Archive - February, 2013

21 Things Leaders Need To Stop Doing

As a consultant and someone who has worked in some leadership capacity for about 20 years, let me tell you – I hear many stories of poor leadership. The poor leadership stories aren’t always sexy, but they seem to be more and more prevalent.

Everyone wants to talk leadership, share leadership, quote leadership and read about leadership. There are thousands of leadership books and blogs and lots of discussion about leadership. Leadership is the buzzword for everything and it should be, because everything truly rises and falls with leadership.

Again, as much as I hear people talking about leadership, I tend to hear more Stories Of Poor Leadership than I do Stories of Great Leadership. That is an unfortunate reality. If people in these leadership roles would simply “Stop It!” – maybe, just maybe we would hear more stories of great leadership.

Stop It, Stop It, Stop It – 21 Things Leaders Need To Stop Doing

  • 1. Stop treating your employees like they are just another number and like you own them.
  • 2. Stop leading out of fear and insecurity.
  • 3. Stop thinking your position or title will make people follow you.
  • 4. Stop trying so hard.
  • 5. Stop flexing your little short-man syndrome muscles.
  • 6. Stop taking all of the credit.
  • 7. Stop thinking firing people is the solution to every problem.
  • 8. Stop letting days, weeks & months go by without praise & atta’ boys for team members.
  • 9. Stop thinking you know more than the individuals who work for you.
  • 10. Stop making excuses for not adjusting your style; “That’s just me” doesn’t work.
  • 11. Stop promoting and surrounding yourself with “Yes Men.”
  • 12. Stop being insensitive to your employee’s life outside of your organization.
  • 13. Stop being a fake chameleon, acting different ways with different people.
  • 14. Stop micromanaging.
  • 15. Stop saying you don’t have time or be unwilling to develop other leaders.
  • 16. Stop being unwilling to look, listen, learn, adjust and change.
  • 17. Stop having so many closed-door meetings.
  • 18. Stop complaining and placing blame on others.
  • 19. Stop thinking the bottom line is the only bottom line. (read more here)
  • 20. Stop thinking a little lack of integrity is okay.
  • 21. Stop reading the leadership blogs and books if you’re not going to apply the principles.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, there are thousands of leadership books and blogs at our disposal. The harsh reality as to why there are so many, is they are deeply needed. As people continue to get promoted beyond their capacity, they become disillusioned and believing that positional equity will carry them. Positional equity will only get you so far. Relational equity will get you much farther down the road; unfortunately relational equity can’t occur if people in these leadership roles don’t Stop It – Stop doing these 21 things.

Stop with all of the Leadership Talk and start walking the Leadership walk.

What do you think? What do these leaders need to stop doing? Add to the list and share your stories of poor leadership. 

Michelle Obama – The Evolution Of Mom Dancing With Jimmy Fallon ((Video))

This crazy viral video of Michelle Obama and Jimmy Fallon “The Evolution Of Mom Dancing.” Great video, I love that it ends with “The Dougie.”

No matter which side of the isle you’re on, you have to appreciate the authentic human and even comedic moments of high profile leaders.

Key Symptom Your Organization Is In Trouble

Symptom – [simp-tuhm]  noun. Any phenomenon or circumstance accompanying something and serving as evidence of it. A sign or indication of something. A phenomenon that arises from and accompanies a particular disease or disorder and serves as an indication of it.

As I look back at the various organizations that I have worked for and consulted with, dating back to 1990 I can pinpoint the key symptom that each of those organizations or teams were in trouble. Turnover is always the key symptom of organizational trouble. I’m not talking about the turnover pastry you get from Arby’s, I’m talking about good people coming in and going out of an organization like a revolving door.

I love working with executive teams, CEO’s and senior leaders when they are having problems; it’s always refreshing to see them have that aha’ moment that turnover was a key indicator that their organization was or is in trouble. The bottom line is there are always definite reasons people leave organizations and that reason is often the same for the majority of people that sit down for the exit interview. Organizations must be willing to be introspective and answer the question, “Why are people leaving?” Once that questions is answered, the second question is, “Do we care?” And the final question is, “What are we going to do about it?”

Turnover is simply a symptom; however it’s a symptom that should lead to the diagnosis of the bigger problem. Just like any other symptom, if it goes untreated it will lead to a much larger problem.

Turnover is The Key Symptom Your Organization Is In Trouble. If people are walking “out” – it’s time that you start looking “in.”

A Major Hinderance To Success

“A major hinderance to success is the fact that people over-value what others think, under-value what God thinks and are ambivalent about what they think.”

~Just a thought!

Awesome Behind The Scenes Moments Before SuperBowl Blackout

Everyone will remember where they were when the SuperBowl Blackout occurred. I was at a hotel outside of Chicago watching the game as snow was falling outside. Where were you? What were you doing?

The above video is some awesome behind the scenes moments just before the SuperBowl Blackout. Ray Lewis goes over to Jacoby Jones and places his hands on him just before his 108 yard kickoff return. Ray Lewis says, “I touched him, I just did what God told me to do.”

Share your thoughts on the video, in addition to where were you were and what you were doing.

Dream Encouragers vs. dream discouragers

In life you tend to become who the most important people in your life thinks you will become. Ever since I can remember, I can point to a time when my mother was my biggest cheerleader and believed that I could do anything. When I didn’t believe in myself, she always believed in me. Every school event, every sporting event, every report card, every college degree, every job promotion and opportunities where I was totally out of my league… She encouraged my dreams.

