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

PostSubject: EXTRA ORDINARY LEADERSHIP--3   Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:48 am

The Challenge to Lead
Chris Widener

The topic of leadership has been and continues to be one of the most vital topics in human history. From ancient civilizations to modern day multi-national corporations, men and women of passion, fervor and zeal have sought to discover the secrets of moving others beyond the gray of their mundane reality to the rich array of colors that embody the palate of the extraordinary life.
Every organization or collection of people, from large to small, requires ardent and skilled leaders. It has been said that everything rises and falls on leadership, and it is true. Every group – families, cities, churches, associations and yes, even nations – fulfills its purposes and potential based on the leadership it is shown.
As leaders we are given the charge, responsibility, and the privilege to see grand visions, to dream lofty dreams, to forge new ground, and to challenge and encourage those who would follow our leadership to ascend the heights with us. We beckon them to come. We implore them. All for their own good. This is to lead them toward their possibilities.
Be assured that there will be a leader of every group. There will be those who influence others, even if you don’t. There may even be unscrupulous people who use their abilities to lead others astray. The quote “All it takes for evil to prevail is for the good man to do nothing,” remains true today, as it has through the annals of time. This is the compelling motive for you to rise up and lead the way for others.
Our families depend on it.
Our community groups depend on it.
Our nations depend on it.
People will follow you for two reasons: They follow you because of your character, for who you are. They also follow you for your skills, for what you can do. Make it your every effort to impart skillful and honorable leadership for them that would look to you for your wisdom, your guidance and your belief in the promise of the human spirit.
Someone will lead. Will it be you? If not you, then who will lead? If you will not lead now, then when?
Today, more than ever, you are needed. Your strong character is needed. Your finely honed skills are needed. I know you will rise to the challenge.
Lead boldly. Lead with faith. Lead others to the pinnacle of the human existence. This is the highest calling and the reward is of the utmost kind.

The Best Ways To Multiply The Extraordinary Leadership in Your Organization
Chris Widener

Extraordinary Leaders are those who understand that in order for the organization to grow and make the maximum impact that it can, the leadership base in the organization must grow first and grow strong enough to hold the growth. If this does not happen, the organization will either not grow or will grow and then crumble because there is no solid foundation of leadership. The effort to multiply leadership must be ongoing and purposeful. Here are some ways to get your leadership base growing strong and wide!
1. Get Current Titled Leaders Growing in the Right Direction. If you want to increase the level and effectiveness of your leadership right now, then the first thing you should do is start with those who already have a title of leadership. You will find that many of the people you have as “leaders” really aren’t leaders at all so you have your work cut out for you! Sit down with your leadership team and let them know that you are going to be pushing them to grow in the area of leadership. It is imperative that the titled leaders get on board. If they don’t or won’t, then they have to go. No effective organization can continue with dead weight in leadership positions
2. Establish a Plan of Action for Leadership Development. Once you have decided to move forward with leadership development, you need a plan. I would suggest a one-year plan of reading and activities. I am currently taking a group of 17 people through a 12-month (one meeting per month) plan of leadership development. Each person has to read the required book for the month. Each person takes responsibility in a given area. Each person will give a verbal presentation to the rest of the group on an aspect of leadership. They are accountable to another person in the group for their development. This is the plan of action. If you need help setting this up, feel free to contact me and I can help.
3. Identify Untitled Leaders. You also want to identify the leaders you have who may not necessarily have a title of leadership. Know this though, they are leading! They are influencing the direction of your company or organization. They are leading and influencing others. Find out who they are and invite them into the official leadership process. How do you find these? Here are a few ways: Notice at your meetings who the other people look to for their opinion. That is the leader. Ask people who they think has leadership potential. A few names will come up over and over. They are your leaders. Ask people to tell you who has the most influence outside of the titled leaders. Again, a few names will come up over and over. They are your leaders. Now, get them on board with you!
4. Develop a Culture of Leadership. Call your leadership development group something like “Emerging Leaders.” Get t-shirts made up. Have special events for them. Get them involved. Honor their commitment and growth. Above all, let it be known throughout the organization that you value leadership development and you are willing to invest in people that way. Not only will you invest in them, but you will honor them and make it fun too!
5. Enable Leadership Attempts: Let them Try, Let Them Fail. This is where most groups fail. They will let people try, but they won’t let them fail. Once they fail, they take responsibility away from them again. Leadership development must be a long-term commitment and this means you will have to put up with some short-term failures. As you do, the leaders you are investing in will be growing and learning how to do it right in the long run. Those are the people who will grow your organization for years.
6. Establish Mentoring: Watch Me Do, Do with Me, Do Alone, Teach Another. Get the current leaders to teach the newer leaders. Have them take people along to do their everyday activities. Invest time in them, developing the relationship while they see how it is done. Then let them do some of the work themselves while you are there. As that gets better, then it is time to let them do it by themselves. Tell them you can’t make it that day but they can go make the meeting without you. Once they have mastered the task, have them turn around and mentor others. This way you are developing more and more layers of competent, Extraordinary Leaders!
7. Show the Benefits: Both Individual and Corporate. The fact is that people will do those things tat will bring them benefits and rewards so go all out to show them what they will get from it as individuals and as a group. Show them that leadership development will help them make more money, have better relationships with co-workers and have better job satisfaction. Show them that leadership development will show itself in all areas of their lives, not just at work. Show them how the whole organization will grow, become more efficient, accomplish the goals they have established and really make a difference in the world around them. Show them the benefits and you will get their hearts for leadership!

Being an Extraordinary Leader Through Tough and Challenging Times
Chris Widener

Tough and challenging times will surely come. That is a given. The question is what kind of leadership we will demonstrate during those time. Those who are weak leaders will see lasting damage done, if not see the organization fall apart completely. With Extraordinary Leaders at the helm, however, an organization can actually become stronger and thrive in spite of the tough and challenging times. That should be our goal so here are some idea on how to be an Extraordinary Leader 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.

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