One of the best from Day One
One of the very best sessions of Day One of the 2015 Global Leadership Summit – STEVE
This is a great post from LEADERSHIP FREAK
Most leaders are too quick to rush to solutions.
Begin with the nightmare, not the dream. Dissatisfaction that energizes begins with an unacceptable present.
The place beyond the hill isn’t worth the climb when the valley feels fine.
Dissatisfaction, not dreams, is the first step toward change. But, don’t beat people with dissatisfaction.
Insults don’t motivate:
Don’t insult the people you expect to build the future.
Leaders who blame their team for an unacceptable present are insulting the people they led to build it. Insults may energize people with big egos for the short-term, but insults over the long-term drain and demoralize.
If you must point fingers, point them at yourself. You led the team into the present situation. Own it.
Missed opportunity is the dissatisfaction that energizes.
It’s true, you must solve problems. But, a constant diet of problems makes people sick. Successful leaders use the problem of missed opportunity to energize and guide change.
Dissatisfaction that energizes – over the long-term – is about missed opportunity, not failure. The issue is, you could be more, not you suck.
Define opportunity. Definition determines outcome.
Assemble the team and create a compelling opportunity statement that addresses the problem you want to solve. Opportunity statements must:
- Go beyond problem-solving.
- Express values and touch hearts.
- Fulfill meaningful purpose and fuel energy.
- Provide compelling goals.
- Build on strengths.
- Galvanize teams.
- Explain short-term wins and include rewards.
Focus on opportunity more than fixing.
One way to fix a problem is seize an opportunity.
Read John Kotter’s book, “Leading Change,” if you want to go deeper.
What’s important about creating successful change within organizations?
From Michael Hyatt’s excellent blog FORWARD PROGRESS comes this evaluative insight.
BY MICHAEL HYATT
Leadership, whether of an organization or of a Bible study or of a family, is a burden. A joyful burden much of the time, but a burden nonetheless. Oswald Sanders said it like this: “The world is run by tired men. Mediocrity is the result of never getting tired. Fatigue is the price of leadership.” In other words, leading is the willingness to pick up the burden. But most of the time, we think of that burden in “strategic” terms.
If you do a cursory search on “leadership” you’ll find all kinds of resources, most of which have numbers associated with them. You can 5 Ways or 7 Methods or 14 Theories. The vast majority of these resources deal in strategy, and they should. That is one burden of leadership; you are responsible for the overall vision and perspective of the people under your care. But it can’t really stop there. As a leader, whether in the home or in the church, we bear the burden for what we are leading, but we also must bear the burdens of whom we are leading.
In pastoral ministry, for example, the burden you bear cannot be exclusively in terms of the vision of the church. The burden must take on a more personal nature. Same thing is true in a family, or even in a small group or Bible study. The burden is not only the crafting of and guarding of a clear vision; the “burden” has faces. Problems. Sicknesses. Pain. The burden-bearing leader is one who is not isolated from those he or she leads, but instead is checked into the real issues the people under their care are walking through.
It’s this kind of burden-bearing Paul described in Galatians 6:1-2:
“Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted. Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
This passage is about more than stewarding a compelling vision for an organization or a family; it’s about people, and the willingness to come alongside those people in the day-to-day lifting. It seems to me that this is not just a single moment, but instead a lifestyle of investment. To that end, here are three characteristics of the burden-bearing leader:
1. The burden-bearing leader is available.
Time is a commodity like most other things. As a commodity, it is in limited supply. And the greater the leadership responsibility, the greater demand on the time. It’s tempting, then, to want to have a very insulated leadership kind of style – to focus on the big picture and to not come into the details. Unfortunately, it’s those details that are the most representative of people. The burden-bearing leader must, then, be available. This availability is also a responsibility, and it must have limits. But the leader who is available is the one who is going to err on the side of making accommodation to their time or their schedule if they can.
