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Stuart Scott’s ESPYS Speech “Never Give Up”

This is awesome and inspiring. Well done Stuart Scott.

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7 Ways Leaders Destroy Their Teams

fail2Often times when it comes to “leadership” we hear the warm and fuzzies or the great success stories. There are so many great books and tools at the disposal of leaders that growth, competency and effective leadership should be inevitable. The challenge with that theory is it’s rendered “not always true” because of the simple fact that leadership deals with human beings and human beings are rather complex creatures. Anytime you are dealing with people things are never that simplistic.

Another reason being an effective leader is not that simple is that fact that book knowledge doesn’t always translate to street knowledge {{translation – just because you can read it and talk it, deosn’t mean that you can effectively apply it}}.

A key understanding to leadership how ineffective and incapable individuals find themselves in key leadership roles is this: people hire people, who hire people, who hire people. Somewhere within those three generations of hiring, there are people placed in roles of leadership that they are not capable of handling. In my tenure working as a Deputy Prison Warden, before being promoted to Warden, I worked for a leader that definitely should not have been in her role. She literally destroyed her staff and destroyed her team. Not only did she destroy them, she didn’t have the self-awareness to make the necessary adjustments. She was a “Leadership Destroyer.” In consulting over the last 14 years, I have seen and heard about these “Leadership Destroyers” more often than I’d like to admit.

Unfortunately the “Leadership Destroyers” are not isolated to my experiences, if you live long enough and work for enough people, there is a good chance that you will work for one of these destroyers. To help identify how these leaders managers destroy their teams, I have identified 5 ways.

7 Ways Leaders Destroy Their Teams

  • 1. My Way Or The Highway (MWOH): Everyone has an opinion and often times people have thoughts, ideas and suggestions that can be helpful to those that are in charge. MWOH is fueled by the insecurity of the Leadership Destroyer. MWOH can create an environment of control, but not an environment of healthy success. Listen to your team, involve your team, learn from your team and embrace the reality that the collective sum is much better than the Big-Headed MWOH Leader.
  • 2. All About The Numbers: The numbers do matter, the bottom line is important and if it doesn’t make dolla$ it doesn’t make sense.  In business, ministry or non-profit work, it’s important to measure things as it’s a great barometer for success. Where numbers become a problem is when the Leadership Destroyer focuses on the numbers, bottom line and measurables so much that they forget about their team of people who are making those numbers happen. They lose sight of the “how” because they are so focused on the “what.” Number matter, but people matter more. Focus on creating a healthy team and healthy numbers will be a natural bi-product.
  • 3. Talk But Don’t Listen: No one can get a word in or have an opinion because the Leadership Destroyer is always talking. Not only are they always talking, they never listen. If people are not heard, they will cease to say the things that matter. Shh (be quiet) Listen!
  • 4. Change Things For The Sake Of Changing Things: Change is good and sometimes necessary to create forward momentum. The Leadership Destroyer takes this to another level by changing things just to let you know that they’re the boss. They are unwilling to receive feedback or go back to what worked, even if their change isn’t working. I heard a great thought from OSU Football Coach Mike Gundy from his press conference during OSU’s great season several years back.  This articular season OSU was ranked #2 and they were rolling like a well-oiled machine. Mike Gundy said, (paraphrasing) “I try to change things up a bit, just to justify my existence. My team will come to me and say I think we need to stick to XYZ and this is why. Often times what they are saying makes perfect sense and I change it back.” It’s important to survey the impact, timing and necessity of change.
  • 5. They Just Don’t Care:  The quickest way to destroy a team is to not care about the players on the team. Team members know the difference between the fake stuff and the genuine care and concern for the individual players and the collective team. Leadership Destroyers care more about their title, role, corner office and the fact that they have arrived than they do their team. One of the things that the inmates used to say when I was a Warden in regards to leadership and life is this, “It’s All About Missouri!” In other words, Missouri is the Show-Me State.  I’ll close with the words of John Maxwell, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
  • 6. Focused On Pleasing The Boss - It’s okay to want to perform for your supervisor and help you organization be successful. Leadership Destroyers take it to a whole-nutha-level. The Leadership Destroyer will do anything and everything to look good, rather than doing any and everything right. The all-consuming thoughts of wondering what the boss thinks will lead these destroyers to destroy their team, chunk team members under the bus and not give proper credit where proper credit is due.
  • 7. Unwilling To Receive Candid Feedback - When an individual is unwilling to listen to feedback because “It may hurt” or “It isn’t what they want to hear,” they are in trouble. You can’t win with thin skin. Once team members realize the Leadership Destroyer is unwilling to receive feedback, they will stop giving feedback. Once team members stop giving feedback, the Leadership Destroyers find themselves on an island. Islands are great places to vacation, but horrible places to find yourself when you are trying to lead a team.
Leadership Destroyers destroy everything.
What Do You Think?  Share your thoughts and experiences with any of thes
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Why Organizations and Individuals Settle For Mediocrity

