Archives for September 2014

How imagination will make you a successful leader

What could you do with an apple?

Picture an apple.

Now, close your eyes and just think of all the things you could do with that apple.

What did you come up with?

If you’re like most people, you probably thought of things like eat it, peel it, cut it up, share it, take the seeds and grow an orchard, make applesauce, make apple pie, maybe put it on someone’s head and shoot an arrow at it. You might have even thought of throwing it at someone.

Those are the typical responses I get from my audiences when I ask that question. And that’s great. But, let’s do it again. [Read more…]

What successful leadership looks like

Successful leadership

What does leadership look like? I’ve attended leadership seminars where, at the end of several days, many participants understood what they heard but they had little idea how to apply the principles in daily life.

I was recently invited to speak at the end of a Texas county’s at the quarterly meeting of government department heads and elected officials. The group of 45 people discussed typical local government issues: road repair, bond proposals, instructions for handling polling places for an upcoming election, public health issues, and similar things.

During the meeting there was one very obvious thing: these people liked each other. They joked easily together. The atmosphere had a noticeable lack of hostility and tension. And it was easy to see why. [Read more…]

Your leadership affects your home life

The way you lead at work is the way you lead at home 

Do you have what it takes to be a great leader?

When you read that sentence, perhaps the first thing you thought of is your job. So often, we equate leadership and the workplace. We go to leadership seminars and trainings. We read books and articles on leadership. We watch the heads of our companies and organizations and decide whether they are true leaders or not.

I frequently get the impression that people think of leadership as something that’s turned on at work and turned off at home. Maybe it’s because the environment at home is less formal. Perhaps it’s because we aren’t getting paid to be a leader at home. It could simply be that we’re more conscientious about how we treat people at work and tend to take people at home for granted. [Read more…]

Leadership comes from the inside out—and you already have your own style

Leadership comes from the inside out

When I talk about leadership in my seminars, so many people in the audience think about leaders and leadership as being limited to the top level of an organization—highly-paid executives making big decisions.

That’s part of it, of course. But I’m more interested in a broader look at leaders and leadership, the kind that says you can be a leader from any position in any organization. In this sense it’s about attitude and responsibility rather than position power.

I came across a graphic once called Leadership Excellence, listing ten categories of excellence: [Read more…]

Do you feel like no one understands what you’re going through?

No one know what it's like for the leader

You’re not alone.

When you find yourself in a difficult situation, one of responsibility and decision making, it’s easy to feel isolated. Frustration and self-doubt can creep in. Before long, you’re not sure if you’re doing things the right way; you may feel like you’re the only one who knows what you’re going through.

When this happens, you start to live inside your head, convincing yourself of the “truth” you’ve come to believe. “I’m so alone in my confusion.” “I feel so alone in my frustration.” “Am I doing this right? I’m probably doing it all wrong.”

“Everyone else knows what they’re doing except me.”  [Read more…]