Tuesday, July 31

Business Advice from the Nametag Guy

One of the best marketing tactics I have ever seen is from Scott Ginsberg, aka "The Nametag Guy." Scott is a young entrepreneur who writes books, gives speeches and creates e-learning materials for businesspeople who want to make a name for themselves - one conversation at a time. Scott made a name for himself by wearing a "Hello my name is Scott" nametag, 24/7. He even has one tattooed on his chest! Radical!

Scott's website and blog are a plethora ($50 word!) of information. Everything from articles, to ebooks on marketing, networking, and simple business advice. He even has a cool podcast. Really worth a listen. After spending some time on his blog, I thought I might share some of his 27-year-old wisdom.

His e-book, 66 Priceless Pieces of Business Advice I Couldn't Live Without, really intrigued me. Each of the 83 pages is written on a nametag. There are 66 simple wisdom statements that every leader, every human being, should live by. Some examples:

  • Be confident enough to be humble.
  • Imagine your ideal day.
  • Validate your existence on a daily basis.
  • Don't be selfish with your knowledge.
  • Act like you already are the person you want to become.

The very first piece of advice really captured my attention, as well as my heart. Humility is one of the principles I teach and coach in servant leadership. We often mistake humility as putting ourselves last or worse, putting ourselves down. Humility is neither. Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.

Someone once said that humility is nothing more than a true knowing of yourself and your limitations. It means that you know who you are in the Divine and you take your rightful place. To know who you really are does take confidence. It may be easier to not know oneself because it does away with the responsibility of acting upon who you really are.

True leaders know who they are and they aren't afraid of their limitations. Knowing our limitations, creates the space to allow others to pick up where we may fall short. This is called teamwork. No one person has all of the answers or all of the skills. Knowing this allows for greater team building, which creates a more trusting work environment.

Scott is truly an example of great confidence and great humility. I am proud that someone at such a young age has set a standard of turning conversation into a marketing tool. Conversation involves listening, and sadly listening is a lost art and skill. In the age of emails and instant messaging, there is no need to practice the art of listening anymore. This greatly saddens me. Because there are still those in the professions of coaches, counselors, and therapists who are paid to listen. But that's another post for another time.

Check out Scott's website, blog, and podcast. All are guaranteed to strengthen your marketing, networking and conversational muscles.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Scott's tattoo!

Sunday, July 29

Leaders are Born, not Made

An excellent article by author and speaker Brian Tracy.

The Key Leadership Abilities

Your ability to negotiate, communicate, influence, and persuade others to do things is absolutely indispensable to everything you accomplish in life. The most effective men and women in every area are those who can quite competently organize the cooperation and assistance of other people toward the accomplishment of important goals and objectives.

Everyone is Different

Of course, everyone you meet has different values, opinions, attitudes, beliefs, cultural values, work habits, goals, ambitions, and dreams. Because of this incredible diversity of human resources, it has never been more difficult and yet more necessary for diplomatic leaders to emerge and form these people into high-performing teams.

Do What Other Leaders Do

Fortunately, leaders are made, not born. You learn to become a leader by doing what other excellent leaders have done before you. You become proficient in your job or skill, and then you become proficient at understanding the motivations and behaviors of other people. As a leader, you combine your personal competencies with the competencies of a variety of others into a smoothly functioning team that can out-play and out-perform all its competitors. When you become a team leader, even if your team only consists of one other person, you must immediately develop a whole new set of leadership skills.

Focus On What's Right vs. Who's Right

Whenever you have problems, misunderstandings, or difficulties within the team, you reexamine your values, your goals, your activities, your assignments, and your responsibilities. You are more concerned with what’s right than with who’s right. Leaders are more concerned with winning than with not losing. High-Performing teams run by excellent leaders, are determined to perform in an excellent fashion. All members know that their ability to work together in harmony and cooperation is the key to the success of every one of them.

Aim at a Common Goal

The wonderful thing about becoming a leader in your work and personal life is that you can practice the skills of influencing and persuading others toward a common objective. You can promote the principles of excellent teamwork by establishing your values and goals, determining your activities, and then leading the action. And you can improve yourself by continually evaluating your performance against your standards.

Only Compare Yourself With Yourself

One of the marks of excellent people is that they never compare themselves with others. They only compare themselves with themselves and with their past accomplishments and future potential. You can become an even more excellent person by constantly setting higher and higher standards for yourself and then by doing everything possible to live up to those standards. The more proficient you become at getting the results for which you were hired, the more opportunities you will have to get results through others. And your ability to put together a team and then to lead that team to high performance will enable you to accelerate your career and fulfill your goals faster than ever before.

To lead is to serve,

Coach Carolyn

Thursday, July 26

Servant Leadership and Meeting Needs

In yesterday's post I talked about setting boundaries as a way to maintain the servant leadership principle and to not be seen as a "doormat." Today I would like to address meeting legitimate needs as another way to keep within the limits.

Every human being have the same basic needs. American psychologist Abraham Maslow was famous for proposing the Hierarchy of Human Needs. These basic needs are as follows:

  • The Physiological Needs -- food, air, shelter, sleep, sex
  • The Safety Needs -- security of self, family and property
  • The Need for Belongingness -- friendship, intimacy
  • The Need for Self-Esteem -- the need to be respected
  • The Self-Actualization Need -- creativity, morality, purpose

These are the legitimate needs that servant leaders are called to meet.

There is a difference between meeting needs and satisfying wants. According to James Hunter, author of The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership, the definition of a want is a wish or desire without any regard for the physical or psychological consequence. Slaves satisfy wants, servant leaders meet needs.

This is one reason leaders must lead themselves first. When leaders are comfortable with themselves, when they can be authentic, then they can distinguish between wants and legitimate needs. A true leader knows the pulse of the organization she is leading and can discern what the true needs of that organization and the people are.

Are you satisfying peoples wishes or meeting their legitimate needs?

To lead is to serve,

Coach Carolyn

Wednesday, July 25

Servant Leadership and Setting Boundaries

When I teach my classes on servant leadership, the most frequently asked question is as a servant leader being taken advantage of, being thought of as weak or becoming a doormat. This is a very valid question and one that needs special attention. But because this is a multi-layered issue, I will touch on the layers briefly.

In our society, leadership typically comes from a power structure, not a principle of service. Servant Leadership turns this notion on its head. It comes from a place of serving those we lead. The first action is the need to set boundaries and limitations.

We live in a world where standards must be set and people are held accountable. To be a doormat says that those two things are not in place. It says that there are no standards, no boundaries, that no one is held accountable for anything, and that there are no consequences for actions or behaviors, be it positive or negative.

We tend not to hold people accountable for unacceptable behavior because we want to avoid conflict -- especially in the workplace. I am here to shake up your notion of conflict. Conflict is not just about keeping the peace when there is an issue on the table. Conflict is usually that great, big elephant in the middle of the room that everyone walks around trying to avoid, or ignore.

The mentality of doormat behavior will always be an issue if we continue to avoid the elephant. When there is an elephant in the room, someone at the party is uncomfortable. Someone wants it to go away. In order for it to go away, it needs to be discussed.

True conflict is discussing the elephant. When relationships have been formed, then trust has been formed. We tend to equate conflict with heated, angry words and outbursts. Real conflict is about discussing the issues, not about judgments and character assassinations. Conflict resolution is bringing to light the actions that are unacceptable.

We are called to judge people's behavior, especially when it is unacceptable. When we allow others to get away with bad behavior, it makes for a resentful and hostile environment. When there is a conflict, it is either because someone's boundaries have been crossed or someone took an action or an inaction and was not held accountable for it.

Set boundaries in all your relationships -- personal as well as professional. When someone says something that is unacceptable, tell them so. But not in an accusatory way, because they may not be aware of the offense. But say it as you would want someone to say it to you -- with love.

To lead is to serve,

Coach Carolyn

Tuesday, July 24

Passion and Leadership

In this week's Business Week, Carmine Gallo writes about Chris Gardner, the man whose rags-to-riches story inspired the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, and explains how he harnessed his passion to turn his life around.

What is the one thing—the one secret—that helped him change his life? "It's passion," he told me. "Passion is everything. In fact, you've got to be borderline fanatical about what you do." Gardner says he was fortunate to find something he truly loved, something where he couldn't wait for the sun to rise so he could do it again. His advice to entrepreneurs and those seeking a career change? "Be bold enough to find the one thing that you are passionate about. It might not be what you were trained to do. But be bold enough to do the one thing. Nobody needs to dig it but you."

