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:
The uppermost thought in your mind as you approach any task, position, or responsibility should be “How can I add value.” This applies to every part of your life. You should always be asking yourself, “How can you take my skills, experience, education, resources and add value to the lines of others.” Check out the short video below for more on this:
Benjamin Franklin said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Proverbs 22:1 states, “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.” Be aware of your personal reputation with the various areas of your life. Check out this short video for more on this:
If you had to reduce leadership to one word, what would it be? I’ve heard a lot of different answers to that question; influence, innovation, domination, manipulation, persuasion, problem-solver, etc. For me, I would have to say that leadership, in one word, is initiative. A leader is one whose nature compels them to take action . . . . Check out the short video below for more on this.
In fact, that is one of the defining characteristics of a Leader: they make decisions. Leaders pull together information from a variety of sources and, based on their experience and education, they make a decision. Sometimes the decisions made are good ones and other times not-so-good. Typically if your good decisions outweigh your not-so-good decisions you are going the right direction.
EVERYTHING!! It is easy to see this wherever you go. If something in your life is not going well, assume you have the ability to improve the situation. Ask yourself, “what can I do to lead myself, and or others to a different and better solution or practice.” If good things are happening, it is because someone is exercising leadership (it might be you!). If mediocrity prevails, it is because someone isn’t leading very effectively (it might be you!).
I ran across the article below from a twitter feed that I follow. Excellent article with good advice for mentors or others working with new employees. What I like about the information is that if you ARE a new hire, or relatively inexperienced in a leadership role, you can learn a lot about how to make yourself more successful. Here is the first part of the article:
Seasoned workers often complain about the unrealistic expectations and mistaken judgments of young, inexperienced employees. Yet organizations need junior people, beginners who aren’t aware of, or even interested in, everything their predecessors have done for the last 10 years.
But you can ease junior employees’ entry, help them be more productive, and encourage their receptivity to senior colleagues’ intentions and concerns. Here are some ways to start young staffers off on the right foot and keep them on track.
When challenged, if your first thoughts and words are to defend your actions, to offer reasons or excuses, or find someone to blame…you are being defensive. When you respond defensively you effectively say that you are not qualified for leadership. If it happens often you might as well be saying “I’m not qualified for my position.” Phrases like “I was just…”or “But you don’t understand…” or “It’s not my fault” are defensive phrases.
Here is an interesting exercise which I have found quite enlightening the times I’ve done it. Keep track of your day in a log accounting for every minute of your day in 15 minute blocks for a week. Log how much time you spent answering emails, on Facebook, talking with coworkers, making phone calls, eating, driving, watching TV, surfing the internet, etc.