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Out of Your Mind Leadership

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Aren’t the Holidays great?

Like many people, I enjoy this time of year. It’s a time for sharing time with family and friends, a time for reflection, and perhaps most importantly it is a time to do things for others who may be less fortunate than us. In light of the spirit of serving others and the spirit of Christmas that embodies it, I thought I would share a leadership perspective that is applicable this time of year.

Regardless of your religious affiliation, there are many leadership lessons to be found in the Bible and in particular in the life of Jesus. In homage to the person who is the reason we celebrate Christmas, I’d like to share some lessons in leadership that I have taken from the life of Jesus.

Walk the talk. The most effective way to lead is by example. When the echoes of the words have faded, people will remember what you did more than they will ever remember what you said.

Embrace the value of everyone, not just those with position and title.

Work with what you have and make what you have work. Jesus didn’t complain that he only had a dozen people to change the world.

Don’t be misguided by pageantry and formality. Sometimes the most influential people come from the humblest of places.

If you’ve got something to say, say it. Polling the crowds and authorities to get their preferences will only dilute the message.

Speak to people in a way that they will understand. Leave the flowery speeches and language to the politicians.

When people resist you it is likely done because they are afraid of something. Address the fear and the change will come more easily.

They lied and spoke badly about Jesus behind his back. Don’t kid yourself into thinking it won’t happen to you at some point. If what you are saying and doing is meaningful, someone is going to talk bad about you, don’t take it personally.

There is strength in people that is often unseen. Find a way to tap into it.

Be where you are. Be in the moment. Don’t waste time focusing on what you wanted to do or where you would rather be.

May your days be merry, your holidays be happy, and your leadership be as effective as it could possibly be.

Merry Christmas.

—————-

Dave Hasenbalg is Chief Operating Officer of Customized Solutions, LLC and does coaching and public speaking on Leadership and Operational Excellence.
He can be reached at
dhasenbalg@customized-solutions.com

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Be Honest

How many people woke up this morning and said to themselves, “I’m going to be completely non-productive today.”? How many people went into work this morning committed to finding a way to make mistakes? The answer is nobody. Nobody goes into something hoping to fail. So, why do some people flourish while others struggle? The answer is leadership. And people deserve good leadership.

Ivy League Stars Can Fall

Let me tell you about James. (I’m not using real names here.) James was a star student at a private prep school. He was awarded the highest honors that the school could give. He was captain of several athletic teams and received top honors there as well. After prep school he was accepted to an Ivy League college where he also excelled both academically and athletically. It seemed like James was destined for greatness no matter what he did. At his first job out of college, James began working for Brad. Brad is a hands-off manager. In fact, his hands are so far off you might think that he is absent. James receives minimal guidance and direction. The only time Brad gets involved with his team is when his boss takes an interest in what is going on in the department. When James is given projects to work on, he does them and does them well. But, on any given workday are as likely to see him surfing the web as you are doing anything for work. So what happened? How did this Ivy League star fall so far?

The answer is leadership.

People genuinely want to do good work and to be recognized for it.

In exchange, they will work hard to do what it takes to get the job done, if only the person in charge can connect with them and will lead them. If someone isn’t doing well at work, 90% of the time it is because they aren’t sure what is expected of them or they don’t possess the competency to do the job at that point in time. In either case, it is the responsibility of the leader to address it by making sure the expectations are clear, the skills and experience of the individual align to the work at hand, and the desired outcome is reached. Ken Blanchard calls this situational leadership and does a good job of illustrating it in his One Minute Manager Series of books. Specifically, in “Leadership and the One Minute Manger” Blanchard says,

Everyone has peak performance potential – you just need to know where they are coming from and meet them there.

So, did James suddenly tell himself that he was just going to coast in his career? Did his new job reveal that James is not capable of mastering the requirements of the job? Not likely.

Servant Leadership

What happened is that James came face-to-face with self-appointed authoritarian royalty. Leaders like Brad are more focused on fitting themselves with the crown of authority than they are working with their people to help them achieve great things. Sadly this is an all too common story. The most effective leaders are those who have realized that they will be far more successful if they find ways to help their people to be successful. This is called servant leadership.

Servant leaders find it hard to work with people while wearing the crown of authority because the crown tends to fall off when you bend down to help somebody.

In what ways are you a servant leader? How are you helping people achieve the performance potential of which they are capable?

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This post, as well as others from Dave, can also be found at http://linked2leadership.com/author/dhasenbalg/

Dave Hasenbalg is President r of Customized Solutions, LLC and does coaching and public speaking on Leadership, Team Effectivness and Operational Excellence.
He can be reached at
dhasenbalg@customized-solutions.com

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