Relevant Leadership Blog

Outward Thinking

This is going to seem like a parent brag and maybe it is, but my kids seem to teach me much more than I teach them and I hope this will inspire you too. Last week Lizzy (who is 7) competed in a Ninja Warrior competition. There were five girls who competed in her age group and Lizzy did great and ended up taking 2nd place. 1st Place got $50, 2nd Place got $20 and 3rd Place got $10. When they brought up all five girls, Lizzy and Maisey (who got 1st) realized that the girls in 4th and 5th

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Listening Equals Love

Have you ever heard or read a quote that made you stop & ask to hear it again?   Yesterday that happened with this quote by David Augsburger: “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.”   Isn’t that powerful?!   Listening is a skill we all need to work on. Whether it’s in leadership, in relationships, in friendships or parenthood – we can probably all improve in this area.   Especially at a time of crisis when people are hurting, confused, anxious & scared, they need to feel loved (in

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Influence and Charisma

We all know someone who is charismatic. They have a charm that can inspire devotion in others. My question is: What creates that type of Charisma? What produces that type of presence? One of the biggest keys to influence and charisma is being genuinely happy for other people’s success. When someone achieves something great – do you feel threatened by their success or do you celebrate it? One of the surest signs of someone being comfortable in their own skin is how they see others and how they can separate others experiences and achievements from their own. Too many people

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At The End of The Day – What Matters Most?

In my personal reading I came across some information about some beliefs of Ancient Egyptians. I found it all very interesting, but I was struck by their belief about what happens when you die. The Ancient Egyptians had a belief that when you died you were met at the gates of heaven and asked two questions. Your answers determined whether you were let into heaven or not. The two questions are these: 1. Did you experience pure joy in your life? 2. Did your life bring joy to others? At the end of the day, the answers to those two

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Inspire

Each year I choose a word for the year. My word for 2020 is INSPIRE.   The word inspire means to breathe life into someone. That’s what inspiration feels like. It brings you energy, passion, excitement – it breathes life into you.   Part of my focus this year is identifying the people, activities, places, topics, etc… that breathes life into me. I realize that I can’t inspire others unless I’m inspired myself.

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A Phrase That Will Make Leaders More Influential

When you’re the leader, the one in charge, it’s far more natural – and far easier – to lecture and command than to discuss and invite. Leaders can create caste systems within their organizations simply by language choices. When they refer to “we” as the leadership team and “you” as the employees, they create a separation in the team. If we want our people to feel like they are in a partnership with us, that we are in it together, that we are locking arms with them to accomplish the overall goal of organizational success, then we need to communicate

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Service Makes You a Better Leader

A study at the University of Kent in southern England was dedicated to figuring out how givers are perceived. Researchers conducted an experiment called a “cooperation game” in which participants were each given a small amount of money and asked to contribute to a common fund. Next, the researchers doubled the common fund and passed it out equally to members of the group. In this game, the best thing for everyone is to continually reinvest their money and keep doubling the fund. But if you’re crafty, rather than cooperate you’ll be tempted to hold back some of your money. That

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3 Ways to Create Staying Power as a Leader

My thoughts lately have been on the need for leaders to become and stay relevant. Relevancy creates staying power, but it requires constant vigilance. I read an article recently where Vince Molinari shared three ways that leaders become irrelevant. These can be the things that cause the downfall of many leaders. 1)     You Believe You Arrived:  When leaders achieve a certain level of success they wrongly conclude that they’ve made it. That they have arrived. This can lead a leader to starting coasting. Then one day you realize you no longer matter in your organization. Your ideas don’t resonate with others. You

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Mentoring Through Storytelling

Communicating well is not only an intellectual exercise; to really connect with people, especially their emotions, we need to bring them into our experience. Stories do that. When you paint a picture with your words, people put themselves in that picture. As a leader, the right story can be a gold mine. Story creates a spark that ignites a new awareness. It is such an influential tool that if you use it constructively, it can change people’s hearts and minds. That is why Janet Litherland said, “Stories have power. They delight, enchant, touch, teach, recall, inspire, motivate, challenge. They help

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Influence vs Manipulation

This week I was interviewed on a podcast where we talked about influence. One of the questions sparked a conversation around the difference between influence and manipulation. The truth is, while the connotations between these two words are extreme, the difference is subtle. There is an important warning to us as leaders when we purposely use emotions and feelings to influence.  We must check our motivations and desired outcomes.  If our motivations are selfish or our desired outcomes are self-centered, we will find ourselves manipulating not influencing. The fundamental difference between manipulation and influence is intent – intent based in

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