Category Archives: Leadership

Wayne Dyer On Leadership

By Henna Inam

Dr. Wayne Dyer was one of my favorite authors. He passed away on Aug 29, 2015 at the age of 75.

If leadership is about influencing others, Wayne Dyer was one giant leader in influencing millions of people around the world. He was a master salesman, making many of his 30 books best-sellers, and raising over $100 million dollars for public broadcasting. His essential leadership message was to lead from the power within us. Most remarkably, he lived the messages he taught. Here are ten of his most powerful quotes to inspire your leadership today.

1. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” The essence of this message is the power of perspective. Our leadership challenges and behaviors often come from how we see things and the “story” or “meaning” we make about what we see. We can transcend many of the challenges we face simply by deciding to find a more empowered perspective. Wayne Dyer lived most of his childhood (up to the age of 10) in an orphanage. His father walked out on their family and his mother could not afford to take care of three young boys. He was able to transcend his childhood difficulties and indeed used his challenges to teach others. What will you see differently today that will serve your leadership?

2. “A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.” Our 24/7 workplaces have us stressed and overwhelmed. More than ever, we need to find our center to make the right decisions. How do you find your center in the midst of the chaos and churn to make emotionally intelligent decisions?

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How to Make Business Decisions…

By Richard Branson

Making a good informed decision is not that different to sitting on a jury – all reasonable doubt has to be removed before you can pass a verdict one way or the other. Thankfully, though, corporate decisions are seldom a matter of life or death!

Here are a few general rules that I have found help me to get to the point of taking the plunge (or not) within the appropriate time frames:

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Like me you may be someone who’s big on first impressions when you meet people but you can’t let the same thought process influence your decision-making. If on first hearing an idea strikes you as a really good one, you may well be correct, but you mustn’t allow that first reaction to influence your ability to objectively weigh the cons as well as all the pros when they are presented.

Do your homework

Just because no significant cons are presented it doesn’t mean they don’t exist, so get someone on to digging them up and evaluating them while you still have the time – discovering them after you’ve launched the deal doesn’t do you any favours. Insisting that this homework is conducted becomes doubly important if and when everyone is unanimously in favour of going ahead with the project. Nothing is perfect, so work hard at uncovering whatever hidden warts the thing might have and by removing them you’ll only make it better still.

Avoid making decisions in isolation

Every decision has some degree of impact on your ability to adopt other future opportunities in what the experts call ‘the decision stream’. This one may be a ‘too good to miss’ opportunity but how will it affect other projects or priorities and, if now is not the best time to do it, what risks if any are there in putting the thing on hold for an agreed period of time? If you cannot manage this project in addition to another that’s waiting in the wings, which one gets the nod and why?

Do everything you can to protect the downside

All wise investors go to great lengths to do this with their stock portfolios and when setting up a new business you should try to employ the same strategies. For example, when we started Virgin Atlantic, the only way I got my business partners in Virgin Records to begrudgingly accept the risks involved was by getting Boeing to agree to take back our one 747 after a year if things weren’t working out as we hoped. To this day, with giant, capital-intensive ventures like Virgin Galactic and Virgin Voyages, we always spend a lot of time in finding inventive ways to mitigate the downside.

Give it time

If you have the time to use the ‘orchestrated procrastination’ approach then do so. Without getting into the ‘paralysis by analysis’ mode, doing more rather than less homework on a project is seldom a bad thing. While looking at it more deeply you may find better alternatives or the marketplace may change.

Making smart informed decisions is why leaders get paid the big bucks. There is really no science to getting it right every time which is why (unfortunately) decision-making is not a process that can be programmed to come in ‘just in time’ across the board. However, across 50 years in business, I’ve used the tips above to help ease the process. I hope you find them useful too.

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Seven Keys to Effectively Manage Conflict

By Andy Stanley

The role of leadership is to leverage the tension to the benefit of the organization.  That’s your assignment as a leader.  You’ve got to learn through your personality, your position and your gifts to leverage these tensions for the benefit of the organization because these tensions result in progress, progress, progress when properly leveraged.

Here are seven quick suggestions.

A.  First, obviously, is to identify the tensions to be managed in your organization, and this isn’t really hard to do. Sit down and work through with your team members, “Hey, what are the tensions that in that aren’t going away?”  And here’s the key.  What are the tensions that shouldn’t go away that we have to learn how to properly manage?  If you don’t identify these tensions, you will spend hours trying to solve problems that can’t be solved and shouldn’t be solved.  And if you are a peacemaker by nature, if you are a conflict-avoider by nature you will lean in the direction of bringing about peace and giving up the tension, which will impede progress, and you will make everybody happy temporarily, but you may undermine the strength of your entire church or organization.  Identify the tensions.

