Archives for category: Influence

head-heart

In my personal and professional life, I have observed a pattern with regard to how decisions are made…anatomically.

Starting with the Southern part of our body and heading North…

  • Especially in the heat of the moment, the knee jerk reactionis very common. This technique employs minimal insight and information when responding to a given situation.
  • From there, we may opt to the more sophisticated seat of the pantsapproach, where we use our limited personal experience and judgment to come to a conclusion without considering procedures, planning, or other available technology or input.
  • Then, we may advance North to “gut feeling.” At this stage, we utilize intuition, both our own and that of others, coupled with additional data in order to come to a conclusion on how we believe things will turn out.
  • Improving upon this practice, we might continue upward to “listen to our heart,” wherein we now allow our deepest emotional inclinations to have a stake in determining next steps.
  • Finally, we can move to the final stop in this anatomical journey…where we “make decisions with our head.

Incorporating the aforementioned components of personal experiences, available information and technology, valued input from many prudent sources, and then mixing in the proper amount of emotion and logic, we arrive at the “best decision:” one derived from your brain’s coordination of all available data points.

This fact-based decision making may take a little more time and discipline, however, our entire anatomy will thank us later.

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A question for you to ponder: Do the best leaders surround themselves with great people, or do they help the people around them become great? 

My experience tells me the answer is…both!  But let’s start with the first part…

During a recent conversation with a highly successful manager, who operates in the challenging food & hospitality industry, a point was made about team development. He noted that one of his key objectives was to hire people who were better, smarter or more talented than he was.

This resonated with me as this has become one of my essential success tenets.

Decades ago, once I became mature enough to put my ego aside, the realization that if I secured, & surrounded myself with, really talented people, perhaps my leadership role would become much easier. And it did!

Often I’ve worked with leaders who feared talent that was potentially as good, or even better than they were.  They let their ego’s and foolish pride get in the way of doing the smart thing, which subsequently led them toward hiring marginal talent compared to what was available in the market place.  This ultimately resulted in less than optimal performance.

These “bosses” shared an underlying concern that the potential “superstar” would make them look inferior, or even worse, eventually “steal” their leadership position away!

This type of self-centered thinking not only limited the team & businesses success, but truly restricted that leader’s ability to grow through the organization.

The reality is that leaders who surround themselves with the best possible talent tend to produce better-than-average results. Further, they consistently demonstrate the ability to develop talent for the organization, which often facilitates professional growth and advancement.

Perhaps you have seen this happen in your experiences as well.  Or even worse, if you happen to be one of those who has unknowingly inhibited your success by falling into this trap, this could be the perfect time to take on that new approach for building your team.

surround

As a leader, I’ve observed that a key differentiator which separates superstar performers from average employees is their desire for continuous self-development.

By definition, lifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.

My personal self-improvement pursuit includes:

  • voracious reading of business books and magazines
  • consistently applying automobile university (listening to books on CD while driving)
  • attending live seminars
  • utilizing the amazing and unlimited content of the internet
  • challenging myself physically with new and diverse sporting activities

Consider being a “role model of possibility!”  Becoming all that you can be by striving to always keep growing can set an example that will change other people’s lives.

As Marshall Goldsmith eloquently stated, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”.

 

lifelong learning

 

 

Delegation Flow Chart

During decades of “management”, I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I’ve heard that phrase “it’s easier to do it myself.”

Although sometimes that may be true, in the long run, doing everything yourself is no formula for successful productivity.

The flow chart nicely depicts the proper delegation process for a strong leader:

  1. Be able to perform any task that you are responsible for supervising
  2. Be able to demonstrate how to do it properly
  3. Be able to teach someone how to do it as you work together
  4. Be able to monitor their execution with constructive feedback
  5. Be able to praise your protégé for their accomplishment

Great leaders influence their team toward achievement through effective delegation.

One such person was Dwight Eisenhower who stated that “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it.” Genius!!!