Category Archives: Mini-Post

The Calf Path

I’ve been in a very difficult period of transition lately. Over the past three weeks, it’s gotten even more difficult and is really becoming overwhelming. Especially during this time, I found the following poem to be both challenging and encouraging. The Calf Path, by Sam Foss, was mentioned by a commenter on Leadership Freak. By his reference, the poem is found here.

Continue reading The Calf Path

Empower

Last weekend, I attended the Training Institute for Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership. This amazing program touched the lives of over 9,500 young people last year across the world. These next three weeks will focus on HOBY’s tagline and insights from the Training Institute.

It’s the job of leaders to raise up more leaders. But we can’t do that without stepping out of the way and empowering others.

Photo courtesy  Frederic Bisson , CC
Photo courtesy Frederic Bisson , CC

When we empower, we give power.

You can’t empower someone by patronizing them. It takes giving real, tangible power to others! This can be difficult if you started or built a company or program. But truly empowering others means endorsing them– and then letting them take the reins.

When we empower, we make powerful.

Remember that feeling you got the first time someone really believed in you. It happens every time you truly empower another individual. When we raise up leaders, we give them practical experience handling power in the appropriate fashion. In so doing, we’re creating powerful influencers unafraid to empower others. We’re lending them our influence and what power we wield– and it will be returned with interest.

When we empower, then, we multiply power.

Hogging all the power, making all the decisions, and running the show means your influence will only go to the end of your reach. By raising up new leaders, we extend the reach of our influence and magnify the message we’re spreading. By empowering young leaders to take the reins and, in turn, empower others, we’re multiplying power.

It’s difficult, but I’m learning to turn over the reins and share influence. As I do, I’m beginning to truly realize that leadership is a two-way street. We have so much to learn from those we lead! We benefit so greatly from those we empower.

You can connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn!

New Sheriff in Town

Remember the first time you did something you thought you couldn’t do? It was exhilarating! You were unstoppable. Look out world, there was a new Sheriff in town.

Photo by Rochelle Hartman, CC
Photo by Rochelle Hartman, CC

Only it wasn’t long before your badge was ripped off. Motivationally destitute, you’re wondering how you ended up in your own jail cell! There’s a new Sheriff in town, and he’s big and mean and ugly.

His name is:

  • Job
  • Title
  • Physical Ability
  • Intelligence
  • Time
  • Age
  • Education
  • Connections
  • Commitments

There’s something you know you want to do– know you ought to do– but won’t. One or more of these limits are taunting you from outside the jail cell, swinging the keys they took from your belt.

The remarkable thing is that all of these things are tools. Each of the limits you’re under should contribute to your success! Instead, you’ve magnified their influence on your life and handed over your badge. You’ve allowed these limits– and yourself– to believe that they get a vote.

But you were elected by a majority of one: YOU!

Not only are you the Sheriff in town, you’re the Mayor, the Judge, and the Sanitation Worker. It’s time to pack up the trash you believe about your limits and haul it to the dump.

Turn these tools around and use them to accomplish your goals and dreams. Don’t allow limits to use you to accomplish your defeat and ho-hummery.

You might not control your job or other circumstances, but when it comes down to it your only limit is YOU. Who controls that?

Culture and the Process of Elimination

There always seems to be a bad apple in your company. And you know what they say about one bad apple.

Image Credit: vauvau, CC
Image Credit: vauvau, CC

But once you track down and toss out that one bad apple, another one sours to take his place. Whether it happens quickly or more gradually, the cycle is inevitable…right?

I often hear managers and business owners lament this “law of nature”. According to them, there will always be at least one bad apple. Weeding them out builds a stronger team and a better corporate culture. They’re building culture by the Process of Elimination.

While it’s true that businesses must separate from some employees, I postulate that the majority of these “bad apples” are victims of a bad culture. There are a lot of terrible cultures out there:

  • The Micro-Management Culture, the devolved form of a culture that demands excellence.
  • The Individualist Culture, the devolved form of a culture that demands competence.
  • The Under-Utilizing Culture, the devolved form of a culture that demands teamwork.

See! Bad cultures start out as good cultures, and then coast through “systems” designed to “maintain” the culture or way of doing things.

Unless you’re building a culture of empowerment, inclusion, and ownership, you’re probably finding that every bad apple is replaced as quickly as you nix or fix the problem. The fact is, you might be growing bad apples.

That’s all for today, and here’s why: I need your help finishing this post! Tell me: How do you prevent trying do build your culture by the Process of Elimination? How do you maintain a healthy team?

Mini-Post: A Resolutions Update

Not even half-way through January, most resolutions tumble. The sweets are eaten, the waistline refuses to shrink, the finances are not moved…

Mine have always gone the same way. As I mentioned in my Resolutions Post, I have tried and failed to set several goals over the past several years.

This year started much the same. In fact, my weight ballooned to 252.5 pounds and I almost neglected to update my blog this week. Here’s the simple fact: life gets in the way of even the best intentions. It takes time to try and adapt. It takes the three C’s: Conviction, Commitment, and Community.

Since the first week of the year, though, I’ve totally turned it around. I was convicted, but not committed. Even still, the community around me is somewhat weak. But I realized that no matter what kind of community I have, it will not be successful without my own dedication.

So here’s something of a status update: I weigh 240 pounds and my blog has been improving week over week.

It’s a long road ahead, but I’m Convicted and Committed. The Community will build itself.

Are you lacking one of the three ‘C’s? Which is the most difficult for you?