SA Leadership Podcast Episode #121

Qualities of A Leader

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Problem Solving You Cannot Allow Your Problems To Become The Problem

You can measure a leader by the problems he tackles. He always looks for ones his own size – John Maxwell

The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year – John Foster Dulles

Leaders with good problem-solving ability demonstrate five qualities.

They Anticipate Problems

Since problems are inevitable, good leaders anticipate them. Anyone who expects the road to be easy will continually find himself in trouble. There is a story told about David Livingston, missionary to Africa that illustrates the kind of attitude leaders need.

A mission organization wanted to send helpers to Livingston. They sent a letter that requested “Have you found a good road to where you are? If so we want to send other men to join you.” Livingston replied, “If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come even if there is no road at all”

They Accept The Truth

There are two types of people: people who refuse problems and then put up with them or people who embrace problems and want to make things better. You cannot have your head in the sand and yet navigate people through troubled waters.

They See The Big Picture

Leaders must continually see the big picture. They cannot afford to be overwhelmed by emotion. Nor do they become bogged down in details they think are important.

Author Alfred Armand Montapert wrote, The majority see the obstacles; the few see the objectives, history records the successes of the latter, while oblivion is the reward of the former.

They Handle One Thing At A Time

It has been said never try to solve all the problems at once – make them line up for you one-by-one. Leaders that get into trouble the most are leaders that feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the sheer volume of troubles.

They Don’t Give Up A Major Goal When They’re Down

Effective leaders understand the peak-to-peak principle. They make major decisions when they are experiencing a positive swing in their leadership, not during the dark times.

To improve your problem solving, attempt the following.

Look For Trouble – Look for problems, do not avoid them. Find situations that need fixing, come up with viable solutions and take them to a leader with good problem solving skills. You will learn from others.

Develop A Method – Many use the T.E.A.C.H. method.

T-ime – Spend time to discover the real issue

E-xposure – Find out what others have done

A-ssistance – Have your team study all angels

C-reativity – Brainstorm multiple solutions

H-it it – Implement The Best Solution

Surround Yourself With Problem Solvers – Problems solvers will compliment your weaknesses. You will always learn from others.

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A Journey Toward Significance – Take The SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #120

Qualities of A Leader

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Positive Attitude: If You Believe You Can, You Can

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind – William James Psychologist

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with bricks others have thrown at him – David Brinkley

Most people credited Edison’s ability to creative genius. He credited it to hard work. He stated Genius is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. Perhaps Edison was overlooking something else – Positive Attitude!

On a day in December 1914 Edison’s lab caught fire. It is reported that he told the children to run and get your mother because she will never see a fire like this again.

After the fire Edison stated that I am 67, but not to old to begin again. He rebuilt the lab and worked for another 17 years before passing.

If you desire to be an effective leader, having a positive attitude is essential. It not only determines your level of contentment, but also how others will interact with you. Consider these four things.

Your Attitude Is A Choice

The average person is waiting on someone else to motivate them. In this it is perceived that circumstances are responsible for the way a person may think. No matter what happened to you yesterday your attitude is a choice today.

Psychologist Victor Frankl, survivor of the Nazi death camps stated the last of our human freedoms is to choose our attitude in any given circumstance. In the face of death he chose joy.

Your Attitude Determines Your Actions

Family Life expert Denis Waitley states the winners edge is not in a gifted birth or a high IQ, or in talent. The winners edge is all in the attitude not in the aptitude. Attitude is the criterion for success. Your attitude determines your action.

Your People Are A Mirror of Your Attitude

It is amazing at how people who exhibit a bad attitude are always surprised that others are not displaying a positive attitude. Who you are is who you attract. If you can leave only one thing behind, leave an attitude of enthusiasm. You can’t put a price tag on that.

Maintaining A Good Attitude Is Easier Than Regaining One

In the book “Earth and Altar, Eugene Peterson writes that pity is one of the noblest emotions available, self pity is the most ignoble. It cripples the emotions and distorts reality.

If you have a positive attitude, I want to encourage you to keep it up. On the other hand, if you have a difficult time expecting the best of yourself and others, do not despair. You can choose your attitude, you can change it.

