Tag Archive: Personal Growth

May 15

Review – The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Prithe Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success Nciples for Breakthrough SuccessThe Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Prithe Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success Nciples for Breakthrough Success by Carmine Gallo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this book, Carmine provides seven principles for unleashing innovation. The principles are supported by examples from various industries, which helps to understand how to apply the principles within different scenarios. I recommend the book to those seeking new perspectives about the concept of innovation.

View all my reviews

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Jun 09

7 – The Law of Respect

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 respect, which dictates that people tend to follow others with leadership skills and traits stronger than they themselves possess. Choosing those that one wishes to follow is not accidental. People follow others who possess leadership traits they respect and admire.

In certain situations, a person will follow someone else with weaker leadership traits such as a manager (chain of command) or due to someone’s past accomplishments. However, the law of respect suggests that people naturally follow those with stronger leadership skills. You notice this tendency when a new group forms. Often, the start of a new group is fraught with chaos as the group members sort out those with strong leadership. Once that occurs, the group starts following the one or few with the strongest leadership.

Earning respect comes from your natural ability, but natural ability alone limits leadership potential. Earning respect requires that you display respect for others. People will continue to follow when you respect others and lead consistently. Earning respect also requires courage. At some point in your leadership, you will stand alone. Good leaders do the right thing even when faced with failure and criticism. Displaying courage provides a hope for the future that others respect. Earning respect also comes from successes. People follow others with a good track record of successes. Loyalty contributes to your ability to earn respect. People respect that those help the team to the end and look out for those that follow even when personally damaging. Finally, people respect leaders that add value to those that follow.

Measure your level of the respect you earn. Take stock of those choosing to follow you because they determine your level of leadership and respect. If those that choose to follow are committed and display strong traits then your leadership level is probably high. Without earning respect, you will have difficulty leading. While serving in the military, I remember a senior non-commissioned officer (NCO) that struggled with his  leadership. He never earned the respect of the group. Rather, the members of the group  choose to follow two lower ranking NCOs whom they respected. Subsequently, the lower ranking NCOs each led a team while the senior NCO was relegated to a position without assigned personnel.

When you are frustrated because people follow you reluctantly or you do not attract the caliber of people you wish to, you need to evaluate your leadership. The law of respect dictates that people willingly follow those with stronger leadership than they themselves possess.

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

Reference
Maxwell, John. (2007). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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Jun 02

5 – The Law of Addition

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 addition. While leaders often receive the accolades for success, great leaders understand that success results from the collective effort of a team. Using those successes to bolster one’s own position at the exclusion of the team eventually erodes the loyalty of followers to that leader and the ability of the leader to inspire those that follow. Many view leadership and success in a similar way – climb the ladder as fast and far as possible. The law of addition  focuses on advancing others, not ourselves.

Leadership is an act of service to others. The best place to serve is not always at the top. The best place to serve is where you add the most value to others. Leaders add value to others but valuing others, adding value to others, and relating to what others value.

Great leadership is based on establishing relationships and relationships require that you truly value people. I discussed this topic with a manager at Motorola whom I respect for his leadership ability and managerial skill. He stated, “It’s not about me, it’s about the people.” That attitude, when exhibited in daily interactions, instills loyalty in the team.

Great leadership requires that you add value to others. Adding value to others necessitates that you build skills and experience then share that learning with others. This points us back to an important trait of the leader. The leader is dedicated to life-long learning, as ceasing to learn begins the erosion of the value that you can offer to other people.

Great leadership requires that you relate to what other people value. We expect to receive great service but often fail to give great service. Great service requires that you understand those you serve, which comes through listening to and learning about the people you interact with.

Leadership greatness begins by adding value through service to other people. Do you truly value the people with whom you interact? Do you add value to others by sharing your knowledge, skill, and experience? Do you understand and appreciate what other people value?

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

Reference
Maxwell, John. (2007). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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Permanent link to this article: http://darrylpendergrass.com/Blog/5-the-law-of-addition/

May 29

4 – The Law of Navigation

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 navigation to the leadership arsenal. Leaders plan the route to the desired destination, which is much more that simply controlling the direction of travel. Navigation incorporates vision, strategy, planning, and execution. The vision represents the mental model or picture of the desired end-state. The strategy provides the approach and the plan captures the considerations of all aspects potentially affecting the attainment of the goal. Those leaders that follow the law of navigation, see more than, see farther than, and see before others do (Eims, as cited in Maxwell).

Leaders that navigate draw on information from a variety of sources as shown in the graphic below. Leaders consider past success that build confidence for tackling a new venture. Leaders consider their own past failures and the failures of others. Leaders tend to look forward, forgetting the past. Great leaders learn from the past and the lessons that those experiences provide and apply them to future endeavors.

Leaders that navigate consider the current conditions before embarking on the path. What is the cost in terms of finances, time, and resources? What is the level of commitment to this action? Does the culture support this endeavor? Does the action carry any momentum? Is this the right time for this action?

