Categories
Leadership Mental Health

Taking Care Of Yourself as a Leader

One of the most neglected yet essentials of leadership is self-care and support.

This Wednesday, I’ll be sharing my experiences managing the ups and downs and share keys for how I take (better) care of myself now.

Self-Care and Support for Leaders – Signup Here

By the way …. one of the critical keys of support I’ll share live on the webinar has been my peer group (who I’ve walked with for 8+ years now). The exponential impact to my success and happiness of that one group inspired Jeff and I to offer our new Leader Huddles.

You’ll also want to signup for my partner Jeff’s webinar on strategic business cadence on May 23 at 11 a.m. Central.

Jeff has been facilitating strategic progress meetings for clients for years. I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on some recently and he’s got a real gift for asking the critical questions that need to be asked in order to move the agenda forward. He’ll be sharing takeaways and tips for making the most of your key meetings that drive progress.

Establishing Your Strategic Business Cadence – Signup Here

We’ll be rolling out more webinars like these in the coming weeks at Leader.Team!

Categories
Entrepreneurship Leadership Leadership Development

My Next Venture is Live: Leader.Team

After months of preparation and planning, I’m excited today to rollout Leader.Team officially with my co-founder Jeff Meziere.

Our vision is simple:

to build a community of dynamic leaders, who want to learn and grow, together.

When I first became a leader of a team over 10+ years ago, I remember how scared I was and inadequate I felt. Being a leader and manager was often a daunting task, without much support, and as my team grew so did those feelings as well as the pressure and responsibility.

What I yearned for most as a leader and came to rely on later was having a set of trusted peers that I could share perspectives and experiences with to learn and grow, and get feedback and support on the challenges and struggles we all face on the never-ending road of leadership.

A few years into my first role as a leader, I found all of that and more in a peer group based in Oklahoma City, where I live.

Being a part of that peer group changed my life for the better. (One of the members of that group, by the way, was my co-founder, Jeff.)

I can point back to that group as a catalyst for my growth and success as a leader. It’s been so impactful on my life that I helped start two other in-person groups.

And today …. we want to offer a similar experience for you.

We’re rolling out Leader Huddles which are facilitated online peer groups of 4-8 leaders, meeting once a month for 90 minutes to learn and grow, and support and encourage each other.

Our first Leader Huddles are forming this month!

Go check out the details on our Leader Huddles and sign up today!

And if you have questions, please hit our contact form or schedule a discovery call with us.

Categories
Leadership

Join My First Leadership Small Group

Leadership Small GroupFor the last couple of months, I’ve been searching deeply, tirelessly, exhaustingly, for what’s next. And frankly, I’m just too damn impatient to wait any longer.

I’ve been asking myself over and over and over: What drives me? What key themes emerge when I reflect on my strengths and experiences, and feedback from others I trust?

And then, how do I want to spend the next chapter of my professional career? How do I want to consistently spend my time, energy and effort?

Oh yeah, and what would people actually value enough to pay me for?

My coach and I talked this week about the next chapter — and in regards to the time, energy and focus question what do I put in my bucket or jar.

I always go back to people, and specifically helping leaders and their teams.

For the longest time my personal mantra has been to: Inspire others to their greatness.

As a leader and entrepreneur my mantra has been to: Make people’s lives awesome.

A couple months ago I said to myself that I wanted to make an exponential impact.

So I have gone around and around on what I might offer. I’ve read, sought feedback, tweaked ideas and drafted plans endlessly.

Then last night, my wife Lindsey who has had a front row seat to all this endless exhausting soul-searching wandering and ranting (bless her heart!) said, essentially … why don’t you just put it out there … and talk about what you want to talk about.

So that’s what I’m launching today. [JOIN THE WAIT LIST FOR MY NEXT ONE!]

Here goes:

The Topic

I want to talk about: You and Your People.

I want to talk about the leader and their team. And share and discuss my personal experiences, growth, key lessons over the last 10+ years as a leader of teams — and what’s been the most impactful and helpful for me on the subject of leading myself and leading others.

It’s going to be somewhat of a first draft. But also updating concepts I’ve shared in the past that have resonated within me, and also others.

You have the opportunity to be a part of my beta group.

I want to share … and ask questions. And I want others to ask questions and share too.

