6 Tips to Help You Succeed as a Leader

Christian heads many organizations and several Professional Associations. He was always respected. Whatever he says, goes. He retired recently, and decided to use his knowledge to start a renowned Group to make a difference to others in the community. He was successful. Within a year the group grew to several hundreds, with many eager to join his endeavor.

However,  Christian has one problem. The group has grown and comprised millennials and others who expect a participatory leadership style. They shared ideas which little by little were shut down, avoided, or disregarded. The members now wonder whether it makes sense for them to be involved in the organization.

A Creature of habit, Christian exhibits the traditional authoritarian leadership style. Permit us to say that we are not sure if that is going to hold in today’s society.

Christina Folz in her article titled Lead From Where You Are, shared 6 tips to help you succeed as a leader:

  1. Accept Failure
  2. Embrace who you are
  3. Build relationships early
  4. Question Everything
  5. Find People who Challenge you
  6. Take initiative

Of the points raised my top three include, accepting failure because it means you have tried. You don’t wait around on your Sleeve until things are safe before stepping out.

Building relationships is also crucial to success. My own research on Success Strategies confirmed this when I interviewed leaders of several organizations to find out the traits that made them successful.

The third point concerned finding and working with people who challenge you. Doing this encourages creativity, and a creative team propels an organization or team’s success.

There you have it, my top favs selected. From the list, do you have a favorite, or two? Do share.

Cheers!

Leader: Where Are You Now? 

Being a leader is 24-7 job, and educational opportunities to improve yourself are everywhere. Learn from your friends and family and sometimes complete strangers, and you’ll find opportunities at every turn

 – Byron Scott and Charles Norris

Leader. Where are you now and where do you want to be? In the book Slam Dunk Success, Magic Johnson articulated in the Forward that most people think you win then you become a leader. But it’s the other way around. You’re a leader first, then you win.

Leaders are everywhere, and so are leadership opportunities. Punctured or not, Magic urged that you may be an entry-level employee or a middle manager, but not to worry. Every department is looking for a leader. To have the courage to stand up and take the lead, you will become successful.

Leadership is innate. Leaders are constantly changing the world around them. They may be involved in business or in the community. Opportunities abound.

Leadership is foresight. Manage yourself. Think of where you are now and where you want to be. Then take the steps ….one at a time. Try. Learn. Fail. Get back up and do it again. You will succeed with hard work and persistence. As always, don’t give up.

Cheers!

4 Barriers To Change…

We don’t know what lies ahead and that causes fear, apprehension and dissent

Change. It hurts.

Change hurts and that’s the reason so many hate it. Some change is good. Some bad.  The news report of the Boston Marathon bombing was just terribly awful news. It caused pain, anarchy, sadness and fear. It changed lives in many, many ways. The scars are borne by those who were present, and those miles away at a distance.

Arising from that terrible tragedy where people died, hundreds were injured and some maimed, there were good news. Some of which included the resilience of many survivors, inspirational stories, and more. However, two stories stand out. One pertains to the return of dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis who recently returned to the stage on prosthetic leg. The other illuminates Roseann Sdoia now engaged to wed the fireman who saved her. Certainly stories of love’s triumph over tragedy or dare I say in spite of.

So how do we get the courage to face the ugly face of change when it hits like a ton of bricks right in the face? How do we get the strength to go on…to fight…to survive? Here are some barriers that impede our desire to change.

4 Barriers to Change

1.Fear of the Unknown. We don’t know what lies ahead and that causes fear, apprehension and dissent that sometimes retards our ability to move ahead or even causes us to get stuck.

  • Solution:  Face your fear. Make the move. Act in spite of fear.

2.Power Struggle. Power especially in organizations or personal relationships creates struggles that ignites disharmony because of threats and resistance. Some people can be physically intimidating, highly vocal or difficult to deal with. This can be because of their position as in management, stature as in a bully, or financial acumen as in being the main bread-winner in a family.

  • Solution: Understand position whether it’s in the organization or in relationship. Understand each individual’s place in the situation. All are important.

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3.Communication. Lack of communication or trust. Communicating disrespectfully creates barriers.

  • Solution: Be open. Encourage open respectful discussion. Share what’s happening on both sides and most important…listen. This will help with breaking the barriers to communication and build trust.

