Leadership, Personal Development, Uncategorized

The Awkwardness of Leadership


Here’s an interesting observation about leadership:  There is a tension about leading – on the one hand we would like to think becoming a leader will bring a measure of personal satisfaction, peace and cordial relationships and respect from others – and yes it does, but on the other hand there also comes a constant dis-satisfaction as a leader, and sometimes a disruption of relationships!  Why is this true?

Three Truths about Leadership

1.  Leadership means discomfort.  If you’re going to be an effective leader you must live outside your comfort zone.  The nature of a leader is they are always pushing forward into new territory, taking risks and learning and doing something new.  This creates a tension between satisfaction, pleasure and apprehension of where your bold move will turn out or now!  As  leader, especially as you are “on your way up” a  leader, you are often in “over your head” – beyond your level of experience.  If you are a leader or are moving into leadership expect to be uncomfortable a lot of the time.

2.  Leadership means dis-satisfaction.  Dis-satisfaction is a tool to move the leader to greater things and higher levels.  One the one hand a leader is satisfied with the level that he/she has achieved and the positive changes that have occurred through his/her leadership, but on the other hand he/she is not satisfied with that level.  A leader cannot rest until they can see more and more, better and better good things accomplished through his/her leadership.  If you are a leader or are growing along the path of a leader be prepared to on the one hand live a very satisfied life, but on the other hand to live in dis-satisfaction as well.

3.  Leadership means disruption.  The status-quo is never the goal of a leader.  The leader disrupts the normal way of doing things to present a new or better way.  The leader doesn’t disrupt for the sake of being contentious, but he’s always looking to the future and what could be done to bring about more positive results in the world.  Sometimes a leader disrupts processes or policies that have been set in place for a long time (traditions).  Sometimes a leader disrupts relationships with he/she is trying to move the organization or business forward and there are those who resist.  If you are a leader or on the pathway to leadership be prepared to sometimes face difficulties with traditions, policies or people.  Be gentle with them and always try to lead by love and compassion, but expect that not everyone will want to walk with you as you make a new path to the future.

The above photograph is of Amelia Earhart, who was a pioneer in aviation.  She challenged the normal way of doing things during her lifetime (1897-1937).  She wasn’t satisfied with the status quo and keep pushing forward and paved the way for others to follow.

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Family, Leadership, Personal Development, Uncategorized

How to Prioritize When Everything is Important

No such thing as not having enough timeDear Readers, I’ve been in the Northwest of Cambodia for the past few days teaching the director of our Center in Poipet City, Banteay Mean Chey Province, and his leadership team some of the lessons I’ve been teaching in Phnom Penh at my Cambodian Leadership Institute.  These guys are very far away and the level of knowledge in this Thai Border City is very low.  I’ve felt the urgency to do this for some time.

To learn more about this city you can take a look at the Wikipedia article here:  Poipet City, Cambodia.

We have an English School here and a kindergarten as well as many village activities.  People often tell me they want to see where I work and live, so here are a few photos from my phone:

I’m a person who manages multiple priorities, like you probably do, too.  But how is that actually done?  I have some thoughts of my own, but as I’m traveling and teaching this week I don’t have time to sort through them, so in my research I found the following site that I thought would be helpful to my readers.

In the following link is a post by Tatyana Sussex.  It was a helpful confirmation to me and hopefully will be to you too.

How to Prioritize Work When Everything is #1

If this is helpful to you pass it on!

Also, please leave your insights as to how you manage multiple priorities!

Family, Leadership, Missions, Personal Development, Uncategorized

What Makes and Effective Executive?


(Photo by Kaitlyn McCaul, Willamette Valley, Oregon)

by Peter Drucker

An effective executive does not need to be a leader in the sense that the term is now most commonly used. Harry Truman did not have one ounce of charisma, for example, yet he was among the most effective chief executives in U.S. history. Similarly, some of the best business and nonprofit CEOs I’ve worked with over a 65-year consulting career were not stereotypical leaders. They were all over the map in terms of their personalities, attitudes, values, strengths, and weaknesses. They ranged from extroverted to nearly reclusive, from easygoing to controlling, from generous to parsimonious.

What made them all effective is that they followed the same eight practices:

  • They asked, “What needs to be done?”
  • They asked, “What is right for the enterprise?”
  • They developed action plans.
  • They took responsibility for decisions.
  • They took responsibility for communicating.
  • They were focused on opportunities rather than problems.
  • They ran productive meetings.
  • They thought and said “we” rather than “I.”

The first two practices gave them the knowledge they needed. The next four helped them convert this knowledge into effective action. The last two ensured that the whole organization felt responsible and accountable.