[New Post] 5 Toxic Behaviors of poor leaders…and how to avoid them!

5-2
I’ve made a bunch of leadership mistakes over the years but one of the greatest, was trying to be someone I wasn’t.
It took me until my late twenties to really become comfortable in my own skin and accept me for me. I was able to admit to myself and others that I had weaknesses, flaws, that I wasn’t good at everything and I never will be. I didn’t have to pretend to try to impress others.
When I first began leading others, I didn’t know much. I modeled what I learned from others but what I discovered is, you can’t teach what you don’t know and you can’t take others where you haven’t been.  When leaders fail to realize this, they are working harder to cover over their weaknesses rather than focusing on being genuine. This leads to toxic behaviors and poor leadership. When leaders can’t be themselves they become suseptable to drinking the poison of insecure leadership.
A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. – John C Maxwell
I’ve noticed five toxic behaviors that poor leaders fall in to when they fail to be genuine:
  1. Choosing reputation instead of results
    1. Toxic leaders work harder at keeping up a persona, and gauging their success by how others make them “feel” or if they are “on their side” rather than measuring their organization based on results. Leaders can avoid this toxic behavior by measuring true performance like number of sales, products sold, number of volunteers signed up etc. This allows the leader to focus on the betterment of the organization rather than ensuring he or she is liked.
  2. Micro-manager instead of Equipper
    1. Toxic leaders micro-manage rather than equip others. Micro-managing is a control tactic to keep the toxic leader looking good and ensuring he or she is getting all the praise and accolades. Toxic leaders struggle to equip and delegate authority in fear of losing control.  Leaders can avoid this toxic behavior by understanding that the more you equip and delegate authority the more you will be a crucial piece in the organization. Great leaders give power and authority away.
  3. Pride instead of humility
    1. Toxic leaders are poisoned with pride. This is a byproduct of insecurity. Again, they fail to show their weaknesses so they cover over them by making sure everyone knows how important they are and how much they know. Leaders can avoid this toxic behavior by first realizing that everyone around you already knows your weakness wether they tell you or not! Second, surrounding yourself with men and women that are strong in the areas you are weak. Third, by allowing yourself to be real, vulnerable, genuine, and transparent.
  4. God Complex instead of servant leader
    1. Toxic Leaders force others to serve them rather than serving others. They look at the members of there organization as men and women there to further their personal agenda. Toxic leaders often times will continually remind those around him or her about their personal accomplishments, successes, and level of importance. Leaders can avoid this behavior by modeling servant leadership. Servant leadership is not allowing others to walk all over you, it’s looking out for the betterment of those that work or volunteer in your organization. A servant leader as John C Maxwell says “Knows the way, show the way and goes the way”. Great servant leaders model the healthy behaviors they expect in their organization and they are always working to take their people to the next level of growth.
  5. Distrust instead of Trust 
    1. All healthy relationships are built on trust. Toxic leaders naturally distrust others because anyone and everyone is a threat to taking the limelight, prominence or visibility from the toxic leader. Again, their distrust is birthed out of insecurity. Toxic leaders are always looking to find the ulterior motives of others even when those around him or her have none. It’s actually the insecure toxic leader with the ulterior motives looking for ways to maintain control, manipulation, power, prominence and visibility.

We can avoid becoming toxic leaders by focusing on results, equipping, humility, servant leadership, and trusting others. Implement these in to your leadership and the poison of insecurity will remain far away from your leadership. It’s ok to not know everything. It’s ok to admit that you are human and need people. It’s ok to admit your weaknesses, flaws and mistakes. Thats the kind of leader people want to follow.

