Manipulation or Inspiration – It’s Your Choice!

If you believe as John Maxwell proposes, that leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less, then we’d have to say that there have been some pretty successful leaders in our day, some of whom have done some pretty horrific things.

shouting-manager-pointing-forward-10089867
If you believe as John Maxwell proposes, that leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less, then we’d have to say that there have been some pretty successful leaders in our day, some of whom have done some pretty horrific things. I agree that leadership is largely indicative of how we choose to influence.
Simon Sinek tells us that we influence either through manipulation or inspiration. Manipulation sounds bad, doesn’t it? Manipulation can run the gamut from direct force and threats, to even collaboration. And there’s a lot of in-between.
The leaders that I’ve admired passed one major litmus test. I would choose to follow them by choice. Not because I needed a paycheck and not because I needed benefits. I would follow them because they had a vision that they clearly articulated and they were passionate about it. They were also people of integrity so I wanted to follow them, to be part of their team. There were truly inspirational. And I can count the number of these highly inspirational leaders using just one hand.
Manipulative leaders often get great results, but at what cost? Do we need to be reminded of the dismal engagement numbers reported by the Gallup organization? I feel like I’ve relieved the fairytale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” dozens of times in my life. Just recently, I saw a leader who was lauded for all the great things that he/she said. Yet speak to some who’ve left this organization. It’s a grueling “my way or the highway” culture that really doesn’t value people. They value results. If you don’t get results – you’re gone, that simple. Manipulation is the chosen method of influence.
I grew up in operations and held line leadership positions. I understand the importance of the top and bottom lines on a P&L and the accountability that accompanies that responsibility. However, I spent a number of years in HR leadership positions and believe me when I tell you that people should be the main thing in your business. If you treat them well and invest in them, the top line and bottom line will fall in line! And that’s inspirational!
Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic@freedigitalphotos.net

Where Were You?

It’s almost unfathomable to me that in less than a month we will memorialize 15 years since the attack on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

aerial-view-of-new-york-at-dusk-10050423

It’s almost unfathomable to me that in less than a month we will memorialize 15 years since the attack on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Like me, I’m sure you remember where you were when the first plane crashed into the first tower; then the second. As the horror unfolded, one thing became quite clear; we were there for each other and our patriotism was unwavering. Our pride for the red, white and blue was not deterred by the horrific actions of a few.

I remember courtesy, compassion and kindness manifesting itself on the road, in the grocery stores and generally any opportunity we had to reach out to others to lend a hand. I also remember tears falling down my face the first time I heard Alan Jackson’s song, “Where Were You” (when the world stopped turning).

We need that same sense of unity, pride and purpose now and it comes from leadership. You’ve heard me say a million times that anyone can lead from where they stand. It’s time for Hillary and Donald to take off the boxing gloves and stop the vitriolic jibes at each other. It’s time for each of them to tell us exactly what they will do to bring us together as the potential leader of the free world and not drive a wedge between us.

We shouldn’t need horrific acts like 911 to remind us that we live in the greatest country in the world. Maybe we do need to be reminded that we have brave men and women who serve, who have served and who’ve lost their lives to fight for our freedom and the rights we often take for granted.

Maybe we need to be reminded that first responders put their lives on the line as part of their job responsibilities and thousands of them are struggling with disease as a result of their heroic efforts on September 11, 2001.

And we definitely need to be reminded on the chance that Donald and Hillary are incapable of getting their proverbial acts together, we can reach out to those who are different from us; listen more than we speak; and make comments like, “tell me more”. When we seek first to understand, I’ll bet we’ll see that what we have in common far outweighs our differences. That’s a cornerstone of a great leader.

Where will you be this September 11 and how will you choose to lead?

 

Photo courtesy of puttsk@freedigitalphotos.net

Had Your Oil Changed Lately? – Part 1

Some of you may be heading to a garage this weekend to change the oil in your car. Why? So your car can run more effectively and efficiently. When was the last time you changed the oil in your emotional tank?

Some of you may be heading to a garage this weekend to change the oil in your car.  Why?  So your car can run more effectively and efficiently.  When was the last time you changed the oil in your emotional tank?

Even if you were treated horribly by your former employer – let it go.  Unless you’re planning to sue them for discrimination or harassment, get your mind in the right place.  Get help from a professional therapist or psychologist if needed.

If you’ve just gone through a divorce or a break-up of a long-term relationship, see above.  Do not tell others who are trying to help you network, or someone who is interviewing you, that you hated your last boss and you broke up with your partner three weeks ago.  Get rid of this emotional baggage and those nasty Facebook posts.  It’s tough stuff, but you won’t have others rushing to introduce you to future employers if you can’t present a positive, professional image.

images courtesy of stock images at freedigitalphotos.net