Passion is the emotion of feeling very strongly about a subject or person. What are you passionate about? What absolutely excites you to the point of timelessness?

Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz used the word "passion" throughout our entire conversation. But remarkably, the word "coffee" was rarely spoken. You see, for Schultz, coffee is not his passion. Instead, Schultz says, he is passionate about creating a workplace that "treats people with dignity and respect;" a workplace environment that his father never had the opportunity to experience. The coffee product offers the means to help Schultz fulfill his passion.

Passion makes you excited about getting up each morning. When you are following your passion, time stands still. Both Gardner and Schultz followed their passions which led to fulfilling their dreams. Are you following your passion? Or following someone else's script for your life?

Read the rest of Gallo's article in Business Week.

Live your passion,
Coach Carolyn

Monday, July 23

Principles of Leadership Coaching

Six Principles of Leadership Coaching from the Leading Effectively Series of the Center for Creative Leadership

You may be pretty familiar -- and probably fairly comfortable -- with the model of the visiting leadership coach. Sometimes it's easier to dispense leadership advice to an audience you don't know. So it's no wonder these leadership pros seem so confident. But what if you're asked to coach a subordinate or a peer within your organization? Is coaching someone you might work with daily a Quixotic task?

Actually, whether you're a visiting coach, or a coach working in the trenches of your organization, a lot of the same rules of thumb apply. Today we're going to discuss the Center for Creative Leadership's six core principles for coaching someone from an office or cubicle near you:

First, when coaching a peer or a subordinate, you must create a safe, yet challenging environment. Your coachee needs to feel he or she can take risks, and it's up to you to provide a space where risk-taking is rewarded and not risky business. Remember, if you are the coachee's boss or manager, he may wonder if he can reveal vulnerabilities that will be used against him in other aspects of his job. So keep your attitude as open and as nonjudgmental as possible, and let the coachee know you support him, even as you test his knowledge and skills.

A second core coaching principle: Try to work within the coachee's agenda. Remember, this coaching session is not about you, so let the coachee decide which goals to work on and even how to go about improving. Sure, it's great when the coachee's own agenda aligns perfectly with the organization's goals, but never impose your personal priorities on the relationship. When it's clear you need to push a point, put on your managerial hat -- thereby preserving the special collaborative coaching relationship you're trying so hard to build.

That leads into the third core principle for in-house coaching: "Facilitate and collaborate." Like Socrates, who always led his students with questions, the best coaches do not give direct answers or act the expert. Focus on the coachee's needs and avoid filling the lesson with your own life stories and pet theories. Although you may suggest several options for responding to a problem, the ultimate choice should rest with the coachee -- with you acting as the facilitator and collaborator.

Principle Number 4: "Advocate self-awareness". You want your coachee to learn how to recognize her own strengths and present weaknesses -- a prerequisite skill for any good leader. In the same way, you should understand how your own behaviors as a coach impact the people around you. Demonstrate a sense of awareness in yourself and you are more likely to foster in your coachee a similar self-awareness.

And as you coach someone in your organization, put into practice the fifth core principle of leadership teaching. That is: Promote learning from experience. Most people can learn, grow and change only if they have the right set of experiences and are open to learning from them. As a leader coach, always help your coachee reflect on past events and to analyze what went well and what didn't. Foster experiential learning and your student will continue to improve long after your lessons end.

Finally, model what you coach. This, the last of the six core principles, may be the most difficult to embody, as it means putting into practice outside of class the leadership lessons you've been trying to communicate. Feel frustrated that a coaching relationship isn't going well? In that case, "go back to the basics," says CCL's Douglas Riddle, who adds: "Whether the frustration lies on the part of the coach or the coachee, the beginning of a solution can often be found by looking to these six core principles."

And remember, if you don't feel you have the capacity to coach on a particular issue, refer your charge to someone more experienced -- a coach who, we hope, puts into practice the six core leadership coaching principles even better than you do.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Great Leadership Thoughts

"The great opportunity is to discover in one’s mature years an unrealized growth potential. Growth, not in terms of external achievement, but in the things that are important in the quiet hours when one is alone with oneself; growth in the capacity for serenity in a world of confusion and conflict, a new kind of inner stamina, a new kind of exportable resource as youthful prowess drops away."
~ Robert K. Greenleaf, On Becoming a Servant-Leader

