Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

Quandary – Bragging or Humble

If you were raised as I was, you were taught that it was better to be humble than to brag on yourself.  In


Who controls your public impression?

fact, my father stated, “Girls are to be modest, quiet and submissive;” that takes humble to silence and beyond.


Fine Line


Where do you draw the line between self-aggrandizing and humble?


School – You do your own work and receive a grade on that work.  Your grades are recorded on your report card.  It  certainly would not have been wise to say, “Oh no, that report was a team effort” or “I didn’t do that work, Susie Smart did that report for me.”  Teachers take a dim view of cheating, having someone else do the work for you, or you doing the work for someone else.


Career – As life and careers progressed it became obvious that it was important to acknowledge accomplishments.  Granted it was preferable to have a third party praise you rather than to praise yourself.  At some point and in some manner you do need to receive some credit for your achievements.

Where do you draw the fine line between acknowledging your achievements and remaining humble?  The line becomes fuzzy and perhaps even wavy.

If you choose to progress in your career, you must perform in a manner worthy of advancement.  To rely solely on others in this regard is not wise, reliable or expedient.  Management expects an individual to demonstrate leadership and exceptional job performance in order to receive more leadership opportunities and more responsibility.

The quandary remains.  How do you demonstrate leadership and exceptional job performance and remain humble simultaneously?

Success Plan

How many times have you encountered someone who was so full of themselves that they literally repelled others?  High school star athletes or the “We are so hot” popular girls leap to mind.  Unless you are part of the in circle they appear to consider themselves above everyone else. Some professional athletes, rock musicians and Hollywood stars have received negative publicity for unacceptable behavior.

Negative publicity and appearing egotistical is not the ideal impression for career advancement, but neither is the mousey “I’d rather hide in the corner and appear invisible” impression.  The quandary is where is the magic spot to draw the fine line?

The quandary extends beyond employees.  The owner of the company must project enough confidence, accomplishment and company value to attract new clients, retain current clients and attract highly competent employees.  The owner must also remain humble enough to extend credit to the employees who are contributing time and effort to the company success.

Recently this exact quandary appeared in a social setting.  A service organization initiated a major fundraising endeavor which had the potential to benefit thousands now and continuing for years.  The man with the official title from all outward appearances and his own statements had not exerted much effort.  Another member of the organization was given the assignment of visiting all 67 clubs all over the state.  This meant driving 200 to 300 miles a day for five days a week for four months, extensive coordination and a tremendous time commitment all at her personal expense.  Who should receive the credit for the wonderful results achieved?  In this instance she credited the results to a team effort.  The important fact in this organization was the results of the success plan; raising over $200,000 in funds to provide benefits to deserving individuals.

Solution to the Quandary

In the question of a career situation, a documented report detailing the assignment, the specifics of the success plan, steps taken to achieve the goals in the success plan and the results of the project would be appropriate.  In a career situation, the employee has a right to be recognized.  Writing the report in a more factual manner rather than blatant bragging would be well received.  Adding a section on the long range benefits to the company as a result of the success of the project would also be wise.

The quandary of where to draw the fine line between bragging and being humble persists.  In the case of a career, draw the line closer to acknowledging your exceptional job performance.  In a social setting draw the line closer to being humble and team oriented.  Design your success plan for more long-range benefit rather than immediate reward; benefit to the company and the organization first will also bring the most long-range benefit to you.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career, contact Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to

Micromanaging or Facilitation

In your efforts to reach your company goals, are you micromanaging or facilitating?  One is stifling control and the other is empowering creativity.


Leadership, management and life are a series of fine lines.  One of the most prevalent and challenging fine lines for a business professional is the fine line between control and chaos.  Exert control to the point of being a micromanager and all incentive to create is eliminated.  The total lack of any control is a free-for-all in which the activity goes in multiple directions simultaneously; creativity can thrive but at the expense of any focus toward a common goal.


How Much Control is Ideal?


Control is exercising authority; control is dominating influence over another person.  Control implies that one has the power to direct the actions of another person.


Control to the maximum extent is micromanaging.  How many times in your life have you encountered a micromanager?  Do you know an individual who tries to control every word, every action and every person?  No matter what anyone does, there is always the “but you need to change this” or “you could have done that differently.”


My father was a micromanager.  Every potentially good statement he made was followed with “but . . .” followed by a negative statement.  As a tiny baby, parents have to exert some control to protect the child from danger.  As the child matures, more freedom of choice is recommended.  The same goes for a new employee.  First they learn the system as it currently exists and the logic behind using that particular procedure. Under the iron thumb of a micromanager, the system will remain “as is” indefinitely.



Who is pulling your strings?

How can people feel around an overly controlling micromanager: suffocated, bossed around, confused, distressed, guilty, incompetent, and totally unmotivated?  Is that really the feeling we choose to project to our co-workers?  I think not.


