23 Great Thoughts On Leadership Development: A Frontline Festival

I’m delighted to present the September edition of the Frontline Festival. This month’s focus: Leadership Development. I encourage you to read the insights and share your perspectives. Namaste.

Leadership Development

Jon Mertz of Thin Difference offers, You Are Born to Be Brave: How Do You Sustain It. “To be an effective leader, we need to understand where our bravery comes from and what empowers it so that we can lead with purpose and solve problems with the right actions.” Amen.

Julie Winkle Giuliani of juliewinklegiulani.com shares Everything I Needed to Know About Leadership, I Learned When My Kids Entered Kindergarten. So great that we get to relive these important lessons with our kids. I must say, I’m learning a lot from second grade and freshman year in college too.

Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak shares his post How Peter Drucker Mentored. The best point: “Accountability requires a volunteer.”

Jesse Lynn Stoner, Seapoint Center, shares The Space Between Closely Supervising and Delegating. She shares practical advice for leading in the space between closely supervising that can be too much, and delegating which can be too little. Fantastic read for frontline leaders.

Dan McCarthy, of Great Leadership shares his recent post 10 Succession Planning Best Practices. For a practical guide to implementing leadership development and succession planning programs check out his ebook as well.

David M. Dye of Trail Blaze brings us 18 Truths You Really Can’t Avoid if You Want to Stay Relevant, Effective, and Connected. Leaders who avoid landing in the dust-bin of history do one thing consistently: they learn. David provides 18 principles that will help you both learn and grow as a leader as well as ensure your team remains relevant no matter what happens.

Lolly Daskal of Lead From Within, brings us The Wisdom of Insecurities. As leaders, when we are honest about our insecurities we become vulnerable in our state of development. Attention to our own experiences can provide insights into the ways we can grow.

Matt McWilliams of MattMcWilliams.com shares You Are Not a Natural Leader. “There is no such thing as a natural leader. Great leaders are great by choice.” So, agree. Leadership is never handled.

Pete Friedes brings his Lead Change Group post, 16 Beliefs Held By Effective People Managers. Your personal beliefs can enhance or limit your effectiveness as a manager. Here’s a checklist. How are you doing?

Chery Gegelman of Simply Understanding shares What’s Outside Your Comfort Zone. I love her list of small ways we can begin pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones.

Dan Forbes of Lead With Giants shares an important post about developing your leadership authenticity, 5 Words that Changed the US Army and Leadership.

Leaders cross our paths every day, many of whom go unnoticed. This post Leaders, Leaders Everywhere Every Day, by Robyn McLeod of Chatsworth Consulting Group shares what to look for – the traits and ways of being – to find the leaders in your midst who are having a positive impact on your employees and your organization.

Joan Kofodimos of Teleos Consulting shares How Hardship Creates Leaders. So many young leaders aspire to an unbroken chain of “successes.” But it’s actually hardship that more powerfully builds wisdom in leaders. What does hardship teach leaders, and how can you best survive and thrive as a leader when these hardships inevitably occur?

Blair Glaser of Blair Glaser wins the award for best title, Three & A Half Words That Will Make You An Exceptional Lover & Leader.

Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group, LLC share their art, Shopping for Leadership Development.

Kate Nasser of katenasser.com brings us Leadership People Skills: 5 Essentials to Spark Team Agility. My favorite, “untie the nots”.

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership shares Becoming a Great Leader is Up to You. If you want to become a great leader, you have to take responsibility for your own development.

John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog, shares Practical Ways to Respect People. Leading people effectively requires more than authority. Change has to start from the top. You need to understand people (and organizations as systems) in order to take effective action as a leader.

Leigh Steere shares her clever Lead Change Group post, 10 Management Lessons From Harry Potter. Need a break from your diet of business books? Consider some management wisdom from Albus Dumbledore and the Potter cast of characters.

Frank Sonnenberg of Frank Sonnenberg Online shares, Attention Leaders We Need to Talk. For more about Frank, read Lolly Daskal’s interview with Frank in the Huffington Post.

New to the Frontline Festival

Kimunya Mugo of Lead By Choice shares his powerful experience of personal growth in his post, Rise Up Titans. My favorite point, “leadership is complementary, not competitive.”

