Posts filed under ‘Leadership’

4 Ways to Throw Gas – not water – On Dreams — Leadership Freak

People are excited to do what they want to do, not what you want them to do. The sooner you embrace this idea, the more successful you’ll become. Control resources. Release people. Frustration: Leaders think: You could do …. You could become … You should … I’ve always seen the great things others could do. […]

via 4 Ways to Throw Gas – not water – On Dreams — Leadership Freak

Many who would lead are only covertly controlling. Many who would mentor are only distracting toward their own visions. Real help shows the way, knowing the alternative paths and the potholes.

Even within a company, employees can be allowed to dream as long as their dreams are a subset of the company’s vision and those dreams are achievable and measurable.  Apple, for instance, gives employees enough “head” to let them suggest what needs to be done, how it should be done, and what the measures should be used. It is for this reason that Apple is the vibrant, creative, competitive company that it is.

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June 26, 2017 at 8:22 pm Leave a comment

Leadership is about … Building Skills that Communicate

Leadership is in short supply. Leadership takes vision + management skills + the ability to inspire. Too many managers simply blame those under them, not realizing they themselves have caused or cultivated the problems they have. Sometimes they even imagine them! Too many times all of us just try to get by, without allowing ourselves to be inspired. Sometimes we know that we are falling short, but can not, by ourselves pinpoint or correct our problems.  That is where coaching comes in. A consultant can analyze the whole social system of your business and help you implement change. A coach can offer information to you and be an accountability partner.  Get where you want to go — by hiring help — both up, down, and laterally. Leadership is not something one does alone.   –Sharon

April 28, 2017 at 12:33 pm Leave a comment

Time to Plan Again : By Connecting

Many of my clients are schools and preschools. It is a busy time there, fresh with planning the new year and meeting new students.
Whether or not you are in that environment, you probably feel the freshness of the new school year. It is a great time for planning and a great time to hit the mission again with your team.

For some fresh ideas on planning with you team, how about some words from a new source? Kay Orr writes how she handles first of the school year planning and how she brings the stakeholders together. Read with an open mind and open heart and I’m sure you will be refreshed.

https://www.thsc.org/2016/08/5-simple-points-for-planning-the-academic-year-23997/

August 18, 2016 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

On Becoming a Leader

Warren Bennis On Becomng a Leader Addison-Wesley 1989

A classic. With experience on both the academic and practical side, Bennis covers the how of becoming a leader. The key to full self-expression is understanding oneself and the world and the key to understanding is learning – from one’s own life experience. It is more important then, to set out to express oneself, one’s mission, rather than to prove that one is a leader. The latter will make one driven, the former will make one successful.
So far I think this is all good news. He says that leaders are made and not merely board, which is good news. Discovered that leaders are self-expressive people. This is also good news, in my mind. Once you are formed correctly, then you can deploy yourself, so good management is authentic and comfortable.

However, there is some further surprising news for organizations. It is NOT true that the people with the right stuff naturally rise to the top. In fact, those with more promise have a harder time, because organizations favor those who have a more docile character, and so when they rise to the top, they are often not ready to be leaders. Since Bennis’ book, there has been more on constraint theory. Since we also have some data on our vast under-supply of creative leadership, this is a real challenge to our society. How are we keeping leaders down?

Further, he said that it is not what you don’t know that hurts you, but what you know that isn’t so.

So here are Bennis’ questions that we might adopt for our own, to spark a discussion.
What do you believe are the primary qualities of leadership?
What role did failure play in your life?
How did you learn?
What can organizational do to stifle or encourage leadership?

My star thought: most people SUCCUMB to just going along, and the outside environment approves, but this is the opposite of leadership. Leadership is being and then inspiring people to do the right, helpful, courageous thing. So how can you do that?

<a href="http://On Becoming a Leader” target=”_blank”>Available at Amazon – tho I don’t get anything for telling you. Just trying to make things easier for you.

