Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Leaders Are....

L - loyal, loving

E - energetic

A - audacious

D - disciplined, dedicated

E - empathetic

R - reputable

S - servants

Leaders are.....loyal and loving, energetic, audacious, disciplined and dedicated, empathetic, reputable servants!!

I know there are many other traits of effective leaders. Why don't you give it a try? What kind of acronym can you come up with?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Motivational Monday: Hard Working Leadership

"Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal." - Vince Lombardi

I don't feel that I was born a leader. Instead, I am continually growing; ever evolving into an amazing and effective leader through continuous hard work, dedication, focus, learning, and practice. It's a process that I have come to love; a journey worth pursuing. Mistakes have been made and failures learned from.

I'm not there yet, but I know the prize is within reach. I'm confident that soon, I will be known as an "effective leader," and will leave a legacy of amazing leadership. Projects will be accomplished, peers will be inspired, and lives will be touched. Why? Because I'm determined to make a difference; to inspire and motivate others; to lift up others above myself. I'm determined to be an extreme leader!

How about you? Were you born a leader, or did you have to work at it? I know it's a big debate, and I'd like your take on it? Also, what are you doing to ensure your success as a leader? Do you have the confidence needed to accomplish your leadership goals?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lustful Leadership

I know what you are thinking: “that’s an odd choice of words.” Those are weird terms to be putting together. And no, I’m not advocating affairs with subordinates. Instead, my point to this post is to bring awareness to, (or better yet) to dive into why it is you want to be a leader. Is it Lust? Or, is it Love?

Confused yet? Let me explain:

I started out on my young career wanting to be a manager, wanting to lead a team. My main motivation was that “being a manager” would look good on my resume. It would look good in the eyes of others. It would look good professionally, and it felt good personally. Essentially, I was in “lust” with leadership. It was all about me. It was about the appearance that being a manager would portray and the feeling that being a manager gave me.

That’s not true leadership; not to me anyway. Leadership isn’t (and shouldn’t) be about me. It’s about you. It’s about them. It’s about my team and my followers. Real leaders “love” leadership. See, when you’re in love with someone, you want to help them. You want to build them up – to improve them. You want to enable them to become better than you. So it is with leadership. Loving leadership is about lifting others up above you. It’s about providing the necessary skills to ensure that someone becomes “Greater Than Yourself,” which just happens to be what one of my “unofficial” mentors has taught me ("unofficial mentors" being that he doesn’t know me real well or know that he has inspired me. In fact, I’ve only met him once……over the phone).

Steve Farber, in my opinion (as well as many others) is a leadership guru. He has written two amazing books, and is looking at a March 3rd, 2009 release for his third book, “Greater Than Yourself.” From what I have gathered, the book will be another fable about how a leader’s goal is to make other’s greater than themselves. The challenge is: to seek someone out and ensure that he or she becomes more successful than they. A true leader wants her followers to be more successful, more knowledgeable, more ____ (you fill in the blank) than herself. To me, that’s Loving Leadership; not lusting leadership

So, why do you lead? Does it feel good? Does it help you professionally? Or, does it provide a means to inspire, motivate, and lift others up above you?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Leadership Quote #1

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Harold R. McAlindon

Are you comfortable in your position as a leader? Are you traveling down paths that already exist? Be bold! Take a risk! Be a leader! It's time to carve a new path, and lead your team to greatnesss. Your excellence as a leader comes when you step out of your comfort zone and blaze a new trail!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Leading from the Back: 4 Rules to Developing Other Leaders

A good leader needs to be able to sit in the back seat once in a while and turn the wheel over to someone else. He or she knows when it’s time to relinquish the lead and let someone else shine for a change. This is a very important skill, in that it allows you to fulfill your number one goal as a leader: to enable and encourage others to become leaders.

So, what does leading from the back seat look like? No, it’s not your vision of a back seat driver. You know the one, that is always telling you how to drive, and you just want to pull the car over and let them take the wheel. I’m not talking about that. No, the back seat leader is one who just steps back from the limelight in order to allow a teammate, colleague, follower, etc, step up and take the lead. The back seat leader empowers others to find it within themselves to take over. That’s what the back seat leader does. And, when doing so, it’s important that the back seat leader follow these 4 guidelines:

  1. Be a Support Character – When you relinquish the lead to someone else, make sure they know that you are there to support them. You need to be able to answer questions, help make points, etc, without taking the spotlight from them.
  2. Be a Cheerleader – Cheer them on. Let them know that they are doing a good job. If they aren’t doing a particular good job, then encourage them by giving some direction.
  3. Provide Your Expertise – Part of supporting and cheering, is also being there to provide your expertise if needed. Make sure to wait until asked for your expertise, as to not step on anyone’s toes.
  4. Influence and Motivate the Laggards – It’s important that you stay towards the “back of the pack” and help motivate those dwelling back there. This will help the new leader keep focus on his/her tasks. They can be confident that you will help bring those lagging behind, up to speed.

Leadership is all about developing others, so it’s important that as a leader, you take a back seat and let others take the lead. Remember, though, that when doing so, don’t be like that annoying back seat driver we’ve all come to dislike. Instead, follow the four simple rules above and you will help empower others to lead.