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A Leadership Checklist: 10 Things To Do Right Now To Make It A Great Year

Over the course of my career I’ve assembled a very handy annual New Year’s “Checklist” that helps get me focused and ready for the challenges to come in the days and months ahead, and well positioned for success.

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Those who tell the stories. Which storyteller will you choose?

Those who tell the stories.

It's a powerful statement this.

There's a mystical, mythical element to it, being a native American saying.

I find it interesting that Plato said much the same thing "Those who tell the stories rule society."

 

Tose who tell the stories rule the world

Two such disparate cultures and societies recognising the power of story.

Just about anyone who writes about story, talks about story, ends up using this quote.

And certainly at the level at which most people think about this statement ... anyone who tells the stories will make money in business, and rule the world that way.

Story is a currency recognised the world over.

It is a powerful marketing tool, the difference, sometimes, between a profit and a loss.

But looking at it a different way - looking at the leaders, the rulers, those who rule the world.

They lead, they rule because they are able to tell our stories for us.

We need a story to make sense of life.

We need a story to make sense of our culture.

We need a story to make sense of our world.

We need someone to lead us forward by telling our story, what is really happening, how things are going to be.

When there is a movement for change in our culture, a mass discontent with the way things are, in our world, it will succeed because someone is able to lead it forward by articulating for that mass of people, what is really happening and how it will progress, tells the story about it.

What story are your leaders telling?

Let us choose the leaders who tell the story of our highest aspirations, not our lowest common denominators of fear and greed, ego and power.

Let us then buy from the marketers who tell the story of our highest aspirations, not our lowest common denominators of laziness and competitiveness.

Futurist Rolf Jensen said "The highest paid person of the 21st century will be the storyteller."

Let's choose whom we pay to tell our stories, and choose well.

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[Quotation about public speaking] Public speaking will have its place

"As long as there are human rights to be defended; as long as there are great interests to be guarded; as long as the welfare of nations is a matter for discussion so long will public speaking have it place." ~ William Jennings Bryan

Public speaking has its place

In my current obsession with storytelling, I have discovered a Hopi Proverb which says the "Those who tell the stories rule the world."

Leaders everywhere are those who give their followers something to believe in, a narrative that explains the present and paints a future.

And leaders are not just those in government or religion.

They lead in business, they lead in our institutions, they lead in our families.

We all have the capacity to be a leader at some time.

I am only thankful that the skills of public speaking are there to give us the power to lead and to create a world with values that we can uphold.

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Do You Recognize Resistance When You See It?

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So, I'm trying to lose some weight. And I notice that the days that I declare to myself, "No sugar today," I end up eating sugar earlier than ever. I actually forget that I have even made myself this promise...usually until just a moment after the sugar is melting from my tongue.

Can you relate? Maybe not in this area, but we all have places where we do not keep promises to ourselves. Where do you do this?

Not following through on commitments is a form of resistance. You can probably see clearly how this resistance might sabotage my efforts toward my goal.

My resistance is brilliant. It continually takes new and different forms and is quite good at disguising itself and finding new ways to outsmart me. Your resistance is brilliant, too.

Resistance will keep us from achieving what we want and need. Worse than that, resistance has the power to sending us and our businesses careening in exactly the opposite direction.

Whether you are a leader in an organization or in your own life, anytime you find yourself in a change situation, you will find resistance. If you don't, you are not looking hard enough. It is the way of things. You will resist. Your staff will resist. Your boss will resist. Your clients will resist. Potential employers will resist. Your family will resist. The higher the stakes, the more resistance you will find.

If we are not aware that resistance is at work, resistance wins. But only 100% of the time.

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Your only hope of overcoming resistance is to expect it. But even that isn't enough. You also have to value it and embrace it. You have to work with your resistance, not against it.

 

You have to get intimate with resistance. And that starts with recognizing it. Here's what you want to look for:

Obvious resistance is easy to spot:

Refusal

Arguing

Disruptive behavior The most powerful forms of resistance are usually much more subtle:

Not being available

Not getting started

Getting distracted and not completing

Offering misleading information

Bringing up other issues

Becoming very busy with something else

Getting sick

Anger

Irritation

Frustration

Confusion

Criticism

Silence

Feigning acceptance, without asking necessary questions or working out the details

Finding reasons to be removed from the task

Surfing the web

Compulsively checking your BlackBerry or iPhone

Oh yeah, and forgetting.

Which of these do you do? Which do you see the people you work with doing? Which do you see in your clients? Start noticing the signs of resistance in you and the people around you.

Remember resistance is very creative.

Next time, we'll talk about a few ways to work with your resistance.

 

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Sharon Rich works with organizations and people approaching major change. Just look at the spectacular corporate failures of the past decade to see that talent and intelligence aren't enough to create success. Sharon helps leaders to get the specific tools, skills and perspectives they need to create successful change and make it stick. For more information and to get a complimentary copy of her article "6 WAYS LEADERS SABOTAGE CHANGE and 5 Principles Change Leaders Need Now," go tohttp://www.leadershipincorporated.com/Free_Stuff.html

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"If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are an excellent leader."
Dolly Parton

           
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Being Yourself In A Male Culture

While this video offers advice to female leaders about how to powerfully influence and be yourself in a predominantly male culture,  I found that much of it really is about leadership itself and applies to men as well.  Useful, focused advice.   

being_yourself

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Don't send your ducks to eagle school

The first rule of management is this: don't send your ducks to eagle school. Why? Because it won't work. Good people are found not changed. They can change themselves, but you can't change them. You want good people, you have to find them. If you want motivated people, you have to find them, not motivate them.

