Empower Your People to do Great Things

And so it begins ... political season officially kicks off today with the Iowa Caucuses as America seeks to find its next leader.
In the spirit of the season, I was reminded of the quote from former US president, Ronald Reagan ... "The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things."
[Tweet "The best teams have leaders who are focused on making those around them better."]
As you begin a new month of work you will be tempted to focus on your job. If you really want to be great, spend a bulk of your time focused on your people. Empower, resource, and encourage others to do great things and you will be well on your way to greatness.
Do you know a leader who empowers those around them? What effect do you think it has on their team?
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Do You Go First?

If you want to know who the leader is in any group, pay attention to the one who goes first.
[Tweet "If you want to know who the leader is in any group, pay attention to the one who goes first."]
“If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” Probably. And the one who jumped first would be our leader.
Has your team failed to live up to your expectations? If so, you might ought to look in the mirror. They are merely doing what you do.
Need a group of hard workers? Then work hard. Looking for a relational bunch? Be accessible and show that you care. Hoping for others to show initiative? Model it.
There is a reason the leader is called leader. It’s because he takes the lead.
Leaders Go First!
Who do you know that models the “Leaders Go First” mindset?
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A Leadership Lesson from Humpty Dumpty

A couple days ago I ran across a conversation between Humpty Dumpty and Alice. The dowdy egg was being questioned by the girl from Wonderland about the meaning of a word he had used out of context.

“When I use a word, it means exactly what I tell it to mean.”  Translated = Humpty was a bit delusional. Not surprising for a nursery rhyme character, but an indicator of one of the biggest temptations we all face … to live in denial and define things to our advantage.

No one is immune from this temptation. We tell ourselves we are fit, when truthfully many of us lack the self control to push away from the table. Who needs resolutions! We convince ourselves we are generous, but our finances say otherwise. We believe ourselves to be committed to family time, when in reality most of the time our families are together everyone’s face is plastered to a screen.

[Tweet "Leaders who lie long enough begin to believe the lies. Such people really only hurt themselves."]

If you want to make progress over the coming weeks, begin by refusing to change the definitions. Excellence means there are no short cuts. Integrity (wholeness) encompasses every area, not just the places where it is convenient. And a great relationship requires one to show up and be fully present.

Perhaps the reason Humpty Dumpty had a great fall was because he lost the ability to balance truth and reality. Remember, once he fell no one could put him back together. As leaders, our influence is fragile. Let’s commit ourselves to being men and women who do what is right and refuse to alter the meanings.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What is one area where leaders lie to those they lead?

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10 Things Leaders Should Never Do

Great questions can take you places you’ve never been before. This is true whether you are asking or being asked. Recently, someone was attempting to understand my point of view on leadership. They asked: What are the things a leader should never do?

Can You Lead?

Every follower deserves a leader who can actually lead. As important as it is to Start with the Heart, leadership character alone is insufficient. Last week I began to unpack the four critical domains of leadership beginning with our ability to Lead Self. Today, we’ll focus on the one which gets the most attention – the skills needed to lead well. 

The Best Planning Question Ever...

The fourth quarter every year is always challenging for me. Not because of year-end deadlines or goals I’m striving to nail before the annual clock strikes midnight – the challenge is preparing for the upcoming year.

Today's Challenge: Can I Trust You?

People do not follow leaders they do not trust. If you and I are trustworthy, we’ve jumped a significant hurdle on the path to effective leadership. It we are not seen as trustworthy, no amount of skill will suffice. If your heart is not right, no one cares about your skills. Today’s Challenge question is… How do you build trust?

How to Make 2016 Great! - Part 2

We don’t control outcomes or opportunities - we do control our readiness for the challenges and opportunities we encounter. This core belief creates a passion in leaders to learn and grow. The New Year is a perfect reset moment. Our process of preparation can have a huge impact on our readiness and our success.

Whither Wilt Thou Lead Me?

A few days ago I ran across a line from Hamlet ... "Whither wilt thou lead me?"
Shakespeare's words between Hamlet and his father's ghost are a great reminder to leaders. Namely, that there are those who, while willing to follow, are wondering where you will lead them.
The question is, do you know the answer? Have you taken the time to identify the target, name the mission, clarify the vision? However you want to say it, unless you can paint a picture of a preferred future, you will have a hard time taking anyone there.
[Tweet "Leaders must start with a definition of the destination."]
Make sure you are locked in on the destination and then show others the way.
Your people are asking, "Whither wilt thou lead me?"
Leadership Begins at Home,
Why do you think so many leaders make assumptions when it comes to vision?
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Are You Afraid Your People Will Leave Your Team?

When it comes to talent, do you think about leaving or launching? 

Leaders who have a scarcity mentality worry about people leaving their team. On the flip side, when a leader has an abundance mentality he consistently considers how to help others reach their dreams. Doing so, often leads to launching someone toward the next season of life.

In his book Win Forever, Pete Carroll shares his mindset about losing so many talented coaches from his staff as a result of their success. He writes ...

"We're only going to Win Forever if we can build a staff of people who are constantly competing to reach their full potential - and [art of that is the pursuit of their own career ambitions ... When a player leaves, that creates an opportunity for the next guy, and the same goes for our coaching staff. We always want to have people in reserve ready to step in as openings arise."

Do those words resonate with your mindset? The best leaders live with open hands when it comes to their talent. Your people do not belong to you. 

[Tweet "The best leaders live with open hands when it comes to their talent. "]

If you want to increase your influence make a decision to develop your bench so that when people leave (or hopefully are launched) you will be ready for someone else to have an opportunity.

Leadership Begins at Home,


Why do you think so many leaders have a scarcity mentality when it comes to their people?

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