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Pastors Need To Keep Calm And Practice What They Preach

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Pastors often preach about generosity and encourage their attenders to give generously, while paying their staff the minimum they can get away with. Pastors preach about folks stepping into their destiny and calling, while becoming angry when one of their staff members steps into a calling that results in leaving their team.

Pastors often preach about rest, worship and time off, while their team members can’t remember the last time they had a day off, attended a worship service or had a couple free weekends with family. Pastors often preach about not comparing ourselves to one another, while obsessing, comparing and ranking themselves to pastors down the street, around the corner and from around the country.

Pastors preach about a lot of awesome, challenging, encouraging, convicting and life giving things. Each of us should remain forever grateful for what they do, how they do it and why they do it.

Of course the statements above don’t apply to every pastor. Church planters, be aware of it. If it doesn’t apply to you, be mindful of it. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Plain and simple… Pastors Need To Keep Calm And Practice What They Preach.

Championship Organization Are Different – Lessons From The Seattle Seahawks

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There are so many awesome stories of great organizations that seem to dance to a different beat. Whether it’s Google’s crazy awesome culture, Steve Jobs crazy quirky leadership at Apple or Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks’ crazy weird championship winning culture. The bottom line is most championship organizations are different.

Since Seattle is the latest example of how doing things different can yield serious results, lets look at some of their difference making decisions. According to an article that I had read on ESPN the magazine back in August, the Seahawks just dance to a different beat. The great thing about the article is the fact that it was written before the Seahawks had proven that they could get back to the Superbowl, let alone hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy.

In Pete Carroll’s own words, “IT”S DIFFERENT HERE!”

During their first training camp meeting, players are met by a psychologist that takes them through meditation and deep breathing. Say What? These are the biggest and baddest men on the planet doing some meditation and breathing techniques. “DIFFERENT!”

Hiring Pete Carroll, a college football coach that already failed several times in the NFL is not a popular or even wise move. “DIFFERENT!”

Carroll preaches positivity, believing in yourself, thinking about success and “Doing your job better than it has ever been done before.” Not necessarily different, but key.

The Seahawks back up their mantra of truly supporting their players by providing a huge support staff of counselors to help players through football and life. They work with the players on a regular basis and have regular mental health check-ups. If your mind and personal life isn’t taken care of there is no way that you can take care of your business in the office or on the field. “DIFFERENT!”

Carroll actually plays the best players, in many organizations the best player doesn’t play, it’s the highest paid, the most popular, the one that currently has the position etc. QB Matt Flynn was paid the big bucks and Pete Carroll decided to bench him and start a 5’10” 3rd round draft pick that 31 other teams passed on named Russell Wilson at QB. “DIFFERENT!”

The Seahawks aren’t scared to make the necessary personnel changes, they have made more roster changes in the last few years than any team in the NFL. “DIFFERENT”

Last but not least, the Seahawks have a different screening process. I truly believe that an organization is only as good as their talent screening and hiring process. As a consultant, this is the #1 thing that I try to emphasize, make sure your screening process and talent search process is right. The Seahawks are very specific when interviewing players and making sure that potential players are a DNA fit. They make sure that candidates don’t use finger-pointing or accusatory type language. They want positivity, optimism and swag. “DIFFERENT”

No matter whether you are a start-up, a church, a mom and pop business or a Fortune 100 organization, if you want to be successful, stop looking at trying to fit in and be the same. Start looking at how you are different and how you can be different. Don’t be different for the sake of being different, be different for the sake of being great.

College or Pro, Little League or Big League, a championship coach is a championship coach. Pete Carroll just put his stamp on that championship statement. As it relates to success, this statement still remains true “Everything begins and ends with leadership.” Offensive leadership – Russell Wilson. Defensive Leadership – Richard Sherman. Overall Leadership – Pete Carroll.

“Think Different!” 

How Great Leaders Inspire Action

A great (now classic) Ted Talk on leadership from Simon Sinek. What’s your why?

Learn To Listen and Listen To Learn

listenAs a consultant one of my key roles and responsibilities is the art of listening. Yes I have to provide great strategies, thoughts and coaching along the way; however I can’t be effective and any of those if I don’t learn to listen. The greatest compliments that clients give me is when they say that my team and I do a great job of listening and assessing. Bingo: Listen – Assess – Strategize – Coach.

As a consultant, leader, parent, spouse, coach, friend, co-worker… if you want to be effective, stop talking and Learn To Listen. Learn to listen and Listen to learn

You must learn to listen in order to get the heart, essence and meaning behind what others are saying and not just listening so that you can respond.

“Who speaks, sows; Who listens reaps.” ~Argentine Proverb

Contrary to popular belief, the more you talk, the less people listen.

 

5 Things Leaders Should Do Daily

This evening I had a friend of mine send me a text and ask me: What are 5 things leaders should do daily? I thought it was a great question so I answered very quickly in text like fashion. See my response in the text exchange below.

