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11 Key Attributes Of Awesomely Great Leaders

great leaderThere are many attributes that leaders from all facets possess. A number of these attributes are positive and unfortunately some not so positive. Organizations, teams and people in general are always searching for desirable attributes in leaders they want to work for. Not only leaders they want to work for, but leaders who inspire them to work harder and faster all while developing their personal leadership.

The types of leaders that inspire and produce greatness all around them are always highly sought after; however the are often hard to find. A few key indicators that an organization, team or department is led by one of these great leaders is the the fact that they generally have a positive, healthy and productive work environment with minimal turnover.

If we take it a step further and look beyond these key indicators, we can generally find that these great leaders can be identified by a set of inherent characteristics. I have broken these inherent characters into 11 key attributes.

11 Key Attributes Of Awesomely Great Leaders

  • 1. Honesty - Tell the truth; even if lying is easier – tell the truth. || “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” ~Thomas Jefferson
  • 2. Integrity - Do what’s right; even if nobody is watching – do what’s right. || “There are seven things that will destroy us: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Religion without sacrifice; Politics without principle; Science without humanity; Business without ethics.” ~Mahatma Gandhi and I will add an 8th “Leadership without integrity.”
  • 3. Visionary - Have some vision for where you’re going; empower your team to get you there and if you don’t do anything else – have some vision for where you are going. || “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” ~Thomas Jefferson
  • 4. Self Awareness - Know who you are; the good, the bad and the ugly, know who you are. ||  “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” ~Lao Tzu
  • 5. Risk Taker - Be willing to try new things, new strategies and embrace new ideas; even if the ideas aren’t yours – be willing to try new things, new strategies and embrace new ideas. || “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~Harold R. McAlindon
  • 6. Caring - Truly care about those you lead; people can care less about how much you know until they know how much you care – truly care about those you lead. || Great leadership is always less about the “leader” and more about the “ship” ~Scott Williams
  • 7. Stand For Something - Lead by convictions; know why you do what you do and why you think what you think – lead by convictions. || “You must stick to your conviction, but be ready to abandon your assumptions.” ~Denis Waitley
  • 8. Spirit Of Development - Develop other leaders; without leadership development, the pipeline of leadership is halted – develop other leaders. || “My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.” ~Jack Welch
  • 9. Good Listener - Be willing to listen; if you’re always talking, there is a good chance you are not listening – be willing to listen. || “To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation” ~Chinese Proverb
  • 10. Lifetime Leaner - Learn from anything and everything; no matter how many degrees or titles you have, you always have the capacity to learn – learn from anything and everything.  || “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” ~John F. Kennedy
  • 11. Humility -  Stay level-headed and don’t think that you’re better than others; no matter how much success, praise or fortune you receive, stay level-headed and don’t think that you’re better than others. || “Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” ~St. Augustine

What do you think about these 11 attributes? Share your thoughts and experiences. 

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5 Ways Leaders Can Minimize Stress In The Workplace

stress1As a leader it’s important to set the tone for your team or organization, especially as it relates to handling stressful or crisis situations. If the leader wigs out, stresses out, worries or has a heart attack during high stress or crisis situations; there will always be undertones of that stress transferred to the rest of the team. Leaders must learn to keep calm in these types of situations.

I learned the importance of keeping calm during crisis situations during my tenure as a young 25 year old Prison Warden. As you can imagine running a prison presents the daily opportunity for high stress, crisis and potentially life & death situations. I had the personal choice of whether or not I allowed particular circumstances or people to stress me out. I would watch the previous Warden get stressed out by the most trivial things and felt the stressful impact her response to those situations had on the staff. Realizing that it was up to me, I developed an effective philosophy and mindset to handle these potentially high stress or crisis situations.

The philosophy was simply this, “There is nothing that we can’t begin to fix in “5 Minutes and 5 Phone Calls.” I trained my Chief of Security and my Officers to not sweat the small stuff and embrace the fact that crisis situations will happen. Remembering, it’s not about the situation, it’s about how you handle the situation.  This type of mindset allows leaders to set the tone of stress minimization in the workplace.

