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Number of posts : 305
Age : 68
Registration date : 2007-10-04

PostSubject: EXTRA ORDINARY LEADERSHIP--2   Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:22 am

Common Mistakes Extraordinary Leaders Don't Make
Chris Widener

When people make a decision (either consciously or unconsciously) to follow your leadership, they do it primarily because of one of two things: Your Character or your Skills. They want to know if you are the kind of person they want to follow and if you have the skills to take them further. Yes, there are other variables but these are the bulk of the matter. This week we focus on the kind of skills that cause people to follow your leadership, specifically things that an Extraordinary Leader doesn’t do!
1. Not Riding Momentum - To increase your leadership effectiveness, you want to learn to ride the momentum of the situation (the positive momentum of course!). When we begin to experience bad momentum we naturally try to stop it and that is good, but many people also have the tendency to try to stop the positive momentum as well. This comes from our basic desire to have things “under control.” Unfortunately, often when we try to control the situation, we actually stop the good that is happening. So let go of the reigns and ride the momentum!
2. Flaunting the Privilege of Leadership - Leadership has its privileges, that is for sure. And rightly so! The entrepreneur who started the company ought to be paid well and reap the rewards for the risks that he or she took. Unfortunately, human nature is still such that people can resent the success and privileges of others, even if they worked hard for them. Therefore, an extraordinary leader will not be guilty of flaunting the privileges they have because this is likely to cause a backlash and can actually harm their ability to lead. Whenever possible share the privileges and rewards of leadership and your followers will love you all the more!
3. Picking People Who Won't Threaten Them - An Extraordinary Leader will always try to pick people who are better than them! Again, human nature is such that we think, “Wait, if I hire her, she’ll have me out of a job in no time.” Then we pick someone of lesser quality, while our competitor hires the good one and surges ahead. No, pick the best! If they are better than you, you will grow together as a team and you will still be the leader and people will respect you for your ability to pick - and lead - a winning team!
4. Not Having a Second in Command Who Complements Them - An ordinary leader picks someone who is like them so they can feel comfortable. An Extraordinary Leader picks someone who can do all the things that he or she can’t; someone who can see things in ways that he or she can’t. An Extraordinary Leader needs a right hand person who can compliment their skills and style. This way the old adage is proved true - two heads are better than one!
5. Not Giving Power Away - An ordinary leader wants to do as much as they can so they can be seen as a good, hard worker. They think that they lead by example in this. An Extraordinary Leader knows that they need to empower others to do the work and make the decisions if the organization is to grow and they are together going to make a difference. We must let others take leadership themselves, even if it means they fail at first. This way we multiply the organizational leadership and we go even further!
6. Unable or Unwilling to Make Hard Decisions - Leadership is a lot of decision making. Non-leaders don’t like to make decisions because they operate from a subjective viewpoint. They aren’t thinking about the overall health of the organization, they are thinking about who will get mad or who might lose their jobs. While we want to be sensitive to these things, the Extraordinary Leader understands that sometimes hard decisions have to be made for the sake of the organization - and they make them. Then they carry them out. John Maxwell says that decisions are like crying babies: both should be carried out quickly!
7. Trying to Have No Casualties - This may be the greatest leadership lesson I have ever learned. The Extraordinary Leader knows that anytime the organization will make ground, there will be casualties. In the movie Gladiator, the lieutenant comes to tell Maximus that the troops are not fully ready for battle. Maximus sees that the other side is about to move and if they don’t move first, they will lose the war. The Lieutenant begins to say, “The casualties will be too great,” but Maximus finishes the lieutenant’s sentence so that instead he said, “The casualties will be ‘acceptable.’” I realize now that when my organization moved ahead tremendously a few years ago, the people who got in a huff about it were the casualties and that any time a group moves ahead, that will happen. We shouldn’t look for or enjoy casualties, but understand they will assuredly come, and accept them. So move ahead!

