Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Strengthening Leadership Development with employees

Author: Stephanie Tuia

Within every business lies a network of people who are working to make their employer successful. Because growing business requires more employees, employers need to seek prospective candidates who will align well with their business. Some businesses prefer to promote employees internally; and it can be very beneficial for their company. Keep in mind of three ways a business might want to hire internally. These reasons not only help with the growth of the business but enhance leadership development with their employees. Strategy- Hiring new employees is needed and inevitable within a growing business. However, most employers strategize and hire internally for upper-level management positions. Within a growing business, hiring new employees will be inevitable, this strategy, to hire candidates internally, saves time, money, and resources that would otherwise be used to train management employees. Upper-level management positions may require some training, but an internal employee will already have exposure and working knowledge of the company and their position. Their natural leadership development will prosper as they begin to train and educate new employees of the business. Culture- Every business exhibits a work culture that employees are accustomed to. When you promote internally, you are hiring people who are already familiar with that work culture and leadership development is enhanced when employees carry on the traditions of a company. When an internal employee is promoted, they are often influenced by the leadership of their predecessor; and if they wish to follow their predecessor, many of the same traditions will be maintained. For example, if a predecessor hosted a Friday luncheon for all employees, the successor might wish to section off that day for their employees to continue the tradition. This provides other employees a sense of continuity. A promoted employee will take on the reigns of their new position, and lead often employees with a continued, valued work culture. Future vision and goals- A job or career is a significant part of one’s life, spending a full-time work load each week, and establishing relationships with work associates. With leadership development, the long-term employee develops a strong relationship with their employer. They understand and are willing to help accomplish the goals of the company. Out of loyalty, they promote the vision and goals of the company to others especially new hires.

Hiring from within or hiring new faces has various benefits. Hiring external candidates for upper-level management positions will provide a business with fresh ideas. Yet, as mentioned before, hiring candidates internally will save time and resources. To develop employees within your own business, prepare them for promotion and help improve their leadership development so that they can become a continuing asset to your business.

About the author: Stephanie Tuia specializes in internet marketing for CMOE .

CMOE has helped thousands of participants around the world with their leadership development . For more information, contact one of our team members by calling (888) 962-6224.

Leadership Training and Character

Author: CMOE Development Team

The vast majority of leadership training available to managers focuses primarily on skill and behaviors: how to delegate, how to communicate, how to manage conflict. These skills are unquestionably important and necessary. However, we maintain there is another important ingredient that has been severely neglected in leadership training, that ingredient is “character.” Leadership character and its qualities is the focus of our new book and workshop: “Qualities of Leadership.”

In 340 B.C. Aristotle began describing a series of principles that have been embraced in both western and eastern cultures. A thorough understanding of these ideas enables a leader to think and act with greater clarity and effectiveness causing people to voluntarily follow the leader’s direction and example. We believe that sound character has the greatest impact on leadership success. Leaders simply attract people, ideas, circumstances, opportunities, and resources that are in harmony with their core thoughts and being.

A leader can never achieve greatness and success on the outside unless he or she has developed fundamental qualities on the inside. Behavior decisions and choices are all a reflection of our inner world. Unfortunately managers can unintentionally get caught in the competitive “win at any cost” mentality or the greedy “more for me” line of thinking. This can derail the careers of most intelligent people. We read all about it every day in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Forbes, manager who abused their trust of the community, customers, regulators or employees. It happens in the sales, research, or in operations from the executive suites to the front lines. Successful business thrives on sound character, values, and principles more than laws, regulations and fines.

Most leaders would never plunder their company, rip off investors, cook the books, or ride on the safety of others by taking short cuts. But leaders can violate character principles in smaller ways like: making a commitment and not seeing it through not honestly saying what you really think shying away from “bad news” that need to be shared with employees not telling your boss or peers the whole story not accepting accountability not giving employees full credit for a success or idea Playing games and manipulating rather than straight up negotiating

Leadership Training that focuses on character, values, and principles help bring balance to the practice of leadership. It helps leaders build lasting and productive relationships that unleash employee motivation and help leaders who want to bust down the status quo and build an innovative culture.

About the author: CMOE's leadership training programs are always tailored to fit each client’s needs and priorities. The qualities of leadership training can be delivered in a brief overview workshop, 4 hours, or in a deeper more impactful 8 – 16 hours.

Leadership Development for Success

Author: Steven J. Stowell, Ph.D

In today’s highly competitive world, there is a lot of pressure on leaders to create highly productive organizations. To be successful with this task, leaders will need all of the talent, skills, techniques, and experience they can muster through leadership development. The pressure to succeed can create a real dilemma: whether to “manage” people or to “lead” people. At CMOE, we maintain that in order to achieve high levels of employee engagement and morale, people in authority must learn how to show others the way, be a “lighthouse,” rather than to “railroad” people into compliance by telling, commanding, or controlling them. Respected leaders easily gain loyalty and mutual agreement with their followers (loyalty demanded is loyalty denied).

Leaders who earn the respect and commitment of their followers demonstrate qualities and characteristics that run deeper than leadership skills, techniques, and knowledge alone. Effective leaders lead by example and exhibit their true character consistently. This in turn causes people to voluntarily support an organization’s mission and purpose. They know that leadership is a privilege. It means you have to consistently do the right thing for the right reasons. Good leadership is an inner choice. It is character based. Good leaders will give your organization a competitive edge; bogus leadership, on the other hand, will cost you in critical times when you need the support of followers the most.

There are basically three kinds of leaders in organizations today: unsuccessful ones, those who are occasionally successful, and those who consistently maintain the commitment of followers on a long term basis. The third type requires an understanding of the finer qualities of leadership, character, and values. Character based leadership cannot be achieved by arrogant or power-hungry managers who choose to intimidate others. Sometimes those in authority feel driven to be overly aggressive, take short cuts, and do what is expedient versus doing what is right. Others will make a “Wall Street driven” decision that is not focused on the long term well being of stockholders, customers, or employees.

In CMOE’s leadership training, we acquaint participants with (or reaffirm) the fundamental qualities and characteristics leaders need to possess. For example, in our leadership development training, we examine the quality of courage. Leaders will always be required to make the right decisions and manage dilemmas. They must also take risks and at times withstand the ridicule from others. Courage is the strength to choose and stand for the right course of action. Leaders will experience failure (the great teacher), and leaders must respond courageously to failure and take responsibility. Owning up to a failed action, learning from it, and adjusting your course is a courageous act. Giving someone bad news, confronting a sensitive conflict, and giving feedback to others takes skill, tact, and most definitely courage. Courage can only come from deep within one’s being. In CMOE’s leadership development, we help leaders improve or strengthen this characteristic.

It is this courage that distinguishes great leaders from those who have skills but don’t convert their knowledge to proper actions and decisions. Courage, rather than power, position, or techniques, defines great leadership.

Leadership without character will eventually create “motivation fall out.” Without genuine leadership, people will not set up and contribute their talents and energy. If they feel manipulated with “slick” techniques they will withdraw their support and loyalty. In our leadership development curriculum, we connect leaders with qualities like: Inclusiveness / Collaboration Integrity Accountability Accessibility & Humility Credibility

This is a time when we need leaders and members alike who can move forward, think positively, and act creatively. Character based leadership provides the foundation for building skills and confidence.

About the author: Steven J. Stowell, Ph.D, is the co-founder of the Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness.

For more information about CMOE’s 30 years of experience in leadership development, call toll free at 1-888-262-2499.

The Leadership Talk As A Living Hologram

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count: 629

Summary: A growing number of research scientists are persuaded that the universe is not made of separate things but on a deep level is a single entity. This view is called the holographic paradigm. The author takes a page from this unique point of view by asserting that the success of a leadership tool he has been teaching for 21 years is attributed to the fact that it is indeed a hologram.

The Leadership Talk As A Living Hologram by Brent Filson

The hologram is a three-dimensional photograph made on a flat surface with laser beams.

The three-dimensionality of such an image is not the only remarkable characteristic of a hologram. If a hologram of your face is cut in half and then illuminated by a laser, each half will still contain the entire image of your face.

Indeed, even if the halves are divided again, each snippet of film will always be found to contain a smaller but intact version of the original image of your face. If we try to take apart something constructed holographically, we will not get the pieces of which it is made, we will only get smaller wholes.

