Posts Categorized: LeadersBridge

Yourness Leadership

DSN9118-2-MGetting ready to take a shower I pulled underwear out of my drawer. I looked at it briefly (no pun intended) and across the waistband it said, “Hanesnes.” I did a double-take, looking more closely to see what I saw. Around the band the word “Hanes” was printed. But in the back, where the seams came together, the overlap of the material read, “Hanesnes.”

Having had nothing on my mind, I started thinking and filling in the blankness.

I wondered if a Hanes quality control person would recognize ‘hanesness’? Could a person really familiar with Hanes underwear look at a pair and say, “Yes, these are Hanes underwear. I can tell by the fabric, the stitching, the seams, the construction, and the craftsmanship. Everything about this underwear says Hanesness.”

Leaders are unique. Leadership is unique. Every individual brings their own arsenal of experience, education and character to their leadership position. Leaders are effective because they are transparent, true to themselves, model the character they expect, and have their own message.

A leader’s influence is effected negatively when we try to copy someone else, or repeat another’s voice. Leadership traits and qualities may be held in common, but the leadership itself is unique because the individual is unique.

An important quality of leadership is knowing yourself and being the person only you can be. We shouldn’t try imitate another leader, but rather become the leader only we can become. I hope when other see the effects of my leadership, someone will respond, “Yes, this has Craigness all over it.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Model Lessons

DSN9118-2-MAs a child I enjoyed building models, especially cars and airplanes. In the fifth grade I built a beautiful Dodge Deora; metal flake navy blue with cushioned white interior. With dad helping, I took a small piece of wood, painted it blue and pulled apart cotton balls to cover the top of the board. With my brothers help we glued cutoff matchsticks to the corners of the board and attached a piece of string, looking like a rope that would encompass the platform. I carefully placed the car onto the soft cushion of cotton and inside the rope barriers. A work of art.

For this effort I won the model car contest for the fifth grade at my elementary school.

I don’t remember if there was a prize. If there was it is long gone, and forgotten. I have no idea what happened to the car or the display. Lost throughout the years.

I do remember my dad’s and brother’s help with the project. I remember discussing models and doing a good job; taking my time, not hurrying and making sure I got it just right. Patience, that was the hardest part for me.

Leaders model the way. They encompass the values, direction, quality and direction they would have others follow. They aren’t the finished product; that takes the team, but they are the standard, or example of the expectations.

Great leadership is the result of patiently learning, then displaying the content of both character and direction. Great leadership models the way.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Integrity and Credibility

DSN9164-2-MI was watching a rerun of an old “This Old House” episode. I love watching this show and seeing how wonderfully the team works together and how they solve problems.

In this episode they were redoing and older house with a rock foundation. The scene I found most interesting was dealing with replacing part of the foundation to make sure it could carry the structure. With the addition to the house it was feared that the current foundation would simply give way.

I am often asked about the main foundation of leadership; what is most important? There can be a lot of reasonable answers but to me it all starts with integrity and its by-product credibility. Simply put. The leader must be trustworthy.

A person with credibility is a leader, for they have conquered the most important first step – to lead themselves.

Integrity is the essential element that makes a person credible. When a person has integrity they can lead themselves and thus have the credibility with others to be followed.

If a person wants to be able to effectively live their own life they must have integrity. That quality will be seen and observed by others and they will be willing to follow a leader they find credible.

Integrity is the foundation of self-leadership; credibility results and is the foundation that others will trust and follow.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

The Leadership Sidestep

DSN9158-2-LI asked the gentleman if he had been busy lately. He made a questioning face, gave some thought, and replied, “No, not really.”

From the visual cues I knew there was more to the story and continued to probe, “Wow, that was an interesting response; not exactly sure what you meant.”

He went onto explain that he was the head of a team working on a specific project. He had been given charge of the team, picked out the team members and carefully explained the responsibilities and desired outcome.

Shortly after the work began several members of the team sat down with him for a progress report. At the meeting the team members asked him to “get out of the way”. They would appreciate his input; overseeing the overall work and direction, but could he please back off actual involvement. He was slowing down the team.

“Since that meeting, I haven’t been very busy. It’s a little troubling…”

He had been given a responsibility. He planned well. He chose well. He motivated well. The next thing he could do well was not impede the team.

Great leaders know when to step out of the way.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Of Carts and People

DSN9158-2-LIt was a circumstance you’ve probably been in. Walking into Wal Mart I picked a cart and continued on my way. After a short distance I discovered one of the front wheels had a mind of its own. I’d be traveling along in one direction and the cart would suddenly veer in another. The wheel seemed to work fine most of the time, but it was those sudden surprise moves that were annoying.

I had already gone a distance when I came across an empty cart. I looked around to see if anyone was claiming it. All I saw was an employee, who then recognized my search and told me they had just emptied the cart and I could use it if need be. I abandoned my cart for the one that had so generously been provided.

Again, I had traveled only a short distance when this cart began to squeak loudly. It steered fine, but the noise was more than just noticeable, it was gaining attention of other shoppers. I can’t say that things had gone from bad to worse, but they certainly weren’t any better.

I only had a couple items to pick up so I continued with the sound announcing to my approach to everyone. I could have gone for another cart, or traded this one back for the previous annoyance; but the words of an old prayer came to me, “God grant me the serenity to change the things I can, to accept the things I can’t…”

Great leaders adjust to situations. They make changes when they need to but also accept that not every change is expedient. Great leaders develop the skill of knowing what and when to change, and what and when to endure.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge