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    Free Essay
    7.6 of 10 on the basis of 2010 Review.
     

     

     

     

     

     

         
     
    Attitude determines altitude

     

    Your attitude determines your altitude – in business and in life. You can’t change someone else’s attitude for them. But this powerful adage is a great reminder that you can put in front of anyone who needs an attitude adjustment. I want to talk about a few of the many ways each of us can develop a winning attitude every day. It’s what leaders do. Marcus Aurelius, the great philosopher who ruled the Roman Empire, said it simply: “Our life is what our thoughts make it”. Dale Carnegie, speaking to that quote said: “Yes, if we think happy thoughts, we will be happy. If we think miserable thoughts, we will be miserable. If we think fear thoughts, we will be fearful. If we think sickly thoughts we probably will be ill. If we think failure, we will certainly fail. If we wallow in self-pity, everyone will want to shun us and avoid us”. Am I advocating a Pollyanna attitude toward all our problems? No. Life isn’t that simple. But I am advocating – in the strongest terms – that we assume a positive attitude instead of a negative one. Mental attitude - the power we hold in our heads. Reality can be changed dramatically by a single thought. In nutrition the adage is you are what you eat. In terms of leadership, it’s more likely you are what you think. Contrary to what people want to believe, outside influences don’t usually determine your happiness or success, rather it is how we react to those influences – good or bad. So how do you change your reactions to those outside forces? Make how you react a conscious priority, which means practice daily. Humor is vital. When things aren’t going your way, keep everything in perspective and relax. I laugh. Others throw up their hands. Whole industries get very cynical. Positive self-confident feelings not only help you achieve more; they also make others want to be associated with you. People are drawn to others who have an upbeat outlook, who have a can-do attitude. Constant complainers don’t collect an easy following. Positive self-confident feelings not only help you achieve more; they also make others want to be associated with you. People are drawn to others who have an upbeat outlook, who have a can-do attitude. Constant complainers don’t collect an easy following. One of a leader’s most important jobs is to set a positive and self-confident tone, exuding the attitude that failure is not an option. A positive attitude is the cornerstone of leadership. It’s the same confidence that a quarterback, a golfer, or a tennis star projects every time they come out of the locker room. To gain strength from the positive and not be sapped by the negative, here are a few ideas: Focus on the 90% of your team who will run with your vision and your plan - don't let the "negative nellies" drain you or poison your team. Tap your spiritual essence at work too - use your spirit and your heart to move you and your work forward. Break the negative energy cycle – if you see yourself spiraling down or in a rut, mix it up, breakup the routine and do something fast that lifts you up. When you see one of your team members in a rut of unproductive or unprofessional behavior address it, don’t let it fester. Active listening – takes time. Work at it, to hear what your team wants. Often just by being heard, problems can go away and people really make a big turnaround. You must be the emotional manager of your office - not your assistant, not the new hotshot you just hired. In a family, parents must be the emotional managers or chaos rules the home. In your business, you must wear that mantel, albeit reluctantly at times. It’s part of your leadership role and power. Hone it, as well as your reactions to external events, and you’ll see the culture around you shift to the positive. Jim Collins points out in Good to Great: When in doubt, don’t hire – keep looking. You can’t grow revenues consistently faster than your ability to get enough of the right people to implement that growth and still become a great company. So unless candidates for the open position have that can-do attitude and are a strong fit for your company in who they are – don’t hire them. The skills can be taught; the and-then-some positive attitude cannot. As my friend Doug Emerson ([email protected]) put it recently: “The prerequisite is attitude. Attitude is the one thing we can’t change in employees. You’ve got a good attitude or you don’t. Given adequate ability and desire to learn, everything else can be taught to employees with good attitudes. I have tried many times to teach good attitudes and have come to the conclusion it is about as easy as making a mud fence.” A negative attitude will pull you down and with it your professional results. A positive attitude will pull you over the rough spots and energize you to lift your results to new heights – to match your vision. Whether you need an attitude adjustment a couple of times a day, once a week or only occasionally, never forget that your attitude determines your altitude. Don’t let outside people or events bring yours down.

         
    Audiences are your friend

     

    For the rank amateur to the ignorant professional, audiences create the same effect no matter how small they are to a speaker. Fear and anxiety. From a single person to a crowd as big as the fans in the Super Bowl, speaking in front of a serious listening audience is the true test and baptism of fire. Despite this, audiences are predictable. Audiences listen to you because they want to learn something from the speaker. Following this logic, the speaker would do well to follow the strategy of making it informative as well as interesting to listeners to see your speech through till the end. Here are some tips on how you can have the audience listen in rapt attention. 1. Speak according to the listeners’ interests. It is always a good idea to find out what the crowd you are speaking to is interested in. For example, if you have more teenagers in the crowd, you don’t really want to talk about your subject in a way that bores them, like good education. Other aspects to consider would be the local culture, age, sports, religious inclinations, etc. Talk about what’s important to them, something they can easily relate to without a stretch of imagination. 2. Praise the audience. Audiences are human too, and each and every one of them has a need to be acknowledged as much as you want to be acknowledged for speaking well in front of them. There is only one requirement for this maxim, that your praise be one hundred percent sincere. Anything less and you’ll have resentment in your hands. 3. Connect with the audience. Find a common thread that makes the audience relate to you, and you’ll find that the speech will come through really well. Finding a common thread humanizes you and the speech. It makes them want to listen to you because it may in some way be of great benefit to them. 4. Have the audience participate. Get somebody to come onstage and participate in a demonstration. Ask questions of the audience. Get feedback. Encourage them to walk up to the microphone and give you a piece of their mind. The point is to involve the audience, once more, making it more real to them. Taking them along with you in your experience. 5. Less you, more them. Play yourself down. Nobody, especially an audience, likes to be lectured to. This will cause resentment that will last a long time. Never feel that you are above them. The better way to think about your audience would be that you care about their welfare. Think of yourself as their best friend, and more often than not, this will hold you in good stead.

