3 Signs Your Team is Malfunctioning

You have to identify the malfunction. Determine what it costs to fix it? And do everything you can in your power to get your team into top notch performance again.

The check engine light pops on in your automobile and you look in your handbook to find out you need to take your car to the dealership to have a million dollars worth of work done to it.  Your vehicle has many different components that have different functions but all work simultaneously to allow for a smooth ride and safe travels.  When one of those components malfunction, it sets off the check engine light indicating that something is wrong with the car.

This is exactly how teams work.  Everyone has different functions, but every member works together to create a high functioning unit.  When one of the members gets out of wack, we have a malfunction within the group, and the team suffers for it.  Not only the team, but every individual or company that the team directly affects.

I want to give you 3 signs that your team is malfunctioning.

1.) Leadership is Dysfunctional  

Have you ever known a team whose weakest link was the leader?  The team is determined, they have skills, they have passion, but they have no direction and instruction.

There have been ball players that were amazing at playing the game, but when they retired and tried their hand at coaching, their teams suffered and never succeeded.  Why?  Because they were good ball players and captains, but they lacked leadership skills and the ability to facilitate their players to the playoffs or championships.

We hear about people that have the money to purchase a business, hire employees, and even do some type of marketing.  But the business goes under or suffers for years. Why?  Because the leadership is toxic and lacks the leadership skills to meet the needs of their people or customers.

It’s not difficult to find signs of leadership dysfunction in most organizations – all you have to do is open your eyes.

-Mike Myatt

Here are four signs of a dysfunctional leader:

  • They seek ultimate control vs. liberating their employees
  • They are always negative vs. being inspiring
  • Always threatening vs. being instructing
  • They take up petty issues vs. being constructive

To build dynamic teams and keep them running smoothly and efficiently, quality leadership is a must.  It’s imperative that we leaders reclaim the spirit of true leadership and seek to guide and coach our teams to be well running machines.  If the leadership malfunctions, the rest of the vehicle doesn’t run right.

2.)  The Atmosphere is Toxic

Once again the leadership is a catalyst for setting the right atmosphere.  If the atmosphere is toxic your team will suffer.  How many of you have been apart of a team that suffocated from an environment that choked the life out of your group?

Automobiles can create an atmosphere full of smog and pollution.  That is why they have components on the car that recycle exhaust, and maintenance that cleans out the carbon build up.  When the proper maintenance is done to a vehicle the Malfunction Indicator Lamp illuminates indicating an issue with various parts.

To have the right atmosphere we must have constant maintenance and the right components in place to absorb the bad pollution.  For example:

  • Encourage unity instead of gossip and bad attitudes
  • Reward for good behavior and meeting goals instead of nit picking every little mistake
  • MICROMANAGING pollutes the atmosphere
  • Shut down clicks and always work on team building
  • Developing clear cut boundaries and rules instead of setting unrealistic and unclear expectations 

I am sure their are many more thoughts and maybe you can comment on some ideas that you have.  But I know this for sure, there are things we can do to clear up the atmosphere that allows our teams to perform at the maximum level.

“None of us is as smart as all of us.”

-Ken Blanchard

“As long as I have this one person, my business, my team will be A-OK!”  Only problem with this attitude is when you take out that one person your team suffers.  But a good environment that fosters teamwork will bring everyone to the same level of efficiency and the team will succeed no matter what’s thrown at them.

3.  Leaders Fail to Produce Leaders

Notice a common thread here?  Leaders fail!  Leaders, please take responsibility for your team, no matter if it’s at work, at home, on the field, or at church.

We as leaders face a daunting task, and that is to create leaders around us.  Your organization will only rise as your team rises.  If you do not want your team to be dysfunctional, then the best way to remedy this is to create a ladder for everyone to get on so they can go up.

Creating a tight group of people and fostering growth will develop a foundation for future leaders.

Training, training, training is everything.  Knowledge is power.  Giving them the information that they need to succeed will determine the type of leader they will be.  Technical skills, people skills, and personal development training would be a great start to growing leaders.

Goal setting and projecting.  Maintaining a strict goal program.  Cast the vision and maintain steps to meeting these goals.  People get bored and anxious when they just have a job to do.  They want purpose and they want to make a difference.

