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10 Great Leadership Lessons From The Life and Career Of Tim Duncan

duncan1Well the NBA Finals wrapped up with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavilers winning it all. It also kicked off one of the craziest NBA free agent frenzies since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach. The top prize in the NBA free agent season went to the already loaded Golden State Warriors, who signed one of the best players in the game, Mr. Easy Money Sniper Kevin Durant.

Another NBA team that did well in free agency was the San Antonio Spurs with the signing of Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili and Dewayne Dedmon. Those three additions give them an overall grade of A in the free agent sweepstakes. The Spurs seem to always receive an A in almost every category one can think of, that’s just who they are… an “A+” organization. The Spurs had an amazing 2015-2016 NBA season, only to be overshadowed by losing in the playoffs to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State’s NBA record breaking season.  The reality when it comes to the Spurs is as long as Gregg Popovich is the Head Coach they will always be competitive. There is so much we all can learn from the San Antonio Spurs and as of today so much we can retired NBA Hall Of Famer Tim Duncan. Yes, Tim Duncan has decided to take a stroll down the riverwalk of retirement after an amazing 19 year NBA career.

Not only did the Spurs have a great team but they were smarter, more disciplined and better coached than any other team in the NBA. The Spurs have been lead for years by the veteran of all veterans, Tim Duncan. Duncan will go down as one of the greatest NBA Superstars ever. Duncan now has the most playoff games and double-doubles of any player in NBA history. Duncan is a SuperStar who shined bright like a diamond while staying outside of the spotlight.

In a day an age where athletes have done it wrong, taken shortcuts to championship and can’t even begin to spell the word loyalty, Tim Duncan did everything the right way, all while being loyal to his city, his team, his coach and the things that make you a true champion. We can talk all day about Duncan’s life and example… not only can we talk about it, there is a lot to learn about life and leadership from him and his career. I thought I would honor Tim Duncan’s Spectacular 19 year career with these 10 Great Life and Leadership Lessons.

10 Leadership Lessons From The Life and Career Of Tim Duncan.

  • 1. Substance Over Style – “The Big Fundamental” Looking good is great, performing great is better. Duncan doesn’t win the style contest, but he is a straight up winner.
  • 2. Greatness Is Appreciated More When It’s Gone – Tim Duncan’s Game, Career and Place in history won’t be appreciated until he’s retired and gone.
  • 3. Great Leaders Know When To Defer – Duncan has admittedly turned the team over to Tony Parker, which has extended his career and allowed him to continue his greatness. It looks like he may be turning it over to Mr. About His Business Kawhi Leonard real soon.
  • 4. You Can’t Care What People Think – Duncan doesn’t get the commercials, the shoes, the endorsements… He just gets the trophies. Duncan could care less what people think about his personality or lack there of, all he does is win.
  • 5. Classy over Sassy – Tim Duncan is one of the classiest players in the NBA. It’s hard not to like classy… when in doubt, keep it classy.
  • 6. Quietly Be The Best At What You Do – Tim Duncan will quietly go down as one of the best power forwards to ever play the game. Period, the end.
  • 7. Nice Guys Don’t Finish Last – Nice guys finish wherever they want to finish, Duncan is nice and he doesn’t finish last. 🙂
  • 8. Get Better With Age – Just like a fine wine, they say some things get better with age, great leaders get better, lead better, play better and make better decisions with age. Duncan seems to get better the older that he gets.
  • 9. Know How To Lead Up – Duncan plays for a tough coach and he’s one of the few players that knows how to lead up, talk to Popovich, how to handle him in the media and how to lead up. There is an art to leading up and Duncan figured it out.
  • 10. Make Those Around You Better – Duncan makes his teammates, his coach, his city, his community and the NBA better.

6 Major Keys To Effective Leadership

key2Leadership is an art and it’s an art that anyone can learn for the most part. Just because someone learns an art doesn’t mean they will be good or effective. Just think about all of the painters, musicians, communicators, or artists of any sort; although they have learned an art very few get through the threshold of simply being an artist, to being an effective artist. That same statement is true for the art of leadership… there are many leaders who never become effective leaders.

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” ~Jim Rohn

6 Major Keys To Effective Leadership:

  • 1. Recognize- Recognize that leadership is a gift, an art, a craft… that has to be continually developed.  Seek out and be willing to learn from effective leaders who have developed this craft we call leadership.
  • 2. Realize- Realize the fact that although leadership is a craft, it is not rocket science.  STOP MAKING IT SO DIFFICULT.  I repeat, unless you are a leader at NASA, your leadership role is not rocket science; chill-out and quit making things so hard on yourself and others.  BTW- If you are a leader at NASA or a rocket scientist, you should probably be asking the tough question: “Is what we do still necessary or relevant?”
  • 3. Remember- Remember The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you!”  Most leaders’ barley remember the bronze rule, let alone The Golden Rule.  As a leader it’s important to care about your people, to love your people, to care about their interests, care about their success… to treat them how you would want and expect someone to treat you.  Remember in order to become an effective leader you have to understand that “Relationships Matter!”
  • 4. Replicate- Replicate what works and don’t force things that don’t work.  Don’t try to be a replicate of another leader or simply replicate what you have read in a book, but rather replicate the effective “What Works” concept into who you are and what you do!
  • 5. Resurrect- Resurrect a dying team member; an effective leader has the ability to take a dying team member on the verge of being fired and help resurrect them into a story that begins with this sentence… “There was a time when so and so team member was on the verge of being fired and so and so leader believed in them… Wow, Look at how successful they are now!”
  • 6. Reinvent- Reinvent the way leadership is carried out!  Break the box, find a new way, figure out what works for you, don’t be scared to be different, reinvent what might has been seen as irrefutable.  Reinvent out of hunger, creativity, thinking, believing, seeking etc.; don’t reinvent for the sake of reinventing!  “Don’t reinvent the wheel” applies to those who reinvent for the sake of reinventing!

