A Leader Is Courageous

“You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage, with the best that you have to give.” Eleanor Roosevelt

The world is at a cross road in its history. We can continue our head long rush to materialism and financial Darwinism…. or we work can work together, maintain our standard of living, increase our productivity and stop the growing division between the haves and have not’s.

It won’t be easy. It will take individual sacrifice.There may be a time when sacrifice will mean giving up an hour or two of your leisure time each week to go out and lend a hand. Sacrifice may mean spending some of your hard earned money to support a cause you care about. But you’ll be sacrificing ego gratification for soul gratification.

We must balance self interest with the interests of our nation and our world. Unless we have the courage to include all the people, not just one segment or special interest group, in our leadership we will never have the world we want. The hour of courage is here. The challenge is, what will you do to make a difference?

Defining Courage: Continue reading

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When Risk Taking Makes a Difference

“Eagle, this is Houston. Go for landing. Stand by. Four. Three. Two. One. Fire! Eagle, throttle down. You’re lookin’ good. We got good data. Go for landing.”

“Houston, we’re go, sit tight, we’re go. Boy, are we comin’ in! Stand by for touchdown. Stand by. M–A–N–! . . . Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed. The Eagle has landed.”

On July 20, 1969, humans first set foot on the moon. It’s easy now to forget what these early Astronauts risked, three very vulnerable men escaping Earth atop the mightiest engine ever built, the huge Saturn rocket, that put the tiny Apollo space ship in orbit around the moon. There, two of these historic risk takers left the relative security of the mother ship for an even tinier lunar module from which they would take, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Think back to the technology of 1969 and compare it to today’s. It is staggering to think that the space program took off at all. It required as much faith and foresight as know-how. When President John F. Kennedy initiated the space program in May, 1961, he said, “We ask God’s blessing in the most hazardous, dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.” Few of us will ever be asked to equal the risks, the faith, and the courage it took to complete the first moon mission. But even though the risks were incalculable, the rewards were too.

To Risk or Not to Risk

Why would anyone want to take a risk? The dictionary defines risk as “exposure to the chance of injury or loss; danger, hazard, peril.” Definitely something to avoid. Yet risk taking is integral to both leadership and living. Every leader and every life that makes a difference develops the ability to evaluate ideas and the courage to seize the opportunities associated with them. The biggest risk of all is trying to avoid all risk.
A risk can be unexpected, suddenly coming at you at 80 mph so you’ve got to do something. Or it can be a challenge you’ve created or deliberately sought out. Both kinds can be equally frightening and exhilarating. Wanted or unwanted, risks involve change. You make change your servant when you create a powerful picture of the changes you want, of how you want the future to be. Then evaluate the risks involved.

1. Identify the risk. This may seem simple, but often it isn’t. Be keenly aware of hidden agendas and personal biases. Everyone looks at risk differently. Continue reading

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Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

If there has ever been a time when we need great leaders who are willing to give through their commitment to great ideas, it is now. We need them in your town and mine. We need them in business, in government and in community groups.

I can hear someone saying “great”, that’s a tall order. Don’t be put off by the word great. People need examples of greatness to show them the power of commitment.

Good Enough:

Most people go through life saying “well that’s good enough” The question is good enough for whom, for what? Continue reading

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You earn leadership when you;
……treat people as if today is the only day you have to help them reach their full      potential,
…..teach the benefit of setting a good example to the lowest level of people in your organization,
……know that if you take very good care of today, tomorrow will take care of itself,
…..accept full responsibility and accountability for your thoughts and actions,
…..live each day as if your life were being judged by that one day,
…..take time each day to be alone, to communicate with God, to think about your mission and how you are going to make a difference, then you earn your position of leadership.

You are “becoming:”
No matter where your commitment takes you, no matter what your leadership Continue reading

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You help others lead a better life.
To have wisdom is to have perspective on how and why human beings function and progress. Wisdom will help you lead others to make a better life, not just make a living. Your wisdom can help them differentiate between the authentic and the false, between things worthwhile and things pretentious, between lasting and fleeting, between personal power and position power.