4.Trust.  Why Change? What is the rationale? Why is it necessary? Do you stay in the situation? Will fighting and resisting help?  In most instances not at all.

  • Solution. Stop fighting. Face the situation. Try to understand what is happening around you and try to do something about it. If it is something that you can help, then do it. If not, find someone more experienced that can help you with the change as in the case of unexpected job loss, change in business, finances, or relationship.

It’s a Process 

Recognize that change is a process. It takes time. But with effort, determination and the desire to overcome, you can do it. So be bold. Remain steadfast. Thrive and you will survive the wind of change in time.

On 2nd Thoughts: Leadership & Power

If you build it, will they come?

Leadership as the ability to cause other persons to act in desired ways for the benefit of the organization or group

As the citizens of the United States prepare for the passing of the baton to another President, it might be worth it to pause and reflect on leadership and power. Many are having Second Thoughts about what to do to influence the passing of the baton to another incumbent.

For that matter, our reflections turn to consider what is leadership? What is power? How can leaders positively influence the action of others? Is there a right way? Is there a wrong way? Does it differ at the worldwide level from that of the organizational and individual levels? These questions have tugged at my mind as I contemplated the sources of power and sought to identify individuals in organizations who exemplify these attributes.

Leading Leaders

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Selacuse in his book “Leading Leaders” discussed the category of powerful people whom he defined as the ‘elites’. Despite the natural negative connotation derived from this term, these are individuals who have “more” – more education, more talent, more money and more clout than ordinary people. Their knowledge, skills, money or power give elites (customarily leaders) special privileges.

A Bushy Comparison

Persuasion before action

Moreso Selacuse defined leadership as the ability to cause other persons to act in desired ways for the benefit of the organization or group.  He conveyed an interesting spin on contrasting leadership at the presidential level. A comparative analysis was done on the leadership style of President George H.W. Bush with the leadership of his son President George W. Bush.  Father Bush strongly believed that if other nations were to join the coalition to drive Iraq from Kuwait, the United States had to take an active, energetic leadership role in convincing them to join the coalition.  He believed that leadership required diplomacy across a broad front and exhibited this through direct contact with other world leaders.  Moreover, he did this through diplomatic missions; through action at the United Nations and other international organizations; through foreign embassies in the United States; and through American ambassadors abroad – to build and maintain a coalition of nations united in their efforts to achieve the goal to drive Iraq from Kuwait.  George H.W. Bush’s leadership was based on persuasion before action.

If you build it will they come?

In contrast to his leadership style, his son George W. Bush acted under the belief that other countries had no choice but to follow the United States.  George W. Bush and his administration believed that leadership by the United States seemed to flow automatically from its status as the world’s only superpower.  At the time, the administration made it publicly clear that if other countries did not follow the U.S. into the war against Iraq, they would go to war alone.  That certainly deviated from the importance of creating a coalition.  They believed that unilateral action by the U.S. would naturally lead to multilateral action by other countries.  The “if you build it they will come” doctrine expressed the belief that the United States was a unique country not just in terms of its power but also its moral authority for using that power.

To summarize this comparative analysis, Bush – the father, had broad experience in international diplomacy and long-standing relationships with world leaders at that time. He intimately knew and was on a first-name basis with national leaders and used this to his advantage to influence worldwide leaders.  On the other hand, his son had no previous diplomatic experience and did not know the foreign leaders.  Therefore, he often delegated important tasks to other members of his administration. Naturally then, he did not have the influence that his father did.  In my opinion, this was indeed an interesting view on the issue of leadership and power at the global nation-wide level.

Definitely something to consider as we step into the future of our country, organizations or at the individual level of leadership, power and success.

Choose wisely.

 

Being Micro Managed?


You Micro Manager! Yes you. Repeat after me…I will not micromanage. I will not micromanage. I will not micromanage. These are the best words of caution for new managers.

Micromanagement is a management style whereby a manager closely observes or controls the work of subordinates or employees. Micromanagement generally has a negative connotation. Wiki

I was asked the question why some managers feel it necessary to micro manage. Reflecting on that I decided to share through this post.

