Leadership Thought #480 – Recruiting and Retention Is More Important Than Ever
The War for Talent is not just a contrived theory, it is reality. Despite what our politicians may be saying, there are many good jobs out there at all levels of skill, talent, and experience. In all my years of consulting/coaching I have never seen a period where so many companies have vacancies for key […]
Leadership Thought #475 – 3 Key Factors That Lead To Employee Success
Most leaders have an uneven record of accomplishment when it comes to ensuring employee success. The wonderful thing about my job is that I can find inspiration everywhere, from all walks of life and fields of practice. It is often cliché that leadership development professionals lean on sports and military examples (at least my male […]
Leadership Thought #378 – You Are Your Employees
I am in and out of many businesses and the one characteristic all high performing organizations have is good people. You can feel it in the atmosphere. There is a certain way the employees interact with one another and hold themselves. There is a sense of confidence but not arrogance. If you are a guest, you are treated that way and random people will interact with you to make sure you are being taken care of. It’s one of those things you clearly notice about the work environment when it is not present which sadly is usually the case.
Leadership Thought #376 – Play to Your Strengths
When I used to work for Gallup many years ago they had a great saying, “you can’t put in what God left out.” Many of us spend far too much effort trying to be what we are not instead of focusing on what makes us truly special. We all have natural weaknesses and strengths. Some people are great at details while others seem to effortlessly grasp the big picture. Some people are great thinking on their feet where others thrive using a more methodical approach. There are a few of us with the physical ability to be a professional athlete while others are better at reporting and analyzing the events taking place on the field. The list goes on and on. Of course all of this happens on a continuum, but I believe each and every one of us has gifts and talents that separate us from the pack (if only we are paying attention).
Leadership Thought #361 – Do Your Best
One of the interesting things I find with high performing people is that they are usually harder on themselves than anyone else could be. Sure there are some exceptions – leaders who just self-confidence, but this is rarer than you think. There is usually something that drives an individual to excel. You hope the motivation is a positive one; however this isn’t always the case. I still remember one of my top clients saying several years ago that fear of failure is a good motivator and he didn’t know what he would do if ever actually embraced and enjoyed his success. I found this to be sad and he couldn’t understand why.
Leadership Thought #351 – Surround Yourself with Good People
Leadership is about people. The best leaders intuitively understand this reality and surround themselves with the best people possible. You can only ever accomplish so much alone. Achieving anything of significance usually requires leveraging the skills, talents and relationships of others. You need to be less worried about being the smartest person in the room and more focused on the collective intelligence of your organization. Over time, your own IQ end up being the average IQ of the ten people you spend the most time with.
Leadership Thought #345 – Focus on What You Do Well
Focus on what you do well and then delegate everything else you possibly can. Many leaders spend far too much time on things they aren’t good at. Leadership is about effectively growing, leveraging and deploying assets. If the top personnel resource in the company is being used inefficiently or ineffectively what does that say about the organization as a whole? Time is finite and once it is wasted it is gone.
Leadership Thought #331 – You Make Your Own Luck
It always bothers me when someone complains about another person’s good fortune by saying they were just lucky. Sure some people get lucky but pure luck is much rarer than you think. Very few people ever win the lottery. Even those that do win big usually play the game for many years before striking it rich. Of course, some people do start out with more advantages than others, but as someone who knows a number of people born into wealthy families; this advantage comes fraught with its own different set of problems. Resenting the success of others is a waste of time and energy. It is also an unattractive character flaw and if you are not careful leads to a victim mentality.
Leadership Thought #289 – Talent Is Never Enough
You need more than talent to succeed as a leader. You will have lead when it’s hard not just when it’s easy. Your mettle will be tested. You will be under a constant spotlight and have no shortage of critics. Sometimes it will feel like the cards are stacked against you and your options are limited. You will get knocked down repeatedly and have to get back up. Others will look to you to solve problems they cannot or will not handle. You will need to be resilient in the face of adversity and give your people direction and hope. You will need to be the calming influence in the midst of a storm. You must learn from your mistakes (there will be many) and use this knowledge to get better. You will be humbled and sometimes lose even when you do your best. You will have to regularly outwork, outthink and outperform your competition.
Song of the Weekend: Jakob Dylan – “Nothing But the Whole Wide World”
I can’t imagine what it was like growing up in the musical shadow of Bob Dylan. And, then to have the courage to follow in his footsteps and carve out your own successful artistic path – what pressure. The comparisons were inevitable and the stakes so high that it would have been easy to fail or give up. It also is alot to expect that songwriting talent at this level would exist in more than one person in a family. Yet Jakob Dylan persevered and his career to date clearly stands on its own merit.
Daily Leadership Thought #132 – Identify And Cultivate What Makes You Special
We all have something unique about us that makes us special. The Gallup Organization claims that everyone has special talents they can do better than 10,000 other people. The key is to find out what this talent/ability/characteristic is then tap into it. I’ve heard other thought leaders refer to this as your uniqueability. Organizations are no different than people. There is always something special about a high performing business or nonprofit that makes them who they are and good at what they do.