The Outline

Here are the topics I am most passionate about … specifically, how I did it and how I continue to succeed:

YOU — The Leader

  • Knowing Yourself — learning and then most importantly leaning into your strengths and uniqueness so that you can develop your own authentic brand of leadership, values and approach. Plan to take a couple of strengths assessments if you haven’t, specifically, StrengthsFinder, Kolbe A and VIA Character Strengths. (Yes, they cost extra money.)
  • The Habits of Reading and Writing — two key practices that got me here, and I trust to continue taking me farther and what I think are essential habits of leaders. Reading keeps you learning and growing as a leader and human, and it opens you up to new ideas that you can apply. Writing helps crystallizes your ideas, vision, beliefs and makes you a better communicator. If you don’t have a public blog or private journal, you’ll be starting one.
  • The Iceberg this is all about self-care and support for you, the leader. If you’re not healthy and taking care of yourself then your people will suffer greatly. You and your health are paramount to success for you and those you care about.

YOUR PEOPLE — The Team You Lead

  • Making People’s Lives Awesome — inspiring greatness in others by loving and caring for them as humans, and developing them through mentoring and coaching so that they are empowered and released to do and give their very best everyday at work and when they go home.
  • Going Far Together — creating a sense of belonging and purpose that we are all much better together than separated. Developing and sharing a compelling vision of the future that inspires and connects your people and their contributions to your goals.

The Format

Here is what the program looks like:

  • This will be a small group, capped at 10 people.
  • We will meet weekly for 1 hour for 5 weekson Thursdays at Noon Central, starting April 18, 2019.
  • I’ll share for roughly 30 minutes … and leave around 30 minutes for discussion, Q&A that I will moderate.
  • We’ll meet via Zoom … and the meeting will be recorded and shared afterward with those who are in our beta group.

 

Intro Price: $500

with a no-questions-asked (well maybe one: what could I do better?) money-back guarantee

Are you ready?

Join the Wait List

Have more questions? Post them in the comments below, or ping me privately here.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Leadership

Do It For Them Or Let Them Figure It Out

One of the best pieces of advice (experience share, OK, OK) I got as a rookie entrepreneur trying to build our team was:

“If you want to see how good your team is and the health of your business, take two weeks off with minimal, if any, contact and see how they do.”

I’ve done it that now several times now over the last couple of years and have been so impressed with our team and their ability to do what we need to do, without me standing over them.

Too often I see entrepreneurs, particularly those with high levels of skills (particularly with tech), struggling with control and delegation. They simply can’t let go of certain things.

And I often struggle with delegation myself.

You know you’re struggling with delegation when you say:

“But it’s just easier, faster, better for me to do it.”

The key question is: “Should I do it for them, or should I let them do it and figure it out on their own?”

Sadly, what happens when we don’t choose to delegate, and them simply do it ourselves, is a whole host of negative things.

Sure, you might get YOUR ideal quality and result when you do it yourself every time … but you also become the bottleneck when you don’t train and delegate to others on your team. And you’re certainly not leveraging your team’s strengths and skills wisely.

Additionally, I know a lot of entrepreneurs who struggle with constant burnout and frustration (that often leads to anger and bitterness — been there, done that) because of this core challenge.

To make the scenario even simpler …. this recently hit home with me as a parent.

We have two young children. As infants, we had to do every thing for them for obvious reasons. But now as they are becoming toddlers, we’re realizing that they can become more autonomous in many ways and we definitely want to encourage them to do so.

I mean, I can’t imagine having a teenager who can’t go to the bathroom by themselves, or fix themselves a drink or a snack, but rather have us scramble to their every whim or need.

In fact, the goal isn’t that we don’t love and care for them … it’s that eventually when they are older and adults and go into the world, we want them to be fully functioning, healthy, happy and autonomous adults. (Even if we follow them around the world because we miss them.)

Back to business though ….

Delegation is probably one of the toughest things I do. It takes continual refinement, practice and communication.

It means letting go and empowering others to do their best. 

But I think there are numerous benefits to Letting Others Figure It Out Versus Doing It For Them.

Here is a graphic to illustrate what you typically get with each of those options:

delegating

As Dan Pink said in his bestseller “Drive,” it’s all about offering your team, your people, “Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.”

