Do You Have These Four Leadership Traits?

Photo by Tommy Lisbin Just this week I have been thinking about our Company’s future. We are almost 36 years old and have wonderful leaders at every level of our company. Even so, we are trying to develop even more leadership capacity because we know we need to change – and only effective leaders can lead change. As we look to build leadership capacity, I wonder what traits we should look for in people who have the “potential” to be our change leaders? Four Traits that Predict Success. In the December issue of Harvard Business Review I read [...]

By | 2018-02-22T14:06:17+00:00 February 22nd, 2018|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Four Tips for Becoming a Learning Leader in 2018

It is a new year and I wonder if you want to grow this year? By “grow” I mean learn new things or do old things better. Photo by Patricia Maxwell Wood Successful people and leaders resist the inertia to just keep doing the same thing. They seek opportunities to learn even when it requires them to become a novice again and embrace the failure that may accompany new learning. In a moment I will share four attributes researchers have connected to this group of successful learners. Patti Wood, Bird Photographer. My wife, Patti, is a Registered Dietician [...]

By | 2018-01-04T14:55:33+00:00 January 4th, 2018|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Five Tips for Writing Short Stories

I only know one Bart Simpson line, “I like Stories.” And I use this line often when someone says to me, “Do you want to hear a good story?” I bet you like good stories, too. Storytelling seems to be hot right now. Why? Because it is one communication strategy that really engages people when done effectively. Storytelling, whether spoken or written, is a skill. And it is a skill that effective leaders need to develop and continuously practice. This week I have done some reading about how to write effective stories. Here are my five tips for constructing an [...]

By | 2017-06-01T11:27:44+00:00 June 1st, 2017|Leadership Lessons|

Getting to the Point, Do You BLUF or BLAB?

Effective leaders know how to get to the point. Have you ever read a long email that never seems to get to the point? I know I have so I work very hard not to be one of those writers. Recently I read that military leaders train people to practice “BLUF” when speaking or writing. BLUF stands for “Bottom line up front”. My first reaction was that since this acronym did not fit the purpose, it would be easily forgotten. I was wrong. I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. I shared this concept with someone I [...]

By | 2018-01-02T20:15:52+00:00 May 23rd, 2017|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Wait a Minute, What Did You Say?

One of the most common leadership weaknesses is hearing without listening, to steal a phrase from Simon and Garfunkel’s powerful song Sounds of Silence. As I meet with teams and leaders every week it is interesting how many times I watch people display poor listening skills. I actually find it very helpful to observe others because it helps me improve my own listening skills. Two of the most important times leaders need to practice good listening skills are in team meetings and when meeting one-on-one with team members. So enhancing our listening skills is an area of continuous improvement. Symptoms [...]

By | 2018-01-02T20:15:36+00:00 February 23rd, 2017|Leadership Lessons|

Effective Leaders are Not Clowns

I was recently sitting in a very nice car dealership while my car was being serviced. While I was there I could not help but eavesdrop on a number of conversations among a sales manager, salesman, and a few customers. While I thought the sales people and sales manager sounded professional to me, apparently the husband of a female customer did not think so. When they were alone he said to his wife, “I like Barry (the salesman), but that sales manager is a clown. I don’t want to do business with him.” As I was listening I was reminded [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:47+00:00 January 19th, 2017|Leadership Lessons|

Investigate This – Theft, Deception, Sex, and Extortion

Unfortunately I have had to deal with dishonest and unscrupulous people over my professional career. And their behaviors - including stealing, sexual harassment, false harassment allegations, theft by deception, and extortion – were so foreign to me that when I first experienced them I was left feeling naïve and dumbfounded. What I have learned and do believe is that the “good” people among us far outnumber the “bad” ones. Over 40 years I have come in contact with thousands of people and employees and my list of dishonest and unethical people is short. However, one responsibility is to properly and [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:47+00:00 November 9th, 2016|Leadership Lessons|

The Power of a Kind Word

Ellen and James "Jim" Labrie Last week I went to the memorial service for a friend and fellow Rotarian, James “Jim” Labrie. Over Jim’s lifetime he became a very successful businessman and quiet, community philanthropist. Jim was one of those special people who had a way of making you feel like you were his close friend in the moment he was talking with you, even though you were not. He cared about you as a person. During the memorial service his son, Mike, shared with us how a single act of kindness early in Jim’s life changed him [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:49+00:00 May 19th, 2016|Leadership Lessons|

Puerto Rico – Is Leadership Failing the People?

View along northern shore from the fort Castillo de San Cristobal (Photo by the author) Last week for the first time I traveled to Puerto Rico with Patti. I am ashamed to admit how little I knew about Puerto Rico before this trip. I did know that one of my baseball heroes, Roberto Clemente, came from there and the United States got connected to Puerto Rico after the Spanish American War and it is a territory of the United States. But that is pretty much it. So here are four things I have now learned that make me [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:50+00:00 February 17th, 2016|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

New Year’s Resolution – Manage Your Emotions

Are you having trouble coming-up with a New Year’s Resolution? One idea is to work on improving how you manage your emotions. Why? Because as a leader your emotions matter – they impact everyone around you. I think it is healthy for each of us to look at both a situation that went well and one that did not and how our emotions contributed to the outcome. John Maxwell, in his book Developing the Leader Within You, writes about this sign he saw in an office, “If you could kick the person responsible for most of your troubles, you wouldn’t [...]

By | 2017-05-19T19:54:51+00:00 January 7th, 2016|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

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