Sunday, April 27, 2008

Are you leading or herding?

From the desk of your Contagious Leader, Monica Wofford

Do you find yourself doing the cat herding exercise on Monday mornings? If so, then you may want to change that title on your business card from leader to Herder! Leading is about those you serve, lead, guide, direct, challenge, and help to grow - NOT all of their activities that you spend time managing. Focus on how to help that person or those persons grow that are looking to you for leadership and your efforts in herding their activities, will be greatly minimized. :)

Language of Leadership

Sometimes the blinding flashes of the obvious are well... just that...blinding. This week I have listened to so many people say things like "I am in a bad mood." or "i am so tired" or "I am such a loser, moron, goof ball, etc". Though these things may seem completely benign, your brain hears a declaration of this sort and pretty much goes with the flow. It doesn't come back at you and say "No, you're not". Instead it says... "OKAY". so watch your language. Instead say... "I am getting better by the minute!", or "I am learning fast." or "I am going to get this."

There are a whole host of words that are not PC for the office and are also the first words one learns in a foreign language it seems, but there are words that are far more damaging than mere profanity. Watch what you say about YOU and about others. If you are going to be a successful leader, and you can be... there are some fine tuning things that are equally as important as the typical skills of delegation and time management. The language thing is key to watching your mindset ... the skill set of knowing what to DO will be much easier to grasp if you have a firm grip on what you SAY to yourself and others.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Leadership Rejection

Leaders, would you agree that sometimes it isn't whether those employees follow you, listen to you, or even do what you say? Sometimes and somedays you just want to know if they like you, like any of your ideas, or think you are in any way cool. It's human nature. We all want to be liked and to have other people indicate that they like us in some way. Leaders can experience rejection and it can be painful, particularly if you are new to the position.

You can tell if you are suffering from Leadership Rejection if you:
- frequently ask for approval from others
- you fish for compliments
- refuse to get close to any employee or become friends with them for fear of feeling rejection

If you feel Leadership Rejection is impeding your ability to lead well, try these tips:
- stop taking everything as personally - sometimes comments are aimed at your title, not you
- find a sounding board outside of the office that you can validate your opinions and thoughts with
- seek approval from your superiors by asking for objective feedback and guidance to improve

Sometimes the rejection a leader experiences comes from the feeling that he or she is not "good enough to do the job" or "not knowledable enough" or "not old/young enough", etc. Before you convince yourself that others are rejecting you, be sure it's not coming from you.

Happy Leading,