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Leadership Is Like Riding a Bike

Although there are thousands of leadership books and leadership gurus, leadership isn’t something you can simply read about… you have to do it. It’s not rocket science, it’s a simple science.

Leadership is just like riding a bike — you can’t just read about riding a bike, you have to get on the bike, have someone help steady you, or maybe use training wheels, try to keep your balance and start pedaling. At first you will be a little wobbly and you may even crash a few times.

If you learn from your mistakes and stay after it, you will definitely get better. Although you may become a proficient bike rider, you must be mindful of the fact that there are plenty of new bike tricks to learn and different levels of bikes to ride.

Leadership is the exact same way, you have to get on the leadership bike, have someone help you get started, start pedaling, crash a few times, learn from your mistakes and continue to grow. Next thing you know, you will move from JoeToPro.

Leadership Is as Simple as Riding a Bike and boils down to these Simple Things:

  • Believe In Yourself
  • Believe In Others
  • Point The Direction
  • Provide An Environment For Growth
  • Inspire and Motivate Others
  • Move People From Here To There
  • dream BIG. think BIGGER.

Often times people make leadership more difficult than it has to be. Leadership is about trust, influence and relationships. Leadership Is Like Riding A Bike, Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu says it this way, “When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.” Simply put, it was simple.

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. ~Ernest Hemingway

Is leadership like riding a bike? Is leadership really that simple? Share your thoughts and experiences with leadership being made more difficult than it had to be.

FREE Training Guaranteed To Make You A Better Thinker

In yesterday’s post I shared a video from Seth Godin and in which he shared one sentence that really challenged me.
He was referencing the value of daily blogging and he said, “Having to say intelligent things about what you notice in the world makes you smarter.”  That is absolutely brilliant.

I have been blogging nearly every day for the last 4 years and I can actually say that I’m definitely a better thinker because of it. According to Seth Godin, not only am I a better thinker, I’m smarter.

Seth actually put into words what I’ve thought for quite some time.  The best learning and training we have is FREE and readily available to each of us.  This learning is at our disposal and it’s not about some sort of formal learning type situation.  We actually have the ability to learn, grow and develop from every-day, all-day situations.

Sometimes, I Can’t Stop Thinking; I may even go overboard, but I’m always thinking, learning, processing and orienting my world from every single interaction.  If I’m coaching my son’s football team, I’m processing, thinking and learning from 3rd and 4th graders. When I go through a restaurant drive-thru, I’m processing and learning from my interaction and their processes.  When I read tweets and blogpost, I’m learning.  As I type these words, I’m thinking, learning and processing this revelation of thoughts to paper.  The cool thing is that these interactions become lessons, sermon illustrations, conference talks, personal mantras, chapters in books and even helpful strategies for my clients.

As humans we have approximately 3,000 thoughts per day, some questions we must as ourselves is, “Are we learning from those thoughts?” and “What are we thinking?”  If you want to grow, learn from all of your interactions today, tomorrow and yesterday.  It’s all about taking your life, your lens, your values, your experiences and processing them in connection to world around you.

There is a FREE Training Guaranteed To Make You A Better Thinker…  that training is your life, your experiences and a willingness to learn from the two.

So what do you think? 

Do you make a conscious effort to learn from your daily interactions?  Share some examples of great lessons that you’ve learned from the most unlikely situations.

A Life Changing Question

I was at a conference a couple of years ago.

Seth Godin was speaking.

I like Seth Godin.

Seth Godin asked the following question below:

Is your agenda about mediocre obedience or relentless curiosity?

I still think about this question.

Sometimes a great question is better than a great answer.

This question helps to define our current reality and our inevitable future.

What is your agenda?

10 Differences Between Managers & Leaders

There has been this never-ending debate over the difference between Managers and Leaders.  In the above video outline the 10 Distinct Differences Between Managers and Leaders.I prepared for the online conference #TheNines along with the help of my buddy and video wizard @SamonVarughese.

Share your thoughts on the 10 Differences between Managers and Leaders. Share your real-life experiences as well.

Great Leaders Do This

My thoughts in something that Great Leaders do. I’m actually on a quick 35 minute flight back from Dallas as I’m doodling these thoughts in my journal. The bottom line is great leaders don’t set out to find consensus, they mold consensus. Great leaders don’t simply adapt to culture, but rather they help to shape culture.

Share your thoughts, how have you seen this concept played out in organizations or teams that you have been a part of?


Managers vs. Leaders

Here are some simple thoughts on Managers vs. Leaders. These are thoughts I jotted in my journal this morning while at my hotel in Dallas. I’m at Leadership Network sharing and connecting with some great churches from around the country. These 6 churches represent over 75,000 weekend attenders.

