The Leadership Lingo

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.

Just about everyone enjoys quotes. They’re thought-provoking and motivational. But do they motivate action, or just a happy feeling? Do we simply agree with a quote and share it on Facebook and Twitter, or do we strive to live it out?

Today I’m beginning a weekly focus on how we can begin putting action and meaning behind great leadership quotes. I really like this quote by Seth Godin:

“You don’t need more time, you just need to decide.”

But how can we live Seth’s words out? What should this quote look like in our daily lives? (more…)

I’m an athlete. I used to apply my athletic abilities on the court, on the field, and in the gym. Today I live out my athletic expertise inside businesses, working with executives and their teams.

If you’ve ever been on a sports team, you probably remember your coach saying, “Practice like you play!” You knew that meant that when you practice you need to do it as if you were playing a real game.

For business purposes, I want to turn this idea upside down. What if we were to play like we practiced instead of practicing like we played? (more…)

One of the most crucial elements in my leadership career comes from the concept of “leading up.” John Maxwell teaches this concept in his book, The 360 Degree Leader. Leading 360 degrees means leading those beneath, across, and above you.

This leading principle has always intrigued me because I love how it challenges teammates to lead their “boss.” Even as the president and COO of an organization, I must be open to allowing those below me on the org chart to lead me.

Of course the idea of leading up sounds good in theory, but it doesn’t always seem so cut and dry in real life. We’re used to following the leader, but leading the leader? Just the idea can seem intimidating or down right dangerous! (more…)