To some scientific researchers, the hologram is the basis for a striking view of reality -- that the entire universe is a superhologram. Everything from the grains of sand beneath our feet to the farthest star in the outermost regions of deep space, everything is interconnected as one.

This view has come to be called the holographic paradigm, and though it is supported by findings of quantum physics and corroborates the insights of the ancient Rabbis of the Kabbala, the Buddha, Lao Tsu, Plato, the Veda mystics, and many more prophets and spiritual traditions, many scientists have greeted it with skepticism.

Still, a small but growing group of researchers believe it may be the most accurate model of reality science has arrived at thus far.

If the holographic paradigm is true, then each of us — including your best friend and your worst enemy — are all connected on a deeper level of reality. Consequently, our individual actions affect others, everywhere. The state of the world, the state of the universe for that matter, is merely the sum total of the interactions of humanity.

Let's bring the holographic paradigm into our ordinary lives, our ordinary day-to-day jobs. Because if it doesn't work in our daily lives, it's nothing more than an interesting idea. In fact, it's in the very ordinariness of our moment-to-moment experiences that the holographic paradigm finds its true manifestation.

That manifestation creates an entirely new way of understanding leadership and organizational success; for a key leadership tool that I've been teaching for many years is indeed a hologram. Not the static photo-image hologram but a living hologram of great complexity and energy.

That tool is the Leadership Talk.

There is a hierarchy of verbal persuasion, the lowest levels of which are speeches and presentations, the highest and most effective level is the Leadership Talk. Speeches and presentations communication information, but Leadership Talks do something much more, they help the leader establish deep, human emotional interactions with the audience -- so vital in motivating people to get results.

According to the holographic paradigm, we are really ""receivers"" participating in a kaleidoscopic flow of wondrous frequency, and what we extract from this and translate into physical reality is but one channel from many extracted out of the superhologram of the universe.

Like a hologram, The Leadership Talk is a totality -- the totality of right leadership interactions. And like a holographic totality, each part of a Leadership Talk is the whole. Whatever Leadership Talk process you choose, you'll find that it not only permeates all other processes of the Talk, it permeates time and space.

(By the way, I say ""right interactions."" Wrong leadership interactions are countless and have mainly to do with order-leadership. The right interactions are triggered by the Leadership Talk processes I've taught for 21 years. Those processes have one end in mind: helping leaders achieve not just average results but more results faster continually. Such ""superresults"" can only be achieved in penetrating human relationships.)

Ralph Waldo Emerson saw this permeation of space/time when he wrote, ""There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same.... I believe in Eternity. I can find Greece, Asia, Italy, Spain and the Islands -- the genius and creative principle of each and of all eras in my own mind.""

This idea is not arcane philosophy but most importantly, a practical leadership tool for achieving superresults.

Look at it this way: Leaders do nothing more important than get results. Yet working with thousands of leaders worldwide for the past 21 years, I've found that very few are getting the results they are capable of.

These leaders look at superficial facets of results, such as information technology, productivity loops, quality programs, human resource activities, speed, productivity, operations efficiencies, sales closes, sales leads, sales to new customers, failure prevention, health and safety advancements, quality, training, quality control, logistics efficiencies, marketing targets, new revenue streams, sales erosion, price calibrations, cost reductions, demand flow activities and technologies, inventory turns, cycle time reductions, materials and parts management, etc. -- the stuff taught in business schools.

Sure, these facets are important, and they must be developed and put to use, but without taking into account the human-interactions that animate each of the facets, the leaders stumble. And that's not taught in business schools.

All organizational challenges are ultimately challenges of human relationships. The Leadership Talk enables leaders to get those relationships right; and when they do, right results will follow. The proof may well be found in the holographic paradigm.

2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author: The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: ""49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,"" at For more about the Leadership Talk:

Leadership Skills: Four Ways of Overcoming Perfectionism

Author: Teresa Proudlove

The High Price of Perfectionism

We pay a high price for perfectionism. “What perfectionism?” we perfectionists mutter. “We’ve known for years perfectionism is not healthy so we have dealt with this issue and strive for personal excellence only!” Really?

When you slip-up - maybe handle a situation, task or project less than perfectly – what do you say to yourself? Are you able to commend yourself on what you did well and perhaps then, note a thing or two you could improve upon? Or do you focus on the mistake or less-than-perfect behavior neglecting your positive efforts?

Recently I completed facilitating six evening “Leadership” sessions. Being only my second time facilitating this particular series I closely observed my “perfectionistic” tendency. As I completed each session I could readily see areas I could have improved upon.

Commend Yourself! Gently Observe Improvements!

For me, it took a huge effort to commend myself on what I had done well and to be gentle with myself on the areas of improvement. In fact, I made a pointed effort of congratulating myself after each session and allowed myself the joy and relief of savoring a job well done when the series of six was completed. This is not a simple, natural process for us perfectionists.

To further this exercise in self-acknowledgement I did not read my participant’s evaluations at the program end as usual. This was perhaps a first in my fourteen years of facilitating. Too often, I have rushed to read the evaluations to determine my success.

Eventually I will receive a summary of the evaluations from the College I was contracted to but more importantly, I have deepened my self esteem and self worth through rewarding, congratulating and commending myself despite what others may think. To be a strong leader and healthy human being let us begin now acknowledging our achievements rather than devaluing our worth and work.

Herein, we begin to wean ourselves from being reliant on outside influences to determine our worth or how well we have done. We begin to befriend ourselves and give the internal “Judge” less power over us.

Not only are we robbed of the enjoyment of our efforts by focusing on what went wrong and neglecting to commend ourselves but also, by rushing into worry over the next thing we have to do. When caught in this repetitive ritual of “not good enough… do better… do more…” I have found this simple phrase very freeing…

Not Perfect but Well Enough!

Feel the relief and comfort of this phrase, “not perfect but well enough!” Yes! Thank You God! “Thank You God” is another simple phrase that can help relieve us of the burden of perfectionism. Not only have I been working on giving myself credit but also on thanking God for His/Her part in my success. I know I must constantly turn to my God, my Source, my Higher Power – call it what you will – for guidance in all I do.

In the perfectionist’s mind it is all up to ME to do everything so very, very well but of course - never quite measuring up. The more I trust that God is working in me and through me the more I can lay down the heavy burden of perfectionism. It is not all up to ME. My job is to “do my best and give God the rest.”

Do My Best and Give God the Rest

Even in the midst of our fear, doubt and inadequacy we can comfort and encourage ourselves by knowing it is not all up to us. We can trust God is also at work and all is unfolding according to a Grand Design far greater than our understanding. As an Alcoholics Anonymous slogan so simply says “Let go and let God.”

We can become better leaders and human beings and release ourselves from the bondage of perfectionism by practicing these few ideas. 1. Commend yourself on a job well done. 2. Be gentle observing your areas of improvement. 3. Remember: “Not perfect but well enough! 4. Do your best and give God the rest.

What a relief to give up responsibility for doing everything AND doing it perfectly!

About the author: Teresa Proudlove is the publisher/editor of support and inspiration for your work and life. Teresa has been inspiring, supporting, and mentoring over 3000 people upon their lifework path for fourteen years, leading workshops and authoring many internationally published articles.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Leadership Strategy: An Unmined Comstock Lode of Results

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count: 1450

Summary: Most business leaders can develop a business strategy, but they usually neglect what is equally important, a Leadership Strategy. A Leadership Strategy focuses on having the people who must implement the business strategy become cause leaders who take ardent action for the strategy's success.

The Leadership Strategy: An Unmined Comstock Lode of Results by Brent Filson

During the Second World War, Winston Churchill had a framed inscription on his desk that said, ""It's not enough to say we are doing our best. We must succeed in doing what is necessary.""

The world demands results. Good intentions and promises are no use to it. And one of the best ways for any leader to get results is to employ a strategy, which is a plan, method or series of actions for obtaining a goal or specific outcome. It doesn't matter what job you have or how many people you are leading, if you don't come to grips with the challenges of developing and executing strategies, you're limiting your abilities to get results.

In a sense, strategies are promissory notes, payment due upon demand. One reason for their becoming less than worthy tender is they are not backed by a Leadership Strategy.

Leadership Strategy -- have you heard of it? I bet you haven't. For one thing, it isn't taught at business schools. And for another, even in the unlikely case that you have heard of it and know what it is, you probably don't know how to make it happen.

In this article, I'll show you what a Leadership Strategy is and ways to institute it. It can be far more important than your standard business strategy.

