How to Choose a Coach? 

How to Chose a Coach

By now you may be beginning to see the value of having a leadership coach who will work with you and guide you along the journey of life. But, how do you choose a coach? What are the criteria that you should consider?

Unfortunately, selecting the right leadership coach is often a decision that is made based on a flawed set of criteria.

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Let me just say quickly, in this article, I am going to be dealing with non-technical criteria. Certifications, degrees, and experiences are all technical criteria when it comes to what may make a good coach. I want to focus today on less technical selection criteria.

So, what is the selection criteria? Continue reading “How to Choose a Coach? “

Are You a Courageous Leader? 

Are You a Courageous Leader?

If you were to list the top adjectives that best describe a leader that is worthy of following, what words would be on that list?

For many of us, words like “strong, determined, confident, tough, and courageous” would probably be near the top of each of our lists, don’t you think? Most of us like our leaders to be reflective of those adjectives. Everyone loves a heroic character.  It doesn’t have to always end in “success” for us to be drawn to a leader. Sometimes they just have to have that Winston Churchill “Never give up!” spirit for us to find them worthy to follow.

Now consider this as a contrast.

When you list adjectives that describe a highly functioning and successful team, what words would be on that list? Continue reading “Are You a Courageous Leader? “

Where Do Leaders Go For Help?

Where Does A Leaders Go For Help?

Even leaders need help. Or, maybe I should say, “Especially leaders need help.” I am not sure if that is the right way to say that grammatically, but I think you get my point.

I have been doing leadership coaching, working with non-profit boards, and doing one-on-one coaching for many years. Several years ago I founded Leadership Voices, a collaborative site for all kinds of leaders. Over the last few years, we have grown this community from nothing to more than 2500 “followers.”

Resting on current achievements has never been a part of my operating procedures. And recently I began to feel a real need to reach out to get some help and advice. But, just where does a leader go for help? That is the question facing me and probably many of you as well. Who can I turn to for help and advice on what I am doing wrong and what I am doing right?

So, here is what I did. Continue reading “Where Do Leaders Go For Help?”

Leadership Capital – Part 3 

Leadership Capital - Part 3

In my first article on this topic, I discussed just what is “Leadership Capital” and what are the components that make it up. And in the second, I discussed how we accumulate and increase our supply. In the final installment, we will take a look at spending that capital – and spending it wisely.

As hard as it is to come by, it certainly seems to be flowing out at a faster pace than it does flowing into our leadership “account.”  Yet, I finished my last article urging you to spread it around as a means of accumulating more.

Where Do I Spend My Leadership Capital?

Continue reading “Leadership Capital – Part 3 “

Leadership Capital – Part 2 

Leadership Capital - Part 2

In my first article on this topic, I discussed just what is “Leadership Capital” and what are the components that make it up. So, if we have a good understanding of what it is, let’s move on to see how we gain more of it.

This much I know to be true. It is earned in small amounts and often over long periods of time. Thus, you have the first half of my quote – “ . . . earned in pennies . . .

What Steps Can I Take to Build My Leadership Capital?

Be Approachable — Several years ago I wrote an article that reminds us that leaders are accessible and not aloof. Accessible and approachable are similar enough that for my purposes I am considering them synonymous. Leadership capital is earned by Continue reading “Leadership Capital – Part 2 “

Leadership Capital – Part 1 

Leadership Capital - Part 1

How do you measure leadership acumen? How is it measured as it gained? How is it measured as it is expended?  Is there a subjective scale or is there an objective scale? And if so, what would be the markings or gradations?

These are the questions that I am grappling with today as I contemplate a variation on a quote that I have come up with in the last few days.

“Leadership capital is earned in pennies and spent in pounds.”

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OK, I am not British and I realize that our currency is dollars. However, the point of the quote is that leadership capital is “earned” in small increments and it is often expended in larger denominations.

But before we can really talk about how it is gained or how it is spent, we need to get a handle on just what is “leadership capital?” Continue reading “Leadership Capital – Part 1 “

Leadership That Calms

Leadership That Calms

My TimeHop today reminded me of a quote three years ago from George Will that compared Ronald Reagan to a ship captain. George Will said, He calmed the passengers – and the sea. On top of that, my Sunday School lesson that I taught over the weekend was about the words of Jesus Christ to his Disciples as he walked to them on the water — Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.

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All of that added up tells me that I need to be thinking about leaders and calmness in difficult situations.

Leaders Are Calm in Difficult Situations

Calmness and composure are synonymous to me in this context. The composure of a leader is reflected in their body language, attitude, body language, vocal tone, vocal volume, and overall presence.   In today’s business environment, it is clear that leadership is not only about elevating the performance, aptitude, and development of our teams – it is also about the environment that we create within our organizations.  Continue reading “Leadership That Calms”

Leaders vs. Managers

Leaders vs. Managers-2

Like most young people entering the workforce in the early 1980s, I had great aspirations. I aspired to be a big-time manager for a major corporation. I knew I was not CEO material. But, I wanted to be a manager. And over the next 15 years I achieved that. At one point, I had almost 100 people reporting to me.

Then, something inside of me began to change. I began to have other aspirations. I yearned to lead and not just manage.

I have nothing disparaging to say about managers and management. Many writers and practitioners of leadership development have very little that is positive to say about managers. Managers are vital to the overall success of an organization. We need managers. Well, we need good managers. But for purposes of today’s article, I want to draw some distinctions between leaders and managers.

Here Are Three Key Differences

Continue reading “Leaders vs. Managers”