Ask these questions and take action.
Many of you read articles, blog posts, books or listen to a TED talk and you are inspired. You learn something new. You actually make changes in your professional/personal life as a result. Does it all end there…with you?
My tip for today is take this one step further. Why else would benefit from knowing or getting exposed to this information?
- Your team?
- Your colleagues?
- Another leader in your community?
- Your family?
- Your mentor or mentee?
Of course learning and developing as a leader is critically important. Take it one more step and share what you have learned with someone else. Email them a link to that blog post. Send them a podcast link. Take a photo of a powerful paragraph and email that to them. Share what you’ve learned over coffee or lunch.
Some folks will be receptive to this. Others will not. You’ll learn who is open to this. Focus on adding value. This sharing – it is about them, not about you. You could help someone launch something incredible in their life!
Tomorrow morning, I fly to Denver where I’ll be giving two presentations at the annual NACCAP (www.naccap.org) conference. I will be speaking on:
- “Right On” – working towards your “next level” opportunity while broadening your influence.
- Adding Value – discovering why this is so important and finding practical ways to do it.
I look forward to sharing, learning, and meeting the professionals at NACCAP in Denver!
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.”
I had the privilege of speaking with our branch managers last week on the topic of leadership influence. I want to share here part of that presentation.
John Maxwell defines leadership as “influence – nothing more, nothing less.” If this is true (it is, and I love this definition), then how do you build your influence? Influence must be earned. It will not be merely given to you.
Here are some of my thoughts on how you can build your influence with your team, coworkers, and your community:
- Help your team become better by becoming a better leader. What a great gift you give to your team when YOU work to become better! But how do you do that?
- Expose yourself to materials that will help you grow as a leader (books, blogs, podcasts, articles, conferences, one-on-one meetings). There is a seemingly unending mountain of information available to us all today. Use it! Read it! Listen to it! Immerse yourself in it! Grow yourself!
- Network in your community. Your community is full of effective leaders. Find them. Interact with them. Take them to lunch and ask them good questions that will help you understand what makes them the effective leaders they are.
- Add value to those around you everyday. We all have plenty of opportunities every day to add value to others. Leaders who are influential look for these opportunities. They add value intentionally.
What have you done to broaden your influence? Share your thoughts with us all in the Comments section!
I recently picked up John C. Maxwell’s new book, No Limits. I’ve been reading it for the past couple of days. Here’s an excerpt from his chapter entitled “Emotional Capacity.”
“Emotional capacity is the ability to handle adversity, failure, criticism, change, and pressure in a positive way…However, emotionally strong people are able to manage their emotions and process through difficulties. That allows them to increase their capacity and moves them closer to reaching their full potential.”
“Emotionally strong people do not expect immediate results. As they approach life, they know they are in it for the long haul. As they face struggles, they do so with energy and fortitude. They understand that genuine success takes time. They try new things and fail. They run into obstacles but persevere. They keep going, keep working. They focus on the right decisions they need to make, and make them quickly. They realize that they may change their direction overnight, but they won’t arrive at their destination overnight. They keep their eye on the big picture, and they don’t quit.”
“Controlling what you can and not wasting energy on what you can’t is one of the most important lessons we can learn in life.”
“One mark of resilience is learning to tell which pain deserves our attention paying attention to every pain, all the time, doesn’t lead to resilience. It usually leads to whining.”
“Grit is having the strength and the resilience to overcome your obstacles to reach your goals. To be gritty, you have to care more about succeeding than your possible failures. It forces you to dig deep in your pain and believe you’re going to accomplish your goals.”
Rodney & Ron Lewis, Gritty.
Is this your response if someone asks you to read a book? I’ve heard it from many people that I encounter.
Studies have shown that when a person graduated high school and even college that a vast majority never read a book after that. When I ask people why they don’t read, I usually get responses such as “who has time to read a book?”
The answer is simple. You do. No, you really do.
In his book, The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson tells us exactly how to read a book, an entire book, and as little as 30 days. Olson suggests that you set aside time to read 10 pages each day. Now I’m not a fast reader, but I can read 10 pages in about 10 minutes. Olson states that if you read 10 pages a day, you’ll finish a 300 page book in a month. But I think too many people look first at the 300 pages and become overwhelmed thinking “I’m never going to read this”. And then they don’t.
But if you break it down into simple segments – 10 pages a day – you can easily get through a book in a month. This is the secret to the slight edge – taking small incremental steps each day that gets you towards a goal.
What happens when you start to read?
- You expose yourself to insights and thoughts that you wouldn’t get any other way.
- You get an opportunity to learn something.
- Ideas come to you.
- A difficult situation may become more clear after reading.
- You begin seeing your world from a different perspective.
- It will positively affect your leadership style and your leadership abilities.
We probably all have heard it said that leaders are readers. There really is no downside to daily reading a book.
One of my goals for 2017 is to read 12 books this year. So far this month I’m about to finish book number 2. They’re not “long” books but I’m using the slight edge principles to read at least ten pages a day. As a result I’m moving through the books quickly and I’m gaining new knowledge and insight. And I’m journaling things that I’m learning (another goal of mine).
So, what are you reading? Yes, you! Put the slight edge in your favor, find a great book, and start reading. If you need a book list, start with The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. At the end of this book he lists around a hundred books that he would suggest leaders start reading. That would be a great place to start. Or listen to your favorite podcaster. I bet they’ll be some suggestions there.
In your town there may be a used book store. You can get great deals at places like that. Or go to Amazon. You can buy great used books for a fraction of the original cost. And many of those used books are in great condition.
Don’t limit your leadership abilities by giving yourself excuses not to learn and grow. Start reading. You really will love it.
I am pleased to introduce you to Ron & Rodney Lewis. Ron is a friend that I met just a few months ago. Since then, Ron has spoken with our company’s leadership team. We also have lunch from time to time to talk leadership, personal growth, and connections.
Ron and Rodney have an incredible mission…
In a couple of hours, I will be facilitating another “Emerging Leaders” group sessions here at work. We are working our way through John Maxwell’s book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. Here is an application from the end of chapter 5 (Law of Consistency) that is worth sharing:
“The more whys you have for pursuing personal growth on a daily basis, the more likely you will be to follow through. Start compiling those whys. Think of immediate benefits as well as long-term ones. Consider reasons related to purpose, vision, and dreams. Think of how it will help you relationally, vocationally, and spiritually. Any reason to grow is a good reason as long as it’s your reason.”