Give individual team members responsibilities.  Allow them to make decisions and coach them along the way.  Allow for failure and mistakes.  Remember, THEY ARE NOT PERFECT!

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

― William Arthur Ward

Determining to take your team to the next level demonstrates the type of leader you are.  Making a difference in their lives, and helping them grow the leader within them should be your ultimate goal.  By doing this you reduce stress, create great customer interactions, the loyalty and morality will rise.  They will care about the business not just a paycheck.  They will care about the team and the family versus their own good.  It has always and will always be about others.

Conclusion:

Is your check engine light on in your team?  Is there a malfunction and dysfunction somewhere?

You have to identify the malfunction.  Determine what it costs to fix it?  And do everything you can in your power to get your team into top notch performance again.  Do not let your team become dysfunctional, and if you inherited that kind of team, take the challenge and grow with them!

Dustin L. Carr

thesuccessfulleader.blog

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3 Signs You Are Not a True Leader

Are you a leader? Here are 3 signs that you are not one

I have said this a million times, “Just because you have the money to buy a business, does not make you a good boss, just because you can make kids does not make you a good parent, just because you can stir a crowd’s emotions does not make you a good pastor, and just because you have a leadership position does not make you a good leader.”

Have you ever been around those that just downright inspire you?  These pioneers are forging ahead into uncharted territory, and for some reason you are wanting to follow them.  Many times we want to talk about what a leader truly is, but I want to give you three signs you are not a true leader.

1. You Lack People Skills 

Or at least you lack a willingness to learn.  I am amazed at those in a leadership position, how they lack some of the most basic people skills.  Grumpy, grouchy, whiny, fussy, argumentative, and mean are just a few of the attributes of a horrible leader.

It takes true skill to work with others and lead them along the way.  Studying and learning people should be a lifetime work of yours as a leader.  Our interactions should be skillful and on purpose to create a desired effect on others.  Here are a few people skills that those in leadership positions need:

  • Positive Attitude– A smile and a positive attitude is contagious. But so is a frown and bad attitude.
  • Patience– When you deal with people you are not dealing with angelic beings.  People are flawed and imperfect and need time to blossom and grow.
  • Coaching– Growing people and helping them reach their potential is a true skill.
  • Empathy– Feeling someone else’s pain.  The ability to understand and share the feelings of other.
  • Emotional intelligence– Being able to read other people and their emotions.

These are just a few skills we need to learn and without them it is impossible to be a true leader.  You are not a leader because you try to get everyone to fit into your mold.  You belittle them instead of inspire.  You micro-manage instead of coach.  You simply do not understand human emotion and the ability to tap into a person mind and help them unleash the potential that lies dormant in their life.

Most teams and even our children and spouses feel defeated, let down, crushed, depressed, because those in leadership fail to connect with them and motivate them.  I encourage you leaders to take time to learn others.  Pick up a book, look up information on a web page, or interview a successful people person and develop the skills required to be a leader.

2.  You Lack Self-Confidence

According to Dictionary.com, self-confidence is the belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities.  I am not speaking of cockiness and arrogance, but of a calm assurance on the inside that you are the person that can lead these group of people to the desired goal.  

Many people view a boisterous and jovial personality as someone that is self-confident, when in reality it can be the very opposite.  Others view rich people as people with self-confidence, when the truth is a lot of rich people are insecure because of their riches. It amazes me how self-confidence can ultimately build confidence.  How do you build your self-confidence?

  • Have a thorough knowledge of your industry-  Experts can be dogmatic in what they say and believe, because they know what they are talking about.  Be the person everyone wants to come to in your industry because you have a knowledge that others have not taken the time to acquire.
  • Read positive material-  How to communicate with people, how to be a leader, devotionals, sales books, self-help books, team-work books, any thing and everything that you can get your hands on.  The reason is there will be so many people that will throw negative arrows towards you that you will need an arsenal of positive thoughts to deflect their poison.  Plus you will just need encouragement along the way to help you when you are down.
  • Make sure your self-talk is good-  Kind of the same lines as read positive material.   But the truth remains what you say to yourself really does matter.  Make sure your speech absolutely is consumed with positive words.  I am not saying do not be realistic, but I am saying there is enough negativity in this world, we need to speak positive words to ourselves and maintain a positive lifestyle.

