Archive for February, 2013

Are You a Manager or a Leader?

Leadership is Earned Through Performance

Does the same style work for every situation?  No.  Nor does one style work for every person.

 

Managers have subordinates and leaders have followers.  Which one do you choose?  It depends on the people involved and the objective to be accomplished.

 

In a recent article in Under30CEO, Matt Wilson declares that to reach maximum success, a CEO must be brilliant and difficult.  He touts the style of Trump, Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank and Ari Gold of Entourage.  Matt advocates “Stop being nice; start demanding perfection.”   Ask for what you want and you will probably receive it.

 

Granted this style has proven to work for powerful executives who have built and are building empires.  In the proper circumstances, it can be extremely effective.  Does this style work in every situation?  My opinion is “No, it may not be appropriate in all instances.”

 

Manager

 

When Dan first took a group of 18 year old delinquents backpacking into the Mt. Zirkel wilderness, his role was to guide them on the 21 day trek, tell them how to set up their tent, how to prepare a meal in the wilderness and how to survive in unfamiliar mountain circumstances.  The rules were simple:  “Here is how you set up the tent and prepare your meal.  Tonight I will cook for you.  Tomorrow you set up your own tent and cook for yourself.”

This was clearly an authoritarian managerial style situation.  Dan’s knowledge exceeded that of the group.  In that situation he needed to establish his authority and expertise immediately.  The teenagers were on the trek to learn discipline and teamwork with each other.

Contrast that situation to a leadership environment.

Leader

The President of a volunteer organization such as a Rotary club where the members are highly educated and successful individuals requires the skills of a leader, not a manager.  The members are volunteers rather than subordinates.  Demanding perfection and compliance of a volunteer would be ineffective.

In the case of a volunteer organization comprised of executives who are all accustomed to being “in charge,” the authoritarian approach would be met with resistance at best.  This group would require more of a participatory leadership styleThe club would decide which fundraising activities and which service projects the members wished to support.

Differences between a leader and a manager.

Leaders are more charismatic, transformational and visionary.  Leaders are charting the path for a new direction where managers are smoothing the ruts in the current path.  Managers are more authoritative, task oriented and results driven.

Dilemma

The challenge for the executive may be in making the switch from managerial style to leadership style depending on the situation.  This can be problematic for the leader and the followers if the leadership style is not handled properly.  Too much structure and direction without a balance of enjoyment and the members stop participating.  Not enough structure and direction and nothing is accomplished.

John Maxwell, former minister and leadership guru, addressed this in his 5 Levels of LeadershipThe leader of the Rotary club would be leading by permission since the group elected the member to become President; however, it is up to the leader to inspire the group to choose to follow.  A title alone is not sufficient.

Recap and analysis,

Imagine the participatory style with rebellious youth?  The result would have been chaos, defiant attitudes, and perhaps uninformed and untrained individuals lost in the woods.  This would be more than ineffective leadership, it would be dangerous.  The initial phase required authoritarian management.  As the group progressed in cooperation and competence, the management style could ease into a less structured style.  It was amazing how much more cooperative their attitude became as they realized the benefits of team work.

The purpose of the volunteer organization is to serve, but unless the group is also having fun, members will not attend.  This is more of a fine line for the leader because it requires fun, inspiration and participation in conjunction with organization and coordination.  How much structure is required to accomplish tasks and yet how relaxed a structure is required in order to maintain enthusiasm and active participation?

In many cases, the leadership role may be more challenging than the managerial role.

For more information on leadership style, stay tuned to www.Elaine4Success.com.  Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching.  Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact or www.MeetElaineLove.com

 

When Life Gives You Lemons

 

When life gives you lemons, what do you do?  Problems, challenges, situations, adversity and catastrophes

Positive Mental Attitudes yield Positive Results

come into our lives from time to time.  Those are the lemons of life.

 

Jim Rohn, noted business philosopher, said “We must all suffer one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.  The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”  Bottom line is we will all suffer.  We will all encounter obstacles in life.

 

It’s not about what happens to us, but what we do about it.

 

If you have never experienced adversity, you are extremely fortunate, very young or in denial.

 

Your adversity may come in the form of relationships, money, your career or your health.

 

What do you do when life hands you a bitter lemon?  Do you go running to the pantry and eat a box of chocolates, down a bottle of alcohol, go for a run, cry, or throw china against the wall?  Each individual has their own stress release method.  Some will blame others.  Some will choose violence against themselves or others.  Some will turn to drugs.  Some will turn to exercise.

 

Tension builds and seeks a release valve.  Have you ever observed a teakettle?  As the water heats, it builds up pressure until the steam pours forth.  Releasing tension is as necessary for humans as it is for the teakettle.  The difference is how we choose to expel the pressure and how long we allow it to continue to build and pour forth steam.

 

When I first started network marketing, I was a total disaster.  I did everything wrong.  It took me eight months to make my first sale; it was an Australian two up system so I still did not make any money (you have to give up your first two sales – hence the “two up” system.)  Finances were beyond tight by the time I finally figured it out and made money.

