Archive for the ‘Learning’ 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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3 Books for the Young Developing Leader

Last night I was reflecting on the books that really developed my leadership foundation and desire in college. I came up with three books I feel developed my Leadership Perspective. All three books are fairly easy reads and are very insightful in the basic thoughts of leadership. The main reason I chose these books is because they use great illustrations that help a young person remember the books’ main points years down the road. If you have a high school or college student that is a leader or interested in leadership I highly reccommend these books.

“21 Irrefutale Laws of Leadership”John Maxwell

“Habitudes”Tim Elmore

“Five Temptations of A CEO”Peter Lencioni

Learning is Not Just One Way

Liz over at Successful Blog wrote a great article about her learning plan, and while reading it two things stuck to me that I thought seperate a leader from everyone else. Everyone learns but as Liz points out,

most of that learning is passive, a form of response. It comes to us. We don’t seek it out. We might miss it completely as it sits waiting, if we don’t STOP to take notice. When we do, we often need to give it some thought to make what we’ve learned useful, to translate it into a thought that makes sense.

Leaders do not learn passively, but seek it out as Liz writes. Once they have discovered something new they take the time and reflect on it in order to soak it in and apply it to their life context. Most people discover things on accident and then store it in the back of their head before they can fully digest what they have found.

Take advantages of what you learn by fully developing your discoveries.Make learning a two way street where you engaged what you learn, not just a one way process. By doing this, it will lead to new thoughts and finds based off the original learning.

Simply Successful Secrets/Business Lessons

I came across a great post from Steve at All Things Workplace about the Lessons he learned from business, and I thought I would create my list of what I have learned in a short time in the workplace. As I researched his post and looked back at some of his links I discovered this is spreading like the meme awhile back. I really encourage anyone new to te workplace or about to graduate in get into the workplace to go back and look at some of other bloggers lessons and tips they have learned. There is a lot of wisdom in these posts.

The lessons I have learned in my short time in Business

Understand what is important: I got married in July and started my first job in September and the challenge for me was to realize what was truly important in my life. My job might not always be there, but my wife will always be there loving me. She needs to know the same from me.

Read: Read everything you can get your hands on. The great thing is now of days is that you have tons knowledge at your fingertips without any costs because of the great bloggers out there. Take advantage of the knowledge and wisdom people are sharing.

Be true to yourself: At first I thought I was hear to please everyone, but I realized I am hear to be honest and authentic and if you are not honest and authentic to yourself how can you be to others?

Have fun and love: Life is short enjoy it. Live life like you are going to die because we are all going to someday.

Share: Even though I am very young with little life experience I feel like it is my duty to share what I learn through this blog like others have shared to me. Plus the more I share, the more I realize I do not know.

Here is the link to the original Simply Successful blog post if you want to read it. Also here are two other Business Lessons posts from Managing Leadership and Business Advice Daily that are really good.

Mirrors are only as good as…

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your eyes are open. We live in a fast paced life and we forget to set time aside to reflect in what we have done and learned. One of my first posts I wrote, Fun House Mirrors, about the how leaders distort their view of their leader ability and character.

Though feedback and reflection a leader should be able to get a clear, authentic view of his leadership abilities. A lot of times we know we are not performing at our best, so we then try to ignore it when we reflect or seek feedback. A lot of times we will know what we need to work on, but ignore because we do not want to show our weaknesses to others. This is the same as going up to a mirror with your eyes closed because you know what you will see won’t please and thinking that if you do not see anything, then there is nothing to change. Looking at a mirror with our eyes closed is as good as looking at a brickwall.

Self reflection and feedback from peers are only as good as you are willing to listen. Reflection can be powerful because it can allow you to analyze what you did right and wrong and then how you can change. Feedback can show you what you can change when you can’t see the problems.

The truth can hurt at first, but after seeing the truth and making changes, the truth can be real rewarding. Look in the mirror with your eyes wide open and listen to what you hear through feedback, and reflection. There is no leader on this Earth that could not benifit from change, but it takes eyes, ears, and guts to see what you need to change.

Teaching for Succession

From the Disorganizational Behavior Blog:

Are leaders also teachers?