Here are naunces, caveats, keys to empowering others: 

  • It doesn’t happen overnight — it takes time, effort and communication.
  • We all still make mistakes and that’s OK — that’s called learning. It’s only failure if we don’t learn from them.
  • Give more WHY than HOW — it’s tough at first to not give only the how. But if you know the strengths of your team and can clearly
  • Trust but verify — it should be known that although you trust your team, you have a responsibility to verify too. Checking up and in is part of that process. It’s also part of the coaching, teaching, training, mentoring part too.
  • Editing is improvement, not criticism — One of the toughest aspects for me in delegation is offering feedback at the end or delivery of a project or task. It should be about coaching and teaching, not blame, so that we improve all we do. [See No Blame Necessary] That’s why I like the word “editing” better for this. (ht Jon Acuff).
  • Teach values, more than practices — A couple years ago, one of my most trusted and valued team members made a decision. It didn’t turn out well. In fact, it kind of blew up in our face. When we started reviewing what happened together, particularly why she made that action, I smiled … because in her words I knew she had approached it with the values we hold dear first and foremost, and felt empowered and trusted to make the decision, even if it didn’t turn out well initially. If I had instituted a rigid system of practices for her to follow, it would have been worse — and likely we would never had taken action. But instead I sought to help her find any takeaways and reinforced that she took action based on our values (all good), instead of waiting on me or someone else.
  • They get the credit; I take the blame — It’s not that we don’t find out what happened and why. But I want my team to get credit for the awesome, values-focused autonomous work they do. And when mistakes happen, as the leader, I take ultimate responsibility. It’s my team. (And by the way, I get way more than my fair share of credit for what we do too.)
  • Have the end result in clear view — The best example of delegation was with my COO, Matt Danner. When we named him to that role, we paired him with a leadership coach (aka Smitty). But before they met, Smitty was so good to say, “What do you want the end result to be? What are your goals?” so that he could help train and shape Matt to be that person for me. It turned out rather well.

OK, now I need to get back to work on improving my delegating and empowering.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Leadership

The One Enduring Key to Effective, Successful Leadership

Wanna be a good leader and manager?

I have found the ONE sustaining, redeeming, enduring thing you have to do.

But it’s remarkably simple so you’re likely to dismiss it.

CARE

You could screw most of the other stuff up, but if you simply care about people they’ll follow you to the ends of the earth.

Here’s an excerpt from my ebook ‘The New Rules of Entrepreneurship” on caring …

Caring is about empathy — being able to “understand and share the feelings of another.”

Caring is about showing kindness, compassion and concern for other people involved in or affected by your business.

Caring is other-centered … it means being genuinely interested in THEIR stories, not your own.

And yes, it gets messy sometimes because when you care people open up their lives to you. But that’s because they trust you with that information, again, all because they know you care.

Here are some simple ways you can show you care:

  • Ask about them and their unique stories first. Don’t dominate the conversations about you, your work and what they should buy from you. And as they are opening up to you, don’t be scanning the room for other people to talk to!
  • Treat ALL people like human beings with immense value. No one is insignificant. Everybody matters. I’m amazed at how poorly people treat others they deem to not matter in the grand scheme of things. I make eye contact, say hello and when I can introduce myself and say, “Very nice to meet you.” You’d be surprised how awful receptionists or assistants are treated, when in fact, do you know who actually has the ear of the influencers?!
  • Remember names and stories. I know when someone remembers my name I feel important and valued, don’t you? Yes, sometimes I blank on names too, so I try to think about the people I might be meeting beforehand and recall and practice them. When in doubt, I admit to being foggy and reintroduce myself to them.
  • Follow-up when you hear about good or bad news — like an achievement or a hard time in someone’s life. A good business friend of mine consistently sends me clippings from newspapers when he sees my name pop up. That always makes me feel good. Others send me birthday cards or notes of congrats. I seek to email or text people regularly just to check in and see how they are doing.
  • Be transparent and open about your own personal stories, vulnerabilities and flaws, when appropriate. It’s amazing how when I’ve shared something personal and close to me that others reciprocate with the same. It shows you’re a human.

By the way, caring breeds loyalty.

Awesome, amazing loyalty for your customers and your team … all because you simply, most genuinely, CARE about them.

Caring also brings you more in alignment with what your customers want. When you care about them, you empathize with and for them, uniquely understanding who they are and what they want and need. Your stories will be more aligned and your products and services will cater more to them because, yes, you care.