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Articles tagged with: Authentic Leadership

Does What I do Make me Who I Am?

Here in America we define ourselves and those around us by what we do. Think about the first question we ask after introducing ourselves…. “So where do you work?” and “what do you do there?” In part, this is good small talk. We naturally ask these questions in succession. The other part has to do with sizing people up. We determine before we even get to know someone whether we think they are successful based on how they answer these questions. Is it any wonder why we personally define ourselves using this same measurement?

This type of stereotyping begs the question many are now facing, what happens when what we “do” is done away with? What happens when companies go bankrupt, jobs are outsourced, people are downsized or laid off? How then will we define ourselves, our friends, colleagues or family members? Although what we do is obviously important, we have to learn a better self-awareness, or who we are “being.” Who we are “being” is who we are, our character, values, beliefs and passions. It is not determined by titles, salary or prestige.

To discover who we really are beyond the titles we hold is a challenge. Think for a minute about who you are…. If I asked you to describe yourself could you do so without talking about what you do? The goal is that who we are being works collaboratively with what we do but it does not define us. I recently asked a client of mine while working through the “being” vs. “doing” question, “how would you respond if you lost your job for one reason or another and the only thing you could find was working at a fast food restaurant wiping down tables?” His answer was the best I have ever gotten. He said, “well I guess I would have to work hard and rise to the top in that industry!” Now that is knowing who you are being no matter what you are doing!

I want to encourage you, whether you are in the most secure position you have ever been in or whether you are having to re-define yourself due to job loss, search yourself to know who you are being in this world.

Here are some suggestions as you go through this process:

  • Be insightfully straight with yourself.
  • What transformations do you want?
  • What are your personal values, passions, beliefs?
  • Write a paper about who you are.
  • Write a paper about who you want to be.
  • Be in your possibilities.
  • Dream!

This can be an eye opening experience if you allow it to be. We would love to hear your feedback on this exercise and if it was beneficial.



Sharing Your Passion to Improve the Endgame

 

Developing people skills is a journey that begins very early in life.  At one time you learned basic rules about your personal behavior and how to get along with others.  Perhaps it was from Robert Fulghum’s book “Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten,” or the Golden Rule, or just to be helpful.  These are great rules to live by every day.  You’ve had a good start. MSBCoach’s Leadership Maturity Model’s “Ground Level Essentials” will provide an excellent refresher and set a firm foundation for advancing your people skills.



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Owning Your Leadership Presence

Owning is such a positive word.  It conveys the simple message of a child…it’s mine.  Look a little deeper into the meaning and we think about the work to procure something of value and taking responsibility to care for that something.


 


Is Unselfish Leadership Also Inspirational Leadership?

                                             

I recently read an article about a generous stand taken by a leader and CEO named, Dan Price.  Price is the Founder and CEO of Gravity Payments. When I read the story, I was impressed with his benevolence. However, it was his actions as a leader that peaked my curiosity and prompted me to find out more about him and his leadership style.


If you don’t know the story, Dan Price announced at a staff meeting that over the next three years the minimum annual salary for every employee will be increased to $70,000. It was heartwarming to hear expressions of the positive impact the salary increase will have on the employees. One young man said he and his wife will be able to start a family sooner than they had previously thought and one young woman stated she would be able to fulfill her dream of purchasing a home before she turned 21. As I tend to do when I hear something of interest, I immediately went to Google and searched for Dan Price and Gravity Payments. I wanted to know more about this company, its leader, and ultimately, what it was that drove Mr. Price to make such a generous gesture. After all, it is not likely that he woke up one morning and thought, “I have an idea! I’ll give everybody a raise when I get to work today!” So when I visited the company website I went to their About Us page.  Right there, in the middle of the page, I found my answer-a quote from Dan Price.




What Separates a Good Leader From a Great Leader?

