Tag Archive - Leadership Development

Confident Leaders Invite Arguments

Will you listen?

“Argue with me.” He said it, AND he meant it. As I watched this leader invite his team to tear down his idea, I was astonished, inspired and humbled.

  • Astonished: Because I had never seen a leader so readily open to criticism from the people he led.
  • Inspired: Because I watched his team argue passionately for and against the leader’s point of view.
  • Humbled: Because I realized I am not always confident enough to have my ideas torn down by others.

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My Leadership – Their Lives

A Leader's Impact

75% of a person’s waking hours are spent on work – Getting to and from work.  Thinking about work.  Actually working in their job.

I heard this statistic last week and started thinking about what an awesome responsibility we have as leaders.

My leadership at work has huge implications for the lives of my people.  Not just their work lives, but also their home lives. Continue Reading…

Two Ways To Stunt Leadership Development

Let Them Decide!

Many people are not prepared for leadership because their leader has not prepared them.   Some leaders fail to develop the people around them because they don’t allow them to make decisions.

When a leader prevents people from making decisions at lower levels, the organization is creating an environment where low potential followers flourish and future leaders flee. Continue Reading…

Leadership Development Transcends Business

Which Blade Needs Sharpened?

My people were sick of training.  In every meeting, we did some sort of sales training.  The term “sharpening the saw” was being overused.

I agree a dull blade is ineffective.  But, poor sharpening will make the blade duller.  Plus, a blade can be ground down to nothing with too much sharpening.  We had reached the point of diminishing returns.  Continue Reading…

Four Keys To Overcoming Failure

What now?

What if I fail?  There are no “If’s”!  You will fail.  We all fail.  We all fall flat on our faces at some point.  Some of us have more scars from those falls than others.

I am convinced that whatever success I have achieved in this life can be traced back to the failures that preceded the successes.  Thomas Watson once said, “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”

If leaders, employees, spouses and children changed their attitude from fearing failure to embracing it, they would all increase their success rate. Continue Reading…

Three Keys To Personal Growth For Leaders

Growth Takes Work

“I know what I am doing now.”  That is what I thought after a few years leading sales teams.  I thought I had arrived.  But each time I allowed myself to think that, I was proven wrong.

Someone or something always surprised me.  A new challenge would surface that I was not prepared for.  It took awhile, but I finally realized becoming a leader has no end point.

Unfortunately, some leaders fall into a rut and stop growing.  To be a lifetime leader, leaders need to never stop growing.  If leaders stop growing, over time people will stop following. Continue Reading…

Who Is Going To Step Up And Lead?

Who's Going To Lead?

They just stood there.  It was funny.  It was sad.  It was telling.  When the captains left the court, none of the other players stepped forward to lead.  Communication broke down and chaos ensued.

I was watching a high school girls sporting event.  Unfortunately, I have seen this in the business world too.  When the leader is gone and nobody steps forward, a bump in the road can cause a relatively smooth running team to end up in a ditch.

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Leadership Is Uncomfortable

This isn't going to be easy!

She looked me in the eyes and said, “I am not having any fun.” Sandy was obviously frustrated while trying to lead her peers. Sandy was trying to lead them through a leadership “ropes course”.

I smiled at her and said, “It’s not supposed to be fun for you.   You are the leader.”  Sandy learned a lot that day.  Perhaps the biggest thing she learned was being a leader can be uncomfortable.

In fact, I believe leadership should be uncomfortable if I am doing it right! Continue Reading…

5 Ways A Leader Becomes A Manager

Sliding Towards Management

On multiple occasions during my 20 year career with a Fortune 50 behemoth, I lobbied to change the job titles of the leaders in our sales force.  We were all called Managers.

I thought our titles should be Leader not Manager.   But, no matter my title, I always believed I was leading.  Now in the rearview mirror, I see times I had slid into management mode instead of fighting to remain a leader.   Continue Reading…

Leaders: 3 Poor Excuses To Say “No”

"No" Is Too Easy

I’ve been that guy.  I wanted everything to run smoothly so I would do as Nancy Reagan did and “Just Say No.”

Years later, in my rearview mirror, I realize by saying “No” too quickly, I damaged my team and the individuals on my team.  I missed opportunities to develop better decision makers and therefore better leaders.

What was it about me as a leader that made me say “No” so quickly?  I usually had 1 of 3 excuses for saying “No” and none of them were good.

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