mediocreIt seems like I’m in constant conversations with organizational leaders, groups and individuals about settling. By settling, I mean they see a better way, a better plan, a better relationship and a better situation; however they choose to settle for their existing state of mediocrity. If better is within your reach and you choose to settle for less, you are settling for mediocrity.

We all have found ourselves in that awkwardly comfortable position of settling at one time or another on this journey we call life. Mediocrity is self inflicted and so is excellence. If individuals and organizations are left with the ability to chose mediocrity or excellence, good or great; why do more often times than not people chose the former before the later.

Why do people settle for mediocrity? Plain and simple, it’s safe, it’s comfortable, it’s easy and it just feels good. The more you settle for mediocrity, the more mediocrity begins to look like genius and excellence.

Change the way you think, change the way you feel, raise the bar and don’t settle for mediocrity.

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The Leaders Who Need The Most Development

lead developThe Leaders Who Need The Most Development Are Often Times The Leaders That Say That Others Need More Development.

Have you ever seen a situation where a leader has a team member who is either up for a promotion or in all actuality should be considered for a promotion; and the leaders says they are not ready yet, or they need more development.

I understand that sometimes people aren’t ready and they could benefit by a little more time in the leadership development cooker. More times than not, the person is ready, all they need is a little encouragement, belief in themselves and an opportunity to show what’s inside of them. How do you get the experience, if no one is willing to give you a chance to get the experience?

Over the years I have come to realize that the leaders who are quick to say that someone isn’t ready and need more development are the ones that need more development themselves.

It takes, time, energy and true leadership to develop someone — moving them from where they are to where they can be. Leaders must learn to focus on potential instead of limitations.

The next time you hear a leader say “so and so” isn’t ready, the deeper question to ask is this “is the leader making the statement ready?”

No one will ever be 100% “ready,” it’s up to the leaders to be a part of getting them there. That’s why it’s called leadership.

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3 Types Of English – How To Be A Tri-Lingual Orator

Nice spoken word piece.

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How To Know When Your Life Is Out Of Focus

going out of focusOften times the key to a successful life is when things are in proper perspective and proper focus. I’m not talking about balance, I’m talking about focus and priorities. Focusing on God, Family and Everything Else — In that order. On the flip-side, the shortest route to failure is a life that gets out of focus.

How Do You Know When Your Life Is Out Of Focus?

When you begin to ask yourself questions like, “Why am I feeling this way?”, “Why doesn’t this feel right?” “Why do I feel like I’m going nowhere” and “Is my life out of focus?”

You will know your life is out of focus:

When you begin to focus more on what “so and so” is or isn’t doing than focussing on what you need to do.

When your work gets more time and attention than your family.

When your cup is always half empty.

When you can’t seem to find peace.

There are many signs and symptoms that your life is out of focus, the key is taking the time to ask the tough questions. Ask your family, ask your friends and take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself “Am I Focused On The Things That Matter?”

Embrace the journey, stay focused and you will reach a proper destination.

 

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10 Great Leadership Lessons From Tim Duncan’s Career

tim2Well the NBA Finals wrapped up with the team with the best record in the NBA hoisting the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Yes, the San Antonio Spurs are the 2014 NBA champions after missing the opportunity to win their 5th title last year, they seized the moment this year. Even though the #Spurs had the best record and best coach in the NBA, this championship is unlikely because everyone including them Heat had pretty much crowned themselves as the 2014 NBA Champions, a 3-Peat and LeBron on NBA’s Mt. Rushmore before the season even started. Not so fast my friend, the Spurs are the new Sheriff in town. Well they are the old Sheriff thats back in town.

