Posts Categorized: LeadersBridge

Difference Multiplication

DSN9118-2-MI was working with a small company that was looking for someone to come in and make a big difference.

They had worked hard, but their business continued to decline. Everyone knew something was needed, but weren’t sure what to do. There were two problems looming so big they seemed to go unnoticed.

The first was they seemed paralyzed to make changes. Everyone was waiting for someone to make a big difference that no one realized they could make a difference. For a while they had looked at each other wanting someone to stand up and make whatever changes were necessary.

Then, without any decisions or discussions, the mood changed to wanting to bring an outside consultant that would do something for them to make a huge difference and turn things around.

The second problem was the rut was so deep that although everyone believed change was needed, any and all ideas were met with reluctance, doubt and fear. It became evident that the overwhelming attitude was, “We want things to be different without changing anything.”

What’s needed? One trusted individual needs to take charge and confront the attitudes. That person also needs to emphasize that it isn’t one person making a big difference, but it’s each person making a little difference within their sphere of influence. The little difference under the right guidance will provide the big changes. With each person making contributions the buy-in will be greatly enhanced and accepted.

Synergy will turn things around. In this instance great leadership will provide motivation for great changes through combing the ingredients of smaller contributions. For this group the big difference will come through small differences being multiplied together.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Learning Leadership

DSN9118-2-M“I’ve been with this company a long time and, by far and away, this is the best training event we’ve ever had.” I overheard this comment as I was waiting to talk with the contact person for an event I facilitated. I was both honored and humbled at such an accolade.

But what really impressed me with this individual was what was implied by his statement. He had been with the company for a long time; he had seniority and experience. He had been involved in a lot of training throughout his years and continued to take part in the learning experiences. He was in upper level management and could have easily been coasting as he approached retirement. But he took advantage and learned when opportunities were presented.

Great leaders learn, they never stop.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Leadership Or leader?

DSN9118-2-MLeadership is never about the leader.

Bold statement but give it a think…

I was listening to some leadership seminars and they seemed to have a common theme – how important leaders are. I was, at first, uneasy with this. But the dissatisfaction grew. As I wrestled I couldn’t quite put my finger on where my ill feelings were coming from. After a while, and the speakers’ repetitions, I came to a realization. Leadership is important, but the leader?

I have seen it over and over again. Leaders who lead by their example. Their cause or purpose is the issue. They’re never about being in front or in charge; it’s always about the duty, the purpose, the cause.

Yesterday I was at a restaurant enjoying lunch with a friend. It was not particularly busy and so the employees were busy doing a lot of other things, as well as attending to the cliental. One person was the manager but, by observation, it wasn’t clear who it was. No distinguishing uniform or nametag.  They were all going about the business of the restaurant with no observable hierarchy.

This went on until a problem arose. When a dissatisfied customer began complaining it became clear who was in charge. The manager (leader) appropriately stepped in; took charge and responsibility. They handled the situation and the problem was solved. Everyone was happy and all went back to their duties. It was clear that this manager was about leadership, not just being the leader.

When leadership trumps the leader then the purpose is served.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Presentation Stress

DSN9118-2-MI’ve been asked to give the keynote address at a convention of long-term care providers. The presentation is about a month away and I’ve begun doing some research. The subject matter is stress.

Researching what stress is, what are the causes, and remedies has been eye-opening. It seems there are a lot of definitions, a lot of causes and even more cures. Which made me wonder, why so much stress if there are so many solutions?

Then I noticed something about the solutions… seemed like everyone who wrote about managing stress had at least 8 things to do, some as many as 15! I thought, “How upsetting, when feeling stressed I need to remember all these things and then have time to do them.” It increased my stress level.

It also seems like most of the things I should do to relieve stress would only get my mind off it for a while. They were more distractions that remedies. The stress would still be there after I returned from my short emotional vacation. Maybe I would be better calmed and able to handle the stress better, but it really wouldn’t solve anything, just delay facing the issues.

That’s when I realized that the best way to handle stress is to face it. It’s true that there are things you can do to help relieve stressful feelings. But if there is a particularly stressful circumstance you are facing, then deal with it quickly and directly, don’t practice some avoidance technique that will ease your situation for a moment but then allow the stress to return full force when necessary to readdress the issue.

Researching for this address has already been a learning and beneficial experience. I look forward to the presentation and will provide real solutions beyond coping mechanisms.

Leaders face stress. We all do. Part of the leadership test is handling stress in way that not only manages the circumstances effectively and positively, but also provides an example for others to follow.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Story Telling

DSN9158-2-LAt the beginning of the event I was to be introduced by the person I had worked with to set up the program. I had worked with her before and she knew my history and how the program worked. Usually introductions are brief and I get right into the activities.

But in this case the friend began by telling her experience with the event I had done previously. After sharing how the event had impacted her she explained why. In doing so I learned things she hadn’t shared with me, or this audience before. She had had some problems with the company and several individuals. This was causing stress and friction and she was really concerned for herself and her job. The team training I provided helped her overcome some problems, face some fears and address some issues.

I wasn’t really prepared for that type of introduction, but I realized how important it was for her to share her experience; her growth.

She taught me something about authentic leaders. They risk vulnerability. They’re open about their foibles and fears; misgivings and failures. They recognize the source of growth and share it openly and honestly. They tell their story.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge