20 Words Associated with Leadership

Here are twenty random words associated with leadership…

  • Purpose
  • Integrity
  • Values
  • Strategy
  • Principles
  • Humility
  • Passion
  • Delegation
  • Empowerment
  • Sincerity
  • Risk
  • Confidence
  • Commitment
  • Wisdom
  • People
  • Honesty
  • Compassion
  • Sensitivity
  • Determination
  • Courage

Plus yours…

What would you add to my list?

Bonus round:

If you had to choose only 5 as being most important…

Which would you choose?

The Leader’s Private Life

The leader’s private life…

The leader’s marriage…

The leader’s family life…

The leader’s physical health…

The leader’s emotional health…

The leader’s spiritual health…

Impacts the leader…which naturally impacts the people he or she leads…

The leader’s private life matters to the health of the team…

You may want to read THIS POST next.

Leader, how is your private life impacting the people or organization you lead?

Not sure…ask them…

I always tell the teams I lead…and remind myself…

We must get better to get bigger…

(BTW, I help “brave” leaders do this…read more HERE.)

How I Blog about Current Leadership Problems

Let me bring you in on a little secret. All those leadership posts I do…I don’t make them up…

Most of them come from real life situations…either mine or yours…

The one about 9 Bad Boss Types

Yea, I’ve either had them, been them or seen them or heard of them through readers like you…

The one about 10 Types of Good Leadership

The one about Controlling Leadership

The one about Ways to Lead People Older than You

Yea…all me…or you…

I get asked frequently, “How do you post about people you know? Don’t they figure out you’re talking about them?”

Well, truthfully, sometimes they ask, “Is that post about me?” The reality is, however, that every situation seems to repeat itself. Many of my situations from which I draw principles come from readers of this blog sharing their stories with me. I get lots of them. Some come from other churches with whom I’ve worked. Many of the situations from which I develop leadership principles happened years ago when I was in secular business and management. Sometimes the details are cloudy, but the principles are still quite clear.

I do have a system (informal that is), however, of how I post about current leadership issues, especially those real life to me, where I know the people involved.

Here is my system:

I wait until some time has passed – The principles learned will still be good. It could be a month or a year, depending on how easy to discern the details would be. (I keep my notes in Evernote) I also try to remove emotions before I post about a situation. I’ve been burned a few times (and burned others) by posting in anger, so I’ve learned to never post until I’m back on even ground emotionally.

I consider all parties involved – I want to make sure I’m telling the story correctly. I try to capture the facts as they happened, not as someone felt as they were happening. If it’s a personal issue for me, I never share any situation I wouldn’t be comfortable discussing with the people involved. I especially don’t want people I lead feeling slammed through my blog, so I make sure I address leadership problems I have outside this blog. I frequently mention upcoming posts so they know in advance I’m writing about a certain topic.

I examine what was learned – I always want to learn from experiences; good or bad, so I ask myself how the teams involved are better and how things could improve because of this situation. I try never to post out of personal frustration, but I do try to share that which can benefit others from my experience or the experience of others.

I change details – I never share names, unless I have permission and it’s necessary for the story. I change enough details to keep people guessing as to the characters in the situation.

I post – Eventually I use the story or situation to write about a leadership problem or principle. My theory is that all leadership principles develop somewhere. Some of them may as well be with me…or you.

Have you ever posted in anger or had someone question if you were writing about them in your post?

Where have you learned your best leadership principle?

If I’m Your Leader…It’s Your Business…

“This is probably none of my business, but…”

Do you ever hear that as a leader?

Recently one of our staff had a question for me. He had observed that Cheryl and I sold our house and bought a condo downtown. He wondered if there was some hidden motive; like I was preparing to travel more, or perhaps become a full-time consultant and maybe even leave my role as pastor. (Evidently he doesn’t read my blog. I explained the move HERE 🙂 )

So, he bridged the conversation by stating, “This is probably none of my business, but can I ask you a question?”

It could have been other issues…

  • You seem distracted…is something wrong?
  • You look tired…are you feeling well?
  • I saw you without Cheryl…are you guys okay?
  • We haven’t spoken lately…are you mad at me?
  • I don’t understand that decision you made…what were you thinking?

Chances are…if you are a leader…you’ve had people think things like this before…

Some will ask…some may not…

If they do, they may start with, “I know this is none of my business, but…”

Here’s my take on that…

I don’t get upset when someone asks me a personal question…

In fact, I welcome them…

Why?

If I’m your leader…it’s your business…

Some things may not be the average church member’s business…

Or a reader of this blog 🙂

But if you look to me for leadership…

Then it’s your business…

Why?

Because I believe strongly that the health of the leader affects the health of the team… ***

I also think that trust in a leader is paramount to the health of the organization…

If the leader wants respect, he or she needs to be clearly understood…

So…

If I’m your leader…it’s your business…

Feel free to disagree with me, but do you think the health of someone leading you is your personal business?

***Read THIS POST and THIS POST for a further explanation of this principle.

If a leader always…

If a “leader”…

  • Always has to be feared…
  • Always has to have the final word…
  • Always has to be coddled…
  • Never empowers others…
  • Never takes ownership for a mistake…
  • Never steps up to lead…

Then he or she is not a leader…

  • May have a title…
  • May be the boss…
  • May have power…
  • May draw a larger paycheck…

But is not a leader…

In fact, in my opinion, he or she may even need to get out of the way and let someone lead…

Have you known people with the title of leader who weren’t really a leader?