Whereas a business strategy seeks to marshal an organization's functions around central, organizing concepts, a leadership strategy, on the other hand, seeks to obtain, organize, and direct the heartfelt commitment of the people who must carry out the business strategy.

The business strategy is the sail, the Leadership Strategy the ballast. Without a Leadership Strategy, most business strategies capsize.

To understand what a Leadership Strategy is, let's look at your past leadership activities.

Divide a single sheet of paper into two columns labeled A & B. At the top of column A write ""business (or organizational) strategies"". On top of column B write, ""Leadership Strategies"" -- in other words, what strategies were used to obtain people's heartfelt commitments to carry out the business strategies?

Think of the strategies your organization has developed during the past few years. They might be product strategies, service strategies, growth strategies, sales strategies, marketing strategies. You do not have to explain it in detail, just give each strategy a tag and write down the tag.

Did the listings in column A match the listings in column B? Were there any listings at all in column B? That gap between what was in column A and what was in column B is a killer gap. It means that the business strategies haven't been augmented by Leadership Strategies. And when that happens, results suffer.

I don't care if you lead three people, three hundred or three thousand and more. I don't care if you're in sales, you're a plant supervisor, a marketing manager or a COO, CFO or CEO. You're going to need a Leadership Strategy.

And if you don't think you need any kind of strategy, think again. Whatever job you're doing takes strategic thinking. In fact, getting in the habit of looking at whatever you do in strategic terms gives you a great advantage in your career advancement.

The roots of the word ""strategy"" come from two German words, the first meaning an encamped or spread out army and then second word meaning ""to drive."" In other words, a strategy gives direction, organization and force to an otherwise scattered organization.

Most business leaders are good a developing business strategies. They're taught how at business schools. But I'll bet that 9,999 out of 10,000 leaders don't know what a Leadership Strategy is, let alone how it fits in with a business strategy.

Leadership Strategies are not taught at business schools because such Strategies find their meaning not in abstract formulations or case studies but in what can't be taught but must be experienced, process and relationship.

And if you haven't thought of a Leadership Strategy before, start thinking about it now, because it can boost your career in many ways. Most leaders develop their strategies in bunkers, without taking into consideration those outside the bunker who have to implement it. Unwittingly, they buy into the ""fallacy of automatic reciprocity"" — the conviction that their devotion to the cause is automatically reciprocated by the people they lead. It's a fallacy because reciprocity is not automatic. It can't be ordered. It must be cultivated and earned.

Here, then, are five steps to developing a Leadership Strategy.

(1) Understand your business strategy. There are many books and courses on developing business strategies. I don't want to re-invent this wheel. Suffice to say you should clearly develop that strategy.

(2) Identify the dream(s) of your cause leaders.

Why do I say ""dreams""? Far from being fluff, dreams are the stuff that hard, measured results are made of.

Look at it this way: Leadership is motivational or it's stumbling in the dark. The best leaders don't order people to do a job, the best leaders motivate people to want to do the job.

The trouble is the vast majority of leaders don't delve into the deep aspects of human motivation and so are unable to motivate people effectively.

Drill down through goals and aims and aspirations and ambitions and you hit the bedrock of motivation, the dream. Many leaders fail to take it into account.

Dreams are not goals and aims. Goals are the results toward which efforts are directed. The realization of a dream might contain goals, which can be stepping stones on the way to the attaining dreams. But the attainment of a goal does not necessarily result in the attainment of a dream.

For instance, Martin Luther King did not say, ""I have a goal."" Or ""I have an aim."" The power of that speech was in the ""I have a dream"".

Dreams are not aspirations and ambitions. Aspirations and ambitions are strong desires to achieve something. King didn't say he had an aspiration or ambition that "" day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"" He said he had a dream.

If you are a leader speaking to people's aspirations and ambitions, you are speaking to something that motivates them, yes; but you are not necessarily tapping into the heartwood of their motivation.

After all, one might aspire or be ambitious to achieve a dream. But one's aspiration and ambition may also be connected to things of lesser importance than a dream.

A dream embraces our most cherished longings. It embodies our very identity. We often won't feel fulfilled as human beings until we realize our dreams.

If leaders are avoiding people's dreams, if leaders are simply setting goals (as important as goals are), they miss the best of opportunities to help those people take ardent action to achieve great results.

I teach leaders to have their organizations get into the realm of achieving ""more results faster, continually."" To do so, you must first take the trouble to understand the dreams of the people you lead.

(3) Create a Shared Dream. If your vision of where you want the organization to go and their dream of where they want to go are shared, you call it a Shared Dream. Furthermore, you can't go to the next step unless you have developed a Shared Dream.

Look at it this way: The critical issue of the Leadership Strategy isn't the motivation of the leaders. As a leader, you must be motivated. If you're not motivated, you shouldn't be leading. The critical issue is: Can you transfer your motivation to the people so they are as motivated as you are?

(By the way, the Shared Dream is not ""win/win"". As you'll see, it's much deeper and richer relationship than the self-limiting ""win/win""; for unlike ""win/win"", the Shared Dream is an on-going relationship process from which flow mutually beneficial expectations and solutions.)

(4) Turn the Shared Dream into a Leadership Strategy. The Leadership Strategy is the Shared Dream manifested by an action plan.

In the action plan, delineate milestones that take you to the Shared Dream. The first milestone may be a comprehensive, rigorous identification of the needs of the cause leaders and how those needs dovetail into the business strategy. (Remember, you can use this process with any number of cause leaders. Just scale it up to the number you require.)

Churchill had it right, "" ... we must succeed in doing what is necessary.""

And one of the best ways for any leader to get people to succeed in doing what is necessary is to combine a business strategy with a Leadership Strategy.

2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author: The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: ""49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,"" at

Two Leadership Strategies: Don't Lose Your Mind & Be a Coach

Author: Teresa Proudlove

Don’t Lose Your Mind

Are you feeling overwhelmed, a lack of confidence or under a ton of pressure? Are you trying too hard to make something work and focusing too much on trying to fulfill other people’s needs and expectations? You may have “lost your mind!”

My small still voice often speaks to me in cryptic one-liners. I’ll never forget the first time I heard the quiet whisper, “You’ve lost your mind.” And no, I had not lost my mind through hearing strange voices! Rather, this cryptic one-liner was reminding me I was trying too hard to fulfill other people’s expectations and solve their problems.

This cryptic statement harkened back to an article I had read by Management Consultant, Barry Oshry. This article referred to Middle Managers who begin their careers as healthy humans but in time become confused, weak, powerless and self-doubting as they slide into the ‘Middle Space’ becoming torn between demands from the people Above and Below… hence “losing their mind.”

At that time I had taken on a new contract to facilitate a six week “Leadership” series for a local college. In my anxiety to do a good job I was trying too hard to emulate the program designer’s “superior knowledge” and trying hopelessly to solve the high-stress, workplace problems of the managers who were my participants. Of course, I knew I had the necessary skills and experience to facilitate this series yet, I had “lost my mind.”

Reconnect With Your God

Focusing on other’s needs and expectations removed me from my own knowledge and power. My stress elevated and my self-confidence plummeted. Thankfully, that gentle nudge of “you’ve lost your mind” helped me see how I was eroding myself through comparing myself and worrying about what other people thought, wanted or needed. This is our cue to stop, step back inside and reconnect with our own truth – our own God.

In doing this we step back into our own authenticity and own power. Here we can reformulate our own view, thoughts and perspectives on what is happening and what we need. We can let go of the guilt and self-doubt we feel in trying to meet other’s expectations or in trying to solve their problems. We can relax and trust in our Higher Power always there for us.

Certainly, as leaders, managers, family members and humans we have a responsibility to listen and empathize with those in our close circle but it is not our job to solve their problems or fulfill their expectations… which is all a part of the coaching process. Rather than striving to give other people answers, everyone concerned is better served if we instead help others to reflect on their own solutions or options. This is what it means to be a coach.

Be a Coach

We can let people know we care about their situation and that we are willing to work with them to empower them to solve their own problem. We can listen, empathize and ask pertinent questions all of which encapsulates the art of coaching. After carefully listening to and empathizing with another’s problem you might consider asking some of the following questions if they seem appropriate:

“Have you ever had a similar situation in your life and found something that worked? What options do you have in this circumstance? That’s one possibility, any others? What outcome do you want? What really matters here? Would it help to break this into smaller steps? What do you need to change or to move this forward? What is standing in the way? What other people or resources could help you? What steps can you take from here? What will you do and by when? Would you like me to hold you accountable for your commitments?”