March 15, 2016 at 12:03 pm Leave a comment

VOCATION 2.0 – Teaching and Managing are Callings

The leaders of The Reformation changed and promoted the idea of vocation so much that it generally is now thought of as theirs. Originally, if one said one felt he or she had a “vocation,” this meant that one was called to religious life, that is, being a priest, monk, or nun. Luther and Calvin and their bunch changed all that with a doctrine called “the Priesthood of all Believers.” The reasoning went that since there was only 1 mediator between God and humans (Christ, not some sacerdotal class) then everyone had a vocation. A vocation is a calling. This calling could be to any occupation, as a ministry. So whether one was had a profession (an occupation where there were strict entrance requirements) or one was a simple mother and homemaker, one might feel divinely called. Everyone could have a vocation.

Over time, however, the distinctions dimmed and the definitions blurred. People used the word “vocation” to mean any sort of occupation. They used “profession” whenever they wish to dignify any occupation. “Occupation”” began to sound like either “biding time” or being over-run by a military. Mothers said “I am just a mother” or “I don’t work” to mean “I am not employed.” More importantly, ministry and having “a calling” once again meant “service to the church” – specifically religious employment.

Now there is a new sprout of reformanda of thinking about vocation. This VOCATION 2.0 encourages people to think of God as sending them (everyone) out into whatever sphere of influence they may have to demonstrate Divine Love. They encourage us all to discover our talents and see these as gifts to others. Workers are encouraged to discover what sector of society where they are to serve / lead /occupy. This is done by classifying all of society into 7 sectors or “mountains” (which may vary); but the root idea is the Reformation idea of vocation.

Eyebrows are raised over the use of the word “occupy,” as if this were some malevolent takeover of theocratic tyranny. This is, in fact, fantasy. In the first place, nothing is new about this; it is the same vocation thinking from the Reformation: rebellion against the clergy domination of the idea of “calling.” Secondly, there is no junta of tyranny. If there is, then the shoe is on the other foot; the fear is a projection of today’s socialist hegemony of education, government, and media. In the third place, it was specifically the Judeo-Christian tradition that brought us rational science (e.g. “lights in the sky” in Genesis one in contradistinction to heavenly orbs being gods of astrological rulership over human choice). It was specifically European Christendom that questioned the ubiquitous Greco-Roman slavery and became the foundation for capitalism and democracy. It was precisely the Protestant Reformation that founded, birthed, and to this day supports pluralism. So the heretic hunters and the fear mongers will go out and discover that the enemy is them.

Christians who are concerned by the criticism might be comforted by knowing that in Luke where Jesus is recorded as saying “occupy till I come” the word occupy means “to busy one self with trade.” From Luke’s Greek, translated to today’s English the word we might get “to go do business.” Since, after all, we must be about our daily tasks as mother, butcher, baker or candlestick maker, it would be perverse to think that our deepest values have to be unconnected. How pleasant it is that God, Creator and Redeemer, is interested in, and might fill up with meaning, our daily chores.

That we might aspire to leadership (motivated by the allegory of 80 year old Caleb wanting to occupy his mountain) is certainly comforting to someone like me, nearing retirement age but not yet satisfied with contributing in the wider world. Should we limit ourselves to arranging flowers at church since we are old? Should we be forced to resign ourselves to depression simply because to date we have not made enough mark on the world to satisfy ourselves? Should we roll over in economic crisis and tell ourselves to lower our sights to living on welfare? I don’t think so! So fear mongers and aspiration suppressors, be gone!

Similarly, in a day when so very few indeed can devote themselves to careers that won’t make money, should young people of sensitive hearts, who want to serve others, be shamed for not being able to be missionaries, pastors, artists, and teachers? Notice, if you haven’t, that even the majority professors, “doctors of the church” Calvin called them, are adjuncts? They must either feed their family with another career or else shuffle between campuses and colleges. The wider economic situation is forcing many into whatever situation they can get to make money. Should the more religious of our society, the pentecostals and conservative evangelicals and the spiritually talented be forever locked into poverty because they wish to be holy? Forever eschew college and career training as man’s learning? Forever be suppressed in any kind of aspiration of making a difference in this world other than in relation to church affairs? I don’t think so! Enforcers of stifling secularization, keeping down working classes, be gone!

