Archive - August, 2012

Wesley Runs For A 46 Yard Touchdown

Wesley’s 8th grade football team had their 1st game of the season tonight. He had a great game and his team won 30-0. Really good group of kids. Again, I apologize for my bad recording… I’m not very good. 🙂

Underwater Leadership

Underwater Leadership is a leadership form where leaders and team members are constantly under water, over their head and always gasping for air. They pop their head above water for a quick breath, completion of a project, a quick high five and then it’s back to being under water.

Not only are Underwater leaders drowning themselves, they are sinking the rest of their organizations right along with them. The only thing they know how to do is to do more stuff, add more stuff and weigh themselves down with things that keep them underwater.

Don’t be an underwater leader… stop weighing down yourself and others. Do everything you can to lead above water. Get some oxygen, catch your breath and fly at a higher altitude.

2 Simple ways to determine if you are an underwater leader:

  • You’re drowning
  • Your team is drowning

If you want to know if you’re drowning, ask yourself and ask your family. If you want to know if your team is drowning, simply ask them.

Lead Above Water.

What do you think? Are you leading underwater? Is your boss leading underwater? Share your thoughts and experiences with Underwater Leadership

7 Ways Leaders Destroy Their Teams

Often 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 last year.  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 these 7 Ways Leadership Destroyers Destroy Their Teams.

Help Me With The Title Of My New Book

I have a new little book that is realeasing soon… I’d like your help with finalizing the sub-title. Take a minute to complete the short survey here. It seriously will take you less than 1 minute. Thanks in advance!

Here is the survey link again.

BTW – I use the online software survey by Fluid. It’s Awesome!

Don’t Waste Your Time Doing This

Don’t spend your time worrying about what people think. The reality is most people don’t really care and don’t think much about you because they are too busy thinking about themselves. Don’t waste your time doing this… it’s such a waste of time.

Stop worrying about what people think… Start worrying about what God thinks.

What do you think?

Jayden Breaks a Tackle and Cuts Up Field For TD

My 9yo son Jayden broke a tackle and cut up field for a touchdown. My apologies for the poor recording, I’m horrible at recording. 🙂

I really look forward to football season. Little League, Middle School, High School, College and NFL. Let’s Go!

Are you looking forward to football season?

Born To Learn

Where should I be learning from? I’m not even sure if that question is proper English; however I do know that it’s a great question to ask. The answer to the question is this: “from a variety of places.” If we want to grow we must learn from many different places, especially places outside of our normal purview.

If you are in ministry and you are only learning from ministry books, people and stuff… you are missing out. If you are in sales and you are only learning from sales folks… you are missing out. If you are a coach and you only learn from coaches… you are missing out.

I learn from politicians, air line companies, restaurants, my wife, blogs, car commercials, shoe boxes, window shopping, people watching, my kids, television, Chick-fil-A, radio, culture, criminals, weather men, football coaches, girl blogs, fashion designers, marting gurus, Seth Godin, Target, road construction workers, babies, clouds, birds, from the Delta Flight Attendant that just said on behalf of Northwest Airlines…

You were Born to Learn. You don’t have to teach a baby to learn, that’s what they were born to do. Open your eyes, search for new people, places and things to learn from.

If you limit where you learn, you limit the potential of your growth.

What do you think?

Why You Should Learn To Create Resistance

If you want to be successful, you must learn to create resistance. Not only do you need to learn to create resistance, but you must develop thick enough skin to weather the storms of resistance. Don’t over-personalize situations of friction and resistance.

If you want to be great — you must challenge the status quo. If you want to make things happen, you must create some resistance somewhere along the way. Tomorrow’s successes are planted in today’s soil of resisting, opposing, and withstanding.

There is no movement without friction and you can’t light a match without friction. Create some friction and light that fire of success.

If you are not experiencing resistance, chances are you’re playing life too safe.

Learn To Create Resistance

What’s Up With The Shoes?

Shoes can tell you a lot about a person. Shoes are the one clothing item, the one accessory, the one thing you wear that have a unique personality. I pay attention to shoes and when I used to wear dress shoes all of the time, I’d even notice a great shoe shine.

I happen to have a wife that likes shoes; all styles of shoes, all types of shoes and each and every pair have a unique personality. If there is a clothing item or accessory that I will get a compliment on, its always shoes first and then watch second. People simply notice shoes.

I’m on a flight as I’m typing this and I’m at all of the shoes around me, all of them speak to the unique personality of the individuals wearing them. There is a young teenage girl with some red Beats by Dre headphones on and she has on “slides” that’s what the youngsters call flip-flop type shoes that don’t go through the toes. The guy to my left has on some black and blue Vanns. The girl to my sight has on some metallic looking Sperry loafers. The crying, singing, yelling child behind me has on some light up Spiderman shoes. The really tall slender model looking lady in front of me has on some really tall yellow high heels. This older guy just behind me has on some black Johnson and Murphy’s. The guy a couple rows up has on some Nike Free’s; additionally there are flip flops and sandals throughout the airplane. Oh and I’m wearing my comfy, traveling Diesel slide on canvas shoes.

Shoes really do say something about and individual and their uniqueness. They speak to where you’re from, where you’re at and where you’re going.

Is it just me or do you think the same thing?

What’s up with the shoes?

The Fields Preached Me A Sermon… And I Listened

Read this passage of scripture from Proverbs 24:30-34… Share your thoughts.

The Fields Preached Me A Sermon… And I Listened

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