Passion – the fire within by Jim Johnson & others

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(Here is the next section in my L.E.A.D. (Leadership Effectiveness and Development) initiative that I’m doing with my team here at work.)

For a team to succeed every member must know and understand their specific role so that you are united in working to achieve the team’s goal. It’s the bigger picture that drives your actions. While this is broadly understood in most businesses, it is usually approached in a purely practical way by determining SMART objectives or establishing clear KPIs. And there is nothing wrong with that, but for best performance it lacks a vital ingredient: emotion.

Emotion is the extra gear, or passion, you need to go from cruising speed to take off. When teams have an emotional bond, members understand each other better, know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, support each other through tough times and enjoy celebrating successes together.    (Marianne Hewlett)

PASSION

Definition:  noun – a strong and barely controllable emotion.

 

“Passion is the energy that comes from bringing more of YOU into what you do.  Simply put, it’s being who you are and doing what comes naturally.  When what you do is in alignment with who you are, you get energy from doing it.  It’s like water flowing along its natural riverbed.  It actually gains energy from the path it’s taking (compare that to what most people experience in their work, which is more like trying to force it up and over a mountain).”

(http://mapmaker.curtrosengren.com/what-is-passion.html#kkXUyc4j.dpuf)

Points to Ponder:

“Passion is infectious…and the catalyst leaders use to excite others.  Passion is what others view as strength and confidence as they’re led down a path full of obstacles and danger.  Passion makes you brave (some might say stupid)…Passion is what helps you up after a fall.

The role of leader doesn’t come easy because you have passion.  At first, many people will be skeptical, even afraid, to go along with you.  Leaders don’t go where everyone else has already been; they go where no one has gone before and that is what makes them leaders.

Passion is always shown, not told….do what you’re passionate about and it won’t feel like work at all…There’s an added bonus because passion is an adventure so you’ll never be bored!”

(Al Borowsky, from http://changeyourgamebealeader.com/2014/02/07/making-passion-navigator-towards-success/).

“I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.” John Wesley

Yes, that old English preacher said that. He would ride around the countryside on horseback to preach at different churches. And people did go to hear this man preach. His preaching changed lives. It created a movement. John Wesley was on fire.

How about you?

Leaders are passionate. They are passionate about their business, about their products/services, about the differentiation, about their staff. You can tell when you’re around a passionate leader, can’t you? Even if you don’t know much about their expertise, you can get caught up in their enthusiasm. They are infectious.

Have you ever been around a person who is in charge and it is clear that they are not passionate? Can you image the organization that they lead? I have a feeling that few others are showing any kind of passion either. Status quo probably rules the day. “We’ve always done it this way” is their motto. This type of leader and organization aren’t necessarily like Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh’s sad friend. But they aren’t Tigger either. They just are.

If you want to see results and motivate your team, check your passion. If you want to move on to the next level, check your passion. If you want to achieve, succeed, and grow, check your passion. Don’t lament about where you are today. Take what you know and where you to grow to the next level – and do it with passion. Rick Patino, basketball coach/guru said this:

“It doesn’t matter whether you are a crossing guard, a schoolteacher, or a basketball coach. It might not be where you want to be tomorrow, but it’s where you are today. Seize the day.” (from Rebound Rules)

Passion moves you to change. Passion is showing up and continuing to show up.

“But I’ve been at this same job for a long time and I’m not getting anywhere. They (corporate) don’t recognize me and my skills,” you say. What to do, what to do?

Passion says “I will not surrender”. Don’t get caught up in a pity party. Nobody wants to attend that. And you’ll go no where focusing on poor-pitiful-me. “Never complain about your problems because 95% of the people don’t care and the other 5% are glad they happened to you” (Lechter & Reid in Three Feet from Gold). Hopefully, not all of that is true. But the point is this: refuse to surrender your dream of the next level.

So how do you live in passion? Here are some ideas that I think are worth acting on:

1. Keep your dreams and goals in front of you all the time. Write them down. Do the things that will get you to your goals.

2. Be enthusiastic. Facing a tough challenge? Jump in and tackle it. Learn from it. Use your resources. Master it. As a leader, others will see your passion as a beacon and will follow. They will!

3. Don’t seek recognition if you’re not in the position you desire. Learn your profession. This will lead to mastery and will build your confidence.

4. “We have one chance to do our best on each given day; don’t waste that chance.” (Patino in Rebound Rules)

5. Never let mistakes define who you are. Learn from them and move on. Or as a wounded soldier said when asked how he faces life after being seriously injured on the battlefield, “I F.I.D.O. – forget it, drive on!”

