Plotting a Course for the Future: 7 Ways to Lead Yourself Today

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

 – Carl Jung

As the founder of Jungian Typology and creator of 3 out of 4 Myers-Briggs preference sets, Carl Jung seems to know a little bit about how to make the unconscious conscious. But that doesn’t take away from the surprising power of such a simple statement. 

Isn’t it true that we feel most helpless, most condemned to the state of our life or fate of the world when we seem to have no words or understanding for how it has come about? The helplessness magnifies when we have no idea or plan for how to change it.

But that’s the power of self-awareness. By bringing the unconscious tendencies, struggles, and frustrations to light, we can begin to address our underlying issues with intentionality and make tomorrow’s version of ourselves a better one than today’s.

So how can you lead yourself better today in order to become the person you want to be tomorrow?

Daily Deposits

Despite the phrasing above, the first step is to admit that you can’t become the final version of the person you want to be overnight. That takes daily deposits over a long period of time. But the only way to get there is to point yourself in the right direction and take edifying, purposeful steps each day. These steps don’t have to be monumental, history-defining moments of self-sacrifice or brilliance. In fact, most of the people we think of when we think that way are people who did the little things every day to become the person they wanted to be so that when the opportunity for greatness came, they were ready. The worst mistake we can make is to constantly beg or demand for an opportunity (when will it finally be “my time to shine?”) only to be mentally, physically, emotionally, relationally, intellectually, or character-wise unprepared to take advantage of the opportunities when they arrive.

Doing the little things each day will ensure that your decisions align with your goals and that today you are becoming the person you want to be 10 years from now. When all is said and done, it is impossible to lead others with any longevity or excellence without first leading yourself well. If you don’t lead yourself consistently then others won’t want to follow you. Think about it: Isn’t it true that we naturally watch if others are first practicing what they preach before we decide to buy-in to their ideas or leadership? 

Lead Yourself First

Therefore, whatever you expect of your team or family you must first expect of yourself. It’s a simple idea, but it cuts to the heart of leadership and influence. Leading yourself means having expectations for yourself, which means you must be intentional in the way you live and work in order to gain influence or followers from those around you.

Why is this so difficult for leaders today? Most likely it’s because we rarely talk about the need for leader consistency, nor do we often experience others who model the concept for us. With that in mind, consider these seven easy tactics for leading yourself better each day.

7 Ways to Lead Yourself Today

  1. Watch your attitude – if you want positivity then you must ooze it from your pores. You don’t have to be a giddy, bubbly ball of energy, it just means that your internal atmosphere (thoughts, positive/negative self-talk, etc) dictates your external atmosphere, which affects your ability to connect with, work with, and influence others.
  2. Maintain inner health – spiritual, mental, and emotional maturity leads to personal maturity. If you are not healthy on the inside nothing can be healthy on the outside. Take time to recharge, rest, and center yourself each day, whatever that may mean for you.
  3. Stay focused on the mission – remind yourself what you have planned to do today, what your team needs to do, and what the organization needs to do. Plan the work, then work the plan.
  4. Be self-aware – be self-reflective in the morning, after lunch, and after dinner. To lead yourself means you must know yourself first. So don’t walk blindly throughout the day wondering why you feel so angry, frustrated, sad, or even happy. Take time to think about it. “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” – Carl Jung
  5. Watch your language – this means more than cursing. It means watching the words we use and tone we employ. The old adage is true “it’s not only what you say, but how you say it.” Most leaders can improve in the simple way we treat others, especially when we ourselves are under stress and feel less inclined to give extra attention to our interaction with other people.
  6. Ask others to join you – make leadership a daily game. Get others involved. If you have focused on the above you will see your leadership capacity and influence improve on a daily basis.
  7. Imitate those who are humble – No one is perfect, but there are many people in our lives and throughout history whom we can imitate and look up to for positive examples. Sometimes all we need is a target to aim for: Who are some everyday humble leaders you know? What makes them humble? Below are a two examples of humble leaders from history…

Humility in History

1. Neil Armstrong

When Neil Armstrong died, we lost a true hero. As the first person to walk on the moon, he had every reason to boast and become arrogant, yet one of his most praised qualities was his humility.

