This seems obvious, but you can’t really be a great leader until you have learned how to be a great follower. There are several types of followers: the actively disengaged, the slacker, the confronter, the “yes” man and the fully engaged. Each one has specific characteristics, however, it is the fully engaged Follower who rises to become the great Leader.
Think of a continuum with health at one end, then scratches, then minor cuts, then major cuts, then open wounds and then death at the other end. You can lose a little blood and still be fine. If you lose more blood you will be weak. If you lose too much blood you will be dead. This is a metaphor for dealing with political challenges at home and at work.
You know how on an airplane trip the flight attendant goes over the safety instructions before the flight begins? One of the instructions is to take care of your own oxygen mask before trying to help others. The point is that if you don’t get oxygen yourself, you will be unable to help others, i.e. you can’t help anyone if you are passed out from lack of oxygen.
Do you express appreciation to those you lead? How do you do it? How often do you do it? Here is an even more important question: Do others feel as if you appreciate them? Perception IS reality and if others don’t feel appreciated, YOU are dropping the ball.
Administrative resolve is the willingness of leadership to make hard decisions and then stick with them when the going gets tough. Administrative Resolve is quite possibly the most important aspect of effective leadership. With Administrative Resolve a strategy is defined and pursued to its end. Without Administrative Resolve second guessing and lack of focus results in mediocrity and failure.
Sometimes you will hear people say “ I’m doing my best” or “I tried my hardest”. Perhaps you have said these words yourself. Think about the last time you said those words – now be honest, was the effort you put forth really your BEST? What is sad, is that more often than not those who say these words believe what they are saying. . . . Check out the short video below for more on this:
Ok, you definitely DON’T want to drop out or quit before you graduate. Doing so will only leave you with a debt to pay back and no degree to support a better job or give you employment options. But, there are a lot of pressures on you: family, work, relationships, parents, kids, car problems, sitter problems, and on and on and on, which definitely can make quitting seem like an option. IT IS NOT AN OPTION (say that a couple of times). You have invested too much to quit, and you are strong enough and smart enough to make it through to the end.
Here are a few tips that have worked for me.
Don’t forget to pray. It may sound simple, even cliche`, but God does give strength and help. Praying can be a casual conversation that you can have at any time. I also highly recommend some stray moments when you find a quiet place and write out your thoughts and concerns. I have found God really uses these times to help me find a perspective which can be easily lost in all the day-to-day pressures. Trust me in this, PRAYER does make a difference.
Don’t miss a class except in an emergency. I know you can potentially miss a class without it affecting your grade, but when you do you are only short-changing yourself. The information in that class session could unleash the thought that could transform your understanding of the subject or even your life. Part of the benefit of any class session isn’t just the lectures and discussions, but how God works through them to give you epiphany’s of thought that be transformative.
Take notes. You may not think you need to take notes, but that would be WRONG. Taking notes helps embed the information more firmly in your brain, allowing you to have better retention for tests, but more importantly allowing your brain to have fuel for solving real-life problems outside of class. Taking notes is one of the major secrets of those who succeed.
Keep in mind that “all of life can be reduced to relationships.” This is something I believe with all my heart and soul. No matter where you are at, God will use the relationships you have with those around you to improve you, or so that you can benefit them. We are never alone in our walk, although it can seem that way sometimes. Take a risk and reach out to the other students in your classes. Begin to connect with them and you will find the class itself more enjoyable and your ability to stay the course enhanced.
Speak up. Ask a question, get clarification, share an example that agrees with or disagrees with the point the Instructor is making. Make it a point to speak up, relative to the course, at least once each class session. There are several benefits that you reap by doing this: 1) You are more engaged in the discussion and will gain a better understanding, 2) You will retain the information better because you are making it more relevant to your own life, 3) Depending on your attitude, the Instructor will begin to see you as someone who wants to learn which creates a positive impression. Be genuine, but speak up!
Hope these tips help. We are ALL pulling for you to finish the race and get that degree.
If you are a leader and you have not had this happen yet…..it will. Confronting people can be challenging and stressful. Sometimes the one confronted begins to cry. So, here is what I’ve learned from my personal experience and research on how to handle this situation.
The pendulum swing for all our actions ranges from no effort to a perfectionistic ideal which is impossible to achieve. The medium point of the pendulum swing is “good enough.” Jim Collins wrote in his book “Good to Great” that “good is the enemy of great.” His point is that when we achieve good, most think that is “good enough.” I want to suggest there is a place beyond good that I’ve called Excellent.
John Maxwell defines Leadership with one word: Influence. What I know is that influence is the currency of achievement. The more influence you have, the greater your ability to achieve your goals, personal or professional. The reality is that unless you live on an uninhabited island, you are influencing others. Check out the short video below for more on this: