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Excellence IS a Habit

Excellence is a habit. You know this.

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it's overrated

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How Important is Trust?

Do You Trust The Makers Of Candy Cigarettes?
Do You Trust The Makers Of Candy Cigarettes?

Trust is often placed on the list of top leadership skills, while people are compiling key leadership skills and attributes.

How important is trust when stacked up against all the other critical leadership values?

Ever ponder the top key leadership values great leaders possess? Are you now? Good. Here are some that always make the list:

  • Vision
  • Communication
  • Results
  • Inspiration
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Experience
  • Relationships
  • Recognition
  • Passion
  • Focus

What do you say is your number one leadership trait?

For me, it’s trust. Everything else revolves around this simple, and often overlooked leader character trait. I place trust ahead of passion, because a leader may have passion, but people mistrust motives, for example.

If you really think about it, how can anything else matter without trust?

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jungle jeff Leadership Lesson

jungle jeff Leadership Lesson.  In other words, I promised to share today, what was reinforced the other day when I practiced what I preached.

As a professional speaker, there are certain deliverables every time a speech or workshop is given to an audience. Public speaking is the greatest fear humans have, even greater than the fear of dying.

Leadership insight:

  • Lead, don’t manage – facilitate key points instead of telling them

Look, we all know this to be so simple it almost embarrasses me to try to convince you it’s important. And yet it is a key to becoming world class.  Like yeast in bread.  A little risk is required to be successful.  Duh, right?

What’s risky is doing things a different way.  If you do it the way you always do it, you can predict your results. Predicting an outcome when you take a risk is virtually impossible.  While you can visualize a positive result, you can not guarantee it.

It is quite common in workshops to see video clips of something important and then watch with a certain purpose and debrief what insights were gained from the video’s content. That’s exactly what happened.  Very routine.  A video I’ve set up, watched and debriefed 1,000 times.

For the debrief, I tried something completely different.  I asked a remarkably simple and open-ended question.  In fact, one participant gave me a look that said, “You’re an idiot”.  It took sheer will-power to not be shaken.

Afterwards, I asked my partner how he thought it went.  In ten years, we both agreed, it was the single best debrief of that video we’d ever experienced.  And we teach with many different partners.

What at one point seemed like a certain failure, because I didn’t panic or give up, turned out to be extraordinary.  Leaders do not get paid to fail (although maybe they should).

Four Tips to Be World Class

How does a person or an organization become world class, and stay world class? Here are four tips to do just that.  First, however we need to state the obvious:

It’s a double edge sword isn’t it?  If consistency is the hallmark or quality, and continuous improvement is the key to becoming (and sustaining) world class status, how do you balance risk and reward?

Let’s use this example from yesterday.

As a professional speaker, there are several goals for every presentation:

  • Give a speech to change the world
  • Never give the same speech twice
  • Ask great questions
  • Get the audience to reveal the key points

Let’s review from a different angle, what you just read:

  • Have passion and faith that impossible is possible
  • Be authentic, not going through the motions
  • Know where you want to go and be prepared to get there
  • Lead, don’t manage

The second set of bullet points states the common sense theories that we all nod our heads in agreement when we hear them.

The first set illustrates how I internalized these common sense things to make them work for my particular role in the business world.

Now it’s your turn. Take the four common sense bullet points and make them your own.  Tomorrow, I’ll share how practicing what I preach led to an amazing result.

You don’t have to any of this.  And maybe that’s a leader’s biggest challenge, doing what’s easier rather than what’s harder.  So here’s a fifth tip – being world class means out working your competition.  Most people hate to admit this.  And then they wonder why they aren’t world class.