You can approach your business, your department, your branch, your personal life with the same-ol’-same-ol’ attitude. You might grow new business. You might see success. You might achieve. But there’s a good chance that you won’t.

Or you can set yourself on fire. Know, really know, your business. Look for opportunities for your business to grow whether you are in the office or not. Throw yourself into the development of your staff. Be a cheerleader for them. Love every chance to talk with potential customers about your business. Be enthusiastic.

People will come to watch you burn – and they just might catch on fire, too!

(https://goleadergrow.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/passion/)

What Passion Does for Us:

“1. Passion produces energy. 

A leader who has passion is driven forward from the energy it produces. When it comes to leading yourself and others, passion and energy are essential. Donald Trump said, “Without passion, you don’t have energy; without energy, you have nothing.” Leaders who have passion also bring energy into what they do.

2. Passion drives vision.

If a leader wants to see their vision and goals being accomplished, then the leader’s passion is the fuel that drives the production and results of the vision. The vision of the organization or team should be frequently and passionately communicated to others.

3. Passion ignites others.

We have all seen or been around a passionate leader. I personally know after I’m around a passionate leader their energy and passion rubs off on me. This causes me to feel more energized and motivated. A person’s passions can ignite other people’s passions and bring energy into their lives.

4. Passion raises influence. 

John Wesley said, “When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.” This is what happens when a leader has passion. The leader starts gaining more with others, and people want to be a part of what’s going on. If you want to raise your influence, then you need to be a passionate leader.

 5. Passion provides potential.

I have observed that a leader’s passion brings new opportunity and opens the door to success. This is because when you’re passionate about what you’re doing, it moves you closer to your potential. Moving you closer to your potential causes you to be moving into the next level within your career and personal journey.” (Dan Black, http://danblackonleadership.info/)

Something to think about:

“Without passion, man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.” – Henri-Frederic Amiel, Writer

Here at work:

  • What makes you spark?
  • What inspires you?
  • What gives you so much satisfaction or/such a buzz that you would do it for free?
  • What role does passion play in your working life?

 

Leadership Resources to Review by Jim Johnson

Looking for a good resource for your leadership development?  Visit this site:  http://www.drkathycramer.com/

Dr. Cramer is one of the authors of an incredible book, Change the Way You See Everything.  

On this site you can sign up for emails, visit her blog, find out where she will be speaking, etc.  Dr. Cramer and her writing are great resources.  Do yourself a favor and invest some time reviewing her work.

 

Blind Eye by Jim Johnson

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A pit fall of any leader is turning a blind eye to things that can ultimately hurt you, your integrity, and your reputation.

 

  • Ignoring poor performance of a staff member over and over.
  • Allowing certain staff members to “get away” with coming in late, taking longer lunches, gossiping, surfing the internet while others on your staff work hard to do right and be right.
  • Allowing some staff members to regularly share negative thoughts and feelings about their coworkers and then you begin to believe these things, too – and you haven’t personally invested in those other people.
  • Allowing yourself to say what’s on your mind without filtering your thoughts and words first.
  • Blowing up and getting angry in public.
  • Playing favorites.
  • Saying one thing, but doing another

 

Many leaders succumb to some of these things during their career.  The successful ones aren’t blinded to these and other shortcomings.  They know what they need to do in order to minimize and/or eliminate their blind eye:

  • They hold their staff accountable to their performance.  They have regular coaching sessions which keep results and behavior standards in the fore front.
  • They hold everyone on their team to the same basic/core standards.  If arriving to work on time is good for the team (and it is), it is good for ALL of the team.
  • Do not allow a staff member talk with you negatively about another staff member.  As the leader of your team, it is YOUR responsibility to monitor and deal with each of your team members.  It is the responsibility of your team to focus on their own personal performance.  If a staff member insists on bad talking another (I’m not talking about ignoring violations such as stealing, harassment, etc), try saying this next time:  “I understand you have a personal issue with that person.  But it is not appropriate for me to talk with you about that person’s performance.  That’s not your job.  That’s my job.  Your job is to focus on your results and performance.  So, we can talk about what you’re doing right now to move this department/company forward.  But what I won’t allow is for you to talk to me about someone else’s performance.  That’s not your job.  So, how are you doing with….?”  Become a broken record on this point.  Your staff will quickly realize that their responsibility is on their own personal results.
  • Seek out a trusted resource at your work place and allow them to ask you tough questions.  “What am I being blind to?”  And if they tell you, act on that!  Seeking truth and then ignoring it will quickly ruin your integrity and reputation.

