6 Things Leaders Can Learn From The World Cup

image

1. True fans will follow you everywhere.

I was watching the #ivorycoastvsjapan match and was amazed at how coordinated the fans were. They had a choreographed dance, shakers and costuming. This is an important game for the country. People knew that their “Elephants” needed their energy, so they came. The Ivory Coast did not disappoint.

Are you encouraging your fans to come along on the ride with you? Nothing great happens alone.

2. People love the story of an underdog.
Continue reading

Advertisements

How to Work a Crowd

In a previous post, I spoke about the number one leadership killer.

Although it’s crucial to be aware of that very common misstep that passionate visionaries make, it’s even more crucial to acknowledge a skill that is the backbone of leadership: crowd control.

We’re not talking “police officers on mounted patrol” type action. I’m talking about honoring a group of people who believe in your vision enough to give you their attention.

If you honor them, then you’ll treat their attention like the gift that it is and move them into a place they’ve never been before. That is “crowd control.” To do that, you have to build trust, and build it fast.

One way or another, a vision will attract attention and an audience. If you have a compelling vision, eventually you’ll stand in front of a group of people. It may be a group online, or it might be in person.

A good leader addresses these three types of people in the group in order to build the trust needed to move people where you need them to be:
1. People who have questions Continue reading

The Leadership Killer

I write on leadership because it’s my assertion that anyone can learn the skills to become a leader for a good cause. Not everyone is built for the task.

tombstone

Here lies leadership. Source: Columbia.edu

I design events and experiences for all kinds of audiences. I’ve spoken in front of and facilitated experiences for professionals, youth, government officials, private clients and the general public.

I have a sixth sense for group energy. I also have two certifications in adult and youth curriculum design and a degree in dramatic arts. So I can always sense the moment a speaker is losing the crowd, or leading them to a higher place.

Here is the thing killing your potential for leadership.

You’re not listening.

Really. I bet you think you’re listening.

You probably have a great cause. There’s something tremendously important that has to get done. You have a great vision and people have bought into it.

Now, some of those people are giving you feedback.

1) They have questions.

2) They disagree with you.

3) They may have been distracted and didn’t hear what you said.

All of that is feedback. If you push ahead and don’t address every one of those concerns, your leadership begins a slow death.

Or spirals down out of the sky like a kamikaze-driven plane.

People need to trust you. They need to know you’re paying attention to them. Even the dissenters. If you don’t address everyone, you’ll lose them ALL in some way or another.

How do you handle those three types of people giving you feedback?

I’ll discuss that in this post. For now, ask some questions. Tell me about the leaders you admire, and even the ones who you believe shouldn’t be leading. If you’re thinking of stepping into a new position, what’s your concern? Leave a comment, or share your insights.

 

The Steadman Principle (while you #banbossy)

(with apologies to the Winfrey camp)

Men love us! Credit: Banbossy.com Campaign

Men love us!
Credit: Banbossy.com Campaign

Those who remember Janet Jackson’s hard-core days, when she dressed in all black and was part of the Rhythm Nation, may recall her song, “The Pleasure Principle”.

She was on to something.

We serial entrepreneurs and world-changers find ourselves in a quandary. We may still want the hot, masculine man to take care of our most fun needs—but the world needs us too.  So we also need a sensitive man who understands carbon footprints, the entrepreneur’s lifestyle AND our want to mentor that young girl who acts all hard-core but still loves stickers.

Where is that perfect mix of The Rock and Jai Rodriguez from Queer Eye?

He’s out there, sistren. He’s just not going to show up the way we expect.

We leaders are the new species of woman.  So, there’s a new species of man.

The old paradigm had men as our charismatic breadwinners, setting the vision for the household. Now the vision comes from us.

Who is the helpmate to the visionary, socially conscious woman?

A wonderfully sensitive, supportive and grounded man.

He is the Steadman to your Oprah.

Follow me a bit here.

I know you, visionary powerhouse, are looking for another dynamo so that you can be evenly yoked. He’s out there. And he wants to build a life with your awesomeness.

What kind of man is going to be patient with his own needs while you’re out knocking down barriers of injustice?

A spiritual partner. The “even yoke” is not material.

Being spiritually matched doesn’t mean your practical, daily needs aren’t met. In fact, they’re met easier. The right partner will challenge you to remain balanced.

Did you know Meryl Streep is married with children? Most people forget that, and that’s exactly what she wants. A beautifully fulfilling, relatively normal private life—and the right partner made that happen. Sparks may fly with other powerhouses, but who is going to tend your flames?

And really, let’s be frank: would Oprah and Steve Jobs have been compatible in a long-term relationship?

Women who lead are complemented by men who support. When we #banbossy, we can embrace love too. Help the women and girls in your circle do both.

Hidden Success in the Corporate Workplace

“How do you do it?” she asked.

One of my coworkers had approached me.

Amen

Amen.
Photo credit: Andriana Mereuta

“What?” I asked.

“How do you stay so cheerful?”

We both work in a high-stress, high-stakes environment with constant changes in priority—and one urgent issue after another.

Wow, I thought.

“It’s an inside job, “ I said. “If I paid attention to outer stuff, I’d be insane.”

That’s what I said.

What I meant was: I’m a spiritual woman who prays and listens to inspirational things, surrounds herself with like-minded people and trusts God to guide me so I feel connected to something that gives all this stress greater meaning.

But if I said it was God that would have started a conversation that I didn’t want to have right at that moment.

Because leaving things up to an invisible force is counterintuitive in a world that lauds superachievement and serial entrepreneurship.

Prayer and spiritual study is not seen as real work.  Those of us who are spiritual know that is a lie.