Be careful not to turn coaching into a probing session! Always be respectful and gentle with others and of course, yourself. Remember if you are feeling overwhelmed, lacking confidence or you are trying too hard you may have “lost your mind.” Let go of comparing and trying to meet others expectations and needs. Trust yourself and be a coach!

About the author: Teresa Proudlove is the publisher/editor of support and inspiration for your work and life. Teresa has been inspiring, supporting, and mentoring over 3000 people upon their lifework path for fourteen years, leading workshops and authoring many internationally published articles.

Blowing Your Own Leadership Horn

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count:679

Summary: Your career advancement is predicated not only on your being a good leader but also on your being recognized by others that you're a good leader. Many leaders, however, handicap their careers by failing to have this recognition come about in the right ways. The author shows the right ways to cultivate the right recognition of your leadership.

Blowing Your Own Leadership Horn by Brent Filson

There are two streams of competitiveness running through every organization. The first goes outward: It's the organization's competitive activities toward its competitors. The second goes inward: It's the competitiveness of leaders inside the organization who are vying against one another for power, recognition, privilege and promotion.

To be successful in the second, leaders must not only do well in their jobs but they must also be able to have their bosses and colleagues perceive they do well.

In other words, they must be able to publicize themselves -- or, to use the vernacular, blow their own horns.

I submit, however, that if one simply puts lips to the horn of publicity and blows hard -- i.e., makes an outward show of publicizing oneself -- such efforts will turn out to be discordant and counterproductive. The result will be people turning their backs on you rather than having them hum your tune.

Though it is necessary to blow one's own horn as you climb your career ladder, it is also necessary to know how to do it. After all, there is an art to the effort. Here are four steps that you can follow.

(1) Identify an area in your organization that needs better results. The art involves not just selecting the right results but doing so in cooperation with others. Make sure that when you shine light on the lack of results, you do not embarrass somebody who has been tasked to get those results. Instead of making beautiful music, you could end up on somebody's enemies list! Get the responsible person's permission to focus on the area. (2) Put together a team whose task it is to achieve those results. Blowing your own horn means that you want to be seen, not as the Lone Ranger, but as a team player. Ensure the results can be achieved with a team. Enlist members to join the team by giving leadership talks. (What's in it for them to be part of the team?) Be aware, as you form the team, of any hard feelings or rough edges that might surface between and among team members and others in your organization who have a stake in the results. If you lead an endeavor that causes hard feelings, it's better to have never started it in the first place.

Moreover, the new team must be not only be formed, it must be MARKETED. Both of these efforts require communications tools and skills, which can take numerous forms. First, to describe the new team or service, communications must be employed to fully define its purpose and operating principles, and the people who are involved in it. These communications tools are descriptive in nature and may include everything from biographical back-grounders to product descriptions and data sheets.

(3) Achieve the results. Execution and achievement of the targeted results is absolutely critical to this phase of horn blowing. Make sure you score a win even if it's only a partial win. The idea is to get the low hanging fruit at the outset to show others that your team is succeeding, and then go for the bigger results later.

(4) Publicize the results. This is one of the most important steps of all, and it is a step that few leaders follow. They might put together a team that gets a few wins, but they have no idea how to publicize their efforts. The first rule in this is: To blow your own horn most effectively, make sure YOU DON'T TAKE CREDIT FOR THE RESULTS -- YOUR TEAM MEMBERS TAKE CREDIT INSTEAD! Your efforts will get torpedoed if they look at all self-serving.

To highlight the successful products and services achieved by your team, you can put together white papers, data sheets, presentation papers and case-history articles.

Don't make this a one-time effort. You must be continually looking for results that are flagging, putting together teams to achieve the results, then marketing and publicizing the achievements.

In this way, when you blow your horn in your organization, the music you'll be making can accompany you on a fast-rising career-trajectory.

2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author: The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: ""49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,"" at

Timeless Leadership Principles

Author: Jim Clemmer

While interviewing the legendary Jack Nicklaus, a reporter once remarked, ""Jack, you have had a spectacular career. Your name is synonymous with the game of golf. You really know your way around the course. What is your secret?"" Nicklaus replied, ""The holes are numbered!""

If only leadership were so easy. (Given the sad state of my game, I'm the last person who should use ""easy"" and ""golf"" in the same sentence!) Of course, there are no handily numbered steps that we can follow in developing our leadership. But after decades of studying leadership--of writing and speaking about it, trying to practice it, and coaching thousands of managers in it--I am convinced that there are timeless leadership principles which we can all use to be more effective in our personal and professional lives.

In the late 1990s, I published my fourth leadership book, Growing the Distance: Timeless Principles for Personal, Career and Family Success, now approaching 100,000 copies in print. The response to the book and its leadership principles was so strong that I continued to develop them. That led to my newest--just published--companion book, The Leader's Digest: Timeless Principles for Team and Organization Success.

A recent search on revealed that there are over 10,000 leadership books in print! There are as many different interpretations of ""leadership"" as there are people using the term. The result is a confusing multitude of leadership grids, charts, formulas, jargon, fads, and buzzwords, with new ones popping up every week. An occupational hazard of this business is that we chase after what's new rather than what works. We look for fashionable rather than enduring principles.

Most of my audiences are very experienced middle to senior managers in medium to large organizations who don't need to be educated or informed as much as they need to reminded, inspired, reinforced, or shown different ways of applying familiar leadership principles.

Historians, anthropologists and scholars of classic literature tell us that there are really quite a small number of recurring stories in the entire history of humanity. Our books and movies provide us with endless variations on the basic stories of the human condition, and the same themes keep showing up in the stories of people and cultures thousands of years or miles apart. Enduring leadership principles are just as timeless. They aren't new. It is the timelessness of these principles that prove their value.

Leadership needs management to fly

Both management and leadership are needed to make teams and organizations successful. In building our speaking, consulting, and training businesses, we also need a good balance of both management and leadership. Trying to decide which is most important is like trying to decide whether the right or left wing is more important to an airplane's flight. I'll take both, please!

A classic problem often comes up among entrepreneurial start-up companies with strong vision, passion and energy (leadership), and good technological or technical skills: their poor management discipline or lack of systems and processes lead to errors, poor service quality, and frustration for customers and people in the organization. In building our businesses, we need to couple our passion and creative spirit with disciplined processes and business management.

The leadership wheel

The most common weakness, however, is lack of leadership. Growing our leadership is a dynamic process. It begins at the centre of our being and develops in multiple directions. I use the ""hub and spokes"" model to depict the timeless leadership principles. (Both Growing the Distance and The Leader's Digest are built around it.)

Each part of the wheel corresponds to an area of leadership. At the hub of the wheel, we have the vision, values and purpose on which leaders effectively focus themselves and their teams or organizations (Focus and Context). Leaders also take initiative and do what needs to be done rather then waiting for someone else to do something (Responsibility for Choices). Leaders are authentic and lead by visible example, fostering openness and continuous feedback (Authenticity). Leaders are passionate and build strong commitment through involvement and ownership (Passion and Commitment). Leaders lead with heart and rouse team or organizational spirit (Spirit and Meaning). Leaders help people grow through strong coaching and continuous development (Growing and Developing). Finally, leaders energize people by building strong teams, inspiring and serving (Mobilizing and Energizing).

The leadership wheel model provides a metaphor for situations we face at personal, team or organizational levels. For example, just as a wheel's weight-bearing ability depends upon the strength of its hub, so does the strength of our hub determine the weight of the performance and change issues that we are able to carry.

The wheel also represents the circular nature of leadership: there is no beginning or end. All the supporting leadership principles around the outside of the Leadership Wheel are interdependent and interconnected. If we, our team or our organization develop these leadership skills, the wheel is well rounded. If we are deficient in one or more of these skills, the ride might be a little bumpy.

A key part of our continuous leadership quest is finding the approaches that fit our individual values, personality and style. No one leadership size fits all. It is like trying to find a path in a field of newly fallen snow. Once we walk across the field, we have discovered our path.

