There is a lot of discussion today about authenticity, about being trustworthy, and about being transparent. As a society, we say we want less ‘spin’, but is this just another case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’?
At the individual level, how does our attitude and our actions affect the relationships we have on a day-to-day basis? Does our behavior match our expectations?
How do you think your behavior affects your credibility?
I’m hosting Live2Lead, a large professional development event this week and have been doing heavy promotion for it through my network. While I’m biased towards action as it relates to professional development and personal growth, I’m not naïve enough to think that everyone believes the same I do; nor do I believe that my event is the only thing that matters on Oct. 9th.
As is the case, I’ve been getting a lot of excuses as to why people aren’t coming. I know sometimes excuses are legitimate and there are things that are more important to you than my event or program. However, some of the many excuses I’ve heard are ridiculous and have me questioning the credibility of those offering them.
Are we being authentic, trustworthy, and transparent when we turn down opportunities or invitations?
Maybe this is harsh, but these are actual excuses:
Excuse #1: I’m in charge of finding and introducing our Rotary speakers each Friday at our meetings so I probably shouldn’t miss the meeting.
I’m a Rotarian, have been for more than 7 years, and I’m very proud to be involved in such a great service organization – and I know how valuable a good program can be for a meeting. Even so, this is a task that can easily be delegated for one week (or all 52 like my club!).
How this affects your credibility (at least with me): You aren’t interested in my event (all good, not everyone is) but you don’t have the confidence to tell me straight up. Can I trust you to be honest and forthcoming with me in the future?
Excuse #2: A very worthy event which I would attend…but my silly company won’t spring for it.
I know what you’re thinking, but no this excuse didn’t come from a Millennial, but rather a business coach. It’s been said…
‘If you’re not willing to bet on yourself, why should anybody else?’
If you aren’t willing to invest in yourself, you’ll always be stuck giving bad excuses and wondering ‘What If’.
How this affects your credibility (at least with me): You don’t value yourself enough to invest in yourself and you only want something that will benefit you if someone else is willing to pay. Will you always only look out for yourself in potential future business relationships or future opportunities?
Excuse #3: It’s too far to drive.
This excuse came from a Millennial who would have to drive approximately 45 minutes (each way) on back roads and is part of the leadership team for a local young professional group. While I do my best not to stereotype, the fact a major company beyond this town and the college in the same town are sending team members, makes this excuse look foolish and epitomizes why Millennials have a bad reputation in some professional circles.
How this affects your credibility (at least with me): You’re lazy and lack awareness of the growing world economy where not everything is in the palm of your hands. Not sure you understand the importance of building relationships with people outside of a small circle within a small town. Is building a relationship with you and your organization worth the investment of my time?
When you think about these excuses, what about your own excuses?
Do we retain our credibility with our excuses, so our relationships can remain intact? Or do we damage our credibility with the excuses we offer?
While I’ve tried to, I always haven’t been; but I am committed to being more intentional as I move forward, because I want to be seen as a an authentic, trustworthy, and transparent business professional.
Will you join me?
PS – Another guy who doesn’t like excuses….Gary V.
When I launched the Goble Group and started down the path of entrepreneurship, I knew it was going to be challenging. I knew I wanted to focus on my family first, even if it meant the business would suffer a little bit. The business is going to turn 4 years old in March, only a few months younger than my daughter, and because of my family first approach, the business has suffered in some ways.
My kids are only young once, so I can unequivocally say it’s been worth it, but it’s been harder than I thought.
Here are four things (of many) I’ve learned.
— Don’t chase the money, you won’t catch it. If you don’t know why you’re doing something, you shouldn’t be doing it. Take the time to evaluate your true intentions before moving forward.
— Piss poor planning precedes poor performance. This doesn’t mean you need to write out a highly detailed, 70+ page business plan. That’s a waste of time. You do need to sit down and write out some basic ideas at least, and then be prepared to shift on the fly and improvise (a lot) when it’s called for.