5 things

 

The Worst Excuse For A New Leader

blaameIt happens all of the time in organizations, politics, sports teams and basically every entity that has a leader. Here is the story: One leader leaves for a good, bad or indifferent reason. The new leader is hired. The new leader comes in and blames all of the challenges, problems, inadequacies, shortcomings and failures on the previous leader. This goes on for months and years depending on the leader.

Honestly this is The Worst Excuse For A New Leader. As the new leader you should recognize and acknowledge the previous leader; however if you live in a state of pointing, excusing, comparing and somehow blaming all of the legitimate negatives and perceived negatives on the previous administration, you are not leading, you are just playing the blame game. If you are going to blame all of your failures on your predecessor, be sure you blame them for all of your successes.

“If you continue to swim in the shallow waters of blame you will never make it to the oceans of success and change.”

Stop blaming and start owning. Stop living in the past and start moving towards the future. Stop excusing and start leading.

How Micromanagers, Control Freaks and Insecure Leaders Kill Their Organizations

ceativity killer 2Creativity is a key ingredient to a successful, thriving and growing organization. Unfortunately some Micromanagers, Control Freaks and Insecure Leaders Kill Their Organizations and the creative spirit without even realizing it.

Micromanagers take the dynamics of creativity off the table. Their negative and counterproductive process goes a little something like this: Team member tries something new, micromanager watches over their shoulder, questions them and doesn’t give the team members ideas any credibility. Team member gets frustrated and stops thinking outside the box, trying new things and stops leading in general – thus killing creativity.

“The most common mistake I see leaders make is to attempt to lead through control. As counterintuitive as it might seem, in order to gain influence you must surrender control.” ~Mike Myatt

It’s really a sad case when a leader wants a thriving, vibrant, creative organization and they don’t have the self-awareness to know that their insecure control freak nature is the bottleneck. The best position a leader can find themselves in is, “out in front and out of the way.” The only way a leader can remain out in front is to continuously get out of the way and let their team members lead.

In order to foster organizational success and a spirit of creativity, leaders must allow their team members to try new things, chart new courses and sail new waters. If a leader truly wants this to work, they must be willing to get out of the way and be okay with some failures and fumbles. Successes and failures should never be overlooked; however its important to applaud the thought and process of trying. 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 and a culture of winning to permeate through an organization, the insecurity of the micromanager must bid farewell.

15 Traits Of Great Leadership

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Today’s guest post comes from my man @MikeMyatt, who in my opinion is one of the top if not the top Leadership Experts in the world. He is straight up brilliant and has been a great mentor to me personally. This week, Mike just released his brand new leadership gem Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly.” It’s awesome, go grab a copy now.

15 Traits Of Great Leadership

Today’s post will make the case for leadership development. While much has been written about the traits and characteristics that form great leaders, the truth is that leaders come in many different varieties…there is no one-size-fits-all formula for leadership. That said, all good leaders possess certain core qualities, and great leaders simply develop said core qualities to a higher level than their peers. Put simply, a leader’s shelf life will be equal to their ability to leverage their leadership traits through solid execution, and influencing their constituencies in alignment with the corporate vision with values. If you want to insure longevity and success as a leader, focus on developing your leadership acumen by prioritizing your efforts on the following list of 15 leadership traits:

