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Awakening Leadership

True Leadership shows up in a loop. It is a continual process that allows for the growth and development of those in the process. If the greatest assets of any organization are the hearts and minds of its people, then the greatest skill or attitude is that of being an effective leader.

In 25 years of working with great leaders and developing great leaders, I have learned that the number one weapon formed against us is confusion. A leader’s job is not to answer all questions and fix all problems, but to remove confusion and communicate a vision.

There are so many books out there on leadership and team building, it can add to the confusion. I like to train leaders to Keep It Simple Soldier (KISS). Just because something is hard, there is no need to make it worse by making it complicated. Leadership is a loop and it consists of three pieces that feed each other, allowing for the perpetual guarantee of outcome. In the corporate world we call that SOP (standard operating procedure)—because it works!

Permission

The first thing we need to know: As leaders we give people permission. A hypocrite is one whose words and actions are incongruent—they don’t match. As a kid, I was raised with the greatest hypocrisy when my father would say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Our actions give other people permission—good or bad. A picture is said to be worth a thousand words. The average person speaks from 120 to 140 words per minute. One picture is the equivalent of six to eight minutes of non-stop dialogue.

Example

Example takes the permission to a more specific, personal level. It is one thing to have permission, to know that it is okay to do something; it is another to know HOW to do something. A picture allows for someone to match and model activity and purpose.

People don’t need another sermon, they need a picture. Dr. Albert Mehrabian posits that in an agreement gaining presentation, words are only seven percent of communication. Everything else is everything else. Our example is the best explanation of what we want others to do and to be like. When you can demonstrate what your outcome looks like, sounds like and feels like, then you remove confusion from the equation and allow for greater results.

Environment

Everything is produced from the environment. Environment is like the soil to a farmer. Good soil produces good produce. Bad soil begets bad produce. If you plant radish seeds, you get radishes. If you plant carrot seeds today, in a few months you will be pulling up carrots. The environment, or culture of an organization, is what produces the repeated results a leader gets.

The produce, the outcomes of an organization, are a direct result of the environment in which things were developed. It is critical that this environment is reinforced at all levels of leadership and management and by all team members. When your culture is conscious and controlled, then your team is unleashed to be all they were created to be!

Rule number one about being a leader: It’s not about you! Leader, get off yourself, and remember that your number one commodity is hope. A good leader is a Hope Peddler. When you are consciously living life, like it matters, helping grow people with forward looking hope and you understand the leadership loop, the possibilities are more probable.

The return on investment of time and resources is magnified. However, the greater result is the ‘human capital’, because no matter what you do for a living, you help create better leaders. Leaders peddling hope, who give permission to others to play big, give an example of a purposeful, passionate, focused, committed, visionary leader for others to emulate. But most importantly, this is done in an environment that supports the implementation and application of said vision.

“Thus the brave and aspiring life of one man lights a flame in the minds of others of like faculties and impulse; and where there is equally vigorous effort, like distinction and success will almost surely follow. Thus the chain of example is carried down through time in an endless succession of links---admiration exciting imitation, and perpetuating the true aristocracy of genius.” ~ Samuel Smiles

For the past 25 years, Scott V. Black has been the master trainer for Transformational Leadership Training-Leadership Awakening. He is also Radio Host for Like It Matters Radio, heard daily from 9 to 10 a.m. CST, in Minneapolis, on Wellness Radio 1570 and TwinCitiesWellnessRadio.com. For more information, visit LikeItMatters.net.

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