Questions: What are some other toxic behavior you have seen in insecure leaders? Click to leave me a comment on my Facebook or Twitter

[New Post] Borrowing wisdom from your leadership library

BORROWING
Benjamin Franklin once said, “There are two ways to acquire wisdom; you can either buy it or borrow it. By buying it, you pay full price in terms of time and cost to learn the lessons you need to learn. By borrowing it, you go to those men and women who have already paid the price to learn the lessons and get their wisdom from them.”
Borrowing wisdom from those who have gone before you allows you to learn from their success and failure. It’s like having a leadership library at your fingertips.
I borrow wisdom from my mentors like:
John C. Maxwell, Michael Hyatt, David Allen, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Darren Hardy, Patrick Lencioni, and many others.
I take in every book, blog, or podcast these great leaders put out. They are my “Leadership Library” of knowledge where I am able to glean from their wisdom and life experience and use that wisdom to impact leaders in my life.
Surrounding yourself with a leadership library of men and women who will stretch your thinking and challenge the statuesque is key to becoming a growing fast as a leader. By borrowing their wisdom, you get to avoid much of the pain they learned from the school of hard knocks.
There is a limitless leadership library at your fingertips today. For twenty dollars you can have almost any great mentor at your fingertips in the form of books, audiobook CDs, or DVDs. Many leaders also have a blog or podcast that you can subscribe to for free.
Here are some of the resources I use:
  1. Michael Hyatt’s “This is Your Life” and his blog michaelhyatt.com.
  2. SUCCESS magazine subscription
  3. John Maxwell’s Maximum Impact Club

Each of these rescouerces come with great equipping CDs that build my leadership library. Don’t forget, you can also head to your ACTUAL local library where you can borrow the latest and greatest leadership books for free.

If you want to borrow from the wisdom of other, you have to be willing to investment in your own personal development. Over the years I have spent thousands of dollars on my personal growth. The investment in my own personal growth has also saved me thousands of headaches by borrowing wisdom from other rather than buying the lesson at full price by going to the school of hard knocks.
Choose today to set up your leadership library and borrow the wisdom of those that have gone before you!
Question: Who do you borrow wisdom from? Leave me a comment on Facebook or Twitter

[New Post] The greatest investments you will ever make as a leader

 THE-2
Great Leaders understand that they not only need to learn and grow themselves,  but invest in the lives of others. Great leadership is about equipping and developing people. On the surface you might think equipping and developing are the same thing. However, there is a huge difference.
As a leader, you can equip people, but if you only equip, you will never move to one of the most rewarding parts of leadership, mentioning others. 
Equipping is like giving someone survival tools but not showing them how to use them. Imagine dropping someone off in the wilderness and giving them a duffle bag full of survival tools and telling them you will see them in a week without showing them how to use what you have given them.
If you are spending most of your time equipping (giving people resources), you’re limiting those around you. It’s great to give out resources, but you will see your entire organization change when you commit to developing others through personal mentoring. 
A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better. ~ Jim Rohn
Mentoring  takes commitment and sacrifice for everyone involved, so you need to make sure you are developing the right people.
Take the time to identify people who are eager to learn and grow before you invite them into a mentoring process.
I take the following two steps to identify potential leaders to mentor:  
1. Equip them with a book or audiobook.
When I give a potential leader a book, I watch to see how eager they are to learn and grow. If they read through the book with excitement and come to me asking questions and telling me about it, then I know that they are ready to be developed.
 
2, Set up a meeting to discuss the mentoring process.
When I meet with a potential leader,  I want to know three things about them:
1. What do they dream about
2. What do they cry about
3. What makes them happyI learned this process from my mentor John C. Maxwell. This helps me to hear their heart and identify what makes them tick as leaders. John C. Maxwell says it like this: “If you can uncover a person’s dreams, hurts and joys, you’ve discovered the central dimensions of their life.”
I agree.
The mentoring process looks like this:
Set up a recurring meeting.
 This may be once a week, every other week, or once a month. I recommend not having more than three weeks in between your meeting times. You can lose momentum when meeting with your leaders if there is too long of a gap.
Equip.
Get them reading books and blogs and listening to audiobooks and podcasts immediately. Get them learning and growing!
Listen.
A lot of mentoring is about being a good listener. Take time to not just hear with your ears but to listen with your heart. 
 
