Leadership

Leadership

Day 365 of 365!

We made it to the end of 2018!

It’s time to reflect on what we accomplished this year, and didn’t accomplish. Did you begin a new adventure, a new business, make changes in your personal life, change jobs, or learn a new skill or craft?

Even if you didn’t do all that you intended in 2018, embrace the good, and let go of the not so good. Refuse to bring the ‘not so good’ results, or attitudes into 2019. It’s time to move on to a new year!

January 1, 2019 is the first blank page of another 365 page book. Each day is a new opportunity for you to do something great. I encourage you to take ownership of what you want to accomplish, or changes you wish to make in 2019. You can only control yourself – so reach deep inside for your determination and create your own plans for the new year. Then, work your plan! Be intentional about it. Keep it before you each day. Learn something new.

Whether you are a seasoned leader, or an emerging leader, set your sights on being the best you can be. Don’t be lulled into complacency. Be a great role model for your employees, peers, and customers. Develop yourself so you can then provide opportunities to develop others. Maybe you want to become a mentor to share some of your life lessons with others to help them shore up their skills, or find a mentor for yourself. Take action in 2019. Don’t wait! Life is too short to waste it. If not now, when?

Please share this blog with others if you find it helpful! Thank you!

All the best for a successful 2019!

Judy

Leadership

What are you known for?

I’ve asked this question to hundreds of people across the years.  A response I’ve gotten numerous times is a blank stare.  The question should cause us to think.  How do I come across to others?  Do people know my true intent by the way I live out my life?  Do people know that I care and want to see them become successful?  Do they see me as a complainer?  Do they believe I stand up for them and have their best interests at heart?  Am I seen as ego-driven and power hungry?  Do I always have to be the one in control, who makes all the decisions?  What reputation do I have?

Let me ask another question.  What do you want to be known for?  After reflection, if you want to change the way you are perceived by others, you can take steps to change it.  The key is to know what type of leader you want to be.  I love this quote by Vince Lombardi:

“Leaders aren’t born; they are made.  And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.”

A leader is always being observed.  People watch you – your employees, your peers, and other leaders. They notice how you respond to challenges, to changes, and to them.  It all matters!  So, if you want to get different results, you have to change people’s experiences with you.   And the experience can’t be just a one time thing.  You must be intentional about making the effort on a consistent basis.

The number one reason most people voluntarily leave a job is because of a poor relationship with their supervisor.  It’s very difficult to work for someone whom you do not trust, or you believe has ulterior motives, or hidden agendas.  It makes people dread going to work and interacting with you.

So, what can you do?  First, answer the question, ‘What do I want to be known for?”  If you’re not where you want to be, then set some specific goals and work on it.  It’s not easy, but it’s necessary.

Second, Find a mentor, someone you trust and has the leadership qualities you admire.  Ask for feedback on how you’re doing.  Do something every day to reach your goals.  You hold the key to your success.  Be mindful and intentional.   Pay attention to how people respond to you and make adjustments as needed.

Third, After you have worked on your goals (and behaviors) for a while, I recommend doing a short, simple survey with your employees and peers.  People will be honest in giving you feedback for improvement if they believe that you really want to know the truth, and that you won’t retaliate in any way.  And, don’t forget to thank the people who take the risk to be honest with you.  It may be hard to hear some of the feedback, but isn’t it better to know what you still need to work on, and to hear what you’ve already improved in?  I believe feedback is a gift!  All we have to say when we receive a gift is, ‘Thank you’!

Finally, Keep on keeping on!  Being a good leader is a journey, not a destination.  So, what are you known for?

All the best,

Judy

 

Respect and Appreciation

It’s All About Respect!

Quote for today: “A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.”

I had the privilege last week to be a general session speaker at the Arkansas Gas Association’s Annual Meeting in Ft. Smith.  My topic was ‘Coaching for Improved Performance’.  I met some interesting people and had conversations with many of them.  Most of the questions I received dealt with how can they could be a better leader, how to get people engaged, how to communicate expectations more effectively, and how to have difficult conversations and deal with poor performance.  We all want to be better at this, don’t we?  I find that wherever I go, people are hungry to develop their leadership skills.  Thanks again, AGA, for asking me to present to your great group of people!  We also had the privilege to meet Governor Asa Hutchinson, who spoke at the meeting, too!  He spoke about his vision for the great State of Arkansas.

While in Ft. Smith, we went to the local Books-a-Million, which is not unusual for me because I love to read.  I was looking for a particular book and couldn’t find it so my husband found the manager and he was so helpful to us.  His name is Blake.  After Blake had helped us, he went back to the front desk to help others.  I thought of another question and went to the front counter where Blake was talking with one of the employees, who was about 17-18 years old.  What caught my attention was Blake called him ‘Sir’ three times while they were having their conversation.  While Blake was following me to the Business section, I commented to him that I was impressed by him calling his young employee, ‘Sir’.  His reply was, “It’s all about respect. Everyone deserves respect!”  Now, my friends, I have to say that Blake knows what leadership is all about!  He’s a great role model for his employees … and customers!

Wouldn’t it be a better world if we all lived by the belief that everyone deserves respect?  It doesn’t take a lot of effort to make someone feel appreciated and important.  A ‘good morning’, or just being intentional about speaking or asking how someone is doing today shows respect.  Another way to show respect is to ask for and listen to an employee’s ideas about how to make things better.  How about returning phone calls in a timely manner, and giving employees credit for their ideas?

I believe it is more important for a leader to lead from a position of influence rather than because of their title or position.  Do you have willing followers?  If so, it’s probably because you have demonstrated positive influence and people want to be like you.  Leaders should be role models and live out their values every day.  Employees notice when you don’t!

I love this quote by John Maxwell, “Leadership is not about titles, position or flowcharts.  It is about one life influencing another.”

Determine today to be the difference to your employees or co-workers around you!  Be real.  Be genuine.  Be a leader!  Be like Blake!

All the best,

Judy

Uncategorized

Are You a Leader?

Do you consider yourself a ‘leader’?  Do you want to be?  You may already have a title of ‘Supervisor’, or ‘Manager’, or you may be an individual contributor who desires, or has the ability to influence others.

Either way, this blog is written for you. Not all people with titles are true leaders (shock!).  More about this later.  Not all individual contributors have influence.

If you have the desire deep down to be a true leader, you can get there.  There is nothing stopping you!

My journey as a leader began in school, where I volunteered, or was selected to work on special projects, serve on committees, act in school plays, letter in cheerleading, or be voted by my classmates for a couple ‘Superlatives’ (do schools still do this?)

In my work career, I’ve taken opportunities to excel and put myself out there.  Even when I messed up, it was a learning experience for the next time – and there has always been a next time/opportunity/challenge.

You have to be intentional about looking for opportunities to lead.  Don’t wait thinking that someone will notice that you have abilities you’re not using and that you would be great leading the next important project.  People are busy with their own stuff and you may be overlooked if you just wait.  Let someone know you are interested.  Speak up.  Be heard.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Take the risk!

You have unique gifts and abilities.  Use them.  Whether you work in an organization, non-profit, retail environment, firm, or any other work environment, or you may even have the desire to own your own business, use your skills to excel.  No matter what you do, or want to do, develop yourself and step up to achieve all that you were meant to be.  You CAN do it and be successful!

Be the difference!

All the best,

Judy