You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Leadership’ category.
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Margaret Mead
Caring is such a powerful word. Everyone you see is a minefield of their upbringing, emotions, losses, triumphs, and even what might have just happened to them that day!
Therefore, take notice, be observant, tread lightly and carefully lest you step on someone and set a mine off. Isn’t it just so easy to look upon someone who acts in a certain way and scoff or see such undesirable behaviour and proudly pronounce it disgusting, unbelievable. Our media are experts at it, labeling the criminal and condemning them, appealing to our sense of righteousness.
It’s easy to join in, isn’t it.
Some people we encounter aren’t playing with the same deck of cards of opportunity and love that we ourselves were given. Some people are and still just make mistakes or bad choices. Either way, caring is surely the only way to help someone in either scenario.
The greatest leaders are the greatest carers and go through the minefield of daily encounters with care their primary weapon of choice.
Do you have any amazing stories of caring you’ve seen in others, or times you’ve managed to care, even in simple ways?
I read the following passage recently and was energised by the power of its simple messages. We’ve probably all heard passages that espouse similar virtues before so I won’t go into further detail but just allow this particular one as it impacted me so well to see what it does for you.
WHILE OTHERS Are.
by William Arthur Ward
Believe while others are doubting.
Plan while others are playing.
Study while others are sleeping.
Decide while others are delaying.
Prepare while others are daydreaming.
Begin while others are procrastinating.
Work while others are wishing.
Save while others are wasting.
Listen while others are talking.
Smile while others are frowning.
Commend while others are criticizing.
Persist while others are quitting.
The only point I did want to make was one key lesson: Do what others won’t … but please do it with joy and seek to be a servant. We can often read such passages and very quickly put ourselves in an ‘elite’ place, a place where we might accidentally find ourselves proudly, though only mentally, proclaim that we are doing what others won’t and therefore considering ourselves somehow better.
It’s my view that the truly greatest leaders no matter what they are doing that others aren’t, still seek to lift others up and help them by seeing the person, seeing the challenges, seeing their battles and with no self promotion whatsoever, simply try to serve the other. Please do feel free to share any of your own stories like this in the comments.
Is it possible!!!???
I read the following blog post and my first feeling was “I’m just trying my hardest to be awesome at ONE thing!” Then I realised that that blog post was a lot about working hard in many areas and getting the most out of ourselves in all the different supporting skills to be the most awesome we can be!
I have to say that it is my belief that finding that one thing to be awesome at is the very thing that should be the focus of our lives. At a professional, which should truly be, a vocational level, I do believe that if we can all find that one thing that sits in our natural set of gifts and resonates with us, then that is truly the thing we should pursue.
It’s true you’ll find in the blog post that in fact the very first point does talk about following your passion. I think though that in addition to that one thing we find our way into, there are always supporting skills and areas we need to work hard at improving, lest we make excuses like “Oh, I’m not like that” when we might very well become like that with a bit of hard work.
I thought the points in the blog were great and of course the main point is that if we work hard enough at anything, we can get better at it and many will do so, who are truly seeking to lead anyway.
We all encounter them, we all can be cut by them, sometimes if we are in a down spot, we can all BE them!
It’s true though that sometimes people seem stuck there, consistently nasty. Often due to a tough life, a terrible upbringing, even illness – sometimes issues we can’t even comprehend. It’s so often the case that their start hasn’t been the greatest. The challenge for each of us who seek to lead anyway, is how to encounter these people and deal with them as a leader would.
I’ve heard a favourite speaker, Richard Rohr, speak on the topic of encountering people who seem like the world is on their shoulders. What hope do they have of ever changing if we, in a better place, don’t try and lift them out of it. This contrasts with our natural reaction to simply snap back or think ‘what a jerk’ and choose to be hurt and choose a ‘warring’ reaction.
