5 Sacrifices A Leader Must Make

Sacrifice

You may believe that as a leader your job is relatively easy, where you simply watch over and manage the behaviour of your employees; this is not so. As a leader, you have a number of responsibilities including not only watching over your employees but ensuring that they manage their work effectively and that they are happy.

It’s also part of your job to make sacrifices for the company and for those that work below you.

Not all of these sacrifices have to be extravagant or draw attention to your person, but they have to be made for the right reasons.

5 Sacrifices A Leader Must Make

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sac·ri·fice [ sákrə f̄̀ss ]

  1. giving up of something valued: a giving up of something valuable or important for somebody or something else considered to be of more value or importance

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1) Sacrificing Time and Energy

Giving both your time and energy in order to help others and the company that you work for is a sacrifice that all excellent leaders make. This is an important sacrifice because you cannot regain the time or energy that you have expended; once you’ve given them to somebody else they become lost to you. By giving your time and energy it also means that you are working hard towards not only your future, but that of your colleagues and employees too.

2) Ambition

Another sacrifice that is often made by a leader in times of need is that of their own ambition. By prioritising the needs of others including your employees, you leave less time for you to focus on yourself; any parent will understand this situation completely and the same applies to any leader.

To truly look after your workforce, you must focus on their every need to ensure their productivity. By helping those around you to succeed, you may have to sacrifice personal pursuits but these actions will always have a positive effect going forward.

3) Authority

As a leader there will come a time within your job when you are asked to sacrifice your absolute authority in order to let others progress and develop the skills that are needed to reach a higher position. Giving up authority can be difficult and threatening but it is important for your workforce to feel that they are progressing and learning new skills.

4) Benefits

As a leader it’s your duty to protect those around you and ensure their happiness; even in times of difficulty and instability. If your company is suffering from temporary financial instability (as many have during the recession), as a leader you should set the example by forgoing any bonuses and if necessary taking a pay cut. An excellent leader would never ask of anything from their employees that they aren’t willing to do themselves.

5) Relationships

As a decision-maker, you will understand that you may not always be liked or favoured for making the right decisions. For example, if you feel that an individual is not pulling their weight and fails to heed your warnings, you may find that your only solution is to remove this person from your team.

There will also be other times where you have to reject salary increases or defend requests for additional work hours to meet a deadline but by being the leader, you will sometimes have to play the villain.

Become Your Best Self

You may find that during your time as a leader, there are many other things that you must sacrifice in order to become the best leader that you can be. However, try to be fair at all times and don’t ever ask anything of your employee that you wouldn’t ask of yourself.

So, how do you feel about the idea that leaders must sacrifice in order to succeed? Do you think that if you reach a certain position or status that you no longer need to sacrifice? Or do you embrace the steps above and think that you will be more fulfilled if you learn these lessons and apply them? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

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Georgina Stamp

Georgina Stewart works for Marble Hill Partners
She helps Organisations to Recruit for Executive Roles and Interim Management
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Leadership Freedom Checklist – Where Are You on the Journey?

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

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Lee Ellis

Lee Ellis is Founder & President of Leadership Freedom LLC & FreedomStar Media.
He is a leadership consultant and expert in teambuilding, executive development & assessments
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog | Book | Facebook | Twitter

His latest book is called Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton.

Leadership Freedom Checklist [Infographic] by the team at FreedomStar Media

Articles of Faith: Who Do They Say that You Are?

Who Do You Say I Am?

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This post is part of our Sunday Series titled “Articles of Faith.”
We investigate leadership lessons from the Bible.
See the whole series here. Published only on Sundays.
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Have you seen the new movie Son of God? It’s an awesome display of interaction between leader and follower.

One of the most poignant bible verses regarding leadership is where Christ turns to His disciples and asks, “Who do the people say that I am?” (Mark 8:27-30)

A simple, yet significant question which should be asked by all leaders to those they are leading, whether first degree followers such as the disciples, second degree followers such as the apostles and believers, or third degree followers such as the Pharisees (yes, our enemies follow us, as well).

The Question: “Who do the people say that I am?”

You Are a Leader

You are a leader, therefore, you have followers. Who do they say that you are? Everyone who follows you, everyone you lead, everyone in your circle of influence and, possibly, everyone in their circle of influence, refers to you in some manner.

From your pet to your pet’s vet, your mother-in-law to your mother-in-law’s hairstylist, your virtual assistant to your virtual assistant’s assistant.

In your life, whether near or far, first or last name basis, direct contact or by virtue of association, these people have defined you, pigeonholed you, categorized you, promoted or demoted you, simply by what they call you.