A Quick Tip for When You Can’t Find the Courage Needed…

Here’s a quick tip I’ve had to use many times in life…

When I can’t find the courage to do the thing I know I need to do…

Instead of trying to muster the courage…

I often need to renew or grow my passion for the thing that needs doing…

It’s a bigger picture approach…

Dave Ramsey says that if you want to get out of debt that you have to “Get angry about it...”

That’s the same idea here…

Emotions often fuel courage…

Grow your passion…grow your courage…

As an example, if you need to address a difficult employee situation, but don’t have the courage…fall more in love with the vision of the organization and it’s effectiveness, and you’ll find courage to have the hard conversation…

You take risks to achieve those things for which you are most passionate…

Think of it this way…if your child was in danger, you’d find the courage to save him or her, regardless of the risks involved…

Fall more in love with what you hope to accomplish and you’ll find more courage…

Are you in a situation now that is requiring more courage? I’d love to hear your story…

(I’ve written previously about the courage of a leader HERE and HERE.)

One Thing I’ve Learned About Conflict

Many leaders avoid conflict at any cost…

It seems this is true especially of pastors…

Yet conflict is often necessary for healthy relationships…

When needed conflict is avoided, people grow bitter, relationship development stalls, and teams suffer…

Here’s one thing I’ve learned about conflict…

Perhaps this well motivate you to confront what you need to confront…

Conflict, when handle correctly, often turns out better than expected…

It does…

Many times your worst fear doesn’t come true…

It doesn’t turn out to be a fight…

The conflict produces positive results…

People and teams get better…

You become a better leader…

Don’t be afraid to try a little…

A little healthy conflict may be just what you need to protect you, others, and the team…

Be honest: Do you typically run from conflict, or do you embrace conflict if needed?

Is there some conflict you’ve been avoiding that you know is needed for the health of your team?

You may want to read:

10 Tips for Handling ConflictHow Is Your Organization Handling Conflict?

Learning the True Health of a Team: Niche Consulting Offer

I want to offer a special niche consulting opportunity

Before I share it, please consider these questions:

  • Do you realize the influence you have as a leader and what effect it has on your team or organization?
  • How much would it be worth to know the real health of your organizational culture?
  • Would knowing ways to improve in your leadership be helpful to you?
  • Are you as a leader willing to be vulnerable to find the holes in your leadership?

Let’s face it. Leaders are often the last to hear of a problem on a team. Even the best leaders have blind spots they can’t see, but others see clearly. Wise leaders are open to the input of others, in an attempt to improve personally and assist the team or organization they lead.

One thing that has helped me improve in this area has been annually allowing my team to anonymously evaluate my leadership. You can read about my process HERE.

I learned from my team that my understanding of where we were and they way I was perceived, as a leader, was not always reality. My staff said some hard things to hear, but they were dead-on accurate and by adjusting my leadership to the needs of my team, I’ve become a better leader and my team has become a better team.

I want to help your team do the same.

Here is the deal:

I’m offering a special consulting opportunity for your team and leadership. I will come to your location, conduct an anonymous survey of your people’s perception of your leadership, share the results with you personally, discuss ways for improvement, and then bring the team together to discuss our findings. What I’ve discovered is that many times there are very simple adjustments to be made, better ways to communicate, or things I should be doing differently that I never knew were a problem.

This is not for the weak leader, but if you are confident you want to be a better leader, I believe I can help.

Here’s what I can promise:

  • My goal will be to protect the leader and make you better. I am pro-leader. This will be done in a way that honors your leadership.
  • You will gain insights into how you lead and learn ways you can improve.
  • This will not be as painful as it seems, but the rewards will be noticeable.
  • Your people will feel valued and appreciated for you allowing them to speak into your life.
  • You will be a better leader if you adjust your leadership according to our findings.

Just curious about this process? Send me a confidential email and let’s talk about the process? I’m limited to 12 clients this year, so act fast now.

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One Missing Step That Keeps Things From Getting Done

There is one missing step that many teams forget…

You’ll find it in meetings…

In planning…

In goal-setting…

The missing step?

Asking “Who’s responsible?”

Who is the one person who will be held accountable for each task?

Many teams brainstorm wonderfully…

They come up with awesome plans…

But they never assign the person responsible…

For anything to be successful…

There must be…

Systems in place…

Built in questioning…

Routine accountability….

And someone responsible to see that each task is done…

That’s how the desired outcome becomes reality….

How does your team structure itself to avoid the “missing step”?

Leaders Consider the Bigger Issue

In an organizational setting, when little issues arise, I try to consider the bigger issue at stake. Not everything has a bigger context worth considering, but strategic leaders consistently consider if there is one.

For example, if a staff member makes an awkward or unusually negative comment during a meeting, I try to consider the bigger issue. Did he or she simply make a random remark, was the comment limited to the meeting, or is there something unspoken going on that could point to a bigger issue in the person’s life or the organization? If I can’t immediately discern, I’ll most likely question this after the meeting.

If I receive criticism from someone I trust, is it limited to the matter being criticized, or is there a bigger, unspoken issue of concern? I’ll always try to discern what isn’t clear, but ask if I need more clarity.

As a leader, I have learned that I don’t always get the full story. As much as I try to lead around that fact, some people are afraid of hurting my feelings, may be intimidated by my position, or just fearful of speaking up with their true feelings.

I discipline myself to always consider bigger issue questions such as:

  • What’s the real problem?
  • What’s really at stake?
  • Who is really affected by this decision?
  • What’s the real potential outcome?
  • How much is this really costing?

I know as a leader that what I don’t know may be the real issue. Discovering it soon enough avoids potential greater damage in the organization.

What other question should we be asking?