Richard wisely comments that if we do choose to snap back or respond in kind to such a person, all we do is confirm what they think about the world, that it is horrible and people are nasty… all we are doing is confirming their behaviour, for what reason does anyone have to change when the world – what they believe it to be – is just like that.
What Richard encourages anyone to do is rise above the treatment we are receiving and simply respond in kindness, no matter what. When we do that, we show such a person a different world, a world where there is kindness, nice people and people willing to help others out and maybe, just maybe, if they encounter enough such people, they may choose a better path for themselves.
What’s on my mind? This SO IS… please do yourself a favour and watch it. It’s so funny and so packed with needed truth.
The world seems to be heading towards a collective groundswell of ‘entitlement mentality’ at break neck speed. Our appreciation for the amazing wanes as familiarity steals our sense of awe. The unfortunate outcome being the selfish outlook that can result and a lack of outward focus and thinking…
“I’ve been inconvenienced or don’t have this or that luxury so SOMEONE’S GONNA PAY AND THAT’S MY RIGHT!”
Ask a dying man on the streets of Calcutta what he considers a luxury… to live.
On your next business flight, or personal trip for a holiday. Stop, look out the window and just say “Wow, look at that, I’m above the clouds. Amazing!” You won’t have to tell your kids to, they’ll already be saying it… they haven’t been as affected by the folly of the entitlement that so many of us in the world enjoy. And hopefully they never will…
And leaders aren’t either.
Thanks to Kirk over at T4D for sharing this. Kirk’s post where he shared this is here: http://kirkweisler.com/t4d/2012/08/03/give-it-second-life-is-amazing/
No business or organisation will grow beyond or mature past the collective ability of its team and their personal growth. Can a 10L bucket hold 12L of water?
This is quite a challenging thing for me personally as at this stage I’m only mature enough to have built a team of five! What a wonderful team of committed people they are though… obviously I need to grow some more! It’s ok, I’m working on it, constantly!
I believe the biggest thing a leader can do is be a catalyst, an inspirer, a connector for people to truly become the best they can. It leads to very successful businesses and people who are responsible for their own growth, fuelled by their own passion about becoming better and contributing to a better result.
As a leader in a team, business, or organisation it is surely the most important role we have to create a system that builds and grows great people, either to produce great results within our team or beyond in a world badly in need of it. I will go out on a limb and say that surely if we fear particular team members moving on as many do in building leadership with their team, then maybe we haven’t grown enough ourselves to build a system in our own teams that we can place anyone into, with the right attitude, to ensure we constantly produce amazing results.
To do all of this, we need to build bigger buckets … constantly.
That’s what leaders do.
One of the great shames nowadays is all the different ways we’ve come up with to avoid one magical question that can changes someone’s day, when asked with meaning, intent, and dare I say it, love.
The question I’m referring to is ‘How are you’.
I believe we used to use it with far more empathy and we used to mean it. In our fast paced world and techniques of avoidance – you can’t go too deep with just anyone! – we’ve changed it to phrases like ‘What’s up’… err the sky. ‘Whadda ya know?’ … hmmm “lot’s and not much”. Or worst of all, we actually ask “How are you?” but really don’t care and simply are being polite, the encounter an interruption to a busy day and all that needs doing because my day is all about me!
You see the old fashioned approach was to take time and energy when meeting people to actually ask them ‘how are you’ and then genuinely listen for their reply then connect with them. For me, one of the more beautiful elaborations on this theme actually came from the movie Avatar. There is a tribe called the Na’vi tribe who live on the planet Pandora where the story takes place and their standard greeting when they met was ‘I see you’. It’s far deeper than the words though. It was said with meaning, a gaze filled with intent that emanated from the big emotion filled eyes of the Na’vi. It communicated so much for just three short words, the key component communicated one of understanding. ‘I see you’ really said “I’m stopping and taking time to connect with you, your life, who you are AND I care.”