Martin Lloyd Jones the English heart surgeon stated that most unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself.

Here are some suggestions on improving your attitude

Feed Yourself The Right Food – Start taking in a regular diet of motivational material. Read books that encourage a positive attitude. Listen to motivational podcasts. The more negative that you are the longer amount of time will be required to turn your situation around. When you take in a regular amount of the right motivational content you will begin to improve and change.

Achieve A Goal Each Day – Negativity reinforces sluggish behavior and goal setting. A pattern of positive accomplishments leads to a positive attitude.

Write It On Your Wall – We all need reminders to keep thinking correctly. Alex Haley used to keep a picture of a turtle on a fence post to remind him that everybody needs the help of others from time to time.

LINKS

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A Journey Toward Significance – Take The SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #119

Qualities of A Leader

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Passion: Take This Life and Love It

When a leader reaches out in passion, he usually is met with an answering passion – John Maxwell

Anyone can dabble, but once you’ve made that commitment, your blood has the particular thing in it, it is very hard for people to stop you – Bill Cosby

Experts spend a lot of time attempting to figure out what makes people successful. They often look at people’s credentials, intelligence, education, and various factors. But more than anything else, passion makes the difference. David Sarnoff of RCA days stated that no one can be successful unless he loves his work.

If you look at successful leaders today you will find they di not fit the stereotypical mold. 50% of CEO’s of the Fortune 500 companies had a C or C- average grade in college; 75% of Presidents were in the bottom half of their High School; 50% of millionaire entrepreneurs never finished college.

Consider these four truths about passion!

Passion Is The First Step to Achievement

Your desire determines your destiny. Thinks about some great leaders and you will be struck by their passion – Winston Churchill, Bill Gates, Martin Luther King Jr, and others that we could name.

Passion Increases Your Willpower

There is no substitute for passion. It is the fuel for the will. If you want something badly enough, you will find the willpower to achieve it. The only way to have that kind of passion is to develop it.

Passion Changes You

If you follow your passions instead of others perception’s, you can’t help becoming a more dedicated, productive person. This increases your ability to impact others. In the end your passion will have more influence than your personality

Passion Makes The Impossible Possible

Human beings are so made that whenever anything fires the soul, impossibilities vanish. A heart on fire lifts everything in your life. This is why passionate leaders are so effective. A leader with great passion and few skills always out performs a leader with great skills and no passion.

Sociologist Tony Campolo once observed that we are caught up at a particular stage in our national ethos in which we are not only materialistic but worse, we are becoming emotionally dead as people. We don’t sing, we don’t dance, in fact we don’t commit sin with much enthusiasm.

If increasing your level of passion is important to you try the following…

Take your temperature – How passionate about life and work are you? Does it show? Is it measurable if we asked your spouse or co-workers about your level of desire.

Return to your first love – Many people allow circumstances to get them off track. Think back in your life to a time when you were absolutely excited about life and job. Think back to a time when when you could spend hours and hours doing what you loved – can you duplicate that again in your life? Elevate your life to those high moments.

Associate with people who are passionate – Birds of a feather flock together. If you have lost your fire get around some firelighters – people of passion. Passion is contagious! Schedule time with people who can infect you with passion.

What are you passionate about? Are you willing to stand alone? What cost are you willing to pay?

LINKS

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A Journey Toward Significance – Take The SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE

 

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #118

Qualities of A Leader

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Listening: To connect with their heart, use your ears!

The ear of a leader must ring with the voices of the people – President Woodrow Wilson

A good leader encourages followers to tell him what he needs to know, not what he wants to hear – John Maxwell

Effective leading touches a heart before asking for a hand. This is the key statement in the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Before a leader can touch a heart, he must take the time to know what is in it. He learns that by listening!

An unwillingness to listen is too common among leaders. Peter Drucker believes that 60% of all management problems are the result of faulty communications. It would seem reasonable that the overwhelming majority of communication problems come from poor listening!

In our social digital media world there are a lot of voices begging for your attention. Keep in mind there are two reasons for listening: one is to connect with people and the other is to learn. For this reason you need to keep your ears open the following groups of people.

YOUR FOLLOWERS

Good leaders, the kind that people want to follow, do more than conduct business, they interact with followers. Take the time to get a feel for each follower on your team. Philip Stanhope stated that men would rather you heard their story than grant their request! If you are a leader that only listens to the facts and not the person, change your focus and really start listening.

YOUR CUSTOMERS

There is an old Cherokee saying, “Listen to the whispers and you will not have to hear the screams!” I am amazed by leaders who get so caught up in their ideas that they never hear their customers’ concerns, complaints, and suggestions. In his book @ The Speed of Thought, Bill Gates said, “Unhappy customers are always a concern. They are always your greatest opportunity. Good leaders always make it a priority to keep in contact with the people they are serving.

YOUR COMPETITERS

Sam Markewich stated, “If you do not agree with me, it means that you are not listening!” He was making a joke when he stated this, but sadly many leaders act this way. You can get so busy building your case that you forget to notice and learn from what others are doing. Larry King once stated that nothing I say today will teach me anything. So if I am going to learn, I must start listening!

YOUR MENTORS

No leader is so advanced or experienced that he can afford to be without a mentor. I have learned so mush from leaders who have more experience than I will ever have. If you do not have a mentor, get busy and discover one. If you cannot get one to help you in person, start reading books. The main idea here is to get started.

So how do we apply this information?

Change your schedule. DO you take the time to listen? If you do not have this scheduled on your calendar, you are probably not very serious about this topic.

Meet people on their turf. The key to being a good listener is to find common ground with people. This starts by asking a series of good questions about the person to whom you are speaking. Seek to know people and then build bridges of relationship.

Listen between the lines. As you interact with people you certainly want to listen to the facts in the conversation. But do not overlook the emotional content of what is being said. There are times that you can learn more about a person by listening between the lines. Learn to listen with your heart!

President Theodore Roosevelt was a man of action and good listener and he appreciated this quality in others also. Once at a gala he became bored with the stiff mindless pleasantries. So he began to greet people with a smile, saying, I murdered your grandmother this morning,” Most people were so nervous about meeting him never really heard what they said. However, one diplomat did hear and responded, I am sure she had it coming! The only way to find out what you are missing, start listening.

LINKS

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A Journey Toward Significance – Take The SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #117

Qualities of A Leader

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INITIATIVE

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they do not quit – Conrad Hilton

Of all things a leader should fear, compliancy should head the list – John Maxwell

What are the qualities of a leader who makes things happen? Consider these four qualities.

THEY KNOW WHAT THEY WANT

Many people reflect the thinking of humorous pianist, Oscar Levant, “Once I make up my mind, I am full of indecision.” Unfortunately, this is how many people operate. No one can be indecisive and effective at the same time. Napoleon Hill, author in the 1930’s stated, “The starting point of al achievement is desire.” If you are going to be effective as a leader, you’ve got to know what you want.

THEY PUSH THEMSELVES TO ACT

There is an old saying, “You can if you will!” Initiators do not wait for other people to motivate them. They know it is there responsibility to push themselves beyond their comfort zone. President Theodore Roosevelt stated, :There is nothing brilliant or outstanding in my record except for one thing: I do the things that I believe ought to be done…and when I make up my mind to do a thing, I act.”

THEY TAKE MORE RISKS

When leaders know what they want and can push themselves to act, they still have one more hurdle. That is a willingness to take risks. Proactive people take risks. One of the reasons good leaders are willing to take risks is They recognize there is a price for not initiating too. President Kennedy asserted once, “There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

THEY MAKE MORE MISTAKES

The good news for initiators is they make things happen. The bad news is they make a lot of mistakes. IBM founder Thomas J Watson stated, “The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” Strong leaders do not fear failure. Robert Kennedy stated that those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

How can we improve on our initiating? Let’s try the following:

Change your mind-set – If you lack initiative recognize that the problem comes from the inside and not from others. Determine why you hesitate and then speak directly to this issue.

Don’t wait for opportunity to knock – Opportunity does not knock at your door. Take inventory of your talents and resources. Start directing your energy in the area of a need.