We all have blind spots.  All of us.  If you are fortunate enough to discover them, intentionally act to remove them.  Will most people see this happening?  Perhaps not.  But you will move yourself towards becoming a respected, trusted leader who is recognized as authentic, approachable, and effective.

 

“Authenticity is the alignment of the head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently.  This builds trust, and followers love leaders they can trust.” 

Lance Secretan

How to Encourage Innovation in Your Company by Anita Bruzzese Gannett

Is America losing its innovation edge?

If so, the reason could be because managers and employees are not on the same page in developing new ideas.

Specifically, many employees think they have a good idea, but their managers won’t listen to them. In their defense, managers say these ideas often are out in left field with no real focus or value to the company.

In a recent study, Accenture found that 69 percent of employees believe that this country will lose its entrepreneurial edge over foreign employers in the next 10 years unless companies focus more on encouraging employees to pursue innovative ideas.

But Accenture research also finds that corporate leaders find it difficult to channel the entrepreneurial enthusiasm to the right areas with 85 percent reporting that employee ideas are mostly aimed at internal improvements rather than external ones.

Matt Reilly, managing director at Accenture, says he was surprised at the gap between what employees say about presenting entrepreneurial ideas and what executives report receiving.

Some of the problem is because managers may pose “What do you think?” queries to workers without clearly defining what the problem is and what they’re seeking in terms of innovative ideas, he says. If managers put up “guardrails” clearly defining their needs, workers would understand the limits and provide better solutions.

Clearly workers have at least some frustration with the process: While the Accenture survey of 800 corporate employees finds that 52 percent say they’ve pursued an entrepreneurial idea at work, only 20 percent believe that their employer offers enough support to develop ideas.

Read the rest here:  http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20140119/YOUNGPROFESSIONALS/301190008/How-encourage-innovation-your-company?gcheck=1

Approaches to Conflict by Jim Johnson

How do you approach conflict at work?

  • I make sure I’m always right.
  • I don’t listen to other points of view.
  • I run for the hills.

We all experience conflict and we all tend to respond (react?) to it via our default approach.  And that could be good or bad.  What if you could choose the right approach for the right situation?  That’s what Dr. Gaylen Paulson (Univ. Texas) suggests.  He points out various styles in a manager’s approach to conflict.

To preface, Dr. Paulson states that many times choosing a style is dependent upon our own personal preferences.  We’re just more comfortable with certain styles.  A lot of the time, our approach can be somewhat situational – different approaches are more appropriate in different situations.  He suggests that the best style depends on the situation – but there are upside and downsides to each of the styles.  Here they are:

1.        Compromise

Take caution here.  This approach can often lead to a lose-lose strategy and really is only good for one issue – not a habitual approach to conflict.  Compromise doesn’t lead to complex solutions and it can really come across as fair.  However, compromise can also communicate that you’re not really that concerned about the issue or the outcome.  Be careful not to be “seduced” by this quick solution.

2.        Accommodation

Here, relationships matter more than the material outcomes.  Dr. Paulson points out that there will be more time and energy required to reach this point in resolving conflict.  A manager could come across as too “soft” which can tarnish their reputation going forward.  And as a result of that, resentment – from others on your team – can build.  Accommodation can come across as favoritism.

3.        Avoidance

I had a leader once tell me that he really tried to avoid conflict after we were talking about a direct report of his who had been behaving badly. Their behavior was not kept in check and it negatively impacted the company.  I asked him, “So, how’s that working out for you?”

If you choose avoidance, this can also make you look like you don’t care about the issue or the person(s) involved.  Others will take note of your avoidance, too.  That’s not always positive.

However, Dr. Paulson states that sometimes the timing is always right to deal with this conflict.  Instead of jumping right in and battling it out, a manager needs to prepare for the conflict.  And that’s ok as long as it’s not habitual.

4.        Problem Solving

If all participants in the conflict are willing to cooperate, this can be an affective approach to resolving conflict.  Multiple issues are usually involved and, as such, this will take more time and effort on the manager’s part.  Dr. Paulson states that the manager must be patient and will to endure a struggle as the problems are communicated and worked through.

