Category Archives: Leadership

A Leader Who Empowered

Abraham Lincoln2

The WhiteHouse.Gov site explains that Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States used his leadership to empower those who had no power. In 1863, following years of civil war, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared slaves within the Confederacy were forever free.

There was surely a time in Abraham Lincoln’s life when he felt powerless as well. He had struggled like many people of his time. He wrote:

“I was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families–second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks…. My father … removed from Kentucky to … Indiana, in my eighth year…. It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up…. Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher … but that was all.”

Nevertheless, Lincoln worked hard on the farm, gaining knowledge at every opportunity. He was described by his law partner: “His ambition was a little engine that knew no rest.”

Abraham Lincoln was guided by the principles of leadership that I identify in my book, SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional, and Exceptional. He understood sacrifice for, empowerment of, love for, and friendship of all his countrymen. He lived a humble life of service, and was guided by principles of moral good.

Inscribed on one wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. are his words:

“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…. “

It is my hope that you and I will live a life guided by these same principles, that we will have ambition without rest to empower and enhance the lives of those within our influence. May we strive to be EXCEPTIONAL LEADERS, as was Abraham Lincoln.

I invite you to share your thoughts about this, or any other great leader by commenting on this post. Thank you so much for reading it.

 

Leadership: Your Potential to Empower

Carly Fiorina, former 2016 Republican Candidate for President of the United States

Carly Fiorina

As with any one of the 2016 Republican or Democratic candidates for President, you either feel Carly Fiorina is qualified to lead the country, or not. The Republican field was wide this election season, with around 17 candidates to choose from. Some of the candidates we are familiar with, while some we had not heard of before he/she took the political stage.

This post is not meant to be an endorsement for, nor an opinion against Carly Fiorina. I write this today to simply focus on some aspects of leadership I believe Carly and I agree on.

When announcing the end of her run for President yesterday, February 10, 2016, Carly Fiorina said the following. (It can be found verbatim at her website CarlyForPresident.com)


 

This campaign was always about citizenship—taking back our country from a political class that only serves the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well connected. Election after election, the same empty promises are made and the same poll-tested stump speeches are given, but nothing changes. I’ve said throughout this campaign that I will not sit down and be quiet. I’m not going to start now. While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them.

Our Republican Party must fight alongside these Americans as well. We must end crony capitalism by fighting the policies that allow it to flourish. We must fix our festering problems by holding our bloated, inept government bureaucracy accountable. Republicans must stand for conservative principles that lift people up and recognize all Americans have the right to fulfill their God-given potential.

To young girls and women across the country, I say: do not let others define you. Do not listen to anyone who says you have to vote a certain way or for a certain candidate because you’re a woman. That is not feminism. Feminism doesn’t shut down conversations or threaten women. It is not about ideology. It is not a weapon to wield against your political opponent. A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses and uses all her God-given gifts. And always remember that a leader is not born, but made. Choose leadership.

As I have said to the many wonderful Americans I have met throughout this campaign, a leader is a servant whose highest calling is to unlock potential in others. I will continue to serve in order to restore citizen government to this great nation so that together we may fulfill our potential.


In four paragraphs I find some exquisite gems of leadership by Carly. It is her ideas I write about today.

“…a leader is not born, but made. Choose leadership”

We all come to earth in the same way. It does not matter where we are born, what time in history, or how our mother ranked on the social scale. From the moment of birth, we all have to develop the ability to walk, talk, and overcome the fear of pain and failure.

It is through our common experiences on the same planet that our ability to lead will be developed. Leadership is a small seed in each of us. However, at some point we will choose to lead or not. In other words, we influence (or lead) others every day of our life. People watch us, learn from us, and sometimes imitate us even if we don’t know it.

Choosing leadership, as Carly suggests, means to use the influence, abilities, and experiences we’ve had to add to the influence, abilities and experiences of someone else.

“…a leader is a servant whose highest calling is to unlock potential in others”

Until you decide that life is NOT about you, then you will never be truly happy. Life is about empowering those you love to be whom they have the potential to be.

Parenting is the most perfect example of true leadership. Parenting involves sacrificing your own needs for the needs (and usually the wants) of your children. Even if you don’t have children, you can recall the example of sacrifice from your own parents, or from people in your life who shaped the good parts of who you are. Exceptional leaders have that kind of influence over their fellow human beings.

Leadership, as Carly mentions, is the act of identifying the potential in someone else, helping them see it, and then teaching them ways to empower their future through the best choices. Leadership is not about gaining followers so you can be lifted higher in status. True leadership is serving others in a way that helps them see their own value and purpose. Those who lead best are those who love to serve.

