Intentionally Value Others by Jim Johnson

value others

At the end of May, I had the opportunity to speak at the NACAAP Annual Conference in Denver.  In one of my sessions, I spoke on how leaders can add value to customers, coworkers, and their communities.  Part of what I shared was based upon John Maxwell’s writing.  Here’s a snippet of what I shared…

Remember, our work is not about quotas or reports.  Our work is about PEOPLE.

We tend to focus our work on data, reports, spreadsheets, etc.  When we do this, we miss the most important part of our day – the people around us.

So we need to intentionally value others.  How do we do that?

For me, one of the most effective ways to value others is to intentionally verbalize my appreciation of them and speak potential into them.

I have observed leaders are sometimes hesitant to verbally value their team members.  In fact, years ago I had a boss tell me, “I won’t tell you that you did a good job. Want to know why?  Because if I do that, you won’t try any more.”  This person knew nothing about me or people.  Regardless of your position, we all like to hear “job well done” from time to time.  It does motivate people.

I have been pushing myself to make the time to look a team member in the eyes and tell them “thank you” for their efforts.  I’m working harder at verbally giving them kudos.  I’ve also been intentionally speaking potential into others (i.e. sharing my vision of where I see them growing and ways I will help them get to their goals).

Last week, I gave a leadership book to an emerging leader and challenged them to read it.  I’ve offered that after each section, I would take him to lunch to discuss what he’s been learning.  Intentional.  Purposeful.  Direct.

I’ve had leaders in my life who have done this.  An independent grocery store chain owner did this for me almost 30 years ago.  “As I watch you work, I’m convinced there’s nothing you can’t do if you set you mind to it.”  Those words were (and still are) gold to me.

The founder of an international music organization taught me that anything is possible.  Don’t accept “no” as the final answer – there is always a way to make something happen. These words helped me maneuver through tough situations in Indonesia and in Communist-controlled Estonia (25+ years ago).  I apply this mindset in my life today.

I speak potential into my own son during baseball season.  I’ve seen my own words become reality to him.  I hope he holds on to these words.

There is no down-side in speaking value and potential into another human being.  But we miss out on changing someone’s life when we withhold empowering, encouraging words.

Today, speak value to someone else.  Speak their potential.  It will change them.  It will change your team, your company, your community.

Leaders truly value others – and it is intentional.

 

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Coaching – what happens to YOU when your team gets better through your coaching by Jim Johnson

If you lead a team, you are coaching (or, at least, I trust that you are).  I just gave a presentation this morning on why coaching is so important for our team members.  I also shared the following on what happens to the COACH when he/she becomes a better:

  1. Your reputation improves in your company.
  2. Your influence expands on your team and in your company.
  3. Your voice/opinion is respected on your team and with your colleagues.
  4. Your future will reveal more opportunities for you.

There is no down side to working hard at becoming a better coach.  Yes, your team members will become better, but YOU have benefits when you commit yourself to becoming a better coach.

Remember:  “You influence from a distance.  You impact up close.”  Dwight Robertson

Commit to impact.  You will create a better world around you.

when leaders become beter

Conference Re-Cap

I have invested a couple of wonderful days here in Denver at the NACCAP  annual conference on the campus of Colorado Christian University.  I have met admission leaders from all over North America.  I’ve listened to their stories.  I’ve helped brainstorm on obstacles they face.  I’ve learned so much about their work, their passion, and their dedication to helping students earn a college/university education.

I spoke at 2 seminars yesterday.  My topics were:  “Adding Value” and “Understanding Your Influence through Self-Development”.  My sessions were full, and the participants shared great feedback with me immediately afterwards and then at mealtimes (I intentionally sat with different groups of leaders at each meal).

I am humbled by the written feedback I received.  Here’s just a sampling:

“very inspiring and passionate speaker who really cares about developing leaders…” Kelly M.

“he is an excellent, amazing, and engaging speaker.”  Angie N.

“incredible, authentic, inspiring, applicable…thank you!”  Rachel G.

“this was an unexpected topic at the conference…I’m glad I attended…great, helpful, and out-of-the-box information!”  Anonymous

“So practical!”  Tim S.

These leaders were hungry to learn and to grow.  They are making significant impacts on the lives of future leaders.  I am grateful to have been a small part of this conference and to have met such quality people.

NACCAP presenter                                                       Become better square

Become Comfortable Outside of Your Comfort Zone

I am about to finish John C. Maxwell’s new book, No Limits.  If you have not read this book, order it now!  It will increase your capacity to lead and succeed!

Here’s an excerpt from the chapter on “Risk Capacity”.

