This is a guest post by Zoe Anderson. Zoe is part of the team behind StudySelect. She’s interested in finding new motivation tools and branding strategies. After one of my recent posts on words, this submission grabbed my attention.
The Power of Words
Words have power. Just ask any successful leader. Whether in business, politics, or life, the right words can open the doors of opportunity, while the wrong words can get that same door slammed in your face.
With this list of phrases that you will never hear a successful leader use, you can benefit from the wisdom of others and avoid having the doors of opportunity and success closed to you.
“That’s not my fault.”
Good leaders always take responsibility and would never dream of throwing their subordinates under the bus by trying to shift blame. If you always take responsibility, you will gain the trust and loyalty of your team.
“I’m the boss.”
If you have to keep reminding your team who is in charge, then you are showing your weakness as a leader. Confidence, rather than arrogance is the attitude you should be aiming for. People naturally follow confidence, while arrogance invites contempt.
“I’ll do it myself.”
This shows a lack of confidence in your team and sends the message that no one else is as good as you are. If you find that your team isn’t performing up to standard, it’s your job to guide them through and get them the help they need. The first attempts at doing something will rarely yield stellar results. You may need to give people a little space to fail at first so you can give them the feedback they need to improve.
A heart-led leader serves others. They epitomize servant leadership. They are humble. They are genuine and sincere. They are transparent and vulnerable. They measure success not just on spreadsheets but on the amount of impact they (and their organizations) have on others. They believe love and results are two sides of the same coin.
Why do heart-led leaders produce better results?
For years we looked at servant leadership as a worthy leadership style that is beneficial to organizational culture but not necessarily tied to bottom-line results. Heart-Led Leaders are obsessed with achieving bottom-line results. But they also believe that love and results are two sides of the same coin. They believe that if they love what they do and who they do it for, it is hard not to produce extraordinary results.
Are you born a heart-led leader or are you able to acquire the characteristics over time?
This is a century old argument – are leaders born or are they made? I have always believed that although we may be born with certain characteristics and qualities, true heart-led leadership is a learned trait – just as one would learn how to ride a bike. If one chooses to become a heart-led leader, he or she can become one. But the 18-Inch Journey to become a Heart-Led Leader is a difficult one.
“Heart-led leaders have the self awareness to understand who they are.” -Tommy Spaulding
You make the point that there are 18 inches between the head and the heart, and then provide 18 leadership principles to support the difference. Would you talk about one or two of these that stand out and why they are so important?
The Heart Led Leader
I believe the journey to heart-led leadership is the 18-inches between your head and your heart. In my book, The Heart-Led Leader, I list 18 traits that I believe one must possess to become a heart-led leader—traits such a humility, passion, love, authenticity and vulnerability, etc. I think 21st century leaders must possess these qualities to be truly successful – to create impact, change and bottom-line results.
As an Eagle Scout myself, I was pulled into your personal example about when you wanted to be named Outstanding Scout. Would you share that story and what you learned about character?
Character is one of the 18-inches (traits) of heart-led leadership. I first learned of the importance of character at Boy Scout camp when I was a kid. The scout masters chose one scout at the end of summer camp that was awarded the “Most Outstanding Scout” award. It was the highest honor given to the one scout who demonstrated great leadership qualities. I wanted to win this award more than anything. That week during scout camp I worked harder than any of the other scouts. I got up early. I volunteered for everything. I earned more merit badges, and did whatever the scout masters asked of me.
At the end of the scout camp we had a huge camp fire celebration. And at the end of the evening the scout masters awarded the “Most Outstanding Scout” award. I was certain that I would win the award. I nearly started to stand up before they announced my name.
How To Handle Challenging Job Interview Questions
If you are interviewing for a job, chances are good that you will hear some challenging questions in the interview process. Below Andrea Hupp shares some of the more difficult questions and her recommendations on how to answer.
Visit Andrea’s site where she helps new high school graduates and animal lovers discover the benefits of working in the profession.
Last year, I was reading the dramatic account of a hard-charging executive who suffered a heart attack. The post was about the need for balance, but it was more than a wake-up call. What struck me about this post, however, was not the lessons he taught us from his painful experience, not the, “Oh, I hope this doesn’t happen to me” feeling we have when reading these posts, but the name of the hospital he went to. It was here in Dublin, Ohio!
“A leader’s job is to help people move to a position of improved performance.” –Figliuolo / Prince
That meant that one of the people who regularly shares my posts and vice versa lived in my town. Social media amazes me. A quickly dashed off email and the two of us found ourselves in Starbucks where I heard more about his compelling story. I’m still amazed at how Twitter and blogging create opportunities like this one.
“Great leaders think about talent management every day.”–Figliuolo/Prince
Let me introduce you to Mike Figliuolo. Mike is the founder of thoughtLEADERS, LLC, a leadership development firm. He is also the author of One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership. His latest book was just released and was co-written with Victor Prince, former COO of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and now a strategy consultant.
Mike and Victor have built a powerful framework designed to help leaders be more efficient and more effective at the same time. It starts with the recognition that we, as leaders, are often overworked and not as effective as we could be.
Where am I spending my time?
Am I treating each person the same when different approaches would create better results?
“Your leadership success hinges upon your ability to get people to perform well.” –Figliuolo/Prince
Jeanne also answered my questions about how to establish a customer culture, social media strategy, leadership, earning the right to grow, and establishing a sense of urgency:
Establishing a Customer Centric Culture
“Culture is the action, not the words.” How do you connect corporate aspirations with employees’ actions?
For customer-driven work to be transformative and stick, it must be more than a customer manifesto. Commitment to customer-driven growth is proven with action and choices. To engender this culture, people need examples. They need proof.
“Culture is the action, not the words.” -Jeanne Bliss
Customer culture is talked about by many leaders but misunderstood by most organizations. “Commitment” to customers must be attached to deliberate operational behavior, such as, “We will go to market only after these 12 customer requirements are met” or “Every launch must meet these five conditions, which the field requires for success. We won’t launch without them, no exceptions.” People inside organizations need to see the commitment translated to actions that they will feel proud to follow and emulate.
Moving well past words, a deliberate and united set of leadership actions and behaviors practiced in unison is required.
One of the first activities we often undertake to unite leaders is to employ the journey framework to build an operational “code of conduct.”