Take the next step – It is one thing to see opportunity. It is another to act upon it. Take the best of your ideas as far as you can take them. Do not stop until you have done everything you can to make it happen.

Reflection

Are you an initiator? Are you constantly looking for opportunities or are you waiting for them to come to you? Are you willing to act upon our instincts or do you over analyze everything? Former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iaooca stated, “Even the right decision is the wrong decision if you wait to long.” When is the last time that you initiated something in your life? If you have not pushed yourself lately to get our of the comfort zone, you may need to jump start your initiative.

LINKS

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A Journey Toward Significance – Take The SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #116

Qualities of A Leader

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Generosity: Your Candle Loses Nothing When It Lights Another!

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave – President Calvin Coolidge

Nothing speaks to others more loudly or serves them better than generosity from a leader. True generosity is not an occasional event. It comes from the heart and permeates every aspect of a leader’s life, touching his time, money, talents, and possessions. Consider these five aspects of generosity.

Be Grateful For Whatever You Have – It is hard to be generous when you are not satisfied with what you have. Generosity rises out of contentment, not by acquiring more. J.D. Rockefeller admitted, I have made millions, but they have brought me no happiness.” If you are not content with a little, you will not be content with a lot. If you are not generous with a little, you will not suddenly change if you inherit wealth.

Put People First – The true measure of a leader is not the number of people who serve him, but the number of people he serves. Generosity requires putting others first. If you can master this, giving becomes much easier.

Don’t Allow The Desire for Possessions to Control You – More and more people it seems are being controlled by the desire to acquire. Author Richard Foster states, Owning things is an obsession in our culture. If we own it, we feel we can control it; and if we can control it, we feel it will give us more pleasure. This idea is an illusion!” If you truly want to be in charge of your heart do not allow possessions to control you.

Regard Money As A Resource – Someone accurately stated that with money you cannot win. If you focus on making it, you are materialistic. If you try to but don’t make any, you are a loser. If you make a lot and keep it you are a spendthrift. If you don’t care about making any, you are unambitious. If you make a lot and still have it when you die, you are a fool for trying to take it with you. E. Stanley Jones states, “Money is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. If it gets on top of you, you become the slave.”

Develop The Habit of Giving – In 1889, millionaire industrialist Andrew Carnegie wrote an essay called, The Gospel of Wealth.” He wrote that the life of a wealthy person should have two periods: a time of acquiring wealth and one of redistributing it. The only way to maintain an attitude of generosity is to make it a habit of your living. Richard Foster wrote that when we let go of our wealth, it does something within – it destroys the greed demon.

The real challenge is to look for ways to add value to other people around us. Are we giving our wealth to something that is bigger than we are? TO whom are we giving our time? Are we pouring our lives into others? It is have been said that you have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. To start living out and improving our generosity to these three things:

1.Give something away – Take something of value that has a hold of you and then plan to give it to another who would appreciate it more than you. Do it anonymously.

2.Put your money to work – If you know someone with a vision to do something really great, something that will change other people’s lives, provide the resources to help them accomplish this.

3.Find a mentor – Once you reach a certain level of leadership, the most valuable thing that you can give is yourself. Find someone to pour into. Give them the resources and time to become a better leader.

What are you currently losing by holding on?

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A Journey Toward Significance – Take The SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #115

Qualities of A Leader

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FOCUS: The Sharper It Is; The Sharper You Are

If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.” – Unknown

What people say, what people do, and what they say they d are two different matters.” – Margaret Mead, Anthropologist

Tony Gwynn of the 1997 San Diego Padres had just another year of batting 339, 2nd only to Ted Williams. It was reported that Gwynn would read Ted William’s The Science of Hitting,” by Ted Williams several times each year. Gwynn’s rookie year was the only year he did not bat over .300. Columnist George Will wrote “people who are great at what they do, such as Tony Gwynn, have cultivated a kind of concentration unknown to most people.”

What does it take to have the focus required to be a truly effective leader? The keys are priorities and concentration.

A leader who knows his priorities but lacks concentration knows what to do but never gets it done. If a leader has concentration but no priorities, he/she has excellence without progress. But when you harness both, you have the potential for greatness. So many leaders it seems focus on the minors instead of majoring on the majors. That simply does not make sense to do that.

