"Leadership is a practice, not a position. " Bobbie Goheen

Leadership is not an easy practice. Once a leader gains a skill it is clear another must be developed. Front line managers and supervisors are very adept at developing skills because they are bombarded with everyday interactions that demand their growth and adaptability.

"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others." – Bill Gates

As you move up in any organization it requires far more intention and focus. Most of the skills required are to deal with the hidden or unhidden emotion of others. Once this skill is developed you have the ability to move mountains based on your ability to listen, understand, and have each individual heard and honored for their contribution. You do not have to agree with them, you just need to understand their perspective.

Related: 7 Tips for an Effective Quarter

When you understand others perspective it is easy to find collaborative solutions or adapt...

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5 Things Truly Confident People Do

Leaders with confidence tend to build success in themselves and others where ever they go. This confidence is not fake it is real, authentic, and genuine. This is what attracts others to follow.

Here are five ways leaders build confidence:

"The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you." William Jennings Bryan

One - leaders realize fear will either limit them or grow them. They choose the latter. They look fear in the face and identify what it is saying, explore whether it might be true, define whether it may have any truth or insight given the situation, and than they move forward. Leaders are not afraid to say they have fear, they just don't use it as a reason to stay stuck. This is the foundation of their true confidence.

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do." Eleanor Roosevelt

Two - leaders realize thinking what others may think is a fruitless and...

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Real People, Real Success - Anne

"Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them.They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them." Jack Canfield

Anne is a leader and entrepreneur who has created her own science for success.

One of her key practices to creating consistent and ongoing success, is the ability to set clear goals, communicate them, define milestone metrics, and manage to the milestones. This ability to define a vision, build a plan and take it seriously is why her company and team continue to have smart growth.

Related: Healthy Team Environment

You might say this is not rocket science...and your are right. What makes it work is Anne always tells the truth, if something is working she celebrates. If it is not, she calls it out and looks for a way to make it work. Anne...

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Follow Your North Star

"Let your dreams be your North Star."

Maryann Koopman

Passion, drive, aliveness, motivation, engagement, awareness, openness, and curiosity seeps through the pores of a leader when they follow their internal North Star. Leaders who dare to dream and design ways to bring them to reality have that certain "je nais sais quoi" that speaks to others and says "there is something cool going on here"... let's follow.

“Pursuing your passions makes you more interesting, and interesting people are enchanting.”

Guy Kawaskai

Leaders constantly tune to their inner North Star as they make decisions and move forward toward the dreams on the horizon. They listen, grow, and learn how to bring their dream to reality in an ever changing world. Dream makers/leaders know the path to building the dream is not the same as what they have used before. This truth seems to keep them fresh, clear, and agile to adapt within a dynamic world while finding a new way to build each dream.


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Stay True

"That inner voice has both gentleness and clarity. So to get to authenticity, you really keep going down to the bone, to the honesty, and the inevitability of something."

Meredith Monk

It's funny how many people think I am going to change them when I begin working with them. That is far from the truth. Leaders must stay true to their innate personality, self and way of being as much as possible. Others sense when one is smooth vs natural, clever vs thoughtful, clear vs fuzzy, defensive vs open, driving an agenda vs exploring a better way, manipulating vs collaborating, and the list goes on. In leadership, most follow someone who is authentic and imperfect vs smooth and perfect.

Now, this does not mean you get to just hang out and say whatever crosses your mind. (We all know this happens inherently when people turn about 80 years old and the ability to say what is socially appropriate leaves the brain) Nor does it mean you get to just do what you want. It does mean you must hone...

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Negative Growth

"People inspire you or drain you, pick them wisely."

Hans F. Hanson

  Many of you are not going to like this post.... don't say I did not warn you.   I don't agree with the above quote. There are so many books, quotes, etc on how to shed negative people out of your life. I just don't see this as a totally true statement and indeed it is hinders the development of self, of leaders, of teams, etc. Leaders do not get this choice, because in truth to build a good team, success, and a path forward you have to be able to work with all types of people. In addition, this kind of thinking is a direct slap in the face to diversity. If this is what we were meant to do, cutoff people or out of our lives, we would have been put in pods separate from each other. If you are in a role where you have to work with or though others you rarely get this choice to cut negative people out of your way. What I have found, both personally and with the people that I coach, is "negative" situations...

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Hard To Be Easy

"In the busyness of business don't forget to connect to the heart of it all."

In this very complex world we live in it is easy to lose the heartbeat of what business is all about. If your day is peppered with strategic initiatives, organic growth meetings, calibrating expectations, disruptive innovations, exit strategies, multi-scenario building, multi-tasking, globalization, holistic approaches, impact analysis, buy outs, mergers, thinking outside the box, paradigm shifts, organizational transformation, streamlining, sustainability management, outsourcing, crystallization, derivatives, event horizon discussions, millennial management, valuations, performance management, integrated marketing solutions, knowldge process outsourcing, logistics, low hanging fruit definition, off-shoring, on-shoring, roi's, quick wins, right-shoring, start-up, agile, brisks and clicks, clickthroughs, cloud, content management, convergence, data mining, enterprise management, mashups, netiquette,...

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And... Action

"It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready.

I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything.

There is almost no such thing as ready.

There is only now.

And you may as well do it now.

Generally speaking, now is as good as any."

Hugh Laurie

At the end of the day leaders are measured by their actions. The type of actions that create good positive momentum, forward movement, new possibilities, or new roads are that actions the wake others up to follow.

All the training you have received to be a good manager and build strong relationships become the life blood and essential muscles to move into unknown territories. If you are to lead you must go to a place that builds a bolder, better vision of tomorrow that inspires others to go.

Related: Create a Vision

This vision and dream starts with you. By taking bold action today you are creating a more vibrant tomorrow.

  • What is the vision you have of yourself and your profession?
  • What is...
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Stay Connected

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated.
We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tired into a single garment of destiny.
Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The hardest thing to do in business (and personally) is to stay connected when you are not in agreement with another or out of your own personal integrity. The human desire to fight or flight gets kicked in to gear with both of these scenarios. Do not get seduced into thinking it wise to disconnect to "think about it some more" or "come up with a better way".

To lead you often have to do what is counter-intuitive or uncomfortable in relationships. As a leader if you don't work to build bridges while others are abandoning them then who will?

When you are not in agreement with another, focus on the following:

• What elements are most important to both of you in the discussion? Validate them with the other.

• Share your truth --...

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The Trap of Defeat

“Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” -- Denis Waitley


A couple posts ago, I talked about the Trap of Prosperity. Essentially, it is a period of stagnancy that sometimes comes along with success, and very often can lead to a decline in sales if nothing is done about it. There is another trap that you need to watch out for that I will call the Trap of Failure. It is something that we have all experienced at some point in our lives, and if you aren’t careful, it can cause a downward spiral. Basically, what it is is that when we fail to meet our own expectations, we often get down on ourselves. Instead of finding ways to go back and try again, we dwell on the past and it becomes a self-fulfilling loop of disappointment. We are disappointed that we failed, and so we are too busy thinking about that to move forward and try something else, and because of that, we are...

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