The Question is this: “Who do they say that I am?

On Being Named

The Lion of Judah received several monikers in response: John the Baptizer, Elijah, a prophet, and so on.

He then turned the question inside out, exposing their sub-consciousness, asking this:

“What about you? Who do you say that I am?”

Gutsy Peter nailed it, “You are the Christ, the Messiah!”

The Finisher of our Faith’s response to Peter: “The Father must have told you. No one else knew.”

My Own Personal Experience

Now, this is by no means, a comparison, but recently, I serendipitously learned what “they” (the “they” being those as referenced above) call me.

A reporter from our local newspaper wrote about me, calling me a slew of predictable names, self-proclaimed names that I had keenly persuaded my community to call me: writer, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, trustee (of a community college), and volunteer.

But, there was another term she used, one that wasn’t included in my marketing repertoire.

When she called me this name, like Peter, she nailed it! And, I knew that the FATHER had given it to her because no one else had verbalized it, certainly not me. It was a truth I may have realized it; but, never actualized, never embraced.

Assuming that she was using the term in its most positive connotation, yet intrigued in her so doing, I picked up the phone and dialed her number. When she answered, I said – with half of my accusatory voice implying a TV courtroom libel suit, the other half venerating as I sensed an addendum to my dossier had just been signed off by the Creator of the Universe.

“What did you just call me?”

She was caught off guard; perplexed even.

“Did I get something wrong?”

You see, as I am constantly cheering her on for the fantastic, professional, neutral journalist that she is, she had never imagined such an encounter as this…from me.

Before I could answer, she began reciting her adjectives.

“Yes,” I interjected, “you said all that, but you said something else.”

She drew a blank. So much pressure!

Finally, I said, “You called me a ‘civic activist.’”

She explained with the sincerity of encouraging intentions,

“Of course I did. That’s what you are. That’s how I see you. That’s how I’ve always seen you.”

It was the sound of her voice traveling through the airwaves, but it was the Voice which I heard, just as Christ must have heard as He read Peter’s lips. The Voice said

“You are truly blessed. It was I who told her what you are because it is I who created you. You are a leader; a civic activist, a compassionate advocate who loves your fellow-man and yourself equally, and who loves Me with all of your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.”

And with His gift of infinite instruction, He said “Now walk ye in it!”

Getting Ready For Your Next Level

Has the LORD blessed you with such a revelation?  Do you sense He is preparing to do so?  If your answer is yes, I would suggest you grab the safety bar, and hold on!

Your leadership feathers, having been clipped by the dull shears of unawareness, are growing in.   And you are being instructed to “walk ye in it!”

Now let’s contemplate a few questions:

  • Who are your followers: first, second and third degree levels?
  • Who do they say that you are?
  • Have you even asked or are you waiting – like Chicken Little – for the words to fall out of the sky?
  • Who do you say that you are?
  • Who does the FATHER say that you are?

And finally, do you walk yet in it?

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Donna Clements

Donna Clements is a Professional Writer and Motivator
She inspires Positive Social and Individual Change
Email | LinkedIn |  Web | http://www.wordpearlspress.com/

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Building Better Relationships, Building Better Business

Organizational Love

As an organizational communication professional, my goal is to help organizations do what they do, better. And I am very passionate about it!  

My earnest belief is that whether in a corporate, nonprofit, institutional, or government environment, employees are an organization’s greatest resource.

As such, developing and maximizing mutually beneficial relationships within and beyond the organization is critical to enhance satisfaction and effectiveness.

This is particularly true of leadership as their influence is so pervasively intertwined with the culture of the organization that it influences everything that occurs within that organization.

Types of Organizational Relationships

There are several types of organizational relationships:

  • Superior-subordinate
  • Peer-to-peer
  • Friendships

As well as the relationships with nonmembers, such as those between an organization and its various publics, including

  • Clients
  • Vendors
  • Contractors
  • And so forth.

Regardless of the level of connectedness, there are characteristics common to all relationships that must be considered to ensure that is rewarding to both parties.  Hon and Grunig developed guidelines for measuring relationships as a tool for public relations practitioners to assess the value of their programs.

These guidelines also serve as an excellent framework for examining our relationships, both organizational and interpersonal, to help reflect on areas which may need some attention to enhance the mutual rewards to all parties involved.

6 Components of Relationships

Hon and Grunig identify six components of relationships:

1) Control Mutuality

While balance in a relationship is key to its success, at varying times in the relationship one party will exercise greater control over the other. Control mutuality reflects the understanding between parties that this imbalance will occur, and recognizes (and accepts) that one party will exert greater control at given times.

