Monthly Archives: February 2015

THE FIVE “I’s” OF AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP

Many people have written on what it means to be a leader. Almost everyone identifies influence as the primary characteristic. By definition, this means that leadership and position are two different things. You can have a title, and a position of power or authority, but this does not mean that you are a leader. Even people without these things can exert influence and thus leadership.

But leadership is more than influence. It certainly includes influence, but it is more. I believe it includes at least five characteristics. I call these “The (Five I’s) of Authentic Leadership”…

Authentic Leaders Have Insight: Sometimes we refer to this as vision, but that usually has exclusive reference to the future. While leaders must have vision, they need more. They need wisdom and discernment. They need to be able to look at complex situations, gain clarity, and determine a course of action.

Authentic Leaders Demonstrate Initiative: They go first. They don’t sit on the sidelines. They don’t ask others to do what they are unwilling to do themselves. Instead, they lead by example.

Authentic Leaders Exert Influence:  It’s no coincidence that influence and influenza (the flu) come from the same root word. Real leaders are contagious. People “catch” what they have. Yes, a lot more is caught than taught. People are drawn to their vision and their values. They are able to gather a following and move people to act. They are like human wave pools, creating a ripple effect wherever they go.

Authentic Leaders Have Impact:  At the end of the day, leaders make a difference. The world, teams, and organizations are changed because of their leadership. They are able to create real and lasting change. Unless something has shifted, they aren’t leaders. They are only entertainers. There is a big difference. The measure of leadership cannot be found in the leader; it is found in the impact the leader has on their followers.

Authentic Leaders Exercise Integrity:  Not every leader is benevolent. Adolf Hitler was a leader, as was Josef Stalin. They had insight, initiative, influence, and impact. However their lives were NOT integrated with the highest values.  Integrity – or the lack thereof – ultimately determines the quality of a person’s impact. In a sense, this is the foundation of authentic leadership.

Leaders must be deliberate and intentional if they are to be successful. I trust that these five qualities can guide you and I as we grow in our ability to lead in our roles as coaches or scouts.

Remember, It’s always about progress and never about perfection when it comes to our leadership development. We are all a work in progress. Be your best this week!

s2s,

Kevin

Do these attributes mark your leadership?  Where can you improve? 

Comments?

ARE YOU ADDING OR MULTIPLYING YOUR LEADERSHIP INFLUENCE?

Years ago when I was in school mathematics always gave me challenges. For some, math is a breeze – for others it’s a grind, I was in the latter group. However, this much I do know; if you want to add numbers quickly, multiplication is better than addition.

As a leader, we want to make an impact on individual lives. We want to leave a mark, or a lasting legacy. However, many leaders do not know the most effective way of working this plan. Unfortunately, we often times make the mistake of doing this by addition and not multiplication.

i encourage you and challenge you, if you want to leverage your influence and leave a legacy that will out live you as a leader, multiple!

Multiplying-Effect13

Invest in a handful of others for a few months. Meet with them weekly, build relationships, hold them accountable, do life with them, teach them “how” to Be and leader and “how” to Build more leaders – then turn them loose to multiple more leaders in their community and around the world.

Like your 401k, you want it to multiply exponentially – not just add one dollar at a time.

Make an impact with your life for the time that you have. You only get one shot. Invest it wisely. Don’t settle for addition, multiply your life and leadership in others. You won’t regret it.

Have a great week!

s2s,

Kevin

WHO IS YOUR NEXT DRAFT PICK?

The 2015 MLB Draft is only a four months away. Scouts are already hard at work. On June 8th, the Arizona Diamondbacks select #1 overall. They have good scouts and baseball personnel, and know exactly the type of player they are looking for that fits in to their organization. Over the next few months after evaluating 60’s, pre-draft workouts, showcases and games they will make their best informed decision.

How clear are you on what you’re looking for in your next hire? Selecting people is difficult at best. Often we get it wrong. However, knowing exactly what you’re looking for helps. The following are three traits to look for and evaluate in every new hire you bring on to your team or in your organization.