In my role as a prison Warden, imagine a high stress situation of a full-blown prison riot.  The process that my team would undergo within the first 5 Minutes would be to make the following 5 Phone Calls:

  • Call Local Law Enforcement
  • Call Me “The Warden”
  • Call The Department of Corrections Liaison
  • Call Vice President of Operations
  • Call Media/PR Representative

This mindset puts all situations, including crisis situation into perspective. It’s inevitable that we will face problems and potentially stressful situations on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter if the problem that we face is work related or personal, what matters is there is the beginning to a solution around the corner. Stop Wiggin’ Out, Tell Your Boss To Stop Wiggin’ Out and embrace the fact that every situation, including Life & Death one’s can begin the “fixing process” in 5 Minutes and 5 Phone Calls.

Once a leader comes to the realization that simplicity matters and the situation they are facing really isn’t that big of a deal, they can begin to embody Albert Einstein’s version of 5 Minutes and 5 Phone Calls. Einstein says it this way, “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

It’s not that serious, STOP STRESSING!

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There Is A Difference Between Leadership and Dictatorship

jongThere is definitely a difference between leadership and dictatorship; unfortunately many so called “leaders” confuse the two. According to webster, we can easily see the distinguishing differences between the two:

Leadership – the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group.

Dictatorship - absolute, imperious, or overbearing power or control.

Aha, one guides, directs, coaches and leads a group and the other tells the group to do this thing, this way, because I said so and more importantly because I have the power… I am the dictator.

Can a dictator get things done? Absolutely! Is what they accomplish generally effective? Absolutely not! When results are produced out of fear, power and control, it’s never a good thing for anyone other than the dictator themselves.

If you ever find yourself in a group or on a team where the only opinion (singular) is the one of the person running the show, there is a good chance you are part of a dictatorship. The sad thing is it’s probably not a very good one, because no one individual is as smart, witty, creative, discerning, charismatic, strategic… as a group of individuals coming together as a true team.

 

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Your Imaginary Limitations Are Inhibiting Your Success

mindYour mind is a powerful device, actually its the most powerful device on the planet. Your mind can allow you to create, dream and make amazing things happen. Your mind is also the place where most limitations begin and unfortunately end. “I Can’t” is the beginning of most of your limitations.

The reason you don’t succeed is because you tell yourself that you will not be successful. Your Imaginary Limitations Are Inhibiting Your Success. Stop being held back by your imaginary limitations.

Real limitations and challenges can be overcome, it’s the imaginary ones that are unbeatable.

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Turnover Is Always A Small Symptom Of A Bigger Problem

turnover1Organizational leaders love to look at numbers and performance to evaluate success. Unfortunately, those same leaders don’t like to look at numbers to evaluate failure. A number that is a key indicator of failure is turnover. Turnover Is Always A Small Symptom Of A Bigger Problem. 

Organizational leaders can’t continue to write turnover off as a bi-product of “They just couldn’t handle it here, they didn’t have the capacity, they couldn’t keep the pace, they were a problem…” There is always an underlying issue for every person leaving a high turnover organization. If you have high turnover, you must fix the bigger organizational problem or the turnover will continue to exist.

If you want to get to he bigger problem, you must ask the tough questions and more importantly be prepared for the tough answers. Many organizations rely on the Exit Interview to begin this process, by that time it’s too late. Most employees don’t shoot the organization straight during the exit interview as they are done, on the way to the next thing and know that the organizations is going to discount what they are saying; otherwise they wouldn’t be exiting the organization.

It’s been said that people don’t leave organizations, they leave leaders. I would take it a step further and say that people don’t leave organizations, they leave cultures. Culture is what drives how leaders can and cannot operate. Employees will often times work for a poor leader if they are in a great culture, as they assume the culture will outlast or correct the poor leadership.

A turnover problem is a small symptom of a much bigger leadership and culture problem. Many organizations try to put a bandaid on their leadership and culture problem by simply hiring more people. Simply hiring more and more people never gets to the root of a turnover problem.

If organizational leaders want their organization to look different and have less turnover they must start by looking in the mirror, begin asking the right people the right questions, take the tough answers on the chin, make the necessary changes, understand that changing a culture takes time and ultimately just be accountable for their turnover problem.

