Archive for September, 2010

What Does Leadership Look Like?

Hello my friends,

Do you know what leadership look like? In many companies and organizations throughout the world, leadership is looking more and more like a joke. You have to search through an organization for days at a time or wait for a catastrophic event to take place to find your real leaders. About a week ago in a discussion with a few colleagues over lunch, the topic centered on leadership and when will real leaders be allowed to lead. You may know of a few people in leadership positions that for some reason or another, have lost touch in developing and leading their teams the right way. We are not simply talking about leading a team or department to a very high number for goals but simply just having the attributes that builds trust in those team members that they are responsible for leading.

We have heard and known for some time now all of the buzz words for leadership; having vision, integrity, trust, character, firm, etc… and these attributes are paramount in true leadership.  I recall a particular coach would say to his teams before the game, “To go out and play the game the right way.” The players or workers in turn would say the coach; “To lead us in the right way.” People are smarter and more in tuned with what’s going on around them than they get credit for. This statement, “Please don’t piss on my head and tell me that it’s raining” is becoming the buzz word from team members describing the communication style and strategies used by their managers when it comes to delivering information. People are starting to recognize the difference and leaders need to keep this in mind when it comes to communicating and leading others.

Many times the position title of leadership can actually trump the person’s leading ability when it comes to getting their teams developed to achieve their goals. to reach another level. Have you ever came across a person  that was in a managerial role and used their title to trump  their subordinates ideas, project accomplishments or even belittle them to their colleagues or superiors. Leadership doesn’t look like this!

Again what does Leadership look like? Great positive leadership comes in many different forms and we won’t touch all of them in this post however a few things come to mind when looking at leadership. Leadership have vision to see things in front or at a higher level when others are looking behind, on the sides or not looking at all. Leadership stand and make the difficult decision that is right for the situation and organization even if this means standing by themselves. Leadership operates with integrity knowing that everyone may not be treated the same however they do their best to treat their team members right and fair. Leadership seeks input from others understanding that not one person has all of the answers. Leadership understands and accepts that not all ideas or decisons will be a success and they take full responsibility and learn from it. Leadership recognizes those persons skilled in the areas of development and execution of strategy in attaining goals and implementing ideas which can lead to creating value for the organization over time.

I applaud those that have earned the mantle of being promoted to a leadership position at your particular workplace and I know that this duty was not easily earned. When you see real leadership at work on any level, do your best to recognize, acknowledge and grow it, because in the absence of real leadership you jeopardize the core of the organization that will lead to mass exodus of talented people onward in search being led by leaders and/or becoming one themselves.

For every promotion of leadership you attained, make sure to continue to sharpen your leadership skills by reading books, masterminding with other leaders and attending leadership seminars and classes. After all of the reading, talking and learning, most importantly, leadership recognizes opportunity, communicate the opportunity and challenge their group to take it on. Leadership get in the heads and hearts of their team members, the ears of the customers and the eyes of the competitors. Why? In order to understand and be able to stand in front to determine, engage and influence the marketplace to follow the leader. This is what leadership in my eyes look like! Please share your thoughts and ideas about what leadership looks like to you.

Be the Leader you are Looking for!

Celebrating Life’s Moments!

How do you celebrate life’s moments? Are you going out to eat, hanging with friends or reading a good book to enjoy those moments? Everyday our lives are made up with many moments for celebrations however we may get caught up in looking for those big moments and overlooking the smaller ones. For you that is on the road to higher achievements in life, take time to really smell the roses, not just put the rose to your nose and recall what a rose smell like. Take the time to call on others that has shared a positive experience with you, it never fails, they may bring up an experience or two that you completely forgot about to give your more reason to laugh and enjoy. These are the moments where our experiences are worth celebrating! I challenge each and everyone to write down what you are giving to life and how you enjoy it. Yes we can take up much time writing or talking about the many issues and challenges going on around us and spend little time on the positive items and things worth celebrating. Just remember the next time you celebrate to invite me for reminding you!

Make today your best day!

Khan Academy – A Unique Way of Teaching!

Hello my friends,

I came across an article about Sal Khan,, in the September 6, 2010 issue of Fortune magazine titled, “Bill Gates Favorite Teacher” by David A. Kaplan. We all have heard of a guy name Bill Gates of Microsoft’ s Fame ,who is one of Khan’s academy’s biggest fan by the way he and his 11 year old son Rory soaks up the learning videos. This academy is a free one man educational platform operated in his revamped bedroom closet that he calls his office and the class lessons are doled out in brief video tutorial mini lecturers all narrated by Khan on youtube and elsewhere that is made simply with audio and an electronic blackboard filled with doodles and diagrams. 