Your understanding of human character coupled with technological and business skills will help you create Continue reading

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How To Judge A Nation’s Values

The Story:
It’s beginning to get dark. You can hear the evening rush-hour traffic overhead. The band of people living under the overpass are getting ready for another night. Some have a few personal possessions to guard; others arrange newspapers and cardboard boxes for shelter. A homeless woman searches through her bag for part of a sandwich she found that morning. A drug addict lies on the ground, his eyes glassy and blank. His right hand is cut and badly needs attention, but he is oblivious.

A young man with broad shoulders and neatly cut black hair leans over him and Continue reading

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Your Personal Leadership Arrogance Quiz

This is a test!

Last winter my husband Bill and I were watching television when the program was interrupted by a sharp, whining electronic sound. At first, we thought the set was broken or our cable company was having problems. In about 30 seconds, a voice said, “This is a test of the weather alert system” and went on to explain what to do if the severe rainstorms we were experiencing caused local creeks and rivers to go over their banks.

It occurred to me as I listened, that when leadership crises crowd in on us, it’s usually life saying, “This is a test.” When you’re insecure and afraid, you may be tempted to take the low road of haughty, rude, egotistical dominance, in which case you’ve “gone over the banks.” However, if you have the courage and self-assurance to call upon your better angel and act unpretentiously, graciously and decently, you survive the “storm” and add greatly to your legitimacy. If you understand the long-term consequences to both your own leadership authenticity and the self-esteem and growth of your followers, you can say, “I have passed the test.”

Sometimes the only thing that can sustain you as you climb the ladder of success is an ego that protects you from the slings and arrows of competition. Such strength of ego doesn’t automatically mean you’re either arrogant or humble. In fact, personality isn’t always a good indicator of the type of leader you are. The difference is in how you treat others. It’s a character issue. There’s a thin line between ego and arrogance. With the increased pressures of the world we live in leaders will have to work very hard at not crossing that line.

Create Your Own Personal Arrogance Survey. Continue reading

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A Leaders Strength..Finding Competent Colleagues

Another sign of emotional intelligence is to have the self-confidence and inner strength to surround yourself with the best people available, not just those who most resemble you or agree with you. It’s natural, of course, to be attracted to those who are like you. That’s how friendships and relationships are built. But if you only consult with like-minded colleagues, you run the risk of cutting off vital information and expertise.

As a leader, you want to avoid cronyism which almost always produces bad results. The best way to do that is to find and retain the brightest and best people you can attract. It takes courage to hear things that challenge your beliefs, ideas or decisions.

Check your current ability with the following questions: Continue reading

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12 Keys to the Executive Suite

Have you suspected that the road to the corner office had to be paved with the carcasses of trampled subordinates?

For the past twenty five years I’ve analyzed thousands of executives and surveyed top C Level men and women to find out the truth about this well-known and negative cliché. I discovered that despite differing leadership styles, most executives share certain key traits.  None of these traits is compatible with a slash and burn approach to achieving executive power.

What are the keys to attaining access to the top of the ladder?

The men and women, who didn’t make a fast round trip to and from the top, use these 12 strategies:

  1. Put ethics first.
    Cheating and cutting corners can sometimes give you a temporary edge, but they will eventually be the end of your journey up the ladder. Followers demand high ethical standards from their leaders.  Set an example, take responsibility for your actions. Define your values. Turn “virtue”, “honor” and “duty” into cornerstones, not road blocks. These are the ingredients that build trust and followership. Continue reading
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Become Your Own Biggest Cheerleader

Rah-Rah-Rah Sis Boom Bah!!

Of all the communication you do, none is more important than how you talk to yourself. Your internal dialogue has more to do with your success in life than any other factor. Continue reading

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