2. The burden-bearing leader is long-suffering.
One of the tendencies we have in leadership is to desire quick fixes to problems. We want to have the meeting, send the email, or have the drop in conversation and resolve the issue quickly and succinctly. And while that might work in some instances, it rarely does when you consider the people involved. Instead, the burden-bearing leader makes the choice to be long-suffering. They are willing to not just a conversation once, but to actually engage in that conversation and to have it again and again. It’s this kind of long-suffering investment that will mark someone who recognizes they are doing more than leading a nameless and faceless entity, but instead stewarding some part of the lives of those whom God has seen fit to put under their care.
3. The burden-bearing leader is listening.
Nothing makes a person feel less like a person than when someone gives only cursory notice to their issue. Conversely, nothing is quite as uplifting as when you know you have the absolute and undivided attention of the person you are speaking to. For a leader, there are lots of voices, and each one needs to be heard. The tendency for us whether in the home, the workplace, or the church is to try and have as many conversations as possible in a span of time. But many times, less is actually more. The burden-bearing leader does the simplest thing that can make the most difference – they actually listen. They look and concentrate. They are fully engaged in the conversation they are having. And in so doing, they are recognizing the creature before them is created in the image of God.
Leadership is a burden. And many times, it’s a heavy one. But as leaders we can cultivate the kind of habits that will not only make us bearers of the burden of what we are leading, but of whom we are leading.
Reblogged from THE LEADERSHIP FREAK….
You’re a black hole, if all you think about is what you need from others.
Great leaders give more than they take.
4 things that drain people:
- Expectation without appreciation. You aren’t thankful for behaviors you expect. “We don’t thank people for doing their job.”
- Direction without respect. “I don’t care what you have to do, just get it done.”
- Nit-picking without honoring hard work.
- Showing up when there are problems but not celebrating successes. “Seagull managers fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, then fly out.” Ken Blanchard.
Energizing goes beyond paychecks and plaques.
7 ways to put in more than you take out:
- Make a list of ways you can pour into your teammates. Engage in at least one act of free generosity every day.
- Agree on what matters today, tomorrow, and next week. People want to do what matters. In order to succeed at what matters, you must first know what matters.
- Learn from others. “What do you think?”
- Hold yourself and others to high standards with tenacity and kindness. Define and reach for high standards together.
- Lead with heart. Connect results to purpose. Explain how they’re making things better in view of organizational purpose. “When you open a door for a customer, you take us where we want to go,” for example.
- Focus on solutions more than problems. Examine problems long enough to understand them, but focus on making things better. When things go wrong, ask:
- What are we learning?
- What do we need to stop doing?
- What will you do differently next time?
- Make people feel important. If you don’t know what makes people feel important, ask, “What makes you feel important?”
Bonus: Forgive sincere failure. Confront negligence. Give second chances.
From one of my favorite bloggers LEADERSHIP FREAK comes these great insights-STEVE.
BY LEADERSHIP FREAK (a.k.a. Dan Rockwell)
Foolish leaders believe they can take more out of life than they put in. Well, maybe it isn’t foolishness. Maybe it’s arrogance. Only God never runs dry.
Normal people know that everyone who pours out more than they pour in goes dry.
Your energy-tank is your responsibility. Don’t expect teammates to fill it.
12 refueling strategies:
Do you enjoy hanging around someone whose energy-tank is almost empty or almost full?
- Schedule two or three refueling times into your day, every day, even if you aren’t exhausted. Keep your energy-tank closer to full than empty.
- Call someone to say thanks.
- Make a list of things you enjoy about work.
- Step outside for a short stroll.
- Turn the lights off and close your eyes until your heart rate and breathing slows. Sit with your eyes closed for a few minutes.
- Become a sprinter. Push yourself in short bursts, then refuel. Refueling is replacing energy, not just doing nothing.
- Serve because you want to, not because someone else wants you to.
- Stop taking responsibility for other people’s problems. Be available and helpful. Listen without solving. Chronic fixers are frustrated and exhausted.
- Evaluate yourself by how well you energize others.