         
    Awaken the leader in you 10 easy steps to developing your leadership skills

     

    "The miracle power that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance, under the promptings of a brave determined spirit." - Mark Twain Many motivational experts like to say that leaders are made, not born. I would argue the exact opposite. I believe we are all natural born leaders, but have been deprogrammed along the way. As children, we were natural leaders - curious and humble, always hungry and thirsty for knowledge, with an incredibly vivid imagination; we knew exactly what we wanted, were persistent and determined in getting what we wanted, and had the ability to motivate, inspire, and influence everyone around us to help us in accomplishing our mission. So why is this so difficult to do as adults? What happened? As children, over time, we got used to hearing, No, Don't, and Can't. No! Don't do this. Don't do that. You can't do this. You can't do that. No! Many of our parents told us to keep quiet and not disturb the adults by asking silly questions. This pattern continued into high school with our teachers telling us what we could do and couldn't do and what was possible. Then many of us got hit with the big one institutionalized formal education known as college or university. Unfortunately, the traditional educational system doesn't teach students how to become leaders; it teaches students how to become polite order takers for the corporate world. Instead of learning to become creative, independent, self-reliant, and think for themselves, most people learn how to obey and intelligently follow rules to keep the corporate machine humming. Developing the Leader in you to live your highest life, then, requires a process of unlearning by self-remembering and self-honoring. Being an effective leader again will require you to be brave and unlock the door to your inner attic, where your childhood dreams lie, going inside to the heart. Based on my over ten years research in the area of human development and leadership, here are ten easy steps you can take to awaken the Leader in you and rekindle your passion for greatness. 1. Humility. Leadership starts with humility. To be a highly successful leader, you must first humble yourself like a little child and be willing to serve others. Nobody wants to follow someone who is arrogant. Be humble as a child, always curious, always hungry and thirsty for knowledge. For what is excellence but knowledge plus knowledge plus knowledge - always wanting to better yourself, always improving, always growing. When you are humble, you become genuinely interested in people because you want to learn from them. And because you want to learn and grow, you will be a far more effective listener, which is the #1 leadership communication tool. When people sense you are genuinely interested in them, and listening to them, they will naturally be interested in you and listen to what you have to say. 2. SWOT Yourself. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Although it's a strategic management tool taught at Stanford and Harvard Business Schools and used by large multinationals, it can just as effectively be used in your own professional development as a leader. This is a useful key to gain access to self-knowledge, self-remembering, and self-honoring. Start by listing all your Strengths including your accomplishments. Then write down all your Weaknesses and what needs to be improved. Make sure to include any doubts, anxieties, fears, and worries that you may have. These are the demons and dragons guarding the door to your inner attic. By bringing them to conscious awareness you can begin to slay them. Then proceed by listing all the Opportunities you see available to you for using your strengths. Finally, write down all the Threats or obstacles that are currently blocking you or that you think you will encounter along the way to achieving your dreams. 3. Follow Your Bliss. Regardless of how busy you are, always take time to do what you love doing. Being an alive and vital person vitalizes others. When you are pursuing your passions, people around you cannot help but feel impassioned by your presence. This will make you a charismatic leader. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, be it writing, acting, painting, drawing, photography, sports, reading, dancing, networking, or working on entrepreneurial ventures, set aside time every week, ideally two or three hours a day, to pursue these activities. Believe me, you'll find the time. If you were to video tape yourself for a day, you would be shocked to see how much time goes to waste! 4. Dream Big. If you want to be larger than life, you need a dream that's larger than life. Small dreams won't serve you or anyone else. It takes the same amount of time to dream small than it does to dream big. So be Big and be Bold! Write down your One Biggest Dream. The one that excites you the most. Remember, don't be small and realistic; be bold and unrealistic! Go for the Gold, the Pulitzer, the Nobel, the Oscar, the highest you can possibly achieve in your field. After you ve written down your dream, list every single reason why you CAN achieve your dream instead of worrying about why you can't. 5. Vision. Without a vision, we perish. If you can't see yourself winning that award and feel the tears of triumph streaming down your face, it's unlikely you will be able to lead yourself or others to victory. Visualize what it would be like accomplishing your dream. See it, smell it, taste it, hear it, feel it in your gut. 6. Perseverance. Victory belongs to those who want it the most and stay in it the longest. Now that you have a dream, make sure you take consistent action every day. I recommend doing at least 5 things every day that will move you closer to your dream. 7. Honor Your Word. Every time you break your word, you lose power. Successful leaders keep their word and their promises. You can accumulate all the toys and riches in the world, but you only have one reputation in life. Your word is gold. Honor it. 8. Get a Mentor. Find yourself a mentor. Preferably someone who has already achieved a high degree of success in your field. Don't be afraid to ask. You've got nothing to lose. Mentors. ca is an excellent mentoring website and a great resource for finding local mentoring programs. They even have a free personal profile you can fill out in order to potentially find you a suitable mentor. In addition to mentors, take time to study autobiographies of great leaders that you admire. Learn everything you can from their lives and model some of their successful behaviors. 9. Be Yourself. Use your relationships with mentors and your research on great leaders as models or reference points to work from, but never copy or imitate them like a parrot. Everyone has vastly different leadership styles. History books are filled with leaders who are soft-spoken, introverted, and quiet, all the way to the other extreme of being out - spoken, extroverted, and loud, and everything in between. A quiet and simple Gandhi or a soft-spoken peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter, who became president of the United States and won a Nobel Peace Prize, have been just as effective world leaders as a loud and flamboyant Churchill, or the tough leadership style employed by The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher. I admire Hemingway as a writer. But if I copy Hemingway, I'd be a second or third rate Hemingway, at best, instead of a first rate Sharif. Be yourself, your best self, always competing against yourself and bettering yourself, and you will become a first rate YOU instead of a second rate somebody else. 10. Give. Finally, be a giver. Leaders are givers. By giving, you activate a universal law as sound as gravity life gives to the giver, and takes from the taker. The more you give, the more you get. If you want more love, respect, support, and compassion, give love, give respect, give support, and give compassion. Be a mentor to others. Give back to your community. As a leader, the only way to get what you want, is by helping enough people get what they want first. As Sir Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."