61. Servant leadership

“A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses and uses all her God-given gifts”

I completely agree with Carly in her idea that women should never be made to feel less than they are, especially by other women. When women are told that they will happier and more successful in life by destroying the potential of someone weaker or more vulnerable than herself, she is undermining her true happiness in every way. The same goes for men.

Women and men should seek to develop relationships founded in love and friendship. Let’s work to develop deeper, long lasting ties with people, than just casual moments of pleasure and fun. If we do, our lives will be much more fulfilling, and we’ll have fewer regrets.

Carly Fiorina may have made a great President, or not. We may never know. However, I can see by her behavior, her experience, and her ability to fight for what is good and right, that she is, has been, and will continue to be, a great leader.

You likely remember the exchange she had with another candidate, Donald Trump, after he insulted her looks:

CarlyFiorina2

I implore you to explore your leadership. Are you influencing for good the lives of others, or are you focused on getting ahead? I have written a book which defines what exceptional leadership is. I invite you to read it. I’m confident it will help you develop the most important traits of leadership.

Slide ad for book

Buy it on Amazon today!

Tell me what you think of leadership. Do you agree with me and Carly?

Being a Singer Leader

My husband and I are privileged to own a Singer sewing machine. We acquired the Singer 221-1 Portable Electric model years ago at a garage sale when I was quilting as a hobby. Oh, the memories….. Ahem, that’s a story for another blog post.

Singer 221-1 Portable Electric Sewing Machine

Many times through the years we’ve thought of selling our Singer. Each time we’ve brought it out of its place on the shelf to consider its value, I am amazed at the well-made, time-tested strength and beauty of a piece of equipment made for such functional reasons – making clothing.

The Singer 221-1 was born in 1946, and may have been the first electric sewing machine. It is built like a tank, and it’s capabilities rival any military instrument. Seriously, this machine is forged steel – not plastic, not fiberglass. Yet it is decorated with classic gold filigree. All the high-tech sewing machines in use today are patterned after the Singer.

It’s also important to consider the stamina of the Singer Company. Since 1851, the name Singer has been synonymous with sewing. The spirit of practical design and creative innovation that characterized the company at its beginning continues today as they develop products for every level of sewing.

The Singer website lists the firsts they’ve celebrated over the years:

  • The world’s first zig-zag machine
  • The first electronic machines
  • The world’s most advanced home sewing and embroidery machines

I learned to sew when I was 15. On my 16th birthday, I received my first sewing machine, and I made all my school clothes that senior year of high school. I even made my own wedding dress on that machine when I married at age 19. I can truly appreciate the functional aspect of a well-made, multiple function sewing machine.

With my bridal party on my wedding day wearing the dress I made myself

I also appreciate leadership in its purest form, and leaders who provide examples of time-tested traits that help them develop strong leadership skills in others.

A multitude of leaders are mentioned in my book, SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional. Like the Singer sewing machine, these leaders are made of forged steel and have influenced the lives of others – even empowered the lives of others.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • John Quincy Adams
  • John C. Maxwell
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Tony Dungy
  • Ralph Smedley

If you are unfamiliar with any of these influential leaders, I invite you to study up on them. They provide powerful examples of characteristics of leadership we should all strive for. Characteristics such as consensus, inspiration, action, knowledge, work, engagement, respect, strategy, empowerment, and service.

Like a Singer sewing machine, the value of an exceptional leader will never decrease. The leader will be ever-changing, ever innovating, and ever-expanding, yet the pattern of influence and strength will be steadfast and constant.

Are you that type of leader?

What would YOUR team say about you?

How do you feel when you lead?

Does your influence empower others?

Have you considered your leadership strengths and weaknesses?

Let me know your answers to these questions. Let’s take you down from the shelf, dust you off, and consider your leadership value. Let’s plug you in, turn you up, and help you create a new outfit – a stronger leadership style, and a steadfastness in innovation and empowerment. Let’s make you a Singer – Leader!

Oh, and by the way, are you in the market for a Singer sewing machine? All offers considered…

Spoons Should Be Outlawed and Other Crazy Ideas

I’ve been writing this leadership blog for several years. Today’s post is personal. It may sound political. It may sound religious. It may even sound judgmental. No matter how you interpret it, this post is MY opinion and I own it! At it’s core, it is about leadership. I invite you to weigh in whether you agree or disagree.

In the wake of another mass shooting at a school, there are many questions being asked. The leader of our nation, President Obama gave his personal opinion shortly after the tragedy at UCC in Roseburg Oregon last week. In listening to his message, I witnessed a “leader” who displayed traits that disqualify him as such.