For me it is surely one of the more magical lines of the movie, said many times, as it also espouses the connectedness and community that existed within this magical tribe who completely understood we truly are all connected and to ‘see’ each other was so important that it had to be recognised in such a powerful ‘standard’ greeting.
I’m not suggesting you go out and start greeting people with “I see you”, you might get arrested! However today, let’s look at ourselves and reinvigorate our “How are you”. The first challenge I have is actually use those words, it asks a commitment from the speaker if nothing else. Then lets learn something that’s very real from the very fictional Na’vi people and when we greet people, let’s communicate all that I believe the Na’vi tried to with their greeting. You never know you might connect with someone, a team member, friend, boss. Maybe even your son, daughter, father, mother, wife or husband who really needed you to stop and care. You might even change someone’s life. That’s what leaders do.
So, how are you?
Read this book…
… please! Anyone in leadership should read this, which is anyone in life, for shouldn’t our lives be a constant reflection of someone seeking to live the best life they can, which is to lead with our life? If you are looking for an incredible book, even if you aren’t, even if you haven’t ever made the effort to read a book of this type – make this your first.
It challenged, helped, and moved me. It flushed me out from hiding places built up over time, yes I was self deceived, shock horror! Are you?
It was powerful.
Not compelling enough? Check out this related video about Ignaz Semmelweis:
Love to know if you like/read/have read it and are you brave enough to share about it as we all try to help each other out of the box and…
PS – Don’t think you ‘have time’ to read. Get on an audio book tool and start learning, growing, changing in ‘dead time’, driving by yourself, doing lawns and so on.
And had to share. I found it a great summary of similar info that’s been sent around on this for some time/recently. Daniel Pink ties it all up in a bow and presents it well, one of those I couldn’t stop watching. As I’ve sought to remain engaged and exited whilst doing the same for our team team, I’ve found that the thing that gets most people going the most is the connection with doing something great, being part of something big, essentially, creating something. And that in itself and the recognition for achieving it is the pay cheque of a life well lived through the time they spend at work as opposed to just ‘having a job’.
Of course doing something great isn’t always some huge solution or project in business… it can be as simple as mastering how to serve on a phone call, connecting with people in a magic way. People want to be a part of something big, important, purpose-full and if the reward of doing that is removed by placing them in a box with an incentive for this or an incentive for that, the very thing they really want as a reward is taken from them, and they remain in the box we have defined for them. We tell them, oh you’re ‘just’ the accounts person, just the tech guy and so on and BINGO! Box created. Instead of creating an unbreakable link with their role and the purpose and amazing hopes and dreams of the business.
I know I do all I can to try and make rewards time spent together, enjoying company with those we work with, dreaming big, telling stories where we’ve kicked big goals or gone the extra mile, or maybe some time for themselves with their own family, those they love, and friends. I’ve played a fair bit of sport and I liken it to the team talk after a tough game we won where we share great moments we got through with a bit of magic or extra commitment. That part seems almost more important than the win itself or whatever reward was the outcome. I think this stuff is the elixir to the spirit that we all crave.
And I know all of this why? Because of course, it’s me, I feel the same way. Do you? What do you think works in this area for you and others? What ways have you implemented rewards that have worked? Please add a comment below.
We all desire a purpose’full’ life and the science in this video proves it, so maybe instead of sitting back and wondering about finding good staff, all we need do is find people who are full of goodness wanting to be part of a purpose, fill them with it and watch as they ‘come good’ as we…
Today’s post is after reflecting on something that good friend Kirk Weisler posted over at T4D http://kirkweisler.com/t4d/2012/03/01/do-you-need-to-close-the-account. I understand the risk Kirk presents and wanted to reflect on this myself. A picture he posted effuses “If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in ur (sic.) life, You will be out of balance and in the negative! Know when to close the account” ~ christie williams
… unless you do all you can to ensure your bank always has enough funds.