         
    Award for a leadership development program

     

    Why do organizations come together every year at the 2005 Excellence Fair held by the Professional Association for Computer Training? It is because something worked well for an organization and valuable information needs to be shared. This year at the 2005 Excellence Fair it was Cargill, the international food provider (located in over 59 countries), that was recognized for their Transition into Leadership curriculum that helps employees transition into leadership roles. So, what is it about Cargill’s leadership curriculum that has led to such great success? It began when Cargill recognized that great team members also make great leaders. But, the insights, skills, and vision needed to be an effective leader must be developed, practiced, and learned over time. As such, the focus of Cargill’s leadership development program is to provide new and aspiring leaders with the skills required to confront the challenges and opportunities that a leadership role entails. In the program, aspiring and new leaders learn how to guide, empower, and assist the efforts of others towards greater success. These newly developed leaders are instructed on how to lead people, make a difference in their work, and fulfill leadership expectations. So how is this leadership development program different from all of the others? This program provides new leaders with the key tools for leading effectively, while at the same time making the program specific to the development needs of each attendee. Most programs on the market do not focus on the transformation process aspiring leaders must go through to maximize their effectiveness. The Transition into Leadership curriculum was designed to:  Introduce the best ideas and practices in leadership today  Identify the significant differences between leadership and management  Determine the participants own leadership strengths and areas for improvement  Develop and practice sound leadership skills and abilities  Learn “best practices” through close affiliation with other Cargill leaders  Communicate effectively and reinforce, mission, goals, and vision  Take accountability for business results and team member development  Embrace change and challenge the comfort zone of team members Cargill’s leadership development program places great importance on their employees and know that they are the key part of a successful future. As a result they seek the best programs in order to create development opportunities for their employees and leaders around the world. Cargill selected CMOE to partner with them in the development and implementation of the Transition into Leadership program. At the Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness we have been helping Cargill to create, develop and implement their Transition into Leadership program and fulfill a variety of training needs. The past 27 years CMOE has been instrumental in designing leadership development programs for multinational organizations. We help our clients improve the leaders of today and help create the leaders of tomorrow.

         
    Be a leader not a follower

     

    Most people in life are happy to follow the lead of other people, to sit on the fence in a debate or have the attitude of hiding at the back of the class. The most successful people are leaders and make things happen for themselves by taking a positive attitude and through working very hard to reach their goals. We are all able to become leaders and this article may help you to achieve this status. I grew up as a very nervous person, who had very little self-confidence and who was very shy. I was not happy being this way and often felt jealous of other people who were happy to speak up and take control of tasks and situations. I wanted to be one of these leaders and not the follower that I certainly had become. In my early twenties, I decided that the time had arrived to make a series of life changing decisions. I was determined to have a happy and successful life and was aware that I needed to change my whole attitude and approach to life. I was not happy at where I worked and joined an employment agency in an attempt to find alternative employment. In the reception area of the agency, I started speaking to a man who was also their hoping to find a different job. His name was Mark and we got on well and wished each other the best of luck in our quest to find work. We even exchanged phone numbers and vowed to keep each other up to date with our progress. I was then interviewed by a man who explained his plan to help me to find this new role of work. He was very bright, clever and positive and had many interesting ideas. He seemed very confident that I would soon be employed for a different company more suited to the skills which I had. At one stage of the meeting he described the scenario of a group interview. He suggested that we may be ushered into a large room with a big table. As we sat down there would be a sheet of paper asking the group to debate a particular subject. He stated that all of the people in the room would be in the same position, all looking for work, all nervous, however that in that room I could be whoever I wanted to be. He said that I needed to stand up and take the lead by stating that I would act as chairman and that if anyone had a comment that they wanted to make, that they could raise their hand. If I did this I would show my prospective employer that I was a leader. I went home and thought about this and did not believe I had it in me to act in the way that he wanted me to, as I was not a leader. Later that evening Mark phoned and all he was talking about was the group interview scenario. He also stated that there was no way that he would be able to stand up either in the way that had been described. I did not have to ever attend a group interview, but Mark did. He surprised himself by carrying out the advice and stated that after he had said his initial statement about being the chairman, that he had never felt so powerful and in control. For the rest of the day other members of the group had been regularly asking him questions as if he was some sort of team leader. He was very proud of himself and I am happy to report that he was successful at that interview and is very happy in his new position. He has also taken the success and learning experience into his social life and states that he has never had a higher self-esteem. I am very pleased for him as he is a genuine person who works very hard. He is also one of only a few friends that I can honestly say that I trust. I have taken inspiration from Mark and have entered into a career of helping people who stutter, to achieve fluency. This is something which I really enjoy and which gives me a large amount of job satisfaction. I am also far more confident than I ever have been and have at last found happiness. In conclusion we all have it in us to be a leader. We need to be brave and determined to take control and remember that all we can do in life is to try our best. We are only sure about living one life, so lets be happy and not accept second best. Be a leader in life, not a follower.