Jarie Bolander of enduranceleader.com shares 4 Proven Methods To Encourage Others To Step Up & Lead. My personal favorite #3, “Ask others to encourage them.”

Chantal Bechervaise of Take it Personel-ly shares her post Seek Criticism In Order To Improve Yourself. I love her examples of practical questions to ask if you really want constructive feedback.

Call For Submissions

Have a post you’d like included in an upcoming Frontline Festival? Contact me at letsgrowleaders@gmail.com for more information.

October – Vision and Values
November – Gratitude
December – Gifts

Interviewing? 4 Ways to Set Yourself Apart

It takes more than qualifications to get the job. Don’t count on your track record. In a close race, best prepared wins.

Two candidates were interviewing for a District Sales Manager position. Both had great backgrounds and qualifications. Both nailed the Behavior Based Interview, and we moved on to talk about their planned approach.

Joe (not his real name) came with his generic 90 day strategy. It was as if he had read Michael Watkin’s Book, The First 90 Days,* and copied the generic advice into his plan. His key actions looked like that of so many other candidates. Part of Joe’s plan was to visit every store in his territory in the first 30 days. Yawn.

*p.s I love Watkin’s book. It’s a great read when applied well.

Before her interview, Jane (not her real name), took 2 days off and visited all the stores in the new territory (across a 200 mile radius) in plain clothes. She came prepared with a list of observations, priorities, a platform for improvement, and a robust plan to begin tackling the issues in the first 30 days. She nailed the interview.

Jane’s now knocking that job out of the park.

A Deeper Approach to Interviewing

When interviewing, don’t bring generic plans. Do your homework. Go learn something deeper to discuss.

1. An Understanding of the Business

Talk to people. Arrange advanced visits if you can. Determine who is best-in-class. Understand the current priorities. Use real data to share specifics for your strategy. Come with informed questions. How far you can go with this will depend on whether you are interviewing internally or externally. However, you may be surprised how much data you can find in either circumstance. You can gain much from a solid google search.

2. A Platform

Just like a political candidate, be prepared to share your vision for this role. What is the one big thing you will accomplish? Share why you are passionate about your vision. Articulate the unique aspects of your leadership.

3. Your Angle

Describe your key skills and abilities and how they will benefit this organization. Make connections between unrelated roles. Describe how your diverse experience has built transferable skills perfect for this position.

4. Your Track Record

Come prepared with specific results and deliberate stories that highlight your leadership. Don’t just share your stack rankings(a common approach), share how you achieved them.

Humility Matters: 9 Ways Confident Leaders Remain Humble

We want to follow people with confidence, charisma and a strong sense of direction. Confidence inspires, attracts, excites and ignites. We think, “they sure do seem to know what they’re doing” And yet, I have observed that confidence, without humility, can be dangerous. I have seen it significantly limit a leader’s effectiveness. They stay their course, but may miss important input. People may follow, but not with their full spirit. Truly confident leaders are secure enough to embrace and share their humility. In the long run, their humility makes them stronger.

“What the world needs now is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left.”
~Oscar Levant

Michael Carroll describes the “talent of humility,” in his book The Mindful Leader. He shares that when leaders understand they are part of a much bigger scene that is not fully within their control, they are free to show up more human. It’s from that humility, that they can confidently show up to do the best work possible. They offer more of their whole selves to the moment.

“Humility is how we express our delight– how we appreciate the simple pleasures and great joys. And equally, humility is how we open to life’s inconveniences and devastating tragedies. When we are humble, no experience is beneath us, no colleague is unworthy, no moment does not merit our full attention. Because we are humble, we do not pick and chose– savoring only the tasty parts of life and leaving the rest for others. We are wiling to experience the entire situation directly and work with every detail.”

I have been observing the leaders I admire who seem to striving for confident humility. Here’s 9 things I’m picking up. Please share your thoughts on the 10th.

9 Ways Confident Leaders Express Humility

  1. Understand they don’t have all the answers– and search for more
  2. Attract those who will tell the truth– and be able to hear them
  3. Reflect on their own leadership– and seek out change as needed
  4. Read about other approaches– and adjust
  5. Seek out mentors– from all levels
  6. Share more about themselves and create connections
  7. Seek to learn about the people they work with– and see them as people
  8. Try out new behaviors and ask for feedback
  9. Take stands against the politically correct choice
  10. ??? (please share your thoughts)