“I knew I needed to develop a process to deal with fear, so I did.  It didn’t cure my fear, but it tamed it enough for me to keep taking risks.  It goes like this:

  • Identification:  Who am I?  I am a person of worth attempting to do something worthwhile.
  • Action:  What will I do?  Take action and do the right thing regardless of feelings.
  • Emotion:  How will I proceed?  I will allow my actions to shape my feelings.

My discovery?  Each time I acted with courage and did what was right rather than giving in to what I felt, my will overcame my fears.  My fears have never completely left me, but they no longer control me.”

No Limits

Why Coach? by Jim Johnson

I recently read some interesting/sobering facts:

  • Nearly half of managers spend less than 10% of their time coaching their teams.
  • In 2016, 87% of millennials say professional development or career growth opportunities are very important.
  • In 2016, only 37% of employees indicated they were “very satisfied” with their jobs.  51% said they were “somewhat satisfied” with their jobs.

So if this is true, how are you becoming better at coaching your team?  They desire effective coaching from you.  They really want to be “very satisfied” with their jobs.  They do!

Someone once said the following:

                                ” Coaching is helping our team members to think.                                                                                    To help them become conscious                                                                                                      of what they are unconscious.                                                                                                         Our default is to give advice.                                                                                                           We must teach people to think.”

More on this later…

To coach effectively, you also need to prepare to be an effective coach.

Where are you on this continuum?

developing

Becoming an effective coach starts with YOU, the coach.  How can you develop yourself?

  • Expose yourself to materials that will help you grow as a leader (books, blogs, podcasts, articles, conferences, one-on-one meetings with community leaders).
  • Network in your community.  Use resources such as LinkedIn to meet, connect with, and learn from other coaches/leaders. You can be exposed to great content that will help you grow.
  • Add value to those around you everyday.  Put what you are learning into practice.
  • Help your team become better by becoming a better leader.

Becoming a better coach means you applying your EXPERIENCE in order to demonstrate EXPERTISE.  I know a lot of experienced coaches/managers.  I know far fewer leaders who demonstrate expertise in coaching people.  Note:  expertise does not equal perfection.  No one on earth is perfect, so rid yourself of that goal.  But any of us – all of us – can become better and become experts.

As a coach, you want to move your team from the ranks of the experienced to those who embody expertise.  Think about this:  what would your results be if your team was populated with experts vs those with merely with experience?  How would this impact your customers?  Your colleagues?  Your bottom line?

John Maxwell has said that “the growth and development of people is the highest calling of a leader.”  

I encourage you to answer this calling.  Become better.  Influence your team to become better.  Improve your coaching sessions (or maybe start having them?).

In an upcoming post, I’ll be sharing some great questions you can begin using in coaching sessions that will enable your team to really think.  They will help you have more meaningful conversations.

Thank you for visiting Go, Leader, Grow!

Take Action by Jim Johnson 

Leaders are faced with decisions and calls-to-action all day long:

  • Staffing decisions
  • Vendor decisions
  • Strategic plans
  • Customer resolutions
  • Team members needing feedback

At those critical points where YOUR action is required, ACT.  Don’t rely on good intentions.

  • “I’ll put off that difficult conversation with that team member…”
  • “I’ll call that vendor back next week…”
  • “Everyone knows where we’re going, right?…”
  • “That customer can wait…”
  • “Someone else probably will handle that question…”

Many times, it is the action of the leader that can begin positive momentum within their team/company.  Action can help initiate  great momentum.  Inaction can end up causing you and your team to stall out.  John Maxwell says:

“If you’ve got all the passion, tools, and people you need to fulfill a great vision, yet you can’t seem to get your organization moving and going in the right direction, you’re dead in the water as a leader.  If you can’t get things going (ACTION), you will not succeed.” (from The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership)

action always beats intention

So today, when facing a decision, ACT.  Get things moving.  Get your team moving.  ACT.

“Leaders always find a way to make things happen.”  John Maxwell

 

Bearing Gifts by Jim Johnson

Many years ago, I had the privilege of traveling with a musical group, The Continental Singers.  For 10 years, I traveled throughout the United States as well as Europe, Great Britain, southeast Asia, and Korea.  I clearly remember many instances where our group was the guest of a large school or in the presence of a community’s leadership group.  Gifts were always exchanged.

This all came back to me this morning as I was getting ready for work.  One of my leaders invited me to a luncheon with her and our city’s mayor and his wife.  I count this an honor, and I look forward to our time together.


Yes, we will be bearing gifts.  One of our colleagues at work wrote a book about the rich history of baseball in our city.  This is one of our gifts.  The other is the new book from John C. Maxwell entitled No Limits.

I share this to encourage you to adopt this practice.  My fellow leader and I are honored to be able to have lunch with our mayor.  This is a gift to us.  It shows honor to Mr. Henry and his wife to give gifts in return.

fort wayne

Our beautiful city – Fort Wayne, Indiana