         
    Blueprint for leadership how to be a better leader

     

    If you were to build a house, you would begin with a blueprint. This blueprint proves useful because it contains more than directions on how to build a house. It also describes the finished house. So, what does this have to do with leadership? Last month I asked an audience of leaders to tell me the characteristics of an ideal leader. Their answers were (in the order collected): A good listener, enthusiasm, passion, shows appreciation, a visionary, role model, trusting, integrity, organized, knowledgeable, credibility, persuasive, charisma, team building, clarity of purpose, problem solver, attitude of service, leads by example, patience, willing to act without complete knowledge, understands followers, consistent, empowers other people, and adapts to change. I'll add that this is essentially the same list that I receive from other audiences when I ask this question. From this comes some useful insights. 1) Notice what the list contains. All of these characteristics relate to the human side of leadership. That's interesting because I often hear people minimize this side of leadership with terms like "soft" or "touchy feely." Actually, applying these characteristics requires more strength than not. 2) Notice what the list excludes. Absent from this list (and all lists from other programs) are characteristics such as stern, mean, serious, short tempered, vindictive, tough, angry, harsh, punitive, controlling, violent, or ruthless. And that's interesting because many popular representations of leadership emphasize at least one of these "hard" characteristics. In fact, these characteristics are the refuge of those who lack the strength (or the skills) to apply the human side of leadership. 3) How about you? How would you rate yourself as a leader compared to the list of positive characteristics? If you were to survey the people who report to you, how would they describe your leadership? Would they list characteristics from the "soft" list or from the "hard" list? Could you become more effective by improving upon any of the "soft" characteristics? And how about the other leaders in your organization? Do they truly maximize human potential? People want leaders who treat them with genuine compassion, courtesy, and respect. They want leaders who help them become more successful. They want leaders who inspire them with a vision for a better world and show them how to go there.

         
    Boost your leadership skills by disciplining yourself in the way of the question mark

     

    PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to: [email protected] Word count: 735 I'm often asked to come in to organizations and give a motivational speech to their employees. I reply that I'm not a motivational speaker. Never have been. Never will be. Don't want to be. I do something else. I teach their people how to become motivational leaders. That's a far more productive endeavor. The concept and application of motivation are misunderstood in most organizations. The motivational industry is based on a fundamental contradiction; because the focus of motivation is misplaced. After all, leaders (salespeople included) should be motivated. If they aren't, they shouldn't be leaders. Here's where the focus should be: not on the leaders themselves but on the people they lead. Can those leaders transfer their motivation to other people so those people are as motivated as they are about the challenges they face? Furthermore: Can those people who "catch" the motivation of their leaders then go out and motivate others -- and those others go out themselves and motivate still others ... and on and on? Finally, can people at each phase of this "cascading of cause leaders" translate motivation into action that achieves results -- and not just average results but more results faster on a continual basis? I have written many articles on motivation and how to transfer your motivation to others. But there is another way of transforming your motivation to others that doesn't take much explaining. It's surprisingly simple, easy to use, and effective. Yet few leaders I've encountered use it, and those who use it, don't use it well. It's the Way of the Question Mark. A "way" is a course of life one undertakes to advance in a particular discipline. So it is with the Way of the Question Mark. It is not simply a technique; you'll find it is actually a disciplined course of life. (I've been using it for years and am still a long way from mastering it. Because the question mark is often particularly appropriate in a highly charged emotional situation. However, in such situations, when strong emotions are getting the better of me, it takes practice and discipline to step back, gather my thoughts, and ask a question.) Practicing the Way of the Question Mark can enhance your relationships with the people you lead so you get a lot more results as a leader. From now on in all your leadership endeavors, make a conscious effort to put a question mark at what would otherwise be declarative sentences. Asking the question rather than using a declarative is usually more effective because it gets people reflecting upon their situation. We can't motivate anyone to do anything. They have to motivate themselves. And they best motivate themselves when they reflect on their character and their situation. The question prompts people to answer, and when they are answering, they may engage in such reflection. You may not like the answer; but often their answer, no matter what it is, is better in terms of advancing results than your declaration. Also, their answering the question may prompt them to think they have come up with a good idea. People are less enamored of your great ideas than they are of their ideas, even if those ideas are simply average. For instance, your organization needs to have people to from point A to point B. An order leader might say, "Go from A to B." Practicing the Way, one might ask: "Tell me what you think about going from A to B?" or "What's the best way for you to go from A to B?" or "Tell me how I can support you going from A to B?" or "How will you take leadership of others going from A to B?" Mind you, I'm not talking about pandering to people's whims. I'm talking motivation, motivating people to get more results faster on a continual basis. (In fact, you can't order people to get more results faster continually. Only motivated people can do it.) I'm talking about challenging people to undertake extraordinary things, to be better than they think they are. The question mark, as opposed to the simple declarative, opens up a world of results-producing possibilities. And it's a world predicated on their choices. Make the Way of the Question Mark your way. Discipline yourself to ask questions rather than make statements. You'll start getting more results. 2006 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

         
    Boost your leadership skills simply by answering the question what does our organization really reward

     

    PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to: [email protected] Word count: 900 Summary: The author contends that most organizations reward the wrong things. He offers a four step process for turning wrong rewards into the right results. Boost Your Leadership Skills Simply By Answering The Question, "What Does Our Organization Really Reward?" By Brent Filson The difference between leaders is ears. Good leaders not only ask good questions, but they actually listen to the answers. Ask people in your organization: "What does our organization REALLY reward?" Listening to the answer may help you achieve marked increased in results. Rewards and punishments make up the drive shaft of any organization. But my experience of working with thousands of leaders during the past 23 years reveals that most of their organizations reward the wrong things. Such organizations may pay lip service to rewarding people for what is viewed as the right things: getting results, getting the right results, getting the right results in the right ways. But what they may really reward, often in terms of promotions and job perks, are such things as the care and feeding of top leaders' egos, political conniving, tyrannical leadership .... Here is a way to transform wrong rewards into right results. (1) Ask people in your organization what your organization REALLY rewards. The answers may surprise you. But don't get caught up in those answers. Don't make value judgments. At this stage, you are just an observer. Simply compile the list. (2) Gauge each item on the list against results your organization really needs. Does it help get results? Does it detract from results? Do it this way: Pick out a single item from your list. Describe the problem in the item and identify who controls its solution. Execute a "stop-start-continue" process. What reward do you stop, what do you start, and what do you continue? You'll get results, but don't expect overnight success. Not only are many of these wrong rewards ingrained habits but changing them seldom achieves quick results. Still, keep asking, What does my organization really reward? In the long run, when tackling the challenges that comes with listening to the answers, you'll be getting more results as well as sharpening your leadership skills. (3) Ask, "What does your leadership really reward?" When your leadership rewards the wrong things, you're getting a fraction of the results you're capable of. However, since we see the faults of others more clearly than our own, it may be more difficult identifying and dealing with your own issues rather than your organization's. Do a 360 degree assessment. Select a single item from the list and apply the start-stop-continue process. Don't simply eliminate the item. Such items can be grist for the results mill. Identify the problem in the item then have the solution be a tool that gets results. Guaranteed you will get results. After all, you are eliminating a negative aspect of your leadership and replacing it with a results-producing one. When you make this a long term endeavor — going from item to item — results will come to you in new and often unexpected ways. (4) Encourage the people you lead to question the rewards aspects of their own leadership. Be aware of their reactions to your encouragement. Do they see the questioning as meaningful to their jobs? Do they want their colleagues involved in such questioning? Do they want to have senior management question their own leadership? If people want the questioning to be a regular part of their daily work, continue it. If they feel it has little value, call a time out. After all, if people believe they are powerless to change things in the organization, seismic questions like this will only frustrate and anger them, creating a hot house environment for cynicism to flower. As you go forward: --Cultivate among the people a common, self-reinforcing fervor for the questioning. Don't force things. Be an observer and a supporter. Observe their reactions to the questioning and support their efforts to make it succeed. --Encourage the development of networks of people taking the initiative to engage in the questioning together. --Now and then, and especially in the beginning, set aside special times and places to have them focus exclusively on such questioning, making sure they continually link the answers to getting increases in results. --Keep that linkage alive. This is not an academic exercise. It's not meant to simply have people feel good or, on the other hand, vent their frustrations. It's sole objective is to get MEASURABLE INCREASES IN RESULTS. If results are not forthcoming, have people refocus on the need for the questioning; and if you still are not receiving results, curtail or even eliminate it for awhile. You can always reactivate it when the time and the environment are more conducive to having it succeed. --Avoid having the process deteriorate into name calling and finger pointing. The idea is not to use the questioning to get the goods on people or as a platform for emotional outbursts against the organization but instead for what it is meant to be, a powerful tool to get more results continually. Mind you, people shouldn't be spending inordinate amounts of time on the questioning. Nor should it be seen as a major, discrete effort, like an operations or marketing program. Just the opposite: It should be a natural part of everybody's leadership activities. Constantly asking, Are we rewarding the right things? should eventually come as second nature. 2006 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. – and for more than 20 years has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at actionleadership

         
    Can leadership help your career

     

    We want to grab your attention to this article on leadership. It not only is interesting, but also has loads about leadership. In Part One, I described the Leadership Talk and how it is a much more effective leadership tool than presentations or speeches. I also described two fundamental premises that the Leadership Talk is based on. In Part Two, I will show you the purpose of the Leadership Talk. You won't be able to give a Leadership Talk effectively on a consistent basis if you misunderstand its purpose. Do not judge a book by its cover; so don’t just scan through this matter on leadership. read it thoroughly to judge its value and importance. The Leadership Talk doesn't drive purpose. Purpose drives the Leadership Talk. There is one and only one purpose of the Leadership Talk: that's to motivate people to be your cause leaders in meeting the challenges you face. This is important in understanding the difference between Leadership Talks and presentations/speeches. You're a leader. You have a task to complete. Do you want the people you lead to simply do the task? Or do you want those people to actually take leadership of accomplishing the task? For the difference between doing and leading in terms of accomplishment is stock car and a formula 1 racer. Clearly, you can order them to accomplish the task; and if you're in a position of authority, they will most likely carry out the order. But they might not do it with full commitment. Or they may resent being ordered. Or they may be inclined to do nothing unless ordered, and so after accomplishing the task, they do little else but wait for the next order. It may take some time to comprehend the matter on leadership that we have listed here. However, it is only through it’s complete comprehension would you get the right picture of leadership. However, their committing to take leadership involves your establishing a special relationship with them. For instance, going back to the example I used in Part One, if one is a floor sweeper, one does the best floor sweeping, not simply by doing it but by taking leadership of floor sweeping. Such leadership might entail: taking the initiative to order and manage supplies; evaluating the job results and raising those results to ever higher levels; having floor sweeping be an integral part of the general cleaning policy; hiring, training, developing other floor sweepers; instilling a "floor sweeping esprit"that can be manifested in training; special uniforms and insignias; behavior, etc.; setting floor sweeping strategy and goals. We hope you develop a better understanding of leadership on completion of this article on leadership. Only if the article is understood is it’s benefit reached. Otherwise, in a "doing" mode, one simply pushes a broom. You may say, "Listen, Brent, a job is a job is a job. This leadership thing is making too much of not much!" Could be. But my point is that applying leadership to a task changes the expectations of the task. It even changes the task itself. Think of it, when we ourselves are challenged to lead and not simply do, our world is, I submit, changed. Furthermore, though you may order people to do a job, you can't order anybody to take leadership of it. It's their choice whether they take it or not. After many hopeless endeavors to produce something worthwhile on leadership, this is what we have come up with. We are very hopeful about this! The completion of this article on leadership was our prerogative since the past one month. However, we completed it within a matter of fifteen days! This is where the Leadership Talk comes in. Using it, you set up the environment in which they make that choice. The Leadership Talk is not only the most important way to get cause leaders; it is the only way to get them on a consistent basis. So what is your verdict on this composition on leadership? Are there anymore unanswered questions about leadership in your mind?