President Obama didn’t put ANY responsibility on the young man who cowardly shot a dozen or more unarmed individuals, and killed 9 of them. Instead, he used the power of his office to blame society – a society he has had direct influence over for more than seven years. A society that has become more divided than it was when he took office seven years ago.

Mr. Obama took opportunity to blame his team members in congress (yes, Mr. President we are all on the same team even though you refuse to acknowledge that) He blamed guns. He blamed inanimate objects for the murder of human beings. How does that even make sense? Do automobiles cause car accidents? Do spoons make people fat? Are sidewalks the cause of childhood scrapes?

I’d like to see Mr. Obama, (or anyone else) file a lawsuit against a gun, a car, a spoon, or a sidewalk. As ridiculous as it sounds – his remarks, blame, and shift of responsibility are just as ridiculous. True, exceptional leaders don’t blame their team, and they don’t pass judgment prematurely.

The President tends to put blame on anyone else but the actual person whose actions inspired the outcome. Take a moment to recall Treyvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Freddy Gray. Precious lives lost due to their own choices. They put themselves in a position where their life was threatened because of their own actions – not the actions of police officers or other people. We don’t yet know the outcome of the Freddy Gray case, but he was a known drug dealer, and therefore his choices long ago took him down a road that led to his final destination.

Despite the facts, President Obama has been responsible for influencing people (through his poor leadership and message) to divide our nation rather than unite us. HE has made the aforementioned cases about race, instead of about criminals clashing with police or citizens, resulting in unfortunate deaths.

With a severe lack of respect for police officers and those in authority in our nation, there are people on the fringe of society who will use that situation to justify their own evil. School shooters are that kind of evil. True leaders have to stand against evil and NEVER justify it.

True, exceptional leaders enjoy helping others empower their lives. They act to help individuals see their strengths, and encourage them to overcome weakness. Great leaders are grateful and show appreciation for the people who protect those who can’t protect themselves.

Here is how my philosophy differs from what I believe Mr. Obama’s philosophy seems to be.

My belief:

Humans are born as innocent children. These children learn quickly how to manipulate, cheat, and deceive. Seriously, the first truth a newborn learns is – “if I cry, I will be fed”.

You can see how we quickly learn to manipulate and influence the actions of others. We enjoy this manipulation and, generally speaking, if there was no discipline for breaking rules, we would all likely enjoy breaking them.

Rules however are necessary to a civil society.

As we grow, we learn that good choices will bring good consequences; while bad choices will bring unhappy consequences. (Touching a hot stove, for instance) This helps us learn that PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY is the key to our happiness – not anyone else. That knowledge helps us WANT to be good and we make choices accordingly.

My belief: Good choice = good consequence = personal empowerment

Obama’s belief (based on what he’s said and done):

Humans are born as innocent children. Everyone is good, and government knows how to care for everyone. Mr Obama thinks that government makes better teachers, managers, and parents. He seems to believe that rules are restrictions to who we are, and that if “I want it” then “I should have it”.

Our president believes that when someone makes a bad choice it is an indication that society failed this person. (In Obama’s belief system touching a hot stove would lead to a lawsuit against the stove company, which would then require all stoves to be locked until dinner, at which time children would not legally be allowed in the kitchen)

Mr. Obama believes society is to blame for hatred, poverty, and crime. He believes that if government legislates the way we speak to, speak of, and treat each other that we will all be equal, that it will all be fair, and that there will be no hatred, poverty or crime. In reality, this philosophy does exactly the opposite. Government takes away any reason to be good on our own, and therefore punishes ALL of us when ONE of us does something bad.

Obama’s belief: Bad choice = bad society = government empowerment

With that groundwork laid, please read why I believe these mass school shootings keep happening and how it relates to bad leadership which has influenced individuals in our society.

There are evil people who act in evil ways. When people don’t care about right or wrong, then wrong choices are right. When government is responsible for teaching what is right and wrong – based on the philosophy above – then evil people with evil intentions do evil acts. On the other hand, when morality is based on religious philosophy such as The Ten Commandments, people are empowered to govern themselves correctly.

Years ago government began changing the moral compass of our nation. We began to take a path toward political correctness instead of moral correctness. Schools were no longer allowed to use the word God. Then, we could no longer pray at school assemblies and sporting events. Teachers were instructed to stop teaching virtues such as humility, integrity, accountability, and faith. Children don’t even pledge allegiance to the flag of the nation who gives them the very freedoms they no longer see as important.

We’re at a point today where a 12 year-old girl can’t be given an aspirin by the school nurse without a parent’s permission, but the same girl CAN be taken to an abortion clinic without parental permission. RIDICULOUS!