"There are four needs in all people: To live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy. When these needs overlap, you find that internal motivation, the fire within. Starting with your own fire, you can create something that will burn bright for many people and last a lifetime — you can empower others to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy. You can be a servant-leader."
~ Stephen R. Covey, Focus on Leadership

"The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society; will they benefit, or at least, not be further deprived?”
~ Robert K. Greenleaf, The Servant as Leader

“Leaders must be creative; and creativity is largely discovery – a push into the uncharted and the unknown. Every once in a while, a leader finds himself needing to think like a scientist, an artist, or a poet, and his thought processes may be just as fanciful as in those areas.”
~ Robert K. Greenleaf, On Becoming a Servant-Leader

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Friday, July 20

The Secrets of Servant Leadership

This article is reprinted from Leadership Wired by Dr. John C. Maxwell. I highly recommend The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. It is written in fable form, which is very popular among leadership books these days; so it is very engaging and easy to read. Notice the acronym: SERVE.

After Princess Diana was killed in a tragic car accident, 2 ½ billion people tuned in to watch her televised funeral. Not only Great Britain, but the entire world, mourned her death. What accounted for the public’s emotional attachment to Princess Di?

Certainly, royalty and beauty attributed to Princess Diana’s popularity, but something else connected her to the hearts of people across the globe. Looks and lineage may have landed her on magazine covers, but Princess Di had an endearing quality that gave her even greater appeal. Princess Diana was beloved because she was a servant leader.

For centuries, royal families epitomized self-serving leadership. Comfortably removed from the day to day troubles of those in their kingdom, they enjoyed opulent wealth and absolute power. Princess Diana broke the stereotype. She leveraged her popularity to lend support for AIDS research, to care for those with leprosy, and to ban land mines. In fact, the force of Diana’s compassion was so influential that Time Magazine named her one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.

Five Practices That Help Leaders Serve Others
In their valuable book, The Secret, Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller shed light on the practices that enable leaders, like Princess Diana, to serve others.

1. See the Future
Leaders have a compelling vision for the future stirring inside of them. The vision makes plain a leader’s identity, direction, and pattern of behavior. To affect the future, a leader spreads values throughout an organization.

These values are core beliefs that become the cornerstones of organizational culture. A wise leader publishes the values so that they can be repeated, recognized, and rewarded.

A leader cannot delegate the responsibility to see the future. They may share the responsibility, but ultimately, it’s the leader’s job to make time today to ensure the direction of tomorrow.

2. Engage and Develop Others
To create the future a leader envisions, he or she must have the right people, in the right roles, fully engaged to their work. Everything that you will accomplish as a leader ultimately hinges on the people you have around you. As the Law of the Inner Circle says, “A leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him or her.”

Sadly, many people’s talents languish on the job because they are disengaged. Likely, the greatest waste in business is human potential. Leaders pull out the potential inside of their people by inspiring and motivating. They are quick to offer opportunities for growth, be mentors, or equip their employees with resources.

3. Reinvent Continuously
Great leaders reinvent continuously on a personal level. They are always interested in ways to enhance their own knowledge and skills. The very best leaders are learners. They realize that if they stop learning, they will stop leading. A leader sets the tone of the organization. If they cease growing personally, then the majority of those they lead will become stagnant as well.

Reinvention is critical to survival. The solutions to problems of the past are inadequate to address the demands of today. Leaders must have fresh, innovative thinking and new ideas to respond to the challenges the organization faces.

4. Value results and relationships
When it comes to results and relationships, the best leaders take a both/and approach. A focus solely on results demoralizes the team, while an overemphasis on relationships undercuts the bottom line due to conflict avoidance and an absence of accountability. The greatest leaders make friends and profits.

Leaders earn relational capital, and put it to work to gain results. As the Law of Connection states, “leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.”

5. Embody Values
All genuine leadership is built on trust. Leaders build trust when they establish, articulate, model, and enforce values. In short, they walk the talk.

If I say customers are important, my actions had better support that statement. If I choose to live as if customers are not important, people will have reason to question my trustworthiness. And in the final analysis, if I am deemed untrustworthy by my people, I will not be trusted – or followed as a leader.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Thursday, July 19

Leadership Lessons from Paris Hilton

I recently watched Larry King's interview with Paris Hilton after she served time in prison for driving with a suspended license. King spoke of incarceration being a time of introspection, a time meant to learn lessons, and asked Hilton if she had learned any lessons during that time. Her answer was typical. It was a very traumatic experience for her; she did a lot of soul searching, having lots of time to think and journal. She also said she believes that God does everything for a reason.

