What do technology and grandparents have in common?

servant leadership Mar 09, 2018

Last week I asked several young leaders a simple question: What are the two most essential values you've learned from your grandparents?  

Everyone responded quickly and most people gave more than two values. But as I listened to their answers, a theme emerged.

The values that the young people learned from their grandparents that they cherished the most were based on two things: forming strong connections and showing leadership.

One young person told me that his grandparents attended 43 of the 45 hockey games he played while growing up. By being in the audience, his grandparents connected with him in a way that goes beyond support. They participated in his life and that's what connecting is all about.People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Connecting increases your influence in every situation. This is crucial whether you're trying to lead a child or a nation. In his book, “Everyone Communicates and Few Connect”, John Maxwell...

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Catching the Moves of a Servant Leader

servant leadership Feb 08, 2018

Picture this. It's early morning and I'm making my way through the airport to catch a flight. The weather is -26 C and that's without the wind chill. I go through security and everything moves along smoothly. As I settle into a seat to wait for boarding, I dig into my purse to check my cell phone. I wouldn't want to miss anything important. I'm sure you know the feeling.

I happen to look out the window for a minute.

The sun is rising bright and clear. We have a truly beautiful northern morning in spite of the cold. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch a movement on the blustery tarmac, drawing my attention to a bundled-up lone figure. It looks like he's dancing, but I can't be sure without getting out of my seat for a closer look. Yes, there goes a leg and an arm and a hip wiggle. I'm really seeing this.

Like a child at play, I start to giggle right there in the airport during the hushed early morning hours. People notice. I've piqued their interest.

Soon I'm not alone at the window...

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To Lead is to Serve

servant leadership Aug 08, 2017

“If serving is below you, leadership is beyond you.” - Unknown

Forty years ago, I was hired for my first management position at the commercial bank I'd joined two years earlier. I worked hard in that position and considered myself an effective leader. The bank promoted me to Branch Manager a few years later and soon I was part of the Western Regional Office.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized the positions I'd held did not make me a leader.

There's nothing like a struggle to open your eyes. I found myself in a leadership position, working with staff who had many years of experience and were reluctant to trust my leadership.

That's when I realized I did not understand what leadership is. I'd been assuming that my job title made me a leader and I discovered it did not.

To earn the trust of my team, I rolled up my sleeves and joined them, putting in effort and time, showing that I understood the value of the work we did together. Gradually, the way I connected...

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Why Go the Extra Mile?

servant leadership Jun 01, 2017

Are you a person who consistently goes the extra mile? Do you routinely over deliver on your promises? Think back on what happened to you last week. Did you encounter anyone who was willing to go the extra mile for you?

It's rare these days, which is why it's so powerful. A willingness to do more than expected is the hallmark of high achievers. They know that exceeding expectations helps them stand above the crowd.

It’s the difference between being average and being exceptional.

In her blog “10 Outstanding Examples of Going An Extra Mile in Customer Service”, Natalia Chrzanowska tells us that excellent customer service is the greatest merit a company can earn. Entrepreneurs who focus on their clients’ needs and seek opportunities to take customer service to the next level gain a strong competitive advantage in the market.

Napoleon Hill Thought of the Day post tells us, those who do more than they are paid for will sooner or later be willingly paid for more...

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7 Ways to Gain Momentum in Your Organization

servant leadership May 24, 2017

Even people who aren’t hockey fans love a Cinderella team. The 1982 Canucks, the 2004 Flames, the 2005-2006 Oilers--all of these teams were rated average by experts and they performed as expected throughout their regular seasons.

Then post-season came. With each period, each game, each playoff series, they gained momentum. And that made the difference between winning and losing.

Every organization needs momentum to grow. Leaders create momentum. When momentum starts, it brings everyone along. Teams succeed. And the more they succeed, the more they want to succeed.

They begin to look for ways to keep their momentum going.

A while ago, I met the newly hired Executive Director of a well established non-profit organization. Although the organization had once been high-performing, the new leader soon recognized that the organization had lost its momentum.

Board members were not fully engaged and employee morale was low. Funders and donors were growing frustrated by the...

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Finding Those Wow-Worthy Moves

servant leadership Apr 19, 2017

“True leadership lies in guiding others to success.” - Bill Owens

In their book titled “The Real-Life MBA”, Suzy and Jack Welch boil leadership down to its two essential components – truth and trust.

Based on years of leadership experience, they worked out an organizing principle we can all benefit from using.

Truth-and-trust leadership … is an overarching approach – an organizing principle – that drives everything leaders do every day, whether they are in staff meetings, performance evaluations, strategy sessions or budget reviews, or everything else in between.”

Truth seeking in leadership means being open and honest. It means never settling for suppositions or unsupported claims. Leaders consistently seek truth through the:

  • Strategy Process:

    They deep-dive into information about their competitors, their market share, and their strengths and weaknesses. This depth of truth seeking is as important for non-profit...
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