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11 Great Leadership and Vision Quotes

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11 Great Leadership and Vision Quotes

  • 1. “A leader’s job is to look into the future and see the organization, not as it is, but as it should be.” ~Jack Welch
  • 2. “All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” ~Orison Swett Marden
  • 3. “Big thinkers are specialists in creating positive, forward-looking, optimistic pictures in their own minds and in the minds of others.” ~David J. Schwartz
  • 4. “Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” – Goethe
  • “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” ~John Welch
  • 5. “If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder of giants.” — Isaac Newton
  • 6. “Leaders need to be optimists.  Their vision is beyond the present.” ~Rudy Giuliani
  • 7. “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” ~Stephen R. Covey
  • 8. “The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.” ~Eric Hoffer
  • 9. “The most elusive and desired quality of leadership is vision. Vision is the perfume of the mind.” ~Harriet Rubin
  • 10. “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” ~Theodore M. Hesburgh
  • 11. “Transmit your vision emotionally by gaining credibility, demonstrating passion, establishing relationships and communicating a felt need. Transmit it logically by confronting reality, formulating strategy, accepting responsibility, celebrating victory and learning from defeat.“ ~John Maxwell

The 5 Best And 5 Worst Types Of Leaders

best worst

There are all types of leaders, Good, Bad and Ugly. The reality is some “so called” leaders are actually LINO’s, not to be con LIONS. LINO’s are Leaders In Name Only. Yes, they are only “leaders” because of their name, title or corner office only.

The Best and Worst Types of Leaders can be divided into a number of simple categorical descriptions. I’m going to share 5 of each, believe me there are definitely more.

The 5 Worst Types Of Leaders are:

  • The leaders who are only in a role because a close friend or family member placed them there. It’s obvious to everyone inside and outside of the organization that they don’t belong in any sort of leadership role of any kind. As long as their sugar daddy, sugar momma or whatever title you want to give to that friend or family member that placed them there is living and in the organization they will be there. Not to mention they will be there messing things up, pointing fingers and causing problems fro everyone around them.
  • The leaders who are oblivious to anything and everything. They can’t see, feel or smell anything that’s happening around them. Their lack of self-awareness and leadership peripheral vision is causing everyone in the organization to get blind-sided by their blind spots.
  • The Leaders who take all of the credit for the good and accept none of the responsibility for the bad. Not only are they not willing to look in the mirror, they don’t even own a mirror.
  • The Leaders who are from the Sadaam Hussain School Of Dictator Leadership. My Way Or The Highway and Because I Said So type of leader.
  • The Insecure, Chameleon that changes depending on who is in the room. This leader also puts on the facade of being tough and strong when the reality is everything they do, say and think is through their internal lens of insecurity.

The 5 Best Types Of Leaders are:

  • The leaders who understand “There is no ‘I’ in team” is more than a slogan or a cute leadership phrase. They embrace the team concept, they use “us and we” type of language. They truly understand that “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
  • The leaders who value leadership development. They talk it, they live it, they put resources towards it and they evaluate its outcomes. These leaders understand they their leadership and the success of their organization ceases if leaders are not truly developed. They hold themselves accountable not only to their personal growth and development, but the development of those individuals that are under their tutelage. They truly develop leaders. More times than not the leaders who have worked for them go on to do bigger, better and greater things.
  • The leaders who genuinely care about the people that they lead. They understand that the folks that they lead are more than a number, a cog in a wheel and a means to an end. They understand that they are real people, with real lives, real dreams, real families, real life challenges and are ultimately a part of an awesomely real team.
  • The leaders who lead by example. Some people get leading by example confused with doing all of the work and that’s not the case at all. Yes this leader works hard but leading by example is how you work, how you act and how you live. Leading with integrity, demonstrating a standard of excellence, treating people fair and doing the right thing even when no one is watching. This leader gives credit where credit is due, accepts responsibility and is an overall great example.
  • They are constant learners. They learn from people inside and outside of the organization and people up and down the organizational chart. They understand, “At the point you stop learning is the point in which you start dying.”

