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10 Signs They Are Not A Good Leader

not-a-leaderMost of us have worked for leaders that are for all intents and purposes are not very good.  I actually learned a lot in my early days of leadership from some really bad leaders.  Not only were they bad leaders, they were oblivious to the negative affects of their poor leadership.   There are many signs that a leader is not a good leader and I have identified 10 Signs below. 

The reason I attribute these signs to not being a “Good Leader” is because a leader has to at least reach the mantle of being a “Good Leader” before they can be a “Great Leader”  Here are 10 Signs They Are Not A Good Leader… Remember “They” could be you! 

  1. they are not willing to fail.
  2. they only talk and never listen.
  3. they don’t develop and produce other leaders.
  4. they micro-manage; that’s management not leadership.
  5. they are insecure or threatened by someone that they lead.
  6. they are not willing to follow and learn from those that they lead.
  7. they are more focused on what people think about the results, than the results themselves.
  8. they don’t truly care about the people they lead and have difficulty getting people to follow.
  9. they are willing to make the wrong decision, because of the fear of  fall-out from making the right decision.
  10. they only dream about being like so and so, instead of {humbly} dreaming about a bunch of so and so’s dreaming about being like them.  Go Lead…Transcend The Isms 

They either “don’t do” or “are not working towards” the 5 Things Next-Level Leaders Alaways Do!

Share your thoughts on any of these “10 Signs” and add to the list!

5 Things Next-Level Leaders Always Do

next-levelThis post will take a look at the process of being or becoming a Next-Level Leader.  There are probably a dozen different concepts of what a Next-Level Leader is or what that word-pairing actually means; however in this post I will provide my personal definition of what a Next-Level Leader is.  I will also identify the 5 Things That Next-Level Leaders Do.

Next-Level Leader– A leader that not only elevates their personal leadership to that Next-Level, but elevates the leadership of their team members, peers and competition to the Next-Level. 

Here are the 5 Things That Next-Level Leaders Always Do:

  1. Challenge Everything-They challenge things because they are supposed to be challenged.  They not only challenge the thoughts/methods of their leaders but they challenge their own personal methodology.  They realize that their boss puts their pants on just like they do and embrace the fact that just because a person is supervising doesn’t mean they are necessarily smarter or better leaders.  Challenging things is not about being combative, but rather raising every-one’s leadership game to the Next-Level.
  2. Ask The Right Questions- They 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 a Next-Level Leader they desire to learn from, they have 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- They 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,  encouraging those around them to dream, writing their dreams down and making those dreams a reality.
  4. Learn-  They are always learning from: books, blogs, their industry, history, other industries, culture, failures, their followers, 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 “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. Make Next-Level Leaders- Next-Level Leaders make Next-Level Leaders.  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.  Managers manage people and things… Next-Level Leaders make other Next-Level Leaders.  Simply put: “If You Are Not Developing and Making Next-Level Leaders… You Are Not A Next Level Leader.”

Do you or have you worked for a Next-Level Leader that does these things well?  Thoughts on any of these 5 Things, or do you have anything additional to add to the list?  Chime In!

Imitation is Suicide!

imitation3“Do You” It’s a Statement, Not a Question.  It’s a statement that I came up with to describe “being yourself.”  Many times we go through life and try to imitate the likes of other people.  You know what I’m talking about, you find some attributes that you admire in a boss, friend, public figure, family member, mentor… and attempt to replicate those things and literally try to become that person.  I am not saying that you shouldn’t acknowledge and learn from others strengths; I’m simply saying you need to “Do You,” in other-words find your own voice/identity in those attributes… don’t be Imitation. 

When I went into ministry with, I was surrounded by a lot of gifted leaders with some serious “skilz.”  It would have been easy for me to gravitate towards their style, way of thinking and cultural elements, that I could have lost my own identity and originality. I have intentionally not allowed that to happen, because at the end of the day that’s not who they hired me to be… that’s not who God made me to be. 

In life you must learn to embrace the values, DNA, culture, expectations, traditions… of an organization, relationship or system.  While embracing these things you must find Your Voice, “Do You” and not be an Imitation.   Leaders should encourage their staff to be themselves, find their voice, keep it real… Who wants a bunch of Mimi-Me’s running around?

“Trust yourself. Think for yourself. Act for yourself. Speak for yourself. Be yourself. Imitation is suicide.”~Marva Collins  “Imitating Christ is Life!”

Do You! Do Christ! Do Christ in You!

  • Do you find it difficult to “Do You”?   Are you loosing your identity?  Do You? “Do You!”
  • Share your thoughts & experiences!