Of course they are. One of the primary roles of a leader is to teach others how to be leaders and embrace empowerment. The greatest achievement that most leaders will say they had is the development of other people as leaders. In order to develop others as leaders, you need to teach them to develop and utilize their leadership skills

A lot of times, being able to equip and teach your team is what seperates a leader from a manager. Leaders are not only there to succeed in present, but also look in ways to see how he can prepare the team to succeed after he is out of the picture. This might involve finding ways for you to best equip future leaders so that they might be able take over the reigns. In John Maxwell’s book, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” talks about the Law of Legacy – A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession, and through a leader being a teacher it can help secure his legacy.

Third Edition of the Carnival of Leadership Growth

Welcome to the March 16, 2007 edition of carnival of leadership growth.

Alan presents Tired of having problems? Well guess what.. posted at Made to Be Great.

annette clancy presents Where's the humanity in organisations? posted at Interactions – Creative Strategies for Business.

Arvind Devalia presents Leadership in the current climate of change posted at Arvind Devalia, saying, “Practice leadership based on the courage to live the change you wish to bring about.”

Debra Moorhead presents “The Science of Getting Rich” Evaluated, Part Five posted at Debra Moorhead.com.

Scott Schwertly presents Up or Gettin’ Up posted at Presentation Revolution.

Zechary presents Think It Over; ZecHaryW.com posted at Zechary White, saying, “Think these over, you’ll learn something”

Editor – Dave Prouhet presents Sales Process Flow posted at Business Advice Daily, saying, “Business leadership can only exist if there are paying clients. Part of good leadership is ensuring that the top line is consistently growing. And this happens with a sales flow process – a repeatable way to get sales and to grow sales. Enjoy.”

Erek Ostrowski presents Failure and The Measure of Success posted at Verve Coaching.

Wilson Ng presents The Merely Good and the Really Great posted at Reflections of a BizDrivenLife, saying, “The Pursuit of Excellence starts by a person understanding the difference between being merely good and being really great.”

Jane Chin presents What Comedy Improv Taught Me About Life posted at On Careers and Life, saying, “What I learned in comedy improv has helped me live life the way I want to live life as an entrepreneur. Each opportunity to get up and perform is like applying life skills in a sliver of time.”

Nneka presents Problem Solving Using Appreciative Inquiry posted at Balanced Life Center, saying, “Appreciative Inquiry emerged in corporate America as a way to improve customer satisfaction. Learn how you can use it in your life to meet challenges.”

Alvaro Fernandez presents Stress Management Workshop for International Women’s Day posted at SharpBrains: Your Window into the Brain Fitness Revolution, saying, “Exercises and tips for better stress management, based on a leadership training workshop we just gave.”

Marcy Nala presents Be Your Own Guru posted at The Abundant Life.

Alan presents It gets lonely at the top – How to handle rejection posted at Made to Be Great.

Praveen presents How to Succeed posted at My Simple Trading System.

Walt presents “A Winner Never Quits And A Quitter Never Wins” posted at Walt Nation!.

Debra Moorhead presents It’s Always A Wide Chasm posted at Debra Moorhead.com.

Christopher J. Brunner presents The Adverse Effects of Poor Communication posted at GreatFX Business Cards, saying, “Some of the common communication mistakes that may adversely affect the success of your business.”

Travis Sinquefield presents ALA Loop posted at Disorganizational Behavior.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
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Leadership Aroma

Everyone has a natural aroma, whether good or bad, you can only disguise it with cologne and perfumes for a short while. A lot of time to get rid of the bad aroma we have to use good ole soap and water.

Just like your natural aroma, we have a leadership aroma. Sometimes we stink and try to hide it with seminars and books, but after awhile it wears off and we stink again. In order to really get of that stink we need something stronger like soap. One of the challenges of being a leader is willing to get to root cause of your bad aroma; your ego.

You cannot hide your ego with just books and seminars because ego is a heart thing. One thing I have noticed about great leaders is that helping others succeed is a life style not just something they do every now and then.

This can be a challege to some because it is a lot easier to put on some “perfume” and and smell good for a short while, but it is a lot more difficult to “clean your whole body.” It is a challege to all, and I see myself in it right now. I really believe you figure it out over night because it can take be a long proccess with many realizations and fixings. And sometimes we do not realize we stink and takes someone else to let us know.