Oct 21 2012

The 3rd of 10 Things Nobody Tells Entrepreneurs

LEADERSHIP STARTS

                

WITHOUT FOLLOWERS

                                                         

Now what exactly do I mean by such an apparent contradiction? Answer: That leadership begins (and thrives) with attitude. “Yeah, Hal, right! Sounds great, but what kind of attitude and HOW does someone get it? Like it falls from the sky, or what?” Good questions. No it doesn’t “fall from the sky,” but it does begin at the beginning.

Leadership begins at the beginning, without a following, without an entourage, without an expedition, without a master plan, without a goal line, and without intentions of superiority or competitiveness. Effective leadership starts simply, with a mindset that exudes integrity at every turn in the road.

Leadership starts with an attitude that explodes in words and actions which set examples. Exemplary words and actions– by their very nature, by their very implementation– attract the attentions and admiration of others. True leadership attitudes ignite, engage, motivate, and sustain without ever having to ask others to roll up their sleeves and dig in to work alongside you. When people step it up and rise to the occasion, others rise as well to follow.

A TRUE LEADER DOESN’T START OUT

WITH A GOAL TO BECOME A LEADER.

                                  

A true leader simply demonstrates the qualities of behavior that set her or him apart from the pack, but this is accomplished by taking action, not by talking about taking action, or by aiming to play a leadership role.

Neither do great presentation or oratory skills make a great leader. Walk the walk beats talk the talk. Track-records speak louder than words. Show me what you’ve done and show me how to do it are far more important follower requests than tell me how great you are.

Effective leaders are great activists who consistently strive to teach and motivate by quietly doing. He or she is a great innovator, and a great solutions creator who takes entrepreneurial pursuits to completion, who doesn’t stop short with an idea, and who thrives on the sense of accomplishment that accompanies each step of bringing an idea to fruition.

Leaders move constantly forward. They turn over every stone and readily adjust themselves, their approaches, and the processes they use along the way, unafraid of taking action without having all the information.

Focusing on the finish line is not leadership. Focusing on each step, as the fortune cookie might say, prevents one from falling on one’s face, and almost always wins the race. 

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Hal@TheWriterWorks.com     Open Minds Open Doors

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Sep 26 2011

Your Balancing Act

Operating

                        

a small business in 

                                         

times of personal trouble…

                                                              

 

The most frequent consulting calls I get are from business owners who are experiencing personal emotional trauma, and who are trying to either ignore or bull their way through the upsets without acknowledging them.

Many talk and act as if they’re sizing up my marketing experience, but what they really want to know is if I can help them personally.

They throw little test questions out: “Uh, have you ever worked with partners who don’t always get along?” or “Have you had to deal with older family members who started a business, then turned it over to younger relatives?” or “How would you increase sales in a business where the boss’s wife had alcohol or drug problems?”

Some, of course, cut right to the chase: “I just got out of rehab and still have panic attacks, but nobody else can run the business; what can you do to help?” or “My partner is the money behind this business, and he’s an idiot and we’re on the verge of breaking up; can you help pick up our sales while we divorce?”

I have a little reminder note pasted on my workstation:  Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” You may have to become as old as I am to really appreciate the truth of this, but if you ARE less than 150, I can assure you that truer words were never spoken.

And there’s no discrimination that disallows business owners. We all carry our own burdens through life. How we strike a balance with the businesses we run makes the difference between success and failure. Dealing effectively with the whole mess, time after time, depends on how effectively we balance our own emotions.

Dismissing, or disregarding the reality of what we face accomplishes nothing, and often makes things worse. Jumping headlong into upsets is a get-screwed-up-quick formula that can wreak havoc on both the business and your personal life. Balance means holding the ship steady through stormy weather regardless of preferences.

In other words, this isn’t football,

and acting headstrong can get

 us sacked on the one-yard line 

                                                    

We need to be able to put aside our emotional attachments; we need to be able to let go of some of the ties that bind. We need to accept that we don’t always have all the answers and be willing to go with the flow when problems overwhelm us. Can it be God or an inner spirit challenging us to rise to the occasion? Is it a test of your mettle?

“If you can get through this, you can get through anything,” my wise old uncle used to say, but he never mentioned that there would be a least hundreds of “this” times.

Life is about challenge. So is entrepreneurship. Just make sure you keep your personal life in balance with your family and those around you. If you stand tall in troubled waters, the business will heal itself. Where to start? Try some deep breathing for openers, and then begin to sort out and prioritize before you take action.   

 

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Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

Open Minds Open Doors

Many thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Feb 05 2011

Leadership Bias? F’getaboudit!

Can I forget everything

                        

I know up until now

                                           

. . . right now?

 

This is the question we must ask ourselves, and answer, if we are to thrive in leadership roles with our businesses and the communities we serve and that support us.

It is not a suggestion to wipe out memory banks or get a lobotomy, or set off toward early senility. It means: Can you let go of what you know long enough to shed some new light on the issue or person or group involved?

Can you let go of all the preconceived notions you have about someone or some group (or idea), give the benefit of doubt, put aside your beliefs, suspend your biases and prejudices, be truly non-judgemental, and see and hear the next three individuals or groups you encounter (or the next three times you examine the idea on the table) as if it were the very first time you ever met?

                                                           

Can you forget, in other words, everything you know about her/him/they/it from past experience?

