I grew up around the construction trades. Before I was even a teenager I owned my own power tools: A drill, jig saw, and circular saw. I still have the jig saw. But the circular saw had a problem. It was misaligned and it was hard to cut straight with it. I learned then that bad tools get bad results.
Good tools, on the other hand, make getting good results easier – assuming you know how to use them well.
We’re going to mix things up a little. Instead of my typical one-page blog article, I have a video blog for you. One of enLumen Leadership‘s clients, Action Property Management, publishes a video blog directed primarily at the leaders of the homeowner associations they serve. I recently had the privilege of being interviewed for one episode of this blog.
Join us as we explore topics like leadership styles, characteristics of a healthy culture and how to create one, why a culture where no one gets offended isn’t necessarily healthy, and the relationship between leading and managing.
There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for handling difficult conversations. Different cultures, personalities, relationships, and histories all call for high emotional intelligence in determining how to address conflict. But here are some tools that most leaders would benefit from pulling out of their toolboxes more often. Continue reading Healthy Disagreement
It’s great to have a sense of community that makes us safe and willing to share vulnerabilities. But then the question remains, why are we here? We want to know that we’re fulfilling some sense of purpose, making a meaningful difference.
Motivation involves channeling our attention to get us from where we are to where we’re going. To be fully motivated we need to be clear on both our starting point and our destination
Successful groups manage to get past the posturing and politicking that prevents average groups from synergizing their intelligence into something greater than the sum of the parts. When we buy into the myth that strong leaders don’t reveal their weaknesses, we immediately limit the contributions we’ll get from every other member of the group. People value being needed, and a leader who admits they need help creates the space for others to bring out their best. We’re not talking about milk-toast, namby-pamby, undecisive leadership. We’re talking about leadership that is confident enough to humbly recognize that others hold pieces to the puzzle that we lack. Continue reading Skills to Create Culture (Part 2/3)
Building Safety, Sharing Vulnerability, Establishing Purpose
Gregg Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs is the longest tenured active coach in any major U.S. sports league. He’s led the Spurs to all five of their NBA Championships. Popovich is a hard-core authoritarian with a volcanic temper, known for yelling and cussing at his players. How does he achieve unparalleled success and the deep respect and loyalty of his players?
Contrast Popovich with Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos. Hsieh is generally known for saying less than anyone else in the room. Yet he, too, fosters success and loyalty.
It’s partly because they are so rare that “overnight success” stories of unicorn company founders attract so much media attention. And all that media attention inspires hordes of other young people who picture themselves on that next magazine cover. I congratulate the fractional percentage of them who make it!
If you’re looking for advice on workplace romance, this isn’t it.
We’re talking about leadership, so let’s see the connection between leadership and love.
Since both words have numerous definitions, let’s clarify the definitions we’re using here:
Leadership: Helping others reach their full potential. See https://enlumenls.com/defining-leadership-success/ and numerous other articles on this site for a fuller understanding of leadership. If you’re seeking your personal success and the success of your organization, the best way to achieve those is to focus on the success of those you depend on to make them happen.
Love:Making choices to put the good of another ahead of our own. Although many uses of the word “love” emphasize emotions, recognizing love as a choice that results in actions (and sometimes feelings also) puts it into the realm of something we control rather than something that happens to us. I find that to be a far more meaningful use of the word. Continue reading Love Thy Employees
Your hard work, education, and self-discipline have paid off. Congratulations for rising to a position of authority and leadership! People respect you. Your competence is often sought by others, both within your organization and by others in your industry and even outside your industry.
But now you’ve hit a plateau. The opportunities are there but you can’t seem to grow your organization fast enough to meet the demand. You recognize the bottleneck is leadership. You can’t find enough skillful leaders that you can trust to make good decisions. So every issue gets pushed up to a few very busy people. Maybe it’s only one person: You. Continue reading My Competence Is My Enemy
If you’re like most people trying to decide who to assign a task to, you start by identifying who is best equipped to do the job. They’ve done it before, they’ll get it done quicker, and it will take you less time to explain what needs done. It’s a natural starting point, but not necessarily the best ending point for deciding who does what. Continue reading Deciding Who Does What