As Mr. Kaplan states it, “Khan Academy holds the promise of a virtual school: an educational transformation that de-emphasizes classrooms, campus and administrative infrastructure, and even brand-name instructors. Sal Khan is a very intelligent man, being valedictorian of his high school graduation class, MBA from Harvard, three degrees from MIT, President of his class at MIT and also did volunteer teaching in Brookline for talented children, as well as developed software to teach children with ADHD. In his professional career life he was a former Hedge Fund manager.

Not only did I get a chance to read and research this online academy, I also got a chance to learn and relearn many subjects (math, science) and new topics about the economy. Will this type of learning replace the standard classroom learning with accredited teachers and professors? Probably not in this early stage of the game however I do feel like this is a great supplemental learning platform that is assisting students all around the world. My daughter, Lauryn, just started Kindergarten and I am making a commitment to have Khan Academy tutorials with her at least once a week starting out. With the way the internet has changed the way we conduct and transact our daily lives, I am glad that Khan had the vision to use his talent in a unique and positive way for not only our kids but our educational development also. Check it out for yourself at and lend me your comments or experiences. 

Make it HAPPEN!!!

Success in business? Focus on success in life

Hello my friends,

I invested my labor day holiday catching up on some needed reading and I came across a very interesting and intriguing article in the business section of the Dallas Morning Newspaper on September 5, 2010, written by Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard Business School professor titled “Success in business? Focus on success in life”. To paraphrase his lesson to his students, on the last day of class he asked them to come up with cogent answers to three questions: “First, how can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career? Second, how can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness? Third, how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail? Though the last question sounds lighthearted, it’s not.”  

This last question obviously got me to thinking about how can I be sure that I will stay out of jail. A few months ago, I was a victim of someone using my name on a traffic citation and it took me 2 days along with a couple of letters from my family members to prove my whereabouts in order to not have to endure a court date, a fine or possibly serve some jail time, all because of someone using my name and date of birth and the officer not performing due diligence on his part. Totally innocent and if not for a very timely fax letter from an attorney that wanted to represent me in court before I knew anything about this citation, this situation could have taken a completely different direction. With mistaken identity, identity theft and other fraud type of activity going on, it’s a 24/7 job to make sure that you are on top of your own business. 

Regarding the article, Clayton (the author) goes on to say that two of the 32 people in his Rhodes scholar class spent time in jail. According to Clayton, “these guys were good guys, but something in their lives sent them off in the wrong direction.”  He also made note of what he notices of his HBS classmates, that many come to the reunions unhappy, divorced and alienated from their children.  There is a guarantee that not a single one of them graduated with the deliberate strategy of getting divorced and raising children who would become estranged to them. What happened? “They didn’t keep the purpose of their lives front and center as they decided how to spend their time, talents and energy.”

According to Clayton, here are the key points to take from this article that will allow you to start and maintain your success. “Number 1, is to create a strategy of having a clear purpose for your life that encompasses familyand career goals. The choice and successful pursuit of a profession is but one tool for achieving purpose. But without a purpose, life can become hollow. Number 2, is you’ve got to define for yourself what you stand for and draw the line in a safe place. When we have the option to choose between right and wrong, many times we often employ the marginal cost doctrine in our personal lives; A voice in our head says: Look, I know that as a general  rule, most people shouldn’t do this but in this particular extenuating circumstance, just this once, it’s OK. Number 3, is to understand the value of humility. He asked students to describe the most humble person they knew. One characteristic of these humble people stood out: They had a high level of self-esteem. They knew who they were and they felt good about who they were. It was also decided that humility was defined not by self-deprecating behavior or attitudes, but by the esteem with which you regard others. Good behavior flows naturally from that kind of humility. Number 4 is having the right yardstick (Very important). This past year Clayton was diagnosed with cancer and thankfully his life has been spared. He learned a very insightful lesson regarding his life when it comes to career and your being. His ideas has generated enormous revenues for companies that uses his research but with being confronted with the disease, it was interesting to see how unimportant that was to him. He concluded that the metric by which GOD will assess our lives isn’t dollars, but the individuals whose lives you have touched.”

He ends this article with this thought; “think about the metric by which your life will be judged and make a resolution to live every day so that in the end, your life will be judged a success.” Please lend me your thoughts and comments regarding this article and your life and success experiences.

Be Richly Blessed!