By Seth Godin
Without a sail
A sailboat without a sail might float.
For a long time, in fact.
But without a sail, it can’t go anywhere, can’t fulfill its function.
Floating is insufficient.
By Seth Godin
A sailboat without a sail might float.
For a long time, in fact.
But without a sail, it can’t go anywhere, can’t fulfill its function.
Floating is insufficient.
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?
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.
Every experienced businessperson understands the benefits of good mentors. The knowledge they bring can be instrumental to a founder’s development and directly spur company growth.
But what if you don’t have the network to generate a mentor that fits your current needs? Well, instead of waiting around, why not learn from the nation’s #1 business strategist.
You may have heard of him. His name is Tony Robbins.
Robbins is the ultimate life coach and an expert on business leadership. And when he’s not making participants walk on hot coals across the world at his seminars, he’s inspiring some of the biggest names in business. Robbins super fans include Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and Paul Tudor Jones of the $13 billion hedge fund, Tudor Investment Corp.
Long story short – Tony Robbins is a good person to listen to when it comes to creating a successful business. With that in mind, it’s time to pay attention.
1. Focus on innovation – Innovative businesses meet the needs of their clients in a unique way. In order to be sustainable, you must continually innovate and evolve.
2. Focus on marketing – Good marketing requires that you first understand the true benefits of your product. Next, you must have a clear idea of what your customer’s actually want. With this complimentary knowledge base, you can create powerful marketing that will get your prospects attention.
3. Find your differentiation – Look hard at the market, then alter your offering to satisfy customer needs. By differentiating your offering, your business will stand out.
4. Maintain your drive – You must maintain proper motivation in order to innovate, market you product, and differentiate your offering. Building a business requires commitment, and maintaining your drive is a key component. Show up to the office every day with the same passion and energy you had when you first started.
But don’t only rely on Robbins, or any other guru’s teachings for that matter. Even with good mentors and teachers, advice will only take you so far. More important, is the implementation of that advice.
For an added dose if inspiration, here’s a quote from Robbins about achieving great rewards in life.
“I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent.”
Now get out there, be bold, and move mountains!
When you examine the lives of history’s most creative figures, you are immediately confronted with a paradox: They organize their lives around their work, but not their days.
Figures as different as Charles Dickens, Henri Poincaré, and Ingmar Bergman, working in disparate fields in different times, all shared a passion for their work, a terrific ambition to succeed, and an almost superhuman capacity to focus. Yet when you look closely at their daily lives, they only spent a few hours a day doing what we would recognize as their most important work. The rest of the time, they were hiking mountains, taking naps, going on walks with friends, or just sitting and thinking. Their creativity and productivity, in other words, were not the result of endless hours of toil. Their towering creative achievements result from modest “working” hours.
How did they manage to be so accomplished? Can a generation raised to believe that 80-hour workweeks are necessary for success learn something from the lives of the people who laid the foundations of chaos theory and topology or wrote Great Expectations?
I think we can. If some of history’s greatest figures didn’t put in immensely long hours, maybe the key to unlocking the secret of their creativity lies in understanding not just how they labored but how they rested, and how the two relate.
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.
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?
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
By Ram Charan
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.
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.