         
    Champagne coorks are popping to celebrate your promotion

     

    Many people are stuck in dead end jobs, resentful that they are passed over for promotion. They know they are capable of more but something is holding them back. You want to succeed – What should you do? The first thing to understand is that if you do nothing differently then nothing will change. In order for anything to be possible you have to take action. Secondly you have to start by looking at yourself rather than blaming your position on others. Be honest with yourself. Close your eyes, see yourself at work as others see you. Over the next few days at work listen to yourself and consider how you act. Do you behave like promotion material? Sit down quietly and write your own reference based on how you actually perform now. Include a comment on your work habits, time keeping, reliability, ability to get the job done, attention to detail, accuracy, how you manage under pressure. Think about your ability to work as part of a team, how you get on with colleagues and customers or clients, your communication skills. Are you a problem finder or a solution provider? Do you moan about things or deal with them in a constructive and helpful way. Do you do just enough to get by or take a pride in a job well done? Are you enthusiastic, loyal and committed? What skills have you to offer? The third step is to think about the job you would like to do. What sort of person does it need? Think about the personal skills and characteristics you would look for if you were on the appointment panel. Make a list under the following headings: Personal Characteristics, skills, knowledge and experience. Compare your reference with the job specification you have created. Think carefully, would you honestly recommend yourself without reservation for promotion? Are there any areas you need to improve or develop? Have you got enough experience? Where are the gaps? What do you need to do to ensure you have what it takes? Fourthly, identify your goals and when you want to achieve them by. Make your goals realistic but challenging. Work out a daily programme to achieve your goals. Talk about them to others, make them real and make them happen. Remember to celebrate your achievements. If things go wrong remember that it happens to successful people too. They don’t give up but use each failure as an opportunity to learn and develop. Make sure you model promotion worthy behaviours. It may help you if you think about those people you know who are good role models, or about what makes the ideal boss? Think about what makes them good. Make a list of their attributes In house promotion or a job elsewhere either way you will need a reference so the opinion of those you currently work for will count. The fifth step is to make an appointment to see your boss. Make it at a time convenient to them, when they can concentrate on your agenda. Prepare what you want to say. “I am really keen to develop my career. What do you think I need to do to be ready for promotion? Listen to the feedback with an open mind. Ask for support and training in the areas where development is needed. Show them your action plan and involve them in the process. Be honest in your dealings with yourself and others. Know your strengths and face your weaknesses. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you. Take charge of your own destiny and the possibilities are endless.

         
    Change leads to power

     

    Change requires power. Any kind of change is a formidable challenge for most people. Yet the Lord asks us to change from our old ways and do things His way. Not an easy task! “Put off ... the old man, ... and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and... put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Eph. 4:22-24) “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom. 12:2) In your daily world, especially in this hectic instant access global culture where technology changes by the minute and you have to be adapting constantly, change is inevitable. You are being pulled in diverse directions and the older you get the less elastic you become. You get in the habit of doing things a certain way and become less tolerant to external demands to alter our lifestyle. Modifying learned responses to habitual routine tasks often causes stress and anxiety, especially in older persons. However, when the Lord requires you to change your lifestyle, He not only gives you the power to do so, but the result is a much more powerful you! Some people say they love the Lord but refuse to make a commitment because they’re just not “ready” yet! If only they realized that with the Lord everything goes smoothly, peacefully, and painlessly! Yes! Really! First of all, it’s your love for Him that prompts you to make adjustments. Secondly, He has given you the Holy Spirit to be your comforter, counselor and help. (John 14:26). All you need to do is lay your life before Him and ask Him to fashion you into a precious vessel for His use. You cannot change on your own. He is the potter, you are the clay. The clay just lies there as a lifeless lump on the potter’s wheel while the master twists and turns it until it is just right. All that is required of you is a willingness to want to be like Him. The more readily you give yourself fully to Him the more instant the transformation. It all starts in your mind. Once you align your thoughts with those of Christ and understand His Word and His ways, then all the old habits and mindsets fall by the wayside. Suddenly they don’t seem so important any more. When you were in the world your mind, alienated from God through ignorance and blindness, prompted you to do things your own way. Once you know the Truth, you will want to put off all the vices and let your mind be washed by the Word. Besides the Holy Spirit, the Lord also knows that you need tangible support here on earth. That is why He has established you, who has been called out of the world, into His Body, the church. There He has provided leadership and support “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ!” (Eph. 4; 12-13) I pray, with Paul, that you will be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your heart by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may come to comprehend His Love and be filled with all the fullness of God! He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to His Power that works in us! (Eph. 3:16-20)

         
    Character is it necessary in leadership

     

    PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to: [email protected] Word count: 1000 Character plays a vital role in leadership and one's career. Yet few leaders come to grips with its content and meaning and so miss great job and career opportunities. We all know character when we see it, but few leaders know what it exactly is. They don't know what precise role does it plays in getting results. Nor do they know what character plays in their careers. But character can make or break a career. For instance, a key function of character in leadership is to engender trust in people. People who perceive that a leader's character has serious defects will not likely trust that leader and so fail to devote themselves wholeheartedly to taking action that realizes that leader's aspirations. Leaders who lose the trust of the people they lead are failures in the making. On the other hand, leaders with the people's trust can motivate them to accomplish extraordinary things. To understand character and its relationship to leadership, let's first understand character's root, which comes from a Greek word, "KHARAKTER", a chisel or marking instrument for metal or stone. Our character, then, is our mark engraved into something enduring. We can mold mannerisms, but we must chisel our character. Of course, we don't carry around a stone or a sheet of metal marked with our "character". The enduring thing is the aggregate of the traits and features that form our apparent individual nature. "Apparent" is the operative word. Our character exists not only in and of itself, but also as an appearance to others. The fact that character exists both in us and in the minds of other people holds a powerful leadership lesson. To begin to understand the role character plays in leadership, describe three of the best leaders in history. Then, list three to five character traits that made each one the best. Describe three of the worst leaders in history, and list three to five character traits that made each one the worst. Now make the same lists for the people in your industry and your own organization. Did you learn something new about leadership and character? If so, precisely what? I emphasize "new" because, in identifying elements that compose character, we come to understand the thinking processes that help us form perceptions and judgments on character. Because we commonly make snap judgments about people and their character, we must be aware of how and why we make those judgments, so we can clarify and make better use of them in our leadership. The ultimate character we must be concerned with, of course, is our own. Our character influences our leadership, and through our leadership, our jobs and careers. Few leaders make the connection between career and character in this way, let alone do something about it. Your doing so will give you a tremendous advantage in your career. We know that it's much harder to see our own character than for us to see the character of others. At this point, however, it's unnecessary to try to understand what your character actually is. You need only realize that, for purposes of leadership, your character is forged in values and manifested in relationships. Values are the qualities that spur action. Moreover, values are tied to emotions. We feel strongly about the values we hold and look to others to hold, and because of such feelings, we're usually acting on our values in one way or another. Look at the character of the leaders you described. You probably described values — or lack of them. (Whenever I ask people to describe a specific leader, they invariably cite values as the main elements.) Which values did you admire in the leaders you chose? These might include, honesty, integrity, persistence, compassion, wisdom, simplicity, sincerity. To help you do this, read the introduction to Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, in which the stoic philosopher and Roman emperor (AD 121–180) describes the character of the people who influenced his own character. His description of Maximus illustrates my meaning: "From Maximus I learned self-government, and not to be led aside by anything; and cheerfulness in all circumstances, as well as in illness; and a just admixture in the moral character of sweetness and dignity, and to do what was set before me without complaining. I observed that everybody believed that he thought as he spoke, and that in all that he did he never had any bad intention; and he never showed amazement and surprise, and was never in a hurry, and never put off doing a thing, nor was perplexed nor dejected, nor did he ever laugh to disguise his vexation, nor, on the other hand, was he ever passionate or suspicious. He was accustomed to do acts of beneficence, and was ready to forgive, and was free from all falsehood; and he presented the appearance of a man who could not be diverted from right rather than of a man who has been improved. No man could ever think that he was despised by Maximus, or ever venture to think himself a better man. He had also the art of being humorous in an agreeable way". Choose five character values that you particularly admired in the leaders you described. Then make those values into triggers for action in your leadership, acting on one at a time. In other words, you'll have five actionable value attributes that can help define the way you lead. For example, let's say that one of the leaders you described was Maximus, and you said his character included cheerfulness (that's a value!), dignity, honesty, generosity, candor, never complaining, and always being ready to forgive. You might choose "always being ready to forgive," but you could choose any one, or a combination, of the others. Make it actionable. In other words, think of someone in your leadership sphere whom you have a gripe with, someone you may have wronged or been wronged by, and take action. Seek out that person and "be ready to forgive." See what happens. Don't expect any particular outcome; simply manifest that single character trait and let what happens happen. That's simply one example of how to turn a character trait into action. Choose any trait. Just be sure you described that trait, and that it's something you want to emulate. In this way, you'll begin manifesting character in your day-to-day leadership, and, equally important, you'll be conscious of that manifestation — which the vast majority of leaders aren't.

         
    Conquering fear

     

    What really keeps you from living your dreams? What problem is most dominant in peoples lives? The answer is: FEAR! People live every day in fear. Fear of losing their wealth, fear of losing their loved ones, fear of making the wrong decisions, fear of being themselves, fear of growing up, fear of making a commitment. The list goes on and on. The leading cause of people not fulfilling their dreams is NOT the fear of failure - it’s the fear of success! The fear of actually accomplishing what they set out to do. The fear of living life to the fullest may have paralyzed you. This will cause you to never really try in your business, or if you do try, to sabotage your efforts so you never have to face your fear of success. Most people live their lives in the grip of this fear and they aren’t even aware that it has control over them! The fear is the one thing that can turn your dreams of financial freedom, loving relationships, and a fulfilling and significant life into a pattern of habits including procrastination, self-sabotage and other bad habits. Fear is the dominate problem in your life today. The two questions you need to answer to conquer your fear are: Which fear has the most control over your behavior? Is it the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of success, or is it all of them? How do I interrupt the bad habits that I have developed as a means of protection from this fear? How do I interrupt the programming I have within me? These are the two most significant questions when it comes to overcoming your fears. If you can answer these two questions, your life will forever change! The reality of fear is that it is human and is a part of life. It’s not going to go away. Some fear is even healthy! It is a gift given to you to keep you safe and bring you closer to your creator. Every person is born with three instinctive fears. These are: fear of falling, fear of loud noises, and fear of abandonment. These three fears were given to you to help you monitor what is going on around you. Think about it; it is fear that gives you the adrenaline rush that makes you escape from a situation that is really, truly unsafe. It also gives you the same rush that causes you to fight to win. Faith is born in fear. God knew in His infinite wisdom that fear is what would drive His people back to Him. Although sometimes it is only in times of extreme fear that we look to God and choose Him. Take a look at your own life and think about the times you looked to God for His power and wisdom. Those were probably times of extreme fear. True faith is born from fear! So what caused the gift of fear to be the number one problem in society today? Why do people let fear control their actions, beliefs and lives? The answer is the difference between reacting to fear and acting in fear. It has everything to do with your belief system. Children typically react instinctively to fear, which is appropriate behavior at this age. Most adults don't make the distinction between reacting to fear, as when they were a child, and acting with their intellect when dealing with fear. People react instinctively to fear by either denying it or running away from it. They miss the power that comes from acting with their intellect, never allowing the fear to become the gift it was intended to be. Learn to act with your intellect by exposing your true fears and the beliefs they represent and free yourself so you can move on with all you are meant to do, have and become!