B. Create terminology.  Create new terminology.  The terminology we use in our organization is simply this.  This is a tension to manage.  I’m telling you, in the midst of conflict, staff conflict, volunteer conflict, all of a sudden it’s bingo!  We’re trying to solve a problem that is actually tension we must learn to leverage.

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6 Vows Great Leaders Are Willing to Make and Keep

By Pastor Rick Warren

Leaders are always defined by self-imposed standards. I’m not talking about standards set by other people, but standards they set for themselves. Great leaders always expect more from themselves than they do from their followers. They put forth more effort as well. That’s leadership.

If you were to look through the New Testament for the phrase “make every effort,” you’d find it six times. They represent six important vows we need to make as leaders. I believe these six vows will lead to an effective and productive ministry.

1) Vow to maintain integrity

“Make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him” (2 Peter 3:14).

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. No one is perfect. To be spotless and blameless means to live with integrity. How do you maintain integrity if you’re not perfect? You need to be transparent. A person of integrity is not claiming to have it all together in every area. On the contrary, the person of integrity is willing to be open about their strengths and weaknesses.

Having integrity also means living what you say you believe. You model what you teach. And you tell the truth, even when it’s tough. All leadership is built on trust. And trust comes from having the reputation for living out what you believe and for telling the truth. As a pastor and leader, people must trust you.

Will you make a commitment to lead with integrity? Will you be honest about both your strengths and weaknesses? Will you commit to living your sermons out every week? Will you tell the truth to those you lead even when it’s tough?

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How to Be an Inspiring Leader

By Eric Garton

When employees aren’t just engaged, but inspired, that’s when organizations see real breakthroughs. Inspired employees are themselves far more productive and, in turn, inspire those around them to strive for greater heights.

Our research shows that while anyone can become an inspiring leader (they’re made, not born), in most companies, there are far too few of them. In employer surveys that we conducted with the Economist Intelligence Unit, we found that less than half of respondents said they agree or strongly agree that their leaders were inspiring or were unlocking motivation in employees. Even fewer felt that their leaders fostered engagement or commitment and modeled the culture and values of the corporation.

Exceptional managers find and capitalize on their employees’ unique strengths. Learn how they do it with this 6 minute video slide deck. Download a customizable version in Subscriber Exclusives.

To understand what makes a leader inspirational, Bain & Company launched a new research program, starting with a survey of 2,000 people. What we found surprised us. It turns out that inspiration alone is not enough. Just as leaders who deliver only performance may do so at a cost that the organization is unwilling to bear, those who focus only on inspiration may find that they motivate the troops but are undermined by mediocre outcomes. Instead, inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control. Here are some of our additional findings about how leaders both inspire, and get, great performance:

You only need one truly “inspiring” attribute

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The High-Potential Leader

By Ram Charan

The Urgent Need for High-Potential Leaders

The biggest concern I hear among senior leaders today is, How can we stay relevant in this increasingly complex and fast-moving world? The truth is, some can’t. They’re not equipped to help their companies reinvent themselves for the new game. Nor are the leaders next in line, who’ve been groomed to fit the same obsolete mold.

Companies big and small are coming to realize that it will take leaders with a different way of thinking and different skills to reinvent the business. They are having to redefine the very notion of what a successful leader looks like. Now the race is on to find those with high potential to lead the company onto new paths in a world of constant change.

You’ve heard it before—the changes being wrought by things like digitization, algorithms, and data analytics will be as radical as the Industrial Revolution. We’ve already seen companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon cause revolutions in consumer behavior and reach the stratosphere in market value in record time. More of these are yet to come, led by people with the capacity to conceive and grow them. In a decade, the $72 trillion global economy is on a trajectory to be 50 percent greater than it is today. Products and services not yet invented will give consumers entirely different experiences and make some companies obsolete.

This is a time for leaders who can thrive in the face of relentless change, complexity, and uncertainty. Many companies have such leaders buried at lower levels. They need to find them, develop them, and find ways to use them to help the company adapt. And they need to move fast on this. “Born digital” companies are on the prowl and will gladly poach whatever high-potential talent traditional companies overlook.

High-potential leaders themselves shouldn’t just sit back and wait to be discovered. They should decide for themselves whether they have what it takes to someday take a large team, business unit, function, or the whole corporation to new heights and make a plan to ready themselves to create the future.

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Were the Founding Fathers Great Leaders?

By Gordon Leidner

Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Fathers have made a splash in the news recently, thanks to Broadway’s sensational production “Hamilton.” The modern hip-hop and R&B musical highlights the leadership of Hamilton, Washington, and other Founders during our country’s revolutionary beginnings.  This brings to mind two questions: “Were the Founding Fathers really the great leaders they are claimed to have been?”  If so, “What can we learn from them?” Let’s look at the facts:

Facing the opposition of King George III, leader of the most powerful nation on earth, the Founders declared American independence and defeated the king’s formidable armies with a military force that general George Washington described as “half-starved and always in rags.”

In a world where the rights of a monarch or a privileged few were all that mattered, the Founders resolved to establish a new nation based on the proposition that “all men are created equal.”  They fearlessly accepted the risk of being hanged for treason and signed their names to the Declaration of Independence.

In spite of the fact that every previous democracy had failed, the Founders created the world’s first surviving democratic republic which effectively balanced power between thirteen independent states and all three branches of their new federal government.

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Ego Free Leadership

By Leading Blog

EGO IS A CONSTANT preoccupation with our self-worth.

Each of us has beliefs and fears about our value, and they cause defensive and/or self-promotional behaviors when under stress. Whether in a meeting, a presentation, or a relationship, part of our attention—sometimes all of it—is preoccupied by our view of our self. Are we competent? Respected? Intelligent? Liked? Attractive? Included? Each of us has a set of criteria we unconsciously judge ourselves against. When we measure up, we feel pride, even superiority. When we don’t, we feel uncomfortable, stressed, often afraid.

Ego Free Leadership is co-written by executive coach Shayne Hughes, president of Learning as Leadership and Brandon Black the retired CEO of Encore Capital Group. The book tracks Black’s journey from acknowledging to changing the destructive elements of his ego. Once he committed to change, the transformation began in his team and throughout the culture of the Encore organization. Quite effectively, Hughes and Black go back and forth sharing their perspectives on the unfolding transformation. Naturally, it’s not a step-by-step prescription, but it is instructive to see the process because we all share similar issues and thinking.

They begin by debunking the “ego is good” myth. Our egos limit us as we try to protect it in various ways. “Our ego can’t stand failure, incompetence, or weakness, so it avoids what is truly challenging us.

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The 9 Behaviors of Great Leaders

By Leading Blog

EASY PROBLEMS can often be solved by guessing. And we solve hundreds of these kinds of problems as we go throughout our week. The problem arises when we rely on our experience to guess at what might be wrong to try to solve hard problems—problems where the solution is obscured. The odds are against solving hard problems by guessing. And because we don’t apply the right approach to these problems they remain unsolved costing us time, money, and emotional wellbeing.

Naturally we like simple solutions. But a simple guess is not the same thing as a simple solution. A simple solution is easy to implement. But a simple guess that doesn’t get to the real issues is difficult, expensive, and wasteful to implement.

We need to stop guessing. “Every unsolved problem is bottlenecked by not understanding the root cause at a fundamental level.” In Stop Guessing, Nat Greene explains 9 behaviors that great problem-solvers use to solve hard problems. Here are his behavior summaries:

1. Stop Guessing
It’s natural for us to guess. The first thing you must do to start solving problems or keep from making them worse is to stop guessing.

2. Smell the Problem
Get out and walk around using your natural senses and tools available to you to develop a strong pattern of failure. Ask relevant, thought-provoking questions about the specific problem to guide you to collect information and look for very specific patterns, rather than shotgunning and looking at everything in the system.

3. Embrace You Ignorance
It’s what you don’t know that lies between you and the solution. Great problem-solvers not only admit their ignorance but also embrace it and ask questions others might find “stupid,” to shatter old assumptions about the problem.

4. Know What Problem you’re Solving
Often, people work on the wrong problem entirely by making some implicit assumption about what’s causing it. Great problem-solvers invest time upfront to make sure the problem they’re working on is well defined, measureable as a variable, and represents precisely what is wrong with the system or process.

5. Dig into the Fundamentals
This means learning how the process works, both by understanding the process itself and by understanding some of the fundamental science behind it. By focusing on what controls a problem, you’ll be able to limit your digging to the parts of the process and the science that are relevant, rather than trying to wrap your arms around the entire thing at once.

6. Don’t Rely on Experts
Utilizing subject-matter experts is crucial to understanding a complex system and its underlying functionality and science. Unfortunately, most people delegate responsibility for solving the problem to those subject-matter experts, rather than driving the problem-solving process themselves. Great problem-solvers always view experts as collaborators rather than saviors.

7. Believe in a Simple Solution
When confronting complex problems, it can be comforting to believe that the solution will be complex as well. But by not believing in a simple solution, people often give up long before they’ve gone through the rigor required to find the simple solution that lies at the root cause, to great cost and detriment. Great problem-solvers will have the belief and tenacity to keep solving until they’ve found the root cause.

8. Make Fact-Based Decisions
Avoid making opinion-based decisions: anything that relies on a vote, on authority, or on some subjective ranking system of what decision to make is one of these opinion-based decisions, and it leads problem-solvers astray.

9. Stay on Target
When problem-solvers dive deep into a problem, they too frequently seek to expand the number of possible root causes, so they can test them. Great problem-solvers measure the drivers that most immediately control the problem in order to determine whether those subvariables are in control, and in doing so are able to quickly eliminate most possible root causes and avenues of inquiry without having to dive deeper into them.

Greene digs deeper in to each of these in separate chapters. Strong problem-solving methods will discourage guessing, provide lots of structure to develop a pattern of failure, and guide you to understand how the process works. Begin problem solving and not solution-guessing.

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14 Leadership Lessons From The Life Of Jesus

By 

Even reasonable atheists must admit Jesus Christ is the greatest leader who ever lived.  No other person has been more talked about, more worshipped, had more songs and books written about their life, inspired more artwork, created a more successful lasting organization called the local church, and literally has history measured by when He lived on the Earth.  Jesus Christ is the greatest leader who ever lived.

I feel so strongly about this statement I previously wrote a post entitled Just 10 Of The Reasons Why Jesus Is The Greatest Leader Ever.  Portions of this post were even included in my book The 10 Indispensable Practices Of The 2-Minute Leader.

To further demonstrate the unmatched leadership of Jesus, I want to refer you to Matthew 20:29-34 where we find the account of when He gave two blind men their sight.

The following are just 14 of the Leadership Lessons From The Life Of Jesus we find in this passage.  First is the text followed by leadership principles we can all follow and implement.

  1. Great Leaders Have Followers – v. 29 “a great multitude followed Him.”  As John Maxwell famously said, “He who thinks he is a leader but has no one following is merely taking a walk.”
  2. Great Leaders Model Great Leadership – Still building off the previous text, as people followed in the “dust of their Rabbi”, Jesus modeled what transformational leadership looked like.  People do what people see.
  3. Great Leaders Have Developed A Great Reputation – v. 30 “when they heard that Jesus was passing by”.  When you pass by those you lead, what is the response?  Is it excitement?  Anticipation?  Hope?  Or is the response fear and anxiety?
  4. Great Leaders Show Great Mercy – v. 30 (the blind men) “cried out, saying, ‘Have mercy on us’”.  As Christian leaders, if we received what we deserved it would be death and hell.  It is only through Jesus we can stand blameless before God.  Therefore, the extension of mercy is part of our leadership DNA as well.  Who do you need to extend mercy today?
  5. Great Leaders Provide Great Solutions – v. 30 “O Lord, Son of David!”  This is a Messianic term.  The Messiah had arrived to deliver them from their sin.  When you walk into a room, do people feel burdens have been lifted and solutions are coming?
  6. Great Leaders Face Great Opposition – v. 31 “the multitude warned them they should be quiet”.  My pastor Crawford Loritts says, “Jesus’s popularity was always problematic.”  Successful leaders plan for opposition, challenges, and unforeseen obstacles.
  7. Great Leaders Have Great Persistence – v. 31 “but they cried out all the more”.  All leaders will experience failure.  We have all been knocked down.  Successful leaders stand back up, persevere and keep moving forward.  For more on this topic, read 11 Leadership Lessons I Have Learned From Failure
  8. Great Leaders Are Great Communicators – v. 32 “So Jesus stood and called them”.  Jeff Henderson says, “Leadership comes with a microphone.”  For more lessons on communication, read 26 Tips For Pastors And Business Leaders On Becoming A Better Vision Caster.
  9. Great Leaders Have Great Demands Placed Upon Them – v. 32 “What do you want Me to do for you?”  People are constantly asking things of leaders?  It seems as though everyone wants something.  How a leader handles requests effects the level of their influence.
  10. Great Leaders Bring Great Clarity – v. 33 “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.”  Many times plans fail due to misinterpretation or lack of clarity.  Simple, straightforward instructions are necessary for success.
  11. Great Leaders Have Great Compassion – v. 34 “So Jesus had compassion”.  Lasting leaders have a sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
  12. Great Leaders Connect With People – v. 34 “and touched their eyes.”  The only appreciable asset any organization has is its people.  Making an emotional and practical investment in their development is critical to becoming a lasting organization.
  13. Great Leaders Deliver Results – v. 34 “And immediately their eyes received sight”.  Because leadership does come with a microphone, many leaders can talk a great game.  However, one of the characteristics of great leaders is they deliver results.
  14. Great Leaders Are Great Servants – v. 34: “and they followed Him.”  Saved people serve people.  And served people become saved people.

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