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Seth Godin On The Fallacy Of More Is Better

Does more = better? Seth Godin says “Not so much.”

Simple and great insights.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Be Doing The Work That You Love

do loveIt’s been said that if you do the work that you love that you will never work another day in your life. Well, that’s kind of sort of true. I love what I do; however i is work, it’s hard work. It’s a paradoxical tension that I’ve learned to appreciate. I love spending time with family, sharing the Gospel, strategizing, connecting, thinking, dreaming, leading, challenging and helping others win. Fortunately, that’s what I do every day.

I love what I do and you should to. The reason so many people are not able to do the work that they love is because they are fearful of what would happen if they took that step of faith.

“STOP worrying about what would happen if you made those tough decisions and took the big risks. START worrying about the haunting regret you will experience if you never make the tough decisions, take the big risks and your life remains the same.”

10 Reasons You Should Be Doing The Work That You Love

  • 1. It’s what you love… duh.
  • 2. Life is too short to be wasting time doing work that you don’t even like.
  • 3. If you are sharp enough to rise to a leadership role for an organization you are not particularly fond of, you’re definitely sharp enough to successfully do something you love.
  • 4. It’s easier to wake up in the morning, when you’re waking up to do what you love.
  • 5. You are consistently motivated by an inner desire to do what you love and the success of it all is simply a nice bonus.
  • 6. Your dreams can be centered around what you love instead of dreaming about how to get out of a situation that you don’t like.
  • 7. You only live once on this earth. ((repeat))
  • 8. If you find yourself in what you perceive as mediocre work situation – you don’t have much to loose, pursue the work you love.
  • 9. If you don’t feel that you can leave the financial security, ask yourself “Will the money be the most important piece of my life puzzle 5-10-15 years from now?” Better yet talk to someone in the “Car Business” that chased the dollar their entire life.
  • 10. There is a reason something you love is burning deep down inside of you – it’s because it’s what you were created to do.

There are some great lyrics and encouragement for those contemplating, desiring or thinking about pursuing the work they love found in hip hop artist Emimen’s song “Lose Yourself.”

“Lose Yourself”

If you had one shot, one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?

You can do anything you set your mind to. ~Eminem

Maybe it’s time that you “Lose Yourself” or better yet, it’s time that you find yourself, it’s time that you do what you love and love what you do.

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5 Distinctions Of A Next-Level Leader

next level leaderThere are many different thoughts or definitions of what a Next-Level Leader is or what pairing those two words together actually means. In this post I will provide my personal definition of what a Next-Level Leader is, in addition to identifying 5 Distinctions of A Next-Level Leader.

The definition of a Next-Level Leader is this- A leader that not only elevates their personal leadership to the Next-Level, but elevates the leadership of their team members, peers, their organization and competition to the Next-Level. They challenge the status quo and elevate elevate the level of performance of those around them; both friends and foes.

Below are the 5 Distinctions of A Next-Level Leader, Next-Level Leaders always do these things:

1.) Challenge Things- Next-Level Leaders challenge things because they are supposed to be challenged. They not only challenge the thoughts/methods of their leaders, but they challenge their own methodology. They realize that their boss puts their pants on just like they do and embrace the fact that just because a person a supervisor doesn’t mean they are necessarily smarter or better leaders, or that they can’t add value to the conversation. Challenging things is not about being combative, but rather raising everyone’s leadership game to the Next-Level. It’s okay to respectfully disagree. Don’t get the willingness to challenge things confused with being obstinate.

2.) Ask The Right Questions- Next-Level Leaders always ask the right questions… They begin sentences with “What If?, Have You Ever Thought About?, This Might Sound Crazy, but do you think we can…” Anytime they have the opportunity to sit down with another Next-Level Leader that they desire to learn from, they come with a list of questions and not a list of answers. They take their leadership game to the Next-Level by asking the right questions.

3.) dream BIG- Next-Level Leaders are always dreaming and imagining. Some of these dreams may seem to be a fairy-tale to some, but not to a Next-Level Leader.  A Next-Level Leader will schedule an appointment to dream, they go to Starbucks and dream, they close their office door and dream, they take a vacation alone to do nothing but dream. They take their leadership game to the Next-Level by dreaming BIG, encouraging those around them to dream BIG, writing their dreams down and making those dreams a reality. They dream BIG. think BIGGER.