Character: This is first on the list for a reason. It’s the most important – not that other factors aren’t, but forming, reforming and transforming character is extremely hard. Character is simply who you are. Do MLB scouts and college recruiters look at character? You bet they do…and leaders in the marketplace should as well. Are you clear on the character traits you’re looking for? How will you discern those traits? This is a big deal. If you miss on this one, you will have problems later.

Competence: Character is critical, but it’s NOT a substitute for the ability to get the job done. Have you clearly identified the skills your new hire needs? How can you be sure he or she possesses them? My friend who works for a large Fortune 500 company in human resources taught me that the best indicator of future performance is past performance. In baseball, scouts look carefully at past performance history – it gives them a measurable as they confidently work through the process of selecting the right player. In the market place, If the candidate hasn’t previously demonstrated what you need them to do for you, it is not a deal killer, but you would be wise to proceed with caution. Competence is key!

Chemistry: This may be the easiest for many leaders to discern. Do you feel this person will fit into your culture? Will people connect with him/her? On many MLB scouting reports there is a category called “makeup.”  It is one of the most important categories on a report. Professional and collegiate sports are full of examples of players who get traded, released or dismissed because they don’t “fit in the program.”  This screams chemistry. My friend, who works in the Fortune 500 company shared with me that In their organization, when they select someone they understand the person may work with them for 30-40 years. Chemistry matters!

I couldn’t agree more with a quote I read by Peter Drucker; “The most important decision a leader makes is who does what.”  So, who will be your next “draft” pick? I don’t know that answer to that question, but hopefully the ideas above will help you make the best informed decision. Have a great week!

s2s,

Kevin

What do you look for when selecting people?

Comments? 

LEADERSHIP CHARACTER – “A LOT MORE IS CAUGHT THAN TAUGHT”

In the past week, I had a few conversations with both HS and College baseball coaches. To the man, they all asked me the following question in their own way and in their own words…

How can I help my team develop leadership character?

Many of the questions I often receive are complex and difficult – the question above is a great example! This weeks blog format limits my responses. However, please don’t misinterpret the brevity of my comments. Leadership is real work, its hard, it takes a great amount of focus and discipline. Rarely are the answers as simple as we would like them to be.

So, how do you help others on your team cultivate the heart of leadership? I’ll share three ideas and suggestions to help you begin the journey…

1) Start with You! If you and I don’t walk the talk, we’ll have no credibility with those we attempt to influence.  We must show our team what a leader’s heart looks like in the real world. We must model for them the desired behaviors we are seeking for our team.

Recently I read a quote from Gandhi – it said; “Be the change you want to see in the world” 

That’s great advice for leaders (coaches and scouts) who wish to influence others. Leadership character really does start with you. Are you becoming a leader people want to follow?

2) Define Leadership Character! If you want to cultivate leadership character among your team, don’t make it a mystery. Tell people what it looks like to you. Cast the vision, over and over and over. What is your working definition? Mine is a deeply held belief that great leaders…

H-unger for wisdom

E-xpect the best

A-ccept Responsibility

R-espond with courage

T-hink others first

You can use that definition or make up your own. Either way, you’ll significantly increase your chances of success if people know exactly what it is you’re trying to cultivate.

3) Recognize Leadership Character in Action!  When you see it, say something – call it out! Michael Le Boeuf wrote a book years ago entitled “The Greatest Management Principle in the World.” I don’t know if it’s the greatest or not, however it’s outstanding. He says…

“What gets Recognized and Rewarded gets Repeated.” 

If you want the players on your team, or the team members on your staff to demonstrate leadership character, (authentic) praise and recognition will have a positive influence on their behavior. Because – “What gets Recognized and Rewarded gets Repeated.” 

To develop leadership character is difficult but not impossible. It’s a process that requires focused energy, discipline, intention and time. Often, it will take months or even years of investment to see the changes you desire. However if you keep your hand to the plow and don’t quit it will happen. Remember, the goal is progress NOT perfection.

Don’t be discouraged, the joy should be in the journey – the becoming – not the moment of achievement. If you show your team the way, be clear on the goal, and recognize even the small victories along the way, your team will respond. “BE” the change you want your team (and the world) to see. Have a great week!

s2s,

Kevin