The Spurs were led by a cast of awesome players that know how to play team basketball. They are truly a team where night in and night out a different team member shows up. As a matter of fact most people had never heard of the man of the Spurs players including finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, especially before the last couple of games. To this day only a few people can even spell his name correctly. Uhh Kuh-why?

Not only did the Spurs have a great team but they were smarter, more disciplined and better coached than any other team in the NBA. The Spurs were lead by the veteran of all veterans, Tim Duncan. Duncan will go down as one of the greatest NBA Superstars ever. Duncan now has the most playoff games and double-doubles of any player in NBA history. Duncan is a SuperStar who shined bright like a diamond while staying outside of the spotlight. Speaking of diamonds and spotlights King James tried to shine but his teammates didn’t help him sparkle. As a result, can we please not talk about the #Heat #LeBron #Bulls and #Jordan in the same sentence for a long time. Like ever!

We can talk about Tim Duncan, not only can we talk about him, there is a lot to learn about life and leadership from him and his career.

10 Great Leadership Lessons From Tim Duncan’s Career.

  • 1. Substance Over Style - “The Big Fundamental” Looking good is great, performing great is better. Duncan doesn’t win the style contest, but he is a straight up winner.
  • 2. Greatness Is Appreciated More When It’s Gone - Tim Duncan’s Game, Career and Place in history won’t be appreciated until he’s retired and gone.
  • 3. Great Leaders Know When To Defer - Duncan has admittedly turned the team over to Tony Parker, which has extended his career and allowed him to continue his greatness. It looks like he may be turning it over to Mr. About His Business Kawhi Leonard real soon.
  • 4. You Can’t Care What People Think - Duncan doesn’t get the commercials, the shoes, the endorsements… He just gets the trophies. Duncan could care less what people think about his personality or lack there of, all he does is win.
  • 5. Classy over Sassy - Tim Duncan is one of the classiest players in the NBA. It’s hard not to like classy… when in doubt, keep it classy.
  • 6. Quietly Be The Best At What You Do - Tim Duncan will quietly go down as one of the best power forwards to ever play the game. Period, the end.
  • 7. Nice Guys Don’t Finish Last - Nice guys finish wherever they want to finish, Duncan is nice and he doesn’t finish last. :)
  • 8. Get Better With Age - Just like a fine wine, they say some things get better with age, great leaders get better, lead better, play better and make better decisions with age. Duncan seems to get better the older that he gets.
  • 9. Know How To Lead Up - Duncan plays for a tough coach and he’s one of the few players that knows how to lead up, talk to Popovich, how to handle him in the media and how to lead up. There is an art to leading up and Duncan figured it out.
  • 10. Make Those Around You Better - Duncan makes his teammates, his coach, his city, his community and the NBA better.

 

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Learn To Appreciate The Journey

You can miss the opportunity to appreciate your success, the wins, the losses and the journey if you don’t take the time to pause, reflect and take a look back. Pause, look back, appreciate the past…

Learn To Appreciate The Journey.

Success is often found somewhere between appreciating the journey and looking towards the future.

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Seth Godin On How To Win In 2014

Short video that’s worth your time.

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You Thought That You Were Succeeding But You Actually Failed Big Time

fail4Things are looking good, your career is on the rise, you have a young family, nice house, nice cars and success might as well be tattooed across your forehead. The status of your social media profiles simply read “succeeding.” You are in the who’s who, 40 under 40 and your latest promotion has you slated to be the next bigger thing.

While you are busy succeeding, your children are busy growing and you don’t even realize it. While you are busy succeeding, you are not spending quality time with your spouse.

Time is fading and your success is clouding your ability to see what’s happening. Not only are you looking past what’s happening, the intoxicating nature of your perceived success is allowing you to justify your absence and lack of focus on the things that really do matter.

Time is passing and success is continuing to knock on your door.

Due to unexpected events and circumstances, you’re forced to pause long enough to reflect upon what you had been perceiving as success.

Suddenly, you realize.

You Thought That You Were Succeeding But You Actually Failed Big Time.

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