Jesus’s words “occupy till I come” introduced the story of the 10 talents. The master having come back from a long trip evaluates how well his employees had invested his money. This investing is the same as the occupying in the story. Contrary to my friends who wish to see Jesus as a socialist, the master commends the servant who made more and takes away from the one who merely preserved the master’s money. However, what happens is also not like today’s capitalism. The one who made the most did not thereby live on his earnings. Rather, for his diligence, he is given the rulership of ten cities. A talent is a lot of money, but the connection to a city? Jesus’ economy seem to be more like an analogy to agrarianism: multiplication. If you plant a corn seed you might get 100 back. So this is a great deal more than the simple message of “please use your talents like painting, web design, and hospitality for our congregation.” Jesus is talking about something much larger, like a dramatically different moral vision.

All vocation is ministry and ministry is, by definition, service. Today we see it as service at the cost of oneself. Vocation 2.0 thinking is, by definition, also servant leadership. If one sees one’s occupation, profession, career, series of daily duties, as inspired by a heavenly kingdom, lead by a King who poured Himself for us, buying our well-being, then how could we not in our aspirations hope to lead in a servant leadership? Others think to win by counting amount of toys at the end of the game. Some others want to win by intimidation. Some others plan to rule through violence and fear. But what would winning in Jesus’ Kingdom be like? Answer: Serving the most!

So if with this talk of vocation, Luther, Calvin and company shut the door on the monastery, then Schaeffer, Bright, Cunningham, Wallnau, Chavda and 7 Mountain company are opening the doors to aspirationally, inspirationally filled enterprise to many others. It is VOCATION 2.0. -Sharon

 

January 28, 2016 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

Membership Recruitment without Members?

Membership recruitment is of course a primary interest in all voluntary associations. Trade associations are no different. If you read books and go to seminars for trade associations and non-profits you would think that membership recruitment is conducted by tracking, that is, carefully recording statistics of visitor and new member activity. This is a bit like spending all your energy on discussing how to express the score of a baseball game and never picking up a bat. Scoring works only if it serves to improve the game.

Here are my 3 top rules for membership recruitment.
1. Make a human connection. Members, who like your organization, and invite people they know are your best method of obtaining new members.
2. Make a human connection. When a visitor comes to your meeting, put them with a warm, similar person, who will find out who they are and what they have come out to find. Notice, find out what they want, so you might be able to fulfill it. Do NOT treat them like another notch on the belt or legs pix on the fusilage!
3. Keep human connections by providing value. Run your organization for the benefit of members. Be sure that the members get what they came for. This will work far better than moaning and groaning that people no longer want to join. The best leadership is servantship.

Now, if tracking helps to make sure your organization is doing all of that, great. Notice, however, it is about people, not just recordkeeping! Happy recruitment.

July 30, 2015 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment

The Biggest Secret of all: Success is Built on Character

“Half the team doesn’t trust the boss” Says Dan Rockwell in his blog today, citing a recent study.
When managers withhold information, are unrealistically optimistic, or use put-downs, their employees do not trust them. Without trust, there will not be high performance.

Dan enumerates ways that managers can build trust. Mostly they revolve around engaging honestly and being steady and civil.

Trust is built on trustworthiness. So success starts with character. No matter how little it may be taught in business school, or valued in our culture, or forbidden as a discussion topic in state controlled education — reality can not be changed. Have good character to be a leading character.

May 19, 2015 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

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What People are Saying

Would you like Sharon to come back? “Yes! Every day of the year!” Phillip Merritt Owner of ABC Preparatory Academies in Austin Texas

“Sharon has strong abilities in critical thinking. She also has excellent instincts in grasping issues before all the information has been revealed. There have been some occasions where I assumed what she was saying could not possibly be accurate, but in the end she was proved right when the facts were revealed. I trust (or at least pay serious attention) to her opinions.” Walter Lee, former Engineer, Retired Minister PC(USA), QVR Board Member

 

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And what I like to hear most, I usually do: “We want to have you back. When can you come? “

Sharon’s books

The Government is not a Village. Dialogs across boundaries, busts myths, reveals real science. Offers a positive way forward in early education policy. Go to www.lulu.com or www.thegovernmentisnotavillage.com Swim with the Dolphins, not with the Sharks Sharon's classic book on conflict reduction available at www.amazon.com This is instrumental music, great for calming and focusing. I recommend it for your classroom. WHOLETONES

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