Archive for category Presence

Leadership Is Dangerous

Leadership_is_dangerouseMy good friend Joseph Lalonde released his free eBook a couple of weeks ago, LEADERSHIP IS DANGEROUS: Four Traps That a Leader Should Avoid.

Sometimes we become leaders by accident. It leaves us wondering what leadership means for us. To be honest, it can mean many different things. Leadership means:

You have followers: There are people who are watching what you do. They’re waiting for your next move so they can follow in your steps. You may not always see who your followers are but they’re out there [TweetMe]. They can be friends, family members, or complete strangers. Be on the lookout for who’s following after you.

Being a leader means you have responsibility: Did you ever read Spiderman growing up? Before Peter Parker’s uncle Ben dies, he says something to Peter. He uttered the words “With great power comes great responsibility.” [TweetMe] How does this relate to you? You’ve been given the power to lead others. You have influence over your followers. This gives you power. With this power comes great responsibility. Be sure to lead with this thought in mind.

Your choices no longer affect just you: That’s right. Your choices now affect others. Your followers may feel the repercussions of the choices you make [TweetMe]. The bad choices you make will reverberate through your organization. If you’re married, you know this. Every choice you make affects your spouse and children. No choice is separate from your leadership of the family.

Now you know what being a leader means. You’re attracting followers. You’re given great power but also have great responsibility. And your choices now affect more than yourself.

The choices you make affect everyone you touch and everything you do. There will be times when you believe no one is watching you. That’s a lie. Once you become a leader, someone will be watching you.

All you have to do is watch the news and you’ll see how our leaders are watched. Your steps will be scrutinized. Your decisions will be questioned. And eyes will be watching you.

This is why you, as a leader, need to be vigilant. Get a free copy of Joseph’s eBook here.


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Leadership In The SUN

medium_6045855541I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep. I was worried, thoughts ravaged my mind, I pondered over many scenarios. Then fear put a cold, solid grip on my heart. What would the future be for my family and I?

Like many a man, not having a solid feeling of control can leave me in a mental vortex.

In the sleepiness that plagued me that early morning, I remembered the following passage from Jeff Goins’ book, The In-Between.

“In frustration, I’m confronted with an old lesson of letting go, of looking beyond personal ambition and replacing it with something better. The slow growth that happens when I surrender to what life — and maybe God — is trying to teach me. So it seems, despite a penchant for travel, that the antidote to my restlessness is not another trip or adventure, but a deep abiding in where I am really matters. I don’t like it, but I’m starting to see the value of the times in between the big moments in life.”

My in-between is to activate the Suspend, Understand and Nurture model [TweetMe]. I needed to step into the SUN now to take control of my fears. As I wait for the next phase of my life to kick in, I can maximize on the present. The now becomes my launch pad.

SUSPEND my fear and embrace the possibilities by focusing on the vision [TweetMe]. I don’t live just for myself but to bring forth leadership that brings meaningful change to others. Succumbing to fear of failure reduces my chances to advance and possibilities to learn. I am robbing others of an opportunity to be led. When I progressively overcome my fear, I increase my chances of growing leaders, not just gaining followers. As Seth Godin puts it, “Fear the fear, feel the fear”.

UNDERSTAND the right tools required for leadership to thrive within me [TweetMe]. I must invest in the right attitude to engage with others, leaders and followers alike. However, these tools will not be available to me at the same time. I need to capture the moment and use what is at hand to gain what I can’t reach. Joseph Lalode shares the secret sauce for testing the waters and getting something done, pulling a ready, fire, aim on life. That attitude will be guided by the knowledge that there is always space to learn. It is only a fool who doesn’t change his mind!

NURTURE is paramount for any meaningful growth as a leader [TweetMe]. A frequent detox is required to get rid of the dirt/baggage for best results to emerge and leadership to shine. I need to learn and sit at the feet of great men and women who have gone before me. This includes a desire to be more accountable to myself and significant others. Learning to be humble will nurture my leadership and ability to mend fences and build bridges, especially with those I have wronged.

For any leader, those in-between moments can be make-it-or-break-it scenarios. I now have a deeper appreciation for what Steve Jobs once said, “Believe that things will work out… Trust your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path. Trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”


How can you apply the SUN model to grow your leadership?

photo credit: Kevin_Morris via photopin cc

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Leadership is HOPE

medium_136578060I was walking by a boy who was munching away at a delicious doughnut topped with glossy chocolate goodness. What made me notice this five-year old were the “empty” signals that my stomach was beaming to my mind. Then I spotted him drop his paper napkin into an adjacent flowerbed.