What are the possible results of being a micromanager?  Co-workers, volunteers in an organization or your family, may stop working. “What’s the use?  It won’t be right or won’t be good enough anyway.  Why bother to do anything at all?”  “Why should I do it when they will just criticize and redo it anyway?”


Back to the Basics


Why hire employees?  Additional personnel spread the work load and potentially increase productivity; more tasks are completed thoroughly and time efficiently.  An added benefit is that by hiring intelligent, capable individuals, the potential exists for new innovative ideas.


Can you name one super successful entrepreneur whose goal was to hire employees exactly like themselves?  Hiring individuals with exactly the same skill set and interest as the entrepreneur will create a management team of clones.  Much the same result is achieved by micromanaging the employees into the exact behavior and mindset pattern as the overly controlling director.


What is the point of hiring capable, intelligent, creative individuals unless we provide the culture and freedom to exercise that creativity?




John Maxwell, renowned authority on leadership, has written numerous books.  One of my favorites is 5 Levels of

John Maxwell's 5 Levels of Leadership

John Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership



Maxwell describes the journey from being in a position of authority due to the job title (people follow because their job requires them to follow) through the steps of permission and production to people development.  In people development, the concept of facilitation is introduced.  Facilitation in this context is used as encouraging people to explore and express their own creativity.  Facilitation in the people development level is empowering others to develop their interests, skill competencies and leadership potential.

What is the advantage of the facilitation – people development – approach?  The opportunity exists to capitalize on the talents of the capable, intelligent, creative individuals within your organization.  As these individuals develop and flourish, they will not only provide insightful, creative ideas of their own, they will also attract other capable, intelligent, creative individuals.  The association with their like-minded acquaintances will spark more creativity.  Who knows, some of those capable, intelligent, creative associates may choose to join your company.

Mountain Castles, Inc. required every employee with a complaint to also present one potential solution for the issue.  The very exercise of creating a solution encouraged and empowered them to participate in improving the company.

Creating a solution is part of people development.  Note that micromanaging is not included as a level of leadership.

Encourage your leaders and managers to resist micromanaging and embrace the facilitation – people development – leadership style.

For more information on success in your life and your business, stay tuned to  Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching.  Go to,

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.”




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.


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.


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  Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching.  Go to or


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  Let me help you navigate the minefield of success and leadership.

Heart of a Leader

Where is your focus?  Are you focused on personal and                   professional goals or on service to others?


An email popped up today about Ken Blanchard.  You may know Ken from one or more of his 25 books, especially his classic The One Minute Manager.  Ken has been noted for spending 20 minutes to call an 85 year old part time employee on her birthday.  Ken has been credited with spending an hour with a tape recorder to record the kind words from co-workers about an employee to give as a gift to his widow.


We all live busy lives.  Ken exemplifies the heart of a leader.  In fact, The Heart of a Leader is the title of Ken’s new book.


“An excerpt from
The Heart of a Leader

by Ken Blanchard

A river without banks is a large puddle ~ Ken Blanchard


Start your people on a journey to the land of empowerment, but don’t forget that they need boundaries. If you cut them loose without any direction, they will get lost and revert back to their old unempowered habits. Like the banks of a river, boundaries have the ability to channel energy in the right direction. If you take away the boundaries, your people will lose their momentum and direction. Boundaries that create autonomy include:

Purpose—what does your company do?
Values—what are your company’s operational guidelines?
Goals—where is your company headed?
Roles—who does what?
Structure—how is your company organized?

Don’t send inexperienced people off alone and then punish them when they make mistakes. Establish clear boundaries that will free them to make decisions, take initiative, act like owners, and stay on track.”


As we go about our daily lives, where is our heart?  Where is our focus?  Yes, we have to earn money to pay our bills and advance our careers.  Yes, we have commitments to friends, family, organizations and even to walk the family dog.  So what is the answer to the time crunch?  Priorities.  If you are like me, you make time for the priorities in life.


As President of the Rotary Club of Castle Pines, we have a motto of “service above self.”  When it comes to living that motto in our daily lives, do we really practice what we profess?  It is all too easy to sit back and allow others to shoulder responsibility.  It is all too easy to say, “There just isn’t time to call an employee to say “happy birthday” or take the time to offer a kind gesture to a recent widow.  There just is not enough time to accept a volunteer leadership position and really perform as a leader.  Ken Blanchard does not have the time, he makes the time.


Today’s chapter in my new book Now to WOW focused on the walk away message.  Whether we are speaking to one, ten or thousands, we leave a walk away impression.  Even more important than the walk away message in one encounter, is the walk away message we leave in our life.


Ken Blanchard leaves a strong walk away message about The Heart of a Leader.  Rotarians leave a strong walk away message about “service above self.”  What walk away message are we leaving in our lives?

For more information on visionary leadership, stay tuned to  Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching.  Go to or

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