And while we’re talking about morals – what does legal abortion teach our children? (Let’s face it, Planned Parenthood IS NOT an organization that has any interest in empowering women. They MAKE MONEY from abortions. Why would they ever suggest a different solution to a woman faced with a difficult choice?)

Abortion is violence. Unwanted pregnancy? Destroy the “problem”. Kill a fetus so YOU can be rid of something you don’t want. Planned Parenthood teaches that an unwanted pregnancy is an enemy to happiness and an inconvenience. Once it’s gone, all will be well – you’ll have a better life. TAKE A LIFE TO HAVE THE LIFE YOU WANT.

Currently, our government FUNDS this organization, which is under investigation for selling human body parts. This is a travesty, Our leader, Mr. Obama has praised this organization – even saying “Thank God for Planned Parenthood”. Thank GOD? Are you serious? God has NOTHING to do with Planned Parenthood, and neither should our government. Bad leadership run amok!

Is it any wonder why young men who are on the fringe of society, and who have few friends, and who feel that society has in some way wronged them, choose to destroy other human beings that belong to that society? They have been taught that violence is the answer. TAKE A LIFE TO HAVE THE LIFE YOU WANT. A woman has the right to choose murder – why shouldn’t a man?

Mass shooters want to win. To them, that means “take as many people with you on the way out”. This is how they go from being unknown and faceless one day, to becoming famous the next. Violence and murder give them the life they want. And when our leader will blame their act on the inanimate object they used to commit the crime, instead of calling attention to the evil, cowardly person they were, that’s icing on the cake! Their legacy will leave a country more and more divided.

Then the president goes on television to blame society for one man’s heinous act. Not one mention is given to the brave men and women of law enforcement who brought the carnage to a halt. Why would he give them credit? Police officers are all part of the bad society that creates more bad people because of their brutality. That is the mindset of our president.

Should there be more stringent gun regulation?

In my opinion, there should be more responsible gun owners. In almost every case of a school mass shooting, the ONLY reason the evil cowards were stopped was because the police showed up with guns. It took a few good guys armed with legal weapons to stop evil people from killing more.

Gun-free zones are exactly the places where the evil cowards will go for their violent and murderous acts because they will encounter NO resistance. The students in schools are sitting ducks. There would be fewer mass shootings in schools if there were more guns in schools. I’m not suggesting that students are armed, but security guards should be, and there should be more security guards.

The next time President Obama sings his song of more gun regulation, I suggest someone ask him to take the guns from the security detail that protects him daily. Perhaps he’d then see what it’s like to live in the inner city of Chicago – his hometown – where gun laws are VERY strict yet the criminals have them – which accounts for the 2,322 gun deaths since January in Chicago. Innocent people cannot defend themselves. They are sitting ducks in a supposed “gun-free city”.

At its core, government is corrupt. The 2nd Amendment was put in place because of the fear of corrupt government. An armed citizenry would be able to protect themselves from a corrupt government.

There is no value system in our nation. Political correctness has all but removed the ability to teach values. Then we have young people who decide killing is the way to make a statement. We are to blame for electing leaders of our government who protect the rights of extremists who say, “Death to America and Israel” but ruin the livelihood of a baker who didn’t want to support a gay wedding. It’s insane!

And we wonder why this keeps happening? When you’ve been taught by teachers and government leaders that there is no God, no reason to be good for a better purpose, then why be good? Killing others will be your glory, not loving and serving others.

I would encourage you to consider who you’ve voted for in the last several elections. Have they brought a moral compass to our nation or have they deleted any moral compass we’ve ever had? Are they leading with true, exceptional principles, or are they found lacking those traits. Do our leaders unite people, or divide them? Do our leaders shift blame, and preach that ANYTHING is okay as long as it leads to the outcome they want?

My message may sound political. It may sound religious. It may even sound judgmental. No matter how you interpret it, this post is MY opinion and I own it! True leadership is important….no, it’s vital! YOU can make a difference. YOUR choices in the next election will matter. True leaders will engage in the process rather than try to politicize their agenda.

I invite you to weigh in whether you agree or disagree. Remember to communicate politely and with kindness.

Three Basic Leadership Skills and How to Have Them

I once worked for two oral surgeons who had decided to make changes in a benefit that their employees had enjoyed for many years. Prior to any official announcement to the team, rumors began to circulate, leading employees to panic because the changes sounded drastic enough to affect our paychecks.

The manager of the office alerted the doctors to the quickly sinking morale in the office and suggested that rumor may be worse than reality, and that they should make an official announcement. The doctors set aside time from the surgical schedule to gather for discussion about the amended policy.

