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John Maxwell Team

John Maxwell Team Certified Member

Priscilla Archangel is a John Maxwell Team Certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker.

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    Should Leaders Really Be Patient?

    HourglassLeaders are rewarded for action. They’re used to being in control and working to influence the environment around them. They have a vision, mission, and objectives to accomplish. Other stakeholders hold them accountable for developing and executing plans to drive results. Providing excuses isn’t part of their vocabulary. So what place does the word “patience” have in the context of leadership?

    To understand, let’s look at patience as a leadership competency.  According to Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger’s model of leadership, patient leaders are tolerant with people and processes; they wait for others to catch up before acting; they try to understand people and data before making decisions and proceeding; and they follow established processes. Meanwhile, leaders who are unskilled in this area act before it’s time to act; they don’t take the time to listen or understand, they think almost everything needs to be done quicker and shorter; they often interrupt others and finish their sentences; they’re action oriented and avoid process and problem complexity; and they sometimes jump to conclusions instead of thinking things through.

    Continue reading

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    What Does Your Culture Look Like?

    Google Images

    Google Images

    We live on a corner and almost every summer day as part of my morning exercise, I walk down the side street of our home. The sun is still rising. The dew hasn’t yet vanished from the grass. Everything looks fresh and green. The bushes that we so carefully planted around the perimeter of our home several years ago have grown substantially since the lawn service gave them their spring trim. As each day goes by, I realize that some parts of the bushes are REALLY growing out, and maybe it’s time for a mid-summer trim earlier than we anticipated. Continue reading

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    Insanity Check

    “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This often quoted statement has been attributed to a variety of people (including Albert Einstein), but it provides a good motivation to begin your new year.

    With the beginning of 2015 many people are thinking about New Year’s resolutions. What do they want to accomplish this year? What do they want to do differently? Even for those who swear off such annual declarations (many of which are only kept for a month or two), most people still take the time to pause and consider what they want to experience in the New Year.  Whether or not you advocate setting resolutions, it is important to periodically assess your activities to make sure they’re properly focused to support accomplishing your objectives.

    Insanity CheckSo take an insanity check. This is the time to evaluate your personal, professional and organizational strategies and make the necessary adjustments to ensure not only progress, but attainment of your goals. In what areas are you sticking to the same plan, but expecting different results? What isn’t working…yet? Where are you or your organization struggling? Where are you and others frustrated? Here are several keys to your insanity check.

    Build Momentum

    The change initiatives you have started may take time to build momentum until you actually see visible progress. You’re laying the groundwork for improvement, building a foundation, and driving beliefs and values that will spill over into behavioral changes. You may be personally impatient, or stakeholders may be pushing you for quick results. But make sure your plan is solid and that you’re on track in following it. Stopping or pausing will undermine your momentum and you’ll almost literally have to start over. So keep pushing, and build momentum, your goal is in sight.


    Pull The Lever

    Identify the critical lever for change and focus on it. This critical lever is at the center of the problem, and supports and reinforces what is not working. Like a house of cards, if you pull it, everything that it supports will collapse, and that may be a good thing. Pulling the lever may require repositioning your team, changing your structure, developing a different strategy, or shifting your own leadership style.

    Manage Time

    Time is one of the most valuable resources you have, so use it wisely. Rather than succumb to the many demands on your time, control how you spend it by prioritizing those activities that add value to what you’re trying to accomplish. I admit that I can get caught up reading business books and articles that are really interesting, aren’t necessarily relevant to the project that I’m working on. , so I have to refocus myself as well. Determine what activities add the most value; find the ones that are really drivers of significant change, and adjust your time accordingly.

    Decide Now

    Deeply embedded problems require tough decisions. You must be willing to let go of people, processes, or products that you previously invested in, but now are not providing sufficient return. Further delaying these decisions means that you’re expending and wasting valuable time in areas that won’t payoff. You likely know what you have to do, but you’re avoiding the unpleasantness of doing it. Instead of focusing on the negative, focus on the positive outcomes.

    Move your people to positions where they can add more value, or provide a bridge for them to transition outside the organization where they can find a better suited opportunity. If they’re not delivering, they typically know it and are feeling some level of stress related to that. Avoiding the obvious issue only makes the pain worse over time.

    Your team or customers will tell you the processes that aren’t working (if you don’t already know it). Set an aggressive and almost impossibly quick timetable by which they need to be fixed or eliminated. Others will thank you for it and be relieved that you finally addressed the problem.