You can live exactly as you have been living right now if you do nothing. In fact, that’s what happens with most people. We see what exists, believe that is all there is, and live life within that worldview.

Every inspired, progressive life– every corporate success story– started with the person believing in something that did not exist yet and working to make it possible.

What is that if it isn’t spiritual?

The legendary Steve Jobs envisioned touchscreen technology, and made it a reality. It didn’t exist until he made it so.

What is that if it isn’t spiritual?

If you listen to the media, people who follow “God” are Westboro Baptists, extreme Zionists and suicide bombers. And “spiritual” people use crystals and channeled messages. I feel obligated to separate myself from those categories– but then I know that isn’t the majority.

I think we need better marketing.

A well-run business follows certain principles, but it’s made innovative when the person running it works those principles to make something greater.

We suffer when we hide the parts of us that are the most vital. My spirituality is the reason I live the life I do – and why I can work where I do and be the blessing that I am. My spirituality, like that of many others, is inclusive and inspirational. It opens my heart and encourages me to serve others. I follow certain principles in order to be part of something greater.

I’m coming out. I’m spiritual, and I do business in the corporate marketplace. How about you?

From Dream to Determination: 3 Uncommon Questions to Move You Forward

They say pursuing your dreams is difficult. I’m not disagreeing, but I don’t find it’s difficult in the way that you expect. “Be prepared for struggle,” they say. “Things will get rough, and you’ll have to make adjustments. Nothing worth having comes easy.”

In the beginning, that may be true. You question your motives for stepping away from the path everyone else seems to take. But sooner rather than later, it’s easy. The right people show up, and things fall in place in ways that you couldn’t have imagined. You’re in the mystical flow.

Here’s where pursuing your dreams gets difficult.

You’ve got to explain the “new” you to your old friends.

These are people who are used to your old way of thinking and being. The difficulty lies in trying to relate to the people who’ve been in your life for a long time.

I experienced this most recently with one of my friends. We used to gab about bad bosses and even worse dates. That was until I took ownership of the way I showed up in my life. Instead of commiserating, I’d try to share my new optimistic perspective. She’d ask me the same questions, and I had different answers. She seemed surprised, and sometimes less talkative. Our phone calls became less frequent.

I love her, and so I’d try to talk only about the things that I thought we still had in common. I projected that she would be uncomfortable– and her life was moving into a direction that was different from mine. I would avoid talking about my great new client, or the unexpected award I received because I wasn’t sure where our common places were anymore.

Are you hiding in there? Credit: AyreshireHistory.com

Are you hiding in there?
Credit: AyreshireHistory.com

When you love someone, sometimes you try to express that love by squeezing yourself into a role that you’ve outgrown. Or worse, you hide your success. Love never requires you to compromise your integrity.

This is a crucial piece of the puzzle I’ve written about. Here are your 3 questions:

1. Have you had a frank talk with your closest friends about where you see your life going?

If you can’t let your friends know about the vision for your life, ask yourself why. Check in to where they are going and if they will understand why you want something different.

2. Do they really support you getting there?

Moving off the mainstream into your own stream means that you are creating a new way forward. When you start to do things differently, will they cheer you on or nag you to spend your time doing something normal? The leadership of your life is too important to have negative feedback from your inner circle.

3. Are you willing to lose their approval to pursue your joy?

You have this life right now to pursue your joy. Do you trust that while you’re in pursuit, you’ll meet the people who understand you? Having someone’s approval is not a surrogate for your personal fulfillment.

Take this quick inventory. If you’re overly concerned about what your friends will think of your success, ask yourself if you’re ready to walk this walk. The right people will grow with you.

Chasing planes: Why Your Dream Hasn’t Gotten Off the Ground

I pass an airport on a regular basis.

I love watching the planes take off. My mother traveled constantly when I was growing up (many times taking me with her), and there was always a sense of adventure and possibility when we went to the airport.

I got my first passport at 5, and when I was 6, I got my Pan Am wings because I flew by myself for the first time.

Junior Clipper Wings

Junior Clipper Wings

In my mind, I was pretty much a superstar. I love flying.

That was until recently.

A few years ago, my mother had the opportunity to learn the ins and the outs of aerodynamics. She loves flying too, and told me about the power that is necessary to get a plane off the ground.

“Did you know that it weighs 100 tons, EMPTY??” she said, even more enamored with the miracle of modern transportation.

Wow, I thought, Cool!!

Then I got older.

Life does something funny to you as you experience more things.

You lose your sense of wonder and awe. You know how things are done, and the miracle of how things work together is sometimes lost. I didn’t realize that until I got on a plane recently.

I had a panic attack.

I’ve been flying since I was in my mother’s arms. What the…?

It happened again and again. I am a pretty reasonable person with a strong belief system, and that’s what got me through it.

Finally, after some deep reflection, I realized the fear wrapped around knowing just how much weight was coming off the ground. And just how much could go horribly wrong. That’s the stuff that stops us.

Yes, things can go horribly wrong when you throw everything into what you’re passionate about. Things go horribly wrong when you live a mediocre life too.

The most dangerous times during a flight are take-off and landing. That’s when the plane is the least aerodynamic. And so the pilot stores the wheels as soon as they clear the runway.

We take a step forward and we keep our wheels down, waiting for the right reason to hit the ground again.

That’s the real reason you haven’t gotten off the ground. You’ve got to give up your wheels for your wings.

It will be bumpy when you start off. Get over it, and get off the ground.

Give up your wheels for your wings. The world is waiting for you.

Credit: HD Wallpaper

Credit: HD Wallpaper