Encourage.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”If you are only mentoring others so that you can show how much you know, it won’t be very long before you will be sitting at an empty table with no one to mentor. You can’t fake sincerity. You either want to help people or you don’t.
 
Ask questions.
Asking great questions is key to mentoring. When you are sitting with your potential leaders, ask them questions like:
1. What area of your life do you want to see change the most?
2. What steps are you taking today to see that come to pass?
3. How can I help you achieve these goals?
Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction. ~John C. Crosby
Challenge.
Great Mentors are always challenging their potential leaders to climb higher. Challenging your potential leaders helps them to step outside of their comfort zone and grow.
Follow up.
You can only expect what you inspect. If you do not follow up with your potential leaders’ progress on a regular basis, they will begin to feel unappreciated, lost, and frustrated. You can only maintain a strong mentoring climate by keeping the pulse with the progress of those you are mentoring.
Mentoring is the greatest investments you will ever make as a leader. Start today!
Question: What areas of your life do you wish you had a mentor? Leave a comment on my Facebook or Twitter
 

[New Post] If you’re not growing, you’re dying

 IF
In 1994 I had no idea where my life was going. I had no plan, no direction. I felt lost. I was looking for clarity among the noise of the many voices telling me what I should do with my life.
Then came the tipping point that changed the  whole course of my life.
I was given a copy of Developing the Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell. That book helped me to see something in me that I hadn’t seen before — leadership.
At eighteen, I began reading every John C. Maxwell leadership book I could get my hands on. As I read John’s books, he would recommend other resources, so I would buy them and read them as fast as I could. I would highlight and underline the ideas that jumped out at me on each and every page.  I was learning and growing as a leader.
“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” ~ John C. Maxwell
As I soaked in the leadership wisdom and applied the principles from the books, I started to change. I began sharing with others what I was learning. I would suggest different books to people and many times go buy the book for them.
The more I grew as a leader, the more positive impact I had in the lives of others.  I started to understand the responsibility that came with leadership.
People were looking to me for direction. They valued my input and trusted me to  speak into their lives. I was humbled because I knew that I hadn’t “arrived” and that I had a very long way to go as a leader. I had a burning desire inside me to help people—to help people discover their hidden potential. Slowly and steadily, I was becoming a leader.
Today, the desire to help people reach their full potential is even stronger. Every day I am humbled to be able to speak into the lives of others, and every day I have a healthy dose of fear knowing that my words have weight in the lives of others. And every day I know that I will never fully “arrive” as a leader.
 There are thousands of opinions out there as to what makes a good leader. But what separates good leaders from great leaders, though, is that great leaders are lifelong learners. They have a growth plan.
If you’re not growing, you’re dying.
All too often, leaders reach a certain point and they stop learning. They feel as though they have reached a certain level of success, so they slack off and “ride the leadership wave” until they retire or die. The leadership wave is no wave at all. It’s actually an undertow that will drown you as a leader if you stop learning and growing. When leaders stop growing, they start dying.
“Growing for a leader is like oxygen to a deep sea diver: without it you die. – Ken Blanchard
If you aspire to be a great leader, commit to growing everyday by developing a personal growth plan:
 
Personal Growth Plan 
  1. Find physical or virtual mentors
    1. I have so many virtual mentors. Men and women that I look up to as great leaders. Most I will never meet but I can read their book, watch their videos and take their courses on leadership.
  2. READ, READ, READ!
    1. Read for 15 minutes in the morning, Listen to an audio book in your car and read an entirely different book in the evening.
  3. Model servant leadership
    1. Leadership isn’t about you or your position. It’s about serving, guiding, and helping others reach their potential.
  4. Have an accountability partner
    1. Find someone that will challenge you and “hold your feet to the fire” in the area of personal growth. Proverbs 27:17 says  As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
  5. Put in to action what you learn
    1. Are you really growing if you are only reading and listening to teachings on leadership and not putting them in to practice? The answer is no. Knowledge isn’t power, knowledge is potential. In order to transfer what you learn in to power you have to out it in to practice.