    Unprofitable products or services draw resources from the rest of the organization and literally pull others down with it. Think of a rose bush that through careful pruning of dead or unfruitful branches enables the remainder of the bush to receive the necessary nutrients to bloom beautifully. Such products and services may have a legacy with the organization, or be a favorite of some leader, but culling them quickly will add value to the remainder of the organization.

    Remember…working harder on a bad plan doesn’t make the plan good. Doing the right thing at the wrong time won’t achieve the desired results. Smart moves at the right time are key to getting what you want.

    Picture courtesy of Google Images

    Copyright 2014 Priscilla Archangel

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    In The Spotlight

    Robert Gates retired as U. S. Defense Secretary at the end of June.He served in the position for four and a half years, initially appointed by President George W. Bush, then asked to continue to serve by President Barack Obama.He held this role during a period of continuing wars and turmoil in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other Middle East countries.

    The Wall Street Journal (click here to read) reports that when he assumed the role, Gates said he had never read a management book, but he developed an effective management style over time based on showing respect to the generals who reported to him, and holding them accountable for their performance.He wasn’t afraid to tackle issues head on. For example, when Army leaders criticized the media for their reports of substandard treatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he fired the Army secretary. When the Air Force failed to properly oversee the U.S. nuclear arsenal, he forced the resignation of the Air Force secretary and chief of staff.He reportedly encouraged discussion and input from his team but wasn’t afraid to make decisions at the end of the meetings and expect everyone to follow them.Gates also learned the importance of symbols and symbolic gestures through his early days studying the Kremlin as an analyst with the CIA.This perspective of understanding organizations shaped his management approach in his later years when he assumed a leadership role.

    Gates wise behavior as the military leader of a powerful nation in the midst of overwhelming challenges and under two political parties reminds me of David, a military leader who served under King Saul of Israel.

    Too Much Drama

    Such was David’s life when he skyrocketed to popularity after killing Goliath, a giant who had taunted the Israelites for the past 40 days. With this bold act of leadership and bravery, David quickly went from shepherd over his father’s flock, to soldier. He achieved sudden recognition with the king and the people, and everyone was talking about him. The media of that day, women celebrating in the streets, sang his praises.

    IStockPhoto

    Saul then brought David onto his staff and placed him in charge of the army. David became a statesman going wherever Saul sent him, faithfully doing his bidding.All the people, along with Saul’s leadership team highly respected David, and thought he was a better leader than Saul himself.It was obvious to them that David had the favor of God, while Saul had lost it.Even Saul’s son Jonathan became David’s best friend, willing to give up his right to succeed his father on the throne because he knew that God’s will was that David become king.

    David was also a skillful musician, and in the past his music soothed and relaxed Saul when he became tense and agitated. But eventually Saul’s jealousy of David’s increasing fame grew to the point that he plotted to take David’s life.Saul unsuccessfully attempted to kill him by throwing his spear at him. Then he invited David to become his son-in-law in exchange for fighting the enemy army, but David and his men were strong and valiant, winning the battle.

    David was between the proverbial rock and a hard place. In spite of his high position and favor with the people, the king hated him and continually tried to kill him. But throughout all of this drama, David behaved wisely in all his ways.He was wiser than all of Saul’s staff members.

    …He presided over the business of the country and the army.

    …He was obedient and respectful to Saul, even though he knew that Saul wanted to take his life.

    …He didn’t try to undermine his leader, or take unfair advantage of his position.

    …He led with integrity.

    What About You?

    Imagine yourself suddenly catapulted to recognition among your peers because you performed an act of bravery, exhibited exemplary leadership, or your unique gifts and talents were discovered by those who valued them.Such fame doesn’t come without its problems and challenges, and your ability to sustain your role will be impacted by how you handle these pressures.

    ….The spotlight of leadership makes you a target for personal and professional attacks.

    ….The spotlight of leadership exposes your underlying motivations.

    ….The spotlight of leadership tests your accountability to the God who positioned you there.

    ….The spotlight of leadership checks your responsibility to the people whom you serve.

    It seems that every day, the news media reports on some leader who failed the scrutiny of the spotlight: a leader who failed to act with integrity, credibility, accountability, and appropriate responsibility. What about you? No matter its size or scope, are you prepared to behave wisely in your leadership role?Are you prepared to lead in a way that pleases God instead of trying to please men? What will the spotlight uncover about you?

    Copyright Priscilla Archangel 2011

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