Even though he had every reason to have an astronomical ego, he went about his job with a quiet strength and confident competency. And he did it all for $8 per diem, in addition to a $17,000-a-year salary. He explored the heavens, but when he returned from his journey to the moon, he kept his feet firmly planted on the Earth.

For the longest time after returning, he denied giving interviews. Finally, Armstrong talked to the author James Clash. When Armstrong died, Clash said of his legacy:

“That’s the kind of man Armstrong was. In a world where everything is about ‘me, me, and me,’ he was a rare throwback to a time when humility and character counted, when people routinely risked their lives not to get rich, bloviate, or self-aggrandize, but for their country, science, and exploration.”

2. Captain “Sully” Sullenberger

After successfully piloting Flight 1549 to safety in the Hudson River, saving more than 150 passengers in the process, Captain Sully exemplified humility as few could. In an interview after the crash, he was modest about his acts of courage, attributing his poise to his training over the years.

“One way of looking at this might be that for 42 years,” he said, “I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education and training. And on January 15 the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.”

Who Will You Be?

Who will you look up to today? Who will you be tomorrow? How will you get there? Remember, make the unconscious conscious, make daily deposits to invest in who you want to be, then keep sight of the goal. It won’t happen overnight, but you can become a better version of yourself each day.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your intentionality and daily deposits affect your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

Updated empathy map – understanding what people are thinking and feeling

Over the life time of this blog, one post has received far more hits (by some margin) than any other – Empathy Maps

Time and time again those who find this website from a search engine have been searching for more information on empathy maps.  In case you haven’t come across this term before, XPLANE, the designers, explain its purpose as follows:

This particular tool helps teams develop deep, shared understanding and empathy for other people. People use it to help them improve customer experience, to navigate organizational politics, to design better work environments, and a host of other things.
Empathy maps are really useful in any human-centred design task since they help you understand what other people are thinking and feeling.  They can be used in almost any change management, marketing or leadership task.
The designers have now given the tool a make-over and the update is well worth looking at.  Key changes are a more intuitive visual layout and a suggested order for answering the questions.
For more info head over to the author’s blog, which includes a PDF download of the map.

What’s Your ROI? Investing Your Time Better at Home & Work

How do you know when things are worth your investment of time, effort, or resources?

Do you draw up a list of pros and cons?

Compare financial return versus cost?

Or maybe you approximate the relational capital you generate?

Perhaps you simply gauge the pure enjoyment and life giving nature of whatever you are considering at work or in your personal life?

Improving ROI at Work

Whatever your method, taking the time to think about Return On Investment (ROI) is crucial to a well-spent, fully maximized personal and work life. Aristotle once said “the unexamined life is not worth living.” And it’s true. Without reflection and consideration, we lose both appreciation as well as an understanding of the beneficial or wasteful actions we take. Without ROI we have no idea whether our efforts are worthwhile or if they would be better used by directing our energy elsewhere.

If it’s been awhile since you really considered your ROI at work, take a minute to consider and answer a few simple questions for yourself and your organization.

  1. What is it worth to ensure your people are in the right role, working on the right things?
  2. What is the value of you making sure you are alive and full of energy and motivation for the role you are in?
  3. What is it worth to your organization to make sure you are hiring the very best people for the season you are in?

When it comes down to it, Return on Investment is simple. Divide what you have received by what it costs. Despite the simplicity, very few people actually take the time to understand their ROI on life, business, and personal decisions. If you do, however, you will find yourself spending your energy, efforts, and resources in more fruitful, fulfilling ways.

ROI at Home

Try taking this idea home and applying it to your family life:

  1. What is the ROI of spending more time with your kids?
  2. What is the ROI of spending more time with your spouse?
  3. How can you invest more strategically in these areas of your life?

Aside from improving your quality of life and relationships, investing in your family often generates greater return on investment at work due to a well-balanced lifestyle.

Many people will likely read this and wonder, do I really have the time for all that? For the reflection, planning, and hours it takes to invest in these key areas of your life?

The better question is, can you really afford not to?