The True Essence Of Great Leadership and How To Develop Great Leaders

Great video explaining The True Essence of Great Leadership and How To Develop Great Leaders.

11 Key Attributes Of Awesomely Great Leaders

great leaderThere are many attributes that leaders from all facets possess. A number of these attributes are positive and unfortunately some not so positive. Organizations, teams and people in general are always searching for desirable attributes in leaders they want to work for. Not only leaders they want to work for, but leaders who inspire them to work harder and faster all while developing their personal leadership.

The types of leaders that inspire and produce greatness all around them are always highly sought after; however the are often hard to find. A few key indicators that an organization, team or department is led by one of these great leaders is the the fact that they generally have a positive, healthy and productive work environment with minimal turnover.

If we take it a step further and look beyond these key indicators, we can generally find that these great leaders can be identified by a set of inherent characteristics. I have broken these inherent characters into 11 key attributes.

11 Key Attributes Of Awesomely Great Leaders

  • 1. Honesty – Tell the truth; even if lying is easier — tell the truth. || “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” ~Thomas Jefferson
  • 2. Integrity – Do what’s right; even if nobody is watching — do what’s right. || “There are seven things that will destroy us: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Religion without sacrifice; Politics without principle; Science without humanity; Business without ethics.” ~Mahatma Gandhi and I will add an 8th “Leadership without integrity.”
  • 3. Visionary – Have some vision for where you’re going; empower your team to get you there and if you don’t do anything else — have some vision for where you are going. || “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” ~Thomas Jefferson
  • 4. Self Awareness – Know who you are; the good, the bad and the ugly, know who you are. ||  “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” ~Lao Tzu
  • 5. Risk Taker – Be willing to try new things, new strategies and embrace new ideas; even if the ideas aren’t yours — be willing to try new things, new strategies and embrace new ideas. || “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~Harold R. McAlindon
  • 6. Caring – Truly care about those you lead; people can care less about how much you know until they know how much you care — truly care about those you lead. || Great leadership is always less about the “leader” and more about the “ship” ~Scott Williams
  • 7. Stand For Something – Lead by convictions; know why you do what you do and why you think what you think — lead by convictions. || “You must stick to your conviction, but be ready to abandon your assumptions.” ~Denis Waitley
  • 8. Spirit Of Development – Develop other leaders; without leadership development, the pipeline of leadership is halted — develop other leaders. || “My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.” ~Jack Welch
  • 9. Good Listener – Be willing to listen; if you’re always talking, there is a good chance you are not listening — be willing to listen. || “To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation” ~Chinese Proverb
  • 10. Lifetime Leaner – Learn from anything and everything; no matter how many degrees or titles you have, you always have the capacity to learn — learn from anything and everything.  || “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” ~John F. Kennedy
  • 11. Humility –  Stay level-headed and don’t think that you’re better than others; no matter how much success, praise or fortune you receive, stay level-headed and don’t think that you’re better than others. || “Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” ~St. Augustine

What do you think about these 11 attributes? Share your thoughts and experiences. 

5 Ways Leaders Can Minimize Stress In The Workplace

stress1As a leader it’s important to set the tone for your team or organization, especially as it relates to handling stressful or crisis situations. If the leader wigs out, stresses out, worries or has a heart attack during high stress or crisis situations; there will always be undertones of that stress transferred to the rest of the team. Leaders must learn to keep calm in these types of situations.

I learned the importance of keeping calm during crisis situations during my tenure as a young 25 year old Prison Warden. As you can imagine running a prison presents the daily opportunity for high stress, crisis and potentially life & death situations. I had the personal choice of whether or not I allowed particular circumstances or people to stress me out. I would watch the previous Warden get stressed out by the most trivial things and felt the stressful impact her response to those situations had on the staff. Realizing that it was up to me, I developed an effective philosophy and mindset to handle these potentially high stress or crisis situations.