We know the Maxwell maxim: Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. Paris Hilton is a woman of influence. Thousands of people follow either her or her life story as it unfolds, the majority of them being young women and girls. So, how is she influencing? If leadership is influence, then we need to think about who are our influencers.

I do not follow the goings on of Paris Hilton, or any other celebrity for that matter. My life is full enough, thank you. But these people are our leaders. How? Because they influence. My point is how are we choosing to influence? Mother Teresa and Gandhi were leaders of influence; and so was Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein.

According to Wikipedia, influence is a term that refers to the ability to indirectly control or affect the actions of other people or things. The meaning of influence therefore depends on who or what is being affected, and to what end. Statistics tells us that the average person will influence at least 10,000 people in a lifetime. The people I mentioned earlier were powerful influencers, and still continue to influence years after their deaths.

How do you choose to influence? I am around people who are cynical, angry, judgmental, critical, selfish and jealous. Yet, I also come in contact with people who are kind, generous, patient, loving, selfless and peaceful. Both kinds of people have an influence on someone.

Who would you want your children to be around?

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Wednesday, July 18

Self-Awareness and Dealing with Change

From Leading Effectively , the newsletter from the Center for Creative Leadership, Sara King writes: "How well you respond to change is part of who you are and how you lead."

Similarly, business consultant Richard Leider writes: "Self-leadership is the basis of all leadership. It is based on knowing yourself and seeking reliable counsel. Leaders in a changing world need to take stock of their personal attributes that embrace or resist change."

True leadership isn't simply about the ability to lead others, but also about the humility to lead oneself. Looking within and taking an assessment of one's abilities and choices takes hard work and a humble spirit. It takes honest reflection to understand your reaction to both personal and professional change. It is that servant leadership principle of self-awareness. Being self aware means being able to see and deal with the changing times. For an organization, dealing with change is very difficult though inevitable; and it takes an authentic leader to lead during the transition.

According to researchers Kerry Bunker and David Noer, there are four basic responses to change:

The Overwhelmed: The overwhelmed response is when individuals understand the change they are going through, but can't let go of the old ways. They withdraw, lack energy, and are frustrated and anxious. The overwhelmed are professional victims. Their primary coping strategy is to block out what is changing and avoid reality. They are in deep denial.

The Entrenched: When people are entrenched, they are able to learn and change in the face of transition, but have a hard time doing it. Frustrated and angry, their primary coping mechanism is to perform work in a narrow and limited manner. They tend to over-identify with the organization's past and lecture their co-workers on how things used to be. They tend to blame, complain, resist and work hard at previously successful behavior even if it is not appropriate for the current situation.

The Bluffers: The bluffer response is demonstrated when people appear comfortable with change, but are really just fooling everybody. They don't display fear or anxiety. Bluffers are confident that they can handle any crisis with aggressive shooting from the hip. They press for quick action and, appearing in control, can fool the boss for a very long time.

The Learners: When in the learning stage, people respond actively to change. They tend to hold the organization together through transition. They possess self-confidence and optimism. They are able to learn from experience and apply their skills to various situations. Accepting that they need to let go of the old, they take action in the face of uncertainty. They aren't Pollyannas; rather, they are sober, responsible individuals who are blessed with the inner resources of a positive outlook and a can-do attitude. They do best in times of change.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Friday, July 13

The Heart of Leadership

This excerpt is from the 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by Dr. John Maxwell:

When you think of servanthood, what do you envision? Servanthood is not about position or skill. it's about attitude. You undoubtedly have met people in service positions who have poor attitudes toward servanthood, and just as you can sense when a worker doesn't want to help people, you can just as easily detect whether a leader has a servant's heart. The truth is that the best leaders desire to serve others, not themselves.

True servant leaders...
  • Put others ahead of their own agenda

  • Possess the confidence to serve

  • Initiate service to others

  • Are not position-conscious

  • Serve out of love

Servant leadership is never motivated by manipulation or self-promotion. In the end, the extent of your influence depends on the depth of your concern for others. That's why it's so important for leaders to be willing to serve.

