Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fears of Leadership: Not Placing Well, Not Looking Good

Leadership carries a lot of expectation, many from yourself as a leader. One expectation you might have is that you always have to look good in front of your followers, your peers and everyone else in general.
If you don’t speak well in front of an audience, if you don’t have a good golf game, if you don’t place well in your efforts, if you have chinks in your armor, then questions might arise like are you worthy to lead —or are you really a human being with imperfections all human beings have? Depending upon your leadership situation the picture you paint for yourself can be damaging.
What made the difference for baseball great Babe Ruth? He set a record for 714 Home Runs that stood for decades.  We don’t so much remember that he also held the record of 1,360 for the times he struck out (including 30 times in a World Series). This record also stood for decades.
Self-leadership tip: If you hide your weaknesses they are more likely to ambush you. Embrace your weaknesses, and find someone who will value the honor of covering your weakness with their strengths.
Leadership question: What are some leadership weaknesses you have seen or experienced, and how can they be covered rather than covered up?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fears of Leadership: Getting Blindsided

Wow, you didn’t see it coming and the bus ran over you. Did you get thrown under the bus, or did you step in front of it all on your own?
When you are a leader, you are expected to see all, know all and be all, but things keep coming at you.  What about that new competitor product that bumped yours to third place, or the trusted colleague now vying for your job,  and that project where the costs just doubled? What about the board member who used to support you and just voted against everything you want to do?
Getting blindsided is not uncommon in business or personal areas. What do you do about it? Can you open communication channels throughout your organization so you can get firsthand information (like the undercover CEO)? Are you networked throughout your industry or area of expertise? Do you know what three companies would like to hire you?
Self-leadership Tip: Never, ever, stop networking within and without your organization. Keep appreciating the people who have helped you in the past. Build bridges that keep you connected.
Leadership question: What can leaders do to maintain and improve trust, teamwork and communication in your organization?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

In Leadership and in Life, the –Who- You Really Are Determines the Rest

Is it true that you develop into who you are by force, chance or choice?
Did your parents make you do things like study piano or mow the yard? Did some opportunity appear and you fell into the good fortune of business or love? Perhaps a combination where you made your choices and had a plan, but the wheel of chance threw you into a different path and you were forced to do things differently? Did you come to a fork in the road of life and… which did you choose?
Because of all this, you grew into the unique person you are today, and you have unique opportunities because of —Who— you are.
Who you are determines what you do and how you get to do it. Who you are opens up the options and opportunities you will attract into your life. Who you are evolves as you clarify and pursue your purpose and possibilities in life.
Therefore: know Who you are.
Self-leadership Tip: One leader I know realized one day that all of his “friends” were on his payroll. He decided to expand his circle to attract friends he did not have to pay --he changed himself to attract something different and better into his life. If you don’t like what you are attracting, then who do you need to become?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Entrepreneur Property Laws

Get ready to be amused or horrified. There are business entrepreneurs and there are true entrepreneurs. The difference is that a business entrepreneur tends to be astute in considering the options and opportunities to engage. The true entrepreneur is hard-wired to engage most anything that looks like an opportunity (some old research from Tulane shows that entrepreneurs fail 3.8 times before succeeding).
I found the list below in a day care center and realized it applied to true entrepreneurs. When I share it with true entrepreneurs and the people who work with or for them, they all laugh at its truth, recognizing that Toddler Property Laws also apply to entrepreneurs.
Toddler Property Laws (for Entrepreneurs)
1. If I want it, it's mine.
2. If it looks like mine, it's mine.
3. If I give it to you and change my mind later, it's mine.
4. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
5. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
6. If it's mine, it will never belong to anybody else, no matter what.
7. If I am doing or building something, ALL the pieces are mine.
If you work with or for a true entrepreneur, how does this affect you? If you are a true entrepreneur, how does this apply, help or hurt you?
Self-leadership Tip: The more you have (it’s mine), the more you have to track and oversee. Lead yourself to stop spreading yourself so thin and consider: what do you have to let go of before you can pick up something more worthwhile?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Here’s How to Get an Extra Two Weeks a Year

How would you like to have an extra two weeks of time each year to put towards your personal success? It is amazing how time adds up --and wastes away. One study found that the average US citizen spends 20 minutes a day looking for their keys, executives spend 40 minutes a day looking for a piece of paper they had a while ago. I will show you how 10 minutes a day adds up to a week per year.
Say the average month has 20 work days time 12 months = 240 work days a year. This multiplied by 10 minutes a day = 2400 minutes which is 40 hours: a whole work week. Ten minutes per day equals a whole work week per year.
Consider this. Depending on who’s numbers you use, every minute you spend planning saves between three and twelve minutes of execution. A fifteen minute daily planning time can save you 45 minutes to three hours a day, which equals at least 4.5 weeks per year —sounds pretty incredible? How can you take advantage of this phenomenon?
There are two sides to this coin. First, what in your day can add up to at least 20 minutes a day you could save? Second, what will you schedule for at least 20 minutes a day that will lead to your success as a daily habit?
How can you eliminate what you tolerate?

  • Cut 10-20 minutes from a long conversation.
  • Teach others to clean up after themselves.
  • Focus on what you can control.
  • Use a daily checklist daily checklist to keep on track.  
  • Unclutter and organize things that waste our time.
  • Politely set better boundaries with people and situations that waste our time.
  • —Continue with your own items…

Self-leadership Tip: Lead yourself into saving 20 minutes a day, how will you use this 20 minutes every day to your advantage? This gives you two weeks…