About the author: Excerpted from Jim's bestseller, The Leader's Digest: Timeless Principles for Team and Organization Success. Jim Clemmer is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, workshop/retreat leader, and management team developer on leadership, change, customer focus, culture, teams, and personal growth. His web site is

Monday, May 29, 2006

Christian Ethics & Servant Leadership in Today's Workplace & Society

Author: Stan Lewis

Sundered Knight:

Although the world, Denies the weak aid and justice, Scorns charity, Diminishes morality And Godly virtues daily.

Holding no places for honor Nor honesty And exiling all Who hold these traits dear, Still, It is better to be a sundered knight Than no knight at all

By S. Bryant Lewis

If one wishes to be a Knightly leader in the world today, it is very difficult to do so. Why? The world makes it so hard to do what is right - what is honorable - what is Christ-like. The negative peers in our lives tell us things like, ""... nice guys finish last and that no good deed goes unpunished."" The poem Sundered Knight speaks of those who strive to do what is right in a world that sometimes has little tolerance for ethics. So what exactly is a Knight? He or she is a servant leader and a fervent supporter or defender of the weak. They also defend and support Godly virtues like morality, honor and honesty. A Sundered Knight is someone who is sometimes ridiculed or put down for doing what is ethical - for doing what is right. He or she is sometimes even treated with contempt in society for their moral or ethical beliefs. Have you ever felt like a sundered Knight? The world we live in did not become so harden overnight. This has been happening for a long time. In the time of Zephaniah [an Old Testament prophet], there was a serious lack of morals and ethics. Just like a cancer, this lack of morality and ethics ate away at every part of society in Zephaniah’s time. Zephaniah's people, just like those of today, were arrogant, treacherous, profane, and did violence to the law. [Zep 3:1-7] As a servant leader – a Knight, never place trust in peers who use negative peer pressure. More times than not, these negative peers will not come through for you, so don't expect them to. This way you will not be disappointed. Look to Jesus for your example. The Lord promises over and over that he will lift us up. Hold him to his promises and let the Lord be the one you wish to lift you up. So when you feel the negative peer pressure, at work or in public places, is getting to you, seek the Lord to lift you up. The Lord is always true to his promises. Seek out the encouragement that God gives in his word - [Pv. 24:16, 19-20] 16... A righteous [man] may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity. 19 Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the wicked; 20 for there will be no prospect for the evil [man;] the lamp of the wicked will be put out. These verses were true in the time of King Solomon and are so very true, even today. Those negative peers taking short cuts to get out of something or to get ahead. Such negative peers are not mentors to be looked up to or be jealous over. Never forget, that negative peer pressure is alive and well in the work place and society. There really is no lasting prospect for those who are seeking short cuts to get out of work or to get ahead at work or in today’s society.

God knows your situation. And because God does know your situation, it is with an understanding and tender heart that he says to his Knights: [Is 51:7] "" Listen to me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart [is] my law: Do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults.

Although the world ""...diminishes morality...” in Zephaniah's time, God was there for him. [Zep 3:5] The LORD [is] righteous in [our] her midst, He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails, but the unjust knows no shame.

Always be faithful, always be encouraged, always be a servant leader, and always be a Knight, who defends the weak and holds all Godly virtues dear.

By Coach Stan

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include the following with it: Stan Lewis is a Christian Leadership & Life Coach. If you liked this article, you should really check out his FREE audio course ""Seven Basic Steps To Becoming a Servant Leader"" and other FREEBIES at Questions/Need assistance call 214-629-7217.

About the author: Coach Stan is a Christian Life & Leadership coach. He is happily married to the ultimate lady and love of his life - Barb. He has two children. He is a former Naval Officer & has developed and trained leaders for 18 yrs. He has worked in the Royal Ranger ministry for 20 yrs. He has a passion for training, ministering to, and developing leaders.

Boost Your Leadership Skills By Disciplining Yourself In The Way Of The Question Mark

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count: 735

Summary: The author contends that one of the most effective, least understood and seldom used leadership tools is the question mark. Here is a systematic way to use the question mark in your daily leadership activities that will enable you to be a much more effective leader.

Boost Your Leadership Skills By Disciplining Yourself In The Way Of The Question Mark by Brent Filson

I'm often asked to come in to organizations and give a motivational speech to their employees. I reply that I'm not a motivational speaker. Never have been. Never will be. Don't want to be. I do something else. I teach their people how to become motivational leaders. That's a far more productive endeavor.

The concept and application of motivation are misunderstood in most organizations. The motivational industry is based on a fundamental contradiction; because the focus of motivation is misplaced. After all, leaders (salespeople included) should be motivated. If they aren't, they shouldn't be leaders.

Here's where the focus should be: not on the leaders themselves but on the people they lead. Can those leaders transfer their motivation to other people so those people are as motivated as they are about the challenges they face?

Furthermore: Can those people who ""catch"" the motivation of their leaders then go out and motivate others -- and those others go out themselves and motivate still others ... and on and on?

Finally, can people at each phase of this ""cascading of cause leaders"" translate motivation into action that achieves results -- and not just average results but more results faster on a continual basis?

All my books, articles, courses, seminars, workbooks and interviews are based on that simple sequence of ideas.

I have written many articles on motivation and how to transfer your motivation to others.

But there is another way of transforming your motivation to others that doesn't take much explaining. It's surprisingly simple, easy to use, and effective. Yet few leaders I've encountered use it, and those who use it, don't use it well.

It's the Way of the Question Mark. A ""way"" is a course of life one undertakes to advance in a particular discipline.

So it is with the Way of the Question Mark. It is not simply a technique; you'll find it is actually a disciplined course of life. (I've been using it for years and am still a long way from mastering it. Because the question mark is often particularly appropriate in a highly charged emotional situation. However, in such situations, when strong emotions are getting the better of me, it takes practice and discipline to step back, gather my thoughts, and ask a question.)

Practicing the Way of the Question Mark can enhance your relationships with the people you lead so you get a lot more results as a leader.

From now on in all your leadership endeavors, make a conscious effort to put a question mark at what would otherwise be declarative sentences.

Asking the question rather than using a declarative is usually more effective because it gets people reflecting upon their situation. After all, we can't motivate anyone to do anything. They have to motivate themselves. And they best motivate themselves when they reflect on their character and their situation. The question prompts people to answer, and when they are answering, they may engage in such reflection. You may not like the answer; but often their answer, no matter what it is, is better in terms of advancing results than your declaration. Also, their answering the question may prompt them to think they have come up with a good idea. People are less enamored of your great ideas than they are of their ideas, even if those ideas are simply average.

For instance, your organization needs to have people to from point A to point B. An order leader might say, ""Go from A to B.""

Practicing the Way, one might ask: ""Tell me what you think about going from A to B?"" or ""What's the best way for you to go from A to B?"" or ""Tell me how I can support you going from A to B?"" or ""How will you take leadership of others going from A to B?""

Mind you, I'm not talking about pandering to people's whims. I'm talking motivation, motivating people to get more results faster on a continual basis. (In fact, you can't order people to get more results faster continually. Only motivated people can do it.) I'm talking about challenging people to undertake extraordinary things, to be better than they think they are.

The question mark, as opposed to the simple declarative, opens up a world of results-producing possibilities. And it's a world predicated on their choices.

Make the Way of the Question Mark your way. Discipline yourself to ask questions rather than make statements. You'll start getting more results.

2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author: The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: ""49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,"" at

Leadership, Seed or Fruit?

Author: Brace E. Barber

Purpose: Learn immediately if you are fostering leadership or ignoring it. Discover the power of nurturing your people.

It was an enormous redwood tree. And due to regulations the forest service had to go to incredible trouble and expense in order to cut it down. The cutting team had to start by climbing to the branches and removing them one at a time from the lowest to the highest. Once at the top they could cut two foot lengths off of the trunk at a time until they reached the ground. It seems absurd to us that they started with the branches and then disassembled the trunk, a process that took hundreds of thousands of motions instead of just cutting at the base of the trunk, which of course, would have affected the entire tree. Recognizing that the efficiencies of working with the trunk in order to influence the rest of the tree holds true when we wish it to live and thrive, we have the choice to take a different approach – yet, many are attempting to grow branches before the trunk.

Leadership is the trunk. Strategic initiatives are the branches. Benefits are the fruit. This is not philosophy; it is a simple statement of the truth.

- Trunk = Leadership

- Branches = Lean Systems, Sustainability, Decentralization, Agility, Customer care, More.