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how to improve your ROI at work and home, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

Getting Along: Leadership Insights for Thinkers and Feelers

The Power of Insight

A few years ago, we worked with a woman who leads a department of a few hundred people at a Fortune 500 company. She was a no-nonsense go-getter who just knew how to deliver results. The only problem was her key relationships. When we asked her to plot herself on our Support-Challenge Matrix, she placed herself firmly in the Liberator quadrant. However, when she agreed to send out a survey to her department asking them to anonymously place her on the same Matrix, she scored solidly in the Dominator realm. Needless to say, she was shocked. A whole flurry of emotions kicked in, but her ultimate driving goal focused on investing in knowing herself better. If she could understand what it was like to be on the other side of her in terms of leadership and relationship, then she could learn to lead herself better.

With that goal in mind, she dove into her Best Fit experience and discovered her ESTJ personality profile. While learning more about her type, she found the greatest source of her relational struggles to be rooted in the immature use of her Thinking personality preference. As a self-described “steam roller” at work and home, this brave leader devoted herself to learning how to better wield her Thinker strengths while addressing the weaknesses. By the end of her time in one of our programs she wrote a heartwarming letter describing how “knowing herself to lead herself” better (especially through personality type) had completely revolutionized and saved her relationship with her son. She even said she cried while writing the letter, but that they were tears of joy as she surveyed a new environment she had crafted for herself – one in which her employees finally felt empowered rather than fearful. Not to mention the fact that she and her son were now exploring greater depths of intimacy in their once contentious relationship. 

Word Association

The story above perfectly illustrates how powerful self-awareness can be for life, business, and relational transformation. When we know what we’re dealing with in ourselves, we can better figure out ways to address the issues and stumbling blocks that hinder our growth. Hopefully this Thinker vs. Feeler series has prompted the same powerful insights for you as for as the woman in our story above. But in order to drive the learning home, let’s play a word association game to help you pinpoint aspects of your Thinker and Feeler tendencies, or even confirm one or the other as your dominant preference for the first time. The following descriptors should help round out your understanding of Thinker and Feeler types while also giving you a greater vocabulary to lean on when reflecting on your learning or walking others through it. After our game of word association, we’ll dive into some crucial leadership insights that you as a Thinker or Feeler can take away from this series for immediate, powerful application in your everyday life. 

Start by reviewing the word pairs listed below. Read each pair, consider the contrasts, and decide which word in each pair best applies to you. The goal here is to determine which words describe your most natural tendency; not whether you do one or the other at all, but which one you tend to default to most naturally.

      Thinkers                               Feelers

       Head                                      Heart

       Objective                             Subjective

       Justice                                  Harmony

       Cool                                       Caring

       Impersonal                         Personal

       Critique                                Appreciate

       Analyze                                Empathize

       Precise                                 Persuasive

Keep in mind that if you are a Thinker who works in a field focused on caring for others – such as ministry, teaching, etc – your first reaction may be to choose words that fit descriptions of your daily role at work, and vice-versa for the Feelers. So, be sure to question yourself honestly and perhaps you might find your natural inclination lies in the opposite direction, but that the nurture of your work environment has conditioned you to go against that nature.

Interestingly, Thinker vs. Feeler is the only preference set with a naturally occurring male-female split where 70% of men are Thinkers and 70% of women are Feelers. This difference can cause societal pressures to creep in, particularly for men who are Feelers and women who are Thinkers. When determining your natural preference, try to think back to the types of people you feel most drawn to and whether you feel like you have a natural tendency that has been covered up or redirected by expectations in your career, upbringing, or society. 

What do these words mean?

Once those with a natural tendency toward the “Thinking” preference acquire their information, they generally prioritize making a logical, rational, analytical, objective, truth-based decision. Every Thinker’s decision-making process focuses on, “How do I gain logical clarity, and how do I make a decision that is objectively just, fair, and effective, despite any relational or emotional consequences?” 

Feelers, on the other hand, could not be more different. Feelers will look at the information and say, “How does this decision sit with my core personal values about what’s important to me, and how is it going to affect the relational harmony of all the people who are going to be impacted by this decision?” If the Thinker is looking for logical clarity first, then the Feeler looks first for emotional clarity. If the Thinker wants to make a just and fair decision as their primary criteria, the Feeler always prioritizes wanting to make the most compassionate decision possible, one that takes into account all the relational dynamics of the situation at hand. Their decisions rarely come down to the “bottom-line” or “hard facts,” but rather hinge on whether the impact on those around them is optimal, or at least acceptable in relational terms. 

