Leadership Tips – Ego Sacrifice

wIntroduction

Leadership tips are available anywhere. There are books, seminars, posters to put on the wall. I’ll try not to repeat the most common ones. In this article we deal with ego.

Everyone has an ego. If you are in a leadership position, even of your own making, then you probably have a substantial ego. It’s not a bad thing. A strong ego is at the heart of your self confidence. It’s what helps you make and defend decisions, and fight off your competition. Your ego is a critical part of who you are as a leader. It can also work against you.

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Leadership Starts With Giving: Three Secrets to Attracting More Success in Your Life

mmLeadership starts by giving. The more we share with others, the more we make a difference in our businesses, our careers, and our communities. Let me share the following leadership story of making a difference:

Joy had just finished a successful women’s leadership presentation for an organization. She stopped at the local mall. As she opened the door, she noticed a twenty dollar bill on the ground. She looked around and picked up the bill and called me to share her exciting find. She asked me what we should do with it since no one was apparently looking for the bill, and I suggested she bring the bill home and we could discuss it.

That night, we debated about what we should do with our good fortune. We agreed that we could not keep it since we gained it at the expense of someone else’s bad fortune.

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Leadership Development: Team Building for Success

fLeadership is necessary in the workplace. It doesn’t matter what industry or area of business one works in, there has to be leaders within the business to make it work. There are many sayings such as, “There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians” or “There are too many cooks in the kitchen” that sum up the issue with having proper leadership in the workplace. Leadership or lack thereof, is something that is an issue in all groups of people, including in the business world.

If your business is struggling because you aren’t sure how to create team leaders or build teams within your organization, you are not alone. This is an issue that many struggle with, but the good news is that all is not lost. You can get help with leadership and team building so that your business can be even more successful.

When your business is based on team work and there are clear leaders, the business is going to perform a lot better. Team building is based on shared behaviors and understands so that the entire team can be open and honest in all communications. Team performance is dependent upon all members understanding what these behaviors and open and honest communications are all about.

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Successful Leadership Revisited

dddLet’s take a break from the usual format. The problem, alternative solutions and a well-researched and statistically derived solution are not systematically laid out herein. You may consider this document to be lean, but you can be sure I will not utilize LEAN or any other flavor of the month technique. Instead, let’s think of ourselves, our day to day work, and the company we work for or own, and the interaction of all of us in making our lives and organizations more successful, enjoyable and rewarding. There are many questions that all interrelate. No one question posed should be considered in a vacuum, rather let’s try to focus our perspective globally, comprehensively, on business organizations and our “work” as services, products, or extensions of ourselves, of who we are and what we do, and what we should accept.

As “managers”, we set specific priorities in an individualistic way. How much time do we spend discussing and sharing ideas with our coworkers, subordinates and bosses? Systematic responsibilities, time constraints, bureaucracy, job descriptions, policies and procedures, standards, quotas, data, and deadlines clog our thought process, so there is little time for filtering, processing, creating and passing on information. As managers, we devise the course and motivate the staff by discussing as much as we deem necessary to get their piece of the system working. But why? A better way is to go from your gut, without input, see how that works and then just try something else until you find the formula that works for the specific situation. That’s like being an infant all over again. Maybe, solve this problem and create a different one. Throw darts! Really, the best ideas come out of group discussion. Two or more heads are better than one, but what about 1,000? How do you get employees spread out in different functional parts of an organization on the same page? The degree of success of a “machine” depends upon the proper functioning of all of its parts. To reach our “common goal” we cannot just depend on the proper performance of defined tasks (i.e. – the seven steps of cleaning), we must have the collaborative contribution of group idea development and buy in. Performance will follow. This is not a new concept, just a poorly employed one. How many times have you heard your “boss’ say, “If you think your idea will make this a better organization, then just do it.” Why have we not been able to successfully utilize and include the ideas of our employees?

Do we need discussion, or will airtight systems suffice? If you have the right systems in place, all you need is the right quality and quantity of people to get the job done? Just plug the resources into the system. Quality is easy to define. Count the “passing” widgets. Pass, or fail! You find a person who is experienced or trainable to perform her specific task. Is that all it takes? Just do it. Availability of human resources is relative to the location of your business and the number of available people trainable or experienced in the tasks we need performed. If we open a plastic components manufacturing plant in Maine, we may have trouble finding some, or any, experienced plastic component machine operators. The hourly rate for this job may not be high enough to entice trainable people into the organization who will stay long enough to make the learning investment pay off. Maybe we can hire “experts” to recruit for us the right people at the right price — is that the link to the success of our systems? Do you match the components to the system or vice versa? Or, must there be one answer? Should our vacuum packed management team create fabulous layouts for doing specific jobs that are so trainable that we can almost consider having a “quiet”, robotic transient staff as a rule of thumb? I actually discussed this possibility with the President of a successful national company. He actually thought that a transient staff wasn’t a bad idea. “All we need are good training manuals”. Wow!

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More Great Leadership Lessons

dd“You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right.” Warren Buffett

Last weekend I went to see Moneyball. After reading the book a few years ago, I couldn’t wait for the movie to be released. As a baseball fan and investing enthusiast, this movie meant a great deal to me.

Even if you’re not much of a baseball fan, there are a few extremely valuable lessons you can take away from the story. I wish to take the opportunity to discuss what I learned with you.

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