The Importance of Perception

Importance of Perception - 1“It is more important to the rest of the world that your American president appear or be or be perceived to be a leader than for him to actually be a leader.”

This was a statement made by some colleagues at dinner the other night. I have been in Spain for most of this past week on a business trip. And all of my colleagues are not from the United States. One was from New Zealand, one was from Belgium, one was from the U.K., and the folks we were meeting were all from Spain. So, I tried to keep my mouth shut as much as possible lest I create an inter nation incident!

But I am struck by this question: What are the implications of this kind of thinking?

This was a painful thought for me to consider and it has been on my mind since the moment that one of them said it to me.

What does that mean about leadership?  Is that a statement about political leadership in particular? Is any part of that sentiment true?  What about your leadership role? Continue reading “The Importance of Perception”

Manic Monday: Evernote

Manic - Evernote - 1On of the things that is becoming more and more clear to me as I get busier and busier with my “day job” and the growth of Leadership Voices is the need to become more and more organized. I have been a fan and an aficionado of organizational tools for my entire adult life. And great organizational ability is needed for great leadership.

I was an ADD/ADHD kid. When I was in school we didn’t get medication for ADHD, we got sent to the principals office and paddled. So, I learned at a very early age to curb the “H” piece of that little 4 letter acronym. But the “AD” piece and the inability to focus on tasks in an orderly and organized fashion has plagued me my entire life. You may have seen a photo snapped of me recently working at my desk at home. It was fairly accurate of the condition of my desk and the surrounding work area. And it has caused me to reconsider and reevaluate my organizational prowess.Manic - Evernote - 2

I will never be the neat freak and have a spotless desk with every scrap of paper tucked away some pale neatly at the end of each day. But that doesn’t mean that I cannot be an organized person. It just takes more effort for me than for most.

The key for me has always been “writing it down”. Continue reading “Manic Monday: Evernote”

Just What is Coaching Anyway?

Coach DeChellisOne of the great things about being involved in leadership development and coaching is the opportunity to be constantly learning and developing your own skills in these areas. They say that you teach that which you need to learn the most. Although I don’t subscribe to that theory, there is a thread running through it that resonates within me because of the learning that often goes along with the teaching.

If you’re like most of us, you have probably noticed the buzz word “Coaching” being thrown around a lot in the corporate world. I am a leadership and life coach. But what does it actually mean? Sometimes when dealing with abstract concepts it is easier to define it by describing what it is not.

Coaching is not leading. Leadership Voices, LLC is all about leadership and about the many ways that leadership is defined and employed. And great leaders will often provide guidelines and advice on how to succeed in certain areas. Typically they will be seeking to help you reach a certain goal, or they wish to rally you and your colleagues to reach this shared goal. Great leaders will often also be great coaches; however it is still important to understand the differences in the conversations with them.

What is coaching - 2Coaching is not mentoring. If you’ve ever been a coach or have been coached, and the conversation has steered towards advice on technical or job specific concepts, then you aren’t being coached – you are being mentored. Mentoring is defined as, “A situation where a senior or more experienced individual is assigned to act as an advisor, counselor or guide’’ (Business Directory, 2014). Yes, mentoring is crucial in any role, however it is equally as important to understand what mentoring is and why it is being done. Perhaps I will tackle that concept in my next article on this topic that is intimately related.

Coaching is not managing. If your manager provides a coaching session for you, and gives you advice on ways to perform your role in a greater capacity, gives you ideas on how to make your sales quota, or tells you how to achieve KPIs, then you are being managed. And if your manager does this with you frequently and an in a positive way, then you have a great manager. However, a great manager is not necessarily a great coach. It’s not that they are bad at what they are doing – quite the opposite. It’s just that they are doing what they are employed to do – manage their team members and ensure that they deliver on the targets set by their manager.

So, what is coaching? Continue reading “Just What is Coaching Anyway?”

Is it really leadership if I don’t know I am doing it?

Is it really leadership if I don't know - 1Is it really leading if I don’t know it is happening?  That is the question that I have begun pondering in the last few days.

For those of you that participated in the Seriously, why do we lead? discussion, I say thanks.  But one of the threads that I seemed to see in the comments on the site and those that happened in facebook and other social medial caused me to ask the fundamental question; “Is it leadership if I am not aware of it or it is happening without my direct knowledge and awareness?”  In other words, must there be intentionality to leadership?

I don’t think that I have time to flesh this thought and idea out fully at this time.  So, on this early Monday morning in June I will just put some questions out there and ask you for some feedback and comments.

  1. Can we be leaders and be unaware of or leadership role?  And if so, what would that look like? Continue reading “Is it really leadership if I don’t know I am doing it?”

The Importance of Order

imageI was reminded again last night about the importance of order and decluttering in the life of a leader.  Clutter and the lack of order steals our attention and robs from us the ability to focus on the tasks that we need to accomplish.

That was one of the points in Rodney Mills‘ Personal Mastery Plan Workshop that I attended last night.  It was an awesome experience and it has caused me to re-examine some aspects of my life that I have not examined in quite some time.

imageLate last evening following the workshop, my daughter snapped a photo of me in my little home office and it has caused me to think and schedule some time to declutter my workspace at home.

Creativity and inspiration flow better for me when I have an open and clear work environment.  The more papers and old magazines and cables and chargers that are surrounding me, the harder it is for me to write and think.

So, what is the leadership point? Continue reading “The Importance of Order”

Waiting on the World to Change

Waiting on the World to Change - 1Well, I can honestly say that I don’t think I have ever heard a John Mayer song sung in church before the pastor got up to preach. Tomorrow, I won’t be able to make that statement. The song immediately preceding the message was “Waiting on the World to Change”. And many of you will instantly recall the lyrics.

I will forego evaluating the use of John Mayer music in a worship setting. I will only say that the band in church this morning did an excellent job with the song and played it with heart, soul, and passion.

This song is often misunderstood. Do a little internet research on the song and you will quickly see that it has folks who can be fairly polarized in their views on whether it is a statement, an expectation or a parody. Mayer himself has been somewhat elusive on the meaning behind the lyrics.  That’s some clever writing and marketing right there.

Waiting on the World to Change - 2One stanza says this:

It’s not that we don’t care
We just know that the fight ain’t fair
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

So what is my point and what is the relevance to Leadership Voices? Continue reading “Waiting on the World to Change”