3 Actions for Equipping Leaders

Equipping doesn’t happen by accident; it’s intentional. And equipping yourself and your team must be a top priority if you want to develop and grow. As a business leader, I’ve found that developing others with me is critical to sustain the type of growth I want to see in my organization.

But how do we find the time needed to equip ourselves and those around us? Most of us collapse into bed at night exhausted, and we still didn’t accomplish everything we wanted to get done! Here are three “equipping” lessons I’ve learned along my leadership journey. (more…)

There are few places riper for productive discussions, contentious debate, smart decisions as well as disastrous ones than around the boardroom table. In my experiences both as a participant and an observer in various boardroom discussions over the years, I’ve identified the five most common characteristics of successful meetings around the boardroom table. (more…)

Have you ever felt like you put yourself out there with someone by being open and honest and vulnerable, only to get nothing in return? (more…)

Trust… it’s difficult to define and impossible to force. Building trust with others is the foundation of success. Trust glues marriages together, bonds friends for life, builds partnerships and connects business men and women. Trust between a leader and a follower impacts lives. (more…)

Discipline. Now that’s a word that can send a streak of freak down our spine! Why is that? I think it’s because discipline is a self-accountability trait. It’s very difficult to hold another person in discipline. Discipline is a commitment and effort that must come from within.

For example:

  • No one can diet for me. I must be disciplined to not over eat.
  • No one can exercise for me. I must be disciplined to work out myself.
  • No one can react appropriately for me. I must be disciplined to remain calm.

I’m inspired to write about discipline because recently I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside some great sales people whose results didn’t match up with their potential due to their lack of discipline. Why were they just meeting instead of exceeding their goals? They were okay with just getting by. Being okay with just getting by hurts our performance and the performance of our team. It’s what separates the good from the great from the best. (more…)

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with the executive leaders of one of my client companies. We were discussing the topic of empowering others, and I asked the question, “What does a person need to possess before we as leaders feel confident to empower them with an important project or assignment?”


We had a great discussion, and it didn’t take long for these leaders to agree on five elements in response to this question. These insights aren’t specific to any one organization; they are great traits for how any individual can better serve and lead up to their leader. (more…)

“Leadership must be based on goodwill. Goodwill does not mean posturing and, least of all, pandering to the mob. It means obvious and wholehearted commitment to helping followers. We are tired of leaders we fear, tired of leaders we love, and of tired of leaders who let us take liberties with them. What we need for leaders are men of the heart who are so helpful that they, in effect, do away with the need of their jobs. But leaders like that are never out of a job, never out of followers. Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away.”
– Admiral James B. Stockdale

Wow, there is so much meat to this quote that I’m almost intimidated to dig into it! I was blown away when I read it because it’s so powerful and direct, yet it’s spot on in regards to the true meaning of leadership. Let’s pull it apart and analyze as to whether we’re truly living this one out. (more…)

Commitment is a trade off. In the business world, the employee will only give the amount of commitment that they first get from their leader. A traditional trade off example is the almighty paycheck. In the past, many bosses have relied solely on the paycheck to gain commitment from their employees.

Relying on money to keep people committed is a common employer mishap. Yes, it’s true that an employee will stay at their job for money, but let’s be careful not to mistake staying as commitment to the leader or to the company. Their sticking around is most likely a commitment to something else, like providing for their family. The employee’s strong commitment to their responsibility of earning income is what makes the money exchange worth it. However, paychecks can be earned most anywhere. If a leader only has a paycheck commitment from their employees, they are at risk of losing them to bigger paychecks at other companies.

As leaders our goal should be to gain commitment at a deeper and much more fulfilling level for both us and our employees. Here are five actions to help you gain commitment beyond the paycheck: (more…)

Have you ever thought about the sacrifices you have to make as a leader and teammate? One of the best examples of true sacrifice is in the game of baseball. In fact, that’s what they call it – a sacrifice. A batter hits a fly ball to the outfield knowing there’s a 99.9% chance it’ll be caught. He sacrifices his out on purpose so another teammate on base can tag up and go score.

But what the heck? Get out on purpose? Surely the player must be thinking, “But won’t that make me look bad? How will that affect my batting average? I won’t get credit for a base hit. I won’t get to run the bases. I won’t score. I, I, I…”

Not really. Not if the player is committed to the team, anyway. Chances are the player understands that, “my sacrifice means we advance a runner to position our team to score.” One player’s sacrifice brings greater good to the team.

Of course we like this kind of sacrifice, especially when it results in a win for our favorite sports team. But like many sports analogies, the idea of sacrifice isn’t always crystal clear when you’re talking about its application off the field. (more…)