Thursday, April 24, 2008

An Argument for Joyful Leadership

Erika Andersen, over at The Simplest Thing that Works, had a truly wonderful post on Joyful Leadership. As she sat at her computer and googled the words "joyful leadership," nothing came up!! Why, is the question she asks? Do leaders not find joy in their leadership? It really is a perplexing question, especially after all the examples Erika shows us as what joyful leadership is all about. I'll give you two here below, but you'll have to check out her site for the rest!

  • When you're the leader, and your team rallies around a common goal to achieve something that's beyond their individual capabilities: that's joyful.
  • When you invite and challenge someone who works for you to step up into a more demanding role, and he or she does it and succeeds: that's joyful.

The other thing I really enjoyed about her post, was that she recognizes there are times when leadership is stressful, frustrating, even demoralizing. But, there is still joy in it!

You really should be reading Erika's blog! She has great insight into leadership and managing others! Go take a look...and leave a comment for her while you're there!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Practice What You Preach!

I really do believe in that statement! As a leader, it is very important to "practice what you preach," or as others might say "walk the talk." A leader can't be all fluff. There has to be substance, and he or she has to follow the rules they set. So, I decided I was going to put some of my preaching to practice!

I wrote a post a couple weeks back on "avoiding funks." In that post I touched on what I call "Mastering the Art of Scheduled Downtime." People really do need to master this art. It's one of the only ways to help prevent burnout in work and life. No one is made to go 100 MPH all the time. It's too much. It causes brain drain. People need to build in breaks and they need to maintain balance.

So, I took my own advice, and I scheduled some "downtime" from blogging. It's obvious that I took a couple weeks off (without providing notice to any of you), but it was needed! The downtime served a couple purposes:

  1. It allowed me to take a break. I was stressed. I had a lot going on with work/school/vacations, and something needed to go to the back burner for a while.
  2. It helped me maintain balance in other areas of life. It allowed me to focus on those work/school/family areas and not have to worry about my writing.

Looking back, should I have made my readers aware of my absence? I don't know. I've heard that taking a week off can really hurt a readership (let alone two weeks), but it needed to be done! Now, I come back refreshed and ready, with new ideas, new things to share! And, all I can do is hope that my readers will understand! And, I think they will. Why? Because they have been in my shoes before!!

You've got to schedule breaks! You can't go full bore, nonstop, all the time! It's draining! Leaders know this, and so do I. And, I hope that you will come to,, MASTER.....the Art of Scheduled Downtime!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Relaxin' in Sin City?

They say "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," so I suppose I better honor that and not give much away.

See, my wife and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary last weekend by taking our first trip to good ol' Sin City. And yes, the saying is true......especially when it comes to that green stuff!! We left a lot of our money back there (not all on gambling!)! Food seems to be a little more pricey down there, especially if you want to eat at one of the hotel/casinos.

It wasn't all bad though. We actually did have a relaxing time. We were able to spend some time laying out by the pool, where I got to read Seth Godin's book, The Dip! What a book it is!! It has some great insight into when people should actually quit what they are doing! A book on quitting, you ask? Yes, it is a book that actually recommends quitting! I know what you're thinking, but you've got to give it a read!

The highlight of the trip, though, (besides alone time with my wife and M&M World.....oh yes, I love M&M's, and nothing beats a four story M&M store), was seeing Cirque de Soleil's Mystere show. Wow! What an amazing show. It was the first time my wife and I have ever taken in a Cirque de Soleil show, and I must say I can't wait to see the next one! It really is an awe-ispiring show!

So, that's where I've been this past week, and is the reason I'm just getting my bearings back on this blog! If you've never been to Sin City, I do recommend going. There are all sorts of things to do besides just gambling, but be ready to spend a little money doing them!!

note: mirage picture courtesy of