The Importance of Vision

The Importance of

We have already come to the end of the first month of the year 2016. I cannot believe how swiftly this year is progressing. Many of you made resolutions. Did you write them down? They are just ideas until you write them down. They only become real goals when you write them and commit them to paper.

May of you have a vision in your head about how 2016 would look by the time that 2017 would be knocking on the door. Having a clear vision of what or where you want to be is vitally important from a leadership perspective. But let me ask you this:

How will you make your vision a reality?

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Are You Emotionally Elite?

Emotionally Elite

Emotional Intelligence coaching has played a very significant role in my overall leadership development process. I am always looking for new information and new research in this area. Often, I get introduced to new words and terminology. Yesterday, I came across a new phrase — emotionally elite.

There is much more to be learned about emotionally elite leaders. Unfortunately, the word “elite” has some negative connotations. For many of us, this goes against our nature. We are not comfortable referring to ourselves as elite. Nevertheless, consider the word “elite” devoid of the braggadocios or the conceited way that we often see it used.

So, what does it mean to be “emotionally elite”?

After doing some research online and in some academic circles, I can report to you that there is still not a lot of material available with keywords “emotional” and “elite” used in combination. And some of the links that I followed took me to a well disguised online dating site. (Unfortunately, now some 39-year-old woman from the Ukraine wants to be my “friend”.) So, I need to be a little more careful in my research!

What are some common characteristics of emotionally elite leaders? Consider these five characteristics of those who are emotionally elite. Continue reading “Are You Emotionally Elite?”

Older and Wiser

Older & Wiser

I remember when my father-in-law was still alive. His name was John. But he was known to us as “Grandaddy”. He was a great man. He was a patient man. He was a successful man. And he was a smart man. No. Better yet, he was a wise man.

Only recently have I had the opportunity to live anywhere close to where my own actual father lives. And yet, we have lived close to my father-in- law for many years, so I have often gone to my father-in-law with questions that a young husband or a young father would normally take to his own father. John was older. John was wiser. — I think those two things just might go hand-in-hand.

And then this happened. I noticed several years ago that some younger men were starting to come to me for advice from time to time. Some of them just wanted to bounce their ideas off of someone. It sort of just began happening over time. I didn’t seek it out. It just started occurring. That was a bit of a troubling realization!
Then it hit me. They were looking to ME for advice. They were looking to ME for wisdom. How did that happen? I don’t feel qualified. And I don’t feel worthy. Am I getting old? Am I getting wiser?

Then, I had a thought. I wonder how Grandaddy must have felt when I used to go to him for advice?

What is the Leadership Lesson from this reminiscing?

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Three Things I Learned in the Last 24 Hours

The Last 24 Hours

It was 3:30 am and I finally came to the conclusion that I needed some medical attention. Why that realization came to me at that time of morning is simply because I could no longer ignore an issue. So, it was off to the hospital emergency room and all the fun that that little trip entails.

So, what is the Leadership Lesson in the last 24 hours?

I think that there are at least three things that I learned from this experience. And they are as simple as they are obvious. But they have direct implications to leadership. And here they are: Continue reading “Three Things I Learned in the Last 24 Hours”

Build Another Follower in 2016

Resolution #4

Who knows if this pithy little saying is really attributable to any one person. The first time I came across it was many years ago and it was attributed as “an ancient Chinese proverb.” Maybe it is ancient, maybe it is not. But it is certainly true. And here it is:

“A man that thinks he leads, yet has no followers, is really only taking a walk.”

How many are there who think they are leaders when they are really just out for a walk?

Resolve This Year to Build Another Follower 

This is one of the true marks of your leadership abilities. Do you have followers? If you do, resolve this year to increase your number of followers. Let’s not build our number of followers for the sake of a big number. It is infinitely more important to build quality followers who are passionate about where you are leading. But it is unavoidable to consider the impact that we are having and the number of followers is one of the metrics that we would want to use to gauge our effectiveness and our reach.

Why do I need followers in the first place? 