  • 1. Integrity: Always do the right thing regardless of sentiment, and never compromise your core values. If you cannot build trust and engender confidence with your stakeholders you cannot succeed. No amount of talent can overcome illicit, immoral or otherwise ill-advised actions. A leader void of integrity will not survive over the long-haul.
  • 2. Excellent Decision Making Skills: As a leader you will live or die by the quality of the decisions you make. The practical reality of leadership is that you are often only as good as your last decision. When you’re the leader good decisioning is expected, poor decisioning won’t be tolerated, and great decisioning will set you apart from the masses.
  • 3. Ability to Focus: If you cannot focus, you cannot perform at the level necessary to remain in leadership for very long. The ability to do nothing more than understand and lock-on to priorities will place you in the top 10% of all leaders.
  • 4. Leveraging Experience: Inexperience, a lack of maturity, needing to be the center of attention, not recognizing limitations, a lack of judgment, an inferior knowledge base, or any number of other common mistakes made by rookie leaders can cause your house of cards to fall. If you don’t have the experience personally, hire it, contract it, but by all means acquire it. Great leaders surround themselves with tier-one talent, and the best advisors money can buy. They don’t make uniformed or ill-advised decisions in a vacuum.
  • 5. Command Presence: Great leaders possess a strong presence and bearing. They are unflappable individuals that never let you see them sweat (unless of course it serves a purpose). Everything about how they carry themselves messages that they have a clear vision and are capable of leading in accordance with said vision.
  • 6. Embracing Change: Great leaders have a strong bias to action. They don’t rest upon past accomplishments, and are always seeking to improve through change and innovation. In today’s fast paced and competitive environment, those leaders who don’t openly embrace change will often be shown the door prior to the expiration of their initial employment contract.
  • 7. Brand Champions: Great leaders understand branding at every level. They seek to build not only a dominant corporate brand, but also to leverage a strong personal brand. Leaders that are not well branded on a personal basis, or who let their corporate brand fall into decline will not survive.
  • 8. Boundless Energy: Great leaders have a boundless amount of energy. They are positive in their outlook, and their attitude is contagious. A low energy leader is not motivating, convincing, or credible.
  • 9. Subject Matter Expertise: Great leaders have a deep understanding of their subject matter, and a strong orientation toward achievement. Great leaders possess what often appears to be a sixth sense, or an almost instinctive feel for what  needs to occur in order to leverage their knowledge into a competitive advantage.
  • 10. Talent: Great leaders have a nose for talent…They understand how to recruit, develop and deploy talent focusing on applying the best talent to the best opportunities. They also know when it’s time to make changes, and to cut losses as needed.
  • 11. Organizational Acumen: Great leaders know how to engender trust, when and how to share information, and are expert listeners. They develop strong teams an healthy organizational cultures driven to performance by aligned motivations. They understand the power of well thought out, consistent, and clearly articulated vision. They can quickly diagnose whether the team/organization is performing at full potential, delivering on commitments, and whether the team is changing and growing versus just operating.
  • 12. Curiosity: Great leaders possess a powerful motivation to increase their knowledge base and to convert their learning into actionable initiatives. They question, challenge, confront and are never accepting of the status quo. They listen well and are exceptionally intuitive and observant.
  • 13. Intellectual Capacity: Great leaders are also great thinkers…both at the strategic and tactical levels. They are quick on their feet, and know how to get to the root of an issue faster than anyone else. I’ve never met a great leader who wasn’t extremely discerning.
  • 14. Big Thinkers: Regardless of the physical or geographical boundaries of their current role, great CEOs think big and add a zero. Limited thinking results in limited results. Whether global thinking is applied to capital formation, supply-chain issues, business development, strategic partnering, distribution or any number of other areas, those leaders who don’t grasp the importance of thinking globally will not endure. Great leaders are externally oriented, hungry for knowledge of the world, and adept at connecting developments and spotting patterns.
  • 15. Never Quit: Great leaders refuse to lose…They have an insatiable appetite for accomplishment and results. While they may reengineer or change direction, they will never lose sight of the end game.

Mike Myatt is America’s Top CEO Coach, recognized by Thinkers50 as a global authority on the topic of leadership, a Forbes leadership columnist, author of Leadership Matters,  CEO at N2growth, and is a Senior Fellow at the Gordian Institute. His new book, Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly, is available on Amazon.

Great Leaders Are Willing To Challenge The King and Great Kings Want To Be Challenged

the kingIn all my years of leadership/followership and in my role as a leadership consultant, 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 James to a game of 1 on 1 after you eat a triple steak stack from Taco Bell. I’m referring to “The King” as the Big Boss, The CEO, The Department Chair, Team Leader, The Senior Pastor, The President. Any leader that’s making the decisions or has the title of “The King” in your situation.

What generally happens in an organization is that “The King” develops a style, a system and a reputation for the types of decisions that they will make and the type of feedback that they will take. BTW- that “King” can also be a “Lady.” Those that are closest to “The King” begin to accept those tendencies as the law and over-time challengeable actions, decisions and offenses go un-challenged. The excuses range from,”that’s just how so and so is, to you know they will not even entertain that thought or you can’t say that they will get upset the Kings apple cart.” This type of situation and culture is not good for “The Kings” nor the leaders that follow them.

“The King” ends up leading from an isolated rarely challenged clueless 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 makes them better leaders and him 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. If an organizational culture does not embrace 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 — Even “The King.”

Let’s take a look at LeBron James aka King James situation last night in their tight game versus their conference foe from the East, the Indiana Pacers. These two teams are the top in the East and are basically fighting for home court advantage. The game was tight, the Heat were losing, tempers were flaring and LeBron James went off on Mario Chalmers after a turnover and leaving Paul George wide open for a shot. The King continued to yell and scream at Chalmers all the way through the time out, Chalmers didn’t take LeBron’s antics laying down he instead challenged The King. Chalmers gave it back to him and let him know that he was wrong.

Initially Chalmers challenging The King didn’t go so well as King James jumped off of the bench and charged Chalmers (as if to fight him) and had to be restrained by his teammates. Chalmers, one of the smallest guys on the team, wasn’t threatened and continued to challenge The King. The great thing about the ending to this story is that The King apologized and said “My Bad, I was wrong.” (see the video of the LeBron James and Mario Chalmers exchange below) More often than not, the King will respect those that are willing to challenge them, their throne, their decisions and their actions. This should always be done in an appropriate, consistent and respectful manner.

If an organizational culture allows for an absolute, imperious, or overbearing control to permeate through their organization, they are setting their organization up to become a dictatorship and ultimately a failure. If an organization and The King allow for challenges and are willing to admit they are wrong, that’s an organization that’s setting themselves up for success, an organization that’s setting themselves up as a championship organization.

Great Leaders Challenge “The King” and Great Kings Want To Be Challenged

The Most Crucial Skills Necessary For Tomorrow’s Leaders

This video will answer the question: What is the single most important skill that leaders of the future will need?

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