Extraordinary Leadership in Tough and Challenging Times
Chris Widener

Every human organization goes through tough and challenging times, because, well, we’re human! We need to expect that tough times will come, but know that by exhibiting Extraordinary Leadership during those times, the group can come out of them stronger than ever! Here are some thoughts for you to consider on being an Extraordinary Leader during tough and challenging times, whether you lead a business, a city, a non-profit organization, a church or a family.
How to Exhibit Extraordinary Leadership in Tough and Challenging Times
1. Keep Your Eye on the Big Picture. When things get tough, everybody’s temptation is to become acutely focused on the problem. The Extraordinary Leader, however, will keep his or her eye on the big picture. This doesn’t mean that we don’t address the problem. In fact, we have to address the problem. But what separates a leader from a follower is that the leader doesn’t get caught up in the problem. The leader sees the big picture and keeps moving toward the vision. The further they take their followers toward the vision, the further away from the problem they get.
2. Don't Get Caught in the War or the Friendly Fire. When it gets tough even the most loyal team members can be tempted to start shooting and, unfortunately, they sometimes shoot each other! Rather than focusing on the enemy on the outside, they begin to question each other and find many faults with one another that they normally would not have seen. The Extraordinary Leader is the one who can keep from being drug into the fray. They keep their eye on the big picture and act rationally and objectively. They understand that people are heated and are saying things they don’t really mean. The people are firing because they are angry or scared. The Extraordinary Leader understands this and rises above it. This way, they take fewer arrows and they set the example for their followers.
3. Be First to Sacrifice. When it gets tough, like when there has to be cuts in salaries etc, the leader should do just that - lead. They need to not only be the one who is rewarded the greatest when all is well, but they need to be the first to sacrifice. The Extraordinary leader says, “I know many of you are concerned with the salary cuts. I am too. In the long run we will be healthy again but for the mean time, this is necessary. Understanding this, I want you to know that I am taking a 20% pay reduction myself. I want you to know that we are in this together.” The Extraordinary Leader is the first to sacrifice and will be rewarded with the loyalty of his or her followers.
4. Remain Calm. Panic is one of the basest of human emotions and no one is immune to it. The Extraordinary Leader, however, takes time out regularly to think the issues through so they can remain calm. They remind themselves that all is not lost and there will be another day. They remind themselves that being calm will enable them to make the best decisions - for themselves and for their followers. Panic only leads to disaster, while calm leads to victory.
5. Motivate. In tough and challenging times, people are naturally down. They tend to be pessimistic. They can’t see how it is all going to work out. Thus, they have a hard time getting going. The Extraordinary Leader knows this and will focus in on being the optimistic motivator. He or she will come to the office knowing that for the time being, the mood of the group will be carried and buoyed by them and their attitude. Above all else, they seek to show how the end result will be good - and with this they motivate their followers to continue on, braving the current storms, and on to their shared destiny.
6. Create Small Wins. One of the ways to motivate is to create small wins. The Extraordinary Leader knows that in tough times his or her people think that all is lost. They wonder if they can win. So the Extraordinary Leader creates opportunities for the team to win, even if they are small. They set smaller, more achievable goals and remind and reward the team members when they hit those goals. With each small win, the leader is building the esteem and attitude of his followers, digging them out of their self-created hole of fear.
7. Keep a Sense of Humor. Look, hardly anything in life can’t be laughed at. The Extraordinary Leader knows that even if the whole company goes down the drain, we still go home to our families and live a life of love with them. The Extraordinary Leader keeps perspective and knows that we humans act irrationally when we get scared and fail, and sometimes that is humorous. Don’t ever laugh at someone’s expense in this situation, because that will be perceived at cold and heartless, regardless of what you meant by it, but do keep the ability to laugh at yourself and the situations that present themselves. By doing this you will keep yourself and your team in an attitude that will eventually beat the tough times.
Keys to Motivating People to Follow Your Extraordinary Leadership
Chris Widener

One thing I know to be true but many people do not believe is that people do want to be motivated. Sometimes people will say, “But they just won’t follow.” Not true. You just haven’t motivated them to follow you! Get certain things right and they will follow! With that in mind, here are some keys to getting people to follow your leadership.
1. Inspire and Challenge Them. People want to be inspired. They want to be encouraged to think bigger and better things. They want to look for and climb big mountains. They want to have someone help them dream their biggest dreams. That’s inspiration! They also want someone to set the high bar for them. They want someone to tell them that they can and should aim higher and go for more. That’s challenge! Show them the lofty heights, because not many others are. And the one who does is the one who will lead them.
2. Teach Them. One of the greatest leadership development programs in the world is at General Electric. Jack Welch has personally devoted himself to its growth. And he has spent thousands and thousands of hours there himself, teaching in a classroom setting. He knows that information must be communicated. Take the time and be patient. Teach those who follow you how to go. Don’t be condescending because in the process, you will probably learn something yourself!
3. Empathize With Them. OK, it’s almost cliché by now, but the saying, “I feel your pain” worked! Why? Because people want their leaders to feel their pain. They want them to know what it feels like when it is hard or when it is work. This doesn’t mean every board meeting has to be a touchy-feely sob-fest, but we ought to do more than tell our followers to “Suck it up soldier!” This day and age, that doesn’t fly. They want to know that you understand what they are going through and that you care. Sit down with them. Ask questions about the situation. And follow up with them.
4. Strategize With Them. Some, but very few people want to be told what to do and then left alone. Most would like some direction and help in the area of strategy. Take the time to plot out the plan of action. Even if you know it, it is best to not just hand it over and say, “Now do it.” Take them step-by-step so they learn how to do it themselves. Remember, we aren’t just trying to get the job done; we are trying to get the job done and create new leaders under us. This is an investment!
5. Dream With Them. Take an interest in what it is that they want to accomplish in their life. Give them opportunity to dream about what your organization or business can become. Let them, encourage them, to dream big dreams, and then do all you can to share that dream, foster that dream, and make that dream a reality! Let them know that you are committed to them achieving their dreams and they will follow you to the ends of the earth!
6. Encourage Them to Shoot for the Stars. This is closely aligned with having them dream, but this has more to do with the size of their dream! Most people will underestimate what they can do or what they want to accomplish. Most people have much more potential than they realize, let alone live up to. Help them by encouraging them to stretch their dreams so they are even bigger and greater than their first plan.
7. Communicate Honestly and Clearly With Them. People who follow want their leaders to be honest with them. They act of following is based on believing that you are being told the truth about where you are going! Be open about the positives and the negatives. People can take it and if you make them integral to the solutions, then even tough problems become a chance for teamwork! Communicate in many ways: written, verbal etc. Just do it regularly so they know what the plan is, where you are going, what time departure is and the estimated time of arrival at destination SUCCESS!

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