The philosophy was simply this, “There is nothing that we can’t begin to fix in “5 Minutes and 5 Phone Calls.” I trained my Chief of Security and my Officers to not sweat the small stuff and embrace the fact that crisis situations will happen. Remembering, it’s not about the situation, it’s about how you handle the situation.  This type of mindset allows leaders to set the tone of stress minimization in the workplace.

In my role as a prison Warden, imagine a high stress situation of a full-blown prison riot.  The process that my team would undergo within the first 5 Minutes would be to make the following 5 Phone Calls:

  • Call Local Law Enforcement
  • Call Me “The Warden”
  • Call The Department of Corrections Liaison
  • Call Vice President of Operations
  • Call Media/PR Representative

This mindset puts all situations, including crisis situation into perspective. It’s inevitable that we will face problems and potentially stressful situations on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter if the problem that we face is work related or personal, what matters is there is the beginning to a solution around the corner. Stop Wiggin’ Out, Tell Your Boss To Stop Wiggin’ Out and embrace the fact that every situation, including Life & Death one’s can begin the “fixing process” in 5 Minutes and 5 Phone Calls.

Once a leader comes to the realization that simplicity matters and the situation they are facing really isn’t that big of a deal, they can begin to embody Albert Einstein’s version of 5 Minutes and 5 Phone Calls. Einstein says it this way, “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

It’s not that serious, STOP STRESSING!

There Is A Difference Between Leadership and Dictatorship

jongThere is definitely a difference between leadership and dictatorship; unfortunately many so called “leaders” confuse the two. According to webster, we can easily see the distinguishing differences between the two:

Leadership – the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group.

Dictatorship – absolute, imperious, or overbearing power or control.

Aha, one guides, directs, coaches and leads a group and the other tells the group to do this thing, this way, because I said so and more importantly because I have the power… I am the dictator.

Can a dictator get things done? Absolutely! Is what they accomplish generally effective? Absolutely not! When results are produced out of fear, power and control, it’s never a good thing for anyone other than the dictator themselves.

If you ever find yourself in a group or on a team where the only opinion (singular) is the one of the person running the show, there is a good chance you are part of a dictatorship. The sad thing is it’s probably not a very good one, because no one individual is as smart, witty, creative, discerning, charismatic, strategic… as a group of individuals coming together as a true team.

 

Turnover Is Always A Small Symptom Of A Bigger Problem

turnover1Organizational leaders love to look at numbers and performance to evaluate success. Unfortunately, those same leaders don’t like to look at numbers to evaluate failure. A number that is a key indicator of failure is turnover. Turnover Is Always A Small Symptom Of A Bigger Problem. 

Organizational leaders can’t continue to write turnover off as a bi-product of “They just couldn’t handle it here, they didn’t have the capacity, they couldn’t keep the pace, they were a problem…” There is always an underlying issue for every person leaving a high turnover organization. If you have high turnover, you must fix the bigger organizational problem or the turnover will continue to exist.

If you want to get to he bigger problem, you must ask the tough questions and more importantly be prepared for the tough answers. Many organizations rely on the Exit Interview to begin this process, by that time it’s too late. Most employees don’t shoot the organization straight during the exit interview as they are done, on the way to the next thing and know that the organizations is going to discount what they are saying; otherwise they wouldn’t be exiting the organization.

It’s been said that people don’t leave organizations, they leave leaders. I would take it a step further and say that people don’t leave organizations, they leave cultures. Culture is what drives how leaders can and cannot operate. Employees will often times work for a poor leader if they are in a great culture, as they assume the culture will outlast or correct the poor leadership.

A turnover problem is a small symptom of a much bigger leadership and culture problem. Many organizations try to put a bandaid on their leadership and culture problem by simply hiring more people. Simply hiring more and more people never gets to the root of a turnover problem.

If organizational leaders want their organization to look different and have less turnover they must start by looking in the mirror, begin asking the right people the right questions, take the tough answers on the chin, make the necessary changes, understand that changing a culture takes time and ultimately just be accountable for their turnover problem.

Why You Should Be A Nurturing Leader

nurture1When 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.

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

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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