Are you contagious?

Medical experts are predicting this year’s flu season to be one of the worst in recent history. Yet, the flu isn’t the only thing that’s highly contagious right now. Your attitude can be just as infectious. (more…)

The ancient Romans were masters of architecture, and according to Roman legend, they were also quite adept at taking ownership of their decisions as well. It has been said that when an arch was near completion in ancient Rome, the Roman engineer responsible for designing and overseeing the construction had to stand directly beneath the center of the arch as the capstone was put into place. His standing there symbolized – both figuratively and literally – his willingness to stand beneath the weight of his decisions. (more…)

If you have been a parent for long, you have likely had those moments of pride – and others of regret – when you watch your child do something you know they picked up from observing you.

Of course, if you have led a team for long, you also know this feeling. Like our children, our team is a reflection of who we are and they are driven by what we allow. No amount of “do as I say, not as I do” will prove otherwise. (more…)

I had coffee with a young emerging leader this week. She is learning leadership by the bootstraps (the best way in my opinion). During our conversation she said, “sometimes leaders can be too polished.” We went on to discuss how leaders that are too polished want to make leadership look good. They want to say the right things and make leading look gorgeous and important. But in reality, the best leaders to learn from and to work for are more authentic than polished. (more…)

Do you have the vocabulary of a leader, or do you have the actions of a leader?

It only takes reading a handful of articles and books on leadership to get the vocabulary down, throwing some popular leadership lingo into our business conversations. We’ve all heard the talk intended to impress about serving, adding value, leading by example, having an open door policy…

What’s really impressive is when a leader puts words and vocabulary aside and actually lives out what they believe.

You will gain the respect and the hearts of your people when they know you not for your leadership talk or philosophies, but for your leadership actions.

“Servant Leadership.” It’s a popular term thrown around these days. We tell our people they need to be servant leaders. We constantly ask our colleagues and customers to tell us how we can serve them. And when we do help out a coworker or satisfy a customer, we are tempted to give ourselves a gold star and a big ol’ pat on the back for being such good servant leaders.

I’m not knocking the idea of servant leadership. I believe in it and have been blessed to be a benefactor of it from leaders and followers. However, because the term is so easily spoken, I thought it might do us good to conduct a gut check on the subject by looking at two vital components to servant leadership: attitude and actions. (more…)