Monthly Archive: July 2010

Jul 27

7 Traits Great Leaders Share that Enable Empowering Others

Leaders that excel at the law of empowerment recognize seven important factors and comply with those seven factors to build strong capabilities in those they lead.
Team Empowerment


7 Factors Needed to Empower Those You Lead

1. Value people. Leaders that truly value people and appreciate the benefits received through teams that demonstrate thought and skill diversity are more prone to empower others.
2. Share Vision – people flourish in environments where they feel they are part of something bigger than themselves. Leaders that share their vision focus their teams to pursue a common direction and empower them to work towards a common goal and purpose.
3. Communicate. Leaders that communicate the direction and provide clear objectives build a mental model or picture that guides their team toward success.
4. Trust people. Leaders that trust people to make the right choices find following the empowerment law much easier than those leaders reluctant to trust. I find that most people want to do the right thing. Leaders that model good leadership behaviors discover that others will also learn and model those behaviors.
5. Enable effective decision-making. Leaders that empower effectively provide the information necessary for team members to make decisions. Poor leaders shy away from the effort to create the environment for others to make decisions opting instead to withhold the decision-making authority for themselves. This simply creates bottlenecks, limits capacity, and prevents growing other strong leaders.
6. Delegate. Leaders must learn to delegate in order to empower people. Many leaders consider delegation a lose of their own power. But leaders that delegate effectively find that building other strong leaders earns them even more power and influence. Effective delegation requires delegation of authority and establishing accountability. See article Improve your Capacity with Effective Delegation for additional information.
7. Recognize and reward positive empowered behaviors. Behaviors that get rewarded get repeated. Great leaders recognize the power of genuine and well-timed praise and rewards.

I wish you well on your personal growth journey. I appreciate your additional insight, so feel free to comment to share your thoughts and experiences.

Links
12 – The Law of Empowerment
Improve your Capacity with Effective Delegation

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Jul 25

12 – The Law of Empowerment

“A Leader’s Potential Is Determined by Those Closest to Him”

In John C. Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (2007), John shares the law of empowerment.
Team Empowerment

Contrary to popular belief, leadership power is not a finite resource. Many act as if leadership power is a finite resource in short supply. This mindset causes one to protect their leadership power rather than distribute their power to others, which actually grows their influence and enables producing even greater results. Managers that leverage only their positional power create barriers that prevent groups and organizations from flourishing. If the barriers persist long enough, high-performing people will seek environments that enable them grow.

John shares three predominate reasons that explain the reluctance of people to share their power.

1. Job Security. As mentioned in several previous articles, many mistakenly believe that hoarding knowledge and skills ensures job security. I have personally witnessed far too many people that found the demand for their long-held knowledge and skills diminish due to shifting business needs. Hoarding knowledge and skills only serves to prevent personal growth.

2. Resistant to Change. Empowering people causes them to grow. Empowerment encourages constant change because people do not stagnate but tend to look for new ways to accomplish objectives. Innovation by definition includes the concept of change. Progress occurs by challenging the status quo resulting in constant change. As creatures of habit, people often find change difficult to embrace. Leaders must learn to embrace change and even encourage change. Great leaders by definition are change agents, the catalyst and support of change.

3. Lack of Self-Worth or Low Self-Esteem. This barrier prevents people from becoming effective leaders because they tend to be self-conscious or acutely aware and concerned about what others think about them, how they look, or whether people like them. People with low self-worth give power and control over their own lives to other people leaving little to no power left for them to empower others. On the other hand, people with a healthy sense of self-worth believe they can make a difference and actively empower other people to increase their capacity, performance, and achievement.

If you find one or more of these barriers restricting your ability to empower others, refer to the article 3 – The Law of Process for a discussion about leveraging a development process for your continued growth.

I wish you well on your personal growth journey. I appreciate your additional insight, so feel free to comment to share your thoughts and experiences.

Links
Links to other posts in this discussion on the laws of leadership.
Mind map of the 21 laws of leadership.
Introduction to the leadership laws | 1 – The Law of the Lid | 2 – The Law of Influence | 3 – The Law of Process | 4 – The Law of Navigation | 5 – The Law of Addition | 6 – The Law of Solid Ground | 7 – The Law of Respect | 8 – The Law of Intuition | 9 – The Law of Magnetism | 10 – The Law of Connection | 11 – The Law of the Inner Circle

Reference
Maxwell, John. (2007). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: Follow them and people will follow you. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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Permanent link to this article: http://darrylpendergrass.com/Blog/12-the-law-of-empowerment/

Jul 24

Will iPad Cannibalize PC Market or is the Device additive?

