leadership

Feedback, should we use it?

Feedback, should we use it?

Our dreams for our organizations, products, and services go long into the future.  Whether or not we get there depends in large part on what we do with feedback.  Being around for the long haul means we must, as my dad would say, continually meet or exceed our customers’ expectations.  The last thing we want to do is over-promise and under-deliver.  Nothing is more aggravating to customers than feeling like they were not told the whole truth (be it about costs, timelines, quality, etc.).

The reality is that with the expansion of globalization and development of technology, today’s environment has become increasingly volatile, ambiguous, changing and uncertain (VACU) as George Ritzer and Paul Dean put it in their book, Globalization.  This means that innovation becomes critical for anyone seeking to meet or exceed their customers’ expectations into the future.  Why?

when is building influence necessary for leaders?

when is building influence necessary for leaders?

I was standing in front of a group of parents whom I didn't know too well, leading an informational meeting for high schoolers who were interested in going on a week-long canoe trip in the BWCA.  After I shared an enthusiastic and detailed vision for everything the week would entail, I confidently asked if there were any questions.  I couldn’t fathom there would be any as I had laid out all the details, now it was just time for the kids to sign up!

Well, the questions came and it became more and more obvious that the parents didn’t trust me.  I was dumbfounded.  To my knowledge, I had never been mistrusted in my life. 

visionary leader meet experience

Without leadership development, visionaries can bulldoze the very people they have a heart for, as seen by the early lives of Joseph and Moses.  Joseph is an excellent example of the visionary leader Baldoni writes about in his book Great Communications Secrets of Great Leaders. In their research,  Taylor et al. found that with their ability to create and communicate their visions, visionary leaders can energize their organizations by "providing meaning and purpose to the work."

Interestingly throughout the Scriptures, we see examples of visionaries like Joseph and Moses who know their purpose and calling, have a strong vision in their hearts, and yet when they try and live out their visions before the right time it seems as if their whole world falls apart.

The art of developing others

Does it sometimes feel like everyone is deserting you, or you are constantly overwhelmed with what needs to be done, or there simply isn’t enough time to do all you feel called to AND be there for your family and friends? While the adage “leadership is lonely” certainly can be true in many respects, it doesn’t have to be. Yes, you will feel stretched as a leader, and likely out of your comfort zone a LOT if things are going well (and even when they aren’t). But being stretched and being overwhelmed because there is too much for you to do by yourself are two entirely different things. The first is normal as we grow in our leadership; the latter is self-imposed. One of THE hallmarks of effective leadership is empowering others. Empowerment is not...

annual planning when future uncertainties abound

Our daily decisions are driven by what we know about the past and believe to be true about the future. As Richard Slaughter put it, the interplay between someone’s understanding of the past and their "anticipation of the possible futures" are what drive their decisions today. What if what we believe to be true about today and tomorrow aren’t accurate though?