4.) Learners- Next-lLevel leaders are always learning from: books, blogs, their industry, history, other industries, culture, failures, television, their followers, various industries and other Next-Level Leaders. They have a mantra something like Will Rogers’ Mantra “I never met a man I didn’t like.” The Next-Level Leaders mantra sounds a little something like this: “I Never Met a Man, Woman or Situation that I didn’t learn from.” They elevate their leadership game to the next-level by realizing that learning is fundamental.

5.) Produce Next-Level Leaders- Next-Level Leaders produce Next-Level Leaders, period the end. Next-Level Leaders contribute to the world of leadership by truly caring about those that they lead and always developing Next-Level Leaders. They never confuse Management with Leadership. They understand that managers manage people and things, while Next-Level Leaders produce other Next-Level Leaders. Simply put: “If You Are Not Developing and Producing Next-Level Leaders, You Are Not A Next Level Leader.” Next-Level leadership is not about how tall your tree can grow, but rather the type of fruit your tree can produce.

I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.“~Ralph Nader

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Man Dies In Church and Pastor E. Dewey Smith and Church Members Pray Him Back To Life In Jesus Name

Seriously, this is a must watch video from this past Sunday at House Of Hope in Atlanta. Pastor E. Dewey Smith is an awesome man of God and I love his example of faith in this video and always. I know him, he’s a friend, this is the real deal and  this is how he rolls in Jesus’ Name. I’d like to warn you if you are watching this in a quiet place or public place (like work or Starbucks) you may find yourself taking a praise break out and start shouting.

A couple of highlight moments and statements:

  • They can perform CPR, but only God can give breath.
  • Church Nurse: “He’s Gone… He was gone!”
  • IV stands for I’m Victorious
  • I’ve been telling y’all God is Real

Enjoy!

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Great Leadership Cultures Are Willing To Challenge “The King” and Great Leaders Want To Be Challenged

king1In all my years of leadership/followership and from my experience providing leadership consulting, I have come to realize that Great Leaders and Great Leadership Cultures are willing to Challenge ‘The King.”  I’m not talking about challenging King LeBron James to a game of 1 on 1. I’m referring to “The King” as the Big Boss, The CEO, The Department Chair, Team Leader, The Senior Pastor, The President… The Senior Leader that’s making the decisions, ‘The King.”

What generally happens in an organization is that “The King” develops a style, a system and a reputation for the types of decisions that he or she will make and the type of feedback that they are willing to receive. Over time, those that are closest to “The King” begin to accept those tendencies as the law. This inevitably leads challengeable actions, decisions and offenses going un-challenged. The excuses for not challenging “The King” range from,”that’s just how so and so is — you know they will not even entertain that thought.” This type of situation and culture is not good for “The King,” those that follow and the organization as a whole.

“The King” ends up leading from an isolated rarely challenged clueless bubble. A bubble that’s not going to bust because it’s not being poked, prodded and challenged. Those that follow “The King” will sit around and talk about what “The King” is or is not doing and the decisions “The King” is or is not making, which only leads to more problems for “The King” and the organization.

Great Leaders Challenge “The King” which not only makes them better leaders, it makes the King a better King. If an organization is being led by a King that is not willing to be challenged by those around him, the organization is being set up for failure. If leaders are not willing to challenge “The King” they will never be great leaders and are stifling their leadership potential. If an organization doesn’t foster a “culture of challenge” at all levels, it’s time to change the culture. Great Leaders Challenge “The King” and Great Kings create a culture where all things, decisions and people will be challenged… including themselves.

If an organizational culture allows for this absolute, imperious, or overbearing control to permeate through their organization, they are setting their organization up to become a dictatorship.

Great Leadership Cultures Awe Willing To Challenge “The King” and Great Leaders Want To Be Challenged

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STOP Only Looking For The Mountaintop Celebration

mountaintop

Often times people look for the big hoorah and the mountaintop celebrations. They want the big win, a chance to celebrate, an opportunity to look up and see progress in the rearview mirror.

We must learn to celebrate in the valleys, the flatlands and the moments where success appears to be only a thought, a hope, a wish and a dream.

Dreams are always within an arms reach of those who understand how to celebrate each and every step along the journey.

