the better way

Christian Reflections Leadership Challenge book coverGood Monday morning to you! Hope you had a refreshing weekend. Ours was beautiful, but a tad messy as we received about four inches of snow.

What are the responsibilities of a leader? In my opinion, a key responsibility is seeking the better way. In my experience it has been called continuous improvement, innovation, and so on. But the CEO of the company where I work is always talking about seeking the better way – in all areas of your life, not just your work. It is a much more holistic approach to life. So, I much prefer seeking the better way than continuous improvement.

James Kouzes and Larry Posner have this to say in their book Christian Reflections on The Leadership Challenge:

Exemplary leaders search for opportunities by seeking innovative ways to change, grow, and improve. They’re always on the lookout for anything that lulls a group into a false sense of security, and they constantly invite and create new initiatives that can make a difference. The focus of a leader’s attention is less on the routine operations and much more on the untested and untried. Leaders are always asking, “What’s new? What’s next? What’s better?” That’s where the future is.*

As a leader – are you consistently seeking the better way? Do you encourage and model seeking the better way to those that you lead?

Have a great week and continue to center your heart on the beautiful and wonderful mystery of the birth of Jesus and all that it means.

BG

*James M. Kouzes;Barry Z. Posner. Christian Reflections on The Leadership Challenge (Kindle Locations 299-302). Kindle Edition.

helping your team make decisions

Making good decisions is a critical skill for people everyone and especially leaders. Yet, we often have not been trained how to make decisions and we also fail to train other in how to make decisions.

There are many tools out there for you to learn from as well as to train your team. One good resource is the Decision Making Techniques section of MindTools.com.

Also, Kouzes and Posner, in their book  A Coach’s Guide To Developing Exemplary Leaders, recommend asking these questions of your team when you are helping them make decisions:

  • How do you see . . . ?
  • What if we . . .?
  • What do you think about . . .?
  • How do you believe we could . . .?
  • Have you ever . . .?

These questions are good starters for conversations about how people make choices about their work.

The key thing to remember is that there is a science to making decisions. It is a skill to be learned and to be taught. It doesn’t just happen. So become a skilled craftsman and an accomplished teacher in the science (and art) of decision-making.

Blessings on you day!
BG

“Leaders who ex…

“Leaders who expect employees to make good decisions and to accept responsibility for them must also provide training and development, education and coaching.”

A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders – http://tinyurl.com/kp7ffx6

 

An Affair of the Heart

Good morning, I hope that this Holy Week has been special for you as we prepare our hearts for this weekend we remember and celebrate and give thanks for the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.the-truth-about

According to James Kouzes and Barry Posner, in their book The Truth About Leadership, leadership is an affair of the heart. Listen to what they say:

There’s no integrity without heart. There’s no commitment and conviction without heart. There’s no trust and support without heart. There’s no persistence and courage without heart. There’s no learning and risk taking without heart. Nothing important ever gets done without heart. Purely and simply, exemplary leaders excel at improving performance because they pay attention to the human heart.”

So, is your leadership an “affair of the heart”? Do you deeply care for those you lead and serve? Do you pay attention to the hearts of those you lead?

You should not divorce emotion from your vocation and if you want to truly impact the lives of others, you cannot divorce your emotions from your vocation.

Care and care deeply for those you lead and make a difference in their lives – today.

Tomorrow, take some time to contemplate the extravagant act of love of Jesus for us and then thank Him.

Peace and grace to you at this most special time of year,
BG 

Ten Truths About Leadership

Good morning from snow-covered northeast Indiana. The snow is beautiful, but no fun to drive in last night. Very grateful for a four-wheel drive truck!Snow MAR 2013

James Kouzes and Barry Posner are two of my favorite authors on leadership. They are probably best known for their book The Leadership Challenge – if you don’t have it in your library, I highly recommend it to you. However, this morning I want to briefly talk about their other book – The Truth About Leadership. In this book, Kouzes and Posner lay out ten “truths” about leadership that they have discovered. They were consistently being asked what has changed about leadership. What they found was that the context of leadership has and is changing  but the content of leadership had not changed. They found that the foundational principles of leadership have not and do not change. For those of us who hold a Biblical worldview, that is no surprise as we understand that God’s principles for how you treat and lead people are unchanging.

The ten foundational truths that Kouzes and Posner list are:

1. You Make A Difference. We know that to be true as throughout Scripture, we see God using one person as an agent of change in history.The Truth About Leadership

2. Credibility Is the Foundation of Leadership – if people don’t believe in you, they won’t willingly follow you.

3. Values Drive Commitment.

4. Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart.

5. You Can’t Do It Alone. Leadership is a team sport.

6. Trust Rules. Trust is the social glue that holds individuals and groups together.

7. Challenge Is the Crucible for Greatness.

8. You Either Lead by Example or You Don’t Lead at All.

9. The Best Leaders Are the Best Learners. A leader should always be on the path of continuous growth.

10. Leadership is an Affair of the Heart. Love for others is what motivates great leaders.

So what do you think? Are there ones you would add? Ones you would change? Or even ones you would take off this list?

What foundational truths guide you as you lead others? If you want, post your answers and let’s see what others think.

BG

 

Ten Truths of Leadership

James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner are two of my favorite authors on leadership.  Finding out that they are Christians was a great blessing.  Kouzes and Posner have a book out called The Truth About Leadership and they list 10 Truths of Leadership:

1. You make a difference.

2. Credibility is the foundation of leadership

3. Values drive commitment

4. Focusing on the future sets leaders apart

5. You can’t do it alone

6. Trust rules

7. Challenge is the crucible for greatness

8. You either lead by example or you don’t lead at all

9. The best leaders are the best learners

10. Leadership is an affair of the heart

This is a book well worth adding to you library in my opinion.

Blessings on your day!
BG

Things Leaders Do

Good morning!

According to James Kouzes and Barry Posner, there are five things that leaders do:

They Model the Way – they become exemplars of the behavior they expect of others.

They Inspire a Shared Vision – they envision the preferred future, creating an ideal image of the organization or project.

They Challenge the Process – they look for ways to improve processes and encourage the strength of the team to do it.

They Enable Others to Act – they foster collaboration through the use of excellent interpersonal skills.

They Encourage the Heart – they bring hope, encouragement, support, praise and appreciation.  Leaders are Dealers in Hope!

If you have time, pick up their book The Leadership Challenge or the workbook A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders.

Now – take a few minutes and ask yourself – how am I doing in each of those five areas?  Be honest with your self and then take definitive steps to begin growing where you need to grow!

Blessings on your day,
BG