As leaders we face real obstacles and recognize that each one contains within it opportunity and risk. Identifying options before action are important in becoming an exemplary leader. In the article, we have outlined 8 options. What did we miss? Continue reading “Leaders Encounter Obstacles”
Knowing which leaders to avoid emulating is as important as knowing which ones to follow. Who we follow influences our behavior positively or negatively and impacts our career development. Continue reading “Leaders to Avoid”
Leaders make a difference in the world for many reasons. Let’s explore 3 ways that can amplify our leadership and increase our influence in the new year.
Serve a noble cause
When we serve a cause bigger than ourselves it changes how we see the world and our place in it. We begin to feel humble, respect others as individuals, and appreciate our own gifts. We understand that we are not the point of the story, but we are a point in the story. Living each day with purpose gives meaning to each step and we begin choosing only work that matters.
When we live knowing we are already blessed, we no longer have to strive to get the blessing.
Over time all physical things fade, but the life inside a person does not. This is why investing in people through our caring, listening, kindness, helpfulness, loving, and leading is the best investment we can make during our short time here. When we do this using our own unique giftings something magical happens and our life we are given deepens as our influence is amplified.
When we are the smartest person in the room, we are in the wrong room.
To lead well we know we choose to be curious when we experience circumstances or encounter people we don’t understand. We spend time with people wiser and smarter than us and purpose to not be the smartest person in the room. Below I have included a few links to a some resources that have helped me reshape my thinking.
In the new year let us find a noble cause that brings opportunity to learn and allows us to put the needs of others before our own. When we do, we will find we will have made change that matters in the lives of others and built a richer life for ourselves.
There are times in life when something we observe gives us pause. Maybe it even causes our heart to beat a little faster. We are drawn to it and do not seem to be able to help ourselves. We just have to look and are captivated! Continue reading “What Catches Your Attention?”
Several years ago, my father passed away after a battle with cancer. For his funeral I wrote and read a short story to share what he meant to me. What I learned as the years passed, is that the story written for him may have value to others that have experienced loss.
We all go through fires, floods, and storms, just like the tree in my story. When we frame our loved one’s journey in this life through the lens of purpose we can create an opportunity to celebrate the life they lived with us. We can also rejoice at the life they are living now.
Days leading up to Christmas is magical for children. We can see and feel their excitement building as we build gingerbread houses, bake cookies, attend school programs, write cards, and hang decorations on a tree that remind us of our past. What a special time to dream!
As we grow older some might feel a change about the meaning of Christmas. We may sense that while the celebration of Christmas can be personal, that it is bigger than that. We begin thinking about how we might bring Christmas to others and not just during the month of December.
Seeing leadership as a gift
Leaders understand that the gifts we have been given are not for us, but instead are for those we serve. Here are three questions that can help frame this season and lead you to a happier new year.
1) How can I bring more value to people?
Value is not determined by us, but by those we serve. Ask those you care about most what they value. When bringing gifts of service, affirmation,or a present think about what they have said then find something to give that they will touch their heart.
2) What can I do to find the right group of people to serve?
We don’t connect with everyone, but we do connect with someone. The right group to serve is typically the one closest to us. If you are up for it, take the next opportunity you see something not working right and from an attitude of giving, turn it into an act of service and don’t look for any recognition.
3) How can I find my own tribe?
The strongest tribes are built around core values and a compelling vision of a compelling tomorrow. Further, a tribe allows for each member to make contributions in their special way. Each member also feels that they are not only accepted, but experience a deep sense of belonging.
I encourage you to begin looking for a group or person making change you believe in and find how you can use your special gifts to further the cause.
Could it be that when we begin giving what only we can give to those around us not expecting anything in return, that we are experiencing the true meaning of Christmas?
Clearly communicating what a leader looks like in our organization can help the next generation of leaders grow steadily and provide guardrails that give them the best chance to succeed.
We can craft compelling mission and vision statements in partnership with our teams to build ownership and drive accountability.
We can even post value statements publicly and integrate them throughout the organization and invite employees to embrace them.
All the aforementioned become effective only afterthose in charge have integrity and live their core values authentically. Consistency here builds reputation and brings them the opportunity to earn trust.
People judge leadership quality by what leaders do, not what they say.
Where leadership grows most
How do we respond when things don’t go our way?
Can we gracefully handle disappointment? We need to resist the temptation to give in to pressure that might cause us to act out in frustration and damage people. Instead, let’s choose to live our values and realize that whatever disappointment we experience is only one scene our much larger story.
Key: Have proper perspective. Turn the page and be grateful for all that we have and bring our best to our next scene.
What if we don’t? Trouble. Only when we own our situation can we truly make the change we need. Anything short makes us a victim. And is there such a thing as a victim-leader?
How do we handle criticism?
Reframe it first.
Criticism, by definition, means we have done something worth criticizing. Wow! Criticism also means our work isn’t for everyone.
Key: When we make something new, our job is to find the person or group it is for and give it to them. Don’t expect everyone will love it.
What if we don’t? We could become defensive, lie, and even become bitter.
Hold on to these feelings too long and we will find it difficult finding people willing to work with us.
Living with a grateful heart and reframing criticism will empower us to give the gifts we bring to those who appreciate them best.
While our story belongs to us, we must beware of those who would make it their own. If we are not purposeful, others will take it and rewrite it from their perspective. Fine when it is theirs to tell, but not when it is ours. Therefore, I encourage you to think hard about what belongs in our story and what doesn’t. Continue reading “Who Writes Our Leadership Story Matters”