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10 Reasons People Will Follow A Leader Anywhere

follow123We have all worked for various types of leaders with various types of leadership gifts; however every once and awhile we get to work for that leader whom we would follow anywhere. One of the ultimate compliments an employee can pay to their leader is “I would work for you or follow you anywhere!” This doesn’t mean that it’s all about that leader, it simply means that particular employee was bought into how that leader carried the organizational vision and how that leader impacted them personally.

I have personally made that statement to a leader that I have worked for and have been humbled by having individuals that I have worked alongside pay me that same compliment. I have a hypothesis on the reasons why someone would make such a bold statement.

10 Reasons People Will Follow A Leader Anywhere:

  • 1. They have a mind of their own, not a “Yes Man or Yes Woman.”
  • 2. They always maintain a high degree of integrity.
  • 3. They don’t have temper tantrums; yell, scream, cuss…
  • 4. They truly care about their employees personally, what’s happening in their lives outside of the organization.
  • 5. They are committed to developing and making every team member better.  They maximize the gifts of their employees, don’t micro-manage and free-up their employees to soar.  Under their tutelage employees are better leaders both personally and professionally.
  • 6. They always let their employees know where they stand, no surprises.
  • 7. They are willing to receive input and feedback from employees throughout the organizational chart.
  • 8. They balance confidence and humility.  Did I mention they are confident!
  • 9. They can remain appropriately calm under pressure, under fire, under the gun…
  • 10. They produce results and success; They’re Winners!  Although they are successful they understand that their commitment to this world is beyond their role, beyond their degree, beyond their success… Their mark will truly be identified as someone who genuinely cared about people and made positive impacts in the lives of people.

It’s great to have leaders whose leadership impacts you positively enough that you would utter this phrase “I Will Follow That Leader Anywhere!”

 

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Warning – Your Leadership May Be In A Blind Spot

blind spotEveryone loves following a great leader; you love how they think, how they lead and more importantly how they make you feel. Although we all love following those great leaders, it’s important to understand that even the greatest of leaders have blind spots. These blind spots show up as a result of focussing on the “What” of leadership and overlooking the “How” and “Why.” Often times leaders and organizations make a habit of looking forward towards their goals, while rarely look in their rearview mirror or side mirrors to see whats coming, what’s happening around them, how people are feeling and what rough terrain is ahead. The entire organization will follow this same pattern of overlooking blind spots unless the leaders truly encourage otherwise.

By encouraging otherwise, I mean encouraging and embracing the challenging of the organization’s direction, decisions, culture, things that just aren’t quite right and pointing out the blind spots. More often than not leaders become comfortable as it relates to what they can challenge, what they can say, what’s sacred and what would be considered obvious blind spots become “things we don’t do, things our boss won’t allow or things that simply won’t change”

Leaders should encourage new hires to actively point out blind spots during their 1st 90 days of employment.Those fresh eyes and fresh perspectives are invaluable to an organization. Organizations should consider changing up the executive leadership team from time to time. This one is tricky, because there is tremendous value in having a consistent leadership team; however there is also tremendous value in someone new at the leadership table that is more willing to point out the blind spots, break what’s become normal, bring a fresh new outlook and challenge the status quo.

Another great way that organizations can begin to see their blind spots is by bringing in a reputable 3rd party consultant or strategist, whose only agenda is to be objective and help the organization reach their desired goals. Lastly, have a blind spot meeting – a meeting where you invite some of the brightest, most critical, outspoken, futuristic, company Kool-aid drinking and play it safe people all in the same room to do nothing more than point out blind spots. (This is fun)

When organizations make it a point to actively point out blind spots the organization will not only drive with the mindset of looking ahead, and periodically looking in the rearview mirror. The organization can tap into the use of the various side mirrors and overhead perspectives to help them see their blind spots. This is not a magic potion type of fix, it’s a process that takes time, focus and commitment to driving with greater leadership clarity.

Blind spots: Every organization has them, only few are willing to point them out.

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Stuart Scott’s ESPYS Speech “Never Give Up”

This is awesome and inspiring. Well done Stuart Scott.

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7 Ways Leaders Destroy Their Teams

fail2Often times when it comes to “leadership” we hear the warm and fuzzies or the great success stories. There are so many great books and tools at the disposal of leaders that growth, competency and effective leadership should be inevitable. The challenge with that theory is it’s rendered “not always true” because of the simple fact that leadership deals with human beings and human beings are rather complex creatures. Anytime you are dealing with people things are never that simplistic.