If you’re not growing, you’re dying. You can take your leadership to an entirely new level by committing to a personal growth plan. Go for it today! I believe in you.

Question: What do you do for your personal growth plan? Leave me a comment on Facebook or Twitter

 

 

[New Post] Don’t set sail until you’ve charted the course

DON'T

No one in their right mind would ever get in to a boat and set out on a long trip with out first charting their course. Yet this is exactly what people do with their organizations and life when failing to have a vision and set goals.
Our lives and organizations are headed in a certain direction whether we know it or not. When we fail to set goals, we allow the winds of chance to guide us.
Don’t set sail with your organization or life until you’ve charted the course.
So how can we know for sure we are charting the right course and setting the right goals?
To be honest, you can’t fully know.
Charting a course by setting goals gets you pointed in a certain direction and as you travel toward your end goal, you are always course correcting.
You just have to set goals on what you currently know then go for it.
“A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is NOT what it is built for.” – Albert Einstein
Like sailing, you can’t control the winds of life. Life happens and things get in our way and set us back. Setting specific goals is like following your navigation coordinates, they get you pointed in the right direction and will pay off in the end.
Look at this study from Harvard:
In 1979, interviewers asked new graduates from the Harvard’s MBA Program what their goals were. They found that :
84% had no specific goals at all
13% had goals but they were not committed to paper
3% had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them
Then In 1989, the interviewers again interviewed the graduates of that class. You can guess the results:
The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all.
Even more staggering – the three percent who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.
(Source: from the book What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, by Mark McCormack)
What can we learn from this study? Don’t set sail until you’ve charted the course.
The more specific and clear you are about where you want to go, the greater chance you have of reaching your destination.
Andre Gide said: “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
What steps can you take to chart your course? 
  1. Have a set direction you want to go. ( Set a vision )
  2. Write goals using the S.M.A.R.T method to keep you pointed in that direction and help you accomplish your vision
    1. S: Specific, M: Measurable, A: Achievable, R: Relevant, T: Time-Bound
  3. When life hits you with a storm, reexamine your goals and direction to help you course correct and get you pointed in the right direction again.
Question: What course are you charting for your life or organization?  Leave me a comment on FACEBOOK or TWITTER

[New Post] THE SECRET SAUCE OF EVERY GREAT TEAM

The  Secret-7

 

CocaCola keeps their recipe locked up in a vault. KFC has Colonel Sanders secret ingredients for their fried chicken. When you have a secret sauce that not only works but also makes you millions, you do everything to protect it. There is a secret sauce that every great team has. The sad thing is this secret sauce is not a secret and very few teams ever attempt to get the ingredients together to make it.
The secret sauce to every great team is TRUST. – KC Cupp
Like CocaCola and KFC, when teams discover they have the secret sauce they do everything to protect it. Great teams understand that establishing and maintaining trust is key to their long term growth and success.
So what are the ingredients of the secret sauce of TRUST?
 