At the appointed time for the meeting to commence, the team members gathered in the front office waiting for the doctors to join them. Then, through the front window of the office, we noticed that the doctors were leaving the office, getting in their cars and driving away.

The office manager sheepishly entered the front room and was greeted by angry team members who now knew that the rumors were true. Rather than courageously face their team and respectfully explain why changes were to be made, the doctors had delegated the ugly task to the office manager. We all felt betrayed and belittled with no chance for open discussion to ensure understanding. It was obvious that the doctors knew they were hurting their employees, and didn’t care.

Being a leader, CEO, business owner, or manager is not easy. And if responsibility for such a title is taken lightly, the role becomes even harder.

I suggest three basic skills that all leaders should strengthen in themselves. They are COMMUNICATION, DELEGATION and APPRECIATION.

Communication:

  • After one airplane mysteriously disappeared and another was tragically blown up, Malaysia Airlines tried to appeal to travelers’ sense of adventure in a year-end promotional campaign this past November: “Want to go somewhere but don’t know where?” the airline tweeted.
  • As the SARS super-pneumonia swept Hong Kong, the local tourist board continued to use the slogan, “Hong Kong will take your breath away.”

We’ve all made communication blunders. The key is to minimize mistakes.

As a leader, you must have the ability to concisely state your vision and mission so the team sees it as clearly as you do. Communication is less about the words you use, and more about the way you use those words, and the actions you take to illustrate your words.

  1. Write a vision and mission statement. Introduce these statements to your team; allow time to discuss; encourage understanding and buy in.
  2. Use simple words and ask your team to explain your vision and mission in their own words.  Clarify any misunderstandings.
  3. Communicate in person more than email. Email cannot relay emotions and is a communication method that will most likely lead to miscommunication. Discipline in private and praise in public.
  4. Behave as you want your team to behave. Be consistent, positive and available.

Delegation:

Peter Drucker said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”

What is the right way to do the right things in leadership when it comes to delegation? You must supply the WHAT, WHY, WHEN and HOW to those to whom you are assigning tasks. In other words, a leader clearly defines:

What the task is.

Why the task is important, and the risks to not doing it.

When the task needs to be completed, and when to report back as specific milestones are met.

How the task is to be accomplished. This means that the tools to implement and complete the task must be supplied.

Part of making sure your team has the right tools is by providing training and opportunity for advancement. Show them that developing skills to do more will be rewarded with more – more pay, more benefits, more responsibility – whatever makes sense in your case.

Delegation requires follow up and feedback.

Appreciation

In a pole given to employees around the nation in varied genres of business, they were asked to rate what’s most important in keeping them engaged at work. You may think that number one would be wages, and you’d be wrong.

Clearly defined job descriptions, recognition and appreciation all rank higher than salary when employees are asked which aspects of work are most likely to keep them engaged at work.

Most recent stats in the American Workplace Report tells us that only about 17% of the American Workforce is engaged. Imagine how this lack of engagement affects profitability. Imagine how much company profits would increase if employee engagement was increased?

Appreciation is the key. Showing appreciation is done through listening, understanding, giving feedback, mentoring and team building. The most successful companies are those who focus on their TEAM ahead of their CUSTOMERS. When the team is happy, your customers will automatically happy. When the focus is reversed, the outcome is not as predictable.

Three basic skills of leadership are COMMUNICATION, DELEGATION AND APPRECIATION. You may readily see how you can improve in these areas, AND I’m sure you can identify employees who would be more effective in their responsibilities if they were to improve in these areas. Empower them to do so by showing them how.

The 10 Essentials of Leadership

A Chinese Proverb says,

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.”

Beginning of journey

What would you take with you on your hardest journey?

Boy Scouts and survivalists will tell you there are 10 Essential Items you must have to travel safely on a journey.  Some items vary, but the typical 10 Essentials for Survival are:

  1. Map
  2. Compass
  3. Flashlight
  4. Food
  5. Clothing/Raingear
  6. Sun protection
  7. 1st Aid Kit
  8. Knife or Multi-tool
  9. Fire Starter(s)
  10. Water

Leadership is a journey wherein you must keep stepping, albeit one step at a time. What do you need to have on a journey of leadership? Are there 10 essentials for that?

Yes! Keep reading for The 10 Essentials of Leadership.

Vision
No journey should begin without a map, and any leader that begins leading without a vision is going to find him/herself lost before very long into the journey. A vision is a plan, such as: “I’m going to write a book about Leadership so that greater leaders will be developed and ready to inspire others”

Antique Compass

Mission
A mission statement for a leader is like a compass to a hiker – essential for staying on the right path. You must know what action to take, and why you’re taking it. And, a compass can help you avoid pitfalls and cliffs you may not readily see. If your vision is “I’m going to write a book about leadership”, then your mission is to describe the chapters, the stories, and the lessons you’ll teach in the book.

