Can you help me?

Can you help me - 1“Can you help me?”

Those are not words that flow easily from our mouths as leaders.  But maybe they should be.

I recently took an international business trip.  It involved 6 flights, 4 trams, 4 shuttle busses and 2 taxi cabs in order to get to where we needed to be.  I have taken many international flights in my line of work.  And I am accustomed to many of the rigors of travel.  But, for the first time in 13 years of international business travel, I had to ask for help to get from one gate to the next to make my final connecting flight on the way home.

Can you help me - 2I arrived at Liberty in Newark, NJ late last Thursday afternoon and by the time I cleared customs and boarded the tram and got to my gate at the next terminal they were already boarding the flight.  Imagine my surprise to see a nearly empty gate.  What I discovered at the gate was that United had decided to change the departure gate to the other side of the terminal.  My gate was no longer Gate 125.  It was Gate 75.  I was not going to make it.

But at my age and after already flying for almost 10 hours I made the tactical decision to seek assistance in reaching my goal.  My goal was to get home and see my family.  And I did not have enough strength to get from Gate 125 to 75 in time to make my flight.  So I approached the counter and requested one of those electric carts that you see in airports.  You know, the ones that annoy you as you are trying to walk to your gate! Continue reading “Can you help me?”

Throwback Thursday: Constantine

Constantine - 1Constantine the Great: (February 27, 272 – May 22, 337), was also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine.  He was the 57th Roman Emperor and reigned as Emperor from 306 to 337. Constantine was the son of Flavius Valerius Constantius, a Roman army officer, and his consort Helena. His father became Caesar, the deputy emperor in the west in 293. Constantine was sent to eastern portion of the empire where he succeeded militarily and rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under several. In 305, his father, Constantius was raised to the rank of Augustus, the senior western emperor and Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in what is now the British Isles.

He was acclaimed as emperor by the army after his father’s death in 306, Constantine emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against several other emperors to become sole ruler of both the western and eastern empire in 324.

Constantine - 2As emperor, Constantine enacted many political, financial, social, and military reforms that strengthened the empire.

  • The government was restructured and civil and military authority separated which is key separation of powers that has been imitated in many political and governmental systems such as our own American system of government. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Constantine”

Wit & Wisdom from Dwight Eisenhower

“You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that’s assault, not leadership.”
Dwight Eisenhower

W&W - Eisenhower - 1

We have all probably suffered under the kind of leadership that “Dairyman / Fireman / Journalist / General / President” Dwight D. Eisenhower mentions in one of his famous quotes on leadership.  Eisenhower lived a varied and charmed life.  It was not an easy life and he knew tragedy and death as a child and again as a young father.  But he persevered and became one of the most beloved presidents that our nation has ever known.  He was from humble beginnings in Denison, TX and went on to West Point and then went on to become one of the last 5-Star Generals that our military has produced.

He was a man who knew a little about leadership and physical assault.  He was acquainted with both by profession and experience.  But through it all he determined that leadership was not necessarily manifested through physical prowess.

In this quote he does not tell us exactly how he defines leadership.  So, I will ask you today.  How do you define leadership?  What exemplifies leadership to you?

Photo credit: cliff1066™ / Foter / (CC BY 2.0)
Photo credit: The National Archives UK / Foter / No known copyright restrictions

Does Your Organization Have A Leadership Culture?

A Leadership Culture - 1The purpose of leadership in any organization is to advance the mission, vision, scope, or return on an investment.  It is the strong leaders in an organization who can take your mission farther, faster than trying to do it alone.  Unfortunately, some organizations or senior managers (leaders) do not foster a leadership culture.

When this takes place, everyone and everything loses.  The organization loses.  The senior manager loses.  The community loses.  The investors lose.  People lose.  Everyone and everything loses.

There are many reasons for this.  And I will not take time to deal with them here.  But fear plays a huge role.  Fear that they will get cast aside by the new leaders.  Fear that they will not be able to compete against a younger and often a more energetic crowd.

But a leadership culture works both ways.  Older leaders mentoring young leaders.  And young leaders honoring and respecting older leaders who have paved the way to make their success possible.

The following are 10 Signs Your Organization Does Not Have A Strong Leadership Culture:

  1. Senior managers do not prioritize building relationships with management and supervisors down the line.
  2. Junior or younger leaders are often ignored.  Their contribution is not appreciated.  They are not consulted prior to key decisions or given a seat at the table when key decisions are made.
  3. The leadership level becomes a closed group or an exclusive “club”. Continue reading “Does Your Organization Have A Leadership Culture?”