Successful Leaders Have A.D.D.

Leadership is multifaceted. There are many things that the leader needs to pay careful attention to. He has to put together many components to make up the bigger picture.

The leader is a ‘convergence point’ of sort. There is a lot of information that is often vying for his attention. And that leader’s success depends on how well he understands and interprets the implications.

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The Significance of Dates

There are numerous dates that bear significance in people’s lives, for instance, birthdays, wedding anniversaries etc. Dates allow us to ‘index’ experiences or moments we never want to forget. The simple date change from 31 December 2010 to 1 January 2011 is an example of the impact dates have on people. Because of a simple date change, some people made different promises to themselves e.g., “I will go to gym” or “I will spend time with my family” or “from this point I will spend my money more wisely“.

I think God also has a fair regard for dates. After all, He’s the one who created time! I think God started the ‘marking-dates trend’. After saving the nation of Israel from Egypt, He declared, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year” (Exodus 12:2). This was God’s message to Israel that they were no longer to be governed by the Egyptian calendar, but by God’s timing and agendas. When God saves us from something, He will always bring us to the newness of something better. So significant He ‘resets’ the date! God starts a new year in the middle of another! It’s a God idea to mark dates and celebrate them.

I think God also a ‘made a fuss’ about changing the date so that Israel would never forget what He did when He dealt those that oppressed her. This is a lesson for all of us; take note of God’s working in our lives and to create “memorials” as reminders of God’s goodness and faithfulness. As we go further into 2011 I’d like to encourage you to choose to take note of what God does. Celebrate it.

Also, remember that God is not restricted by time and can give you a “new year” anytime. Any day is good enough for God to reset the past and set you on course to the future He has for you. Choose to forget lay down the things that have held you back in the past, so you can reach for what lies ahead! In fact God wants to take care of your past so you can focus on the future (cf. Philippians 3:12-14; 4:8). Let this be the year you choose to take note of what God does in your life and celebrate Him!

A Different “Power Of One”

Emails and social media are a very inevitable part of our lives. As I was going through my emails this morning I realized something. Some of the emails I started by responding to were from people that I were looking to network with me and other people in making some things happen. I also realized that besides the team(s) I work with in the office to make things happen, I also work with larger teams out of the office to make some of the “in-office resolutions” happen. My contribution is important for the success of the teams I’m a part of.

Every puzzle piece is not as important as the puzzle itself, but the puzzle is incomplete without it.  My success is not solely dependent on my competence, attitude and hard work. I need to be able to function in the context of my team. Not only that, there are other teams, externally that I need to be able to relate to. Often times I have to “resource tap” from other team networks outside my immediate one. My ability to be a successful unifier across “networks” will be key. Numerous people do a lot of things right  Thus an important key to success is being a team player, in both internal and external contexts.

There are a couple of implications:

  • Paying attention to maintaining relationships and clear channels of communication is paramount. We need to be careful that we are carefully maintaining the “machine” i.e. team that helps make things happen. It is easy to be results and or goals driven at the expense of the team and the individuals that comprise it.
  • And, as an individual I need to ensure that I am fitting into the puzzle (team) as I should be and that I am facilitating others being able to do the same. It is easy to look at others and try to figure out what their role is in clogging, the ‘production line’ is and forget that I could be a significant part of the challenge. Your team’s success is also dependant on your ability to be honest with yourself and courage to own & address your part in the team’s failure.

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success – James E. Hunton

Your thoughts?

Dominating From The “T”

One of my lessons from last week was on the squash court. I played one of the best games I’ve played this year! One of the fundamental lessons my coach taught me in high school was the importance of the “T”. Let me explain. The “T” on the squash court is sort of the (technical) center of the court.

The chances of you reaching just about any shot played are increased significantly when you’re positioned there. (My high school coach will be proud of me!) The player who can return to the “T” after playing or returning a shot is generally more likely to win a rally.

Before last week I played terrible games. I got into the games a little too late and as a result  lost a couple of matches. I hate losing! In last week’s match, I was down two games and if I’d lost the third game as well  I would’ve lost the match. During the break between the second and third game I decided to consult with one of my team mates.

I asked for opinion from someone watching and not in the game per se. If you want to improve on your “delivery”, your colleagues / teammates is a good place to start for feedback and pointers. I saw some of the mistakes and loss of points I made in a new light. As my team mate explained where I’d lost most of my points I realized something.

In some instances I had given the ball back to my opponent and had played shots that didn’t force him to move from the “T”. I made it easy for my opponent to score against me! My game only started improving after I kept playing the kinds of shots that would force my opponent off the T and allow me to dominate the T.

A reminder that one of the key ingredients to winning is positioning… This could mean your location mentally and even physically. Am sure you’ve witnessed organizations changing location in order to better their results or performance.

They consider several things e.g. moving closer to resource supply or to their (potential) beneficiaries. Perhaps the physical move you may need to make is a holiday, just to clear your thinking etc… Either way, the move is always intended to be one that would move the team or organization into a position of strength.

Perhaps the position you need to change is in the “mental space”  or frame of mind. Like I did, ask those around about areas they feel you may need to make adjustments. Sometimes the change that give us the edge is in our mindset or attitude. Sometimes we do need someone looking at us “from the outside” to tell us that our attitude stinks and needs an overhaul of sort!

Sometimes those around us tell us things we don’t want to hear but that is what is necessary to move us forward. Am not condoning imbalance or unfair criticism, but sometimes what makes criticism positive or negative is how we receive it and not just how it is given to us. Are you going to listen, asses, “spit the bones” out and grow or justify and make excuses when areas of possible growth are highlighted to you?

As you push toward your goals, ensure that you always return to a position that empowers you to move forward. Don’t waste the shots that you have now, they can be a good platform, empowering the ones you take after that.

As you reflect on how far you’ve come, and look ahead, remember to always return to the position of strength and think beyond the shot you taking now, but also the one you’re going to take after it. Remember to consult with your team or colleagues and return to the “T”. Time for you to be the one dominating from the “t”.

When We Stand

When we stand in the face of adversity we:

  • Give life to the possibility of victory further
  • Allow ourselves to grow stronger
  • Get wiser
  • Teach ourselves that it can be done
  • Tell others it can be done…
    • Encourage and inspire others to do the same
  • Build credibility to speak into the lives of others that are facing or will face the same challenges
  • Discover strength in us we never thought we had

Just felt to encourage someone to stand…