When Thinkers present their decisions they will often say something along the lines of: “Having analyzed all the information, this is my decision, and this is why,” then they go on to present the bullet points of their logic. Their decisions can be tough and, to Feelers, will oftentimes come off as callous or hard due to their seemingly myopic focus on the cold, hard facts or the “heartless” conclusions of a strictly cost-benefit analysis. 

So, while someone may not like the Thinker’s decision, if the Thinker feels they’ve done a good job of analyzing the scenario and making a fair decision through carefully considered, thoroughly-supported reasoning, then they can deal with the resulting reality, including relational fallout. 

Leadership Insights: Thinkers

Whether you are a Thinker or a Feeler, the following list of seven leadership insights will highlight some valuable areas of growth that even Feelers will do well to keep in mind for their own interactions with Thinker friends and colleagues. If you are a Thinker, read through these insights and choose two that you can immediately begin working on as learning opportunities for growth in your everyday life. 

Leadership Insights for Thinkers

  1. Watch your “tone” and “tact” in all communication.
  2. Be careful when critiquing a Feeler’s ideas or performance – they tend to experience it as personal criticism rather than objective, constructive criticism.
  3. Learn to speak the truth in love; “telling it like it is” will not be your growth area!
  4. Learn to start each engagement with a positive affirmation and then critique.
  5. When a Feeler shares their challenges don’t always assume they want you to solve the problem!
  6. Learn to be empathetic – what is the experience for the person on the other side of you?
  7. Beware the “Inquisition!” Feelers don’t like to feel interrogated by a barrage of blunt questions one after another
  8. Use your body language to soften the delivery of critique and challenge.

For example, Thinkers, if you know you tend to struggle with insight #2 above, you may need to be more conscientious of the way you deliver feedback. What you might think of as objective and helpful, may come across as a personal attack on the Feeler’s quality of work or identity. Try taking a collaborative approach to feedback accompanied by reassuring words about the Feeler’s integrity, work, and effort, rather than a direct, bullet point list of what they did wrong or need to fix. Sometimes the Feelers just need a little bit of encouragement and “teamwork” when it comes to feedback and personal growth. 

If you’re a Feeler, please don’t skip over this section thinking it doesn’t apply to you. This is a great opportunity to review the list of Thinker insights in an effort to better understand those who view the world and make decisions differently than you do. Feelers, you would do well to choose two Thinker insights of your own, then begin to look for those tendencies in the lives of your Thinker co-workers or friends in order to better understand, relate to, and collaborate with them.  

Leadership Insights: Feelers

As in the previous section, whether you are a Thinker or a Feeler, the following list of seven leadership insights will pinpoint valuable areas of growth that even Thinkers will do well do keep in mind for their interactions with Feeler friends and colleagues. If you are a Feeler, review the insights below and choose two that you can immediately begin applying as learning opportunities for growth in your own life. 

Leadership Insights for Feelers

  1. When a Thinker challenges your idea, it’s not always personal.
  2. Fight for the highest possible good of those you lead, learning to bring effective challenge as you speak the truth in love.
  3. Even when you think you’ve brought massive challenge, you probably haven’t!
  4. Don’t assume you’ve offended a Thinker; they will tell you when you have.
  5. When you need to bring challenge to someone, tell them, don’t just hint at it!
  6. Learn to embrace the insights and challenges of Thinkers, and don’t forget your Kevlar body armor!
  7. Own your leadership role; you are more valuable to the organization than you think!
  8. Be yourself; don’t try to lead out of someone else’s identity.

One of the most common learning opportunities for Feelers tends to revolve around self-confidence and conflict avoidance. Feelers often view themselves more negatively than others, thinking they have less to offer than they actually do. As a result, they are more likely to stay quiet rather than give their opinion, stand up for themselves, or deliver feedback, even when it’s necessary. This not only hinders their own personal growth, but robs the team of valuable skills and input. If you are a Feeler, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to speak up more often, own your skills, and try to distance your identity or self-esteem from your work when it is being critiqued. Constructive criticism will only make your idea and capabilities better, but if you are constantly taking yourself out of the game before you can even play or make adjustments, then you’ll never make it off the sidelines. 