 

During those eight months, it was a struggle to maintain confidence and enthusiasm to keep working.  Unfortunately there are far too many jobless Americans right now facing exactly the same issue.  The extension in unemployment benefits will help, but not enough to maintain the pre-unemployment lifestyle.

 

It’s not what happens to you, but what you do.

 

You know all of the steps to take to seek work.  Regardless of taking all of the right steps toward employment, unless you exhibit a productive and positive mental attitude, your attitude  will reflect negatively in the interview.  What actions are you taking to maintain your positive mental attitude?  You know if you go into the interview with a defeated or a defiant attitude, the interviewer will pick up on it and you will be back on the street.

 

Start writing in a journal every night or every morning.  Write a list of every positive skill and qualification you have to offer an employer.  Don’t look back at yesterday’s list, keep doing this every day.  Write either immediately upon your eyelids fluttering open in the morning or the last task before you fall asleep at night.  Your subconscious mind is most easily programmed when you first emerge from an alpha sleep or just before you drift into an alpha sleep.  The more you focus on positives, the more positives will appear in your life.

 

Troublesome relationships, employment and health all follow this same formula.  When you concentrate on your strengths, what you have to offer, you increase your probability of attracting exactly what you desire.  Concentrate on negatives and you will attract more negatives into your life.  You have the ability to choose.

It’s not what happens to you, but what you do.  Think positive and take action.  It’s not a fairy tale, a positive mental attitude and positive action yields positive results.

 

A friend of mine said, “When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over.”

 

For more information on identifying and releasing emotional blocks or more ideas on creating a positive mental attitude, stay tuned to www.Elaine4Success.com.  Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching.  Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact or www.MeetElaineLove.com.

To Achieve Goals, Do Something You Love

Have you ever reached a fork in the road?   Some individuals are fortunate enough to arrive in this world with an internal compass; they instinctively know their “true north” as well as east and west.  I either have a faulty installation or missed the “compass” assembly point completely.  My “north – south – east – west” directional finder has serious design flaws.  Fortunately, my car displays both a compass and a GPS map (complete with voice commands).

 

Purchasing a compass or a GPS for hiking or driving is relatively economical and easily attainable.  What about the compass for your career and your life?

 

How many times have you reached a fork in your career?  In our grandparent’s lives and the historical common practice in many European countries, a career was chosen early in life and rarely, if ever, altered.  In our parent’s careers, the economy and expanding marketplaces fostered change.  By 2013, change is expected, but is it embraced?  Maybe not.  How do we know which fork in the road to pursue?  How do you decide?

 

Back to Basics

 

I found myself at this decision point in 2008.  Should I stay in my beloved Steamboat where I had happily resided, skied and participated in the community for 29 years or relocate to Denver?

The decision process was emotionally and financially traumatic.  It is both scary and exciting to make bold moves which totally uproot your life.  Going from the known to the unknown can inspire a sense of adventure or sheer terror.

 

What is your decision process?

 

What are your top three priorities to accomplish in 2013?  Once you achieve those three goals, could you declare 2013 the best year of your life?  When goals are big enough to qualify in the “best year of your life” category, they must be extremely important to you.

 

Steve Jobs said, “You spend a great deal of your time at work.  In order to be satisfied, you must do really great work.  In order to do really great work, you must do something you love.  If you don’t love it, keep looking.  Don’t settle.”  This statement resonates with my soul and guides my decision process.

 

In listening to Brian Tracey, world renowned author and speaker, and Darren Hardy, publisher of Success magazine, the consensus was that if you have more than three top priorities, you just have a wish list not a priority list.  Those top three priorities are frequently centered around relationships, health and financial

 

Write your top three priorities

 

Post those top three priorities in a prominent place.  Every night just before dozing off or the first few moments after your eyelids flutter open in the morning (for some that is awakening and others after the first cup of espresso), write those top three priorities.  Writing solidifies the objective in your mind.

 

Write an action plan

top 3 priorities action plan

top 3 priorities action plan

 

In order to achieve something you love, decide exactly what you want and form an action plan to convert it to reality.

 

Break your action plan into segments

 

December 31, 2013 is ten and one-half months away.  How much will you have achieved by March 31, June 30, and September 30?  What do you need to accomplish every week or every day in order to reach each checkpoint successfully?

 

In order for 2013 to be the best year of your life, the time to begin is “now o’clock.”  When you do something you love, the time goes faster, the process is easier and the results are superior.

 

Write in Technicolor

The days of black and white movies and silent films are history.  Think of your words on the page as pictures on the screen. Write in brilliantly hued images.  Do you want to read boring words which lay limp on the page?  Neither do your readers.

