Archives For Leadership & Leader Development

know what you believe

January 15, 2018 — Leave a comment

Too often, I encounter people who seem to shift their opinions and standards based upon the prevailing winds of the media or others – they seem to be anchorless, unsure of what they really believe.

A few questions that I was asked years ago that I have found to be life-changing are so simple, yet so powerful.

  1. Do you know what you believe?
  2. Do you know why you believe it?
  3. Are you able to articulate both?

Simple right? Yet profound as I have met so many that cannot answer question number 1, much less 2 and 3.

Hope you have a great week!

BG

Organizational culture is currently a hot topic and it should be in my opinion. Much is being written about the challenges of developing a healthy organizational culture, but I am not sure that I am seeing much change.

Organizational culture is important, of course, because it has been shown to have a direct impact upon organizational performance. Another reason that is incredibly important to me, is the lasting effects that the organizational culture has upon the people of the organization.

Think about how the elements impact everything from the shape of the land to the health of plants. As you well know, plants growing in healthy soil and receiving the nutrients they need grow tall, lush, strong, and bear good fruit. Plants growing in poor soil, with poor nutrients, and in harsh conditions are seldom fruitful, their growth is stunted, and they are deformed to various degrees.

That is what your organizational culture is doing to people. It is either a culture that is growing people and transforming them into better versions of themselves, or it is stunting their growth and causing them to become deformed versions of themselves.

Something to consider, your organizational culture is either transforming or deforming the people of the organization. Which is your doing?

what is the one thing?

January 2, 2018

Well – it’s a new year. What are you going to do with this precious gift?

One of my favorite books seems to intersect with a tradition we began in our family about five years ago. The book is The One Thing by Gary Keller. Gary asks what is called the focusing question –

“What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

Now, our tradition is that we did away with New Year’s resolutions and replaced them with a focusing word for the year. For me this past year it was Be Present (I know – that’s two words). An an INTJ, too often I was planning for the future or evaluating the past and my challenge was not being present with those important to my life.

So, what is your one word focus that aligns with your One Thing for this year?

BG

learn to say yes

December 29, 2017

One of the popular mantra’s now is learning to say no to what we consider to be unimportant things that will hinder our “success”.

I agree to a point, but a friend reminded me that we need to learn to say yes to being selfless, to loving, serving, caring for, and helping others.

Maybe there are times we consider something as unimportant, but it actually may be life changing to someone else? I have heard it said that one revealing trait of the character of a person is if they help people that cannot help them.

Maybe there are times we do need to say yes when there is no material benefit or gain to us personally. Maybe that is when we truly begin to learn what it is to be successful – to live a life of meaning?

Is there something you need to say yes to that is not about you?

BG

are you stopping to breathe?

December 11, 2017

Are you stopping to breathe? We all need time to stop, rest, and reflect on things of importance.

This is a great season to do so for many reasons.

Take some time to reflect on the major areas of your life with gratitude over the next few weeks.

  1. Spiritual
  2. Relational, especially your family
  3. Service to others
  4. Emotional health
  5. Physical Health
  6. Financial Health
  7. Your vocation

Hit pause for just a bit and think and reflect. It is important for the overall health of your life.

Breathe for a few minutes!

good books on leadership

December 7, 2017

If you are like me, I thoroughly enjoy learning from others about leadership and I have found one of the best ways to learn from them is to read their books.

On the FYI.to site, I have listed many of my favorites. Check out my Leadership Books.

I would also appreciate your suggestions as to others I need to add!

do you have the right focus?

November 27, 2017

Do you have the right focus? This is a question I struggle with, as so often, when my focus is off, it can lead me down paths that are not helpful.

Basically it comes down to is our focus on what we have or what we don’t have?

A focus on ourselves and what we don’t have often leads to discontentment, resentment, bitterness, and a “takers” type mentality.

A focus on others and how we have been been blessed often leads to gratitude, contentment, fulfillment, joy, and a “givers” mentality.

The thing is – it is a simple choice as to what attitude you adopt. What is your choice today?

 

Communicating effectively with family and friends is incredibly difficult as we all know. When it comes to a leader trying to communicate with their team, it seems to become exponentially more difficult!

At one point in my career, I was the chief of staff for a very intelligent CEO. He is one of those people who seems to have an idea a minute and thinks out loud. The problem for his directors was that they often did not know if he was giving them direction, asking them for their opinions, or just expressing an idea. One of my roles as chief of staff was to “interpret” messages sent between the directors and the CEO. Many times I would walk into the CEO’s office and say something along the line of “Chris is beginning to implement XYZ that you discussed the other day in your office—is that really what you want to do?” Often the CEO would look at me a bit confused because he did not even remember what he had said; he had no intention for Chris to do anything at all. At other times, I would have to go to a director’s office and tell them that the CEO really did want them to follow through on what he said and that it wasn’t just an idea. As you can imagine, things got a bit confused at times, which often resulted in wasted effort and unnecessary frustration.

Fortunately, we had a relationship with the company Ambassador Enterprises, LLC, which has a brilliant CEO who also seems to have an idea a minute. The difference is that they have developed a powerful tool to clarify their communications, which has greatly improved their effectiveness. That tool is called “The Five Levels of Communication.”

Level 1—An Idea. Throw an idea into the hopper; no action required.

Level 2—A Suggestion. The leader has thought about an idea and would like you to think about it as well.

Level 3—A Recommendation. The leader has thought about the idea a good bit and wants you to consider implementing it unless there is a good reason not to do so. A recommendation may be appealed.

Level 4—A Directive. As it suggests, the leader wants action taken unless there is a compelling reason not to do so. A directive may be appealed.

Level 5—A Mandate. This is the equivalent of the house is on fire and get out. No questions, no appeal—just do it. This is very rarely used.

When we implemented this system, or way of talking, at our organization, the level of misunderstanding was greatly lowered. I use this approach often now and always to a good result.

It is vital that leaders communicate clearly to their teams. Using this framework, this way of talking, will greatly help achieve that needed clarity. The result is more effective teams and a more effective organization.

BG Allen
Executive Coach

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