To lead is to serve,

Coach Carolyn

Wednesday, July 11

Michael Stelzner and White Papers Seminar

I recently heard an interview conducted by the Blog Squad with Michael A. Stelzner, author of the bestselling book, Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged. I was blown away! I immediately signed on to Michael’s blog feed and ezine. Both are fabulous and invaluable tools packed with great information.

Michael is one of the leading authorities on the topic of writing and marketing white papers. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term “white paper” here’s Michael’s definition: a white paper is a persuasive document that usually describes problems and how to solve them. The white paper is a crossbreed of a magazine article and a brochure. Commonly 6 to 12 pages, some may term it a special report or a guide.

Michael has written more than 100 white papers for many of the world’s most recognized companies, including Microsoft, FedEx, Motorola, and Monster, just to name a few. He also trains corporations and professional organizations, and hosts a monthly teleclass on white paper-related topics.

In addition to the blog, ezine and teleclass, Michael will be conducting a full-day, interactive, hands-on white paper writing and marketing training seminar entitled Creating and Marketing Winning White Papers Seminar at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay in San Diego on September 21st. For more information, visit Michael’s website.

The training is only limited to 25 people, so sign up fast. White papers are a creative and excellent way to amp up your leadership skills by giving you expert status on a specific topic.

Click to read a sample chapter of Michael's book.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Monday, July 9

Stress Busters for Leaders

What can leaders do to better manage stress? Here are a few tips and tools from a team of The Center for Creative Leadership experts:

Create a ritual. Make it a habit to have a stress break. For example, every 90 minutes get up from your desk and walk around or get out for some fresh air. Do some deep breathing, shoulder shrugs, or just close your eyes for one minute. Taking a mental or physical break is an important strategy for dealing with day-to-day stress. When things are extra stressful, you can rely on these same tactics to get you through.

Get away. Find effective ways to set boundaries between work and home life. Whatever works for you - listening to music on the commute home, turning off the cell phone and email during personal or family time, participating in a social activity or hobby - make time for it and keep your commitment to having a life outside of work.

Re-define balance. Forget the idea of balance as finally having equal or sufficient time for everything: career, family, friends, community and leisure pursuits. Instead, start making clear choices that support your core values. Life balance is complex, not really something we can ever hope to accomplish. Demands and interests change over time, and what felt like balance at one point quickly becomes outdated. But if your life reflects who you are and what you value, you will feel more in balance - even when there isn't enough time.

To read the rest of the tips, visit The Center for Creative Leadership.

To lead is to serve,

Coach Carolyn

The photo is of the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, Italy. Now that's peace!

Friday, July 6

Being an Authentic Leader

In Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes, "A leader will find it difficult to articulate a coherent vision unless it expresses his core values, his basic identity...one must first embark on the formidable journey of self-discovery in order to create a vision with authentic soul."

Embarking on the formidable journey of self-discovery is the part of leadership that is most lacking. When this class was given in leadership school, I believe many of the students decided to cut class that day. Let's face it, it is the journey least traveled. Being a leader isn't simply about ordering subordinates about and making major decisions. It is about setting the example of servanthood. Ouch!

I end all my blog posts with to lead is to serve. The true leader serves, motivated by loving concern rather than a desire for personal glory. To be servant is to know who you are deep down to your core. It is knowing that you and your team are divine expressions created and valued for a divine purpose. Servant Leadership is not doormat leadership, but authentic leadership. To be a servant leader is to treat others with worth and value, to set healthy boundaries for people, and to set the example of integrity and character. True leaders attain these attributes through the tests, trials and the journey of self-discovery.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Adding Value to People

Sadly, many leaders are more concerned with valuables than with value. What I mean by this is that many leaders in a corporate environment will tend to focus more on the dollars than on the relationships. Yes, the bottom line is making a profit, but a leader won't make that profit until he or she realizes that it takes making connections first that will lead to more profits.

If the people you lead don't feel valued, then they won't deliver as effectively and efficiently as they could. People are the most appreciable asset in any organization, and it is the role of the leader to make them feel valued. By adding value to the people you are in relationship with, be it business, intimate or platonic -- they will deliver more to someone who makes them feel like they have worth and value.

Leadership expert John Maxwell says to "put tens on people's heads." Treat everyone as a person of value because they are. Think about how you treat your boss or any other superior. You are more polite. You resist the urge to say anything negative or speak out of turn. You laugh at their dumbest jokes. Why do you act that way? To impress; so they would think more highly of you; or to get something from them? Whatever the reason, we should treat everyone as if they were our superiors. Treat others as if they just saved your life, a life worthy of saving.