As much as there was an urgent need to sort out my nagging hunger, I managed to suppress it and respond to a more pressing need. Right before me was an opportunity to help this youngster and guide him towards taking more responsibility in life. I stooped down to his level and gently asked him to pick up the paper napkin. But that was not all. I helped him to figure out what to do with the napkin, to find a rubbish bin.

What does this have to do with leadership? It is because leadership responds to HOPE, Honoring the Opportunity to spur People on to Excellence [TweetMe]. Hope is at the core of leadership as it provides the grounds for believing that something good may happen.

HONOR – Leaders need to fulfill an obligation or stick to an agreement [TweetMe]. This is regardless of how you feel, where you are, or whichever excuse that may creep into your mind. It may come at great personal cost, but a leader always keeps his word and sticks to a vision set. “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” Aristotle

OPPORTUNITY – Be present in time and place, as opportunity is a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something [TweetMe]. If you are too busy building the big vision, when will you be able to work with your team to realize that vision? “Leadership develops daily, not in a day,” notes John C. Maxwell in ’21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership’.

PEOPLE – Anyone who thinks they are a leader but has no followers is just taking a walk. For people to follow you, they must trust you and feel that you are adding value to them. They must have faith in your leadership. If they can’t feel your heart and see your intentions, you’ve lost them [TweetMe]. “The true test of a leader is whether his followers will adhere to his cause from their own volition, enduring the most arduous hardships without being forced to do so, and remaining steadfast in the moments of greatest peril.” Xenophon.

EXCELLENCE – The quality of being outstanding or extremely good is key to leadership. It means that you are in a state of constant learning and re-calibration; not only to better your leadership, but also to build other leaders around you. Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course [TweetMe]. If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. “Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” Colin Powell

If you are to succeed, you have to allow others’ skills, competence, and expertise to shine through. How are you doing this everyday?

photo credit: Wetsun via photopin cc

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Leadership is the WE in ME

medium_2557846393When selfishness is banished, that is, we cease to continuously place ourselves on a pedestal, then tables are turned. An “M” in me is immediately mirrored into the “W” in we. This brings people into our lives and with that the opportunity to lead and inspire hope. We begin to build a vision. “Part of our destiny is to claim the vastness of our vision.” Brendon Burchard

So, how do you grow your leadership by claiming the vastness of your vision? |TweetMe|

Presence/Persona: A leader can’t be accountable to no one. Make sure you have at lease two people you are completely open to and can question your actions at any time. Being available to critique means you are dependable. It communicates that you can be found when people are in need; when they are vulnerable and when they want to celebrate. Being accountable helps you to connect with people as you can readily step in and help.

Persistence: When you claim your vision, you live in the moment of decisive passion. You can’t hide from the truth in your heart. What happens in this state is magical, as you are filled with a determination and renewed commitment to stay on course. Persistence opens up the vaults to patience and work ethic. You then become one of those fortunate to invest in a rare commodity also known as life.

Prosperity: Investing in doing what is right is an expression of impact. Under intense pressure, you can only manifest what is in you. The quality of success in my life not only depends on the seeds I sow, but also in the quality of harvest I reap. Don’t worry, sow quality seeds and nurture them. The return will be there. Just be persistent in doing what is right, as opposed to doing the right thing that yields the bare minimum.

Position: Finally, leadership is about a legacy of hope, peace and unforgettable memories. Legacy is the ultimate yardstick of your position in life and community. Many measure prosperity on the premise of the value of the material possessions they have or own. I peg my position on the value of relationships I have cultivated. As mentioned in my previous blog post “When you are not in the room”, others determine your position, not you.

“The axe forgets but the tree remembers.” Shona Proverb |TweetMe|

A leader responds to presence, persistence, prosperity and position with three “Rs”; a Refusal to cease doing good, a Reason to remain even-keeled even in challenging times, and finally a Righteousness that transcends the deepest and widest divides of the heart.

Leaders are not judged by how much material gain they make as harshly as by the sacrifice of their choices, the seeds they cultivate, and the connectedness within their hearts to nurture more leaders. “Material possessions don’t hold bedside vigils when your end is near: they can’t cry with you in your pain or laugh at shared stories,” says Dr. Kevin Lehman.

That is legacy… And what will yours be? Shall we start now?

photo credit: fragmented via photopin cc

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