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You Can Quit Your Job Sooner Than You Think!

EntrepreneurToEmployeeYou Can Quit Your Job Sooner Than You Think!

As my good friend Scott recently posted, You should be doing the work you love. I agree with him so much I recently wrote a book on how to do just that. I don’t believe God puts passions in our gut and dreams in our heart just to frustrate us! However leaving your job for your dream is no picnic. One of the biggest hurdles to jump over, probably the scariest, is the BIG I – Income. Today I want to offer you some insight on how to go for your dreams faster by simply tweaking what “Full-Time {Insert Your Dream}” means to you. 

I’m going to explain what I mean with a story starring James. James is stuck in a cushy job but longs to become a full-time carpenter. It will take quite a few pieces of furniture a year to make up for his oil & gas salary, so James may need to change his perception of what it means to be a full-time carpenter in today’s marketplace. Thanks to advances in e-commerce, he can now easily create and sell carpentry-related content as an added revenue stream. He could sell an e-book of how-to tips. He could host a monthly paid webinar that shows other would-be carpenters the dos and don’ts of custom carpentry. He could have a monthly subscription service that provides a newsletter to subscribers with how-tos, before and afters, and interviews with other master carpenters. Even though his target furniture client is not the group of carpenters, having a large following establishes credibility in his field.

I know what you’re thinking — “But if I teach others my craft, then won’t I lose customers?” You may lose a few, but most intend to learn a craft and never do, and those will end up buying from a seasoned veteran instead. You will have earned their trust by showing them exactly how you do what you do. This technique could work in so many applications; an illustrator who offers online illustration classes, a former teacher or daycare worker who sells monthly curriculum via a subscription fee, a designer or photographer who sells tutorials or templates. The list goes on!

Study successful people in all industries and see if there are any strategies you could apply in your industry. Think through what knowledge or services you could offer as online products. How much better to add revenue in ways that are at least related to your dream, rather than just earning funds through a part-time gig you hate?!

Have you found interesting passion-filled ways to supplement your income?


Kelsey Humphreys is an emerging authority on the subjects of branding, marketing, entrepreneurship and personal development. After starting her career as a graphic designer, her passion for those subjects led her to become an Associate Creative Director and eventually land an international client of her own. She was then able to quit her dream job for her dream; starting her own business. She now speaks, coaches, consults, and writes to empower solopreneurs. Her first book, Go Solo, How to Quit the Job You Hate and Start a Small Business You Love! is available on Amazon. Follow her on twitter @kelseyhumphreys

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Are You Choosing Excellence?

excellence1Excellence – (noun) [ek-suh-luhns] The fact or state of excelling.

Often times Excellence is viewed as this moving, high-level target that only a select group of fortuitous individuals can achieve. Excellence is simply a choice, it’s choice to: study more, practice longer, take that extra step in customer service, spend the necessary time with your children, making sure the restroom in your place of business is spic and span, to say “My Pleasure” instead of saying “Pull around to the second window…”

Excellence is a choice to care more than most think you should, risk more than most are willing to risk, dream bigger than most will ever dream and think more than others are willing to think. Excellence is not about being perfect, it’s about putting the best foot forward every step of the way.

Are You Choosing Excellence?

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Why Apple Has The Best Business Strategy On The Planet – iPhone 6

Apple Introduces iPhone 5Let me start off by confessing that I’m an Apple fan, I’m part of the Apple tribe, I love what Apple does and how they do it. With that being said I always have some interesting debates with my Android and “Other Device” friends. It always ends with them talking about their improvements, their advancements, their sexy product commercials and how Apple is behind the times. My response is generally something like, “So what, your product really doesn’t matter and no one really cares.”

Don’t get me wrong as an Apple fan, at times I find myself intrigued by the other products. In my home I’ve even had my 11 and 15 year old sons see a Samsung commercial and say that they would like to have one. My response is always simple, “We do Apple in the Williams home… just wait, Apple will have something great.” Fortunately, dad has always been right.

That leads me to the point of this post and Why Apple Has The Best Business Strategy On The Planet. Apple does a great job of creating fans, a tribe, a group of loyalist that trusts their brand. When you trust a brand you don’t get caught up in what other brands are doing. You may look out of the corner of your eye and pay attention; however you never get caught up.