Think about a person who you absolutely love and admire. You would do anything for this person. You would walk through walls for this person. Think about how this person treats you. Now think about how you behave around that person. I'm sure words came up like integrity, honor, trust, and loyal. And underneath there is a sincerity and gratefulness.

Take some time to examine all your relationships. Do you make them feel valued? Do you let them know how much you appreciate their presence in your life? Don't wait to say it during their eulogy, then it is too late. And don't have the attitude that they don't say they appreciate you first. What you give to the universe, is what you are going to receive. When you give kindness, you will receive kindness. But you must first give, and give genuinely and sincerely.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Thursday, July 5

Leaders versus Managers

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." ~ Peter F. Drucker

When I teach leadership courses, one of the first questions to come up is what is the difference between leaders and managers? Aren't the two terms interchangeable? The answer is no, the terms are NOT interchangeable. A leader can also be a manager, and a manager can be a leader, but they have two distinct and separate tasks.

A manager manages things: projects, resources, finances. As the above quote states: Doing things right. A leader, on the other hand, leads people. People are not managed, they are led. Leadership is about creating opportunities for the team, about providing inspiration and choices -- to people. Management is about making things happen.

Leadership is about getting people to abandon their old habits and guiding them in achieving new things; first setting the example. A leader is not afraid to get out in the trenches with the people and try something new. True leadership is about being a leader and a manager; being able to lead people while making the right things happen with and for them.

Check your leadership style. Are you leading your people or trying to manage them?

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Monday, July 2

Favorite Leadership Quotes

“I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum.” - Bishop Desmond Tutu

“People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. . . The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” - Theodore Roosevelt

“The quality of leadership, more than any other single factor, determines the success or failure of an organization.” - Fred Fiedler & Martin Chemers, Improving Leadership Effectiveness

Love as a Verb

Someone reading this may be thinking, "What's love got to do with leadership?" Love has everything to do with leadership. Without love, leadership is nothing!

In the English language, we generally associate love with a feeling, and usually positive feelings. And, in the English language, there is only one word to encompass that feeling: the word LOVE. Unlike in the Greek language, there are different words to explain the different types of love.

What do we mean when we say love as a verb? A verb is an action word. So love is an action word. Love is something we do, not merely a feeling. When we take the action to love, then the feeling will come.

The Greek language has different words for the different types of love. There is eros: a love which seeks fulfillment or satisfaction in the person or thing that is loved. There is also philia: a love of friendship or companionship.

The Christian Scriptures speaks of a love called agapĂ©: a love which seeks nothing from the person or thing that is loved – the lover wants nothing in return; not even appreciation. The love is totally other-directed; pure gift of the self to the other.

One of the early Church Father, Saint Thomas Aquinas said that “love is the effective willing of the good of the other.” Love is not an emotion, it is not a feeling – love is a choice, it is an act of the will; it is something that we do. Love is not something that happens to us, it is something that we do; it is a choice that we make.

What are we choosing? We are choosing the good of the other. Not our good, first and foremost, but the good of the other. The love is centered on the person or thing that is loved. What is the best for the other? Not simply benevolence – but wanting the best for the other and acting to make that real for them. Love is choosing to do the best for the other person and then acting in accord with that choice.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

Leadership Maxim #1 -- Leadership Begins with You

Everyone is a leader of someone because everyone has the opportunity to influence another person. Think about the people you come in contact with on a daily basis. Think about those people who were kind, who offered a smile or a hand, who went out of their way to make you feel valued. Now think about those who were perhaps rude, abrupt, never offering a smile or a kind word. Now who made the greatest impact on your life? Who would you go out of your way for the next time?

Everyone influences someone. It is how we influence that makes all the difference. We must start with how we ourselves want to be treated. Leadership must always begin with ourselves. Of course the person who values us, who smiles freely, and offers assistance is the person we would place a higher value on in terms of influence. So, are we like that person? Do we value others? Are we loving the other?

When we speak of love and leadership, we are not talking about "love the feeling", but about love as a verb. Leadership has nothing to do with how one feels. It has to do with how one behaves toward the other.

The old saying still rings true today, "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." When we learn to effectively lead ourselves first, then and only then, can we effectively lead others.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn