Archive for the 'leadership' Category

Obamatitis

I just finished speaking with a friend of mine who is in senior management at a local manufacturing plant. Before I get too far into this let me say, my friend is an African-American. Now on to the story…He arrives at work this morning at his usual hour of 8 a.m. and spends the next hour receiving phone calls from employees who say they are sick and cannot come to work today. Nearly 100 of his 225 employees on the day shift had suddenly been consumed by some mysterious virus that had zapped their capacities to work.

Being the professional he is my friend decided to have the company nurse give all them a call in the hopes of ruling out a disease that my infiltrate the plant. To his astonishment, many of his dishonest but honest employees said they were not sick but tired from staying up late last night and celebrating Obamarama.

I totally understand the excitement of all of you who celebrated the Obama victory last night. However, I will say that if you are devoted to the causes of Barrack Obama you would have gotten your rear ends up this morning and went to work.

No reason you can’t party all night and work all day, unless you have a case of Obamatitis.

Chris Columbus was a salesman?

Sales and motivational legend Zig Ziglar has an interesting read in today’s edition of the Zig Ziglar Newsletter. According to Ziglar, “America was discovered by a salesman. Christopher Columbus was looking for India and missed it by about 10,000 miles. Fortunately, he was a better salesman than he was a navigator!”

Read more of Zig’s insight on Columbus and be sure to sign up for his newsletter.

Back in the saddle again…

I’ve tried the daily blog on two previous occasions but never quite found the time to make daily postings. Much of this was due to the fact that I needed to work for clients in order for my family to eat. What has transpired over the past few months has been nothing short of a miracle. Now, thanks to some great friends I can do both.

So what does this mean? As a part of my daily routine of supporting and consulting with clients I will be sharing stories through the blog.

It’s been a while and I know I’ll need to relearn the ropes. I’m happy to be back in the saddle and sincerely hope I can share some insights that will make a positive impact in your life.

Never Underestimate the Power of HOPE

I was reminded recently of one of the most important characteristics a true leader must exhibit, Hope. Hope must always be the common theme throughout our leadership processes. A project without hope is doomed from the beginning. A team member without hope is doomed for failure. A leader without hope is an incurable cancer that will affect the entire team.

A friend of mine shared a story with me recently of a team leader who called a meeting with subordinates to discuss a new marketing project. When the team members assembled their leader stood before them and announced, “We have a very tough assignment, but one that must be accomplished. This is our last chance at this, if we don’t get it done this time all of us are out of here.” What little hope team members may have had when they entered the meeting were now dashed. With hope seemingly gone, you can imagine what happened to the project. Yep, it failed and just like the team leader explained, everyone on the project was terminated.

As leaders we are often faced with some pretty tough consequences if those we lead do not perform to levels that exceed the norm. We must always remember that it’s our job to inject those in which we lead with the empowering effects of hope. While we may feel that if the project doesn’t succeed all will be terminated, that message should never be shared with the team. Inject hope instead of doubt.

Inject hope and you’ll be amazed at how the human spirit will react. Hope never disappoints us. I’ve often found that those in which I lead are often searching for hope in their personal, professional and spiritual lives. When I introduce them to hope its amazing how they become more involved in the project, grow personally and ultimately become leaders themselves. And if you’re truly a leader, developing other leaders is the ultimate goal.

Never, ever forget, every project in which you lead must begin with hope!

Thursday Quick Hits

• I received an interesting question yesterday from a new reader of the blog. Apparently, they disagree with my (and leading experts) opinions that leaders are made not born. Folks, I am personal proof that you are not born with leadership abilities. If I had been born with the leadership gene I don’t think I would have made and continue make mistakes in leadership. I am a firm believer that leadership is a journey, a process.

• While conversing with a friend I felt the need to encourage him to get out of his comfort zone and realize he was a leader at his place of employment. He had the typical response, “I’m not in management, I can’t lead.” Unfortunately that’s exactly what we’ve been brainwashed into believing…if you’re not at the top of the chain then you’re not a leader. Mark Sanborn in his book “You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader,” discusses this topic in detail and explains that leadership is influence and not merely your position. If you positively influence others, if you inspire others, if you work to achieve goals by working with or coordinating the efforts of others, then you’re a leader. Don’t know about you but I think that pretty much takes care of everyone, from the middle school drama student all the way to Grandma’s bridge club. If you haven’t read Sanborn’s book PLEASE do so immediately…it should be required reading for anyone with a pulse.

• It always amazes me how seasons come and go in our lives. For the past few years I have poured my heart and soul into the leadership development of others. I found out long ago that the best way for me to learn is to teach. But for whatever reason, over the past few months more people who are going through some pretty tough situations have crossed my path. It’s becoming more apparent to me that I’m entering a season that will have me assist them in restoring their dreams, their finances, and their life. I’m pretty juiced about it too!

• College football season is upon us. Living in the south I can’t help but be biased toward the SEC and its 12 teams. So, I’m definitely pumped that tonight’s LSU/Mississippi State game marks the commencement of another season. Let’s just hope the bullies have some bite for the Bengal Tigers.

• I’m currently involved in a pretty radical project to assist in energizing and equipping members of a church to become small group leaders. Over the past few weeks we’ve tweaked the game plan and have what I believe will be the tools for a successful project. However, in order for us to win this game we actually need to kick it off. Good ideas are just that as long as we wait and twiddle our thumbs waiting for the right time to kick this thing off. Success requires action and I’ve about had it with the inaction of not getting this party started. The inaction of the churches leader’s is so loud I can’t hear a darn word their saying!

• May all of you have a tremendous and safe Labor Day Weekend.

Belated as it may be, here are a couple of hip pointers to leadersHIP.

Keepin’ it real

I’m preaching to the choir on this one. I suffer from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) when it comes to organization. I often over organize and miss out on giving others and myself the opportunity to sit back and soak in the effects our action. Often times after I’ve organized a task or event myself and those who work with me are on to the next thing and do not take the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. That’s not too hip.

For all the arrows that are shot toward the present and next generation, one attribute these generations share cannot be overlooked and that attribute is get-in-your-grill, John Wayne type honesty. People of these generations can spot a fake 20 miles away. They want us to be real and often times that means not over organizing. It means we have to ditch the daily walkthrough meet and greet.

I know this will seem too simple, but to put the HIP in leadership with these generations we must seek and take advantage of those opportunities when we are one on one people. Group recognition is great, but with these generations it’s more about being genuine and the best way to be genuine is to get in their grill with true and open leadership. Encourage them face-to-face, correct them face-to-face. If we’re too organized it dulls the shine of genuine leadership.

HIP action: Utilize the 30 second rule made famous by leadership expert John Maxwell. Folks, I know this works! Make it a habit to engage those whom you meet for the first time of any given day for at least 30 seconds. Ask them how their evening went, ask them about their game, family and upcoming weekend. 30 seconds isn’t along time especially when you’re asking from them 8 or more hours of personal sacrifice.

Leadership v. Management

Here’s another example of how important it is for us to realize the difference between leadership and management. As evidenced below, a person can choose two ways to manage, correctly or incorrectly, management or mismanagement. True leadership is black and white, it either is or it isn’t. You’re either a leader or not. There’s no such thing as a misleader. This story exemplifies management with the absence of leadership.

While working out at the gym yesterday I couldn’t help but overhear an employee’s phone conversation. Apparently, he had heard through another employee that management would come later in the day for a termination meeting. As expected the soon to be fired employee was fuming and the fire could be heard throughout the gym. Paying closer attention to the one sided conversation I couldn’t help but be amazed at what I was hearing. Management had thought it would be a great idea to let another employee tip the soon-to-be-terminated employee of his impending doom. Management believed by doing this the terminated employee would resign his position before being terminated.

I’m amazed! Never in my life, especially in these days of increased work violence, have I heard of a more illogical approach to termination. By their mismanagement and illogical approach to termination they have thrown gas onto what was already a volatile situation. Hopefully, they have not put the safety of employees, customers and themselves in jeopardy.

Later in the day I’m gonna share with you some hip ways we can lead. Check it out.