July 27, 2010

The Entitled One

"How" LeBron James handled his free agency decision was heavily criticized. So what leadership lessons can we learn from his mistakes?
Respect the Game
You are not bigger than your career. Treat others with respect. Abide by the rules and don't expect special treatment. Be part of something greater than yourself. Respect the game and it will respect you back.
We vs. Me

Surround yourself with strong players, but crucial times call for leaders to step up. Within your team, individual ownership must be taken. Be willing to accept responsibility for your mistakes. Take initiative, absorb the consequences and move forward.
When possible, choose face-to-face or a phone conversation as the way to communicate. Don't rely solely on social media, it can dilute the quality of your communication. Misinterpretation occurs when layers such as non-verbal cues, emotions and tone are removed. Improve your interpersonal skills and you have a distinct advantage over the competition.
Entitlement means you believe you deserve special treatment. Earn the respect of your colleagues by working hard. Lead by example and let your actions speak about your values.

How do YOU deal with entitlement?

July 19, 2010

Your Choice: Respect vs. Liked

As a Leader, how do you balance being respected vs. being liked?"
Here are my thoughts:

Leadership is getting things done through people.
If respected, you may not be liked...
If liked, you may not be respected...
Which one can you live with?

Everyone wants to be liked, but sometimes you care so much you become a people pleaser. In your attempt to gain approval, you fail to take a stance. You become "dust in the wind", blown in the direction of others' opinions.
In order to gain respect, you make the best decision which can be the unpopular one. By choosing what is right, you may loose favor.
If you're disliked because you don't "go with the flow", live with it. Life is not a popularity contest.
Most leaders make the mistake of trying to do both. The happy medium is doing what's best for your people and living with the consequence(s) of your decision.
Value people, but honor the purpose behind your decisions more than the acceptance of them.

Today, ask yourself...

Do YOU desire to be respected or liked?

July 12, 2010

The Leadership Workout

My goal is to be a mentally, emotionally and physically "fit" leader. How do you train for that? What does that look like? Train like a V.I.P.!
Visualize - What is your desired outcome? Winners start their day by identifying goal(s). Prioritizing what's important will make you more efficient. Try story-boarding your daily tasks using a whiteboard. We comprehend better through visual imagery.

Initiate - Get started, but plan for distractions. Your ability to manage your emotions determines effectiveness. Next time you get distracted, label (negative feelings) and re-frame (re-interpret positively). Changing your interpretation changes the outcome.
Perform - Execution is the result of preparation. Visualizing creates an urgency and alertness to achieve the task. Initiating action activates momentum. When your mind is clear of distractions, your body can perform at it's optimal level.
Athletes train and rest better than executives. As a professional, put more emphasis on mental and emotional development for better results. A Strong Mind + Strong Emotions = Strong Performance.
Do YOU prepare for optimal performance?

July 6, 2010

How to be an Organic Leader

What does organic mean to you? How does it apply to leadership? Let's look at three examples of where organic is better:

Produce - Organic products cost more because of their strict guidelines. As a leader, do you hold yourself to the highest standards? Doing the right thing is worth more in the long run than taking shortcuts.

Growth - In business, this refers to expansion. Personally it means, what are you doing to better yourself? What can you tangibly measure 6 months from now to prove to yourself that you've grown as a leader? You can only lead others to the extent that you lead yourself.
Organization - Flat organizations disperse power. Great teams share information. Organic leaders trust people and empower others to do their best. On a scale of 1 - 10, how well do you develop others? Start thinking about how you're going to make everyone around you successful.
Organic leaders serve with the highest standards, teach what they have learned and make others better around them.
How can YOU be a more organic leader?