Category Archives: Leadership
If you were asked what is the key essential ingredient for being successful as a leader, what would it be?
Your answers may be:
- Connection/engaging with people
- Hard work
- Being self-aware
- Reading & learning
There are numerous answers, ans while admirable, there is only one thing that anyone needs in order to be successful.
Sounds too simple, you say? Permit me to point out why willingness is the key trait all leaders must have.
A willing leader:
- Humbles themselves to understand their shortcomings and grow their weaknesses
- Commits to the hard changes necessary to grow people, businesses, and self
- Will see their job as serving others, not others as serving them
- Endures the hard road while sticking to their dreams, their values, the mission, and the goals at hand
- Does whatever is necessary and needed to make positive change happen
- Endures the criticism from others, the failures from others (and self!) and the doubts that creep in
- Sacrifices their own comforts for the good of their team
Without willingness, disciplines becomes drudgery, goals become wishes, and connecting becomes disingenuous. By not being willing, self-awareness becomes defensiveness, planning becomes a chore, and the pride of knowing it all derails any attempts to learn and grow.
Note the willingness of these people to change their lives and the world around them:
- Walt Disney was willing not to hear critics of his drawings, or his dreams
- Abraham Lincoln was willing to endure political and personal failures to hone his character and drive to become president
- Mahatma Ghandi was willing to endure ridicule, imprisonment, and long periods of fasting to bring India into a self-ruling state
- Aron Ralston was willing to cut off his arm to extricate himself from a boulder that trapped him in a canyon
- Olympic athletes who willingly sacrifice time and family to represent their country and pursue victory
- Visionary leaders willing to put their family’s financial security at stake to pursue a dream
- Missionaries willing to leave the comforts of home to minister and serve others abroad
- Parents willing to give up their energy and luxury in their prime of life for the hope of investing in a better life for their children
Whether you’re an executive, teacher, manager, student, or dreamer, you need willingness to see where you want to go and what you need to change to get there.
- Are you willing to put in the time, energy, and focus to realize the goal?
- Are you willing to forego any credit in order to promote your people and their talents?
- Are you willing to admit you have room to grow in order to be more effective?
- Can you be willing to accept any input from others about your character, your ability, and put it into play in your leadership life?
Look across any successful leader your know and wish to learn from, and you’ll see a willing spirit within them.
Unsuccessful leaders aren’t willing to change themselves or do what is necessary. The most successful leaders are willing where the rest of the pack is simply not.
How willing are YOU to make those changes for yourself and the ones around you?
A few years ago, the NBA changed its rules and replaced the “20 second timeout” (which actually lasted about 60 seconds) with a more consistent timeout structure to benefit the pace of play and fan experience.
It was a good move on their part to replace it.
However, it may be a better move on our parts to implement it.
In our time-starved work cultures, for the time it takes to wash our hands properly, 20 seconds can be immensely beneficial in a myriad of ways.
Let’s consider the benefits to taking 20 seconds:
- Time to breathe deeply and relax
- Time to stretch and stand
- A quick recollection of thought process
- Necessary time to read an email in context (especially the body of the email)
- Time to quell emotions before an email reply
- The ability to ponder a difficult analysis
- Shooting off a quick text to encourage someone
- A chance to look over your goals or dreams and re-inspire your purpose
- A harbor of time to pray or meditate
- Being thankful for what you have
Imagine the impact on our attitudes, perspective, relationships and harmony of life if we implemented a “20 second timeout” in our daily routine.
It’s time we all can afford.
Positive influence is a term I’ve used many times over the years. And now authors Michael Parker and Glenn Parker have put together a practical book that brilliantly defines the term.
The premise of Positive Influence is summed up very succinctly in the subtitle “The Leader Who Helps People Become Their Best Self“. Leaders who use their platform to make other people the best that they can become in a powerfully positive manner end up leaving an incredible legacy. And as the authors point out, not just in the leader’s life, but in the countless lives of others they have influenced.
Michael and Glenn take you through a variety of business people, entertainers, politicians and everyday people form all spectrum and facets of life to support their studies of positive, influential leaders.
The four portions of the book are simple and fundamentally sound for transforming the leadership impact you can create.
They start by establishing the interconnected world and symbiosis we all need and have in one another. They show how teamwork (one of Glenn’s hallmark focuses in his career) and leaning on others are the basis for anything worthwhile that is accomplished.
They then explain and elaborate on the four types of positive leaders – the Supportive Leader, the Teacher Leader, the Motivating Leader and the ROle Model Leader. They show great examples of these types and how their impact is still felt in present day.
The next section shows the leaders how they can help other people become their best self during times of crisis and in transforming negative influences into positive ones. Michael and Glenn emphasize the importance of serving others as an integral part for this to succeed.
Finally, the authors sum up the last section with the various tools and resources leaders need to be impactful in making others better.
The book is written in a positive, motivational and conversational style, with a number of lists laid out to make it easy to take notes and keep in mind the steps to change your leadership influence in a lasting and gratifying way.
Positive Influence is recommended reading if you want to truly make a difference in others’ lives and leadership. It will change the way you look at both your role and leadership as a whole.