She wasn’t exactly a woman one would identify as a leader.  She was in her 30’s, her front teeth were missing, her clothes were worn, she stood a little over 5 feet tall, she was uneducated and it was rumored she had abandoned her husband in the middle of the night.  She took jobs mostly cooking and cleaning.  Although she had a strong work ethic, she would disappear in the spring or fall only to return completely broke with no one knowing where she had been.  

Does this woman fit your description of a great leader?  Would you respect a woman like this if you saw her on the street or if she came to your office for a job?   The answer was “yes” for the hundreds of slaves who followed her to freedom out of the South.  These people recognized and respected her for her great leadership.  This woman’s name was Harriet Tubman. 



Always Leave a Place Better Than You Found It

Do you remember those things you mother always said to you?  Do you also remember when you realized those things she said were meaningful to life?   One of the things my mother used to always say was, "Always leave a place better than you found it".  She was referring to cleanliness.  She taught me when I stayed at someone's house, before leaving I should put clean sheets on the bed, empty the trash and make sure the rooms I used (including the bathroom) looked better than when I arrived.  I value this lesson and still live into it.  



Leadership Through Community Engagement: The Ultimate Win-Win

As we develop and strengthen the leadership in our organizations, as well as our personal leadership development, we should be sure to include time and planning for “community focus.”  More and more organizations have broadened their vision to include community service initiatives. Your career development plan should include the same goals for considering your involvement in  your community. There are many ways to explore ‘community’, both inside and outside your organization and this can become a highlight for your experience and resume. Caretaking for your community can also contribute to your overall wellness and help you to develop as a confident professional.


Let’s start with a definition of what we mean by community focus.  Wikipedia defines community a social unit of any size that shares common values.Values” elicit our energy and emotion because they are principles that we deeply believe in.  We should therefore invest our time and our support.  In our career path, we sometimes get so busy with tasks that we forget to schedule time to “give back” and revisit our values.  Finding time to serve a greater good can be easier than you think and the rewards for you can make a big difference.

 CommunityFocus BHiggins2016
 



 


 

3 Keys to Building Trust in Your Leadership

Trust in leadership is on a decline1. There are several reasons for this, and the purpose of this white paper is to identify areas where leaders can focus to bring higher levels of trust.
The first question we should ask is, "Why is trust so important in an organization?" I believe that answer is in this quote from Sissela Bok, author of Lying:

Trust is a social good to be protected just as much as the air we breathe
or the water we drink. When it is damaged, the community as a whole
suffers; and, when it is destroyed, societies falter and collapse…Trust
and integrity are precious resources, easily squandered, hard to regain.

According to Patrick Lencioni’s model "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” trust is the foundation for all relationships. The workplace is all about people and relationships and that is why trust is crucial to the success of any organization.

So why is trust declining? There are three key reasons for declining trust:
1. Lack of vision
2. Fitting into the strategy
3. Uncertainty of values

Let’s break these key reasons down one at a time. The first is lack of vision or lack of understanding of the vision. An ancient Hebrew proverb says,

Where there is no vision, the people parish.

People need to know the vision of where the organization is headed and see a clear line of how to get there. Carly Fiorina said,

A leader's greatest obligation is to make possible an environment
where people's minds and hearts can be inventive, brave, human and strong...
where people can aspire to change the world.

http://www.ibew1613.org/library/notrust.html
Bok, Sissela. Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life. Vintage Books, 1999.

 


Using Emotional Intelligence to Build Trust in Your Leadership

Trust in leadership is on the decline. What is most concerning is that trust is the basis for all positive human interaction, either in the workplace or in our personal lives. Without trust collaboration and communication deteriorates, employees are less likely to bring innovative solutions or thoughts to the table, and productivity declines. All of this eventually leads to employees who are not engaged and a workplace that becomes toxic to be in.

The first question we should ask is, "Why is trust so important in an organization"? Consider this quote from Sissela Bok, author of Lying:

Trust is a social good to be protected just as much as the air we breathe or the water we drink. When it is damaged, the community as a whole suffers; and, when it is destroyed, societies falter and collapse…Trust and integrity are precious resources, easily squandered, hard to regain.

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