Why Do Leaders Fail?

One of the speakers I brought to The Leadership Inc Institute last year was Dr. Clinton Longnecker. Dr. Longenecker discussed leadership with a group of 50 leaders from various companies in Salt Lake City, UT. One of the fascinating discussions stemmed from the question, Why Do Leaders Fail?   There are probably a myriad of answers as to why leaders fail, but I want to boil it down to three “ins” that need to be out. 1.Incongruency 2. Incompetency 3. Inconsistency   Incongruency – when leaders are not congruent they erode their influence and create distrust. We see this when a leader’s actions are contrary to their words; when the expectations or standards don’t apply to themselves, or when they don’t live the values they profess. To avoid failure in this area, leaders need to practice what they preach and set an example that people can follow.   Incompetency –
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Truly Successful People Value Growth

One of the things I have observed from truly successful people is that they value growth. They are constantly learning & getting better and to facilitate that growth they remain humble. After hours, weeks and years of hard work, it is amazing when that hard work starts to pay off and you start to see success and your goals coming to fruition. But so many fall into a similar trap as they begin to experience some success: a lack of humility. These words from Wynton Marsalis, the Pulitzer-prize winning musician and composer, serve as a necessary reminder when you begin to experience success: “You can tell when someone is truly humble, because they consistently observe and listen, the humble improve. They don’t assume, ‘I know the way.’ Humility engenders learning because it beats back the arrogance that puts blinders on. It leaves you open for truths to reveal themselves.” You
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Better Motives Lead to Better Collaboration

Yesterday we hosted our Leadership Inc Institute and the trainer was Neil Staker.   We spent the day talking about collaboration and communication – it was great.   One of the points that stood out to me was that when it comes to dealing with people, our motives are more important than our behavior.   Why? Because better motives lead to better collaboration.   Even when we behave correctly (do the right things) if our motives are off, it can impact how it’s received and therefore the outcome.   Here are some examples: Offering advice under the guise of being helpful when you’re really just annoyed. Doing a job for others because you don’t trust them or are tired of waiting. Acting polite or supportive in front of people, only to criticize them or their ideas later. Asking questions that have more to do with undermining than understanding.   Are
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Effort Is A Skill

On Nov 14 in the NBA the Jimmy Butler saga ended when the Minnesota Timberwolves trader Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers for Robert Covington and Dario Saric. If you aren’t a basketball fan, Butler was demanding a trade and it turned into an ugly ordeal. The interesting thing has been how much better the Timberwolves have been since the trade. A big reason for the uptick is the addition of Robert Covington. Covington is a skilled player but nobody would argue he’s more skilled than Jimmy Butler. What he brings to the table is an intangible that’s hard to measure. He brings energy. He is a guy on the court that plays hard on every play. Cheers on his teammates. Dives for loose balls and his energy is contagious – he raises the collective energy of the team. Here is my takeaway – Effort is a skill. And just like
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How Do You Respond To Crisis?

Last year after only a couple of weeks on the job, UBER CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was faced with a crisis. Government officials in London announced that they would not be renewing Uber’s license to operate in the city. Being shut down and in essence kicked out of one of the most popular cities in the world is a monumental crisis for a company like Uber. How would you respond? Crisis often brings out the worst in us. We react. Get emotional. Say things we regret. Lash out. It’s usually ugly. Instead, Uber’s Chief Executive sent an email to employees that showed composure, humility, emotional control and solution thinking. The part of the email that is most poignant is this: “While the impulse may be to say that this is unfair, one of the lessons I’ve learned over time is that change comes from self-reflection. So it’s worth examining how we got
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Leadership = Solving Problems

  Leadership = Solving Problems A few weeks ago we realized that we lost the one and only key to one of our four-wheelers at our cabin. I rolled it up the trailer and took it to the local ATV shop and asked them to put in a new ignition so that we could have a new key. They had to order in the part and so it would take a couple of days. They called three days later saying that it was done but I wasn’t heading back to our cabin for another week. When I arrived to pick it up they realized that they hadn’t put in the new ignition, the part was just sitting there. They said they could put it in quickly but when they went to put it in they realized it was the wrong ignition. If they would have put it in a week
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How Does Influence Work In The Real World?

Last week I spoke at a conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. It was a great event but one of the highlights for me was to get to be with three of my favorite people. David Jobe, Paul Hineman, and Jim Crystal. These three have become some of my best friends and strongest advocates but I think they represent to me what Influence really looks like. Each are involved in different capacities in the food industry. They have build successful careers, stellar reputations and meaningful relationships. As I’ve gotten to know each of them, their generosity has amazed me. They are constantly asking, “Who can I introduce you to?” or “How can I help you move your business forward?” I thought it was unique to me, but it’s not. It’s how they’ve gotten ahead – by focusing on building others. In my world, their influence has led to me speaking at
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What Make You Memorable

Last week I was out of town and my wife went to a play with our oldest daughter so she hired a babysitter for the younger three kids. This was a new babysitter for us and the kids loved her. She played with them, got to know them and cleaned the house before Sarah got home. She was great! But that wasn’t what makes her memorable. She did something that I’ve never seen before. She left our kids a present to open the next morning. It had some candy, toys and a teddy bear. Our kids were over the moon with this small gesture and now they won’t stop asking when she can babysit again. What an awesome example of doing an amazing job, as we all should, and then doing that extra, thoughtful, extraordinary thing that makes you memorable. I think it’s a lesson for all of us –
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Curling Is A Leadership Sport

Curling is a leadership sport Have you ever turned on the Olympics only to see curling and then you change the channel? Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never paid attention to curling until now. A few weeks ago I was speaking in Sedona, Arizona to a group of Credit Union CEOs. I shared with these leaders that motivation is important but it’s overrated. When you look at a goal, there are motivators driving you towards your goal and on the other hand there are inhibitors keeping you from achieving it. As leaders I think we most often focus on motivating our people when what we should be doing is removing the inhibitors. When I shared this idea, one of the CEOs said, it’s just like curling. When someone throws the stone in curling, the sweepers remove all of the obstacles or inhibitors so the stone can hit its target.
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Plus, Minus and Equal

The four-time undefeated MMA champion now MMA trainer, Frank Shamrock, has developed a system for training would-be fighters. I’m not a huge MMA fan – but I think there is a lot of merit to his system. The system is called “+, -, =”. Shamrock’s theory is that in order to be the best, you need to work with someone better than you, someone equal to you and someone whom you can teach. Shamrock believes this builds the best fighters. We certainly don’t have to be an MMA fighter to benefit from this system. The same can be applied to us in any scenario. Training with someone better than us pushes us past our limits and helps us see greater possibilities. Training with our equal tests our skills and in the process they become a peer, allow us to create cooperation, shared learning and has a mastermind effect. Teaching allows
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