Tag Archive - Courage

The Root Cause of Bad Leadership

The Root Cause of Bad Leadership?

Untrustworthy? Poor communication/listening? Micromanaging? Selfishness? Uncaring/Demeaning? When I ask people about the worst leaders they worked for, these are some descriptions I receive.

Many people believe if you fix these things you will be a better leader. We go to seminars and listen to podcasts (mine included) looking for answers. We read blogs and articles and books about improving in all these areas. “The 12 Skills Leaders Need to…”

The solutions presented are treatments to the symptoms of a disease that runs deeper. I believe the root issue needs to be identified so the treatment plan can actually change the leader and not just treat the symptom. Continue Reading…

Fear and the Micromanager

She's so controlling!

“Fifteen years and she is still looking over my shoulder checking up on me. I have done this job for fifteen years without an incidents, and she still doesn’t trust me!”

Micromanagers often have employees who feel like they are not trusted. The micromanager creates an environment that hamstrings creativity and growth, while exasperating her employees.

Some say this is a trust issue. That may be what it looks like from the outside. But, inside the micromanager the issue is often plain old-fashioned fear. Continue Reading…

Productive Conflict – What’s Your Angle?

To Be Sharp - Friction is Required

If a team does not engage in productive conflict, I guarantee you they are not coming up with the best solutions.

I sharpen a knife with friction.   As I drag a knife across a wet stone, I must maintain the proper angle in order to sharpen the knife’s edge. If I do not keep the knife at the correct angle, I either make it duller, or I have no impact on the edge at all.

Productive conflict is friction correctly applied. Continue Reading…

Five Battles Between Fear and Character

Fear or Character - Strength Comes From Exercising

There is a war that rages inside most of us.  The combatants are Fear and Character.  The weapons used in this war are our hearts and our heads.

In my case, like in most wars, my character wins some of the battles and my fear wins some.  But, which one will win the war?

The winner will be the one that is strongest, most prepared and most determined to win each battle. Continue Reading…

4 Ways To Lead Without The Title

If Not You, They Who?

Titles mean something.  Team Leader, Manager, Supervisor, Vice-President- they are all titles bestowed on those who are called by an organization to lead.  They have the official duties and responsibilities that go with the title.

John Maxwell says leadership is influence.  If that is true, are the people with the titles the only ones called to lead?  No.  The title gives them some positional authority, but leaders are needed at every level of an organization. Continue Reading…

Four Traits Elite Teams Have In Common

Elite Teams Know the Destination

“If you don’t know where you are going, how do you expect to get there.” is one of my favorite quotes of all time. We all want to lead or be part of an elite team. But what does good look like?

What do elite teams have in common? How can a leader develop an elite team? The first step is knowing where you are going. Continue Reading…

Someone has died? 5 Things to Do

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I have no words.  What can I do?  This does not make any sense.  It is not fair.

I agree.  That is what I feel right now, plus so much more.  I have anger and sadness.

People have died and there are people in pain in Texas and across the ocean to other countries because of a car wreck last night.  There are 5 things I know I can do.  Will you join me? Continue Reading…

Three Decisions That Destroy Comfort Zones and Mediocrity

Comfort Zones Create Mediocrity

“If you want to accomplish something you have never accomplished before you must start doing things you have never done before.” Those words hit me hard a few years ago. The truth is:

Your Comfort Zone is Also Your Mediocrity Zone

If you want to be average – if you want to be the same person in five years that you are today, then stay in your comfort zone. That was what I was doing. I never set out to be mediocre, but I was heading towards it at the end of my corporate career. Continue Reading…

Should Loyalty Trump Integrity

Which Is The Trump Card?

Loyalty and integrity are two character traits I think we all desire in ourselves and in others.  I like loyal people.  They are friends and co-workers I know I can depend on.  It does not matter how bad the situation may be.  I know I can count on the loyal people in my life.

I like people of integrity as well.  I like knowing I never have to question their words, actions, or motives.  What you see is what you get.  Their integrity makes trusting them easy.

But should loyalty ever trump integrity?  Is there a time when that is appropriate? Continue Reading…

The Three Checkpoints Before Firing Someone

Should They Stay or Go

“I will do everything I can to help you be as successful as you want to be…right up to the point I realize I am working harder at it than your are.”

I developed this point of view as a result of hanging on to employees for too long. I believe everyone I work with deserves my best. But at times, my desire to help them goes way beyond their desire to improve.

I always use three checkpoints before I make the final decision to fire someone. If these three criteria are met, it is best for everyone – my company, my team, the individual and myself – to fire them. Continue Reading…

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