Archives For Leadership Development

Do You Read Good Books?

August 17, 2012

If you are a leader of people, then you must read in order to truly grow as a leader and you need to read widely. As a Christian, the Bible is of course the first book you must be intimately acquainted with, but you must also read in many other areas. Even great literature.

Check out this Harvard Business Review article about the importance of reading – very interesting.

There is an old, somewhat trite saying that “Leaders are readers”, but it is very, very true.

Grab a good book this weekend and start growing!
BG

Good Monday morning!  Beautiful, though nippy, day here in southwest Michigan.

Starting to read a new book by Ken Blanchard & Mark Miller entitled Great Leaders Grow. We all know, or should know, that it is imperative that we grow as leaders – in all areas of our lives.  We most often focus our attentions on improving our skills as a leader and read on developing leadership skills.

However, the one thing we need so desperately as leaders is wisdom. Proverbs talks much of our need for wisdom:

“To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:2-7 ESV

“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech, . . .” Proverbs 2: 6-12 ESV

As leaders, we need to grow first in wisdom – and wisdom is from the Lord.  Seek Him.

Blessings on you week!
BG


Are You Prepared?

February 20, 2012

What are you doing to prepare the next generation of leaders for your organization?  If you are a next generation leader, what are you doing to prepare yourself?

Last week, I had the privilege of traveling to my home state to speak to the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy (MCCLA) on the subject of strategic planning.

The MCCLA was developed in 2009 by Dr. Howell Garner of the MS Community College Foundation in order to start developing the next generation of leaders for the community colleges of Mississippi. They take from 30 – 40 of the young leaders, both administrators and academicians, and have three to four two-day sessions a year across the state with a range of speakers on various topics. Additionally, they are assigned various readings and projects. This is a great idea.

The MCCLA is an effort to “deepen the bench” of future leaders of the MS Community Colleges and a wise move in my opinion.

My question, is what are you doing to prepare your organization for the future? What are you doing to prepare yourself for the future?

Hope it is a great week for you!
BG

4 Signs of Bad Strategy

February 13, 2012

Good morning!

When you hear the term “strategic planning” does it conjure up images of long meetings, thick binders, and plenty of fancy trendy words?  Does it evoke feelings of frustration and boredom?  And at the end, do you wonder if you really have a good strategy?

Well, I am reading Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard P. Rumelt and he lists four things that are indicators of a bad strategy:

1. Fluff. Fluff is a form of gibberish masquerading as strategic concepts or arguments. It uses “Sunday” words (words that are inflated and unnecessarily abstruse) and apparently esoteric concepts to create the illusion of high-level thinking.

2. Failure to face the challenge. Bad strategy fails to recognize or define the challenge. When you cannot define the challenge, you cannot evaluate a strategy or improve it.

3. Mistaking goals for strategy. Many bad strategies are just statements of desire rather than plans for overcoming obstacles.

4. Bad strategic objectives. A strategic objective is set by a leader as a means to an end. Strategic objectives are “bad” when they fail to address critical issues or when they are impracticable.

Do you see any of these four indicators in your strategy?

This is a good book for those that are serious about strategy development.

BG

Rumelt, Richard (2011-07-19). Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters (p. 32). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.