5.        Competing

Here, a manager is trying to get a quick decision.  He/She has all of the “high power players” assembled in a meeting to tackle the conflict.  Many times, this approach is used when there are unpopular decisions that have been made and there is a need for control.  This approach may not end in a heart-felt buy-in, but more of a agree-to-disagree – but then move forward as one.

When confronting and dealing with conflict, Dr. Paulson encourages managers to:

  • Understand their environment and team
  • Communicate your motives
  • Gather your evidence and be very specific
  • Focus on explicit behaviors that are clearly wrong – do not focus on the person, but the behaviors

As a manager, you are working to move your team and your company forward.  Conflict will happen.  How you deal with it will determine your ultimate success.

 

Failure + Excuses ≠ Success

How to Win Over a Skeptic by Susan Mazza

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In Leading Skeptics and Believers I suggest that if you want to cause change, focus first on the “believers.” While many agreed with that point of view, there was a lot of discussion about what to do with the skeptics.

Some believe you should just ignore them. Others believe you have to at least try to enroll them. While I do believe you should focus your energy on the believers, especially in the beginning of any new endeavor, I also don’t think skeptics can or should be ignored.

In fact, many people are skeptical because of past experience and they just don’t want to set themselves up for disappointment. When a leader makes a commitment to progress and change, and does not follow through they can actually leave the organization worse off than if they never even began. This is because the believers of yesterday, once let down or even scorned, will often become the skeptics of tomorrow.

There are of course those who are more committed to their skepticism than they are to progress. They are usually pretty easy to spot because in every encounter they will throw up reasons why not and other roadblocks to progress and conversations usually end in a debate that is never resolved.

Then there are the cynics – the people who are not only skeptical, but committed to ensuring no one succeeds. Given their commitment to proving themselves right that “this will never work,” success will naturally drive these folks out of the organization or cause a profound change of heart. I’ve witnessed both. And I can tell you that those who experience the profound change of heart become the most ardent supporters, while those who don’t and leave are not missed.

3 Things You Can Do to Win Over a Skeptic:

Read the rest here: http://randomactsofleadership.com/how-to-win-over-a-skeptic/

The Honest Truth About Teams by Lolly Daskal

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There’s a good reason we spend so much time thinking about teams.

Every organization in every industry pursues ambitious projects, works hard to get and serve clients and customers, and tackles new markets, new ideas, and new innovation.

Competition is fierce, and it takes a great team to deliver the kind of performance that keeps organizations successful.

There are no quick answers about how to build a great team. But after years of observing many team dynamics, I have come to recognize a few elements that make up a top-performing team:

A compelling vision and meaningful purpose: Top-performing teams have a defined vision and purpose that resonate with its members and draw them in.

Clarified roles and skills: Top-performing teams clearly identify the role and expectations of each member based on their talents and skills. Research shows that collaboration improves when the roles of individuals are clearly defined and understood.

Strategy and goals: Top-performing teams need a clearly defined strategy, plan, and goals. Strategy provides a map that shows where the team is going, and planning and goals tell how they’ll get there.

Commitment and accountability: Top-performing teams need for each member to hold a personal commitment and individual accountability for their role, while still supporting one another.

Mutual trust: Top-performing teams spend time cultivating trust, investing in relationships, and collaboratively developing and refining their mission, purpose, roles, and challenges.

Challengers and collaborators: Top-performing teams need diversity in personalities and talent. They need members who don’t just settle for pleasant conversation but who respectfully challenge and ask, and members who build relationships and bring people together.

Communication and dialogue: Top-performing teams need channels of communication that are open, authentic, challenging, courageous, and real. There is no room for passive aggression and backbiting. Team members are free to speak from the heart and embrace dialogue even in disagreement.

There will never be a perfect team, because teams are, after all, made up of imperfect people.

Every team his its own strengths and frustrations, But the best teams have a vision. They communicate well and they know their goals, skills, and talents.

When teams are given the tools to truly collaborate, they can create true excellence.

Lead From Within: We are not trying to mandate perfection but to build teams whose hearts are beating to the same rhythm.

For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact me.

About Lolly

Lolly is the founder of Lead from Within, a global consultancy that has counseled heads of state, consulted to CEOs of large multinationals, and coached budding entrepreneurs.

Over 460,972 people follow Lolly’s wisdom on Twitter and subscribe to her blog; her inspirational speeches are greeted by standing ovations worldwide.

http://m.lollydaskal.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lollydaskal.com%2Fleadership%2Fthe-honest-truth-about-teams%2F&dm_redirected=true#2638