                                                             

Why? Because you’ll see that person or group or concept in a revealing new light and he/she/they will see you with a fresh outlook too! That happening alone will prompt new levels of receptivity and innovative thinking

When you can put the mental and emotional baggage of the past aside, and look at some one or some group with new eyes, you are in effect removing barricades to productivity. By initiating this way of thinking, you help others (and yourself) to rise to the occasion of dealing most effectively with the task at hand.

Every decision to pursue an intense focus on the present moment is typically met with resistance from those parts of your brain that seek to drive past and future issues to the foreground. Trying to disregard past associations, relationships, experiences, or what you know or think you know about the individual(s) you are meeting or conferencing or communicating with can be exhausting.

If you choose for it to be exhausting.

When you decide, for example, that it can really be simple and invigorating and worth it to turn around an historically difficult partner, customer, client, investor, key employee, or whomever, your odds are substantially increased when you can wipe the slate clean.

By responding only to what is communicated –and not to prior conclusions, reputations, beliefs and behaviors you have attached to the source– you establish a new ground for new possibilities to surface. Great leaders do this routinely. You can too. It may take a few tries, but three times on the runway will serve you well as preparation for takeoff. Have a nice flight!

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www.TheWriterWorks.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”   [Thomas Jefferson]

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Sep 01 2010

Teenage Trooper

“BARNEGAT GIRL”

10/15/97 – 9/1/10   R.I.P.

 

Barnegat Girl 10/15/97-9/1/10 R.I.P.
“The BEST Golden Retriever Girl In The Whole World”
                                              

We are in deep sadness for having lost a dear family member and great friend and companion today.

It’s never a good time for letting go. This is especially true for the one who’s been the loyalest, sweetest, and most fun-loving guardian of our lives for 13 years. But today, Barnegat was called to a higher place. Her body simply couldn’t survive her permanent puppy mindset any longer.

She was a trooper through and through. No animal on earth could possibly have had more heart than Barnegat Girl. She protected. She inspired. She mended fences. She stood tall in troubled waters. Her smile was real and contagious.

She loved the cold weather and making “dog-angel” imprints in the snow. When we brought her home, it was in one hand; she was the size of a football. Today, as she left us, her 95 pounds of upbeat spirit will live on.

Barnegat had taken us through three moves to three different homes in two different states and she outlived two wonderful male cocker spaniels “Sam” and “Tuckerton” who each thought she was their big sister.

Barnegat loved chasing baseballs and tennis balls and swimming in the ocean –even in the winter ice and snow.

She bounded at the slightest beckoning. And would rise to any occasion regardless of the circumstances.

The proof of her disposition was proven by hundreds of tugging, pulling children over the years that she would reward with licks again and again. 

Her travels took her to the mountains and the ocean coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and the mountains of Vermont, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, plus the coast and farmlands of Delaware . . . and –of course– untold lakes, rivers, streams, lagoons, and creeks all along the way. 

Yes, she was a “privileged child,” but never failed to earn her keep, or be loving and attentive to all who entered her life.

God Bless You, Barnegat Girl, and thank you for 13 years of unsolicited love and trust and the kind of friendship that all on Earth should strive to equal.

It’s lonesome under my desk . . . but YOU, sweet girl, will never be forgotten.    

 

 www.TWWsells.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 
Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Nov 22 2009

BREEDING RESPONSIBILITY…

“It’s not MY job!”

                                                                           

     Ever heard this before? Or is it just my imagination? Odds are someone in your business either says something like this, or has the underlying attitude but doesn’t express it openly.

     The person who rejects  awareness, spontaneity and (friendship / partner / spousal) intimacy also rejects the responsibility for shaping her or his own life. She or he is someone who thinks of him or herself as either lucky or unlucky, assuming without question that it’s meant to be and: can’t or shouldn’t be changed, or that only ______ can change it.

 Sound familiar? This is the same individual who

     routinely proclaims (or thinks): “It’s not MY job!”

     By contrast, the autonomous person  is concerned with “being.” He or she allows his/her own capacities to unfold and encourages others to do the same. These are the kinds of individuals who project their own possibilities into the future as realistic goals which give aim and purpose to their lives.

     They sacrifice  only when they are giving up a lesser value for a greater value according to their own personal value systems. They are not concerned with getting more, but with being more. 

                                                                             

My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

— OPRAH WINFREY
                                                                                     

     As a business owner or manager, and especially in today’s economy,  you really can’t afford to have people working for you with this attitude. E V E R Y person in your business needs to accept responsibility for doing whatever needs to be done whenever it needs to be done as long as he or she has the ability to do it.

     But this doesn’t mean that you need to be a shrink  with employees who evidence a not-my-job mentality. It DOES suggest that you may want to think hard about keeping this kind of person on payroll.

     If it’s a locked-in situation  and you can’t let go of her or him right now, set a deadline for change, explain it clearly and gently, then teach by example. Do recognize that it takes courage for someone like that to rise to the occasion, and reward any evidence of attempts with “pat-on-the-back” comments and encouragement to keep at it. 

     You’ll always get more of what you genuinely

appreciate, praise and reward.   

With special thanks to human relations/communications consultants Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward for the inspiration and adaptations from their classic book BORN TO WIN: Transactional Analysis with Gestalt Experiments    

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Input always welcome Hal@TheWriterWorks.com “Blog” in subject line or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day! Hal

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