— After doing this for a few years, and knowing the statistics show that 50% of small businesses fail in the first 5 years, I believe that folks reach their limit and then give up. Whether your limit is financial, psychological, or emotional, you have to know your limits.
–I’m blessed that my wife is on board (most of the time!) with the Goble Group. While she doesn’t share the same business mindset or risk tolerance that I do, she does support me and trusts that what I’m doing is the best for our family at the moment.
So, do you still want to be an entrepreneur? I hope you do, just know that it’s going to be harder than you think it is…but it will be worth it when you succeed.
This post was originally published on Monday, May 19, 2014 at www.greatleadersserve.org
Have you ever noticed, the more you look for something, the more you find it? Like when you get a new car – the next week, you see dozens of them. That’s what I’m feeling right now about today’s topic. I’ve been shocked by how many leaders I’m encountering who have low self-awareness.
Self-awareness is huge for leaders. You can argue it’s important for everyone, but for leaders, a gap here may be the determining factor in your ability to lead at all.
How self-aware are you?
An exercise I often ask leaders to do is write down three strengths and three weaknesses. I’m amazed how often this activity is futile. If you overstate your strengths and minimize your weaknesses, you will end up in trouble as a leader. My best advice on this topic is to be ruthless in your evaluation of yourself… and get help.
We all have blind spots. Regardless of how hard we try, I’ve met very few men and women in my life who have been able to pierce these blind spots on their own. However, if you and I get help and we’re willing to embrace the truth, we can identify the strengths we need to leverage and the gaps we need to mitigate.
Here are a few ideas to help you shed some light on your real strengths and weaknesses.
Truth is a leaders’ best friend. The truth about your leadership is perhaps the most valuable truth of all.
Mark Miller, Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness for Chick-fil-A, believes that leadership is not something that’s exclusive; within the grasp of an elite few, but beyond the reach of everyone else. In the tenth anniversary edition of The Secret, Miller reminds readers of a seemingly contradictory concept: to lead is to serve. With more than 600,000 books in print, Mark has been surprised by the response and delighted to serve leaders through his writing.
The 10th anniversary edition of The Secret was released September 2, 2014.
If you’re like me and look around our world today, you probably see a lack of leadership in politics, education, business, and families. Not every leader is a bad leader, but too many people are struggling because those we’ve looked to as leaders have failed the population in many aspects.
However, leadership requires us to first look at ourselves, because that’s where leadership starts.
“If you’re going to be successful in life, the first place you have to work on to help yourself really grow and develop is in the area of your leadership.” – John Maxwell
The root of the leadership problem is that too many people don’t see themselves as leaders; therefore they don’t take responsibility for their actions or don’t hold our so-called leaders accountable for their actions. How do we help change this perception and show people that they are a leader?
We need to begin by asking ourselves 3 questions:
1> As a leader, if you were not yourself, would you follow yourself? Why or why not?
2> Are you taking time, on a daily basis, to reflect and to think? Why or why not?
3> What does your personal/professional life look like if you invested just 1% each week in growth?
How does ‘1% Leadership’ work?
It’s simple math.
Each week we have 168 hours. Nobody gets more and only dead people get less. Assuming you’re reading this, you’re not dead, and that’s a good thing.
What is 1% of 168? 1.68 hours, or approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. Broken down further, it’s about 15 minutes a day. So what can you do with 15 minutes a day? A lot!
First you need to do a self-assessment of where you’re at right now. Be brutally honest with yourself of what your ‘right now’ looks like.
Once you’ve done this, I challenge you to find something you want to improve upon, something you want to learn, or something you want to accomplish. Don’t pick more than 1 or 2 things to improve…start focusing small.
Over the next 30 days, spend at least 15 minutes on what you chose every day, track the results, and I guarantee you’ll see a positive growth in the end. If you’d like accountability, email me & we’ll work together to help you reach your goal. For free!
This is what 1% leadership looks like…and it starts with the person you look at in the mirror every day.
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