         
    Delivering a speech maintain eye contact

     

    Body language is very important when delivering a speech. Have you ever seen our great leaders fidget or make unnecessary movements while addressing the nation? Since you are the center of attention while making the presentation, you should mind every move that you make so as not to bore or distract the people listening to your speech. So you already have a speech prepared, you know the topic well and you are now standing in front of the audience. They are in for a treat because you have prepared a great presentation, yet you also know that they have a very short attention span. How would you keep them interested with what you are saying? The answer is to maintain eye contact. This is one public speaking technique that great speakers use when addressing a large group of people. Here are some tips on how you can use this "trick" to keep your audience interested while delivering a speech: Once you have already started speaking and have delivered your introduction, take a look at your audience. Do not be nervous if you see one or two people frowning as you are not sure of exactly what they are thinking. Instead of looking out for unfriendly or blank faces, search for the people who are smiling and nodding their heads. Try to focus on this person for a couple of minutes and look him or her in the eye. This way, you would have an immediate "friend" in the audience to whom you can look at and gain confidence from. This will not just increase your confidence but also relax you in the course of your speech. Gaze steadily at your audience, moving from one part of the room to another. This way, you would immediately grasp their attention. Never read your speech. Just make an outline of the important points that you can expand on. If you have visuals, do not read the bullet points word for word as this might imply that your audience cannot read that themselves. With this, you are instantly creating a "bond" with your audience as a speaker since you do not have to keep on looking at your notes through the course of your speech. The key to delivering a great speech is to just breathe, relax and make eye to eye contact with your audience. Thus, you are not just making a physical connection with them but you are also ensured that you come out as a sincere speaker who wants to inform and interact with the audience through your speech.

         
    Developing leadership skills

     

    The first area that we look at is that of Personal Attributes. This is a blend of knowledge, expertise, and competencies, encapsulated in the approach, the behaviour, of the leader. In organisations of all sizes and in all sectors, public and private, these characteristics are key to effective leadership. The essential personal attributes are as follows. Behaving Ethically, by: learning about the ethical issues and concerns that impact on your business sector; adopting a balanced, open-minded approach to the ethical concerns of others; considering the ethical issues and implications of all personal actions and organisational activity; raising and discussing ethical issues before proposing or agreeing to decisions; resisting pressures from the organisation or its partners to achieve objectives by unethical means. Thinking Strategically, by: learning and understanding how the different functions, physical divisions, and layers, of the organisation should work together: understanding the complexities of, and the changes happening in, the external environment, and considering how the organisation can best respond the these; understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation, and the opportunities and threats facing it; understanding how the strategic objectives are influenced by all the current and forecast influences that will impact on the organisation; understanding that the operational objectives and targets must be in line with and support the strategic objectives of the organisation; being aware of and responding to the behaviour of current and potential competitors. Supporting Corporate Goals, by: helping to create and communicate a vision which can be understood and supported by people at all levels; helping others to understand and contribute to the strategic goals; giving visible personal support to the strategic direction and specific goals set by the organisation. Communicating Effectively, by: being responsive to messages and signals from the internal and external environments; making effective use of communication channels from and to all levels within the organisation; pro-actively encourage the exchange of information within the organisation, and amongst suppliers, customers and partners; listening to others, including those with opposing views, carefully and thoughtfully; selecting personal communication styles that are appropriate to the different situations and audiences. Gathering Information, by: establishing multiple channels and networks which generate a constant flow of information, from within and outside the organisation; regularly and consistently gathering, analysing, challenging, and using the information gathered. Making Decisions, by: establishing a consistent approach to the analysis of information; drawing on personal experience and knowledge to identify current and potential problems; consider a range of solutions before selecting the final one; ensuring that the selected decision is feasible, achievable, and affordable; considering the impact of the decision on all stakeholders, at all levels, before approving implementation. Developing Effective Teams, by: appreciating the contribution of others, at all levels in the organisation; ensuring that individuals and teams are kept informed of plans, developments and issues that will affect them; ensuring that individual and team development schemes are given appropriate priority; providing personal support for the implementation and maintenance of development activities for individuals and teams at all levels. Behaving Assertively, by: understanding and responding to personal roles and responsibilities; adopting a leading role in initiating action and decision making; taking personal responsibility for decisions and actions; being properly prepared for involvement in activities and events; being confident and professional in dealing with change and challenges; refusing unreasonable demands; defending and protecting individuals and teams from unfair or discriminatory actions; remaining professional in manner at all times. Concentrating On Results, by: contributing to the establishment of an organisational culture that demands high standards and high levels of performance; focusing on objectives and planned outcomes, at all times; dealing with issues and problems when they arise; planning and scheduling personal work and the work of others in ways which make best use of available resources; delegating appropriately; giving personal attention to the critical issues and events. Managing Yourself, by: reflecting regularly on personal performance and progress; pro-actively asking for feedback on personal performance; changing personal behaviour in the light of feedback received; being responsible for your own personal development needs. Presenting a Positive Image, by: adopting a leading role in initiating action and decision making; behaving in a professional manner at all times; being open-minded and responsive to the needs of others; visibly working towards personal and career development goals; adopting an ethical approach to all personal and organisational activity; being supportive to colleagues; demonstrating fairness and integrity at all times. In Summary: these essential attributes are many, and difficult to maintain consistently, but they are the attributes needed by, and expected of, our business leaders. The size of the organisation, the business sector, whether public or private, is of no consequence. The leaders of all organisations should be role models for others, be visible champions of high standards of professional and ethical behaviour, be leaders who others in their organisations can be proud of, and be leaders that competitors are envious of. Not many of these characteristics are imbued in our leaders by default. They have to be learned, can be learned, and should then be continuously developed and enhanced. With these personal attributes in place, and being demonstrated in behaviour and actions, business leaders will be more effective and more successful.

         
     
         
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