Foresee-ability
An exceptional leader is someone who can look ahead and see a potential problem, and then take steps, or encourage team members to take steps, to get around the problem before it happens. If you’ve ever tried to find your way through a darkened space, you’ve probably experienced bumps and bruises. Like using a flashlight, a leader that can foresee obstacles in the distance will be less likely to need an ice pack or first aid kit.

Nurture-ability
Leaders not only lead, they feed. Once something is learned, an exceptional leader will then teach. The ability to nurture will lead others to be successful, and that success only increases the leader’s success, it never diminishes it. Positively feed others with kindness, knowledge and motivation, and you as leader will increase the same in yourself.

Raingear

Preparation
The first P of my Three P’s of Empowerment (found in my book) is PREPARATION. Can you imagine going on even the shortest journey without some kind of preparation? Enough said.

Courage
Sunscreen protects our skin from the suns powerful rays. However, it only works if you apply it BEFORE you need it. Courage in leadership is like that. Courage must be obtained before it is needed. And the time will surely come when it’s needed! A leader must be willing to stand up for his/her guiding values and principles in any situation. Otherwise, a painful burn will be the result.

Humility
When those burns, bruises and scrapes happen in leadership – and they will happen, the first aid kit a leader needs on hand is the balm of humility. Accepting our faults, blemishes and mistakes is never easy, in fact it HURTS! But if the wound is allowed to scab over without proper cleaning, medication and dressing it will surely fester, infect and impact our lives later on. It’s best to deal with it as quickly as possible. A humble, sincere apology is often the best cure for mistakes.

Knowledge
A leader does not have to know everything in order to influence and inspire others. In fact, some of my most influential leaders have been individuals who admitted their lack of knowledge on many things, but they knew where to look for the answers, and were not afraid to discover the answers with me. Having basic knowledge is sufficient – like a camper having one tool that is capable of helping with many tasks, an exceptional leader knows how to change and adapt to circumstances, and he/she learns from every experience!

Waterproof matches

Innovation
Have you ever awakened in a sleeping bag inside a tent after a long night of rain? It’s worse if you have to potty, right? You know you have to get up. You know it’s going to be cold. You know that a fire will warm you. You know that fire will not start by itself, and that the dampness will make it a challenge to get the kindling lit. Knowing all of this, the exceptional leader will gather his/her gumption and discipline, and find an innovative way to start a fire. YOU must be that fire starter! The reward will not come without the necessary sacrifice and work. Be innovative and warm the lives of yourself and others!

Spirituality
Water is the basic element to life. Water is so commonplace that we overlook its amazing life-giving power in our lives. Without water, we die. It’s pretty simple. Exceptional leaders recognize another source of life that is often taken for granted. It is the knowledge that there is a life-giving power greater than we can fully comprehend. Call this power God, The Great Spirit, Mother Nature, whatever you believe. It’s important to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You have power beyond your understanding, and that power is given to you by a source you cannot see. The greatest leaders are those who rely on this source.

Backpack

There you have it. The list of 10 Essentials of Leadership. How many are in your backpack right now? Which ones do you still need to gather? Don’t take a journey without these 10 items. Doing so could make your travel perilous.

Do you have a story to share, or a comment to make? Please engage with me and my other readers by sharing your thoughts.

Make your day fabulous!

“Keep believing, there’s no doubt in my mind, bro.”

Russell Wilson | Seattle SeahawksRussell Wilson, Quarterback for the next Super Bowl champs, the Seattle Seahawks, was mic’ed during the teams last game with the Green Bay Packers.

This video is a shortened version of the event.  In the last four minutes of the game, when it appeared that the Seahawks would lose the game, Russell led his team, against all odds, to victory.

He said the following, impactful statements in those last four minutes:

“We can still win this game, stay in it”

“Man, I want it! I hate losing!”

“Make a play! Make a play!”

“Keep believing, there’s no doubt in my mind, bro.”

“Live for the situation, live for it.”

“C’mon let’s go D! LET’S GO! LET’S GO!

After a winning touchdown that caused the Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC Championship game, Russell Wilson was heard to say…

“I told you, I told you. Thank you, Jesus”

“God made me for it, man. God made me for it.”

Russell Wilson 12 Man

Russell then grabbed a 12th Man flag and showed genuine appreciation for the fans that have so endlessly supported their Hawks!

