The Team Comes First

This blog post is a follow up to one of the two topics we didn’t get to discuss in-depth on last week’s webinar, The Strongest Team Wins: How to Build a Team that Gets Things Done. If you were unable to attend, click the link to view the recorded version of the webinar.

“Team first” is a popular mantra in sports and business, but when it comes to walking out the idea of team first, the idea can quickly stall out. So how do we make team first a reality? (more…)

In a recent Leadership Promises daily devotional, I read that even a really introverted person will influence 10,000 people in his or her lifetime. That’s a lot of people! Of course, that influence may be fleeting, but it doesn’t minimize the impact that we can have. (more…)

Pay it forward. The phrase alone makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it? We love it when the car in front of us at the Starbucks drive through “pays it forward” by paying for our cup of coffee, and we, in turn, pay it forward by buying a cup for the car behind us. (more…)

If you want to be a good leader you have to realize that it is all about the numbers. Producing the numbers is more important than anything else in business. Most of my clients will be astonished with this point of view. Let me be clear: A leader who cannot produce the numbers will not be successful taking a company into the future. (more…)

This week we celebrate the birth of Jesus, a leader we should all strive to be like. He was loving, firm, and focused. He sacrificed for others, cast vision, believed in his mission, and was passionate about our buy in. He was patient, earned his influence, and led from the heart. He was courageous, inspirational, didn’t give in to temptation, didn’t run from difficulty, didn’t delegate his responsibilities, and took a bullet (a nail) for his team. (more…)

Each new promotion we achieve in our careers presents new opportunities to grow and impact others. It also presents new levels of temptation.

What are the temptations that grow with promotions?

  • Taking long lunches or not eating in the common employee break room areas anymore
  • Routinely arriving to work a few minutes late or cutting out a few minutes early
  • Running personal errands on company time or having a direct report do personal work
    for you
  • Taking credit for the team’s performance
  • Changing bonus structures with your employees to save money
  • Allowing special preferential treatment for favored employees (more…)

Sunday evening CBS News aired a “60 Minutes” episode that included a story about Paul Tudor Jones II, a billionaire hedge fund manager/philanthropist who founded The Robin Hood Foundation, an organization that has raised and given away over a billion dollars in the past 25 years to fund charter schools as well as job training and food programs in New York City. His efforts are intended to break the cycle of poverty that so many of the city’s inhabitants live in.

Jones’ professional successes and amazing wealth makes the statement he said in yesterday’s story even more noteworthy. In reference to his appeal to the ultra-rich to give generously at his organization’s annual fundraiser, he said: (more…)

Last week I had one of those fulfilling, rewarding, crazy and chaotic mornings with several planned and pop-up calls and conversations with clients.

Fulfilling and rewarding because I love getting to talk to and strategize with the leaders I help support, especially when it’s on the fly!

Crazy and chaotic because I had several other “to do” items on my task list that my teammates needed me to complete so they could move forward with their projects, and my mayhem of a morning prevented me from getting to any of them that day.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Our clients come first, and what I was doing that morning – serving our clients – was the most important thing I should have been doing. At the same time, I don’t want to be a leader who holds her people up from their performance and production. Any time a leader holds things up so the team can’t perform, it’s a bad thing. So, how should leaders handle these situations? (more…)

“It doesn’t take a leader long to realize that it’s a lot easier to give good advice
than to follow good advice.” – Courtesy @EQUIPLeaders

That’s a sobering statement that should make each of us step back and reflect on how well we are living out what we teach others. Or what we tell others. Think about it. Ask yourself:

Am I making the same sacrifices I expect of my team? (Well, are you?)

Am I putting in the same level of effort (or more so) that I demand of my team?

Does my team learn about my standards and my beliefs through my words or through my actions?

What walk in my organization contradicts the talk?

Here’s the deal. We never reach a place in our careers or in our leadership walk where we’ve earned the right to teach one way and walk another. Our actions absolutely must align with our words. Every time they don’t, our credibility weakens. We lose a small piece of the team’s respect. Our people are always watching and listening. Not because they’re nosy. Because they want to see what we really think. What we really value. What we believe really matters.

Your truth isn’t what you tell others to do. Your truth lies in in what you do.

It’s Thursday Quote Day again! Will you live this one out?

“Giving back involves a certain amount of giving up.” – Colin Powell

I love this quote because it alludes to one of the most important actions of a leader – making sacrifices to serve the team! So what are the “give ups” we should expect to make as a leader so we can “give back” to our team? (more…)