Brooke Crothers reports in a CNET article about two opinions regarding the iPad’s effect on PC sales,
Apple ponders iPad cannibalization of PCs.iPad and Laptop

Tim Cook, Apple Chief Operating Officer, speculates on the potential of the iPad to cannibalize the PC market, while Stacy Smith, Intel Chief Financial Officer, claims the iPad falls into the additive category.

After using the iPad for three months, I find the device very useful in many circumstances but do not see the device replacing my laptop or desktop PC. As the integration of software improves on the device, that might change but I do not see those improvements becoming available in the next couple of years. I am siding with Stacy Smith at this time as I believe the iPad is an additive technology.

What do you think? Will the iPad cannibalize the PC market or is the device an additive technology?

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Permanent link to this article: http://darrylpendergrass.com/Blog/will-ipad-cannibalize-pc-market-or-is-the-device-additive/

Jul 10

11 – The Law of the Inner Circle

“A Leader’s Potential Is Determined by Those Closest to Him”

In John C. Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (2007), John shares the law of the inner circle.
InnerCircle

A leader does not achieve success alone – on his own merits. A leader depends on his core team to achieve great things together. Without a good team, the opportunity to perform at high-levels and produce consistently does not exist. The law of the inner circle dictates that a leader’s potential comes from those that are closest to him – the team.

Excelling in all 21 laws of leadership is nearly impossible. In the modern business world, the possibility of mastering all of the disciplines required for success is also nearly impossible. As a result, the importance of teamwork is more important today than ever before. Leaders find success in teams and assumes the responsibility to help every team member find success in that team. Effective leaders expend the effort to find suitable team members then nurture them to maturity. The effective leader mentors the team to enable accomplishing great things together.

John provides the following items for consideration to build a strong inner circle.

1. Do members of the inner circle possess the ability to influence other people?
The ability to influence people is a key trait of successful leadership. When your inner circle consists of people that influence others, your own influence multiplies exponentially.

2. Do members of the inner circle possess complementary talents and skills?
We tend to attract people like ourselves, see the law of magnetism. Attracting people that complement your personal weaknesses takes awareness and intention. The successful leader recognizes his own weaknesses and is not threatened by those that display strength in those weak areas.

3. Do members of the inner circle possess a strategic mindset?

I differ with John’s statement “Do they hold a strategic position in the organization?” While the leverage received from a position is beneficial, not all leaders possess an inner circle with people in position. I prefer a strategic mindset. Those that possess a strategic mindset look beyond today and consider today’s actions on the future state.

4. Do members of the inner circle add value to you, other team members, and the organization?
People either add or multiply value or divide or subtract value. People with negative attitudes detract from your ability to lead. I do not imply that people with differing thought and opinion fall into the negative attitude category. That is the trait of a weak and ineffective leader. However, negative people reduce the value of the team and organization just as a liability devalues the balance sheet.

5. Do members of the inner circle contribute positively?
Attaining synergy requires that every team member interact with others in a positive way and contribute to team success. As I eluded to in item #4, valuable team members often have disagreements but handle those disagreements in positive ways. Some people mistakenly believe that withholding knowledge somehow provides job security. Such is rarely the case. Sharing knowledge and expertise builds teams and provides the ability to pursue new challenges and opportunities. Unfortunately, I have witnessed those that clung so tightly to existing knowledge and skills only to find themselves with knowledge and skills no longer valuable in a changed environment.

Members of the inner circle need to exhibit excellence, maturity, and good character in all aspects of their lives. Leaders often focus much of their effort working to improve the lowest performing people. Under-performers tend to display poor attitudes and unwillingness to pursue new challenges or or an unwillingness embrace change. A leader that focuses on changing these traits expends an inordinate amount of time often producing little in the way of  positive results. Investing in your best performers returns a much higher return on your investment.

Building the inner circle takes time and effort. Many fail to make the investment and pay the price of mediocrity. Your leadership potential relies on your inner circle, so developing your team deserves your attention and effort.