Managers who micromanage makes coming to work a nightmare. Micro Management is the practice of managing with excessive control or attention to detail. It tells employees that there is a lack of trust. Essentially that the manager has little confidence in his/her team and their capabilities. Often it drives the team away and what is worse, it is the organization’s most talented people who frequently walk away. The company is then left with those workers who will simply show up for a ‘paycheck’. No commitment, no care.

Signs of Micro Management

If you are a micro manager, Harvard Business shared signs that can be seen:

  • You’re never quite satisfied with deliverables
  • You often feel frustrated because you would have gone about the task differently
  • You laser in on the details and take price and/or pain in making corrections
  • You constantly want to know where all your team members are and what they are working on
  • You ask for frequent updates on where things stand
  • You prefer to be cc’d on emails

As a manager, this is certainly grounds for disaster. You will either drive your team crazy or stress yourself out with the inevitable burn out.

How to Manage:

As a new manager if you find yourself micro managing here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be afraid to fail. At its very core is the feeling that if you don’t do things yourself, things are going to fail. Not so. This is a myth. Sometimes failure is good. It helps us learn and grow, and our teams may end up with the belief that you are ‘human’. They will work together with you to achieve the results. Essentially, you will win.

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  • Focus on the ‘what’ not the ‘how’. I am a firm believer in sharing the organization and your department’s goal with your team.  Doing so stimulates their creativity and provides solutions that you may not have considered.
  • Let it go. The difference between managing and micromanaging is in the ‘micro’. Let go of watching people. Here’s how:

-Look at your to-do list to see which task can be passed on or delegated to those reporting to you.

-Engage your team. Let them know what level of detail you expect from them and where they need to connect with you.

-Think Big. Focus on the big issues that you need to concentrate on and place your energy and attention on those.

Being Micro-Managed?

If you are being micro-managed, Research Psychologist Dr. Peggy Drexler suggests a few pointers you can use to remain sane:

  • Do your job well.
  • Ask how you’re doing
  • Be a proactive communicator. Copy supervisor on emails. Keep him/her up to date on your activities before being asked.
  • Teach him/her how to delegate. Volunteer to help with tasks or projects and keep your manager abreast of the progress.

Practicing these points will help you succeed. The converse is also true. Continuing to micro manage is Ancient…a thing of the past where autocratic leadership was game. Doing this now is sure grounds for disaster.

So it’s your choice. Choose wisely and experience success.

Finish It.

One of my favorite anecdotes is about the movie Ice Age when the chickens fought hard to save their watermelons because the ice age was coming, and would stay for a billion, billion years! So they had to prepare. During the interface, they said to the mammoth “if you don’t prepare, then doom on you, doom on you”. To which he replied, “so you have 3 melons?”

I don’t know if I stated that scene correctly… but here’s the bigger point. We must have a goal. Then when we identify the goal we must prepare. How do we do that? We plan. Plan the steps from beginning to end. Don’t leave it  Unfinished.

Here’s how:

Jonathan Milner Infographic

 

Sometimes…Pretense…


Fake it til you make it.

Act the part. 

Practice makes perfect

Just do it.

Success for sure.

Is pretending wrong? Is it wrong to  Pretend that all is well in the midst of a loss? In the midst of fear? In the midst of turmoil, and pain? Is it wrong to pretend that we too can succeed at all we put our minds to? To achieve a great feat that in our real minds we would be afraid to do? Is it wrong?

Maybe not. If pretense is what we have to do to come outside of ourselves to achieve our dreams, goals, and aspirations, I’d say go for it! Because…one day it will be for real!

Hold strong…be all you can be…and succeed!

 

8 Traits of Toxic People…

There are many who act like toxins that poison our careers, dreams, goals, and aspirations

Why does she always have to be mean? Why can’t he understand? Why is it so hard for my boss to get it? Why does she have to always be so …. toxic!

Yes, Toxic. Indeed, it is a strong word which means pertaining to, affected with, or caused by a toxin, or poison. That is the meaning attributed to the word. Sad when it is used to describe an individual’s behavior. But truth be told, there are many who act like toxins that poison our careers, dreams, goals, and aspirations. Year in year out, time and again they poison our ability to succeed. Yet why do so many choose to stick around such people? Toxic people are offensive, and people hate being around them.

toxic-people

So in order to succeed, we must get away from them. It is difficult when you work directly with such individuals, but when you choose them as your ‘Generous‘ friends, it’s a sure recipe for disaster.

Traits of Toxic People

Selected here are eight (8) of the characteristics described by Dr. Lillian Glass, Expert in Human Behavior. As alluded, if you see yourself in any of the traits, don’t Panic! Simply recognize the trait(s) and start the process to do something about it.  But first, brace yourselves and let’s try to understand the various characteristics.

  • The Cut-You-Downer is arrogant, mean, belittling, bitchy, hateful, self-righteous, condescending, threatened, superior, insecure, offensive, critical, sarcastic, disrespectful, underhanded, and fault-finding. They have little self-esteem and will find fault with you and with everyone else. They love to belittle, taunt, ridicule, others. They cut others down so they can build themselves up.

  • The Self-Destroyer is victim-like, unrealistic, weak, unstable, sabotaging, rejecting, negative, threatened, selfish, lifeless, desperate, unappreciative, depressed, defiant, rebellious, and out of control. They hate themselves so much that they constantly tear themselves down and harp on what’s wrong with them, while berating themselves. They usually say things like “I’m so stupid”; “that was dumb of me”; or “I’m the worst.” In essence, self-destroyers try to cut themselves down before anyone else has a chance to do it. They hardly ever accept compliments and will negate any nice or kind words that come their way. They can be so full of self-loathing that they will become alcoholics, foodaholics, drug abusers, etc. Essentially self-destroyers don’t think they are worthy of good things or deserve anything positive in life.
  • The Gossip is indiscreet, insecure, fault-finding, false, belittling, quick to place blame, brazen, hypocritical, competitive, hurtful, self-righteous, shallow, sharp-tongued, skeptical, sneaky, imposing, adversarial, conspiratorial, critical, disloyal, meddling, mean-spirited, offensive, and angry. The gossip loves to spread stories even embellish them, and may invent stories of his or her own. The gossip is usually a nosy person whose biggest pleasure is telling you about someone else’s misfortunes. He might find pleasure in telling stories about others. Gossips generally have very little going on in their own lives. So they want to be accepted and to feel important so they bring you the latest news (real or imagined).
  • The Gloom and Doom Victim is masochistic, guilt-ridden, worrisome, sabotaging, resentful, rigid, selfish, rejecting, sad, negative, petty, fault-finding, paranoid, stubborn, whiny, weak, defeatist, unimaginative, self-destructive, fearful, solemn, cowardly, depressed, skeptical, unappreciative, suspicious, lifeless, lethargic, lackadaisical, defensive, and depressed. Gloom and Doom victims are depressing to be around. Their energy really zaps you as they tell you how horrible life is, has been, and will be for them. They aim to make you feel sorry for them, but they have no interest in any advice you offer. Their preference is to wallow in self-pity, certain that the world has done them in and everybody has done them wrong. Nothing ever goes right for them. Maybe it’s because their glass is always half empty rather than half full. They blame everyone but themselves when anything goes wrong in their lives.
  • The opportunistic User is selfish, interfering, manipulative, back-stabbing, brown-nosing, secretive, indirect, disloyal, conspiratorial, dishonest, sneaky, unappreciative, underhanded, tenacious and seductive. Opportunistic users are out for themselves alone. They are fair weather friends who want you in their life only when it is convenient for them—when they can benefit. These people will do anything to get ahead. If they can benefit from someone or have benefited all they can, they discard the person like a used paper towel, without a second thought.
  • The Me, Myself, and I Narcissist is selfish, egomaniacal, lacking in self-confidence, shallow, insecure, arrogant, boring, limited, socially inept, exhausting, obnoxious, flamboyant, self-centered, indiscreet, and a show-off. They have only one thing in mind—themselves. They are the most self-centered individuals anyone can encounter. They don’t want to talk about or do anything unless it pertains to them. They want to hear about your issues only if it affects them. Their vocabularies are filled with the words “me”, “myself”, and “I”. Trying to have a conversation with a narcissist can be the most frustrating experience you will ever have, because they speak a monologue instead of a give-and-take dialogue.
  • The Competitor is provocative, fearless, fanatical, obnoxious, paranoid, offensive, pushy, aggressive, resentful, sabotaging, conniving, intense, intimated, defensive, confrontational, threatened, untrustworthy, negative, insecure, argumentative, and always looking for a fight. Competitors seek every opportunity to outwit or surpass others. Everything is a competition from getting a job to getting a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife. Competitors tend to be show-offs and braggarts who gloat about their achievements—both past and present. They constantly try to impress you with how much better they are than you. In essence they have such low self-esteem that the only way they can relate to you is by turning everything into a contest.
  • The Control Freak is invasive, sabotaging, rigid, manipulative, arrogant, aggressive, forceful, backstabbing, self-righteous, meddlesome, confrontational, inflexible, egotistical, obstinate, pushy, unreasonable, stubborn, selfish, unaware, threatened, disrespectful, uncommunicative, and stubborn. Control freaks can never let go. Like bullies, they are immobilized if not in control. However, unlike bullies, they don’t always use anger or meanness to get what they want. Control freaks often use sweet talk and manipulation. They are not team players and have difficulty delegating authority, as they try to do everything themselves. If things don’t go their way, they get angry or lose interest, for they feel they must always be in charge. Their lives are filled with frustration and disappointment and never go with the flow. Instead, they force things to happen and when things don’t go their rigid way they panic and become angry or more manipulative.

