Criticism and the Great Leader

leadership May 10, 2019

How do you deal with criticism as a leader?

People deal with criticism all sorts of ways—but the way a manager handles criticism says a lot about the type of leader they are.

But first, what is leadership?

Leadership is the art of leading others to deliberately create a result that would not have happened otherwise.

But there’s so much more to it than that. Great leaders possess skills and qualities that most others don’t.

What are the qualities of a good leader?

To be a great leader, you need to dream, communicate, take action, and commit. But there are many other key skills and qualities of a good leader. These include:

  • Communication
  • Awareness
  • Positivity
  • Motivation
  • Honesty
  • Innovation
  • Responsibility
  • Creativity
  • Adding value to others
  • Relationship building

 ...and, of course, the ability to take constructive criticism and feedback.

A leader is a person of influence. They add value to others. And to be able to do this, they must be able to remain positive and...

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Are you a leader of influence?

leadership Apr 26, 2019

Do you know what it takes to influence people and be a good leader?

If you think of yourself as a person of influence, you probably have leadership qualities that have helped you change people’s lives — but is there more to being an influencer than that?

What Does it Take to be an Influencer?

Is it simply good leadership skills? A need to help others?

Everyone has influence. We all have an impact at home, in our jobs, as volunteers, in everything we do. Often, we don’t even realize the impact we have on others.

Here’s my story.

Twenty-Five Years Ago…

When I was a manager of a non-profit a quarter of a century ago, I coached a young man who was a talented designer. He wanted to start a business making images that could be attached to the spokes of a wheelchair.

You see, he was in a wheelchair himself — and he played a lot of basketball.

His idea was to design colorful and eye-catching designs on wheelchairs which would make players feel more...

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Expanding Your Inner Circle

leadership Mar 15, 2019
Join forces with heroes

If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to hear Paul Martinelli speak about leadership, you might be tempted to believe his passion for helping people achieve their dreams came entirely from himself. He certainly inspires and he certainly motivates. But if you were to ask him, he would tell you how important it is to surround yourself with talented and enthusiastic people who can help you grow.

Today, Paul Martinelli is the President of The John Maxwell Team, and he helps people all over the world develop their leadership skills. But he worked hard to get where he is and he surrounded himself with people who could support his journey.

You could say he learned his leadership skills in the company of heroes. As a young man, he was recruited by the anti-crime activist, Curtis Silwa. Together they led the Guardian Angels, a group of volunteers who conducted unarmed safety patrols through some of the toughest neighbourhoods in the United States and Canada....

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How Leaders Navigate an Uncertain World

leadership Feb 28, 2019
The trip ahead

Leaders help people navigate an uncertain world. They can see the trip ahead and predict hazards that might arise. That is what inspires people to follow their vision.

John C. Maxwell recognizes the importance of navigation in leadership. The Law of Navigation is one of “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” in his book.

Navigation skills

Where do leaders gain these awesome navigation skills? They gain them the same way any sea captain does. They lead the ship over calm and stormy seas. The experiences they gain are vital, but that’s not where they gain their vision. Their vision comes from what happens after the boat reaches the harbour.

Great leaders think back and evaluate their performance. Often when we are in the middle of the sea of real-life experience, we get carried away by the moment. The learning comes later when the boat has been docked and we have time to think about what happened.

Reflective thinking

John C. Maxwell calls this...

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Leadership: It’s an Endurance Sport

leadership Feb 13, 2019
One day at a time

The important things in life are not accomplished all at once. They happen one day at a time. Life is an endurance race, not a sprint.

This is especially true of leadership. It’s not a quick fix. It’s a journey built on character, enough character to sustain yourself over years of effort and growth.

Geoffrey Mutai knows

Few people understand endurance better than Geoffrey Mutai. He was born the youngest of 11 children and grew up in a poor family living in Kenya. As a teenager, he already knew what he wanted most from life. He wanted to be a professional marathon runner. Now you need to put this into context. He had other obligations besides his interest in running. His family relied on him to contribute financial support. So, he took a series of back-breaking jobs, and he got up early every morning to run before he went to work. To the outside world, he looked foolish for trying to do so much. People in his community suggested that his goals were too...