Perhaps that is the wrong question. Perhaps the question is what do I do with the followers that we already have? I am not sure that a great leader goes out to amass followers. At least not a leader that I want to follow. I think the truly great leaders attract followers organically. We are drawn to these kinds of leaders through their charisma or their message. Following this line of thought reminds me of another saying that I find apropos. The one who would aspire to be the President of the United States is probably not worthy of the office. I know that is an overly simplistic statement. But, given the election cycle in which we find ourselves, the parallel is painfully obvious.

What should I do?

Continue reading “Build Another Follower in 2016”

Be a Better Follower in 2016

Resolution #2

Well, here is part 2 of this quick 4 part series on resolutions that every leader should make as they start the new year. On Monday, I dealt with the importance of being a better leader. And I included some specific resources that will help you along he way.

Now it is time to consider the next step in the 4 part process.

Resolve This Year To Be A Better Follower 

This one is not so obvious. And this one is one that is also considered to be a sign of weakness by some leaders. Those leaders are often more about power and control and less about true leadership. And to them, anything that resembles being a follower makes them feel somehow weaker as a leader. Sadly, they are seriously mistaken.

Every great leader is not a great leader alone. Every great leader has someone that they are following. They look up to someone, they admire someone, they are imitating someone, or they are in some form of mentoring relationship with someone else. These leaders recognize the importance of having someone with experience and in whom they have great faith speak truth into their lives and hold them accountable for their actions that they take. Never allow yourself to begin to think that you are beyond the need to be a follower.

So, resolve this year to become a better follower. This sends a very strong signal to our followers regarding how important being a follower is to our own ability to lead, and by association, how important it is to their ability to lead.

Being a follower is often misunderstood. But being a follower is a noble and necessary aspect of our social and family culture. The truth is that we are all followers in some form or fashion. In fact, not everyone is a leader. But everyone is a follower of someone or something. Even it is only following your own destructive desires.

So, how do we become better followers in 2016?

Continue reading “Be a Better Follower in 2016”

Be a Better Leader in 2016 


In my first post for the new year, I provided a short list of 4 resolutions that leaders should make as they start out in 2016. The list was as succinct as it was short.

As a reminder, here are the 4 resolutions that I think every leader should make for this year:

  1. Resolve to be a better leader
  2. Resolve to be a better follower
  3. Resolve to build another leader
  4. Resolve to build another follower

I provided a very brief description of what each resolution would mean and how it might manifest itself in our lives. But each resolution could use a little more “meat on the bones” don’t you think? If you agree, then let me start with the first resolution and let me expand a little or provide some greater context and resources.

Resolve This Year To Be A Better Leader

As I noted in my first post, this one is exceedingly obvious. Yet it is surprising how many leaders are not more intentional about developing their leadership skills. As leaders, this must be a central focus for us.

Stephen Covey made the theme of this resolution one of his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It is embodied in number seven when he reminds us of the importance of sharpening our saw. Covey says that we are to “Seek continuous improvement and renewal professionally and personally.”

As leaders, we often are so focused on developing those around us that we end up with little energy and drive to improve our own skill sets. Although we would like to think that neglecting to sharpen our saw will leave our saw still sharp enough to get the job done. But logic suggests that for Covey to make this a key principle, there must be some significant dulling and degradation done to our tools as we employ them day to day. Continue reading “Be a Better Leader in 2016 “

Leaders and Resolutions


Tis the season for many things. Not the least of which is making New Year’s Resolutions. Each of us should consider making some resolutions. And as leaders, here are a few that I think you should consider putting on your list.

Resolve This Year To Be A Better Leader — This one is exceedingly obvious. Yet it is surprising how many leaders are not intentional about developing their leadership skills. So, resolve this year to find some way to increase your leadership skills and abilities. There are so many resources available to help us develop as leaders. Several resources jump to the forefront of my mind at the very thought of leadership development. I am a very big fan of Leadercast and I have been a co-sponsor of one of the local simulcasts here in the Houston area. There are also many books on leadership that can be obtained via Kindle at much lower costs rather than in hard copy. Nearly all of my books are in some eReader format. Just reach out to me if you are looking for resources and I can help you identify some. Continue reading “Leaders and Resolutions”