Are You Casting a Compelling Vision?

Great leaders are vision casters.

Like a good sailor they are able to set their sights beyond the horizon and take those onboard to the desired destination.

Spyglass

French aristocrat, Antoine de Saint-Exupery once wrote, “If you want to build a ship, then don’t drum up men to gather wood, give orders, and divide the work. Rather, teach them to yearn for the far and endless sea.”

Interestingly, Antoine was a splendid aviator. Pilots are a lot like ship captains. They are required to stay focused on what lies ahead, rather than limiting themselves to the cockpit.

As a leader your job is to make people yearn for something beyond your current surrounding circumstances.

To remind them of a dream … a possibility … a hope.

If you allow your team to be trapped in day to day busy work you will never take them anywhere.

Don’t forget, great leaders are vision casters. Spend some time today painting a picture of a preferred future. You will end up in a better place.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

What are the keys to casting a compelling vision?

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Routine Can be Lethal in More Ways than One

A while back, a friend sent me a tweet from writer Max Dubinsky.

“Adventure is dangerous but routine is lethal.” 

When I read those words, my mind went into “two sides of the same coin” mode.

I assumed Max wrote the tweet to encourage his followers to live an adventurous life and to avoid the doldrums of being average. Both of those lines of thinking have elements of truth. Adventure is dangerous, and playing it safe can literally suck the life out of you.

But consider the other side of the routine coin. It is called discipline. In that regard routine can be lethal to your competition.

The best teams are the ones that do routine things better than their opponents. They ruthlessly practice fundamentals, recognizing that the ability to execute under pressure is tied to mastery of the little things.

If you want to do something dangerous this week, try going back to the basics.

Why? Because “routine is lethal,” in more ways than one.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

What routines can give a leader an advantage over the competition?

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Is it Time for You to Prune?

Over the past couple of weeks my yard has exploded. The grass is growing, the bushes are blooming, and the weeds are out of control. It all means one thing … “Yard Work!”

In his book, Necessary Endings, Dr. Henry Cloud talks about the importance of pruning. He points out that rosebushes produce more buds than the plants can support. A caretaker is needed. The caretaker prunes the bushes cutting away many of the buds.

Cloud writes, “The plant has enough life and resources to feed and nurture only so many buds to their full potential; it can’t bring all of them to full bloom.”

When the caretaker prunes the bad buds he puts an end to the rosebush having to divert its resources. Cloud goes on, “In pruning the gardener frees needed resources so the plant can redirect them to the buds with the greatest potential to become mature roses.  Those buds get the best that the bush has to offer, and they thrive and grow to fullness” . . . ”Without the endings,” Clouds says, “you don’t get the best roses.”

When it comes to your leadership are there some places where you need to prune? Maybe a good exercise would be to forget about your “to do” list and instead focus on a “don’t do” list?

I suspect there are some places where your focus and your resources are being diverted in some unhealthy directions and you are feeling spread too thin.  If that is the case, it is time to do some cutting. It is time for some “yard work.”

You will never see something new unless you are willing to let go of something old. Don’t be afraid to prune. Sometimes the endings are necessary.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Why do you think it is so hard for a leader to let go of outdated practices?

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Is Opportunity Knocking?

The words of Professor Reed Markham encourage leaders to not shy away from a challenge.

“Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.”

Are you currently facing a challenge? If so, then you have an opportunity.

Make something happen today!

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Why do you think challenges often make a leader better?

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6 Ways to Leave a LEGACY with Millennials

In yesterday’s post I encouraged leaders to be open to the idea of connecting with millennials.

The question is, “How does an experienced leader safely pass the legacy baton into the hands of the next generation?” After all, they are gifted, energetic, and full of possibility. To use a track metaphor, ‘we cannot afford to botch the handoff.’

Legacy

Consider the following six L-E-G-A-C-Y builders …

Love. There is a reason love tops the list. It is the ultimate bridge from one generation to the next. As the Bible remind us, “Love covers over a multitude of sins.” Millennials long to be loved. It may be cliche, but for good reason … “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” If you truly want to connect, make love your highest goal.

Encourage. The next generation is no different from any other generation. We all need to know someone believes in us. You have the power to literally put courage into young leaders with your words. Make a commitment to be an encourager.

Guide. Millennials need guidance. They may come across as uninterested in what you have to say, but truthfully they are open to coaching. They even desire it, especially if it is cloaked in love and encouragement.

Affirm. Affirmation in this context relates to giftedness. Young people need someone to give them permission to do what they are born to do. If you have not had a chance to read my book, FINDING YOUR WAY, I encourage you to pick up a copy and familiarize yourself with its principles. Becoming fluent in the language of discovery will be a valuable tool as you seek to coach the young people you have influence over into their place of contribution. An “I believe in you” or “You have what it takes” from a respected leader who loves, encourages, and serves as a guide, can change the life of someone who is beginning their journey.

Challenge. Young leaders need someone to look them in the eye and challenge them to reach for greatness. You might be surprised at how open they are, especially if you approach them with the right heart. Don’t be afraid to set the bar high. Young leaders are capable of rising to a challenge.

Yield. When someone yields, they give the right-of-way to another. As a veteran leader, one of your biggest temptations will be to refuse to get out of the way and allow those behind you to lead. You are either developing leaders or squelching the progress of those who have potential. If you lead out of fear and fail to yield you won’t develop anyone and certainly won’t leave a legacy. Whether you realize it or not, you have a reputation with those who are following you. I hope you will make it your goal to demonstrate abundance over scarcity and be willing to give younger leaders a chance. Everyone loves following a generous, unselfish, servant leader.

There is nothing more beautiful than watching a flawless exchange in a relay race at a track meet. I hope you will steward the ‘Legacy Exchange’ on your leadership track. Doing so will prepare the next generation to become legacy builders themselves.

L-E-G-A-C-Y. Love, Encourage, Guide, Affirm, Challenge, and Yield. They are your greatest assets as you seek to build a bridge to the next generation.

Leadership Begins at Home, 

Randy 

Are there any other suggestions you would make to a leader who is attempting to connect with a next-generation?

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