Friday, December 31, 2010

Leading the Pack

Leaders stay a little more progressive. 

The do so by:
Being a little more innovative.  A little more creative.
By taking that extra step.
Spending a little more effort.
Getting a little more accomplished.
Getting a few more results.

However, leaders can't run too far ahead of the pack without bringing others with them.  They need support from others to be successful themselves.  Leaders stay ahead but make sure others are with them. 

It is a mistake to look too far ahead.  Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.
Winston Churchill

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Keep Moving Forward

Leaders are always going forward making progress in some fashion.  Sometimes in tiny steps, but often in quantum leaps.

A leader's group is the first to adopt new ideas, first to try new technologies, and first in efficiency and productivity.  They pay attention to percentage points of increase and decrease.  They pay attention to the score.

True leaders make things happen.

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
Arthur Godfrey

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ask Yourself Big Questions

I recently read this article & thought it to be timely with the New Year almost upon us. Take heed of the questions proffered & sincerely contemplate where you are and where you want to truly be.

Ask Yourself Big Questions
By Tom Stevens (c)2007

Consider the two following questions.
What are the goals for my business this year?
What would the world miss if my business didn’t exist?
Both are important, but for very different reasons – and they will impact your thinking in very different ways.

For most questions, value is derived primarily from arriving at an answer. The first question above is useful because its answer holds valuable information. Once you arrive at the answer, you are done. You proceed by taking action on the information, in the current example by ensuring that your activities and plans align with your goals.

How the second question differs is that great value is contained in what is NOT answered. While it is obvious you get nowhere without some coherent answer for this type of question, you are best served by keeping your answer always open, a work in progress. It is the unanswered part that keeps your mind searching, giving you potential for deeper insight.

I refer to these types of questions as BIG questions. Big questions, by their nature, provoke us into thinking in new ways. Big questions take us into the heart of what really matters. Keeping a big question in front of you for an extended period of time keeps your subconscious and well as conscious mind digging for insight.

We rely on questions of the first type for everyday effectiveness in our work. What are our goals and objectives? Did we generate sufficient revenue? What does the customer want? Were deliveries made on time?

Questions of the second type, big questions, help us arrive at what differentiates our organization from our competitors, what we are passionate about, what makes our effort worthwhile.

The big question above is a variant of the ‘George Bailey question’ (as in the movie, It’s A Wonderful Life). A personal version would be, “what would the world miss if you didn’t exist?”

Below are seven other big questions to ponder. Some you have likely seen before, some not, but each has the potential to stimulate important insight.

If you started from scratch, would you do what you now do? If not, what are you going to do about it?
What would make you excited – joyful, exuberant, energized – to get up each morning?
If you were guaranteed success, what would you do?
What are your fears? What would you do if you were not afraid?
What is the experience you want from life? What is the experience you want other people to have of you? (Don’t forget, what experience does your business give your customers?)
How do you want to be remembered? What are you doing to make that happen?
What is the gift you bring to the world? What gift does the world bring you?

Putting big questions to work for you is perhaps best explained by further questions. What question most resonates with you, gives you pause to think? What would happen if you asked yourself that question each morning for the next 90 days?

Or better said by the poet Rilke, “Live the questions now.”
* * *

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


One Fortune 500 executive told his people, "You may do anything you see me doing."

People will emulate, consciously or subconsciously, their leaders, bosses, and managers.  If you are forward-thinking, innovative, and progressive, then your team or department will move consistently forward.

True leaders are also willing to roll up their shirt sleeves and do whatever is necessary to make a project succeed.  Their commitment and dedication in such a situation sets the example for all of their people.

True leaders are excellent role models.

The example of good men is visible philosophy.
English Proverb

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Having Vision

To be able to visualize the completed project or task, the final goal and all of its rewards and consequences, is the ultimate test for true leaders.

In addition to visualizing "the dream," they must also be able to visualize each task that must be completed, and the integration of those tasks to successfully complete the project.  They must also be able to effectively communicate this vision to the group.

To true leaders, vision defines the final goal, and action is the path that leads to the vision.

We have always help to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Friday, December 03, 2010


When in a position of leadership, everything that occurs in your responsibility, even the errors.

Rather than spending effort in placing the blame on others, your job is to mitigate the damage, and to learn from the mistakes, take steps necessary to solve the issue, and make sure the problem does not recur in the future.

The buck stops here!
Harry S. Truman