Case in point, I remember people being intrigued, excited and in awe of the LeBron James commercial and the Samsung watch and Big Screen Phone and yada yada yada. Since the launch those folks have been as quiet as a church mouse. Honestly, there has been way more talk about LeBron James taking his talents to Cleveland while everyone has forgotten about Samsung’s watch or big screen phone, because although they were first and new… they just didn’t matter.

Apple’s business strategy is about creating a tribe, a group that feels like they have something in common because they have the same device, the same iPad, the same computer and the same iPhone. More importantly they deliver time and time and time again.

Apple has done it again, they have delivered and both of my sons and millions upon millions of others are happy. As a matter of fact, more than 4 million pre-orders for the new iPhones were placed when they went on sale for pre-order this past Friday. Have you ever heard of anyone pre-ordering an Android device? let me answer that question for you… No you have not. The “Other” products business strategies are being 1st and not best. Tribes wait on the best, just ask the long lines at the best restaurants around the world. The discussion sounds something like, “We had to wait in line for a bit, but oh was it worth it.”

Another thing that was worth waiting for, was waiting for Tim Cook to step out of the shadows of Steve Jobs and take his place as Apple’s leader. Every leader has that moment where they seem to find their voice and their place, Tim Cook seems to have finally found that.

As a consumer, a loyalist, a member of the Apple tribe, and someone who is a strategist by trade, I look at Apple’s business strategy as the best on the planet. Their products, brand, look, feel and delivery methods simply work. Not only will Apple be delivering happiness to their fans with the iPhone 6′s this and Apple Pay this week, they created months of intrigue for the iWatch to be released in 2015.

These strategies work by simply keeping the tribe happy and they work at putting money in the bank. You can’t argue with any of Apple’s decisions and results. The minor inconveniences of waiting has customers ending with the same response of the awesome restaurant connoisseurs, “We had to wait in line for a bit, but oh was it worth it.”

Apple is seriously brilliant at waiting things out, letting competition exhaust money on incremental changes, creating desire, creating intrigue, learning from others, hiring the best people, creating questions and then delivering a stellar product that changes the game. Honestly I think Apple sums it up best in the video intro to their Keynote address from last week. This video didn’t have any audio; however the visuals and words on the screen spoke 1000 words. It read as follows:


“Here’s to those who have always seen things differently the ones who follow a vision and not a path

Where others perceive first as valuable, you value the first thing that actually matters. While others are distracted by the new, you focus on the significance as a whole new take.

Even before you could see how, you never doubted that we would change things and them we did together… Again and again and again and again.

Relentless optimism is what moves the world forward, so keep seeing things differently. Keep trusting there is always another way, a better way, a bigger way. One that breaks down barriers and heals the landscape.

You are the difference between the world as it was and the better place it will become and different is the one thing about us that will always be the same.”

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Walls Fall Down An Awesome New Book by Dudley Rutherford

wall fall downUsing The Battle Of Jericho, Pastor Dudley Rutherford outlines 7 Keys to facing and winning those impossible battles in life. You can see the coach inside of Pastor Dudley coming out in this book. Imagine a coach pointing you to the secret playbook to helping you overcome any obstacle you are facing. That playbook is revealed through one of the most extraordinary victories ever recorded—the battle of Jericho. Whatever walls you may be up against, you don’t have to stay stuck behind them, get over them and get through them. This book will help you do just that.

This book is inspiring, enlightening and encouraging, as it reveals how Joshua and the Israelites followed God’s unusual plan and playbook to walk around the heavily fortified walls of Jericho for seven days. God promised that at end of those seven days, He would cause the walls of the famed city to fall, allowing His people to take possession of the Promised Land. This playbook and this process can be broken down into 7 Key Principles that you can tap into today.

If you would like more information, resources or small group material click here. If you simply up against the walls of life and need to experience some breakthrough grab your copy today.

This book releases today, so be sure and grab your copy, it’s available on Amazon or any place fine Christian Books are sold.

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Leaked Video of New iPhone 6

Leaked Video of New iPhone 6.

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