May the Force Be With You: A Frontline Festival

Welcome back to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival. This month is co-hosted with my Winning Well co-author, David Dye.

In honor of the new Star Wars movie, we begin with Star Wars-themed posts and then wrap up the year with our “Best Of 2015” posts from our contributors  Thanks. to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors! For fun, in the comments, please add your favorite Star Wars leadership quotes.

Next month, we turn our thoughts to vision and strategy to kick of the new year. Please submit your links here.  Submissions due January 15th.

Also, if you have not yet completed my 2016 planning survey, I would really like your input on how I can add more value to you and your organization in 2016. Please click here. 

Star Wars

“Do or do not, there is no try.” -Yoda

Michelle Cubas, CPCC, ACC, of Positive Potentials, LLC shares that the Star Wars saga continues in a galaxy far, far away! It is our contemporary fairy tale filled with didactic teachings that never expire, especially about leadership. We continue to enjoy the characters that represent elements of our personalities and personas. Follow Michelle.

Lisa Kohn from Thoughtful Leaders Blog In the post, There is no Try, only Do. There is no Do, only Be. Lisa Kohn of Thoughtful Leaders Blog shares Yoda’s wisdom (from Star Wars) that it is essential for leaders to not only just “try” but to also “do”and “be.” More importantly she shares a few pointers on how to do this, especially in this busy world and busy season. Follow Lisa.

Greg Marcus of American Mussar brings us Five Mussar Lessons from Star Wars.  Follow Greg.

David Dye and I bring you a leadership interview with Chewbacca.


Best of Leadership Posts for 2015

“Never tell me the odds.” -Hans Solo

Beth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited: Beth shares several things she’s learned after 10 years in business. 10 Things I Learned in 10 Years of Business, Part 1  Part 2 Follow Beth.

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership: You can’t lead others if you can’t lead yourself. Here is a baker’s dozen of things to master to be the best leader you can be. Follow Wally.

Sean Glaze of Great Results Team Building: I was surprised by how dirty and brown I was at the finish line, by how cold the wet clothes I was wearing felt, and by how much my legs and chest burned from the over two hours it took us all to finish. But I was also surprised by how proud our family smiles were when they took our photo. Follow Sean.

John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement: Successfully shepherding change within an organization is often a challenge. Often change management strategies are mainly about how to cope with a toxic culture but exclude the option of fixing the toxic culture. Why not address the root causes instead of trying band-aids?  Follow John.

Paul LaRue of The UPwards Leader recognizes those intangible and not-so-tangible traits that help measure a leaders ability to succeed. Follow Paul.

Scott Mabry of Soul to WorkLearning to lead lightly is a series of practices that can help us manage our energy and act in alignment with our best intentions. Follow Scott.

“Once you start down the dark path, forever it will dominate your destiny.” -Yoda

Dan McCarthy of Great Leadership:  What are the most important three words for any relationship between a manager and employee? Hint: it’s not “I love you.” Follow Dan.

Jon Mertz of Thin Difference: Big issues face us. We latch onto shallow statements and thoughts. Logic lacks. Depth disappears. Civility dissipates. How can we begin to think more deeply?  Follow Jon.

Michelle Pallas of Put energy into transparent communications and #LeadON!  Follow Michelle.

LaRae Quy of Mental Toughness Center!:  As our world becomes more and more complex, mental toughness will become an essential mindset. Building mental toughness is a life long task, but here is the good news: Mental toughness is not something we were born with, it is something we can learn. Follow LaRae.

“All mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults than we would like. It’s the only way we grow.” Padme

Dr. Artika Tyner of the Planting People. Growing Justice Institute gives us Three leadership lessons from the legacy of the late B.B. King.  Follow Artika.


7 Reasons Managers Move to the Dark Side

Darth Vader wasn’t always a mysterious meanie, the Grinch’s heart didn’t start out two sizes too small, and as legend has it, Mr. Scrooge was once a charming and likable fellow.

Chances are that jerk in your office didn’t start out as a horse’s behind either. So why do so many managers move to the dark side–putting their Winning Well common sense aside and becoming a destructive force for their teams?

7 Reasons Managers Move to the Dark Side

It doesn’t happen all at once. The gradual unravelling happens for a variety of reasons. You can help prevent this tragic demise by recognizing these signs.

  1. Fear: The move to the dark side often begins with a fear of speaking up for what’s right. Managers figure it’s safer to lay low and let it go. Failure to stop the wrong behaviors, condones them and feeds the dark force.
  2. Insecurity: “If I act tough, no one will see how scared I am.” It’s impossible to manage well if you’re wrestling with your own self-doubt.
  3. Incompetence: “Fake it till you make it,” is a terrible approach to management. Far better to play to your strengths and get the support you need in other arenas.
  4. Greed: If it’s all about you, your team will see right through.
  5. Scarcity Mindset: “There’s not enough _______ (resources, bonus money, promotions) to go around.” The behaviors that mindset drives are self-fulfilling. When you don’t invest…in training, tools, relationships…you stifle the growth you could have achieved with a more generous spirit.
  6. Drunk on Power: Relying on position to get things done may be efficient, but drains the life-force out of otherwise effective employees.
  7. Misunderstood Role Models: A lot of times leaders get to their positions DESPITE a bad habit or two. Don’t emulate poor behavior because you think it will help you get ahead.

To gain a better understanding of these dark side behaviors, I’m was delighted to grab a few minutes with this Sith Lord, when he was in town promoting his latest flick.