- Fruit = Profit, Market share, Efficiencies, Quality, Environment, Innovation, Compliance, Low turnover, Prestige, Influence, More.

Are you starting at the right place?

There is no other place to start. An idea in action means people in action. The very second someone exposes their desire for the accomplishment of an objective; the idea is in motion through people. The exposure of the idea is leadership in itself, then the actions of people, whether guided by proper principles or not, is leadership.

There is a misconception that leadership is always positive. It is not. Leadership is setting the example. That example can be good or bad. Either way, that example will be followed. In their book, Built to Last, Jim Colllins and Jerry Porras say, “Top management will have an impact on an organization – in most cases, a significant impact. The question is, will it have the right kind of impact?” A manager sitting in his office all day, not interacting, not supervising, not inspecting, not involved, is setting the example for others. And yet, even if there is a low level use of positive leadership principles, there will still be a certain amount of good fruit.

These results, though limited, will usually follow from the power and validity of the idea, the existing infrastructure and manpower, and the mandate from the boss. The compulsory need to interact with others to accomplish a goal for mutual benefit means that a certain level of leadership capability exists and is needed in every person. The trunk of your business is leadership. Your company’s leadership, with its latent capacity, will piggyback the initiative and produce fruit.

In normal conditions of competition and growth, this present level of leadership is sufficient to produce enough fruit to keep everyone happy and focused on marginal periodic improvements. Due to the fact that the ability to produce quantum leaps in leadership capabilities has escaped corporate America, the incremental improvements created through books, seminars and tapes have sufficed.

Ignore leadership development at your own peril – Apply common sense

We have settled for the less involved leadership development approach and the nebulous results because we feel the need to do something without expending the resources that would then demand a measurement of ROI. In a Society for Organizational Learning supported survey, it was identified that one of the current challenges to leadership is that the “pressure is on for leaders to deliver and sustain measurable results and deliver results through others. (however) Focus of results is ROI, yet there is no measurement of ROI for leadership.” Though there is ample evidence to support the positive affects of properly principled leadership, many organizations are unmoved unless they have internal numbers to justify the expense. The cost of getting the numbers, however, is a barrier in itself and leads to an abandonment of a serious program and reliance on the marginal results of “what everyone is doing.”

Are you fixated on line items and task lists?

Our concentration, therefore, moves to the power of the ideal. Sustainability and Lean Manufacturing are the way to go, or it is our ability to be responsive to the market that is important, or by decentralizing we will produce the fruit we want. No matter the complexity of the strategic initiative it lends itself to a task list and line items. We can assign a person; put it in a pert chart and schedule meetings six months in advance. This black and white constitutes our corporate comfort zone.

We are darn good at it, and it predictably produces results – though marginal. We are spending time on the branches, squatting at the end waiting to see the fruit. We are lavishing attention on the branches, pruning, watering and talking to them. If a leaf sprouts, we know it. If a leaf falls, we know it. We mark it in black or red and continue to stroke the bark and fluff the leaves. All the while, the trunk is left to nature for its water, sun and soil.

The growth of the trunk is out of our comfort zone. Dean Hohl, the President of Leading Concepts Inc. explains that, “The objectives associated with leadership, teamwork, and communication, don’t lend themselves to task lists and line items.” They are nearly impossible to quantify and track. It is easy to rest on our experience that the trunk was here when we arrived and it will be here when we leave. We’ve build hundreds of branches, but never a trunk. We then rely on the latent soft-skills of our people to implement the ideals.

Today we find ourselves in an unanticipated predicament, which is pressing us from several different directions and threatening our viability. Foreign competition, new technologies, and ideals that require a shift in corporate culture all seem hard to keep up with and out of our control.

Acknowledging that we can have minimal impact on our competitors, especially those overseas, and that new technologies are something that are requisite for all to grasp, our greatest opportunity for advantage comes from a superior ability to implement the reigning corporate ideals. Many strategic initiatives, particularly sustainability and lean manufacturing, have drawn us in with promises of incredible fruit and their adaptability to black and white. However much these initiatives look like branches, they are actually part of the trunk.

These initiatives necessitate a sea change in corporate culture. Successful implementation requires the buy-in of nearly everyone in the company, which demands a purposeful approach to changing people’s values; a soft subject. The objective of changing people’s behaviors forces us to enter an arena parallel to that of soft-skill development. Our situation demands that we get out of our comfort zone and figure out how to effectively nurture the trunk.

In order to best control the situation our focus must go back to influencing people’s values. Along with helping people understand and value the power of the continuous improvement of lean thinking or the financial impact of sustainability, we have the complimentary opportunity to develop the soft-skills of teamwork, leadership and communication. If we are going to legitimately jump into this arena and do it correctly, not only is leadership complimentary, it is an imperative.

Leadership is the trunk. Implementation of these strategic initiatives cannot be successful with the existing level of leadership. We’ve reached a point of necessity, which compels us to develop the ability to achieve quantum advances in leadership capability. As necessity is the mother of invention, and invention at this level will be dramatically different, prepare for a method that is as different from standard “leadership and teamwork” development as the telephone is from the telegraph.

Jamie Flinchbaugh, an expert in lean manufacturing transformation, questioned, “How is it that such a low percentage of companies that know about lean can turn it into a success?” His answer was, “because the leadership, cultural, organization and implementation challenges are bigger than most people anticipate.” I will reinforce his message by saying that in order to achieve ideal results you have to put ideal resources towards their accomplishment. Don’t try to put out a house fire with a garden hose.

We no longer have the latitude to rely on an as-is trunk of leadership. We cannot expect that branches of revolutionary strategies can be managed and implemented with existing leadership capabilities. Decorating the leaves will not pass for results. We have to purposefully move the values of people, help them change their behaviors, and work together with them to grow the desired fruit.

By altering our concentration from the branches to the trunk, we are enhancing every ability of our organization. A healthier trunk, means the capacity for, and increased health of, our branches, which in turn produces a greater quantity and quality of fruit.

Now that we are focused on the trunk, we can begin to look at the opportunity of taking quantum leaps forward in the soft-skills of our people. The solution lays in immersion leadership training.

To learn more about how immersion team building and leadership training can help you visit:

Copyright 2005 Brace E. Barber

About the author: Brace E. Barber works extensively with Leading Concepts, Inc. ( in the field of immersion soft-skill training with a focus is on how to develop leaders, who are prepared for and can succeed under stressful circumstances. He is the author of the book No Excuse Leadership. (

A Leadership Lesson: Two Guys With Guns

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count: 768

Summary: All leaders get to a point where they feel blocked in their jobs and careers. They feel they can't go on, or even if they can go on, are progressing much too slowly. The author gives a surprisingly effective pointer he learned from a crime novelist on how to become unblocked.

A Leadership Lesson: Two Guys With Guns by Brent Filson

Raymond Chandler author of the famous Philip Marlowe detective stories advised writers suffering from writers' block: ""Whenever you get stuck, have two guys walk through the door with guns.""

Leadership has its own ""leader's block."" All leaders now and then get a good dose of it. You're sailing along in your job getting the results you want when, for whatever reason or for no reason you can discern, you come to a screeching halt and can't go any farther. You get stuck on getting the same results. You get stuck on motivating people. You're stuck on motivating yourself.

Being stuck, take advice from Raymond Chandler: Have two guys walk through the door with guns!

Chandler was talking about shaking things up in the writer's head and on the written page.

Here's the way you can have the leadership equivalent of Chandler's advice: shake things up in your job and career simply by giving Leadership Talks.

My experience working with thousands of leaders world wide for the past two decades teaches me that most leaders are screwing up their careers.

On a daily basis, these leaders are getting the wrong results or the right results in the wrong ways.

Interestingly, they themselves are choosing to fail. They're actively sabotaging their own careers.

Leaders commit this sabotage for a simple reason: They make the fatal mistake of choosing to communicate with presentations and speeches -- not Leadership Talks.

In terms of boosting one's career, the difference between the two methods of leadership communication is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.

Look at it this way: There's a hierarchy of verbal persuasion. The lowest parts (least effective) are presentations and speeches. Primarily, they communicate information.

But the highest part of the hierarchy of verbal persuasion, the most effective way to communicate as a leader, is through the Leadership Talk.

The Leadership Talk not only communicates information. It does something much more important than what speeches/presentations do.

Now here's the key: The Leadership Talk has you, the leader, establish a deep, human, emotional connection with people – so important in motivating them to achieve results.