So the important question is; “How should focus your time and energy?” Here are some helpful guidelines.

Focus 70% on Strengths

Effective leaders who reach their potential spend more time focusing on what they do well than on what they do wrong. Peter Drucker states, The great mystery isn’t that people do things badly but they occasionally do a few things well. The only thing that is universal is incompetence. Strength is always specific.”

Focus 25% on New Things

Growth equals change. If you want to get better, you have to keep changing and improving. That will mean stepping into new areas of life. Tony Gwynn had a conversation with Ted Williams once who suggested to Gwynn that if he would learn to hit inside pitches it would increase his over a;; batting average. The old pro was correct. There are times when you have to work in new areas of life to get better. Keep in mind as a leader when you are through growing, you are through.

Focus 5% on Areas of Weaknesses

Nobody can entirely avoid working on areas of weakness. The key is to minimize it as much as possible. The old adage is true, hire to your weaknesses so you stay focused on your strengths.

How would you rate yourself in the area of focus? Have you been majoring in minor things? Are you spending too much time focusing on your weaknesses that you fail to build your strengths? Do the people with least potential dominate your time? If you answer yes to these questions, then you have probably lost your focus. To get back on track with your focus do these four things:

Work on yourself – you are your greatest asset or worst detriment,

Work at your priorities – you will have to fight for this, if you do not set your priorities someone else will set them for you.

Work in your strengths – you can reach your fullest potential.

Work with your contemporaries – you cannot be effective all by yourself.

LINKS

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Music: “Gratitude Mood” by David Arivett. You can learn more about his music by clicking on his name. THANKS DAVID!

A Journey Toward Significance – Take The SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #114

Qualities of A Leader

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One Person With Courage Is A Majority!

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualitiesbecause it is the quality which guarantees all others – Winston Churchill

Courage is fear that has said its prayer – Karl Barth, Swiss Theologian

Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared – Eddie Rickenbacker “Ace among Aces”

As you approach the tough decisions that challenge you, recognize these four truths about courage.

Courage Begins With An Inward Battle

Every test you face as a leader begins within you. The test of courage is no different. Courage is not the absence of fear. It is doing what you are afraid to do. It is having the power to let go of the familiar and forge ahead into new territory.

Courage Is Making Things Right, Not Just Smoothing Them Over

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. declared, The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Courage deals with principle, not perception. If you don’t have the ability to see when to stand up and the conviction to act, you will never be an effective leader.

Courage In A Leader Inspires Commitment From Followers

Courage is contagious. When brave men take a stand the spines of others are stiffened. A Show of courage by any person encourages others. But a show of courage by a leader inspires others. Leadership is the expression of courage that compels people to do the right thing.

Your Life Expands In Proportion To Your Courage

Fear limits a leader. Roman historian Tacitus wrote, “The desire for safety stands against every great noble enterprise.” Courage has the opposite effect. British theologian John Henry Newman stated, “Fear not that your life will come to an end but that it will never have a beginning.” Courage gives you a good beginning but also provides a better future.

To improve upon your courage, do the following:

Face The Music – Do something stretching simply for the sake of growing in courage. It does not matter what you do so long as it causes you to face a genuine fear.

Talk To That Person – Most people are avoiding conflict and speaking to THAT person. Go ahead and talk to that person this week – do not delay any longer. Speak the truth in love. If you have already stretched yourself, this should be pretty easy.

Take A Giant Step – Maybe you have been afraid of making a big career move. If you have known that you start a new business or change jobs, now is that time. Talk to your spouse. Talk to your mentor. If it is the right thing to do, then do it!

LINKS

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Music: “Gratitude Mood” by David Arivett. You can learn more about his music by clicking on his name. THANKS DAVID!

A Journey Toward Significance – Take The SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #113

Qualities of A Leader

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Competence Goes Beyond words. It is a leaders ability to say it, plan it, and do it in such a way that others know you know how, and know that they want to follow you – John Maxwell.

