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The HD Leader

One of the most important responsibilities of being a leader is to train or mentor those in your charge to become greater in their role. It is a responsibility given to line managers, parents, coaches, CEO’s, teachers, and other various leaders in all types of organizations. However a survey of most of the training that is done shows a poor understanding of just how important the correct mindset needs to be in order to effectively develop others.

Why so many leaders and entire organizations miss the opportunity to effectively train and develop their people can be due to a myriad of legitimate reasons (such as time and/or budget constraints). Regardless of the rationale, what results is that the training falls far short of what is needed to develop people and move the organization forward.

Training is the process of duplicating a behavior, work pattern, attitude, or philosophy of thinking among other people. Yet there are many organizations do not put forth a clear picture of what they want people to learn, teach, or even foster. Their picture is fuzzy, out of focus, and sometimes greatly blurred for lack of vision.

Take if you will a copy machine. If you photocopy a drawing on a standard copy machine, you may not notice a very slight difference from the original. The lines may seem fairly crisp, but you’ll barely notice any discernible difference.

Now take that copy, and make a copy from it. So you have a copy of a copy. Then repeat this process over about 10 times, and you’ll see a noticeable difference. The latest picture probably is a stark contrast to the original. It’s not crisp, probably blurred, and is not the best representation of what you started with. As Michael Keaton’s cloned character in the film “Multiplicity” stated, “You know what happens when you make a copy from a copy… It’s not very sharp!”

It is claimed that people retain only 80% of what is properly trained. So even with the best standard methods of training, there is still a loss in replicating. So wouldn’t it make sense that the training needs to intensify?

The solution? Be an “HD Leader”. An HDTV intensifies the pixels which gives a higher resolution, clarity, and brightness. The HD Leader intensifies their culture, their expectations, and their behaviors to more crisply duplicate these traits. Here’s how it manifests:

Resolution. “Leaders don’t create followers. Leaders create leaders.” – Lou Holtz That’s what being an HD leader does. You replicate yourself, a leader, and not a fuzzy version of a leader. You train to the finest of detail (resolution) of what a leader is.  Have the attitude daily that you are raising future leaders, not workers.

Clarity. “You teach what you KNOW. You reproduce what you DO.” – Don’t just teach, don’t just show, but lead in the way it should be done. Show clarity and transparency in not only what is taught, but what is modeled. Do this consistently, as others will mirror your actions instead of your words.

Brightness. “If you want your people to be hot, be red hot. You want them to be red hot, be white hot.” – Realize the natural tendency to lessen will always be pulling. So counteract it be being an even more remarkable version of yourself. Shine brighter and get your people to shine brighter themselves. Intensify your thinking, passion, and character to ensure those around you will rise to the standard you’ve set.

So what about you? Do you have other methods of how to be an “HD Leader”? If so, please feel free to share your ideas. Then, go out and make a difference with them!!

(Hi Def logo courtesy of

A Leadership ‘Tip’ From … Servers

Waiter  walking with beverage on tray Royalty Free Stock Photos

You watch these people, and have a quiet awe of how they can do it. Steady hands yet moving briskly along the restaurant with a tray of water, iced tea, or other beverage. Servers – these hard-working men & women who have to juggle so many different demands in their shift – gliding along the floor without spilling anything.

How do they do it? How is it possible to have drinks filled almost to the brim, balanced, and gracefully move around obstacles, both stationary and moving, to their destination without an accident?

It’s the same principle that allows leaders to achieve results. They keep their eyes on the goal.

Servers are instructed never to look at the glass, but straight ahead. Once your eyes notice what your doing, you overcompensate and the balance shifts. That’s how spills happen, which then takes the server off their other responsibilities. They’re told to just grab the tray and their hands will naturally balance and self-correct. Yes, other patrons may beckon for their attention. People may dart in their way in a split second. Yet they just keep their focus and successfully march towards their next destination.

As leaders we can ill afford to take our eyes off the ball, to get distracted with the details of what we’re doing. We must fix our eyes on the goal, no matter what distractions and disruption occurs along the way. Other tables of relative urgency may tug at us, but we must stay the course to deliver the goods we’ve been charged to make happen.

Stay focused on your goals, and the other disruptions won’t spill over on you.

Leave A Trail Of Encouragement

Part of our tasks as leaders wherever we’re called is to encourage others to believe in themselves. This is both the greatest thrill and greatest challenge in leading each day.


Encouraging lifts people up, boosts their value, and let’s them know others believe in them. Some helpful tips on encouraging:


1. Make it your daily mission. Reach out and touch someone in a positive way, every day. This is a vital habit to nurture along. If necessary, make a list each week of people you want to connect with.


2. Edify one person in each area if your life throughout the week. Whether it’s your team, your boss, a sister, a long-time acquaintance, or even a stranger, tap into all areas if your world and make each one brighter. I regularly call a friend in Michigan who I was a customer of. We chat business and coffee while he’s in the Mid-West and I’m in New England. About once a year, I’ll call a former employer or boss and chat or email, just to see how they are doing, professionally and personally.


3. In person, phone, email, social media, use whatever means you have. We are so connected now that this is incredibly easy to do. I regularly text three young men whom are away in college to keep them motivated, especially during finals. They’re busy so calling doesn’t always work. But a well-timed text let’s them know they have support and that they can call when they have the need or  time.


4. Think nothing of yourself, except building the esteem of others. You will soon be excited for the time to connect and make someone feel like a hero. It will be the high point of your day.


Wherever you go, leave an impression. Make a trail that leads back to you as an example of compassion and encouragement. It will become a reputation and legacy that others will follow as well.
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