Now, Thinkers, just as we cautioned Feelers not to skip over the section about your leadership insights, be sure to not skip over this section on Feelers. Take this opportunity to gain greater clarity on the struggles that your Feeler counterparts may deal with in relation to your own way of doing things. If you can better understand where Feelers have trouble connecting with your way of looking at the world, then you can be more proactive in those relationships – whether at work, at home, or with friends – making them healthier, stronger, and more understanding than ever before.

Wrapping Up

It’s hard to believe, but we are now finished with the Thinker vs. Feeler mini-series and almost done with our broader series on Jungian Personality Type and GiANT Best Fit! We hope this mini-series on Thinkers and Feelers has been informative, engaging, and most all, helpful in guiding you to a better understanding of yourself and others with regard to how you make decisions and approach the world. 

If you take nothing else away from this series, always remember: even though Thinkers may tend to prefer bluntness and the bottom line, while Feelers prioritize relationships and the people side of decisions, we all have an ability to engage both hands. And it’s precisely your ability to understand, value, and speak to the contributions of each type that will determine the health of your team.

Join us next time as we dive into the beginning of a brand new mini-series on the Judging vs. Perceiving type preferences!

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your personality type affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

3 Goals for a Healthier Organization

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” ~ Jim Rohn

Just as Rome was not built in a day, neither will the organization or team you lead reach its ideal culture overnight. Progress and change take time, but re-orienting your goals, adjusting your aim – that only takes a moment. And it’s the recalibration of your trajectory that ultimately determines where you land.

So for those of you striving to become a better leader and working to create a healthier culture, your journey begins today. You have the capacity to make significant progress on the road toward your vision, if only by adjusting your sights to the right targets. 

Most leaders want to get better, but improvement begins with your goals. Establishing the right goals provides accountability and clarity throughout an often long and murky process. Knowing the challenge that lies ahead, here are three goals to consider for the journey:

1.) To Be Healthy

While we generally understand what it means to be healthy physically, many of us find defining organizational health and care to be much more elusive. We know the steps to physical health, such as exercise, eating right, eating less, etc, but the key factors to organizational health are not as clear as we would like them to be. While there are many potential answers to the question of effective indicators, Pat Lencioni provides a convincing summary of cultural success factors inside organizations in his book The Advantage

• Minimal Politics

• Minimal Confusion

• High Morale

• High Productivity

• Low Turnover

The reality is that healthy things grow. If your organization is healthy then you will experience the growth that you have dreamed about. In order to achieve that, however, it is pivotal that you slow down enough to work on the cultural pieces that sustain a healthy, thriving organization.

2.) To Be Productive

Most leaders love this word – PRODUCTIVE! Yet, productivity is more than working long hours and securing short term financial results. Healthy people produce. It is that simple. Get the first part right and you are halfway there. Productivity occurs when people have a proper balance of support and challenge. Too much of one can hinder the other. However, when leaders create a culture of resourcing and equipping their people in conjunction with providing the appropriate challenge to encourage hustle rather than hurry, productivity goes through the roof. As a leader, your example will set the tone. 

3.) To Be Fruitful

Fruitfulness is the concept that one seed can produce hundreds of fruit. That’s influence at work within nature. So make multiplying influence the ultimate goal of both your leadership and organization in order to bear fruit in the lives of your team, family, organization, and community. 

Healthy, Productive, and Fruitful

While each goal is equally important, the order of focus matters. Just as with a plant, you must start by becoming healthy yourself before you can bear any fruit and help your team achieve the same personal balance and liberation. From there, they will become more productive and then your company will become more fruitful.

When you create a nourishing culture you create a foundation of growth. By balancing support and challenge well, you show people what healthy productivity looks like. Once your people are at their best, you will get the best out of them and your organization will thrive.  

In the end, being fruitful is a lifestyle decision that means giving yourself away for the benefit of the whole. 

Be Healthy, Be Productive, Be Fruitful.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your goals affect your leadership and organizational health, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

6 Questions for Greater Organizational Clarity

Clarity is Key

For many business leaders, strategic planning presents a constant challenge, especially when it comes to clarifying and communicating personnel roles and future vision to the rest of the company. But effective strategy always begins with clarity at the top and ends with effective communication throughout the organization. So before you rush through your next strategic planning meeting, or spend hours banging your head on the table in an effort to organize the planning process, try out the following exercise with yourself and/or your team. The process below comes from the “Organizational Clarity” tool that we teach to leaders all over the world.

