Effective leaders do the right type of work and come in all shapes and sizes of personality. Some drive results, some collaborate. Some are extroverts and some are introverts. Regardless, leaders engage in a certain type of work and perform specific activities, not unlike any other role or position in an organization.
So let’s make something very, very clear – leadership is NOT about personality. Having worked one on one with 1000’s of leaders in dozens of different type of businesses and scenarios, I have seen wide varieties of personalities that are very effective in their leadership responsibilities.
I have also worked with many people in leadership roles that, based on their personalities, people might assume they would be effective leaders but they were not. In fact, they were terrible. They simply didn’t engage in the right type of work and do it well.
Effective leaders all have one thing in common…
They have enlisted and built a group of enthusiastic and focused followers.
Thanks for listening and thanks for leading.
I have another confession. Last week I shared my experience dealing with tension and resistance.
This week I confess that I got caught up in the shiny objectives. You know…some idea caught your attention and before you know it you went down a rabbit trail that wasted your time and energy.
Entrepreneur are especially susceptible to this kind of behavior. We are problem solvers. It’s our nature. We are masters at identifying something that’s not working and then we find a solution. We love new ideas, tools, methods, technology and gadgets.
We are unique in this sense. Special. In my opinion, it’s one of the reasons I think business owners are so valuable to our economy and society.
We fix and get stuff done! Yeah! Give me a B – B. Give me a U – U. Okay you get the point.
However, this wonderful gift and talent can be a curse. Some of us get bored too. We need a new adventure.
I experienced this syndrome firsthand this week. I got caught up in a shiny object. I spent enough time going down a rabbit hole that afterward I felt dirty and needed a bath. No it wasn’t anything weird or disgusting.
I just realized that I had gotten off course from my primary mission and goal long enough that I felt guilty and frustrated. Like I just had wasted a whole bunch of time. My wife says, “Nobody got time for that.”
So I felt guilty like I feel after eating that extra piece of pie or cake. (mmm…did I just say pie?)
Here are the lessons I learned from last week.
#1 – Stay focused on my goals. I have found that if I review them daily – even for a minute or two – it helps me stay focused on what matters most. It helps, by the way, to have written goals and perhaps a vision that really matters to you.
#2 – Be disciplined when it comes to engaging in innovation. Let’s face it…that’s what we do when we are chasing the shiny object…we are innovating or looking for a better way of doing things. Innovation is critical. We just need to do it in the right time and right way.
#3 – Give myself permission to chase a shiny object from time to time. I had suggested to a client to spend a couple hours on Fridays to have fun learning new things without any expectation to do anything with it. Just feed the entrepreneurial animal in you.
#4 – Get a hobby. I have one by the way…I just wasn’t engaged in it last week. Business owners are notorious for getting bored and getting off track from their goals. I will tell you that my most successful clients stay focused on their primary businesses.
Okay…so I’ve made my confession. What about you? Have you found yourself chasing a shiny object from time to time? What do you do to stay focused?
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Many people are familiar with the story about Jesus walking on water. But did you know Peter, one of His disciples, walked on water too? The bible recounts how Peter saw Jesus walking on the water. Peter, on a boat, called out to Jesus as He walking by. He said, “Lord if it’s really you, call me to you.”
Jesus told Peter to come to Him. So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water. It wasn’t until Peter took his eyes off Jesus that he began to sink.
Peter noticed and was distracted by the wind and the waves around him. He lost focus.
Regardless of your beliefs, one point of this story that can be applied to us all is this…
When we stay focused on our goals and vision, we will accomplish extraordinary things. However, the world around us is filled with distractions, wind and waves if you will, that want to take your eyes off your target. The wind and waves of life will always be there. Let’s accept that fact.
The solution is simple. Identify your target. Acknowledge that distractions are going to be all around you. However, never take your focus off your target.
Do you know what your target is? Is it so clear to you in your mind (and on paper) that when you focus you can see exactly what you are going for?
If you don’t have a clear target, coupled with laser focus, chances are you won’t be walking on water.
I've concluded that the single most important thing a business can do to improve itself is to become a systems driven organization. This simply means that the key to successful execution of every activity, and subsequent result, is a system, process or procedure.
It doesn't matter what a business is or what it does. It doesn't even matter what the activity is. Every action has an underlying system or procedure behind it. The better the system, the better the result. If you don't believe me than either you haven't tried it in your business or you tried it but didn't execute correctly or effectively.
Within the Level 7 System
we have a principle called Creating Replication. The Principle of Creating Replication suggests that a business must have a system or process in place to get their systems, processes and procedures developed and installed into the business. In other words, we have a system for successfully developing systems.
Well, Jennifer Maggoire and Heather Long and the team at MCM
took me up on a challenge the other day to see how fast they could get all the systems in their business documented, tested and implemented. "The faster, the better," I suggested. (They are using the Level 7 System for Creating Replication as their system for getting the job done, fast.)
"Not only will it be good for employee morale to get a project like this completed as fast as possible but the improvements you will see in your business will blow your mind," I told them. "Your revenues will increase, profits should soar, customer's will be happier and you will have a lot less frustrations and challenges in the business. Just watch what happens!"
They took me up on the challenge and agreed they would get this phase of the Level 7 Implementation Process completed in 90 days. I believe that Jenn offered then team a night out on the town including margaritas once they complete the process. So for fun, we will call this 'The Great MCM Margarita Race'. I will be giving you regular updates on their progress and their results along the way too.
. Ready…on your marks, get set, go…!
Business owners have trust issues. It's true! If you feel trapped in someway by your business or don't believe your business can work without you – you have trust issues.
What exactly do we need to trust in order to establish freedom? What do we need to trust so we can feel confident in our business and our people?
In a typical people dependent business model, answering those questions can be quite difficult. Most of the time a business owner in that environment has to trust their people on many different levels. They have to trust their knowledge and ability to perform specific tasks and functions in the business. They have to trust their people's judgment and decision making ability. They have to be able to count on their people. They have to trust in their own ability to innovate and create a model for business that will work. Just to name a few.
In a Level 7 Business, the business owner only has to trust 2 things.
They have to trust that they have systems, procedures and processes for doing business that will produce the optimal or desired resulst. In The Level 7 System we call this The Principle of Creating Replication.
They also have to trust their people to follow the systems. In The Level 7 System we call this The Principle of Facilitating Compliance.
You can't have one without the other.
Want to get over your trust issues, build an amazing business and establish freedom? Focus on building a business based on creating the best possible systems that produce results and establishing an environment of accountability with your people.
It's really that simple.
I often write that the key to leadership is creating a compelling vision and creatively and effectively communicating it until there is an enthusiastic collective focus among the followers.
This is key. We need clarity and focus. We need a mission we can grab a hold of. We need a sense of purpose. Good leadership does this. And they do it well.
A leader must also be effective at minimizing and eliminating distractions. Distractions cause division and disharmony. Distractions cause conflict. Distractions create doubt. Distractions leave people disillusioned and then they cease to follow. Distractions cause people to question the leadership.
Leaders work on vision and create focus. When this work is not done effectively, watch out because people will get distracted.