 

Use the senses to accent your words

 

You can say that we went skiing.  Let me invite you to stand with me on the crest of Storm Peak in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and gaze out over the pristine white ski slope as the deep golden sun peaks over the top of Sleeping Giant Mountain.  As each golden ray kisses the ice covered branches of the aspen trees, they cast a rainbow of color like a fine crystal prism.  As skiers in vivid suits glide down the slope, their splashes of color make the scene come alive.  Can you feel the crisp cool air, see the Currier and Ives scene, hear the swoosh swoosh of the skis, and taste the snowflakes on your tongue?

 

Step into your scene

 

Paint a picture of how life will improve when your customer experiences the results of your product or service.  Engage them in seeing themselves as they will be.  If your product is health related, see themselves as slim, vibrant, and glowing; they become the object of admiration and accomplishment.

 

Write with vivid images that inspire and engage your prospect when writing for your printed marketing media. Create booklets, posters and stickers that invite your reader to step into the scene with you. Online printers like PrintPlace.com and UPrinting.com can attest that marketing content that’s just as vivid as the accompanying images in printed marketing media make it most effective. When I first moved to Steamboat in 1981, the houses were bland Steamboat brown or beige to blend into the landscape.  Travel to Breckenridge and the houses were a cornucopia of color like a bag of M&Ms.

 

Can you imagine a poster for a ski resort in bland colors?  Not an effective poster.

 

Visualize a story

 

Weave the colorful descriptions into a story and the reader is standing beside you on that ski slope feeling the exhilaration and anticipation of the wind on their face as they traverse smoothly down the slope.  Visually drink in the beauty of the slopes and twinkling holiday lights in the valley below.  Share the camaraderie of the vacation.

 

Whether you are writing an article, a booklet or a holiday thank you note, write with gusto to make your words come alive.

 

Create excitement

 

Your words create a story, an image, and a feeling which the reader wants to step into.  Make them feel. Descriptive words bring the scene to life and connect with the reader.

Effective Leadership Skills

Lead, follow or step aside

Examine the root word “Lead” carefully.

 

L – Learning all the information possible from great books, live seminars, cd recordings and personal interaction with other positive attitude, forward-thinking successful people.

 

E – Examine your own internal thoughts, beliefs, words and actions.  Are you allowing old negative programming to hold you back from achieving all of your dreams and goals?

 

A – Achieve all of your goals by focusing your energy on the target.  When you focus on a goal and direct all of your activity toward that one specific objective for as long as it takes to accomplish it, your success is guaranteed.

 

D – Delegate just enough responsibility to your team members or followers to develop their potential to achieve their own goals and lead others.

 

When you learn, do a comprehensive internal self-examination, and focus on achieving all of your own goals, you now have a path in place to guide others to duplicate you’re achievements.  You can not guide someone else to accomplish things you have not achieved.  There is as lack of credibility when you tell others how to do something you have never done.  There is never a long line to ask the advice of the person at the bottom of the success ladder.

 

First achieve the goals and then provide the system for others to duplicate your results.  The old saying of “fake it until you make it” just does not have credibility.  So you ask, what to do until you do have proven results of your own.  Edify your boss or your supervisor or your coach and mentor.  Point to their success until you have success of your own.  Always, always be honest.  Do not claim to have positive results until you do.

 

Learn to celebrate every little victory.  Record each small victory in a journal and celebrate each one.  These small accomplishments will grow into bigger achievements.  Your experience learning and growing will actually assist you in effective leadership.  People relate to you and your challenges as they progress through their own challenges.

Being honest about your leadership journey also adds to your credibility.  None of us started at the top.  Read our stories; we faced challenges and setbacks as well as victories on our way to personal leadership.

 

I do not believe there is or ever has been one effective leader who has not “paid his or her dues.”  Every one of us has examined ourselves and our leadership thoughts many times.  We examined and re-examined our leadership styles.  We evaluated our personal leadership and our leadership skills over and over.  We made adjustments and adjusted the adjustments.

 

Only after walking the path ourselves were we able to direct someone else through the same system to reach their own personal success.  First we made the journey through the success minefield, then we were qualified to guide others through that minefield to their own personal success.

 

Even now, after they have achieved their goals, effective leadership demands a constant process of adjusting to modern innovations.  Business, success nor leadership stands still.  Each one remains a moving target.  In order to effectively delegate these skills and techniques, we must continue to focus and keep our own leadership skills sharp.

 

Learn, examine, achieve and delegate.  You must follow each and every step in order and then keep repeating the cycle.  Leadership is constantly evolving and the best and more effective leaders never take themselves or their followers for granted.  Effective leadership skills are a precious commodity.  Delegate them to others and the world will constantly improve.  Effective leadership is a privilege, an honor and a responsibility.

 

I take my leadership, coaching and mentoring seriously.  Come visit me at Elaine4Success.com.  Let me help you navigate the minefield of success and leadership.

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”Elaine spoke to our top leaders from 8 states, she gave us new and positive ways to connect with people
which is EXACTLY what we wanted. Thanks Elaine”
-Tom Fajardo, State Farm