Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Thursday, October 17, 2013
That’s because a critical skill for leaders is evangelizing. We think of that as a religious thing, and usually it is, but that’s not what I mean.
As leader, you have the vision. You can see, in your mind’s eye at least, what the future looks like. You know how life will get better if your team just listens and acts, if they just follow. But how do you get them to do that?
By evangelizing. You have to talk, to serve, to build relationships, to build trust. Those are the same things evangelists do. They persuade, they convince, they demonstrate in a thousand ways that they’re not in it for themselves, but for the good of others.
If you really believe in what you’re doing, you’ll naturally work to convince your team. It’s the best thing, it will make the work easier or better or more fun, it will be far better for the team than the current state. When you feel that way, you never stop trying to sell your vision. That’s evangelizing.
If you don’t ever have to persuade your team to strive for something, then they are probably leading you.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Well, as a leader, you have one job. Oh, you do a lot more, but those parts of your job aren't leading. Those parts are supervising (making sure work gets done) or administering (keeping track of stuff) or managing (divvying out resources).
Leaders only do one thing: They move people. That's your one job. Leading means taking people from where they are to a different place. You're Daniel Boone, showing your team how to make it through the mountains to a better life on the other side.
If your team doesn't need to go to anywhere, they don't need a leader; all those other jobs are enough. And if you're not taking them anywhere, you're not leading. You're a custodian, keeping the status quo nice and spiffy.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I envy people who lead volunteers. You know why? Because they buy into the vision; it’s the only reason unpaid workers work.
It’s true that volunteers can cause a leader a lot of headaches. You can’t discipline them (How? Pay cut? Suspension?) and they’re really hard to fire. And they’re prone to quit when things don’t go their way.
But volunteers have the best possible attribute of a team member: They believe in what you’re doing. They’re there out of love and conviction; they’re working from the heart. Motivating volunteers is so easy a caveman can do it.
So here’s one of the most challenging tests of your leadership: Would your team volunteer to work for you? Take the pay question out of it; if they could choose any boss and any department in the company, would they choose yours? If you asked which team did the most meaningful work, would they say yours?
The work your team does is important. Do they know it? Do they believe it? If not, it’s on you. Get out there and paint the vision in such bright colors they can’t miss it.
Monday, September 9, 2013
Our president’s in a tough spot right now. Doesn’t matter if you like him or not, any leader can feel for him; he’s up against an almost no-win situation in Syria, leadership-wise.
His problem: Those he’s trying to lead aren’t buying his vision. If he does what he thinks is right, it might erode his leadership as followers, at home and internationally, become disillusioned. If he doesn’t, he could lose leadership cred too, as he might appear indecisive or willing to sacrifice his own integrity to be popular. To make things worse, every day of delay makes it less likely that his desired course of action will do any good.
You’ll have days like that, when life throws something at you that you never saw coming, and you don’t have time to paint the vision or build buy-in with your team. Every one of those situations is different, so I only have one piece of advice for you: Never, ever compromise your own integrity. Do what you think is right, explain why you think it’s right, and always be consistent. Then, your detractors will have to challenge you on values, not on actions.
Trust comes from walking your own talk. Down the road your team will likely forget the details. They’ll never forget it if you take the easy path against your own conscience.