My daughter is in grade seven and just made house captain. She’s thrilled by this honor. Her teachers and peers say she was chosen not for her outstanding popularity or nor her ability to influence others by extroverted behavior. Her most outstanding leadership characteristics have been demonstrated every year since Kindergarten in her ability to take her own initiative and to lead by example. Today, she showed me this TEDx video that truly resonated with me on the theme of leadership. My daughter is totally inspired by the concept that leadership can take light in the everyday, ordinary world.
It’s in the small stuff where one can make the biggest differences. Leadership can thereby be found in every individual. It is in the art of these small, lollipop moments that the biggest impacts on people can be made. This is a good challenge for us all to regularly have our lollipop moments by giving them naturally without premeditation or agenda.
This short and concise TED Talk video beautifully breaks down the definition of leadership.
Derek Sivers encourages us to have the courage to follow, and show others how to follow.
“The first follower is actually an underestimated form of leadership in itself. … The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader.”
No one really leaves a job just because they have found a better opportunity or better pay. The number one reason people leave is because they fail to connect with their bosses as leaders and as people. Think about it. Most people in their careers can share in this experience. Although missteps can happen, the best leaders strive to make their actions consistent with the philosophy of having an engaged and excited team.
I interviewed Cameron McNeill, owner of MAC Marketing Solutions, on what it means to lead. Here’s what Cameron said on this subject: ‘As a leader, I am constantly challenging myself to think about my team’s enjoyment in their career with my company. There is one test we have- when people wake up in the morning, are they excited about working with our company? If they aren’t excited then I have failed. This philosophy is the driving spirit within our business and permeates all levels of the company. It boils down to two things: every person is driven by different circumstances, and you, the leader, must care about each individual as a fellow family member in the context of the vision of the company. Everyone then looks after each other and their collective well-being. It is hard to create this and impossible to fake. No marketing team could ever produce this spirit. It requires champions big and small to express this in an individual way. It is done with a common set of core values that everyone knows. They all know which way they are going and are pulling in the same direction. I never stop thinking about nor ever get tired of saying, “when you wake up in the morning…” ’.
And this theme is true with every executive of some of the top Canadian business’s I’ve had the pleasure to know. An effective leader lives and breathes the company’s core values. They obsess over the clarity of these core values. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Repeat. Repeat and repeat.
The best leaders have tremendous passion for what they do. Yet they operate with a level of genuine humility and with the sole purpose of their company’s welfare. It’s not about them, rather, it’s about the company as a whole. These leaders protect their teams aligned with their vision at all costs. Lose your core team and you lose the heart and soul of the company.
Tina Del Buono of Practical Practice Management
shares some worthy leadership advice. Enjoy the read.
Mike Desjardins of ViRTUS shares some valuable advice. Enjoy the read.
Image via CrunchBase
Last week I was inspired…
I had the good fortune to listen to two strikingly different yet exceptional leaders: General Richard Hillier, Retired Chief of Defense Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Forces highest rank and Sir Richard Branson, Founder of The Virgin Group.
I found it so interesting to hear a common theme in both their messages around leadership: respect for people.
“To be an effective leader you have to care about people. You have to make it personal”, said General Hillier.
“Having a personality of caring about people is important,” says Branson. “You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.”
What else was compelling was their “down to earth” nature. Both extremely accomplished people yet they never lead with their titles. Both leaders don’t take themselves too seriously.
They both have passion for their work. They are 100% committed to what they do. They know where they are going and they enlist other competent people around them, listen to them and let them take over- they delegate and truly empower them.
Define your leadership style. Respect the people who work with you. And take care.
Employees are a company’s greatest asset or the biggest liability.
It is one thing to hire exceptional individuals it is another to hire exceptional individuals who are leaders and who understand the importance of positive energy and the power of working together as a team to achieve dynamic results.
Positive energy flow and teamwork is vital to the long term growth of any establishment. Be aware that negative energy and ego can contaminate an entire establishment – all it takes is one individual.
Creating a strong positive team environment is important. Each individual plays a significant role in the overall energy force contributing positive or negative energy in the workplace. “Teamwork not only allows a person to do what he couldn’t otherwise do; it also has a compounding effect on all he possesses – including talent. A group of talented people committed to working together is a work of art. – John Maxwell
Understanding each team member’s strengths and weaknesses including varying energy levels and pairing up individuals who balance one another to create a team can be beneficial to all. In addition, hire individuals who are willing to learn from one another and support one another’s growth regardless of their position within the company. Look for the greatness within each individual and pair them with teammates who complement one another encouraging growth, support and teamwork.
A Chinese proverb states, “Behind an able man there are always other able men” The truth is that teamwork is at the heart of great achievement. The question isn’t whether teams have value, the question is whether we acknowledge that fact and become better team players – John Maxwell
One is too small a number to achieve greatness. Nothing of significance was ever achieved by an individual acting alone. Look below the surface and you will find that all seemingly solo acts are really team efforts. – John Maxwell
You are only as good as the employees you hire.
This guest post was written by Janis Gall of MAC Marketing Solutions
photo credit: kool_skatkat
I read this recent post, Faking it by Chris Ferdinandi, managing editor at GoMakeThings.com and I find his thoughts on customer engagement so very true.
Sincerity is key when it comes to customer service, and clearly if you love your job, and have a thriving culture, the sincerity will come naturally. The positive byproduct of this is happy, loyal customers who believe in your product or service, and want to be a part of that experience. It’s that simple.
Foster a positive corporate culture which will keep your employees happy, and your customers will be happy too.
~ Jessica Rozitis
He shaped the way we use technology today. He made it cool. He made it beautiful. He made it fun. He made it personal.
Steve Jobs was the most innovative CEO of our time. He was a dynamic maverick who built and rebuilt Apple over the course of several decades. Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world in terms of its market capitalization. Everybody talks about Steve Jobs’ creativity, innovation and passion. He was also a very inspiring leader, a visionary. He was known to be a micro-manager, but in a positive way.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” –Steve Jobs.
And one more thing…
3 Apples changed the World. The 1st one seduced Eve, the 2nd one fell on Newton and the 3rd was offered to the World half bitten by Steve Jobs.
~ Jessica Rozitis
How often do you thank your employees for their work? I try to say ‘thanks’ daily, but for sure every few days I thank my team.
I appreciate hearing it myself so I can imagine others do too!
We all want to keep motivated and I found the simple words of gratitude are very uplifting and encouraging and I keep doing more of whatever I was thanked for.
Employee motivation is a topic all Human Resource professionals ponder – and rightly so as look at the results – Increased employee motivation leads to higher employee engagement and finally retention increases.
So, how to motivate our employees?
Unfortunately there is not an exact science nor formula. Too bad we couldn’t just fill in a check list we created tailored to specific “types” of people. However, just as one employee is motivated primarily by money, then another employee is not. I have staff that appreciate personal recognition for a job well done just as much as that ‘extra’ bonus available. Motivation should be as individual as the employees who work for us.
And it doesn’t just have to be the leader that recognizes their employees. In our company, employees are given opportunities to formally thank and publicly recognize their peers for going above and beyond their regular job to support the team.
~ Cheryl Nakamoto
photo credit: Anemone Letterpress