Leadership is Hard. Let’s Go!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1

If you don’t like choosing between horrible and cataclysmic,  don’t become a CEO.

-Ben Horowitz

No, we leaders (not just CEO but at all levels, with or without a title) are not gluttons for punishment. We just know that leadership done well is not what many think or hope it is.

Perhaps the dollars, glory, prestige, or the chance to be in charge originally drew us to leadership. Or we may have been tapped to lead because we are smart, liked, experienced, or connected.

But good leadership is much bigger and requires more from us.

It really has little to do with the money or prestige. It is about building something bigger than ourselves and building ourselves to be up to that challenge. And we are not chosen to be leaders, really. Despite the challenge, we put up our hands. To be a good leader, we had to choose to answer the call.

Let’s go.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Stefanos Nikologianis cc

How to Help When Team Members Struggle

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1

We all struggle from time to time for all sorts of reasons. Though most leaders aren’t trained as therapists, we are all very well trained as humans. Privately, matter-of-factly remarking to a team member that they seem to be struggling then listening without trying to fix or solve is a very good start.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Brian Smithson cc

Leadership, Sales, Collaboration and Picking a Place for Dinner

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 1

Leading, selling, collaborating, and choosing a place to go to dinner with your partner tonight are essentially the same. They all require understanding what the other person ultimately wants, having them understand what we want, and creatively finding a way to satisfy both sides.

When we take this particularly helpful perspective, we can easily master all four activities.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: IMG_0011-1-3 via photopin (license)

Leadership Is Not What We Think It Is

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 2 min.

Leadership is not what we usually think it is:

Leadership is not being the decider-in-chief. But the leader sometimes needs to make decisions for the group.

Leadership is not commanding and controlling. But the leader usually needs to hold people accountable and sometimes needs to tell people what to do, how to do it, and when.

Leadership is not taking on the burden of everyone’s work. But the leader assists the people and the team as they learn to deliver desired results.

Leadership is not valued for the work the leader does but for the results of others. But the leader sometimes needs to do work only she can do.

Leadership is not about setting the course. But the leader must ensure compelling goals are in place, relevant, understood, and guiding actions.

Leadership does not follow scripts; no two leadership situations are the same. But the leader will apply tested tools and models and keep learning.

Leadership is not about being popular or liked. But the leader will develop strong, enduring relationships via mutual respect and trust (and will end up well liked, usually).

Leadership is not about knowing the answers. But the leader will listen well and rely the group to know or find out the answers.

Leadership is not about building a fiefdom. But the leader will actively attract, hire, and retain the good people she wants to work with.

Leadership is the act of building and maintaining an environment where others get the right things done well together. Surely, good leader, you can excel here.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: U.S. Embassy London cc

super

We Change Everything

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

When we raise our buzz, we can change an encounter, a team meeting, an entire company, or even a life for the better just by our presence. Buzz running high, we become certain of their ability to do good and great work regardless of prior success or failure. We let ourselves follow our curiosity about how they will do it and how it will all unfold. Then, lo, they do it and it all unfolds better than any of us could have planned.

Never underestimate your ability to change everything.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Note I didn’t say we can make people change. Nor do we need to do very much.

Today’s photo credit: Nancy <I’m gonna SNAP! cc

wise

Good Leadership, Wise Business

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

The sages tell us that there are only two reactions to anything: fear or love. Nothing else. So if we catch ourselves feeling bad or trying to attack, avoid, complain, or criticize anything, we are in fear.

The solution to whatever we fear is to love it. This does not mean we should accept something that is unacceptable. It means that we are to pause and wait for a better-feeling, more love-centered solution than attack, avoid, etc. (This works wonderfully well, by the way.)

At work, this looks a lot like good leadership and wise business practices.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Today’s photo credit: merec0 cc

change

You Change First

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1

Changing an organization is hard. But change in our organizations is near impossible if we, as leaders, don’t change ourselves first.

Changing ourselves is simple (but not easy), though. We start by asking, “Who do I need to be so that the organization can change as desired?”

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: m.a.r.c. cc

hands in

Leadership Is Not (Really) About Getting Stuff Done

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1

Getting angry, pushing, directing, pleading, blaming, or doing the tasks ourselves are sure signs that we have fallen into into the trap of thinking that our job as leaders is to make others get stuff done.

Our job is to build an environment for others to get stuff done. We want the team to take charge, select the best stuff to do, then get it done together, well, and on time. And so we use tools like vision and goals, coaching and encouragement, just the right amount of structure, listening, team building, team process, and the hiring of smart, driven, and nice people.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: AGB in AR cc

soar

Cause Their Performance To Soar

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1

Communicating our belief in others’ ability to accomplish something–even if it’s difficult, even if they’ve never done it before–is an essential leadership talent.

Such a vote of confidence awakens their talents, increases their engagement, and causes their performance to soar.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Part of the trick is not thinking that we are being merely delusional.

 

photo credit: Flybe Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, AMS via photopin (license)