Tag Archive: Laws of Leadership

Aug 23

14 – The Law of Buy-in

"People Buy into the Leader, then the Vision"

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 buy-in.

Idea

Many people with a good idea are often stunned to discover that they have difficulty selling the idea to other people. It is not necessarily that the idea is not good but that people have not bought into the person selling the idea. Good leaders understand that people must buy into them first before buying into their vision. This concept is readily observable but for some seems contrary to what many believe should happen.

Several years ago, I saw this leadership law in action. An acquaintance had an idea for a robbery deterrent system targeted at high-risk businesses like gas stations and convenience stores. His idea as actually quite good and he had spend a considerable amount of time molding the vision to convince investors to fund initial prototypes. Many of the investors knew the inventor quite well and recognized his limited leadership influence, which created high-risk from an investment point of view. The bottom line – the inventor failed to comply with the law of buy in.

The law of buy in causes people to take one of four actions.

1. People look for another leader when they do not buy into the leader or the leader’s vision.

2. People look for another leader when they do not buy into the leader but do buy into the vision.

3. People seek to change the vision when they buy into the leader but not into the vision.

4. People support the leader and the vision when they buy into both.

Getting support for your ideas, vision, and strategy requires that people buy into you first. This often takes time. To build credibility with people develop relationships with them, earn their trust by displaying character, integrity, and honesty, hold yourself to high standards, set good examples, help people do their jobs better, help people reach their goals, and develop people as leaders. When you add value to your relationships your credibility with other people increases and builds the foundation for people to buy into you and your ideas.

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 | 12 – The Law of Empowerment | 13 – The Law of The Picture

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/14-the-law-of-buy-in/

Aug 09

13 – The Law of the Picture

“People Do What People See”

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 picture.

The law of the picture summarizes what is often observed in human nature. People tend to mimic the behaviors of their leaders. When a leader demonstrates behaviors that lead to success, people that follow mimic those behaviors and succeed as well.

The picture consists of vision, mission, and strategy. Great leaders possess a visionary mindset. The vision describes the “what” needs to be accomplished. Great leaders understand the purpose for reaching the vision or desired end state. The mission answers the “why” to reach an objective. Great leaders also posses the ability to develop a strategy to reach an objective. The strategy provides the “how” for achieving a desired end state.

Mission, vision, and strategy provide little benefit without action. So leaders recognize that without action the vision, mission, and strategy accomplish nothing. The leader is responsible for assisting people to take action toward the vision through the strategy. People rarely envision the end state the way that the leader does so the leader is responsible for communicating in such a way as to create a common mental model that makes the vision come alive. Communicating in such a fashion includes clear and creative techniques to continually reinforce the desired end state. When the leader lives the vision, the leader models the vision making it real and alive.

Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them, day after day – Arthur Gordon

Good leaders recognize the importance of the example they set. A strategy rarely plays out exactly as expected. When deviations occur and uncertainty is high, the need for strong leadership increases. In this state, the ability to keep the vision alive that creates energy, passion, and motivation to press on in the face of uncertainty is the law of the picture.

Leadership Insights
1. People watch what you do. As a leader, recognize that people tend to model behaviors that you display. People tend to believe what they see not necessarily what they hear. You convince people by what you do not by what you say.
2. Teaching what is right is easier than doing what is right. On 6 Aug 2010, an example of this insight surfaced when Mark Hurd resigned as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Mark stated, “As the investigation progressed, I realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP and which have guided me throughout my career. After a number of discussions with members of the board, I will move aside and the board will search for new leadership. This is a painful decision for me to make after five years at HP, but I believe it would be difficult for me to continue as an effective leader at HP and I believe this is the only decision the board and I could make at this time. I want to stress that this in no way reflects on the operating performance or financial integrity of HP” (Hewlett-Packard, 2010, para 5).
3. Change yourself before trying to improve others. As a leader, you need to lead yourself first. Set high standards of excellence for yourself. Work the hardest and longest on improving yourself. Failing to lead by example creates a fuzzy picture to those you intend to lead.
4. A leader’s example is the most value gift a leader can give. People desire leaders where espoused beliefs and actions align. People learn best from watching good leaders in action. Many leaders emerge by observing and replicating the behaviors of leaders that mentored them.

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 | 12 – The Law of Empowerment

Reference
Hewlett-Packard, HP. (2010, August 6). HP CEO Mark Hurd resigns; CFO Cathie Lesjak appointed interim CEO; HP announces preliminary results and raises full-year outlook . Retrieved from http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2010/100806a.html
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/13-the-law-of-the-picture/

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 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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