1. Appreciation to God and Jesus

2. Appreciation to the fans

Wilson’s ability to lead, influence and inspire his team – and his fans –  is incredible.

I have learned a great deal from watching Russell Wilson.  What have you learned?

Go Sea Hawks | Superbowl

 

Leadership on the Field – Go Hawks!

Sports metaphors are used to teach leadership more than perhaps any other method.  I think the reason for that is obvious – team situations provide grounds for learning to follow, and learning to lead.

My NFL team, the Seattle Seahawks is going to the SUPER BOWL for the second year in a row!  That gives me perfectly good reason to use a sports metaphor about leadership.

Pete Carroll | Seahawks coach

Pete Carroll – I call him re-Pete Carroll – is the head coach for the Hawks.  The quarterback is Russell Wilson.  Two great men who have been on a leadership odyssey, and whom have proven to be outstanding in their field.  The football field.  Actually, I suppose they weren’t standing.  They were running in their field.  They couldn’t win if they were just standing…..

Coach Carroll has coached many players on many teams.  His odyssey finally brought him to Seattle, and it has been his leadership that has influenced a winning team.

In a recent article by Pat Kirwan titled, Super Bowl 49: How Pete Carroll Came to Mold Champion Seahawks, the author describes how Pete Carroll possess the SELF leadership traits that make exceptional leaders.  Sacrifice, Empowerment, Love and Friendship.

Sacrifice – The article states, His players find it difficult to believe his age (63) because of his energy level. Whether it’s running around at practice, or looking for a player to go one on one with on the basketball court, he never seems to drag.

“I never saw him yawn around the office late at night working on a game plan,” one of his coaches said the other day.

It takes sacrifice of sleep, time and energy to coach a football team of grown men.  The expectations are tremendous.  Coach Carroll obviously understands the sacrifice, and gladly accepts it all for the sake of influencing the team.

Empowerment – His ability to understand his players, and to teach them how to not only work hard, but refocus when necessary is described in the article this way –  The competitive spirit of Seahawks practices has been well-chronicled, but what is unique about his upbeat workouts — going back to his USC days — are his attempts to distract players (open-to-the-public workouts, blaring music) to teach focus. There’s even a basketball hoop in the team’s big meeting room. Players are regularly trying to make a shot. On the spur of the moment he stops meetings, calling for a shooting contest.

The last time I was there, the kickers beat the defensive line and the players erupted with cheers and boos, only to settle down seconds later and refocus.

Love – Service is the key to leadership, and even in a testosterone-high environment, exceptional leaders find time to serve unrelated to the job.  Pete Carroll is an example of charitable love.  The article states….

1. When he coached the Patriots, my cousin — a big Patriots fan — was diagnosed with cancer. Carroll called every week and convinced my cousin he’d get better, keeping his hopes alive. My cousin got better and never forgot Carroll’s efforts.

2. When Carroll was looking for a strength and conditioning coach at USC, he got a call from Chris Carlisle. Carlisle disclosed he had cancer, to which Carroll responded: “Then get out here and get to work so you get better.”

3. One night when we were driving home from work and saw a car with a flat tire on the side of the road. A mother and her two boys were standing outside the car, looking upset. Upon noticing the boys were wearing Steelers shirts, Carroll said to pull over. When he got out of the car, he said we’d fix the flat if the boys traded their Steelers gear for Jets shirts.

Friendship – Pete Carroll is concerned about his friends – even those who work for him  – Loyalty to staff members shows up in his efforts to get them better jobs than they already have. I asked him about losing a few assistants because of the Seahawks’ success, and he said he was trying to help two more assistants get coordinator jobs.

Pete Carroll is an exceptional leader.  He has mastered well the SELF-ish leaderSacrifice, Empowerment, Love and Friendship.  I believe we’ll see examples of all four traits on the field this Sunday at the Super Bowl.

Go Hawks!

Go Sea Hawks | Superbowl

Your Odyssey Has Begun – Whose Eyes Will You Look Into?

Advice.  We’re surrounded by it.  With the advent of the internet there are friends, followers, gurus and goofballs who will tell you they have the solution to your every problem.

Perhaps you consider me a friend.  You may follow this blog, and I may follow yours.  There are some who call me a guru, and more who know me as a goofball.

I don’t have a solution to your every problem, but I have gained wisdom through experience that I’m happy to share.  In fact, many years ago I was asked by a counselor,

“Jackie, if you could speak to Heavenly Father right now, what would you ask him?”

My response then is the same response I’d have today:

“What do you want me to do now?”

The first time I was asked this question was at the finish line of emotional hell overcoming childhood abuse.  With a more complete perspective, I could see how my circumstances, experiences, and challenges of the past had shaped me into the person I was then.  I had always known that if I made it through that healing process I would have more strength than I could have ever imagined.