An Exercise in Organizational Clarity 

The Organizational Clarity tool provides a powerful framework and process to help you cement strategic clarity at every level of your organization. Starting with leadership, the tool guides you in working through the highlights of employee role considerations as well as strategy, vision, tactics, and other business elements as they relate to your company’s overall goals and values. It’s best to think of this tool as a lens of sorts – a structured approach that empowers you to dive deeper into the important questions and intricacies of your company. The section below will provide a few questions to help you kickstart the process of bringing simplicity and clarity to your organizational strategy. Feel free to complete this exercise for yourself, or otherwise bring it to the rest of your team during your planning meetings. 

1. Leadership: Is your leadership structure clear at every level? Do people know their roles? What can you do to help bring clarity to their roles, responsibilities, expectations, and necessary skills?

2. Values: Do you and your people know and understand what you value? Are your principles and standards clear?

3. Vision: Is your vision compelling? Does it motivate everyone to the great cause?

4. Strategy: Do you know which 4-6 strategic initiatives will lead you to your vision? Are they clear, concise, and attainable?

5. Structure: Is your structure built around your strategy and do you have the resources needed to execute your initiatives?

6. Mission: Do your people know what to do?

Simple, Scalable, Sustainable

Just as important to this process is the need to consider every element in light of the mantra Simple, Scalable, and Sustainable. It’s not enough to merely build a strategy, you must drill down until you reach a strategic plan that is simple enough to communicate, scalable enough to reach throughout the organization and provide growth opportunities, and sustainable enough to be attainable without bankrupting the company, becoming unrealistic, or inhibiting effective business operations.

Ultimately, organizations don’t grow (healthily) by accident. Only the intentional leadership of Liberating leaders can empower organizations to do or achieve something that is much greater than its individual parts. Great leaders focus their time working ON the business rather than IN the business. Your responsibility as a leader is to do your part to clean up your area, division, or company, and this tool will help you do so in an organized, comprehensive manner.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how the Organizational Clarity tool can improve your leadership and strategic planning, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

It’s Time…To Make the Difficult Decision

It’s time.

 Time to make the difficult decision that you don’t want to make, but know you need to:

  • Time to replace someone that should have been let go months before.
  • Time to place a boundary on a difficult relationship.
  • Time to change jobs though it will be painful.
  • Time to be honest and challenge those you work with to step up their game.
  • Time to confront someone being dishonest.

Whatever that difficult decision is for you, now is the time to jump off the fence and make it. We all know the feelings of anxiety and doubt, and that oftentimes it seems easier to just not decide – to not take the risk of beginning something new or ending something old and familiar. In reality, however, we all know that waiting and hoping for things to change without taking proactive steps never truly solves the problem. Things rarely change on their own and, actually, tend to get worse rather than better when we tiptoe around the decisions we know must be made. That’s why it is time to make it.

Decision Communication 

Take a look at a few of the practical ideas below to help you get started on the road to confronting your difficult decision:

  1. Write out your decision/words first and show a trusted friend. Drafting something in an email that you have to show to an objective person forces you to lose the drama and focus on the facts.
  2. Be “for” the other person as much as possible. Let them see that you sincerely want the highest possible good for their life.
  3. Communicate in the same way that you would want them to communicate with you.
  4. Be succinct, direct, compassionate, and clear.
  5. Reiterate your points and ask them to respond back so you know that they have heard you and understand you.

In the movie Moneyball, Brad Pitt plays a GM who asks his analyst to let one of the players go. Unfortunately, the process goes horribly wrong and the analyst can’t seem to do anything right. Brad’s character corrects the situation by making the tough decision that would most benefit the team, though he does so in a kind, direct, detailed, and clear manner. Ultimately, the team improves and the player responds appropriately, thanking his coach for the chance to play.

You Can’t Afford to Stay on the Fence

Just as in the case of Brad Pitt’s character, all people involved in a difficult situation are better off with timely, clear, and honest, yet compassionate decisions and communication. One more tool to help you reach these decisions is the dreaded deadline. Despite how intimidating they can be, deadlines force you to organize. They give you a clear mark on the calendar and empower you to prepare for the decision communication and follow up process.

