Leadership – sometimes defined very broadly – is not just a position or responsibility. Instead, it’s a calling to use your given skills and talents to positively influence others.
True leadership, to me, is the ability to grow people, and subsequently organizations, to lead them past what they normally would be into another level upwards of accomplishment, realization, and success. True leadership gives value and voice to others and allows them to keep everything in check and balance in the organization.
In looking back on many years of unique opportunities, the following are the reasons I appreciate the calling of leadership training:
- Helping others find satisfaction and success
- Seeing teens and young adults carry on the mantle or ethical leadership
- Building solid teams with a singleness of vision
- Creating diverse teams with differentiation of backgrounds and skills
- Finding those diamonds in the rough that others pass over
- Taking others out of their box to get them to look at things through another viewpoint
- Expositing timeless principles and applying them to today’s challenges
- Forgetting about me in the process and working to make others better
- Working with people from all corners of the globe, both in person and virtually
- Seeing the spark in peoples’ eyes and minds when they see the possibilities before them
While I have a personal resonation with these, they may strike a chord with yourself. Consider the reasons you lead others and examine what motivates you to be in leadership.
Do any of these reasons listed agree with you? Do you have other reasons you enjoy being in leadership; true leadership? If so, please let us know in the comments below!
Make the most of your opportunity to have that next generation be ready to take the baton and influence their world for the better.
If you think of a manure-laden farm, the picture you derive is probably unpleasant. The sight of dirty brown fields may be bad enough, but the awful odor that emanates will linger with you for quite some time.
Yet farmers put up with the gross and smelly substance because of the benefits it provides. However there are good and bad manures, and the wisest farmers know that bad manure can be toxic and harmful to plants, animals, and people associated with the farm.
As leaders, we need to discern the difference between good and bad manure. Manure in it’s very nature is waste, cast-off, an unpleasant by-product. Yet in it’s purest form, good manure is rich and will allow people to grow and flourish in a very healthy way.
Some examples of bad manure in your organization may be:
- Unchecked negativity and toxic behavior
- Unrealistic goals and timeframes
- Restricted resources that prevent tasks from being accomplished
- Deliberate sabotage to prove power or advance agendas
- Politics that derail the missions
- Behaviors and procedures that are not congruent to the core values
As stated above, good manure can be healthy and allow people to thrive and blossom in ways that cannot be done without it. Think for a moment on these issues and what good benefits can be derived:
- Ripple effects from toxic team or leadership leaving (pruning)
- Goals that stretch people beyond what they perceive as their limits (growing)
- Limited resources (due to financial or procurement constraints) that challenge people to be creative and innovative (moderating)
- Threat of competition and loss of business and/or market share (urgency)
- Company expansion that brings in new staff and fosters internal competition (flourishing)
- Openness of budget challenges that allow staff to find new ways to generate revenue and contain costs (sharing)
As leaders we need to do everything we can to not hamper progress and growth in our people and organization. But we cannot keep them in an incubator free from any harm or disease – the reality of the world does not afford that. By managing the type of fertilizer that is spread across our teams, we can foster a rich and healthier growth in our people.
Paul is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Paul D. Cummings World Wide Enterprises, a global training and teaching company that has motivated and inspired hundreds of thousands of individuals and businesses to make real and lasting change. Fueled by his personal and corporate desire to give to others, Paul developed skills and techniques in Leadership, Goal Setting, and Sales Techniques, including his Grid Square Technology.
Years ago, I had the opportunity to get to know an incredible man, Dale Brown, the legendary head basketball coach of the LSU Tigers. To say this man impacted my life would be an understatement of the highest degree. If you ever doubt his impact on people, just Google search his story and read comments from his former players, especially Shaquille O’Neal.
For instance, Shaq has been quoted as saying, “His thing was – go to class, get your education. I wanted to test his theory out, so one day I didn’t go to class. About 4:30 the next morning, I felt the hand of God on my chest. I looked up, and it was Dale Brown. I still don’t know how he got in my room, but he did. Then he ran me from about 4:30 to 7:30 – and then I had to go to class. I said, ‘You know what? I’ll never miss class again.'” (Quoted from this article by Jennifer Hale, Fox Sports.)
Coach Brown and I spoke together at a motivational event our company promoted in St. Louis 23 years ago. It was such a special evening for everyone in attendance as Coach Brown shared his philosophies on life and winning. It was deeply personal and delivered with incredible passion.
The best part of the event for me was introducing coach to my sons, Chris and Ryan. I will always cherish the way he treated my boys. He shared stories with them and told them all about coaching Shaq. He stressed to them that the only thing bigger than Shaq’s talent was his work ethic and character. He talked about his commitment to education and also predicted correctly the type of career Shaq would have in the NBA.
All of this proved to be true, especially the part about Shaq’s commitment to education. Shaq has earned his Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees at LSU. Coach Brown certainly knew his player. Thirty years after they first met, Coach Brown and Shaq still share an amazing bond and endearing friendship based on mutual trust and respect.
At the NBA’s All-Star weekend a few years ago, Coach Brown was recognized with three prestigious awards. These included the Jerry Colangelo Award, honoring the person who best exhibits character, leadership, and faith in the world of basketball and in the community. I was so happy for Coach Brown. It should come as no surprise who was selected to present the awards to Coach Brown – it was Shaq.
So, today, think about the possibility. If you need a “coach” (and if Shaq needs a coach, then we all can probably benefit from some coaching in our lives. Or maybe someone you know could use a “coach” to help them achieve more and get to where they want to be in life. Remember…
I will personally coach you through 125 Life Lessons in my new book It All Matters that will teach you how to gain more confidence, achieve more clarity, act with more certainty and maximize your creativity.
Make A Difference Today,
P.S. Check out this awesome endorsement that Coach Brown gave It All Matters!
More about Paul Cummings
Paul continues to revolutionize the way people and businesses learn by making learning simple, affordable, fun, and efficient. His Level 10 philosophy has become the benchmark that others have aspired to achieve. His latest book, It All Matters: 125 Strategies to Achieve Maximum Confidence, Clarity, Certainty, and Creativity releases October 9, 2017. The book provides an all-encompassing framework for achieving the life of your dreams offering strategies to inspire professionals—and help them develop skill sets, build knowledge, improve attitudes, and develop work habits that pay off.