I was strong.  I had survived.  I was glad I had chosen to keep moving forward.  That odyssey was complete.

I was at the beginning of another Odyssey.  Where would I go, and what would I do?  How can I influence the lives of others?  These were the questions I would ask God, “What do you want me to do now?”

That wasn’t the last time I began an odyssey in life.  It wasn’t the last time when I’ve been able to look back and gain perspective.

There was the time when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 30 years ago.  That was the start of an odyssey.

There was the time I decided to start my business, Emerald City Consulting.  That was an odyssey.

There was the time I said yes to District 2 leadership in Toastmasters International.  That was an odyssey.

There was the time I wrote my book, SELF Centered Leadership.  That is the beginning of your odyssey.

Each time I’ve disembarked from one odyssey, I’ve embarked on another.  That’s the way life should be!

Please take a moment to watch this video featuring a song from John Denver titled “Come and Let Me Look In Your Eyes”

I invite you to embark on an odyssey to exceptional leadership by looking through my eyes.  I identify four traits that have helped me gain perspective from my challenges and experiences in my book, SELF Centered Leadership.  I invite you to read it.

It will help you answer the question,

“What do you want me to do now?”

 

Never Fail at This One Thing – Reason 1

If you’re like me, you want to be successful in all you do.  And, like me, you’ve probably also learned that success does not come without failure.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was told by his teacher, “You’re too stupid to learn anything.”

Edison then went on to hold more than 1000 patents and invented life-changing devices like the phonograph, electric lamp, and movie camera.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first television anchor job.  Forbes now estimates her worth to be 2.9 billion dollars, and she’s the undisputed queen of television talk shows.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney was told by a newspaper editor that he “…lacked imagination and had no good ideas”.  However, my childhood, and those of millions of children in the last 50 years, have been enhanced by the talents and ideas of Mr. Disney.

These are examples of failure (or at least, perceived failure at the time) that is sometimes experienced before success comes to fruition.

We may fail, or be only partly successful at the goals we attempt to reach, or in the accomplishments we set out to achieve.  Most of us will not invent a life-changing device, or become the king or queen of talk-show television.

But the truth is – we can be 100% successful in ONE THING!  What is that fail-proof thing?  You’ll have to read my book to find out!

SELF Centered Leadership is an easy, fun read.  My message is inspiring because it resonates truth.  I write of four traits you should master if you want to be exceptional.

My book is available on AMAZON and on my EMERALD CITY CONSULTING website.

In this post I have revealed the number one reason to read my book – never fail at this one thing again!

There are at least 29 other reasons to read SELF Centered Leadership listed below.  It’s easy to click on the links and learn all 30 reasons….

So why haven’t you purchased it yet?

#30 – You’ll learn to prepare for and survive an ODYSSEY!

#29 – You’ll learn how to spot IMITATIONS everywhere!

#28 – I’ll show you an APP to help you make tough decisions

#27 – I’ll introduce the Three P’s of Empowerment and how to apply them in your life

#26 – Wanna overcome regret?  I show you how!

#25 – I will illustrate how YOU can be heroic in your leadership!

#24 – You’ll learn my one-word definition for leadership

#23Friendship can sting.  I’ll tell you what I mean when I introduce you to Lexi and Debbie.

#22 – You’ll learn how to be EXCEPTIONAL!

#21 – You will know how to rise to the top of your fishbowl.

#20 – You will learn how to EMPOWER your life, your love, and your actions!

#19 – Love can be hazardous.  I teach you how to LOVE in a SAFE way.

#18 – My book makes a great stocking stuffer for anyone 12 and up!

#17 – You’ll be surprised to learn the 10 ways you influence others constantly!

#16 – You’ll learn to have charitable, brotherly love year round

#15 – You’ll learn the fishy art of caring for goldfish, and how to navigate your own fishbowl.

#14 – Learn to prepare for winter conditions

#13 – Learn how to communicate with credibility

#12Learn to lead with Intention

#11Learn ways to stop asking, and start helping

#10 – Help someone with oral cancer smile again by purchasing my book on www.smile.amazon.com  choose Oral Cancer Cause

#9 – Stop eating Styrofoam!

#8 – You’ll have access to the SACRIFICE or VICE chart for decision making

#7Pain, Pain, Go Away!

#6Service is the best medicine.

#5 – Learn the Five Imitators of Happiness

#4 – Know the SECRET to get out of bed on those tough day.

#3 – Witness the Power of YES!

#2 – Achieving STYX-to-it-ness!