When we build our self-confidence we in turn build our confidence.  Have faith in yourself and your abilities.  MOST PEOPLE NEVER RISE TO BEING GREAT LEADERS BECAUSE THEY FALL INTO THE TRAP OF SELF-DEPRECIATION AND THEY LISTEN TO THE NAYSAYERS INSTEAD OF CHASING THEIR DREAMS.

3. You Have No Drive to Be a Leader

I work with people that simply want to stay on the base level, never realizing their potential, never motivated to learn, never excited about the numbers, always a bad attitude towards the customers, never willing to sacrifice.  They tell me they use to be managers and assistant managers, and I say I do not buy one minute of that.

One sign that you are not a leader is simply you do not have the drive to be one.  Being a leader is more than just a position for the successful leader. It is a chase and a challenge for true leaders.  It is a passion of theirs that drives them to the top.

I get my stomach full of going to places and watching management that are so lackadaisical, so uninterested, so complacent, and could care less.  It is going to take drive and passion to get your team moving and at the top of your industry.  We need motivated leaders to step up and show their families, their teams, their churches, and any other organization that they mean business and want to go to the pinnacle and take their team with them.

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. 

-Colin Powell

Conclusion

There are way more than three signs that you are not a leader, but take these three and chew on them this week.  Make it a point to change one thing in your life to make you a better leader.  I promise that when you do that you will become the successful leader that you always wanted to be.

Dustin Carr

thesuccessfulleader.wordpress.com

The Leader and Their Stinky Feet

Do you have stinky feet as a leader? Your morals say volumes about you!

Do you ever notice not all feet are created equal?  Some people have nice feet and some have ugly feet.  For instance, my toes are crooked with a patch of ugly hair on my big toe.  I shudder at the thought!  But then there are those blessed people who aren’t afraid to where sandals or these women that wear toe rings.  Now that’s confidence!

Feet come in all shapes and sizes; fat feet, flat feet, long feet, and small feet!  Sounds like a Dr. Seuss story!  But for me the worse kind of feet are stinky feet.  I do not rub feet, massage feet, or even touch feet!  I know some people, when they peel their socks off will make you turn puke green.

Feet are what we stand on.  They keep us balanced.  Before one can become a great leader, that person needs to be standing on a solid foundation.  You cannot discuss leadership without discussing morality.  We have people in leadership positions that are, rich, smart, and attractive.  But there is a sharp decline in leaders that are moral.  These “leaders” truly have stinky feet.

Everyone is apart of an ethical system, whether it is social, company, professional, or family ethics.  Ethics can change based on whether you’re apart of a jury or at work, in the U.S. or China, but what usually never changes is a person’s morals.

Morals define your character and only God knows we need men and women with a strong moral resolve.  Let’s get something straight, everyone has different morals, and the purpose of this article is not to push my morals on you but rather to shed light on some universal morals that leaders can acquire to build their strength as a respected leader.  Let’s look at a few things to help you not have “stinky feet” as a leader and give you a foundation that you can stand firmly upon.

Get In Line!

Profootcenter.com says, “The 52 bones in your feet make up one quarter of all the bones in your body. When they are out of alignment, so is the rest of your body.” (1)

We can draw a comparison to our morality, in the fact that when our morals are out of line so is everything else you do as a leader.  When their is cracks in your foundation, the building faces a chance of complete disaster!

“All are agreed, that the increase of learning and good morals are great blessings to society.”

-Joseph Lancaster

A person in leadership without morals is an abominable monster.  Look at men like Hitler and Stalin, they had a great following and influenced people in almost a magical way, but yet led there followers into great genocidal warfare and sought to destroy millions of people.

Let us not look at the extreme but rather a boss or a pastor without a moral compass.  A leader without their moral compass is like a ship at sea with their people, dashed about by the waves, wondering aimlessly without any real direction.  Get in line, because when your feet bones aren’t in the right place, your whole body suffers as a result.

Standing on Landmines

I had a boss once that told me business is like walking through a field of landmines.  And you know it makes a lot of sense to me as I have been managing for several years now.  We may not be able to dodge every explosive but we can do some things to help us avoid them to the best of our abilities.  Allow me to give you some morals that string through all cultures and countries that will help you build this solid foundation.