- Commit to use only positive language for an hour, a morning, or even a whole day.
- Say, “I’m glad I ______, even if it was difficult.” Give yourself a pat on the back.
- Avoid energy vampires as much as you can. Hang with people who fuel your energy-tank. Emulate their behaviors.
- Pretend less. Doesn’t it feel energizing to go home and stop pretending?
- Serve those who enjoy being served.
- Enjoy returns. It feels great to serve in ways that fulfill your purpose.
- Start that project that’s hanging over your head.
How do you refuel your energy-tank?
How might leaders energize others?
Carey Nieuwhof has a blog that always provides powerful and practical leadership insights and counsel. We are adding it to this blog’s blog roll.
If there was a secret weapon in leadership, would you use it?
If there was a secret weapon in leadership, would you use it?
Most of us would say ‘absolutely’—as long as it’s ethical.
So here’s a leadership weapon almost no leader will talk about. In fact, in some circles, it’s embarrassing to talk about.
More specifically, getting enough of it.
In more than a few high octane leadership circles, barely sleeping is seen as a badge of honor (I can run on four hours a night!).
But what if your lack of sleep wasn’t a badge of honor at all?
What if your lack of sleep is undermining your leadership? Making you worse, not better?
And what if it’s not just taking a toll on you at work, but also at home … making you a worse parent, spouse and even friend?
So … What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
The Center for Disease Control recently called insufficient sleep a public health epidemic, arguing it causes industrial accidents, motor vehicle accidents and even medical errors.
1. Lack of sleep can literally kill you.
And the implications are a little more serious than nodding off in a meeting after lunch. According to medical research, chronic lack of sleep can cause weight gain, age your skin, harm your sex drive, impair memory, and contribute to illnesses as serious as diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and even premature death.
It’s a little shocking, but it’s not actually an exaggeration to say that a chronic lack of sleep can kill you.
2. Lack of sleep often leads to burnout.
I know for me, chronic lack of sleep was one of the key factors that led to my burnout a number of years back.
Like many leaders, in the name of caring for others, I had stopped caring for myself and my family. I thought I was super human and I only needed four to five hours of sleep a night.
I’m not the only leader who burned out. Perry Noble and I chronicle our stories of burnout in quite a bit of detail here, and the post also contains a lot of resources that Perry and I have put together to help leaders who are burning out.
3. At a minimum, it will make you hard to live with.
Even if you’re not dead, sick or burning out, lack of sleep can turn you into you a bit of a jerk.
Unrested, you’ll snap at the kids more, fight with your spouse more, and even at work, you won’t be fun to hang around.
Or at least all of the above is true for me.
Here’s what I find.
I am at my most kind when I’m the most rested. When I’m tired, I’m just not nearly as nice to be around.
If you can’t identify with that statement, it’s probably because you haven’t been well rested in, well, years.
You’ll be amazed what happens if you ever get enough sleep to finally not be tired any more. Seriously.
Sleep Is Like Money. You Can End Up in Debt.
So what happens if you’re chronically overtired?
The same thing that happens when you’re in debt … that’s what.
One of the key lessons I learned in my burnout back in 2006 is that sleep is like money.
You can run a surplus … or you can run a deficit.
And just like with finances, when you run a deficit over time, you end up with debt that you carry from month to month and year to year. A debt that needs to be paid off.
This lesson became inescapable for me personally in August 2006. Three months into my burnout, I was having a hard time functioning.
In fact, my fatigue was inescapable. So I decided to sleep every time my body told me I was tired.
I slept a lot that August. Eight to 11 hours a night. I added to that multiple naps a day whenever I could grab them.
By the end of the month, I felt much better.
I could work again. I could breathe again.
While my burnout wasn’t fully over, I felt flickers of hope again.
Soon, I was on the gradual road to recovery.
So What Can You Do? Five Keys to Staying Rested
So how do you stay rested?
Better yet, how do you get rested if you’re reading this article and are quietly saying “oh crap?”