When you make the hard choices you establish clear direction for your organization. Do the right thing – the hard thing – and you will be glad you did in the end.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how decision making and tough choices affect your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

The One Thing Good Leaders Must Do To Become Great

If you want to become a good leader, or better yet – a great leader – then there is one thing that must happen. This one thing is not fun, nor is it inspiring, and rarely is it ever written about. But this one thing is crucial:

GREAT leaders must die to themselves.

Dying is not easy, but in a paradoxical way, it is life-giving. When leaders die to their own agendas and forfeit their attempts to control other people, they actually gain. On first read that may make no sense, but it’s true. Ironically, the act of forgoing the good of others for the sake of our own benefit (selfishness) actually becomes the most dogged enemy on our path to achieving what we desire. 

For instance:

  • When a person desires accolades and attention more than serving others, they lose the respect of their team.
  • When a leader covets power and control, they tend to gain it temporarily only to lose it in the long-run.
  • When a mind becomes self-absorbed, others feel it and tend to distance themselves.
  • When “Self” is the centerpiece of your life then everyone else appears to be a subject in service of your desires, robbing you of life-giving relationship that brings context and meaning to the things you accomplish.

On the other hand, when leaders give themselves away for the highest possible good of those they lead, they tend to gain influence through their impact which quickly leads to respect, honor, and even followers.

Great leaders die to their self-absorption, their self-pursuit, and their selfish control. When they do, they gain more easily what they had tried so hard to obtain.

Consequently, the dying process actually leads people towards the life and leadership they had always desired. 

A Quick Self Assessment

When you see other people succeeding, what are your thoughts? Are your thoughts focused on them in a congratulatory way or are your thoughts consumed by you and how you should do more? Do you get frustrated dwelling on and speculating about why you didn’t get a certain opportunity? What about when…

  • Someone else gets the promotion.
  • Facebook shows an anniversary trip to Tahiti.
  • A friend’s child makes the team that your child didn’t.
  • Your buddy launches a new startup that takes off while you continue the grind in your current job.
  • A friend’s spouse seems to have think of everything while yours seems to have forgotten the little things of romance and love.
  • Your boss just returned from a pro sports tournament on a private jet.
  • Or you see a picture on Instagram of your friends in incredible places

The Price of Envy

Unfortunately, envy and the tendency to think of “self” first produces insecurity, which becomes the ultimate enemy of liberating leadership and healthy relationships.

Whatever the case may be, whatever is happening in life to cause you envy or look to yourself first, it is a dangerous trap. It lures you away from dying to yourself and instead tempts you to place yourself, your needs, and your agenda above the good of others. It draws you in, filling your thoughts with self-talk that punishes you with self-pity and defeatism, while simultaneously secreting negative thoughts about others and turning them into the villains in your own personal soap opera.

Envy produces insecurity, which is itself a combination of instability, hopelessness, and self-pity. When we give power to our insecurity we give it permission to direct the screenplay of our drama. Under its direction our actions create patterns of fear, passive aggression, and a relentless desire things we don’t have.

And to think, it all starts with a simple thought – a thought about what we don’t have or a worried consideration of what/who we are not becoming.

The Reward of a “For Others” Mentality

To be secure, on the other hand, is to be mature. To be dependable. To be “for others” more than for ourselves. Once we get to the end of our desire for that which is not to be, we can begin to build on who we are, what we have, and the hope that spreads out before us.

So be intentional about fighting envy today, and remember that dying can lead to life.

The only cure for insecurity is to die to ourselves so that you may live for others. Only then will true, deep influence accumulate and healthy relationships grow to their greatest potential. 

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how envy and selflessness affect your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

24 Easy Ways to Empower Everyone Around You

Here are simple habits that will help create a culture of empowerment.

Source: 24 Easy Ways to Empower Everyone Around You

How to attract and retain great people – DREAMS

Attracting and retaining great people is not easy at the best of times, let alone when the pay is not great or even non-existent.  Here are some great pointers from Goffee and Jones, via Mindtools:

  • Difference – Attract and encourage differences
  • Radical honesty – Be radically honest
  • Extra value – Add extra value to people’s strengths
  • Authenticity – Emphasise authenticity
  • Meaning – Make work meaningful
  • Simple rules – Keep rules simple

Source: Goffee and Jones’ DREAMS – Team Management Training From

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