  • Honesty-  Honesty is not the “best” policy, it is the “only” policy.
  • Integrity-  Integrity towards women and men.  No sexual advances. No rewards for promiscuous behavior.  Stay professional with no locker room talk and uncouth words.  
  • Keep your hands out of the money-  No money laundering or stealing.
  • Create a competitive atmosphere but a safe atmosphere.

Bank intern who died, after ‘working for 72 hours’ felt pressure to excel.”   This is the article from The Telegraph.  (2) “citing a reference not my personal opinion.”

A title from investopedia.com, “Enron Scandal: The Fall of a Wall Street Darling” (3)

A Fox News article title runs chills down my spine, “Police: A Florida pastor caught with man’s wife flees naked” (4)

These are all people and board members in leadership position that broke universal rules of moral engagement and society has paid a dear price.  Leaders today are not “stepping” on landmines, they are straight up “standing” on them.

We read and hear stories everyday of “leaders” falling into some sort of immorality.  They have stinking feet!  The foundation they are standing on is corrupted and there for they cannot effectively lead in any aspect.

Walk A Mile In There Shoes

We have all heard the old adage, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”  As a leader this should be your motto.  Your morals may be different then mine in some aspects, but a universal truth that has rang down through the ages is to treat people with respect and dignity.

“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

 -Some really cool person

Leaders have a moral responsibility to their people, their congregation, their spouses and children, their co-workers, and yes, those pesky neighbors of yours.  News Flash:  You wouldn’t be in a leadership position, without others following your footsteps.

Leaders lose touch with their people on a daily basis.  Walking in other’s shoes can bring them back to reality of the struggle and battle that they are going through.  Here are a few actions you can take to be a moral leader with your people:

  1. Be honest with them.  Pay them an honest wage and also be honest with your communication.  Do not do them wrong.  Do not cheat them.
  2. Never talk down to them.
  3. Do not physically or mentally abuse them.
  4. Despite their personal beliefs, lifestyles, or race, show them dignity.
  5. Show empathy and get to know them.
  6. Follow through on your promises.

There are many more things you can say there and feel free to comment on what you believe to be important.  Walk a mile in their shoes and remember what it’s like to be responsible for a group of people, the standing you have with them, and their view of you.

Do not develop stinking feet.  Hold to the universal morals that can raise your head and shoulders above your peers.  Let us restore the confidence people once had in leadership in days gone by.  Clean your feet up and wash them real good, so you can be the successful leader.

 

Dustin Carr

http://www.thesuccessfulleader.wordpress.com

(1) http://www.profootcenter.com/25-fun-foot-facts

(2) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/10255199/Bank-intern-who-died-after-working-for-72-hours-felt-pressure-to-excel.html

(3) http://www.investopedia.com/updates/enron-scandal-summary/

(4) http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/01/31/police-florida-pastor-caught-with-man-wife-flees-naked.html

 

 

 

 

 

The Handy Leader

You do not become a leader from laziness! Some people believe that work is a four-letter curse word. Look at all the great leaders that we read about and I promise you that one of their shining characteristics were that they worked extremely hard.

Your hands speaks volumes about you!  I personally work with my hands everyday of my life.  People often times ask me what I do for a living, and I say, “I manage a preventive maintenance shop.”  And they respond by saying they figured, based on how my hands look.  Hands are a very important part of our body, so much so that we take for granted many times the functionality and value that they provide for us each and everyday of our lives.

In John C. Maxwell’s book, Thinking For a Change, in the cartoon, Charlie Brown is holding up his hands and telling Lucy, “These are the hands which may someday accomplish great things.  These are hands which may someday do marvelous works!  They may build mighty bridges, or heal the sick, or hit home runs, or write soul-stirring novels!  These are the hands which may someday change the course of destiny!”  Lucy looks at his hands and simply says, “They’ve got jelly on them.” (1)

Your hands are a big part of your dreams and your ability to lead.  As a kid I would play games, throw rocks, and build tree houses.  My hands then began to write equations, take test, and wash dishes at a part-time job.  Now my hands work everyday, hold my babies, and point others in the right direction.  I have great plans for my hands, I want them to do great things and make great things happen.  Let me give you a few thoughts on how you can use your hands to lead.

