July 17, 2007

the Goal of Leadership

In my experience with leadership, I have created and now follow what I call the “Inspirational Leadership” model. I call it that because it operates from a simple goal – to inspire the people I lead to aspire to greatness. Probably the greatest compliment I ever received from someone was that my presence made him want to be better, that I inspired him to strive for something more. That is the kind of leadership that I want to model. And that is the goal that I work from. In order to make that work, we have to model it. We have to aspire to greatness ourselves, and model it for all to see and follow. There are a lot of different models out there, and many of them are great, in fact, we share a lot of the points of practice. I like this one because it will work in any setting, be it business, military, church, or whatever. It works from the basic premise that everyone wants to be a part of something bigger and grander than themselves. Everyone wants to be great at something. A leader’s job is to inspire those people to want to be a part of his/her team, to take ownership of his/her vision and direction. When that happens, and we inspire them to aspire to be great at it, then hold on, because we will be hard pressed to keep up or stop them. Just look at Wal-Mart! That is how it became the business giant that it is today. Sam Walton was able to inspire his people to take ownership of his vision and then inspire then to aspire to greatness and then he just held on for dear life while his people took him all the way to glory, but it comes with a warning too. Woe betides the people who start off on that road only to lose their first love; for they will fall, and fall hard. (Rev. 2)

May 30, 2007

know your people, they are your reason for being there

"Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds."
Proverbs 27:23

I cannot stress the importance of knowing your people. If you are a leader you ought to know everything you can about your people. It will amaze you how that can help you to utilize them better in whatever endeavor you are attempting.

also, taking the time to know them, what they like, what they don't, what they are doing in life, where their interests lay, and whatnot can go a long way towards building that influence over them.

not to mention how much better you will be able to help them develop as individual within the group (organization, whatever), and if it is in a corporate environment then you will have to put feedback into the evaluation process and that requires detailed information about them and their work habits.

(special thanks to Peter Hodges for connecting the Scripture to the concept for me, thanks!)

May 25, 2007

morale booster

A leader needs to be a morale booster.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Prov. 17:22

be silly, crack jokes, tease people, it's amazing what a little bit of laughter can do to boost morale, and that can change everything.

September 08, 2006

lesson in listening

as I was listening to the radio this evening, I heard the story of a man who was at a restaurant with his son. The young son was trying to talk to his father, but the father was busy eating. Instead of truly listening, the father basically said, "yeah yeah OK ".

Finally out of frustration, the son took his father's face in his hands and told him, "daddy, listen to me with your eyes. "

how profound is that?

It got me thinking about listening. I know a lot of people who do not listen very well. Listening done right, should include three types of listening:
1: Listening with your eyes
2: Listening with your ears
3: Listening with your mind.

When you listen to someone, you should look at them. Make a point to make eye contact.

When you listen to someone, you should make a point not just to hear what they say but actually listen. Make very sure you capture every word.

When you listen to someone, you should think about what they have to say. Don't just listen, understand what they're saying. What do they mean? Is what they said what they really mean?

can you hear me now?

July 20, 2006

Still stranded...

ok, so I am still stranded in StL. I have watched all of season 6 of Macgyver, and am sooo bored.

Last night was the worst thunderstorm I have ever seen, the wind I hear was blowing at 85 mph in some places. It blew a large portion of the roof off the building, most of StL is without power, and (the coolest part) I almost saw a funnel cloud form over top the building. Cool huh?!! It felled trees left and right in our neighborhood. So, I did the natural thing . . . went outside and started clearing the road, and directing traffic . . . in the middle of the storm.

What?! You wouldn't have?

Then it started raining, then it split a tree in half (just wind mind you) and so Finally Jon came home and he came out and helped me. Then another lady came out and helped, then two guys in a car stopped and helped us move the big branch, then a few other people stopped and helped and before long we had moved the equivalent of an entire tree out of the middle of the road. It felt good and it was loads of fun.

It just proves my theory of leadership. That a leader is someone who goes on before, which means that often he goes alone, until others follow. It worked this time.