,

Mike
Today’s photo credit: tallkev via photopin cc

apple

Value the Learners

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
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We don’t want to learn anymore because that would imply we aren’t capable yet. We want to be competent.

Yet our work is about creating something that has not existed before: a product, a new version, a service, a policy, a system.

So we must learn and be learners. We must experiment, succeed and fail, and iterate.

We tend to value other people who have the answers. We tend to judge ourselves by what we know. This would be fine if what we need was something that was already known. Perhaps it’s time to value the learners more.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: redwood 1 cc

mega

Statements and Questions

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
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Thinking we have to be strong–or at least to look strong or to look like we know something–we make statements. We make our case. We argue.

And we forget the power of good question. To see this phenomenon at its most dysfunctional, observe most any politician.

Leaders (whether we have that title or not) use both statements and questions. Statements are great for naming the elephant in the room and for reminding each other of our mission, our SweetSpot. Questions are great for deepening understanding, fostering trust, and creating win-win.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: Some really helpful questions include these: “What is true now?” “What do we want to be true in the future?” and “Why?”

 

Today’s photo credit: floeschie via photopin cc

leaf

Change

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Organizations
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Change is turbulent. Be clear, direct, and persistent.
Change is tough. Be encouraging.
Change takes time. Be understanding.
Change is complex. Be thorough and adaptable.
Change hurts. Be the one who believes in them more than they do.

After all, if you were part of an organization in change, wouldn’t you want your leader to be all that?

It takes a certain caring steadfastness to create change in an organization. We need not be the CEO (though it helps). Any of us can spur change with compelling vision, a win-win approach, coaching low-stress-highly-effective action, and a quiet knowing that we will succeed.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: AMANITO cc

abacus

Old Ways

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
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In many of our organizations, we still use the old ways of command & control, hierarchical divisions, and lionizing the executive. Yes, we find the old ways in older and larger organizations. Strangely, we also see them in young and smaller ones. We hold onto the old ways mostly because they are familiar not because they work, necessarily.

Things are changing, though. For decades, organizations have been reaping the rewards of being more agile, choosing win-win-or-don’t-play, and having everyone engage the organizations’ missions with their heads and hearts. Even the formerly grand proponents of the old ways, the military, have seen the light:

As the armed forces have discovered, it’s the enlisted man in the village that wins battles (and hearts and minds) now, not the general with his maps and charts. – Seth Godin’s blog 10 June 2013

Your organization may be trapped–a little or a lot–in the old ways. You–regardless of your experience or role–can help shift things. You can be the person who engages, goes for win-win, and breaks down barriers to agility, now. You don’t need anyone’s permission. Just be yourself.

In your corner,

 

Mike
Today’s photo credit: aussiegall via photopin cc

keystone arch

Leader Win-Team Win

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
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Q: Does the leader make the team or the team the leader?

A: Yes. A successful group needs a great team and leader.

Change either and all bets are off.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Q: When a team is not successful, is it the leader or the team that needs to change? A: Yes.

Be a Powerful Leader

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter
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A forceful leader defends her vulnerabilities and discounts her people’s capabilities. All that remains available to her to get things done is some form of shoving. A powerful leader has no need to defend and believes more in others’ capabilities than even they themselves do. As a result, lots of good work gets done.

From what I can tell, that kind of power is in us all.

Be a powerful leader.

 

In your corner,

Mike