Remember There Are No Handouts

As a leader we should not expect any handouts or freebies.  Do not get me wrong, sometimes the pendulum swings our way and a gift will fall right into our laps.  I for one will take full advantage of it and exploit it to the best of my abilities.  But for the most part nothing is for free and we should fully expect to earn our way to the top.

I never was a person who wanted a handout. I was a cafeteria worker. I’m not too proud to ask the Best Western manager to give me a job. I have cleaned homes.

-Shirley Jackson

Old-timers and even a great majority of the people today understand this concept, that permanent handouts can cripple a person’s ability to lead.  Here are a few things to help you climb your way to the top:

  • Accept responsibility- Understand where you are at right now.  You might be at the bottom.  Or you may not be an effective leader with a dysfunctional team.  Accept your position and situation.
  • Develop a plan-  What is your plans to grow as a leader?  What is your projection of where you are going?  How are you going to get to the top?  Be specific, be realistic, but be optimistic.
  • Work your butt off-  Do not accept handouts! WORK YOUR BUTT OFF!  MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Handouts will do nothing but weaken you and keep you down.  Do not accept the way things are.  Do not accept the status quo!  Do not wait for something to happen, do something about it!

Getting Your Hands Dirty

You do not become a leader from laziness!  Some people believe that work is a four-letter curse word.  Look at all the great leaders that we read about and I promise you that one of their shining characteristics were that they worked extremely hard.

“Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest.”

-Ecclesiastes 9:10

You must determine what it is you want.  Do you want a good marriage?  Do you want your congregation to grow?  Do you want to meet a new sales goal?  Do you want a nice bass boat?  Do you want straight A’s?

Whatever it is you want, you need to wrapped your hands around the plow, put your nose down, and drive forward.  You will break a sweat, be tested and tried, broken and beaten!  But let consistency be your friend!  Let patience be your confidant!  Embrace discipline as your brother and work as your sister!

Managing and leading can be a dirty job.  Dealing with people and personalities can give you callouses and blisters.  Leading your family in this crazy generation can litter your body with bumps and bruises.  But in the end it can be said of you that your were not afraid of a little work.  You gave it everything you got!

I learned the value of hard work by working hard.

-Margaret Mead

muddy-pig

“Finesse”

I am reminded of the early days of working in the preventive maintenance industry, I would be working with a lot of plastic pieces underneath the hood of a car.  Inevitably, I would break something and have to go and explain myself to the boss.  He would just shake his head and say “Finesse!  Finesse! Finesse!  It’s just plastic! Be easy with it!”

Leadership is a lot like this.  Working with people takes lots of finesse.  I liken it to an artist that has the most delicate touch.  Most artist do not use hammers and shovels to paint a masterpiece, but rather use the slightest stroke and pinpoint accuracy when placing the brush to the canvas.

Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.

-John Wooden

Here a few quick thoughts to help you with finesse:

  • Have a passion for being a leader
  • Seek mastery in all you do
  • Never be afraid of failure, just get another canvas

Finesse requires an expert touch from years of training, years of failure and success, knowledge of the paints and canvas, and years of taking raw material and applying them with such vision, passion, and skills.

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

-Aristotle

Finally, as a leader, do not accept handouts, do not be afraid to get your hands dirty, and remember that finesse will create the masterpiece.  Look now at both of your hands and ask yourself, “What am I doing with these hands, that will make me a great leader, a great parent, or a great student?”  You can be a hands on leader and truly make a difference.  Now go for it!

 

 

“No Guts, No Glory!”

“Who am I kiddin’? I ain’t even in the guy’s league…It don’t matter, ’cause I was nobody before…I was nobody. That don’t matter either, ya know…It really don’t matter if I lose this fight. It really don’t matter if this guy opens my head, either. ‘Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody’s ever gone the distance with Creed. And if I can go that distance, ya see, and that bell rings, ya know, and I’m still standin’, I’m gonna know for the first time in my life, ya see, that I weren’t just another bum from the neighborhood.” 

-Rocky Balboa

Rocky is without a question one of the greatest movie series of all time.  I mean, what is there not to love about a small-town underdog competing with big league boxers, overcoming great odds, and marrying the woman of his dreams?  We all can quote the movie, we love to run upstairs and throw our hands up and start shadow boxing like the Italian Stallion, and all of us guys can quote the scenes where Rocky is trying to woo Adrianne with his savvy Italian accent and goofy little sayings.

