Archive for the ‘Change’ Category

Can It Be Learned? Part 1

Today I was thinking what it takes to become a leader and if it can be learned. This came up because of the many leadership books and guides out there, but lack of actual leaders around now. I hear and read people screaming for real leadership, but at the core what are the screaming for? There is the heart aspect and head aspect of leadership and I see a lot of people that have mastered the head aspect, but fall short of the heart, which is what people are screaming for.

Key attributes of being a good leader I could think of were; visionary, strong communicator, willing to persevere, empowers others, risk taker, people developer, honest, inspirer, and servant. A lot of these can be learned, but not everything can. Everyone is capable to be all of these, but some need to be discovered instead of learned. If we could all learn how to become a leader then I believe there would be more out there.

Learning is an exercise of our mind, but discovery is an exercise of the heart. We can go to seminars and watch others to strengthen our mind, but discovery is the key to develop the complete leader.

In the next part of this post I will write about how we can go out and discover what is in our heart.

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Dare To Make a Difference

Change The World, the mantra every great leader should live by. A person becomes a leader, an agent of change, not by sitting there waiting for some else, but by thinking big to make a difference in other’s lives. Liz writes an amazing post about being scared to make a difference. She writes,

We make our ideas smaller by thinking we weren’t meant to do something. Other folks were meant to change things. We were meant to live with them.

There are a lot of people who have the potential to become great leaders, but they feel it was meant for other not themselves. Becoming a leader is a huge goal with huge responsibilities, but has a huge opportunity to make a difference in those around you. Because of the giant responsibility to others a leader has a lot feel it is easier for others to take that role. Liz goes on to quote Nelson Mandela ,

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

In the light of power, it is harder to hide, but in the darkness we can walk aimlessly with out being noticed. Like a lighthouse, the light is meant to lead to safety, but if the light fails others could be harmed. I believe we are scared to fail others. It is alright to fail ourselves because it does not hurt other, but with power and light we have the potential to hurt others. The bigger the risk, the greater the gain. Changing the world is a huge risk that not everyone will attempt, but attempt to change the lives around you is a bigger gain than failing in the dark.

Taking That Blind Step

When I was in Chicago last week with Mark and Katrina, friends of Pam and I, we talked about how many Christian seek security over faith because they are scared to step out. Tonight while I was going through my feed aggregator I came across a good post over at Businesspundit about what rich people worry about the most, being sued and id fraud.

As a child I thought the “American Dream” was to be rich with nice cars and a nice house because that would make me secure and comfortable, but as the article says this does not make you secure. Personally, I believe Christ is the only security we have on this Earth.

Leaders live by faith and not security, understanding the importance of change and innovation. Seeking security is living stagnantly because once there is success with one thing there is no need for change. They juice there success for as long as possible thinking this will make them secure forever until one day everything changes.

Living by faith is taking a blind step forward understanding there is something better ahead even if there are some rough times in the way. Successes come and go but living by faith means continuing forward persevering through the hard times to find the good times.

5 Steps to Gaining Influence

Over at the Leadership Turn Blog there is a great article on how to become an effective influencer. Jonathan maps out 5 steps that he feels are important to gaining influence.

In Summary: Five Easy Steps To Influence

Here are the five main steps to effective influential communication. Make this pattern second nature, leaving you to concentrate on the detail.

Gain Rapport

Be on their level, recognise their beliefs and values; match their behaviour patterns and blend your personality characteristics with theirs.

Ask Questions

Elicit needs and different responses; probe to identify their motives, attitudes and feeling.

Listen Actively

Demonstrate that you are listening: listen with all your senses; suspend judgement.

Stress Pertinent Benefits

Summarise how specific benefits of your proposal accurately reflect their needs.

Work Towards A Decision

Ask questions that will force a decision (or rejection); test interest through hypothetical questions; make positive statements which assume their acceptance.

When I read this I noticed that none of steps had to do with the leader but focused on
understanding those around you. Change is hard when cause is good, but when the change is only focused on benefiting the leader, it is nearly impossible. Seek the opinions of those around you, and it might help you discover something new about your team.