Leaders that navigate solicit and consider the input and counsel of other people. One person rarely has all the answers to every question or issue that arises when tackling a major initiative.

Leaders that navigate balance their optimism, intuition, and faith with the realism, planning, and fact surrounding any major initiative.

Leadership-MixBooks abound that contain detailed approaches information related to visioning, strategic planning, and project planning and execution, but Maxwell (2007) shares a simple acrostic – PLAN AHEAD – that provides a reminder of the major steps involved in navigational leadership.

  • Predetermine a course of action
  • Lay out your goals
  • Adjust your priorities
  • Notify key people
  • Allow time for acceptance
  • Head into action
  • Expect problems
  • Always point to the successes
  • Daily review the plan

Over the years, I committed many hours to learning various processes and planning techniques. My personal library (physical and virtual) contain many books on those topics. I recognize the important contribution that process definition and planning provides to reaching goals successfully. Some try to convince me that the current environment does not lend itself to thorough planning but I am not convinced. I firmly believe that going slow to move fast comes into play for any project of consequence. I recognize the need to balance the plan’s level of detail with the level of project complexity. I also witness the tendency of many to rush into implementation with an appropriate level of planning.

I regularly create project workbooks that contain the project’s charter, plans, decisions, and results. The workbook includes the plans for risk management, resources, development approach, artifact library, testing, deployment, and others. Those workbooks capture many of the concepts highlighted in this post and in Maxwell’s book. I use the workbooks at work and in my volunteer activities. My experience supports the approach that planning contributes to the successful execution of the project. My observations also support the fact that ineffective planning nearly always results in projects that take longer and cost more than expected or results in project cancellation or project deliveries that fail to meet stakeholder needs.

In 2007, the leaders of the church where I attend requested that I lead an effort to organize the ministry leaders with organizational planning to improve the efficacy of the various church programs. This group and I spend many Saturdays over five months, which culminated in documented plans for each ministry. I began with a strategic planning session to assist these leaders with solidifying the organization’s vision and mission, understanding their strengths and weaknesses (SWOT Analysis), and aligning the various programs with overall organizational objectives. I presented a planning template for each ministry leader to develop that identified the ministry goals and the plans to achieve those goals. Each leader presented their respective planning to the other leaders and collectively refined the plans to ensure alignment and support. At the beginning of the new year, each leader presented their plan to the entire membership and sought volunteers to assist with the execution. The entire process garnered positive feedback from the leaders and church members. The benefits and results of the effort also caught the attention of other people and groups seeking to leverage the approach. With navigation applied, the group benefited by gaining a thorough understanding of each program’s contribution to the overall success of the organization.

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

Tools
Six Hats – a tools for group or individual thinking that assists with evaluation from a variety of perspectives.
SWOT Analysis – an approach for evaluating strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to gain greater perspective for evaluation of a venture.

Reference
Maxwell, John. (2007). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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May 12

3 – The Law of Process

In John C. Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (2007), John discusses the importance of understanding the path to leadership is a process and does not happen overnight. We live in a time that is dominated by a microwave mentality. We like our popcorn in three minutes or less. Television portrays the resolution of problems in 30 to 60 minutes. The constant and sometimes subtle reminders of instant gratification lures us to desire that leadership development also occurs rapidly if not instantly. Maxwell reminds his readers that leadership development is an investment. Similarly, you are unlikely to become financially independent in one day but small financial investments over time compound and often result in financial success over long periods.

Some people demonstrate natural leadership ability and grow more rapidly, while others require a focused approach to develop leadership skills. Growing the factors that contribute to leadership ability – character, relationships, knowledge, intuition, experience, and past success – takes time and your focus to develop (see leadership factors in this blog post for more details).

Personal Growth Phases

Personal growth tends to follow the phases shown in the following figure. Your dedication to personal growth influences the progression through the phases. Bennis and Nanus (1997) state, “It’s the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders from their followers” (p.56) and therein lies the responsibility for each of us to take charge of our personal growth.

Phases-LeadershipGrowth

On a personal note, over many years I developed an enjoyable and rewarding career in technology. I was provided and pursued many opportunities that allowed me grow my technical and leadership skills.

However, the telecommunication downturn and recession of 2001 initiated vast workforce reductions throughout the industry. After many years of growth and demand for technologists, the reductions flooded the market with a pool of talented people. As a result, many employers raised the standard for entry to personnel with degrees. The situation created some personal anxiety and concern regarding my viability in the workplace and overall marketability. While I remained employed throughout that period, I choose to return to school to complete a bachelors program to bind my experience and skill with education. The phases of personal growth became readily apparent throughout the education process and reinforced the necessity to maintain a watchful eye over industry trends and to close the gaps that affect my personal marketability.

To summarize, growth is a process that requires observation, planning, and dedicated focus. One does not develop leadership ability in a day but evolves over time through attention to the growth process.

Links
Mind map of the 21 laws of leadership.

Reference
Bennis, W. and Nanus, B. (1997). Leaders: Strategies for taking charge. HarperCollins.
Maxwell, John. (2007). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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