For me this one is always a tough one to process and comment on as it can sound very self righteous and I also believe Kirk is reflecting on a certain type of person who seems to have made up their mind to never be reached, never be encouraged and it seems those types may well need to have their ‘account closed’ as that may be the best wake up call to actually help them change. Please understand my reply is not and never intended to be finger pointing. As always, we journey together and I share about this to get us thinking and to be challenged. Read on…
I think we always need to stop and ask the question – what is under the surface of these people (one reply referred to them as ‘energy vampires’ and it’s true we’ve all come across them) – and can they be loved to ‘angeldom’. And even if they can’t, shouldn’t I still love anyway.
I believe the only place to begin is always, at the beginning. The beginning for them, what is their story and why do choose this behaviour. As life-giving people, dare I say ‘Christian’, I think we need to take care that we don’t turn our backs on those who truly need the life we have to give. “I can do all things…”. Yet, as Kirk has illustrated, we also need to be so careful about our own attitude lest we fall ourselves. Particularly hard for those determined to ‘suck’, excuse the expression.
I heard it put beautifully the other day by a very wise man Richard Rohr. Let me try and put it here. He said when we respond in a way that confirms behaviour in someone who is down on themselves, down on the world, angry about it all, we simply confirm their condition. We give them the right to continue that way and we say “Yes, the world is a bad place and I have nothing better for you.” Which of course encourages them to repeat the behaviour. When we can show that despite the way they are treating us or talking to us, we can still love and completely ignore the ‘test’ they are giving us in their attitude and behaviour, we communicate that there is actually goodness in the world and I have some of it for you.
I don’t deny that exposing ourselves too often to too many people like this can be a tough gig and we need to be so careful that we remain with a full cup of goodness to share and be poured out for all – other positive AND negative people. I think this is the essence of what you are saying Kirk. But the lesson I’ve learned and seek to live from all those who have done this in great ways is that it is often the least of those around us that need us to be with them the most… and not to give up on them. But wow, it’s hard sometimes and I wish I were stronger for the challenge and better at it. What did Jim Rohn say “Don’t wish that life (insert: or other people) were easier, wish that you were better.”
Which is why we need to visit the well daily to replenish so we can go out and give again. The well of our family, our friends, our quiet time of contemplation.
I just wanted to also include a reflection that I read just the other day that possibly has a link here, see what you think. Understand that I share it as much to challenge myself as anyone. And whether you ‘believe’ or not I don’t think matters if truly here to be challenged and grow. If you don’t believe, then replace the word ‘Christians’ with ‘good people’ and it will work for you .
It gets a bit heady, just so you know, but my understanding is we are here to challenge ourselves and I found it a wonderful personal challenge. It’s also an example in the ‘extreme’ but it’s all degrees of brokenness for different people…
From: “A Presence that Disturbs” Anthony J Gittins
“Genesis House in Chicago is a place of welcome and support for women trying to escape from prostitution. It is a place where many volunteers and employees first began to understand how unjust and unforgiving some Christians and a certain type of Christianity can be. If human beings do not experience love and thus are not yet able to love others, then to judge them guilty of sin is to be guilty of sinful judgements oneself. In fact, if due to abuse or abandonment a person ahs not experienced love, such a person cannot be morally guilty of failing to love others. The axiom ‘nemo dat quod non habet’ (“One cannot give what one has not first received or possessed”) applies as much to love as it does to anything else. To condemn victimised and unloved persons because they do not meet public standards of behaviour is to add insult to injury…
… only when one of the women of Genesis House, “Teddy Bear” by name, broken by abuse, drugs, and prostitution, discovered that she had found a sanctuary where she was accepted unconditionally could she begin to find the peace and healing she craved. But in her case the ravages were too deep, and her broken body could not live with her rekindled spirit. Yet when she died at thirty-one, she did know what it was to love her neighbour because she had at last begun to love herself.”
Share some of the love you have to give with those who need it most, then get around those who can fill you again … then go back for more and…