There’s something interesting that I observe many leaders doing: they’ll go to a conference, seminar, or workshop, and they’ll hang around people they know…only people they know. We all have something in us that gravitates toward comfort, and people with whom we feel at ease.
However, I have found that my life has been totally transformed and changed simply by meeting one person I did not know.
If you’re in leadership, you’ll go to a lot of meetings. When you do, seek out people you don’t know. After all, you can always meet up with your friends and catch up later. Make an effort to seek out new relationships and connections that are mutually beneficial.
Not only that, but remember that, when you meet someone, you’ll now have their information. What are you going to do with it? Personally, I like to take a few seconds to write people notes—either on physical paper, email, or text message. When I go to meetings, I look around and...
If you’ve ever led in the midst of a crisis, no matter how large, you know that teams work together in a different way when challenges arise. Crisis times are stressful; there’s change happening at light speed; people are reevaluating responsibilities and asking questions.
As a leader, there’s one crucial element you must bring to your team during this time: a steady hand. In the midst of crisis, your people have a need for steady emotions; a steady mind; a calm demeanor. They need to know that they’re going to be okay—that you’re going to lead them through it.
It’s tempting to give into the overwhelming emotions that come with upheaval. It would be all too easy to allow anxiety and frustration to take over. As a leader, you can’t do this. You can have a breakdown later on, when the waters are calmer, and you’ve reached the other side. Right now, you’ve got to set the emotional temperature.
You see, your team members are...
If you’re the lead leader in your organization, you’re likely familiar with something called the wisdom gap. Even if you don’t call it by that name, the wisdom gap plays an integral role in your daily responsibilities.
What is it? This gap is the space between your leadership level and the leadership of the person directly underneath you: your second-in-command. It’s the discrepancy between your potential and theirs; your experience and theirs; your capacity and the abilities they bring to the table. The wisdom gap is born because of two key truths at play:
After all, each day you wake up, you’re being stretched. You’re encountering new challenges, opportunities, and connections. You’re reading books, listening to podcasts, and pioneering new territory. As the lead leader, everything you do is growing your capacity and potential. It’s just the territory of your role.
What is capacity? It’s the margin and space we have for taking on new things. All of us have things on our plate right now—no matter what stage of life you’re in or what your pursuits, we all have things taking up space in our lives. When we reach capacity, it means we don’t have any more room to add new things.
The main challenge is that we are not aware of our capacities. Your people have capacity; you have capacity. Your leaders have capacity. And sometimes, when we go over our capacity, we come to a place in our life where we start feeling what we call stress. Some people call it “stretched.” It doesn’t matter what word you give to it. Here’s the word that makes better sense to me: “overwhelmed.” Overwhelmed means that I have to do more, go more, be more, but I don’t have the capacity to go to where I need to go.
So you have to analyze your capacity issues; you have to analyze not only, “Can we do...
As you live your life today, there are two versions of “you” that influence your beliefs and decisions. All of us have the choice as to which version we will fixate on more, and which version has the most sway over our life.
The first version of you that influences your life is the Historical You. This you is comprised of your past—your past decisions, your past relationships, your past callings, jobs, hobbies, attitudes, beliefs, and so on. The Historical You is who you have been, and where you’ve been. It’s why you’re here today. There’s value and merit to the Historical You. Without that past, you wouldn’t be who you are.
Consider a newborn baby. On Day One of the baby’s life, he or she can potentially speak any language in the world. However, where in the world the baby is born—to what parents, in what culture, in what nation—will determine what language he or she learns to speak first. A German baby will speak...
What’s the greatest destroyer of leadership?
What can undermine your potential faster than anything else? What’s the number one cause of failed leaders—on personal, organizational, and even national scales? What’s the Achilles heel that disarms leaders, and makes them more vulnerable than anything else?
It’s not money. It’s not admiration. It’s not business. It’s not logistics. It’s not numbers.
The greatest destroyer of your leadership is arrogance. Pride.
Why? Because arrogance and pride say this: “I am better.” In order for you to hold this view of yourself, you have to put others down. You’ve got to demean them, disrespect them, and not honor them.
Proverbs 16:18 tells us that “Pride goes before a fall.” As leaders, we’ve got to be extra vigilant to ensure that our confidence and self-esteem doesn’t morph into arrogance. You likely have people around you that affirm, encourage, and...
We’re all in transition. It’s a natural phase of life for us. Transitions can take many forms, as you’ve experienced yourself. In my life, I’ve seen eight types of transitions in particular that I want to discuss today. As believers, we have the ability to adapt to and master each type of transition life offers us. If we master these eight, we’ll maximize our potential for growth, leadership, and fulfilling our unique callings.
As a leader, you’re responsible for the vision of your organization—you set the course, define many of the objectives, and lead your team in pursuing your goals. There’s a little-known element of this leadership that many people overlook—and that’s the familiarity of the relationships within your team.
As a leader, you set the tone for how familiar others will be with you. All familiarity happens because you give others permission to act that way with you. If you joke around with a coworker, he or she will receive the message that it’s okay to joke back to you. If you talk about deeply personal things with your team, they’ll believe that you want to hear about their personal lives, as well.
What leaders do in moderation, followers do in excess. This is why paying attention to the level of familiarity you adopt with your team is so critical. There’s a fine balance between cordiality and professionalism. You can be friends with somebody...
If you’re living, breathing, and doing anything of value, you will make mistakes. It’s simply a fact of life. The only kinds of people who don’t make mistakes are dead people, and people who are not doing anything. If you assume you don’t make mistakes, you’ve just made one! There are four crucial things we need to do, not if, but when we make mistakes.
The first thing is to catch ourselves. When you mess up, ‘fess up. You may think that nobody has noticed, and you may not get confronted about it; but people notice. If you don’t catch yourself, you’ll lose equity with your team.
Number two is actually confessing the mistake. Whatever department you messed up in, bring it to other people’s attention. Have a chat with your team, your boss, or your supervisor. Identify what you did wrong. This leads us to the third thing.
Learn. You must identify what you’ve learned from the mistake in order for it to be fruitful. Did you...
Have you ever heard a world-class athlete say, “You know what? I’m at the top. I’m a champion. I don’t need to improve anymore.” Of course not. No star athlete thinks that way.
So why is it that, in leadership, we get used to how we have always done things, and we do not engage with constant improvement? The world is not static—it’s dynamic. If you go into cruise control, what’s going to happen is that people will pass you by. This causes issues: now, you’re going to try to control them—keep them down. You’re going to try to lead them out of your own insecurity.
Here’s a sentence to say to yourself on a daily basis: “What is it about me that will keep me from becoming the best me that God intended for me to be?”
The only person standing between you and your next level is you. It doesn’t matter how good you are. You have to improve constantly. How? Start by not believing what they say. The...