Archive - January, 2013

Haunted House Leadership

“Fear is the place where potential is confined.”

Those are words I’ve said for many years, actually dating back to my years of being a Prison Warden. Fear is ugly, crippling, debilitating… it’s a killer. If we want to be successful in life, we must rid ourselves of the spirit of fear. If an organization wants to be successful, they must also rid themselves of fear.

Fear Has No Place In Leadership. Those that call themselves leading with fear are actually not leading, they are controlling, dictating and telling people what to do. Fear embolden’s the dictator, weakens the strong, limits potential, stifles creativity and fosters a spirit of counterfeit behavior.

Fear Has No Place In Leadership. Some of the greatest leaders our world has ever seen, did not lead with the spirit of fear. Leadership is about stewardship, stewardship is about maximization and growth, growth is about development and development is about leadership.

Fear Has No Place In Leadership. If you or your boss is leading from a place that scares people, that’s not leadership, that’s called a haunted house.

Fear Has No Place In Leadership.

Share Your Thoughts and Experiences.

The Facts, Speculation and Truth About Apple’s Stock Dropping

It’s getting kind of crazy in the world of Apple, as the stock drops the sky falls. That’s actually a loaded statement and a glass half empty point of view. Apple’s stock is dropping, as a matter of fact recent numbers show it’s as low as it’s been in the last year. Apple opened up at $430.27 this morning and is trending upwards at about $450 at the time of this post. That’s definitely a far cry from it’s 52 week high of $705.07

The Facts: (According to Apple Press Release)

On January 23, 2013—Apple announced financial results for its 13-week fiscal 2013 first quarter, which ended December 29, 2012. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion. These results compare to revenue of $46.3 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion in the 14-week year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 38.6 percent compared to 44.7 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 61 percent of the quarter’s revenue. Average weekly revenue was $4.2 billion in the quarter compared to $3.3 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Apple sold a record 47.8 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to 37 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold a record 22.9 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 15.4 million in the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 4.1 million Macs, compared to 5.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 12.7 million iPods in the quarter, compared to 15.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

The Speculation: (According to John Koetsier of Venture Beat)

The only problem? Wall Street’s consensus numbers were $54.58 billion (Apple just beat that), 50 million iPhones (Apple actually sold 47.8 million), 23 million iPads (Apple just about made it, selling 22.9 million), 12 million iPods (under Street estimates), and 5 million Macs (well under Street estimates).

The Truth: (According to Me)

The truth of the matter of why Apple’s stock is dropping is because of all of the late adopters and bandwagoner’s expecting Apple to deliver apples, oranges, strawberries and the moon. An even greater truth about why Apple’s stock is dropping is because there’s no Steve Jobs.

No matter how you slice it, Steve Jobs wasn’t only the visionary leader for Apple, his name and face were as iconic as the Apple logo itself. Anytime there was a new release of a project, device, operating system or whatever during Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference, everyone was tuned in with great anticipation. As a matter of fact “Steve Jobs” would trend on Twitter often times before “Apple” would.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not naïve to believe that there are not great people behind the scenes that are actually the folks making things happen at Apple; however I’m also not naïve to believe that the Steve Jobs’ persona (or lack thereof) plays into the the thoughts and decisions of the speculators. The facts don’t lie… Apple is in great financial shape, having more cash on hand than the US Treasury. As other companies are downsizing, Steve Jobs’ visionary leadership set Apple up well to live beyond him and continue building the faithful Apple Tribe. This simple mantra is the catalyst for Apple’s continued success:

“A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.” ~Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was actually a big deal, so much so that his name was synonymous with the brand. On the other hand, the majority of people that own Apple devices, and many of you reading this post, don’t even know the new Apple CEO’s name.

That’s The Truth!

What do you think?

This Is Killing Organizations

Organizations tend to live and die by their Policy and Procedure Manuals.  There are policies and procedures for literally everything.  Just think about your organization and the number of policies and procedures that guide what you do.  Some policies and procedures are written, while others may simply be spoken or understood organizational mores.

There is one policy that in my opinion is the most devastating to an organization.  It’s the Behind Closed Doors Policy! You won’t find this written in your organization’s policy and procedure manual; however you will find it written on the faces of organizational leaders around the globe.

Some behind closed door meetings are appropriate and necessary.  There are many different types of Behind Closed Doors Policies that are detrimental to an organization, just ask Mr. Enron and Mrs. AIG. The Behind Closed Doors Policy that I’m referring to is this — What I say to you in your face is different that what I say about you behind closed doors.  This policy is a killer and often times it’s implemented without even realizing it.  This policy is born out of The Fundamental Flaw Of Leadership, which is rooted in not shooting straight with team members and not allowing them to know where they stand.