Change Your Mind – Change Your Perspective

It’s time that you change your mind, change your perspective and change your life.

The Leaders Who Need The Most Development

leadership1The Leaders Who Need The Most Development Are Often Times The Leaders That Say That Others Need More Development.

Have you ever seen a situation where a leader has a team member who is either up for a promotion or in all actuality should be considered for a promotion; and the leaders says they are not ready yet, or they need more development.

I understand that sometimes people aren’t ready and they could benefit by a little more time in the leadership development cooker. More times than not, the person is ready, all they need is a little encouragement, belief in themselves and an opportunity to show what’s inside of them. How do you get the experience, if no one is willing to give you a chance to get the experience?

Over the years I have come to realize that the leaders who are quick to say that someone isn’t ready and need more development are the ones that need more development themselves.

It takes, time, energy and true leadership to develop someone — moving them from where they are to where they can be. Leaders must learn to focus on potential instead of limitations.

The next time you hear a leader say “so and so” isn’t ready, the deeper question to ask is this “is the leader making the statement ready?”

No one will ever be 100% “ready,” it’s up to the leaders to be a part of getting them there. That’s why it’s called leadership.

Do They Want To Work For You?

question

Great leaders ask great questions of others. Great leaders also ask great questions of themselves. One of the greatest questions that a leader can ask themselves is this: Do They Want To Work For Me? Not Do They Have To Work For Me? Do They Like Me? Do They Respect Me?… Do They Want To Work For Me? 

Honest answers to this great question will serve leaders well. If you lead well, they will want to work for you. If you show them respect, the will want to work for you. If you help them grow, they will want to work for you. If you inspire greatness, they will want to work for you. If you are full of integrity, they will want to want to work for you. If you are secure in who you are, they will want to work for you.

Do They Want To Work For You?

How Micromanagers and Insecure Leaders Kill Creativity In Their Organizations

ceativity killer 2

Creativity 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.

The Essence Of Leadership by Colin Powell

Simple yet brilliant thoughts from General Colin Powell on The Essence Of Leadership.

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.

Why Leaders and Organizations Need To Stop Burying Their High Capacity Talent

talentMost organizations and leaders would love to have “High Capacity” leaders to fill the slots within their organizations. The sometimes overlooked challenge is the fact that with “High Capacity” leaders, comes the need for those leaders to lead at uhh… a “High Capacity” in addition to releasing their creativity.

This will sometimes leave organizations scratching their head and asking the question what do I do with so and so?  They are knocking it out of the park, they have an entrepreneurial spirit, their potential is off the charts and they actually have the leadership margin to spread their wings.

Spreading their wings means different things for different leaders, but it boils down to how can I steward their talent/potential and continue to allow them to make a positive impact within the organization. Many times organizations make the decision to do one of two things: 1. Bury that talent and therefore putting a lid on the height of that “High Capacity Leader.” 2. Get rid of that team member because of insecurity or simply not wanting to deal with the challenges these types of leaders bring to the table.

It’s like the Parable of the talents: The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.  The one with the two talents gained two more.  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 
“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?Matthew 25:25-26

If your organization, team, staff or business has been blessed with some great talent, Don’t Bury It!  There is a new type of harvest to be sown with this “High Capacity” seed.

If you figure out a way to maximize the potential of the “High Capacity” talent that you have been blessed with, you will be rewarded.  This may require you getting creative, dreaming BIG, thinking BIGGER and setting some clear expectations; however the potential of the harvest is immeasurable.

Take a look at Google, not only are they ranked the #1 Website, they have also been ranked as fortune magazine’s best place to work.  Not only is their work environment ridiculously amazing, they do a great job of not burying their talent.  They not only do they recruit and hire “High Capacity” talent, they seek ways to release and empower the creativity.

An example of releasing “High Capacity” talent and creativity, is Google allows employees to spend twenty percent of their time to work on their own project, independent of their workgroup. Google believes that no one should leave in order to pursue their personal passions. Letting employees do this results in over twenty percent of Google’s new product launches has stemmed from these personal projects.  There can and should be a marriage between “High Capacity” talent and great organizations; they are not mutually exclusive.

If organizations manage their talent wisely, they may get this response: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’Matthew 25:25

Don’t Bury Your “High Capacity” Talent!

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