Below are some of my thoughts on Managers vs. Leaders, share your thoughts.


The Question Every Leader Should Be Asking

Sometimes it’s easier and makes more sense for me to share my morning thoughts from my journal than it is to write a blog post.  Here you go, my thoughts from BWI airport this morning on the thought of: The Question Every Leader Should Be Asking. This could actually be the question every parent should be asking as well. ~dream BIG. think BIGGER.

How Bad Do You Want To Be Successful?

I have seen the original spoken word version of this video in the past.  This new version of the video brings some cinematography and visuals to help tell the story and poses a real question: How Bad Do You Want To Be Successful?

When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breath, you will be successful.  Most people say they want to be successful but they don’t want to give up anything.  You have to give up something, often times many things to succeed.

Want some inspiration…  Watch this video.

Share your thoughts on this video and what it takes to be successful.

If You’re Not Developing… You’re Not Leading!

Leadership Development is one of those terms that people throw around with ease, often times without embracing the true essence of what it’s all about. The reality is that leadership development is one of the ultimate callings of leadership. Without leadership development, there cannot be the reproduction of more leaders.  Without the reproduction of more leaders, the evolution of leadership begins to cease.

The problem with leadership development is the fact that it takes time, creativity, patience, thoughtfulness and too many other descriptive words for a single blog post.

Leadership development requires a leader to focus on the success of those they lead, while simultaneously focusing on the vision of the organization.  Those things do happen simultaneously and are not mutually exclusive.

If leaders have a genuine interest and commitment to make sure that those that they lead are successful, that’s development.  It requires varied approaches, pushing through struggles and recognition that if individual team members win in their respective role, the overall team wins.

The bottom line is that Leadership Development takes time, energy, focus, putting your arm around a team member and helping them to win.  Often times leaders confuse Leadership Development with an event, program or formula.  Events and programs are only minor elements to a successful Leadership Development equation.  Genuine care, concern and individualized focus on team members’ success trumps a program, event or Leadership Development lip service every time.

Genuine Leadership Development always inspires a deep inner desire for self-development. Talk about a win-win situation.  The leader genuinely cares about the development of team members and moreover the team members are inspired to care more acutely about their own development.

Leadership is more than a title, position or a corner office.  It’s about propelling the vision of the organization that you are leading while simultaneously helping others win.  Remember it’s always easier to get rid of someone than it is to develop them.  Leadership is always about making the right decision and a swift decision to fire someone without genuine development, often times is not the right decision.

If you look at Jesus and his Disciples, he kept the vision in focus while simultaneously putting his arm around his Disciples and developing them over time.  Development takes time, Leadership Development is Leadership.

I appreciate the founder of  Firestone Tires, Harvey Firestone sums up the call of Leadership development.  He says,  “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”

If You’re Not Developing… You’re Not Leading!

How would you describe Leadership Development?  Share your thoughts and experiences?

Don’t Focus On Your Job!

When it comes to work, life, achievement and success we have always been trained to “Focus On Your Job!” If you want to get better, you need to Focus On Your Job! I would agree that it’s important to give attention and priority to our jobs, as they are the primary source of paying the bills, providing for our families and fulfilling the mission of the organization we have committed ourselves to.

Additionally, I would argue that you “Shouldn’t Focus On Your Job!”  What I mean by this is I think it’s equally, if not more important for people to spend time focusing on their dreams and passions. If you only focus on your job and not your dreams, I believe that you can squelch your inner creativity, energy, passion and zeal.

I have always encouraged those that have worked for me to spend time during the weeks and months focusing on their dreams and passions.  Sometimes that time would be within the workday and others would be outside of the workday.  It’s not a matter of when you give time to your dreams, it’s a matter of giving your dreams and passions some dedicated attention and focus.

As I look back at some of my employees I encouraged to “Not focus On Their Job,” I can see the path of their dreams becoming a reality.  Several individuals whom worked for me when I was a young prison warden, are now business owners living out some of their dreams, by operating their own counseling agencies, one of them being one of the largest in the state of Oklahoma.

Theses particular individuals were all super-performers for our organization, while simultaneously spending time focus on the dreams and passions that God had placed inside of them.  It was a Win-Win situation.  I have seen this play out effectively with many individuals, on several different teams and in numerous types of environments.

I know this may seem like are asking individuals to slight their job or not give their priorities full attention.  That’s not the case at all.  It’s a simple matter of helping those on your team to be energized, motivated, encouraged, inspired and better by sipping from the inner fountain of their dreams.

Dreams are like stars, although you may never touch them — if you follow them, they will lead you to your destiny.

dream BIG. think BIGGER.

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