Improving your capacity to accomplish more and increasing your leadership potential requires that you continually focus on your personal development, see the the law of process, then focus on building your inner circle.

I wish you well on your personal growth journey. I appreciate your additional insight, so feel free to comment to share your thoughts and experiences.

Links
Links to other posts in this discussion on the laws of leadership.
Mind map of the 21 laws of leadership.
Introduction to the leadership laws | 1 – The Law of the Lid | 2 – The Law of Influence | 3 – The Law of Process | 4 – The Law of Navigation | 5 – The Law of Addition | 6 – The Law of Solid Ground | 7 – The Law of Respect | 8 – The Law of Intuition | 9 – The Law of Magnetism | 10 – The Law of Connection

Reference
Maxwell, John. (2007). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: Follow them and people will follow you. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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Permanent link to this article: http://darrylpendergrass.com/Blog/11-the-law-of-the-inner-circle/

Jul 01

10 – The Law of Connection

“Leaders Touch a Heart Before They Ask for a Hand”

In John C. Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (2007), John shares the importance of connection and leadership.
Connection
The stronger the relationship, the more effectively the leader can persuade people to help. Connect with people at an individual level. When speaking to groups or working with groups, always remember that the group is a collection of individuals. Each of those individuals have their own needs, wants, and desires. When you understand what individuals need and you strive to fulfill those needs, you improve the ability to reach your goals and the stronger your leadership becomes.

John provides the following tips to improve your ability to connect with people.

1. Connect with yourself – Understand yourself and develop confidence in your skills, knowledge, and ability to share those with other people. Don’t underestimate this tip. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to encourage people to overcome their public speaking fears and lack of self-confidence to speak before groups and to share their insight in a variety of topics. Some of those people unearthed their ability to share their knowledge in groups quite effectively and persuasively.
2. Communicate openly and sincerely – People sense quickly the level of your sincerity. Good leaders connect with others through openness, honesty, and sincerity.
3. Know your audience – You connect with people when you know their names, history, dreams, goals, want, needs, and desires. As a leader, you need to balance your needs with the needs of others.
4. Live your message – You build credibility when your actions match your words, refer to the law of solid ground.
5. Remove communication barriers – Communication barriers come in many forms. Physical barriers are the most obvious communication inhibitor, but you can improve your connection by adjusting your language (verbal and non-verbal) to the culture, background, and education of your audience. Adapt to others, do not expect them to adapt to you.
6. Focus on your audience not on yourself – John claims this is a major issue with inexperienced or ineffective leaders. When you focus on your audience rather than yourself your connections develop much faster. One of my managers summarized this tip simply, “It’s not about you, it’s about your people.”
7. Believe in your audience – Communicate with the understanding that your audience is valuable not with the motive that what you say is valuable.
8. Offer your audience direction and hope – People expect leaders to provide the guidance necessary to reach objectives. Good leaders provide that guidance but also provide a sense of hope for the future.

Positional leaders often struggle with the law of connection. Due to their position, they often mistakenly believe that their employees should initiate the connection. Successful leaders initiate the connection and expend the effort needed to build solid relationships. Remember that the greater the challenge, the greater the need for strong relationships.

A book worth exploring is Life Is a Series of Presentations: 8 Ways to Punch Up Your People Skills at Work, at Home, Anytime, Anywhere. Tony Jeary provides many insights into improving your presentation skills. The word presentation is used broadly to apply to all interactions that you have with people, not just formal presentations. I recommend reading the book to gain a deeper understanding of your presentations with everyone your interact with and improve the connection with other people.

I wish you well on your personal growth journey. I appreciate your additional insight, so feel free to comment to share your thoughts and experiences.

Links
Links to other posts in this discussion on the laws of leadership.
Mind map of the 21 laws of leadership.
Introduction to the leadership laws | 1 – The Law of the Lid | 2 – The Law of Influence | 3 – The Law of Process | 4 – The Law of Navigation | 5 – The Law of Addition | 6 – The Law of Solid Ground | 7 – The Law of Respect | 8 – The Law of Intuition | 9 – The Law of Magnetism

Reference
Maxwell, John. (2007). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: Follow them and people will follow you. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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Permanent link to this article: http://darrylpendergrass.com/Blog/10-the-law-of-connection/

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