The left-hander seemed to have it all, but what made him so great was the fact he had guts!  When you think of the Anatomy of a Leader, you cannot bypass the fact that every great leader has guts.

It is almost like this meme I seen the other day, “I was cut from a different cloth, and they don’t make my fabric anymore.”  Have you ever met people like Rocky that were cut from a different cloth?  Every generation has them, every age group has their rising star, every industry has their genius, every army has their general, and every family has their patriarch or matriarch. These stars outshines the rest of the pack, they stand head above shoulders to their peers.  They saw differently, spoke differently, acted differently, but most of all they had the guts to lead their generation.  Let me give you a few points that will hopefully inspire you to be a successful leader.

 1.) Be Willing to Start at the Bottom

Rocky Balboa is a fictional character, but gives a true representation of all the great leaders that we have come to know and love.  He was just another kid, scrapping his way around town and trying to make his mark on life.  It takes guts to step into the ring each day and battle your way to the top!

Starting at the bottom is awesome!  I see three things that gives me optimism with starting from the bottom:

  • There is room for advancement
  • There is so much knowledge to gain
  • It teaches you work ethic and perspective

My mom worked at McDonald’s, and she decided she wanted to make more money, so she got into the management program at McDonald’s. And that’s how you move up the chain. It’s not by demanding that minimum wage is raised; it’s by actually acquiring the skills. That’s the way that people get ahead in life.   -Raul Labrador

It takes guts to start at the bottom and work your tail off to rise to the top!  I do not know where I saw this from, but our generation complains about $8 an hour when our grandparents seen it as opportunity in their day.  I love that!

Rocky rose to the top!  He worked to the top!  He bled to the top!  And when you rise to the top this way, you feel humbled, yet you feel like you belong there.

2.)  Be Willing to Rise to the Top

My mind goes back thirteen years ago, as a young man starting in the preventive maintenance industry vacuuming cars and cleaning their windows.  I never thought of being anything other than that.  A few short years after starting with the company, I became the assistant manager and then a year or two later I rose to the top management position.  

Drawing from my own experience I can give you a few things that assisted me in rising to the top.

  • I worked my butt off– As a courtesy technician I worked my tail off.  We were doing to 35 to 45 cars a day and I was working 54 to 58 hrs a week.  Every position I took, I strove to be the best.  Do not wait for luck to come your way, prove yourself and create your own luck.
  • I wanted to learn–  I wasn’t satisfied with just doing courtesy.  I wanted to know every position in the building and be the best at every position.  When I became management, I made a ton of mistakes but I bought every book, watched every video to help me maximize my effectiveness.  Now, later in my life I decided to go to school for business management to rise to the next level.
  • I was never satisfied–  I am never satisfied where my team is.  I want to always drive for records.  I always want to maximize my team’s efficiency.  I want to take our team to whole new heights.

It takes guts to rise to the top.  The ascent to the top is full of obstacles and setbacks, and it means having guts of steel to make it to the highest summit.

3.)  Take Others With You

Never forget that when you climb the summit all by yourself you are only risking your own life.  That is the safest way to go.  When you get to the top by yourself, you alone get all the glory.  That is the selfish way to go.

climbers on everest

It is when you take others with you and you invest in people that you take the greatest risks.  It takes guts to invest in others.

John C. Maxwell said it best, “Teamwork makes the dream work!”

The leader trains, they communicate, they cast a vision, and they bear the load so that their team shines in the end, so when it is all said in done the leader can say, “We did it together!”

Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.

-Chris Hadfield

Conclusion

This is no doubt my most important blog yet.   Do you have the guts it takes to be a true leader?  To train harder, work harder, risk more, shine less, and be the leader that you need to be to make a difference.  Never be satisfied and get the guts it takes to make it!

Not For The Faint of Heart

Do you have the heart to be an effective leader? Leadership isn’t for the faint of heart!

Nearly 735,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack each year. The rise of heart problems has opened doors for Americans to seek out healthier lifestyles, such as better eating habits, exercise programs, and taking up stress management.

Likewise, our leaders are suffering from “heart disease.”  Unhealthy habits have skyrocketed, causing a host of bad practices to prevail in the our leaders. Being a true inspirational leader is not for the faint of heart.  I believe one of the main difference between true leaders and those that have the “position,” is that the true leader has heart!

