Great leadership quotes inspire and guide us. They become part of our mainstream language and instilled in our culture. We accept them as a reflection of the ideal, aspire to live them and use them when teaching others about leadership.
But sometimes a quote takes root that sends us in the wrong direction. Frequently these are from highly respected leaders who are often quoted. Not bothering to think critically, we just assume everything they say is on target.
Or it might be that the quote is pithy, and we like the way it sounds. The problem with a catchy slogan is that the form supersedes content.
These 10 “worst leadership quotes” are included on many “best leadership quotes” lists. Although these particular quotes miss . . . → Read More: The 10 WORST Popular Leadership Quotes
Delegating is often one of the hardest things for a manager to do. You give away your authority to make decisions but are still responsible for the outcome if something goes wrong.
Often managers don’t delegate because they hold one or more of these beliefs. Do any sound familiar?
“If you want the job done right, you have to do it yourself.” “They don’t know how, and it’s not my job to train them.” “They don’t want extra responsibilities.” “They’ve already got too much to do.” “It’s my job to do the thinking. It’s their job to do the work.” “They will get the recognition instead of me.” “If they do too much, I might be seen as dispensable.” “If they do it wrong, it . . . → Read More: How to Delegate Effectively and Minimize the Risk
Creating a shared vision is one of the most important roles of a leader. But vision alone is not enough. Vision requires action.
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. – Japanese proverb
First: Do a “Vision Check” to make sure you really have a shared vision.
➤ Does your vision include all three keys to a compelling vision?
➤ Did you involve others in creating it? Does the vision resonate with their own hopes, and can they see how they can contribute?
Now: Take action!
1. Start now. Take the first steps and other steps will be come clear.
Vision is about action, not planning. As you take steps, future steps become clear as you move forward. . . . → Read More: Vision Requires Action: 7 Tips to Move and Keep Moving
“Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going and what will guide your journey.”
– Ken Blanchard and Jesse Stoner
Who you are – is your purpose Where you’re going – is your picture of the future What will guide your journey – are your values The Three Elements of a Compelling Vision
Purpose is your organization’s reason for existence. Choose a significant purpose that’s not about you, but is about providing value to those who use your products or services. Consider your purpose from your customer’s viewpoint. For example, a window shade company might sell window shades but their purpose might be to light control and privacy. Picture of the future is a results-oriented picture of where you . . . → Read More: What is Vision?
Are you enthusiastic about your work? When you reflect on your day at work, do you feel a deep sense of satisfaction? Is the person you are at work the same as the person you are outside of work?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” it’s possible you might be caught in leadership drift. You might have heard about team drift, where teams lose their focus without realizing it. The same thing can happen to individuals.
You might be adrift without realizing it.
Why Leadership Drift Occurs A huge external shift
You might have been thrown off track initially because of something huge like a hurricane or a serious illness, and by the time the dust settled, you forgot . . . → Read More: 4 Ways Leadership Drift Can Catch You Unaware
Once upon a time, in a land called Industrial Age, the leaders of organizations resided at the top of a hierarchy, managers were in the middle, and workers were supervised.
It was the job of leaders to do the important thinking and the job of managers and supervisors to make sure it was implemented.
Because no one cared what the managers, supervisors and workers thought, many of them parked their brains at the door as they came to work.
Others only used part of their brains, limiting their focus to implementation without regard for the impact on the larger organization.
Eventually the companies became gunked up. They were not healthy places for people. and their long-term results did not reach their potential.
Because their life . . . → Read More: The 9 Essential Leadership Strategies in The Age of Information
If you are in a leadership role, chances are you believe it’s better to give than to receive.
Which means you also probably believe you should
… always be competent
… never make mistakes
… always be strong
and that you should only receive when you have something to give in return.
The problem with this attitude is that when you are in a situation where you don’t have a choice and must receive, you are likely to feel
We hear “it’s better to give than to receive” but the truth is:
It’s easier to give than to receive, but not always better.
Giving when people can help themselves takes away their power and opportunity to grow, and . . . → Read More: Strong Leaders Ask For Help
Springtime reminds me of fruit trees and the power of values-driven companies – or more accurately – the cost of NOT being one.
Small companies often think they don’t need to bother with things like mission and values – that those are things for large companies. Big mistake.
It’s why our tree service company lost our business.
They were very nice people, dependable and a good price. But they did not communicate guiding values to their employees, and one of them endangered my son’s health. That was a show-stopper.
Here’s what happened.
One lovely spring afternoon, one of the technicians stopped by unexpectedly to spray our fruit trees. The contact allowed them to come without calling first, which normally would not be a . . . → Read More: Small Companies Need Clear Values
According to Faulkner, Ginsberg and many great writers, if you are particularly proud of a piece of writing, chances are it’s self-indulgent, stands out, and does not serve the greater good of your work.
The saying goes: “you must kill your darlings” – delete them. The overall intent of your work is more important than a particular piece that doesn’t fit, no matter how special you think it is.
So what does that have to do with business?
In today’s world, leaders are under great pressure to find new opportunities for growth. Ventures into new territories, product, channels of distribution, etc. are typically evaluated by short-term profitability and not strategic alignment.
These “darlings” become the focal point, rather than a coherent organizational vision, . . . → Read More: To Be a Better Leader You Must Kill Your Darlings