Today is no different, she is a huge dream encourager; not only does she believe in me, but that same belief is carried over to my son’s. (Nana thinks you can do it) My wife and I try to be Dream Encouragers; encouraging our son’s dreams, even if our 9 year-old wants to be a professional wrestler. (We are encouraging and praying that he doesn’t smell what the Rock is cookin’) Thankfully that’s just one dream.

Are you surrounding yourself with DREAM ENCOURAGERS or dream discouragers? Who is most important to you and what do they think of you? Are they encouraging you or discouraging you? Those are all very important questions and the implications of the answers are even more important.

Surround yourself with people who believe in you. The coolest thing about encouragement and believing is the fact that we have an Awesome God who believes in every one of us, as though there were only one of us.

Find the Dream Encouragers and surround yourself with them. Dream Big Dreams and believe in yourself. Realize that God is your #1 Dream Encourager – Believe It, Seize it and Catch Your Dreams.

A Successful Leadership Culture Goes Beyond The Numbers

Leadership success seems to be relatively easy to measure. You look at the numbers, the success, the growth and the bottom line. Those items are half of the equation; however there is another equally important half to the leadership success equation.

If we focus so much on the numbers and bottom line, we can lose focus of the other half of the equation: healthy culture, healthy work environment, healthy people and an environment free from dictator control.

Dictators can have great numbers, great bottom lines and an appearance of success; while their culture is crumbling all around them. Numbers don’t equal success, numbers are only a piece of success. Over the years I’ve heard people say things like, “I know it had an appearance of success, but that place was a crazy place to work… so and so was a dictator etc.” Those are often the places where constant turnover are just par for the course.

The reality is you can have great numbers and a great bottom line, while simultaneously having a great quality of work life, a healthy work environment and an awesome leadership culture. Numbers, productivity and healthy environments are not mutually exclusive.

Since we are talking numbers and culture, according to CNN Money the #1 Search Engine Giant “Google” has also been named as the #1 Best Company To Work For on the list of 100 Best Companies To Work For.

What makes Google so great?

  • The Numbers: Everything was up at Google last year – revenue, profits, share price, paid search clicks, hiring…
  • The Culture: Employee love, health and culture were also up, as the search giant climbed three slots to the top slot for Best Companies To Work For.

Google’s True Bottom Line: Employees rave about their mission, the culture, and the famous perks of the work complex: bocce courts, a bowling alley, eyebrow shaping (for a fee) in the New York office. Then there’s the food: some 25 cafes company-wide, all gratis.

You don’t have to have bowling alley’s, free eyebrow arching etc.; however it’s important that every organization try to understand that A Successful Leadership Culture Goes Beyond The Numbers.

Share your thoughts and experiences.

5 Calendar Items Of Healthy and Productive People

Calendars, Calendars, Calendars… Each and every one of us has one. Even if you don’t keep a formal one, you still have one.

Calendars help us stay organized and direct our life events. Calendars are the mile-markers of our life events. It’s important that your calendars consist of 5 key elements if you want to have healthy and productive mile-markers.

The one thing that’s not on this list of key elements is prayer. Prayer doesn’t need to be on the list; however it’s critical that it be understood. Prayer is the steering wheel of healthy, successful and productive people. Prayer has to guide, cover, lead, and connect everything that you do. You must use prayer as the steering wheel of your schedule and your life and not simply as your spare tire.

5 Calendar Items Of Healthy and Productive People

  • 1. Time To Think: You must schedule time to get alone, to think and to dream. This thinking time can be alone, in groups, with whiteboards, in silence… the most important aspect of this calendar time is that you are using it to think. (Think, Think, Think)
  • 2. Time To Do:  Go here, go there, do this, do that, accomplish this, accomplish that, workout here, exercise there, to-do this and to-do that. (Do, Do, Do)
  • 3. Time To Rest: You must schedule time to rest, time to refresh, time to energize and time to do absolutely nothing. Stephen Covey refers to this as sharpening your axe. He tells the story of someone so busy cutting down trees (see #2 time to do) that they don’t take time to stop and sharpen their axe. The person who takes the time to sharpen their axe will cut down more trees. (Rest, Rest, Rest)
  • 4. Time To Connect: Meetings are not always a good thing as a matter of fact often times they are little nuisances that get in the way of our daily mile-markers. Although meetings are not always great, connecting with others is highly important. Schedule time to connect with your spouse, family, friends, mentors, colleagues, like-minded folks… There should be times to connect throughout your schedule. Date nights, hang-outs, get-together and meetings for the sole purpose of connecting. (Connect, Connect, Connect)
  • 5. Time To Evaluate: It’s important to take all of the above items coupled with the other elements of life and evaluate them. Assessment, Adjustment and Evaluation are critical to recurring success. If you are not constantly assessing the what, how and when, you may lose focus of the why. (Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate)

What do you think? Share your thoughts and experiences concerning these 5 Items.

The Value Of Being Optimistic by Seth Godin

Are you optimistic?

Reaching Your Dreams

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t reach your dreams, not even those closest to you. If you have a dream protect it, go after it, grab it and seize it.

If you believe it, want it and pursue it… You can reach your dreams. (period)

A little inspiration and motivation from one of my favorite movies of all time.

If you came here looking for the link to provide a review for “Go Big” click here. Somehow the links got inverted, nonetheless “Go Big” is about reaching your dreams. 🙂

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