Let me give you a few healthy practices for you to begin creating a healthy heart and to get you back in shape again as a leader.

1.  Fast Food, Fried Food, and Fake Food

“Dunlap” disease and “dad bod,” has been my lot in life lately. LOL!  Fast food, fried food, and fake food has been the contributor to my “beautiful physique” these last couple years.  As I get older I become more cautious about what I eat.  I’m finding out that heart disease runs in my family.  You see, it is a big deal what food we put into our mouths.

What the leader ingests makes a big difference in how they lead.  We find that bad leaders are bad because of what they learned from other bad leaders.  Making positive “meals” each and everyday can develop us into healthy, happy, and high performing leaders.

When I say meals, what I mean is the type of information you receive and process.  Here are a few poisons that will clog your leadership arteries:

  • Negativity– Is definitely the single most poisonous substance.  It spreads and is contagious.  Negativity will drive effective leadership in the ground.
  • Micro-leading- This is the same as micro-managing, but not everyone is a working manager.  But leaders feel they have to control every aspect of everyone’s, every move.  Micro- leading will lead your team to not being efficient and never making a decision on their own.  They will wilt away and never shine their true personality and skills.
  • Bullying–  Many leaders fall in this death trap.  They become bullies and treat their followers like dirt.  Leading by fear is their M.O.  Belittling and berating your crew is the death knell to any high performing team and stunts any growth that you may have gained.

These poisons are brought on by past experiences, past mentors, and personalities that aren’t willing to change.  Lay down the “potato chips” and “sodas” that seek to destroy ability to be effective, but rather choose healthy alternatives to grow you, and promote you as a leader.

2.  “You Are Just Not Working Out”

In more way than one!  Leaders do not work out because they fail to build upon a positive foundation and develop the skills needed to be an effective leader.  These individuals are faint in heart and weak because they stopped  growing and learning.

This world needs strong leadership.  Leaders with no morals, no motivation, and no mental strength are weak.

There’s a few exercises you can do to develop the heart of leadership:

  • Resistance Training- According to sharecare.com, ” Resistance training is any exercise that causes your muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increasing muscle mass, strength and/or endurance.” As a leader we are going to face resistance and push back.  Resistance can be people, even giants we face with ourselves, or any external force for that matter.  Our ability to workout will determine our ability to “workout” as leaders.
  • Cardio Training- This is the one I hate!  Running, sweating, and that overwhelming desire to throw up!  Don’t you love it?  What does cardio do for you?  It builds endurance.  Leaders need endurance to keep them in the race. Those that lack endurance, burn out quick, get tired easily, and tend to quit           prematurely.  They are faint in heart and fall at the first sign of fatigue.  Where’s our leaders that have no quit in them?  They keep going in face of all odd.  Where are they?
  • Strength Training- If we want our heart to truly be in it we must add strength training to our repertoire.  Strength training is lifting heavy weights in hopes that our muscles get bigger and grow stronger.  Many many times as leaders we are called upon to lift heavy weights.  Quite a few leaders flake out because they aren’t strong enough to carry the load.   You do not become an effective leader overnight just like you do not look like Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight.

You must train and train hard.  Yeah, you will have days where you don’t feel like working out.  But may I encourage you to press on and develop those skills necessary to get your heart into leadership so that you will work out in the end.

3.  Courage to Change

Last, of all you need courage to change.  People with heart disease must change their whole lives to reverse the years of damage they have done to their hearts.  Change is necessary for leaders to remain relevant and respected.

People aren’t happy with the way they look physically or happy with their health.  Yet, they aren’t willing to make the changes needed to fix the problem.

I heard this a long time ago and it makes so much sense, “Keep doing the same things and you will keep getting the same results.”

“Leaders” are the same, they complain about their team, they complain about money flow, they complain pretty much about everything but themselves.  What you need, is to look in the mirror, see yourself for who you are, and be willing to simply change in the areas you are lacking, that is causing you to not have your heart into it.

Conclusion

This was kind of a long blog, but I find it necessary that we as leaders get a checkup on ourselves and be evaluated on the health of our ability to lead.  Most leader’s hearts aren’t in it and the ones that are trying don’t have the right training to be effective.  May you find yourself working out and training yourself and by other leaders to find your way to the top of your respected field.

