Mastering Leadership

I have told them again and again to get that report to me on the 15th of each month

If I were in charge, I wouldn’t put up with her shenanigans

Do it because I’m your boss and I said so

When I’m in charge, they will do what I say, I’ll institute some discipline in this organization

 This is unacceptable, you will not do this again

Allow me to be in charge and that will never happen in the first place

What should you do now that you are in charge?

“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power…so he got up…he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet…” (Excerpted from John 13)

You don’t have to be a disciple of Christ to get this. And you don’t have to be the boss to apply this. Given ALL POWER, Jesus’ first act is to humble himself.

We all have leadership roles, at work, at home, and in our communities, but what do we do with this little slice of authority? Put on the boss hat and wield a big stick or do we take on the attitude of a servant?

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Give

Our society celebrates getting stuff – a new car, a new home, winning a jackpot!

But if getting is supposed to bring such happiness, why is it the most joyful people I have ever met are givers rather than takers?

Giving of our time, giving of our heart, giving as we have been gifted, will bring real joy

I’ll get you my little pretty…

A flying broomstick to get her anywhere she needed to be in an instant, a crystal ball to peer into her rivals’ plans, and some wicked-scary flying monkeys.  Let’s face it, on paper, the Wicked Witch of the West vs. Dorothy? No contest.

So how was she beaten by a simple Midwestern girl, a gutless lion, a dim scarecrow, an empty tinman…and a little water?  She let her guard down and forgot that even she had an Achilles heel. One mistake and…

Powerful or not, we all have buckets of water that will take us down in a heartbeat; pride, jealousy, arrogance, vanity…the key is to recognize and stay away from those buckets.

You might be a little lost, short on courage, lacking some knowledge, and feeling a little empty, but there is great wisdom in recognizing your inadequacies and planning accordingly.

Willy Nilly

We get so busy doing…business.  Looking for clients, doing the work, running payroll, getting more clients, doing more work so we can meet the next payroll…the treadmill keeps going and we stay on this treadmill failing to realize we are not getting anywhere.

I’m a pretty simple guy, and while there might be many nuisances, business planning boils down to

Vision: What you want the company to be.

Strategy: What are you going to do to achieve your dream or vision?

Tactics: How and when will you execute your strategy?

But what happens? We react. An opportunity comes in, we chase it.  Another opportunity comes in, and we change directions and chase that one.  And yet another opportunity comes in, and like a puppy with ADD our attention is quickly diverted.

Vision is lacking, strategy is thrown out the window, and as for tactics? We don’t need no stinking tactics.

Instead of chasing every opportunity, every mode of marketing and just running around willy-nilly with no clear direction and no opportunity for real growth, maybe it’s time to return business 101: Vision, strategy and tactics.

It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so

It was argued by some as far back as the early 1980s that part of GM’s downfall was a perception problem by senior management. They drove their company car, pulled into the company garage, their car was maintained daily by company employees and when they drove home each night, they looked around and they saw everyone driving GM cars.

Their cars ran perfectly and everyone (in their world) was happy with GM.

As the argument goes, their perception was not reality.

Perception problems are hardly confined to large companies like GM. It doesn’t matter if your company has 10 or 10,000 employees, if you are in management you better be about the business of communicating with your clients, prospects and employees.

Get out of your world and get into their world.

Because as Mark Twain said so eloquently, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”