Why is this connection important in shaking things up? Simply, it's better to motivate people to get a job done than to order them.

Once you understand the Leadership Talk, you'll find it's indispensable to your leadership. You'll never go back to giving presentations/speeches again; for no other single tool can make that motivation happen as effectively and quickly and have long lasting impact than the Leadership Talk.

The Leadership Talk is the greatest results-generator of all. That's because it works in relationships. That's what great leadership is about. Relationships. Relationships. Relationships.

Having people be so motivated by your leadership that they become your cause leader(s) in achieving more results faster, continually.

Leadership Talks can be formal ways of communicating but mostly they are informal. Unlike a speech, they are usually interactive. They can be delivered anywhere: at a conference table, over lunch, at a water cooler, across a desk.

(One of the best Leadership Talks I have witnessed was given by a plant supervisor to one of his team members at a company picnic while they sat on the back of a truck, sipping beers.)

And in many cases, an effective Leadership Talk can be given when roles are reversed, when the audience speaks to the speaker.

Here are a few:

When Churchill said, ""We will fight on the beaches ... "" That was a leadership talk.

When Kennedy said, ""Ask not what your country can do for you ... "" that was a leadership talk.

When Reagan said, ""Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"" That was a leadership talk.

You can come up with a lot of examples too. Go back to those moments when the words of a leader inspired people to take ardent action, and you've probably put your finger on an authentic leadership talk.

Mind you, I'm not just talking about great leaders of history. I'm also talking about the leaders in your organizations. After all, leaders speak 15 to 20 times a day: everything from formal speeches to informal chats. When those interactions are leadership talks, not just speeches or presentations, the effectiveness of those leaders is dramatically increased.

Throughout your career, you'll now and then get stuck in your job. When you do, remember Raymond Chandler. Then remember the Leadership Talk: the Leadership Talk is the organizational equivalent of having two guys walk through the door with guns. But don't just use Leadership Talks only when you're stuck. Use it many times daily throughout your career, and you'll find that leader's block is a thing of the past.

2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author: The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: ""49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,"" at

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Status Quo Pep Talks That Can Threaten Your Leadership

Author: Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count: 742

Summary: One of the biggest obstacles leaders face when trying to institute change in an organization is the status quo. Here is a way of recognizing the status quo for what it is, your determined, skilled opponent.

Status Quo Pep Talks That Can Threaten Your Leadership by Brent Filson

Organizations live and die by results. Yet most organizations get a fraction of the results they are capable of. There are many reasons for this: poor strategy, poor leadership, insufficient resources, etc. But one main reason is overlooked by most leaders. Many organizations stumble because they are permeated with a robust status quo.

The trouble with the status quo isn't that it gets poor results. After all, if you know you're getting poor results, you can do something about it. You can start taking steps to turn them into good results.

The trouble with the status quo is that it gets mediocre results but represents them as good results. And poor results are less harmful to an organization than mediocre results misrepresented as good results.

The status quo is simply the existing state of an organization. You might ask, ""What's wrong with the existing state of an organization?"" My response is, ""A great deal."" In fact, the status quo is always ... not sometimes ... always wrong.

Leadership is not a measure of results. Results are a measure of leadership. A leader should be getting not average results but more results faster, and ""more, faster"" continually.

The status quo is the enemy of the ""more results faster continually"" because the status quo is in business to be the status quo first and get results second. Its number one priority is always self-preservation.

Of course, without the impulse toward self-preservation, organizations would quickly fall apart. But when the impulse hijacks the need of the organization's leaders to adapt to changing circumstances, the status quo is a threat.

For instance: For years until the mid 20th century, IBM flourished by having their machines perform calculations using punch cards. But then the digital revolution came along. However, during the late 1940s and early 1950s a strong status quo of employees were wedded to punch cards and were convinced digital would lead to disaster.

As IBM CEO Thomas J. Watson Jr. said in his book, ""Father, Son & Co."", ""There wasn't a single, solitary soul in the company who grasped even a hundredth of the potential the computer had.""

It took his strong leadership to fight off the status quo and move IBM into the digital age. If the status quo had prevailed, IBM would have been out of business in a few years. Still, the status quo put up such a fight that switching the organization from punch cards to digital processes nearly destroyed the company.

The IBM example is not the exception but the rule: The success or failure of any organization hinges to a great extent on how its leaders deal with the status quo.

No question about it, if you try to get into the realm of achieving more results faster continually, the status quo will attack you. The question isn't, ""If "" but ""How?"" and ""When?""

One way it attacks is through status quo pep talks to gain ardent support. When you are ready for them, you are better able to deal with them and get ahead of the curve in thwarting the status quo. Here are some phrases that may be used in status quo pep talks to rally people against anyone threatening its existence.

""Pretend to go along and they'll go away."" ""Just do your job and nothing more."" ""Agree with anything they say but do what you want to do."" ""Let it die a natural death."" ""We tried that before and it didn't work."" ""I'm too busy."" ""That's not my job."" ""Wait ‘em out."" ""You're the leader. You take care of it."" ""That's not the way we do things."" ""You'll ruin this organization."" ""You don't understand me."" ""You don't understand what I'm doing."" ""You don't understand our organization."" ""It's more complicated than you think."" ""I'm doing the best I can."" ""Give me a break."" ""You're not being realistic."" ""You'll squeeze me dry."" ""Don't you have better things to do?"" ""I've got too much on my plate."" ""Don't bust a blood vessel."" ""I'll help -- if you do me a favor."" ""It's not in my job description."" ""It all pays the same."" ""Why don't you quit while you're ahead?"" ""Let study it some more."" ""Don't go off half-cocked."" ""Too much, too far, too fast."" ""We need more facts.""

Now that you have an idea of what the status quo is and how dangerous it can be; don't let its pep talks dissuade you from your mission as a leader of achieving more results faster continually.

2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the author: The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: ""49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results,"" at

Leadership Qualities

Author: Heather Folsom

There is no doubt that a lot of emphasis is placed on leadership qualities today. However, this is nothing new. If my school history lessons were anything to go by it seems that it is the leaders that we learn most about. Many people believe that the world is divided into two types of people, the leaders and the followers. I don’t agree with this statement to be honest as I think that everyone has some sort of leadership ability that can be realized with some guidance and coaching.   To help explain what I mean I go back to my school days again. There seemed to be a general feeling amongst our staff that everyone should aspire to be a leader in whatever field we decided to follow for a career. The leadership skills needed vary greatly depending on what it was that we wanted to be when we grew up. I think the greatest myth was that a bossy person was exhibiting leadership skills if they had the power to tell others what to do and their orders would be obeyed. There were a number of students like this but I never saw their ability as a sign of great leadership, more a definite sign of bullying. It is true that some of the great leaders of our time have been close to being bullies but that is not a leadership quality that I aspired to.   I seriously think that one of the greatest leadership qualities to have is that of leading by example. This doesn’t mean that you try to do everything yourself but guide those around you to perform the same task that you are. This was most aptly demonstrated in sports teams. The team captain had to be able to encourage the rest of her team to get the very best out of them and would lead by example in such a way that the rest of the team respected and valued her leadership. The cross country running captain, for example, would encourage the rest of the squad to keep up with her but also know when to fall back and let another take the lead. This highlighted another leadership quality that I believe is important and that is selflessness. If you are a worthy leader then you are able to step back and encourage another to take the lead. You have to be able to let someone else in your team, no matter what arena it is in, work or school, to shine. One of the most important leadership skills is to recognize the strengths of the people around you.   So, I would not think of an army sergeant who barks orders at his soldiers as being a strong leader but the General who actually gets involved with his army and does not sit back and take all the glory does show the leadership qualities that I most admire. The most admirable and effective leadership qualities are those that command respect and trust while being able to get the best out of those that you are leading.

About the author: Heather Folsom is a leadership expert at . She is the lead columnist of the site, and has great insight into what makes effective leaders.

Value Based Leadership Coaching

Author: CMOE Development Team

What can I do to be a better coach? The Eight Step Coaching Model describes the process, yet too often the focus is on techniques only. “How can I say it to win my point, get others to do things my way, or convince them?” Focusing only on one technique is fundamentally manipulative. Good leadership coaching , like good parenting, is a way of being as well as doing. This way of being, or our values, drives our behaviors. Like Olympic figure skaters, coaches should evaluate themselves in two areas; skills and style, the expression of your values.

