Ponder what it takes to be a true leader with these practical quotes that will lead you to a more precise understanding of the secrets to successful leadership…
“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”
“No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.”
–W. H. Auden
“Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.”
–Warren Bennis Continue reading
Have you ever heard someone say, “Actually, I have to admit that I think I am really bad at managing other people. My staff all hate me and I’m incapable of doing my job”.
The answer is no, of course. No one says this either because they don’t believe it, or because they don’t want to appear incompetent. Unfortunately research tells us that from the employees’ perspective, there aren’t that many terrific managers out there.
What should we take out of this dichotomy? Perhaps at the least, we could all admit to ourselves that there is room for some improvement in the way we lead others. After all, it’s not the sort of skill that is easy to get 100% right all of the time. It might just be that we don’t specifically know what improvements to make, so here’s 10 ways to start: Continue reading
I am fascinated by problems. I like to think of myself as a solution oriented individual. However when problems creep into my life as they always do I know that I am in for a major learning experience.
I just finished reading a book this week that belongs on the bookshelf of every entrepreneur. It is called “Juice, The Creative Fuel That Drives World-Class Inventors by Evan I. Schwartz.” This book allows you to take a peek inside the labs of the brightest minds and better understand how they relentlessly question and discover the infinite number of ways that we can imagine and create solutions. The book is an awesome expose on how world class inventors on the planet search for problems, seek to understand them and develop solutions that can only come about by perceiving the problem in a different manner. Every entrepreneur should read this book! It is chock full of wisdom that we can apply to our business lives.
Albert Einstein once commented that the most fundamental question we can ever ask ourselves is whether or not the universe we live in is friendly or hostile. He hypothesized that your answer to that question would determine your destiny. Continue reading
While reading my latest book on politics and economics, I came across a reference to a bible story called “Parable of the Talents’. In this story three servants are each give ‘talents’ (a monetary denomination used by the Greeks). To the first, the master gave 5 talents, to the second he gave 2 and to the third he gave 1 talent. The master gave each a different amount of money (talents), according to their ability.
Two of the servants doubled their money and the master was pleased with their results. The third servant, fearful of losing it, buried his money where no one benefited from it, including himself.
When the master summoned the third servant to get an accounting of what he had done with his talent, he was angry and displeased to find out the servant had simply buried it and where the money had no opportunity to earn interest. Continue reading
I had the good fortune (or misfortune depending on your climate perspective) of living in Minnesota for ten years. The Summers were beautiful, Fall was spectacular with the changing colors of the leaves on trees and winter was, well, damn cold.
My neighbor, Harold was a nice old guy who had retired many years ago who hibernated all winter but loved to garden during the summer. The only time I saw Harold come out of his house was to put some bird food in the feeder he’d setup on his tree in the front yard.
Every year, as winter began to set in, I would see squirrels all around our front lawns gathering food. They’d scurry around digging and prodding hoping to fill their jowls with some food and return to their hole.
One day I saw Harold putting some metal sheets around the base of his tree where he kept his bird feeder. I didn’t understand why until another neighbor explained to me that Harold was trying to keep the squirrels from eating the bird food. By putting the metal sheets around the base Harold thought the squirrels wouldn’t be able to climb up the tree. The next morning, the food was gone. Continue reading
I was invited to do a Leadership workshop at a well known Fortune 100 company out in New Jersey. The all day event was geared toward their new crop of interns. At a point in my presentation I talked about the many reasons we come up with for not taking action. The many excuses we create in order to delay or defer acting on our plans to achieve success.
I talked about how we have a bad habit of ‘rationalizing’ why something can’t be done or be accomplished. We procrastinate because we convince ourselves that: It can’t get done, I don’t have enough time, I have too much to do already, I’m short on money so now isn’t a good time, My dog’s sick so I’m not in the mood to start anything right now, I’m not smart enough, I’m not qualified, on and on, blah, blah, blah. You get the idea! We rationalize why we can’t get going.
Did you ever break up the word ‘rationalize’? Continue reading
All of us join professional organizations for a reason-a friend belongs, we need to for credibility, etc. Many times we let years slide by and we don’t stop and review those reasons. Unless something sets off a boundary–lack of funds, the organization runs itself into a ditch, or a leadership problem.
When doesn’t it fit any longer? Is there a pattern to you dropping a membership?
I know, as an accountant for 15 years, I joined organization after organization. Without knowing it, and after delegating it to my assistant, I realized that I belonged to 32 organizations. Yes, at one time. Yes, I know this is probably exceptional. Yes, I can blame it on my assistant or being too busy. But I’m not. It wasn’t until I began to take a complete review of those memberships that I realize many no longer fit.
During the review process, I learned to ask different questions. Let me share with you a 6-step process that I’ve used for the last 8 years that I know will help you: 1) choose more wisely in the future; (2) set your intention and expectations first; and (3) know what you want to give back.
This 10-minute exercise will save you time and money as well as make money and create time with smarter choices in the future. Continue reading
Many people end up in a supervisory position or SOHO ownership almost by default. In today’s workplace, if someone stays on their job long enough, they will probably be promoted as others, more senior to them or higher up the chain of responsibility, leave for other opportunities.
The prevalence of this type of promotion can lead to people with little or no leadership skills being promoted into positions of responsibility.
This type of promotion can have many unexpected and negative effects on the current work force if the newly promoted supervisor is lacking basic leadership talent. Since a supervisor’s skill level is visible immediately to those under their stewardship, a lack of leadership aptitude can be catastrophic to the productivity of those now working for the new supervisor. Continue reading
You’re a bright, successful business executive making good money and managing a capable staff of accomplished professionals. You are successful beyond your wildest business school dreams. You’ve achieved much-yet something’s missing. On the surface, life is good-yet you feel tired, drained, frustrated, defeated. Intuitively, you know your life can and should be more fulfilling.
Where do you turn? What can you do?
Four years ago, I reached a point in my career as a clinical psychologist where I, too, was unwilling to put up with any more professional “pain” and stagnation. I wanted more for my life and I knew I could have more. That’s when I teamed up with a personal coach and began my own career transition to the relatively new profession of “Personal Coaching” . . . and I’ve never looked back.
Working with a personal coach provided me the direction and support I needed to reinvigorate my own life and change my career-to recapture my voice, my sense of purpose, my sense of direction. It’s something you can have, too. Here’s how. Continue reading
On airplanes, in restaurants, in the newspaper and on television, I often hear people saying their businesses are not growing to their satisfaction or that they are not reaching their objectives. The explanations that follow consist of reasons like:
- It’s the economy
- Our customers don’t get it
- I don’t have the right people on the team
I could go on, and so could you.I think that is all a bunch of hogwash.People (both those doing the talking, and those they are talking about) are not all they can be. The organization is not all it can be. Both have tremendous untapped potential sitting there, waiting to be recognized and tapped. Both have potential waiting to be unleashed.
Dictionary.com defines potential as “the inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being, or something possessing the capacity for growth or development.”
When we point to others and other factors as the cause to our problems (in business or any part of our life) we are missing the point. We hold many of the answers ourselves. Maybe not in this moment, but when we unleash our potential, we unleash talents, skills, perspectives and ideas that can help us solve the problems we face and (as no small side benefit) become more fulfilled in our lives. Simply stated, as caretakers of our own lives we are cheating ourselves if we don’t do everything we can to unleash our potential – that innate ability within us waiting to be developed. Continue reading