The Adventure of Trust in Leadership

"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." Goethe

There is no word that creates more energy and discussion than this word. In leadership, so many passionate discussions are based around this word:

Do I trust this new hire?
Do I trust this salesperson?
Do I trust this business deal?
Do I trust my colleague?
Do I trust my new manager?
Do I trust this decision?
Do I trust the economy?
Do I trust the politicians?
Do I trust the media?
Do I trust the mail?

I am sure you could add a few.

Related: Leadership Requires Bravery

The list goes on and on... and if you listen closely and look you can see behind the questions is ....doubt. Doubt and uncertainty, are two words that have more energy than trust.

Leaders are dealing with these doubts, fears, and uncertainty of emotions every day. In a time of great unrest and change the core skills you need to be prepared with the shifting tides of doubt which erodes the trust you have built over time are as follows:

"When I’m trusting...

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The Secret of Good Decision Making as a Leader

"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are." Roy Disney

Decision-making is a core leadership skill. The secret or trick is to know yourself. Good decisions will grow yourselves, your companies, your team, your family, and your community and will require you to be a bit (sometimes more than a bit) uncomfortable.

Related: Stepping Forward in Leadership

Thoughtful decision-making requires the following:

1. An understanding of yourself and your own value system (clarity here makes all decisions flow)

2. An understanding of the situation and what it means to yourself and others

3. Input from trusted peers who have different and contrary perspectives

4. The desire for personal growth as a leader

5. The willingness to hear the truth when you are in love with an idea or skeptical of it

6. The keen awareness when you decide that you are ready to "take the ride" because you will grow and change

 


"Do not plant your dreams in the field of indecision, where nothing...

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Visions in Leadership

"The important thing is to strive towards a goal which is not immediately visible. That goal is not the concern of the mind, but of the spirit." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942, translated from French by Lewis Galantière

The most important role any leader has is to dream and to have vision. Without this focus, all things become stagnant and uninteresting. The second most important role is to move towards it no matter how tedious and unpleasant some of the work or effort may be.

Related: Vision Planning for Leaders

"Goals are dreams with deadlines." ~Diana Scharf Hunt

Here are some general practices that keep you moving and flowing toward your vision, the dream.

If you dread doing it - make it the first thing you do in the morning and get it off your list
If you keep forgetting to do it - make a to-do list/reminder and then do it
If you second-guess yourself - go back to your first answer and get it done
If you want to leave it to later - move up to...

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Great Leadership Is Not For The Faint Hearted

"All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership."
John Kenneth Galbraith, U.S. economist, "The Age of Uncertainty"

 

 

The illusion of outstanding leadership is it looks easy. Yet behind the scenes, leaders grapple with complex scenarios, unclear situations, undefined possibilities, and regular risks. It is not an easy job....and it is a very satisfying job for those who are willing to put in the hard work, effort, and personal growth necessary to define new roads forward. Leaders who shine have the ability to step into the tension to understand a situation and let go of "what is the right way" and search for the "best way". They have a honed skill to not focus on who is "right or wrong" but to focus on what is the path forward that creates a new flow for all involved.

To do this it requires the core...

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Impactful Leadership

"Some people strengthen our society just by being the kind of people they are." John W. Gardner

Perhaps the most challenging exercise of authentic leadership is the coming home to self. To remember that embracing yourself, having confidence in your way of learning, and being are enough. When a leader is in the strength of who they are and are true to their nature they thrive and are able to make significant impacts with their work just by being themselves.

The only thing that gets in the way of all of this is ego. The ability to be self aware and self manage allows leaders to constantly stretch, grow and adapt.

“The Tao Te Ching says,
When I let go of what I am,
I become what I might be.
When I let go of what I have,
I receive what I need.
Have you ever struggled to find work or love,
only to find them after you have given up?
This is the paradox of letting go.
Let go, in order to achieve. ” – M. M. Morrissey

Each day leaders have the ability to impact others in a way...

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Creating Strategy in Leadership

“What do you want to achieve or avoid? The answers to this question are objectives.
How will you go about achieving your desire results? The answer to this you can call strategy.” William E. Rothschild

The ability to have a vision and build a strategy to move into the vision is one of the core necessities of leadership. Often I am asked can this be taught or is it born. And it turns out it is neither. It is a commitment to "step out of the day to day" and look objectively and with new eyes at the world around you. This ability is what builds strong and vibrant leaders and like wise organizations.

For leaders who spend time gaining new experiences, trying new hobbies, learning new concepts and skills outside their day-to-day, and practices putting themselves in others shoes....strategy is easy and fun. These leaders provide bold and strong growth.

For leaders who tend to stay with like minded people, are surrounded by people who do not question or explore their thinking,...

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Vitality of Leadership

“There is a vitality,
a life force,
an energy,
a quickening,
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.”

Martha Graham

Leadership is made up of many components that have been studied by the greats. One of the key components is physical vitality and stamina. When you see positive leaders which energize an organization and have the keen ability to influence people .....you see an "aliveness" that captures the minds and spirits of others.

So does this mean you have to be fit like Lance Armstrong or Serena Williams?

No. It does mean that you have to maintain a healthy lifestyle to make sure you are engaged and energized in role as a leader. An equal part of vitality is having passion and finding the pieces in your role that create excitement, energy and aliveness which translates well into your organization.

Related: Goal Review as a Leader

Key Attributes of a Leader

Here are key attributes of leaders...

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When To Release Control of Things in Leadership

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Every executive who moves into their personal best of leadership has the ability to shed control to the appropriate people. This is a difficult and important focus especially when shifts in economy and market require organizations to shift. While it may be important to rightsize and downsize it is imperative that this not be the control mechanism you use to lead or guide a team or company. The key to growth is to grow.... in order to do that it takes the ability to let go of old actions and move into the right activities to grow your organization.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

Related: Vision Planning as a Leader

Indicators it is time to let go:

No one can do it as well...

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When to Let Go as a Leader

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Every executive who moves into their personal best of leadership has the ability to shed control to the appropriate people. This is a difficult and important focus especially when shifts in economy and market require organizations to shift. While it may be important to rightsize and downsize it is imperative that this not be the control mechanism you use to lead or guide a team or company. The key to growth is to grow.... in order to do that it takes the ability to let go of old actions and move into the right activities to grow your organization.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

Related: The Do's and Don'ts of Commitment

Indicators it is time to let go:

No one can do it as...

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Quality Growth as a Leader Needs Creativity

"There are two ways of being creative. One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment in which singers and dancers flourish."
Warren G. Bennis

There is no growth even in nature without planting new seeds. Successful leaders understand the common sense truth nature offers daily. If you want your team, organization and company to grow you have to create a cycle of new ideas, good environment, good management, and good marketing. Simple....yet somehow gets complicated with interesting notions.

Fear is the primary impediment of creativity and strong growth. Deming wrote of this with his point number eight "obligation of management" was to drive fear out of the organization. Fear of being fired, reprisals, losing status, or being different weakens the growth cycle of a company. Deming believed that quality, innovation, and creativity all required risk taking and the willingness to speak up.

How to grow the company as a Leader

Related: 5 Accountability Practices You Need as a...

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