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Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

It’s (Not) All About The Benjamins!

September 14, 2011 2 comments
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Time is one of many things a leader can invest.

I am leader in one of the environments at my church called Fusion. This cycle we are talking about the subject of investment. When people hear the term “invest” they immediately think of money. It’s not always about money. You can invest your time, talents, and so many other things.

My friend Susanne does something really cool for her Facebook status. She will find a word that has impacted her and provide the definition. It would go a little something like this (Susanne – this one goes out to you! (c: ).

“Invest: to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.), as for a purpose or to achieve something…I like that word.”

She always follows it with “I like that word.” When I read that definition this morning it made me think…how can we as leaders invest in the lives of those we lead?

  • Be a great listener – People want to be heard. Don’t try to solve their problems, just provide a listening ear.
  • Celebrate with them – Birthdays and new jobs are just the beginning. In one of my previous small groups we always celebrated everyone’s birthday and it turned out that one of the guys had never ever had a birthday party thrown for him.
  • Mourn with them – Losing a family member is difficult and it’s even harder when you feel alone. It’s easier to go through the loss of a job with others supporting and encouraging you. A guy in one of my previous small groups lost his daughter to a childhood illness. The majority of our group traveled from Atlanta to Tampa just to be with him in his time of need.
  • Spend time with them – Be intentional about doing things with them. Go out to dinner. Grab coffee. Find out what they enjoy doing and do it together.
  • Remember the details – When you have conversations with people, remember things they tell you. You never realize how much it means to people when you ask them how their interview went or if they finished their big project at work. It makes them feel important.

How do you invest in those you lead?

Photo Credit: By mpclemens

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Fear in Leadership

August 3, 2011 Leave a comment
Ropes Course

Photo Credit: By LeAnn Leagans

“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.”
Bill Cosby

As a leader, fear can often be a motivator to help us grow. You have a choice as a leader – you can stay where you are and let fear get the best of you or you can overcome fear and do new things you have never imagined possible. When you choose the first option, you often look back and wonder what could have been and end up living a life of regret. Choosing the second option may be difficult, but in the long run it’s worth it.

What steps can you take to help overcome fear as a leader?

  1. Surround yourself with like-minded people who will encourage and cheer you on in times of fear.
  2. Focus on what will happen once you make it past the fear, not the process of going through the fear itself.
  3. Force yourself to do it – make yourself think there are no other options.

I experienced this first hand over the weekend. I had the amazing experience of going on a leadership retreat at Callaway Gardens. During lunch they announced that everyone needed to look under their chair as one table would win a prize. Our table ended up winning the prize and it was free tickets to the ropes course and zip lines at the gardens. One minor problem – I am terrified of heights! Even though we were harnessed in, I was still afraid that I was going to fall and seriously injure myself. I had twelve other people on the course with me that helped encourage me and let me know that not only was I going to be okay, but I was going to be able to complete the course and look back on the experience as a major accomplishment.

How do you overcome fear as a leader?

Leadership Elements

Leadership ElementsLast Thursday, I completed a four week workshop on leadership called “Leadership Elements.” (Thank you Mark Shull for recommending it!) Each of the four weeks focused on a different topic regarding being a leader. What is so great about this information is it can be used in various different environments – in the work place, at church, or even within your group of friends. Here are just a few of the “take-aways” that I learned.

  • Influence, not position is what allows us to lead people.
  • Influence is always in motion.
  • Fair or unfair, we are often judged on the perception of our leadership, not the reality of our leadership.
  • Influence comes from who you are, not just what you do.
  • Leadership begins with character and ends with influence.
  • Competence might make you a leader, but character gives you influence.
  • People might not always listen, but they never fail to imitate.
  • If you don’t know where you are, you can’t get from there to where you need to be.
  • Self-awareness helps prevent hypocrisy.
  • You can’t lead others past where you are.
  • Self-awareness leads to compassion for others.
  • A person who doesn’t have an awareness of their shortcomings comes across as pity.
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