“Leadership is …

“Leadership is not a rank. Leadership is a choice. It’s the choice to look after the person to the left of you and the person to the right of you.”

from Simon Sinek

Do You Protect Your People?

Good Wednesday morning to you!

Question for you – do the people of your organization feel safe? Protected? How about the people on your team? Is it safe to work for you?the-way-of-the-shepherd-book-cover

While it is important, I am not talking about physical safety today. I am primarily talking about emotional safety, your culture – the environment in your organization and / or your team.

Simon Sinek talks about this in his book Start With Why. He is talking about trust and one of the ways that you develop trust in your people is by protecting them. One illustration that he gives is that of a trapeze artist. A trapeze artist will push themselves to new feats of daring and stretch and grow their abilities to do amazing stunts – as long as they have a net under them. Without a net, there is too much risk to go for it. A good leader provides a practical and emotional net for his people. A great team will try great things and will, at times fail. That is when the leader provides them a net. And when you provide a net, people feel protected. When they feel protected, you will gain their trust.

In one of my favorite leadership books of all time, The Way of the Shepherd, the fourth principle is “Make Your Pasture a Safe Place” and there are at least six things you need to do to make it a safe place according to the authors:

a. Keep your people well informed.
b. Infuse every position with importance.
c. Cull chronic instigators from the flock.
d. Regularly rotate the sheep to fresh pastures.
e. Reassure the sheep by staying visible.
f. Don’t give problems time to fester.

So, do you want a high functioning team of people who trust each other and enjoy coming to work? Start with giving them a safe place to work – better yet, a safe place to create art and do great things!


Use Verbs and Not Nouns

Good morning!Lauren - snow at the NMC FEB 2013

In reading the book Start With Why, the author makes an excellent point when talking about values or guiding principles. His belief is that instead of nouns lie “integrity”, we should be using phrases with verbs such as “always do the right thing.” Instead of innovation you might use “look at the problem from a different angle.”

This makes sense to me as “integrity” can be a nebulous concept to some people and we might be unsure of just what it means. “Do the right things is a much clearer statement that most of us will readily understand. In fact, here at Ambassador Enterprises, our core values / guiding principles are action or verb oriented: Honor God, Respect Others, and Work Hard.

So, why don’t you look at your core values or guiding principles and if they are nouns, see how you might change them to verbs – make them action oriented.

It would be interesting to see what you come up with, so if you have time share them with me.

Have a great Thursday!


Why? – A Great Question

Good morning – it’s unusually mild here in northeast IN, but I am enjoying the milder weather! It has been a difficult time for our nation – click here for a prayer in regards to that senseless act of evil that occurred in Newton, CT. Lord, we do lift up to you the families and community of Newton.golden-circle

So many of us know what our organizations do and how we do it, but too often not many of us understand why. And it is the why that is the compelling part of our lives.

Do you understand the why of your organization? What about the why of your life? Deeply understanding the why behind what we do provides vision, energy, and captures the imagination of others.

In fact, as Simon Sinek notes in Start with Why, the most fundamental and important question is to ask “Why do we do what we do?” as that is what attracts others to your cause and provides people the motivation to excel.

So, come to understand the why and see how rich and compelling the what and how of what you do becomes to you and others.

Have a blessed week & remember the community of Newton in your prayers this week.