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Standing on Solid Ground

leadership Oct 12, 2018
The Importance of Trust

John C. Maxwell writes about trust in “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”. He calls it the Law of Solid Ground and it’s an apt metaphor because trust is the foundation of leadership. Without trust, we have nothing to stand on.
Yet we tend to take trust for granted, or view it as a mysterious force beyond our control. Stephen Covey challenges that way of thinking. He says, “Contrary to what most people believe, trust is not some soft, illusive quality that you either have or you don’t; rather, trust is a pragmatic, tangible, actional asset that you can create.”

We don’t trust leaders because of their job title or the power they have over our lives. We trust leaders because of the strength of their character.

Why Character Matters

Every professional knows they must continually keep their technical skills fresh. But do we know that we must also keep our character strong? Strength of character can change the world.


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Three Surprising Qualities of Empowering Leaders

leadership Sep 21, 2018
Empowerment begins within

We all know how important it is to empower the people in our organization. As leaders, it’s our job to recognize areas of strength and foster the growth of others. This increases productivity and job satisfaction. It helps sustain work environments that are positive for everyone.

But what does being an empowering leader mean from the other side of the equation? What do empowering leaders need to do for themselves? It’s a fresh perspective worth a closer look. Don’t be surprised if you meet resistance. Casting a fresh eye on what you need to do for yourself could mean letting go of long-held assumptions about positions of control.

Challenges to empowerment

Seventy-five-year-old John Timpson has been empowering the people who work for him for decades. He’s chairman and owner of Timpson, a successful shoe repair chain with more than a thousand shops in the United Kingdom.

He follows a philosophy called upside-down management. Take a...

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Making the Impossible Happen

leadership Jul 12, 2018
A Clear Purpose and Harmony

Around the world, people have been glued to the news, watching progress on the cave rescue in Thailand and daring to hope. For more than two weeks, twelve boys and their soccer coach were trapped in a flooded cave in the Chiang Rai province. We all celebrated when they were rescued from the cave a few days ago, alive and well.

We are glad the young lives were saved and that is a big part of the collective sense of gratitude. But there is another element to this story that has captured our attention. This rescue is proof of what can be accomplished when people with a clear purpose work together in harmony.

The rescue seemed close to impossible. The pitch-black caverns were already flooded, and since it was monsoon season, they were in constant danger of flooding more. The children in need of rescue did not know how to swim, never mind dive. The rescue divers struggled to find a safe route through the murky water.

But the central purpose was clear to...

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Seen, Heard and Valued

leadership May 09, 2018

Circular Connection

Traditionally, leaders expected their followers to come to them. The reporting structure flowed in one direction and that was upwards. But as John C. Maxwell explains in his chapter on the Law of Connection in "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership", good leaders know better. They reach out to connect with the people in their organization at an authentic and emotional level.

The direction of connection is not upwards or even downwards. It is circular, a matter of give and take, and the circle starts with the genuine concern of the leader. When people feel their leaders care, they give more to the organization and everyone prospers.

Brene Brown put it well when she said, "I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship."

We rely on technical skills and intellectual know-how. These things are...

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There Are No Lone Ranger Leaders

leadership Apr 26, 2018

We recently helped a woman discover and grow her leadership potential. By all measures, she was already quite a success. She'd obtained a masters and proven her technical skills in a highly competitive industry. With her genuinely supportive personality, people appreciated having her on their team. Anyone would have thought her pathway to reaching her potential as a leader was already set. Yet, there was an important opportunity she'd been missing.

We always like to say, you can't give what you don't know you have. That's why our first step was to explore her leadership potential. She used the online tool we provide on our website to do a Personality Assessment Profile. Armed with a deeper understanding of her leadership style, she was ready to look for new ways of reaching her leadership potential.

She began by considering her inner circle. We all have one. They are the people we trust the most, the people we look towards when we need advice, and the people who are first to give us...

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