Dustin L. Carr

http://www.thesuccessfulleader.wordpress.com

 

The Inspired Leader

Do you struggle with inspiration? Or, just need an extra shot in the arm? This article is for you.

I have a book called The Inspirational Leader, by John Adair.  This book begins by describing the need for leaders to inspire others to maximum efficiency.  To be a leader one must rally their people around the common goals that are set forth by management.  But may I say that we have few inspirational leaders, because they aren’t inspired themselves.  I want to break away from the “Anatomy of the Leader” this once and just encourage you to be inspired.  If you lack inspiration here are few helps to get you back on track.

Look For Inspiration in Everything

I was watching a show hosted by Steve Harvey, called Little Big Shots, and this boy came out in an electric wheelchair.  He was famous on the internet for his videos of him singing and rapping.  What I loved most about this kid, though he has a bone crippling disease and has every right to have a bleak outlook on life, this young man had the most positive energy and can electrify a room.  His singing was second to none and it was awesome, but his attitude was even better.  So what does this have to do with leadership?

Leadership, many times is a frame of mind.  How we think determines our actions.  Watching a young man like that makes me wonder why I grumble and complain, and feel the “drudgery” of life.  Leaders have to dig down and find something or someone that can inspire them and help them to develop a positive mindset.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Antoine de Saint Exupery

Oh let us lead by example, with intelligence, with confidence, but let us never fail to lead by inspiration.  What about those famous coaches that inspired teams to greatness and championships.

These coaches were hard on their men and women, they worked them to the limits, they disciplined the players that did not want to do right, but foremost they were championship coaches because they inspired their teams.

You can motivate by fear, and you can motivate by reward. But both those methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self motivation.        –Homer Rice

Find something that inspires you.  Enjoy the feeling.  Relish the moment.  And share it with others.

Quotes Are Not Fixes

I love quotes and I believe they are important.  Quotes are small windows into the life of geniuses that preceded before us.  They are bursts of inspirations, that may enlighten us, lift us, brighten us, and many other emotions, but may I say the most important outcome of quotes are meant to change us.

Inspiration is great, but let us use it as a tool.  Your goal as a leader is to always be changing.  Remember this, “No leader has ever inspired people to change, that were not first themselves inspired to change.”

Leaders should wake up everyday thinking, “What steps can I take today to get me to where I want to go?”  What changes can you make?  How can you bring these quotes into reality?  In your everyday grind, when you’re sweating, when your working, when your raising your kids, living the real life, you can’t live on quotes.  But when you get tired and your vision begins to wain, you have mental block, and you face a little depression, then I say break out the quotes.  Do not let quotes give you just a good feeling, but let them be the reps that builds your strength, to help you carry on.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Inspirations

Every morning when I wake up I go into my sons bedroom and pick him up to take him to lay with his mother.  I do this for two purposes:  The first, is so my wife doesn’t have to wake up to go get him when he starts crying, so she can sleep in a little.  The second reason, is to hold him and kiss him, and to feel my inspiration.  He is my inspiration!

My wife and I could live on next to nothing cause we know how to survive.  We have eaten a lot of sandwiches and Vienna Sausages! LOL!  But when my son came along, inspiration hit me right in the heart.  I have a helpless beautiful angel that needs me to succeed and provide him the best opportunities that I possibly can.

When I need some inspiration, I unlock my phone and look at the hundred of pictures of my little man and it reminds me why I work a full time job, strive as a manager, and go to college full time to get a business management degree.  He has been to church ever since he was two days old.  I strive to be a christian and lead by example in front of my son.  Deliver messages that will hopefully get to his heart one day.

I see those pictures and it inspires me, it moves me, it changes me, it raises me, it creates hunger, drive, it’s a true deep inspiration.  Not superficial, not selfish, not temporal.  I want to leave a legacy and that’s what makes me want to be the best leader I can be.

Now, that’s what drives me, what drives you?  What inspires you?  Take a picture of it hang it up and let it raise you to new heights and burn  a blazing fire inside you!

So, when you wake up in the mornings and you feel the need to lay out of work, to not do your best, to relax or let up, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!  BE THE INSPIRED LEADER.