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10 Leadership Lessons From Baker Mayfield and The Sugar Bowl

Baker Mayfield is personifying what Leadership is all about in the this short video highlighting the acceptance of his 2017 Sugar Bowl Most Outstanding Player Award. This immediately was after Sooners beat the SEC’s #2 team Auburn Tigers, only second to Nick Saban’s Dynasty at Alabama. The Sooners pretty much dominated Auburn after Auburn’s 1st possession and score. The final score was 35-19 and wasn’t really that close considering the Sooners took their foot off of the gas of their prolific offense and Auburn scored a late TD in the final seconds after many OU reserves were in the game.

Baker Mayfield was 19-28 for 296 yards, 2 touchdowns and zero turnovers against the SEC Auburn defensive juggernaut. Not no mention the countless Houdini plays where Mayfield had Auburn defenders dazed and amazed as they wondered how he could possibly escape from their relentless pursuit and “almost, but not quite good enough sack attempts.”

Baker Mayfield was the obvious Sugar Bowl Most Outstanding Player. While receiving his award, Mayfield immediately deferred to give props to his running back and career workhorse Smamaje Perine for breaking the Oklahoma Sooners All-Time rushing record once held by The Great Billy Simms.

From this video and the success of this turnaround season in which OU started off 1-2 and rolled off 10 straight wins and becoming the Big 12 and 2017 Sugar Bowl Champs. I’ve listed 10 short and quick leadership lessons from Baker Mayfield and this season.

10 Leadership Lessons From Baker Mayfield:
1. You must believe in yourself.
2. Be yourself.
3. Work hard.
4. Get better daily.
5. It’s always more about the team than it is about you.
6. Be Inspiring and someone people are excited to follow.
7. Have integrity, lead by example.
8. Tune out the naysayers.
9. Focus on the goal.
10. Produce winning results.

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.

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?

Do You Really, I Mean Really Want To Succeed?

How bad do you want to succeed? great question and better answers here.

A Different Way Of Thinking by Seth Godin

Great stuff here…

Trust The Process

the process

The most difficult aspect of any success journey is the process. Unfortunately, most people want to circumvent the process… they want the results and they want them right now.

Every successful story is a result of a journey through the process. You may not see the process, but trust me the process happened.

You must go through a town called “The Process” to get the city called “Results.”

Trust The Process.

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.

Conquering Your Fear To Start Your Own Business by Seth Godin

Simple and Great!

8 Ways Leaders Destroy Their Teams

8

Often times when it comes to “leadership” we hear the warm and fuzzies or the great success stories. There are so many great books and tools at the disposal of leaders that growth, competency and effective leadership should be inevitable. The challenge with that theory is it’s rendered “not always true” because of the simple fact that leadership deals with human beings and human beings are rather complex creatures. Anytime you are dealing with people things are never that simplistic.

Another reason being an effective leader is not that simple is that fact that book knowledge doesn’t always translate to street knowledge {{translation – just because you can read it and talk it, deosn’t mean that you can effectively apply it}}.

A key understanding to leadership how ineffective and incapable individuals find themselves in key leadership roles is this: people hire people, who hire people, who hire people. Somewhere within those three generations of hiring, there are people placed in roles of leadership that they are not capable of handling. In my tenure working as a Deputy Prison Warden, before being promoted to Warden, I worked for a leader that definitely should not have been in her role. She literally destroyed her staff and destroyed her team. Not only did she destroy them, she didn’t have the self-awareness to make the necessary adjustments. She was a “Leadership Destroyer.” In consulting over the last 14 years, I have seen and heard about these “Leadership Destroyers” more often than I’d like to admit.

Unfortunately the “Leadership Destroyers” are not isolated to my experiences, if you live long enough and work for enough people, there is a good chance that you will work for one of these destroyers. To help identify how these leaders managers destroy their teams, I have identified 5 ways.

8 Ways Leaders Destroy Their Teams

  • 1. My Way Or The Highway (MWOH): Everyone has an opinion and often times people have thoughts, ideas and suggestions that can be helpful to those that are in charge. MWOH is fueled by the insecurity of the Leadership Destroyer. MWOH can create an environment of control, but not an environment of healthy success. Listen to your team, involve your team, learn from your team and embrace the reality that the collective sum is much better than the Big-Headed MWOH Leader.
  • 2. All About The Numbers: The numbers do matter, the bottom line is important and if it doesn’t make dolla$ it doesn’t make sense.  In business, ministry or non-profit work, it’s important to measure things as it’s a great barometer for success. Where numbers become a problem is when the Leadership Destroyer focuses on the numbers, bottom line and measurables so much that they forget about their team of people who are making those numbers happen. They lose sight of the “how” because they are so focused on the “what.” Number matter, but people matter more. Focus on creating a healthy team and healthy numbers will be a natural bi-product.
  • 3. Talk But Don’t Listen: No one can get a word in or have an opinion because the Leadership Destroyer is always talking. Not only are they always talking, they never listen. If people are not heard, they will cease to say the things that matter. Shh (be quiet) Listen!
  • 4. Change Things For The Sake Of Changing Things: Change is good and sometimes necessary to create forward momentum. The Leadership Destroyer takes this to another level by changing things just to let you know that they’re the boss. They are unwilling to receive feedback or go back to what worked, even if their change isn’t working. I heard a great thought from OSU Football Coach Mike Gundy from his press conference during OSU’s great season several years back.  This particular season OSU was ranked #2 and they were rolling like a well-oiled machine. Mike Gundy said, (paraphrasing) “I try to change things up a bit, just to justify my existence. My team will come to me and say I think we need to stick to XYZ and this is why. Often times what they are saying makes perfect sense and I change it back.” It’s important to survey the impact, timing and necessity of change.
  • 5. They Just Don’t Care:  The quickest way to destroy a team is to not care about the players on the team. Team members know the difference between the fake stuff and the genuine care and concern for the individual players and the collective team. Leadership Destroyers care more about their title, role, corner office and the fact that they have arrived than they do their team. One of the things that the inmates used to say when I was a Warden in regards to leadership and life is this, “It’s All About Missouri!” In other words, Missouri is the Show-Me State.  I’ll close with the words of John Maxwell, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
  • 6. Focused On Pleasing The Boss – It’s okay to want to perform for your supervisor and help you organization be successful. Leadership Destroyers take it to a whole-nutha-level. The Leadership Destroyer will do anything and everything to look good, rather than doing any and everything right. The all-consuming thoughts of wondering what the boss thinks will lead these destroyers to destroy their team, chunk team members under the bus and not give proper credit where proper credit is due.
  • 7. Unwilling To Receive Candid Feedback – When an individual is unwilling to listen to feedback because “It may hurt” or “It isn’t what they want to hear,” they are in trouble. You can’t win with thin skin. Once team members realize the Leadership Destroyer is unwilling to receive feedback, they will stop giving feedback. Once team members stop giving feedback, the Leadership Destroyers find themselves on an island. Islands are great places to vacation, but horrible places to find yourself when you are trying to lead a team.
  • 8. Always Shift The Blame – The surest way a leader can destroy their team is always shifting the blame to someone else. The problem is never their leadership and the buck doesn’t stop with them if it’s relative to failure or shortcomings. They always look at others, never look back and the only reason they look in the mirror is to see who is standing behind them, in order for them to shift the blame to “those people.”
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