Winning With People

Everyday we interact with others.
Everyday how we deal with these interactions can help us win friends and influence people. Or maybe not.

Some people seem to be naturally gifted in building relationships, handling confrontation, harnessing the opportunities that new encounters can bring. Some of us aren’t.

Naturally I am not a ‘people person’. I have had to work on this discipline. If I’m honest I’ve probably got it wrong more times than I’ve got it right – but I’m always willing to learn. 2 books really helped me in this – Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’ and John Maxwell’s ‘Winning with People.’

I am true believer that even the non-gifted in areas like this can develop the their people skills and improve opportunities for success in handling all types of relationship. Wise people gain more wisdom at every opportunity – especially when its FREE. Make the investment. You may pick up a nugget or two that could change your life forever (if that’s not too dramatic).

Take responsibility for your people skills & sign up today HERE

Laws of Leadership

Learn to lead well in life. Become the best leader you can.

Last night at XTR I had the privilege of teaching on leadership. Haven’t done this type of stuff for a while so I was excited about this opportunity. Going to use the John Maxwell classic book 21 Laws of Leadership as the basis for what I will teach.

Our desire at Xcel is to equip people with the tools to do life well. If they can lead well, starting with themselves first then hopefully we are doing just that.

Re-read the book. When I read this book for the first time some 10 years ago it changed my world. My thinking on leadership took an almighty whack…stuff like…

…everything rises and falls on leadership
…leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less
…people buy-in to the leader first, then the vision
…you have to give up, to go up
…your leadership lid determines your leadership potential
and many more.

What about you? What’s your favourite leadership thought?

Bringing Lasting Change

Leaders have an incredible privilege – to be agents of change.

To accomplish this needs leaders who display certain qualities. John Maxwell says that people have to buy-in to the leader first before they buy-in to the vision and who am I not to agree. If a leader cannot display certain attributes then surely they fail to lead, they only bring confusion, questions and the lack of consistency which means people will not follow.

Here is an obvious one to start with (more to follow):

Good character opens opportunity.
It determines yor legacy.
It determines whether people fell you are worth listening to or not.

If in their opinion you lack good character then you shut the door to bringing lasting change.

Kouzes & Posner in the the book ‘The Leadership Challenge’ discovered that people are looking for leaders to display integrity, be truthful, trustworthy, have convictions, character and above all honesty!

If you don’t display these why should you think someone is going to buy-in to you. They might for a moment but once you let them down, regaining their allegance will be much harder, making lasting change more difficult.

Good character is doing the right thing even when its hard, even when it means it doesn’t always work out well for you. Soem would argue it is have convictions that you are willing to stand by.

Good character involves admitting mistakes and then putting them right. Good character requires taking responsibility. You can delegate as much as you like but ultimately as the leader you are still responsible. That’s integrity and people will love you for it. Obviously, if you keep making mistakes, especially the same one then it doesn’t matter how great your character is – you are proving yourself incompetent.

Love to hear your thoughts: what looking for in a leader and have you seen those qualities displayed anywhere recently?

The Appreciation Test

John Maxwell says ‘Everything rises and falls on leadership’ and I am in no doubt that this is true. I know lots of wonderful people who at the moment are not fulfilling their leadership potential, maybe they never will.

Anyway, here is another great test for any leader. The ability to show appreciation.

Leaders expect, don’t we? We expect full on, 100% from our teams, and if possible, a little bit more. We want blood really. After all, you have vision, an end goal in mind and to reach it you need everybody on the team giving it everything they have got in the capacity that they are on the team for. As a leader we do all we can to help them understand the ‘why’ element of the ‘what must be done’ part.

We should be instructing, encouraging, correcting, advising, guiding, leading, making decisions, changing stuff if necessary and my guess is we probably do all that without even trying. Some of us are better at some parts than others.

So…my question for all you great leaders.

Why do you find it so hard to say thanks?

You would tell them its wrong quickly enough, you point out where things need to improve without any hesitation – but where is the thanks, the show of appreciation, the pat on the back, the thumbs up, sign of approval for a job well done?

Maybe its a cultural thing. Perhaps we Brits have become too much ‘expectation’ and too little ‘appreciation’.

It is said that one of the main reasons people leave teams is a lack of appreciation, especially teams of volunteers. So here is the thought – shouldn’t we be making an extra effort to make sure our teams know how thankful we are for their part in the process.

When was the last time your boss said thanks?
When was the last time your boss said thanks to you?
Can you become a great leader without passing this particular test?

Take a moment and think about how appreciation makes you feel ……..[pause]…….exactly. It doesn’t take much really but it certainly goes along way.

Would love your thoughts on this subject as we unpack it a little bit more of the next few posts.

Everything Rises & Falls on Leadership

John Maxwell states this and I believe it to be true.

Over the past 10 years my involvement in developing leaders has seen many potential leaders come and go. Not everyone has what it takes! The problem is you don’t always discover that until its too late.

Many cannot rise to the challenge. Not always for lack of desire. I am in no doubt that there are some clear reasons why people cannot maintain their leadership status.

Let’s discuss!