Kind Acts Of Randomness

random-kindness.jpgLate last night on our way home from Ardmore, OK we decided to stop at the Loves truck-stop in Pauls Valley, OK.   I don’t know what it is about truck-stops but the restrooms always seem to need a little extra attention in the cleanliness department.   I was getting a little sleepy while driving; so I had to stop to grab me a Mt. Dew Code Red and some of that really good, extra hard beef jerky that you can only get at a truck-stop.

As I was going to the counter to pay for my items there was a guy in front of me ordering a Subway sandwich and the two cashier/subway/truck-stop workers were helping him.  The guy politely said to me “Sir, I am going to take care of your items for you!”  My old response would have been, “No,  Absolutely Not, You Don’t Have To Do That…” or I would have tried to pay for his items.  That was before I had learned to just simply say “Thank You” and that’s it.  Here was our exchange:

  • Me: “Thank You Sir”
  • Him: “No problem, I see you at church.”
  • Me: “Oh you go to LifeChurch”
  • Him: “Yes”
  • Me: “What’s your name and which campus do you attend?”
  • Him: “Byron; I kinda just attend all of them, but I see you… I like what I see.”
  • Me: “What are you doing out this way, do you have family here?”
  • Him: “No, I’m just traveling through for my job!”
  • Me: “Thanks again, Byron it was good to meet you… Have a Blessed One Bro.”

I twittered my experience late last night and @moneyinmarriage replied back to me with @ScottWilliams Got to love random acts of kindness. He will be blessed tremendously.”  Hmmm, how tremendously blessed would the world be if we all just took the time to do Kind Acts of Randomness; formerly known as Random Acts of Kindness.  Let’s take it a step further, how different would the world be if we just learned to say thank you! 

Just like your momma taught you as a child…  “Be Kind and Say Thank You!”   Transcend The Isms

Thoughts?  Experiences? Chime In…

"I'm Good!"

Paul Thanks The Christians 

I was reading through Philippians this morning in the New Century Version and well uhhh “I’m Good!”

I am very happy in the Lord that you have shown your care for me again. You continued to care about me, but there was no way for you to show it.  I am not telling you this because I need anything. I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and with everything that happens. I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty. I have learned the secret of being happy at any time in everything that happens, when I have enough to eat and when I go hungry, when I have more than I need and when I do not have enough. I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength. Philippians 4:10-13

When I have plenty, I’m Good; When I’m at the top, I’m Good; When I don’t have much, I’m Good; When I’m hungry and thirsting for something, I’m Good; When I’m at the top of my leadership game, I’m Good; When I’m unsure of what to do, I’m Good; When others don’t understand, I’m Good; When I drum to a different beat, I’m Good; When life is on cruise control, I’m Good; When the mountain seems too tall or life seems like too much, I’m Good…  You know why “I’m Good?” It’s because I have learned the secret to being happy or “Good” in any time and in everything… I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength. 

Transcend The Isms…   “I’m Good,” Are You?

It's All About The Dessert


Dessert is defined as: A sweet course, treat or dish; served after the main course.

As I was thinking about the holiday season and all of the desserts that I am going to consume; I was reminded of what dessert really is by definition.  It’s that sweet course or treat after the main dish… In life that main dish could be college and the sweet treat could be that degree; that main dish could be your role as a leader and the sweet treats are the lessons that you learn daily; the main course could be that step in obedience in making the commitment to tithe and the sweet treats are the opened floodgates of blessings that God pours into your life, the main course could be the struggles of life, darkness, insecurity, sin… and the SWEET TREAT is the truth, life, grace and forgiveness through Christ.

You get the picture!

The bottom line is to always be mindful and thankful that even though the “main course in life” may not always be good or our favorite dish; there is an opportunity for a tasty treat after the main course. 

It’s All About The Dessert…   Transcend The Isms  

“Some people complain that roses have thorns, I’m thankful thorns have roses.”

  • Are you able to anticipate the sweet treat after the main courses in life?
  • What is your favorite dessert during the Holiday Season?  I’ll go first: “Pecan Freakin’ Pie”

Madagascar 2… Life's Little Lessons

madagascar-2.jpgYesterday I decided to leave the office a little early so that my wife and I could surprise the boys by taking them to see Madagascar 2.  You know we had to get there before 6:00 to get the big $3.50 matinee movie discount.  I told the boys that we were going to a furniture store (their least favorite place) nonetheless when we got to the movies they were pleasantly surprised.