I picked up a magazine not long ago in New York that had a full-page ad in it for a hotel chain. The first line of the ad read, "We do not teach our people to be nice." Now that got my attention. The second line said, "We hire nice people." I thought, "what a cleaver shortcut!"

Motivation is a mystery. Why are some people motivated and some are not? Why does one salesperson see his first prospect at seven in the morning while the other sees his first prospect at eleven in the morning? Why would one start at seven and the other start at eleven? I don't know. Call it "mysteries of the mind."

I give lectures to a thousand people at a time. One walks out and says, "I'm going to change my life." Another walks out with a yawn and says, "I've heard all this stuff before." Why is that?

The wealthy man says to a thousand people, "I read this book, and it started me on the road to wealth." Guess how many of the thousand go out and get the book? Answer: very few. Isn't that incredible? Why wouldn't everyone go get the book? Mysteries of the mind…

To one person, you have to say, "You’d better slow down. You can't work that many hours, do that many things, go, go, go. You're going to have a heart attack and die." And to another person, you have to say, "When are you going to get off the couch?" What is the difference? Why wouldn't everyone strive to be wealthy and happy?

Chalk it up to mysteries of the mind, and don't waste your time trying to turn ducks into eagles. Hire people who already have the motivation and drive to be eagles and then just let them soar.

 
This article is excerpted from Jim Rohn's book, Leading and Inspired Life. To learn more about this book or Jim’s other best-selling CDs, books and videos/DVDs, as well as receive 20-60% off, including Take Charge of Your Life, The Five Major Pieces and Building Your Network Marketing Business, go to http://www.jimrohn.com Copyright © 1999, 2006 Jim Rohn International. All rights reserved worldwide.

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The Parable of Brother Leo

A legend tells of a French monastery known throughout Europe for the extraordinary leadership of a man known only as Brother Leo. Several monks began a pilgrimage to visit Brother Leo to learn from him. Almost immediately, they began to bicker about who should do various chores.

On the third day they met another monk going to the monastery, and he joined them. This monk never complained or shirked a duty, and whenever the others would fight over a chore, he would gracefully volunteer and do it himself. By the last day, the others were following his example, and from then on they worked together smoothly.

When they reached the monastery and asked to see Brother Leo, the man who greeted them laughed. "But our brother is among you!" And he pointed to the fellow who had joined them.

Today, many people seek leadership positions, not so much for what they can do for others but for what the position can do for them: status, connections, perks, advantages. They do service as an investment, a way to build an impressive resume.

The parable about Brother Leo teaches another model of leadership, where leaders are preoccupied with serving rather than being followed, with giving rather than getting, with doing rather than demanding. Leadership based on example, not command. This is called servant leadership.

Can you imagine how much better things would be if more politicians, educators, and business executives saw themselves as servant leaders?

Michael Josephson
www.charactercounts.org

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Learning and thinking for leadership and change – Five Minds for the Future

Five Minds for the Future

Howard Gardner

We live in a time of vast changes. And those changes call for entirely new ways of learning and thinking. In "Five Minds for the Future," Howard Gardner defines the cognitive abilities that will command a premium in the years ahead.  Concise and engaging, "Five Minds for the Future" will inspire lifelong learning in any reader and provide valuable insights for those charged with training and developing organizational leaders--both today and tomorrow.

=>  http://bit.ly/UF4iMX

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Change is good. You go first

"Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction." ~Unknown

 Change is not easy. But it is simple. Things will always change. We don't have a choice about that, but we do have a choice on how we react to change; and as a leader whether or not we choose to create change. The choice really boils down to this...either we manage change or it will manage us.

 As a leader, however, deciding to make changes is the easy part. Getting your people on board is much more difficult. Why is that? Quite simply, change is an emotional process. We are all creatures of habit who usually resist it and welcome routine. Uncharted waters are scary!

 In the long run, however, sameness is the fast tract to mediocrity. And, mediocre companies won't survive. Tuli Kupferburg said it best... "When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge." And, that is your challenge...to convince your team that the new world you are trying to create is better than the one you're in.

Is it easy? Of course not. It takes planning, commitment, patience and courage. The truth, of course, is that change can be a wonderful gift. In fact, it is the key that unlocks the doors to growth and excitement in any organization. And, most importantly, without it...your competition will pass you by.

A big part of success, as a leader, will be your ability to inspire your team to get out of their comfort zones; to assure them that even though they are on a new path, it's the right path, for the right reasons.

 That's what this book is all about....ideas, to inspire, to motivate, and to encourage your team to move forward and to embrace change.

 I'd like to share one of the chapters titled: "Learn from Old Warwick".

Enjoy!

  Excerpt from: Change is Good...You Go First By Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein

  Learn from Old Warwick

 Fostering a spirit of teamwork is critical in times of change. The key element is trust. Trust for the leader and trust for each other. There is a wonderful story from the play, Some Folks Feel the Rain; Others Just Get Wet; and I think it's worth sharing again to shed some light on how people think about teamwork...

 A man was lost while driving through the country. As he tried to reach for the map, he accidentally drove off the road into a ditch. Though he wasn't injured, his car was stuck deep in the mud. So the man walked to a nearby farm to ask for help.

 "Warwick can get you out of that ditch," said the farmer, pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the decrepit old mule and looked at the farmer who just stood there repeating, "Yep, old Warwick can do the job." The man figured he had nothing to lose.

The two men and the mule made their way back to the ditch. The farmer hitched the mule to the car. With a snap of the reins, he shouted, "Pull, Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull, Warwick!"

 And the mule pulled that car right out of the ditch. The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule, and asked, "Why did you call out all of those names before you called Warwick?"

 The farmer grinned and said, "Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he's part of a team, he doesn't mind pulling."

 To watch the movie or to look inside the book, just click here.