We all admire people who display high competence regardless of whether they are precision craftsmen, world class athletes, or successful businessmen. You do not need to become a Michael Jordan or a Bill Gates to excel in the area of competence. If you desire to be competent then follow these steps.

Show Up Every Day

There is an old adage that says, All things come to him who waits! Unfortunately, sometimes you get the leftovers from people who get there first. Responsible people show up when they are expected. Highly competent people take it a step further, They do not just show up, they show up ready -No matter how they feel, what kind of circumstances they face, or how difficult the game may be.

Keep Improving

Highly competent people continually search for ways to keep growing and improving. They do that by asking why? People who know HOW will always have a job, but the person who knows why will always be the boss!

Follow Through With Excellence

You will never meet a person considered to be competent that does not follow through. Willa Foster stated, “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.

Accomplish More Than Expected

Highly competent people always go the extra mile. For them good is never enough. Author of the book Men in Mid-Life Crisis writes that some feel “a weakening of the need to be a great man and an increasing feeling of let’s just get through this the best way we can. Never mind hitting home runs. Let’s just get through the ball game without getting beaned. Leaders cannot afford to have this attitude on their team day in and day out.

Inspire Others

Highly competent leaders do more than perform at a high level. They inspire and motivate the people around them to do the same. Effective leaders combine relational skills with high competence to take their organizations to the next level of excellence and influence.

When you reflect upon competent people you are only considering three types;

Those who can see what needs to happen

Those who can make it happen

Those who can make things happen when it really counts

Consider yourself for just a moment – where do you consistently perform? Are you a thinker, a doer, or a clutch player? The better you are, the greater your influence you will have on others around you.

To improve you need to:

Get your head in the game – this is not a time to detach, rather reengage.

Redefine the standards of excellence. It is better to aim high and occasionally miss rather than aim low and hit it often.

Find three ways to improve your professional skills today.

LINKS

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Music: “Gratitude Mood” by David Arivett. You can learn more about his music by clicking on his name. THANKS DAVID!

A Journey Toward Significance – Take The SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE

SA Leadership Podcast Episode #112

Qualities of A Leader

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Communication: Without It You Travel Alone

Developing Excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t matter – Gilbert Amelio

You can become an effective communicator by following these basic truths.

Simplify Your Message

Communication is not just what you say – it is how you say it. The key is simplicity. Do not seek to impress people with complexity. Communicate a dramatic opening. Then create a dramatic summary. Keep these two items as close together as possible.

See The Person

Effective communication focuses upon the people with whom you are communicating. Ask Who is my audience? What are their questions? What needs to be accomplished? How much time do I have to communicate?

Stay oriented to your audience. People will believe effective communicators because effector communicators believe in people.

Show The Truth

Credibility precedes communication! Here are two ways this is communicated. First believe in what you say. Excitability naturally flows when there is a personal conviction on the matter. It has been said the most powerful weapon on earth is a soul on fire. Secondly live out what you say. There is no greater credibility than conviction in action.

Seek A Response

Do not loose sight of the real reason for communication, it is to solicit a response. When you speak to people remember to give them something to feel, something to remember, and something to do. Accomplish this and you will lead people to new levels in their life.

Danto Manquez Jr., president of MVM stated, A leader must get things done through others, therefore, the leader must have the ability to inspire, motivate, guide, and direct. It is only through communication that the leader is able to cause others to internalize his or her vision and implement it.

Here are three items to assist you in your communication.

  1. Be Clear – Keep your sentences short and direct. Do not follow rabbit trails. Will my audience understand my word choices. Simplicity and Clarity are your two best friends in communication.
  2. Refocus Your Attention – Are you talking about yourself or is your focus on your audience. What does your audience need? Stay committed to the answer to this question.
  3. Live Out Your Message – “Walk the walk – don’t just talk the talk!

On April 7, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln made a burdensome decision, and he needed to communicate it to his general in the field. On it rested all his hopes and the entire weight of his leadership as president. Using considerable as a communicator, he wrote the following:

Lieut. Gen Grant – Gen Sheridan says, “If the thing is pressed, I think that Lee will surrender.” Let the thing be pressed.

The president did not allow the importance of a piece of communication to complicate its simplicity. Neither should we.

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