  • A dash of Candor
    • Candor is having the ability to be open and honest with people. To establish trust, you have to be willing to tell the truth and not sugarcoat anything.
  • A 3/4 of a cup of vulnerability
    • Many leaders are scared to be vulnerable. They are afraid they will look weak if they allow others to see their flaws and not appear to have all the answers. The problem in thinking is leaders believe those around them don’t already know their weaknesses and flaws. We are all human. We need to act like it around our teams. We don’t have to pretend to have all the answers. That’s why they call it team work.
  • A splash of respect
    • Showing respect means to appreciate others for their unique gifts, abilities and also recognize their achievements.
  • A cup of loyalty
    • When a  team knows their leader supports them, they will work even harder to accomplish the work set before them.
  • A bag of Clarity
    • Leaders cannot communicate enough to their team. There is no such thing as communicating too much. To establish and keep trust, leaders have to ensure that they are communicating constantly and cascading messages to everyone in their organization. Nothing erodes trust faster than lack of clarity.
  • A stick of the benefit of the doubt
    • Everyone will make mistakes, including leaders. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt until you have had the time to sit down with them and compile all the information will help to build trust. If your team understands that you have their back when things go wrong, they will be comfortable admitting mistakes.
  • A tablespoon of “I was wrong”
    • Admitting that you were wrong or made a mistake is so crucial to establishing and building trust.  Admitting when you are wrong drives the point home even more that you are all in this together.
  • A half cup of follow through
    • If you say you are going to do something, do it. Follow through. Keep your commitments. If you want to erode trust, say you are going to do something and then don’t do it. When people know that you are consistent in what you say, what you do and what you say you are going to do, you have established trust.
Once you have mixed the secret sauce of TRUST, the leader has to be the first to extend trust to your team. When you extend trust to your team, you are modeling the behavior that you expect in return.
Building trust is something that takes time and it’s take having the entire team contributing to the secret sauce!
Question: What have you done to have the secret sauce of TRUST with your team? Leave a comment on my Facebook or Twitter
Check out The Life Organized Company new workshops called “Teams Work” by clicking HERE

[New Post] How to gain an edge at work and win in life

HOW TO GAIN-2

 

When you look at the top leaders of any field you’ll notice a consistent theme, they all have personal coaches.
Do you ever wonder why men and women in the top of their field would still need a coach?
There are three reasons: 
  1. They are looking for ways to gain an edge over their competition.
  2. They are tweaking an area of their game that is off course.
  3. They are working on the fundamentals.
This is the formula for winning at work and life.
Winning is not only about constant and never ending improvement but ensuring you keep working on the fundamentals.
A good personal coach helps to identify ways to improve, points out areas that are off course, and ensures the fundamentals stay in tack.
In life,  the fundamentals are the essential things…the people and things most important to you. We can become so focused on gaining an edge, that we sacrifice the fundamentals like family and friends. Or we can become obsessed with everything that is wrong and loose track as to why we wanted to improve in the first place.
Focusing on ways to gain an edge, tweaking areas and working on the fundamentals are the ingredients to the secret sauce of success.
If you look at professional track and field athletes for example, their success in an event comes down to the milliseconds. A personal coach can give them the extra set of eyes, analysis and outside feedback to help them make small incremental change that brings huge payoffs.

 Formal education will make you a living. Self education will make you a fortune. – Jim Rohn

What could an edge mean for you in your life and career?
  • A promotion?
  • More visibility?
  • Better work / life balance?
You may not be a professional athlete or the top CEO of a company, but you can invest in yourself to reach your goals.
When is the last time you invested in yourself? If it’s been a long time, have you asked yourself why?
Have you stopped dreaming?
Do you feel stuck?
Today is your day to live your best life and do great work! 
Nothing can get you there faster than hiring a personal coach. A coach has to be someone you can trust knowing you will receive honest feedback to help you move closer toward your goals.
One of the greatest joys in my life is seeing men and women gain the clarity, focus and direction needed to become more productive, better leaders and personally grow. I would love the privilege to help you do just that.
This is why I launched my Life Organized Coaching Program, to help people like you live their best life and do great work.
My Life Organized Coaching will to help you:
  1. Identify the areas you feel disorganized.
  2. Identify the quitting points that keep you from moving froward.
  3. Lay out a vision for where you want to be.
  4. Formulate goals to help you accomplish your vision.
  5. Create organizational habits to develop consistency over time.
What could an edge mean for you in your life and career? Start living your best life and doing great work.
Sign up for my Life Organized Coaching today and receive 20% off the regular price! ( Regularly $75 per hour ) 
 
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