Did any of these traits remind you of someone you knew? If so what effect has it had on your success? Maybe it’s time for a change.

10 Things That Would Build an Effective Relationship

Written by Success Vista‘s Founder, Ibibo Ataisi Justin

 
Relationship is one of the most important factors that determine our success in every aspect of our lives. The quality of your relationship can build or destroy your life.

Having an effective relationship is not something that is done overnight, but through painstakingly applying some set of skills and techniques.

Effective relationship is something that cannot be overemphasized in today’s workplace. No business can thrive in the long term without building quality relationships with its employees, customers and suppliers. Also, it is quality relationship that oils the wheel of friendship, and even marriages.

Our society is totally sick because of strained relationships among people, countries, tribes, races, etc.  For us to improve the quality of our lives, we must also improve the quality of our relationships.

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Interestingly, society is defined as a web of relationships, which requires all parties to work and contribute their share in order to achieve a common goal. Having a relationship that is good, where cooperation and respect are manifested, can make society work better. In this way each member works for the good of the whole and towards achieving a common goal. This can only be attained with effective and efficient relationships.

Here are 10 practical tips to improve the quality of our relationships.

  1. Understanding. 

Understanding the other person’s feelings and position creates an effective relationship. The easiest method to understand what is important to another person is to ask them what they want and listen to what they have to say. When the other person realizes this, they feel the importance given to them.

Effective relationships require individuals to openly express their feelings and positions on all matters pertinent on the relationship. Assuming that the other person understands our needs and will give us what we need when we need it, without asking for it, is not a good practice.

  1. Respect. 

Respect is the key to relationship. In order to create a more effective relationship, parties should treat each other with respect. We can show respect just by listening to the other party and by trying sincerely to understand how they function.

You can also show respect to other parties by confirming that they are doing everything they can. Respect is the very foundation for a great relationship. This also means respecting yourself and respecting others.

  1. Trust. 

This is very important for any sustainable relationship. You must earn the trust of others, because any act of suspicion can destroy any relationship overnight. The bottom line here is that your words should be your bond.

  1. Value creation

The quality of your relationship to a large extend would be determined by what you are able to offer. Your intention should be to add value into any relationship you create

  1. Gratitude. 

Always show appreciation to other individual for any little that is done. This makes them to feel important and willing to be committed to such relationship.

  1. Individual differences. 

We must also understand that we are all unique entities and as such, we have our different values and ideology. It is important that we identify these and treat them accordingly.

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  1. Clearly define roles. 

Also, it is essential that each individual understand the role they are expected to play in order to sustain the relationship. This is important as it helps to reduce the possibility of conflicts in the future.

  1. Empathy. 

Seeing things from the perspectives of others also makes them feel that you are interested in their well-being and progress. The point here is that you put yourself in the position of others before you make any decision.

  1. Service. 

Relationship is like the game of table tennis. If you don’t serve, you won’t receive any service in return. You must be willing to give the highest quality of service you can render at all times.

  1. Golden rule

Always do unto others as you want them to do unto you. If you give your best to any relationship, you would also attract the best from such relationship.