I remember changing supervisors one time at a particular job and my new supervisor brought me in his office and said this “Do you want to know what people say about you when you are not in the room?  Well here it is and proceeded to share.” That’s a great starting place and develops an Above Board Policy.

The policy that I have always incorporated into the culture of my various teams in ministry, non-profit and in corporate America is simply this:

  • 1.  You will always know where you stand and never have to guess.
  • 2.  I won’t say anything behind close doors that I have not or am not planning on saying to your face.
  • 3.  I will be gracefully-brutally honest with you and when necessary, in front of the entire team. (this is not an issue of correcting in public; however some issues are are more effectively handled in a public setting, especially when the public group is involved)

Behind Closed Doors Policies born out of an unwillingness to openly confront the brutal facts and they are detrimental to the health and wealth of an organization.  Replace your Behind Closed Doors Policy with an Above Board Policy.  The Above Board Policy always lets people know where they stand and reduces the potential for the detrimental types closed door meetings.

Open The Door and Release The Potential!

Have you experienced negative implications of a Behind Closed Doors Policy?  Share your thoughts on Behind Closed Doors Policy and Above Board Policy.

Slow Down!

Sometimes you get stuck in traffic, catch a cold, come down with the flu, miss an exit, get pulled over by the police, forget something at home, get a headache, get caught up in a long conversation, get stuck at an extended traffic light, miss your flight… No matter the impediment, they are all what I call the speed bumps of life.

Life’s Not A Race, It’s a journey, embrace the speed bumps and Slow Down!

Great Leaders Do This!

Creativity Killers

Creativity is a key ingredient to a successful, thriving and growing organization. Unfortunately some leaders managers kill creativity in their organizations without even realizing it. The Top Creativity Killer In An Organization is micromanagement.

Micro-managers take the dynamics of creativity off the table. The process is a simple one: Team member tries something new, micro-manager watch over their shoulder, questions them and doesn’t give the ideas credibility. Team member in this scenario ultimately get frustrated and stop thinking outside the box and trying new things – thus killing creativity.

To foster creativity, allow team members to try new things, chart new courses and sail new waters. In order for this to work, leaders must be okay with both failures and fumbles. The successes and the failures should be recognized and the process and thought behind both should be applauded. Freedom, flexibility, solutions, ideas, risks, opinions, opportunity, experiment, failure… are all words that help foster creativity and effectually lead to success.

In order for creativity to permeate through an organization, micromanagement must bid farewell to that organization.

Share your thoughts and experiences with creativity killers.

44 #MLK Quotes (All Retweetable)

Just imagine if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had Twitter or other social networking applications at his disposal, his message would have been even more world changing.  He was known as one of the best orators of his day and one of the top in the history of the country.  The exponential impact of his sound bites and oratory skills would have been extremely powerful with a tool like Twitter.

I believe we take for granted the fact that our message, story, voice and thoughts can literally be globally shared at our leisure and by the push of a button.  This year in the United States we set aside Monday, January 16th. to honor the life of a civil rights leader, pastor and social justice martyr.  MLK positively impacted the US and the world in so many ways, I think it’s great the US has an official holiday in his honor.

Last year, my wife and I were in Atlanta during the MLK Holiday. We visited the Atlanta Memorial and the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church that Dr. King pastored. This summer we took our sons and visited the MLK  Memorial at the National Mall in Washington DC and stood at the very place he delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

This year I’m sharing 44 of Dr. King’s memorable quotes that could have easily  been tweets. 44 in remembrance of 44 years ago he sacrificed his life so that we could dream. Not only are they tweetable (at 140 characters or less), they are all short enough to be retweetable (122 characters or less).  Quotes can have such power, as a matter of fact I used a number of Dr. King’s quotes to illustrate some power points in my book.