1. Lose the stigma.
I love that a few years ago Michael Hyatt went public by admitting that he takes naps. Thank you Michael!
Not only does Michael take naps, but so, as he pointed out, have many great leaders in history.
I have always been a napper. I even nap at work occasionally. But I feel like if someone caught me, I’d be in trouble.
That’s a bad thing.
For me, a 10-minute nap can be the difference between heading into the afternoon raring to go and dragging my knuckles wishing it was 5:00. It can be the difference between being sharp and being in a fog or being disinterested.
It’s not just the stigma around naps leaders need to lose, it’s the stigma around a good night’s sleep.
I unapologetically go to bed on time when I’m on the road hanging out with other leaders, and when I’m at home.
A rested me is a better me. Just ask my wife. Just ask my kids. Just ask my team.
2. Catch up.
You might be in your equivalent of August 2006 for me. You might need to take a week or two off to sleep.
Or maybe you’re just running hard for a season. Catch up.
I realize you might have young kids or be in launch mode for a new project.
But here’s the truth.
You will always have a reason to cheat your sleep.
You will never have a reason to catch up, unless you decide it’s time.
So decide it’s time.
If you have young kids, trade nights for being on call with your spouse until you are both as caught up as you can be.
If you’re a single parent, ask someone to take the kids for a night or two and then sleep.
If you don’t have young kids, you really don’t have a good excuse. Just get disciplined.
3. Develop better sleep routines.
Here are few things that can help you sleep better.
1. Go to bed at the same time every night. Researchers say you will sleep better if you do.
2. Go to bed earlier. This was huge for me. Instead of staying up late to get stuff done, get up earlier to get things done. Sleep in on the front side. I try to be asleep every night by 10:30. Sometimes it’s as early as 9:30. And I’m up between 4:30 and 5:30 every morning. That’s my sweet spot.
3. Sleep in a dark room and turn off electronics. I love my phone, but it’s off (as in powered down) every night. If it’s an emergency, someone will knock at my door and wake me up. If the world ends, well, there’s not much I can do about it anyway when I’m asleep.
4. Get as good a mattress as you can afford. Get as picky about a good mattress as you can with your budget. You’ll spend 1/3 of your life on it. So invest well.
5. Don’t eat much before bed. It helps you sleep better … it really does.
4. Watch for the signs.
Since I burned out, I have paid super close attention to the signals my body tells me about my fatigue level. As soon as I sense I’m running a sleep deficit, I try to pay it off.
Here are some signs that tell me I’m tired:
1. A bad or sullen mood. Someone once said that 70 percent of discipleship is a good night’s sleep. Well, yes it is. I am more of a Christian when I’m well rested. So I watch my mood like a hawk. Being short with people, angry, sad or lacking mercy are all signs I’m tired.
2. I watch my passion level. When I’m rested, I’m excited about work, about life and about seeing people. If everything seems like a chore or an obligation, I’m out of balance. For sure, some things will always seem like a chore, but everything shouldn’t.
3. I watch my creativity. If I have trouble coming up with great ideas or great content, it’s a sign my mind is tired. I probably need more sleep.
4. I find myself nodding off. When I’m tired in meetings, driving or watching TV, it’s a sign I need more sleep. I know that’s obvious, but it’s so easy for this to become ‘normal’ I just thought I’d mention it.
5. React quickly.
I still run hard. We all have busy seasons and busy weeks, and I get tired regularly. Part of my personality is I love to push myself and push limits. I get that.
But now I react quickly when I’m getting tired.
Why don’t you try that this week?
Take a nap.
Cancel your plans for tonight and go to bed early.
You’ll be fresher more often, and you’ll have far more energy for your family, for life and for work.
That’s what I’ve been learning about sleep as a leader and as a follower of Christ.
It should be no surprise that God wants us to spend 1/7 of our life resting (Sabbath) and created us to sleep 1/3 of our life away.
Your calling, your family and your life are too important for you not to sleep.
Now you can use your new secret weapon.
What are you learning about sleep?