I don’t know if I am the only one out there who does the following: remembers themes within the movie and takes notes of quotes that catch there attention, applies circumstances to life, applies nuances to leadership… but that’s me.  The one quote that made it to my iPhone from Madagascar 2 was in reference to  Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller) was talking to his buddy Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock).  Marty was hanging with a big herd of Zebras and Alex was telling Marty that he was different than the other zebras and unique; here is the quote “These guys are all white with black stripes and you are black with white stripes.”  A theme that made it to my iPhone “Just because you are a King/The man over there, doesnt’ mean that you will be the King/The Man over here and vise versa.  Maximize your strengths!”  Alex was able to Transcend The Isms

Life is about perspective: cup half empty or half full, white with black stripes or black with white stripes, gray hair=good or gray hair=bad, this season sucks or necessary pruning season… perception can become reality. 

Quick Madagascar 2 Review: Wife said it was cute; the boys said it was cool, funny, tight and awesome; I said it was worth the money, a little love story, had some relative leadership/king application and it was funny.  Funny Quote from Motto-Motto “Girl you so huge!”

I Like To Move It Move It, I Like To Move It Move It, I Like To Move It Move, Ya Like To (MOVE IT!)  That song was in my head all last night, so I figured it needed to be in yours all day today!

  • Do you take notes or remember themes, nuances… while watching a movie? 
  • Share your thoughts on Madagascar 2!

I Need Your Help!

For quite some time I have been thinking about putting these random thoughts that go through my head into a readable form, we like to call a book.  I am writing this book because: I said I was, It’s a personal goal, I have something to say, I have some stories to share, I have some unique experiences…  The book will be some of what you read here at BigIsTheNewSmall with more life, more journey, more leadership thoughts, more stories, more musings etc. (Prison, Politics & Pulpit)   

Who knows how far I am from having it completely written; however I have landed on a title for now, which is “Transcend The Isms’.”  If you want to read my original post “Transcend The Isms’” click here.    I have been thinking through and others have recommended some random sub-titles… some are good, some are bad and some are ugly.   Read through the sub-titles below and let me know if any work for you.  Please make your own recommendations as well (I’m not creative, You are!).  Here we go:

  • What the Heck Is An Ism’?
  • Crushing The Freakin’ Box
  • A Different Kind Of Leader
  • I Don’t Want To Be Like Mike
  • Don’t Drink The Kool Aid
  • Settling For Second Sucks
  • I Don’t Want To Be Like You
  • Mediocrity Sucks
  • Don’t Be The Company Guy
  • It’s Time For An Upgrade
  • Don’t Read This Book
  • Living Leading To A Slightly Different Beat

Again, share your thoughts and make your recommendations.  If I end up going with the subtitle that you recommend, I’m sure I will hook you up with something in the book, a mention, a blurb, a “what people are saying” thingy…  Thanks for your help!  Transcend The Isms’

"The Company Guy"

The other day I was talking with some of the pastors on my team whom had just finished lunch with a group of pastors.  They had informed me that they were talking about me at lunch… “I’m all about people talking about me, it just depends on what they were saying.”  They shared bits and pieces of their conversation; however there was one thing they shared that stuck in my head.  They said “We talked about the fact that you are extremely loyal, but you are not “The Company Guy”!” 

This got me thinking about why you shouldn’t be “The Company Guy” and who “The Company Guy” really is. 

The Company Guy Is Worried More About…: 

  • the company than the mission
  • whether their boss thinks their doing a good job than simply doing a great job
  • whether people think they are a good leader than being a great leader
  • looking busy than developing systems so they don’t have to work as hard
  • that next rung on the company ladder than making sure their footing is good on the current ladder rung
  • playing it safe than getting outside the box breaking the freakin’ box
  • a $5 more an hour raise than bringing $10 more an hour worth of value
  • not offending anyone in the company than saying what needs to be said
  • drumming to the company beat than embracing a slightly different beat
  • making the company look good than ensuring that the people around them are healthy

Don’t be “The Company Guy… ”  Transcend The Isms “Do You, It’s a statement not a question!”

Are you, or do you know some Company Guys/Gals?  Share Your Thoughts!

"Not Today…"

not-today-2.jpgI was thinking about coming up with one of those creative, cool, leadership, challenging posts this morning; however I slept through my normal morning 3B-Time (Bible, Books & Blogs).  So what is a person to do, go ahead and push through, come up with something, post a YouTube video, post a blog someone else wrote, post a blog that says go check out so and so’s site, post some pictures… ehhhh not so much for me my friends.  That kind of thought process can lead to a people pleasing attitude and I am the furthest thing from a people pleaser; so my post today simply begins and ends with: “Not Today…” 

If you are having one of those days in whatever area of your life, feel free to simply say “Not Today…” and remember “Not Today… doesn’t mean Not Tomorrow…” 

“Not Today…”  Transcend The Isms’

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