44 Retweetable #MLK Quotes

  • 1. Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or darkness of destructive selfishness. #MLK
  • 2. A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. #MLK
  • 3. To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. #MLK
  • 4. Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. #MLK
  • 5. I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. #MLK
  • 6. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. #MLK
  • 7. The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict. #MLK
  • 8. We are not makers of history. We are made by history. #MLK
  • 9. We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now. #MLK
  • 10. We must face the sad fact that Sunday morning when we stand 2 sing, we stand in the most segregated hour in America. #MLK
  • 11. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. #MLK
  • 12. We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. #MLK
  • 13. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” #MLK
  • 14. The measure of a man isn’t whr he stands in moments of comfort, but whr he stands @ times of challenge & controversy. #MLK
  • 15. If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live. #MLK
  • 16. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.  #MLK
  • 17. We must use time creatively — and forever realize that the time is always hope to do great things. #MLK
  • 18. The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be.  #MLK
  • 19. The time is always right to do what is right. #MLK
  • 20. I have a dream my 4 little children will 1 day liv in a nation whr they will not B judged by the color of their skin. #MLK
  • 21. Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. #MLK
  • 22. Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. #MLK
  • 23. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. #MLK
  • 24. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. #MLK
  • 25. When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. #MLK
  • 26. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. #MLK
  • 27. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. #MLK
  • 28. Lightning makes no sound until it strikes. #MLK
  • 29. There is no gain without struggle. #MLK
  • 30. A right delayed is a right denied. #MLK
  • 31. It may be true that the law can’t make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me; that’s pretty important. #MLK
  • 32. If we do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation. #MLK
  • 33. One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong. #MLK
  • 34. Quietly endure, silently suffer and patiently wait. #MLK
  • 35. Hate destroys the hater… #MLK
  • 36. True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice. #MLK
  • 37. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. #MLK
  • 38. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. #MLK
  • 39. Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. #MLK
  • 40. We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear. #MLK
  • 41. Science investigates religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge (power), religion gives man wisdom (control). #MLK
  • 42. We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. #MLK
  • 43. Seeing is not always believing. #MLK
  • 44. I Have A Dream! #MLK

There are so many more tremendous quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  These are just 44 retweetable quotes that have stood out to me over the years.  Please share your favorites from the above list or any other #MLK quotes that you like.  If you can share them in 120 characters or less, please do so. This will allow them to be retweetable.

Happy #MLK Holiday!  Please take a few moments on #MLK Holiday to share some quotes, watch a speech, serve in the community, attend the parade, talk to your family about his impact over dinner, communicate to your team that you value the holiday and what Dr. King stood for…  Do something!

Your Name Brings Healing To Me – Planetshakers Pastor Sam Evans

Here is a short iPhone shot of Planetshakers Pastor Sam Evans (@planetshakersam) leading “Your Name Brings Healing To Me” at the opening night of the 1st ever @Planetshakers USA Conference. #Limitless

It was a great night seeing people worship, awesome word by @PastorChrisHill and the overall environment was rich as people were clearly having an encounter with God. Check out their new #Limitless CD that just released.

Lead Like A Leaky Faucet

Some leaders are either really hot or really cold. They either lead like a faucet turned on full blast or absent like a faucet in the off position. Leaders should lead like a leaky faucet. Leadership, vision, direction, values and development constantly drip like a leaky faucet.

The value of Leading Like A Leaky faucet is the treasure found in the constant drip. No time to rest after a huge win, because another drip is coming. No time to get down on yourself after a big loss, another drip is coming. If you want to grow, just wait another drip is coming. Looking for vision, a vision drip is around the corner. Need a little reminder of the core values, a value drip is coming.

Drip, Drip, Drip… Lead Like A Leaky Faucet. 

The Nurturing Leader

When people hear the word “nurturing” they tend to think of “mothering.” Their minds go to positive places, delightful places and encouraging places. When people hear the words “Nurturing Leader” their minds may go to a totally different place and think of a leader who is: soft, too nice, a mother figure and a push over.

Lets start by defining nurturing and jump into what being a nurturing leader is all about:

nur·ture [nur-cher] verb, nur·tured, nur·tur·ing.

  • 1. to feed and protect: to support and encourage, as during the period of training or development; to bring up; train; educate.

Nurturing Leaders are some of the best kinds of leaders as they are focused on feeding, protecting, encouraging and developing those they lead. They are focused on developing individuals personally, professionally and holistically. They care more about the individual than they do what the individual brings to their organization.

Nurturing Leaders don’t see people as an ends to a means, they see people as a gift to steward, a life to shape, a person to encourage and a leader to release. Just like a mother loves to see her offspring grow, develop and reach amazing heights; the nurturing leader loves to see those they lead grow, develop and reaching amazing heights.

Plain and simple, “Nurturing Leaders” nurture, enhance and develop more leaders.

What do you think? Share your thoughts and experiences with the concept of a “Nurturing Leader.”
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