Another reason being an effective leader is not that simple is that fact that book knowledge doesn’t always translate to street knowledge {{translation – just because you can read it and talk it, deosn’t mean that you can effectively apply it}}.

A key understanding to leadership how ineffective and incapable individuals find themselves in key leadership roles is this: people hire people, who hire people, who hire people. Somewhere within those three generations of hiring, there are people placed in roles of leadership that they are not capable of handling. In my tenure working as a Deputy Prison Warden, before being promoted to Warden, I worked for a leader that definitely should not have been in her role. She literally destroyed her staff and destroyed her team. Not only did she destroy them, she didn’t have the self-awareness to make the necessary adjustments. She was a “Leadership Destroyer.” In consulting over the last 14 years, I have seen and heard about these “Leadership Destroyers” more often than I’d like to admit.

Unfortunately the “Leadership Destroyers” are not isolated to my experiences, if you live long enough and work for enough people, there is a good chance that you will work for one of these destroyers. To help identify how these leaders managers destroy their teams, I have identified 5 ways.

7 Ways Leaders Destroy Their Teams

  • 1. My Way Or The Highway (MWOH): Everyone has an opinion and often times people have thoughts, ideas and suggestions that can be helpful to those that are in charge. MWOH is fueled by the insecurity of the Leadership Destroyer. MWOH can create an environment of control, but not an environment of healthy success. Listen to your team, involve your team, learn from your team and embrace the reality that the collective sum is much better than the Big-Headed MWOH Leader.
  • 2. All About The Numbers: The numbers do matter, the bottom line is important and if it doesn’t make dolla$ it doesn’t make sense.  In business, ministry or non-profit work, it’s important to measure things as it’s a great barometer for success. Where numbers become a problem is when the Leadership Destroyer focuses on the numbers, bottom line and measurables so much that they forget about their team of people who are making those numbers happen. They lose sight of the “how” because they are so focused on the “what.” Number matter, but people matter more. Focus on creating a healthy team and healthy numbers will be a natural bi-product.
  • 3. Talk But Don’t Listen: No one can get a word in or have an opinion because the Leadership Destroyer is always talking. Not only are they always talking, they never listen. If people are not heard, they will cease to say the things that matter. Shh (be quiet) Listen!
  • 4. Change Things For The Sake Of Changing Things: Change is good and sometimes necessary to create forward momentum. The Leadership Destroyer takes this to another level by changing things just to let you know that they’re the boss. They are unwilling to receive feedback or go back to what worked, even if their change isn’t working. I heard a great thought from OSU Football Coach Mike Gundy from his press conference during OSU’s great season several years back.  This articular season OSU was ranked #2 and they were rolling like a well-oiled machine. Mike Gundy said, (paraphrasing) “I try to change things up a bit, just to justify my existence. My team will come to me and say I think we need to stick to XYZ and this is why. Often times what they are saying makes perfect sense and I change it back.” It’s important to survey the impact, timing and necessity of change.
  • 5. They Just Don’t Care:  The quickest way to destroy a team is to not care about the players on the team. Team members know the difference between the fake stuff and the genuine care and concern for the individual players and the collective team. Leadership Destroyers care more about their title, role, corner office and the fact that they have arrived than they do their team. One of the things that the inmates used to say when I was a Warden in regards to leadership and life is this, “It’s All About Missouri!” In other words, Missouri is the Show-Me State.  I’ll close with the words of John Maxwell, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
  • 6. Focused On Pleasing The Boss - It’s okay to want to perform for your supervisor and help you organization be successful. Leadership Destroyers take it to a whole-nutha-level. The Leadership Destroyer will do anything and everything to look good, rather than doing any and everything right. The all-consuming thoughts of wondering what the boss thinks will lead these destroyers to destroy their team, chunk team members under the bus and not give proper credit where proper credit is due.
  • 7. Unwilling To Receive Candid Feedback - When an individual is unwilling to listen to feedback because “It may hurt” or “It isn’t what they want to hear,” they are in trouble. You can’t win with thin skin. Once team members realize the Leadership Destroyer is unwilling to receive feedback, they will stop giving feedback. Once team members stop giving feedback, the Leadership Destroyers find themselves on an island. Islands are great places to vacation, but horrible places to find yourself when you are trying to lead a team.
Leadership Destroyers destroy everything.
What Do You Think?  Share your thoughts and experiences with any of thes
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