Leadership - Part 2

We are all leaders.  Some of us are formal leaders with official titles; others are more informal leaders with influence.  We lead at home, church, in our community and at work.  We lead our children, our peers and our employees.  If you do not consider yourself a leader, think again.  Don’t ignore an opportunity to influence those around you.  Below are some of what I believe to be keys to outstanding leadership.  Embrace these and be a great leader! 

  • Hope - Great leaders give people hope for a better tomorrow.
  • Consistency - When followers never know what to expect from a leader they will stop expecting anything.  (see last weeks’ MMM)
  • Influence - People do not respond well when pushed, forced or directed.  They respond best when influenced by leaders they respect. 
  • Honesty & Trust - Trust and honesty are established when words and actions match up.
  • Accountability - Understand that followers need to see leaders who are willing to be accountable. 
  • Humility - As leaders we should be concerned with what is right, not if we are right. 
  • Respect & Caring - People do not care what you know until they know that you care. 



I am huge on consistency. To me it is a valued trait in leadership and life!  Steady and consistent leadership develops loyal followers. Consistency maintains calm and stabilizes expectations.  It means that when the question is the same, the answer is the same, no matter if the names and places change.  The answer is the same no matter the emotional, financial or legal implications.  Dependable answers and responses create a stable environment where expectations are clear.  This does not mean that different situations may not require different responses.  It does not mean that business circumstances can’t dictate changes in policy.  It does mean however, that people know what to expect from their leader.  John Maxwell says “If people do not know what to expect from a leader, they will come to expect nothing.” 

As leaders we should want people to know what to expect from us.  Great leaders have sound values and convictions.  Those things do not change and therefore they are consistent in their leadership.  A great leader is the rock of consistency for their team, followers, business or family.


The Journey

We have all heard the saying... "Life is a journey not a destination."  It is a great concept to keep in mind every day.  All too often we want things to be finished, resolved, and complete; we are such an impatient society and so focused on the final result.  All the events and aspects of our lives are part of an ongoing change, a journey, not a destination.  Sometimes we need to be reminded to enjoy the journey! 

"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon—instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today."
Dale Carnegie

Enjoy the journey, today...


The Blind Spot

I am a fan of the leadership teaching and the writings of Dr. John Maxwell.  I recently read a great article of his regarding “The Blind Spot”.  He began with the following definition.

The Blind Spot – An area in the lives of people in which they continually do not see themselves, or their situation, realistically.  This unawareness often causes great damage to the people and those around them.

It is true, isn’t it?  We get so incredibly caught up in our own world that we cannot objectively see our situation.  It is like we have blinders on regarding our own behavior and surroundings.  Have you ever heard someone say “Can’t they see what they are doing?” or “Don’t they know how they are being taken advantage of?”  It is easier to spot negative circumstances or behaviors in others than in ourselves.  The challenge is to look at ourselves and our situations as objectively as possibly.  It is much easier said than done.  It requires the relaxing of one’s defenses, and the willingness to be vulnerable, but it can help you avoid harm to yourself or your business as well as some potential embarrassment.  Think about it; are you aware of your blind spots?



Leadership – Respect & Caring

People do not care what you know, until they know that you care.  That may be a John Maxwell quote, but I have heard it from multiple sources.  Team members and followers respond better when they know that leaders genuinely care.  In addition, people respond even more positively when treated with respect.  Respect is a fundamental right that all people are entitled to.  As leaders we do not get to trample on people and forget the respect they are due as humans.  Basic caring and respect for others are great traits for true leaders.  There are many leaders who do not possess these characteristics; they may appear to be successful, and may be some of the time, but over the long haul they will not maintain loyalty.  Ultimately they will not be respected.  Our goal as leaders is to move people towards a common goal.  People tend to be more willing to move when they feel cared for and respected.  Goals are reached more easily when all members of a team respect one another, leaders and followers alike.  Make sure you lead with caring and respect…