Neither Gandhi nor Martin Luther King ever took a course in non violence; Harry S. Truman on straight talk; Abraham Lincoln on valuing diversity; or Walter Cronkite on integrity. They trusted their values to guide them toward doing the right things. They were the essence of their values. Similarly, how many times have we admonished our teenagers before departing for a night out with friends: “Don’t forget who you are!”? Your values are on display throughout your coaching discussions and particularly in Step One of the Coaching Model – Be supportive. Note it doesn’t say Do Supportive. Support is an inside job, an inner decision, about how you want to relate to others and the values you will attempt to live in your relationship with others.

Partnering with, versus managing and controlling those you coach, is based on two different value sets. Partnering is predicated on a basic value of helping other achieve their goals. Without a partnering/helping core value, focusing only on supportive words and actions results in shallow words with no heart felt meaning or motivation and disingenuousness.

Which of these two coaches would you like to work with? One who had excellent technique, a real smooth communicator who valued control and getting their way; or the other who lacked good technique but had a fundamental belief in others, and a desire to help them achieve their goals?

Fortunately we are not faced with these black and white distinctions. Effective leadership coaching from a helping value base requires both skills and a critical assessment of how you view your role: a resource or gate keeper; helper or competitor; catalyst or controller; facilitator or salesperson; mentor or boss; teacher or teller?

Before entering into a coaching discussion, ask yourself one simple question: What is my mindset or paradigm, adversary or ally? Your answer to that question will have the most impact in your coaching relationship. Self evident? Then, why in a non-business setting does conventional wisdom make the case that parent–adolescent relationships are unavoidably adversarial? Why is there such a dark history of labor management relationships? Why do managers have such a difficult time with letting go and trusting others to do the right thing? Partnering is predicated on the coach wanting to create an alliance and a helping relationship. This inner decision to live this value will drive the collaborative partnering behavior upon which effective leadership coaching and the Eight Step Coaching Model are based.

About the author:

If you would like to learn more about effective leadership coaching and CMOE’s Eight Step Coaching model please contact a Regional Manager at (801)569-3444 or visit their website.

MLM Training- The MLM Success Secret of Heart Touched Leadership- by Doug Firebaugh

Author: Doug Firebaugh

There are three Rules of Network Marketing Leadership for MLM Leaders:.

1) You must touch people first before you can ever change their life.

2) You must touch them emotionally, and in the heart.

3) They MUST feel your intentions, and know you are there to take their life to a whole new level.

They MUST know that you are there to help them, not sell them something. They can smell intentions when your intentions are not what the prospect wants to see happen. They know when someone is there to TAKE something FROM them, not give something TO them. They want to feel you are there to help them, not hype them.

A sale and a recruit is a result of an emotional touch. There is no long lasting change, without an emotion OnFire first and foremost. This emotional igniting is all part of MLM leadership, and Network Marketing Success.

Emotion is what puts the heart, and the person, IN MOTION to move towards you psychologically.


That is ALL MLM Success is, to get people moving towards you, then with you. Emotion is the Success magnet that draws them towards you.

That is what you want, in this business. People want to be around people who can light their life up with the fire of PASSION.

IN MLM, People are MAGNETIZED to a strong Emotion of the Heart, and that is what touches the person, and their heart.

It is called Emotional Marketing.

We are in what I call "" Emotional Marketing "", as we market to the emotions, and market the emotions of Hope and Possibilities to folks.

And your job is to create 2 things in your mlm presentation:

HOPE . POSSIBILITIES . 1) You MUST create the HOPE of:



A BETTER FUTURE for folks.

You must create that with the picture you paint with your words, and also excitement.

Put them in their minds, in the picture of Success you are painting, and them leave them there! Let them FEEL the Success you are talking about!

If you do that, that will be what will MAGNETIZE them to your offer, and attract them to you.

2) You also MUST create the POSSIBILITY that it will happen in their life, and you do that with your MLM products and company.

The Secret.

Too many times new distributors in MLM are too focused on creating a TRANSACTION , not a TRANSFORMATION .

A Transaction is ME focused and pretty short term.

But a Transformation is YOU focused, and much more long term focus, which is THE Success Focus in Network Marketing.

A Transaction is a one time, short term action that will produce one result, and then you move on to another, then another, then another, etc.

A Transformation is long term action and focus that will MULTIPLY all you do, as you transform people's lives, and they are never the same because of your Network Marketing company and products.

First you must Touch the heart, then Change, and if you don't touch the emotions somewhere along the lines, by truly CARING about the PERSON, not just the paycheck, they probably will not embrace your concept and offer of change.

People have dreams and desires, and your job as an MLM Leader is to help them accomplish their dreams with your leadership and Network marketing company. They want to know you are coming from the HEART, and want to touch their heart with Hope and a REAL CHANCE to to make their dreams come true by leading them there. If you don't do this, they will probably end up walking away from your business, and you.

Which will produce another emotion:


And that is water on your SuccessFire, in MLM and Network Marketing.


doug Firebaugh / PassionFire Intl

(c)2005/ all rights reserved

About the author: Doug Firebaugh is one of the top MLM Network Marketing Trainers in the world. Over a million people a month read his training ezine. He spent the last 7 years traveling the world speaking and training on Success. He lives in Birmingham Michigan, and you can receive a FREE subscription to his training ezine- The MLM Success HEAT- at:

How to make the correct leadership decisions, fast, every time.

Author: Steve Wright

Start with the end in mind - it's not as easy as it sounds.

The second of Covey's habits of highly effective people is called ""Start with the end in mind""

Seeing the heading, I instantly understood what this meant. ""Know your target"". In the few pages I flicked through, before reading the chapter, I saw discussions of visualisation and mission statements. I fully expected it to be an easy read, in the belief I at least, had this one all worked out.

How wrong could I be? This chapter I found to be a real point of commitment. I found out some very hard realities about what I was centering my decisions on and it has taken me a good month to work though it, so be prepared to really look at your self. If at all possible, now is a good time to find someone as a mentor and discuss parts of this with them. You don't have to tell them your life storey, just ask them what they see, and then you take that away and work on it for yourself.

Before we go any further, if you do not already have a copy of this book, you need to get one. To get through this, you need to study this chapter. There are quite a lot tables and diagrams that will help you.

This chapter is really about working out your 'end', not just the objective of the task at hand. We are talking personal mission statements. Ok, I can hear you ""Not that old one again?"" Well, yes. But this time for real.

Covey makes a good point. If you don't have an idea of what is important to you, how do you know what to do when a choice arises?

Defining your mission is about discovering your core principles.

""HOLD ON HOLD ON! I've heard this stuff before"" I hear you say. Well so had I, but this time its different, this time we are going to do it! And this is why?

It's very hard to do, but once you work out your principles, you will no longer have to worry about each and every possible decision you might one day have to make. How much stress will that release immediately? From that moment on, for every decision you simply refer to your principles. Now if the answer does not feel right, you need to check your principles. All sounds a bit easy. Well, it is clearly not as simple as it sounds, but I have to admit it sounds a lot easier than spending every night imagining all possible decisions and trying to choose ""what to do if"".

As a leader, I used to try and consider all scenarios I might be faced with the following day and make decisions on my actions before they happened. I believed this would reduce the chance of making the wrong decision and looking like a poor leader. The result was erratic decisions, as reality was never quite how I imagined it and I found I would be jumping to wrong decisions.

I found the process of creating a mission very hard. In the end I had to just accept that while my mission was not poetic and did not include any great imagery, it was what I had managed to come up with after a great deal of effort and on that basis is a good start.

Now I have a collection of principles, that I am committed to and am beginning to make decisions based on these. Initially it was hard to trust the process, but slowly I am beginning to believe this is the right way and with a few changes here and there I am actually quite happy with how it's all working out.

This may sound drab, but the actual principles don't really matter that much, it is the process of coming to them that matters. It somehow prepares your mind to prefer certain outcomes and think about certain implications of your decisions that alter the way you consider your daily choices. For this reason you need to revisit your principles regularly to keep your mind 'skilled up' in this more holistic thought process.

Make the commitment and try this, it's not so much the mission statement at the end of the road that matters; it's the mental exercise of the journey.

If you are having trouble starting check out some of the free tools at:

Now more than ever, be brave and have a great journey.



About the author: Hi, I have been slowly learning some of the key lessions fo Leadership, go to my web site to see my latest learnings: