Tuesday, January 29, 2019

ServantLeadership

True leadership is not about power, title, authority, or stature.  Our interconnected world, for all its flaws, outs the imposters pretty quickly these days.

Real leaders live to SERVE. 

Here are a few notable Servant-Leader hallmarks:

  • They put the interests of those of us who choose to follow them above their own.
  • The pull those of us who choose to follow them toward worthy and inclusive goals.
  • They make those of us who choose to follow them feel valued and appreciated.
  • They empower those of us who choose to follow them to act/think boldly.
  • They exhibit trust in those of us who choose to follow them.
  • They consistently give credit/praise to those of us who choose to follow them.
You probably know a few folks like this.  Precious few, I suspect.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Rewind

Oldness has some advantages (though most folks seem riveted on the challenges it brings along).  I recently came across a question asked by an interviewer to an "old" person who spent most of his life in leadership roles:  "What advice would you give to your younger self?"

That is an interesting question, so I tried to answer it for myself.  My rewind advice to the nc of 40 years ago:

  • CARE - freely, deeply, unabashedly, broadly, openly.
  • LISTEN - firstest, hardest, longest, most.
  • HEAL - spiritually, emotionally, physically, intellectually, relationally (self first). 
  • LEARN - dying gains advantage the day we stop.
Notice that all require a lot of attention.  They can't be hurried; we kinda gotta be doing them fully to be doing them at all.  Notice also that TALK didn't make the list.

I think I'll go ahead and get busy taking my own advice, despite my oldness.  Never too late, ya know.

Friday, January 11, 2019

WordMattersWordsMatter

The experts tell us that 80 percent of our communications are conveyed in the non-verbal form.  The other 20 percent are word laden.

One fifth of what we communicate is carried along on the platform of words.

A couple of word matters worth considering:

  • The words we use (that 20 percent) only matter when they are perceived to be consistent with the other 80 percent of what we're communicating.  More simply put, our words must match our actions (this is what I usually refer to as "integrity").
  • The use of mushy, evasive, or purposefully misleading language can and usually does cause our audience(s) to dismiss our words as soon as we begin speaking/writing.  
In Word Matters, our Words Matter.  But only if we're quite intentional and respectful in their selection and usage.

Words unheard, ignored, dismissed, or disbelieved certainly don't matter.  

Good to know, for those of us in the business of leadership and influence. 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

ImperfectProgress

Getting better is a process, not an event.

The individuals and organizations I most admire are fully committed to continuous improvement.  

Here are some of the things they do to achieve that forward momentum:

  • QUESTION - Everything, starting with themselves.
  • REFLECT - Continually.  What am I doing? Why am I doing it?  Is it worth spending my life-energy on?  If so, how can I do it better?  
  • CONNECT - Perpetually seeking and consuming the wisdom of others.
  • PLOD - Moving forward, step by step, breath by breath, fail by fail.
  • LEARN - Relentlessly in sense-making mode, connecting the dots, adding more dots.  
The Big Bang only happened once.  Everything since has been imperfect progress.

For those that desire to make a better world, that imperfect progress can be insanely intentional.

It is a choice...