Five Blogs of Note for the Week Ending April 25, 2013
I’m starting a new tradition – it’s the Friday Five, Blogs that Matter. On select Fridays, I will share clips from some of the top blogs I noticed from the week.
I don’t benefit from reposting any of these posts. Sometimes, I don’t even know the writer. However, I do read and personally grow my knowledge by reading posts that challenge my thinking and get me to think outside my old paradigm.
It’s not important that you agree with any of these writers. It’s only important that you think.
Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler. – Albert Einstein
“You Have To Do It By Yourself, and You Can’t Do It Alone.” - Martin Rutte
The personal growth industry is very large and growing at a rapid pace. More people at looking for the quick fix found in a book or online program. Many are attempting to increase their skills and capacities with self study, seminars, or networking groups, without the aid of an experienced mentor or guide.
I am wringing out this post while attending the Extraordinary Leadership Seminar in Richmond, Virginia, for three days. The seminar is based on the work of psychologist Murray Bowen, known for his Bowen Family Systems Theory. There are lectures in the mornings and coaching in the afternoons. The bulk of the learning happens in the coaching time. This is a three-year journey, with three seminars each year of three days each. It’s a major commitment of time. It’s a major leap forward in understanding myself and in strengthening my own leadership skills.
Learning is a process of discovery, digestion, and application, so this pattern really allows for leaders to step into a new way of being. In order to transform an idea into reality, or to transform an organization, leaders first transform themselves.
“Being listened to is so close to being loved that most people cannot tell the difference.”
Listening is a primary skill for the Transformational Leader. My model for great leadership is based on the skills of the musical conductor, who is a great listener. Success is directly and immediately experienced as a result of effective leadership by the conductor. When the conductor does not get the desired result, then it’s time to change whatever technique or cue that’s not bringing the intended results.
The conductor knows what’s wrong because he or she is listening intently. To be able to draw out the best from the musicians, the conductor must listen to what’s going on in the room and respond appropriately.
Many leaders are not fully aware of the power of listening. Many are too busy attempting to activate their personal agendas to be aware of the necessary information available around them. The Transformational Leader builds strong leaders on teams. As in a symphony orchestra, the high-performance team is comprised of highly skilled individuals. When these highly skilled individuals function together as a unit, they must be able to fully access their individual skills and acquire an additional skill set, as well…the ability to listen and respond to others on the team. The finest orchestras in the world rehearse continuously in order to maintain the highest level of ensemble status. This is a skill set developed over time by rehearsing together.
Tags: Conductor, David Oxberg Listening, leadership, Leadership Secret, Leadership Skill, Leadership Skills, leadership traits, Learn Leadership, learning, listening, Listening And Responding, Musical Conductor, skill, Skill Set, team, Transformational Leadership
Everything on earth has its own time and its own season. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 CEVUK)
Leaders train to be at the top of their game every day. We must be productive on a continual basis, however, there is a natural rhythm to life.
There is a time to sow and a time to reap. There is a time to work, to rest, to play, and a time to reflect.
In the liturgical year, the season of Lent begins today. Lent is a time of reflection. We reflect on the passion of Christ. We set aside some things and practice other disciplines in order to be able to reflect on the sacred mysteries.
The normal rhythm of how things happen is interrupted for 40 days. By the way, these 40 days do not include Sundays. The interruption is interrupted.
Words, words, words. Our society is full of words: on billboards, on television screens, in newspapers and books…. With so many words around us, we quickly say: “Well, they’re just words.” Thus, words have lost much of their power. *
- Henri Nouwen
Transformational leaders choose words carefully.
Tags: Communication, Conflict in the Workplace, Henri Nouwen, leadership, leadership language, Leadership Skills, leadership systems, leadership traits, listening, Right Words, the transformational leader, transformational leaders, Transformational Leadership, Word Choice
Paying the upfront cost of planning is far, far, cheaper than the cost of the fix.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
- Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
Are you writing to impress someone? Who?
Are you writing a blog, a book, or articles? Why are you writing? To whom are you writing?
I am writing all of the above. I write for my own awareness. I gain clarity as I express ideas. I write for leaders with a vision that will make our world a better place to live. I don’t write to sell myself or my programs. I write to provide value to others, sharing the enlightenment I have gained in my journey over the past 66 years. I share what I have learned from my own mistakes and failures.
In this writing, it’s important to not show up as an expert, but as a serious student of leadership. Gaining all the information and awareness of leadership skills and systems is like trying to find the end of the Internet. The envelope of leadership development is a constantly expanding space. Living into that space is the calling of great leaders. There is a substantial difference in being driven and being called.
I’ve spent time with several great leaders and conductors over the past 66 years, and found that they have several things in common: Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: Clarity, Goals, Hugh Ballou, Influence, leader, leader developing, leadership, Leadership Development, Leadership Skills, listening, management, The Transformational Leadership Strategist, Transformational Leadership, Writing, Writing A Blog
Becoming Aware of a Discipline of Personal Excellence
While eating my breakfast of organic grains, fruits, and milk, I became aware of the discipline of excellence we practice in our daily lives as leaders. My leadership principle #3 is about systems. In musical conductor terms, it’s “Rehearse for Success.” If we want to have excellence, we must establish and rehearse excellence as a daily discipline. The focus on effective systems is the theme. Achieving meaningful results is the goal. Defining how to get meaningful results is the duty of the leader. See Seth Godin’s blog post about “better.” To get better, we must rehearse better.
I love coffee. Many years ago, when my son, A. J., was in graduate school and worked for Kaladi Brothers Coffee, I became acquainted with how good coffee can taste. I realized that coffee does not have to be bitter. I also realized that there are many types of coffee, with each one offering a different flavor and experience. Finally, I became aware of how important the roasting process is to the flavor, and that brewing coffee with freshly-roasted beans provides an amazing difference in the depth and body of the flavor.
In order to be able to enjoy the flavor difference, I needed to learn the art of coffee roasting. I continue to learn from every coffee roastmaster when visiting different roasters in various cities around the country. Each person has a unique perspective to share, in addition to the common best practices they all have in common. This small difference in effort on my part provides me with a big difference in results. It’s way more than worth it. And now, I’m not willing to compromise the quality, because I know the difference.