For example, when a potential client asks you to present them with a solution to an existing problem, you control the situation through your selection of content, presenters and media which represents your organization and perspective in the best possible light.

Following the presentation, the control shifts to the client who, having several options from which to choose, can negotiate to their advantage.

 2) Trust

At some point in all relationships each party will open up to the other party, creating a level of vulnerability. Trust allows both parties to be confident in engaging in disclosures that help the relationship grow.

When pitching your presentation to a potential client whom you deem credible and desirable, you likely offer unique ideas and creative options. The client trusts that you will come through on the claims you are making and have the resources to do so.

Likewise, you trust that your ideas will remain proprietary and that the client will not use them to their benefit if they decide to go with another firm.

 3) Satisfaction

When both parties are happy because the positive expectations about the relationship are reinforced and outweigh the costs of the relationship, satisfaction occurs.

As the relationship with your new client progresses, satisfaction increases for the client as you continue to honor the conditions of your agreement by listening and responding to their needs and honor your commitments.

Your satisfaction increases when the client provides useful information from which to develop a plan; and also from the positive feedback received on the new project in your portfolio, as well as the potential for continued work or referrals.

4) Commitment

Relationships take effort, and commitment is indicated by a desire from both parties to continue with the relationship because they feel it is worth their energy to maintain and develop.

Even the best relationship experience challenges, but when a strong foundation based on trust and satisfaction is in place, it remains worthwhile to pursue. Communicating openly about concerns and disagreements help keep both the task and relational aspects in focus in order to achieve common goals.

 The remaining two components characterize the relationship more holistically.

5) Exchange Relationship

When one party in the relationship does something for the other party as reciprocation, either for a past or future service, it is considered an exchange relationship.

6) Communal Relationship

When both parties provide benefits to each other out of concern rather than payback, seeking no additional recompense, the relationship is communal.

For example, if your client moved up an important deadline to accommodate an unplanned visit from the CEO you might accelerate the schedule to meet the new deadline. As recognition for your effort you might request additional payment, or consideration for future projects (exchange relationship).

Alternately, you might make the necessary adjustments to meet the deadline simply because your client needs the assist (communal relationship).

Investments in Developing Relationships

While seeking compensation for services rendered is certainly reasonable, there may be occasions when building the relationship offers far greater benefits than would adherence to policy. As such, developing communal relationships should be an inherent organizational goal, particularly in key relationships, internal or external, that you would like to develop.

Beyond enhancing the relationship, individuals also experience positive outcomes such as greater self-esteem and satisfaction with life, further adding to benefits of engaging in such practices. Future posts will discuss each of these characteristics in more detail

Have you given thought recently whether your organization is (genuinely) people first or profit first? What practices do you employ that contribute to building communal relationships? Are these practices the norm within your culture, or “special circumstances?”

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———————–
Andrea Pampaloni

Andrea M. Pampaloni, Ph.D is Professor of Organizational Communication at LaSalle
Her research focuses on Relationship-Building and Presentation of Image
Email | LinkedIn |  Web

Image Sources: healthnetpulse.com

Bullet Proof Leadership: Leading with the Strength of Deliberative

Imagine this: You have great ideas, a lot of self-motivation, and you are ready to get started! Well, almost… Details are not your forte.

Not only that, you have no interest in them, much less troubleshooting your project.

Learning Vigilance

Instead, you go to your good friend and co-worker, Faye.

  • No matter the project, Faye has an innate ability to scour the details and identify, assess, and reduce risks.
  • She is able to slow you down, identify the potential minefields and bring them to your attention.
  • Her judgment and counsel are invaluable because she is inevitably able to see things you did not.
  • She has naturally good judgment, and after she is done with your project plan, it’s essentially bullet proof.

This because Faye is leveraging her Deliberative strength.

Things Are Not Always As They Seem

People strong in Deliberative know not to take everything at face value. Just because something appears to be air tight does not mean it is. You know that life is unpredictable, and beneath the surface you can sense the many risks.

For this reason, you approach life and your decisions with reserve.

You know that life is not a popularity contest, and that the right decisions are not always the most popular. Others can count on you to place your feet deliberately, and tread with care.

Leveraging Your Vigilance

As a Deliberative leader, your team can count on you to lead them in the right direction and to make well thought-out decisions for the team. You provide security and certainty, which is invaluable as a leader. Because you are not interested in popularity, you don’t play into office politics and can be relied upon to make unbiased decisions about your people and your team.

Your team will seek out your sound judgment.

As a leader, you also need to be aware that though you make great decisions, time plays a factor in the real world as well. Deadlines need to be met in order for things to get done. You know that all things carry inherent risks; it’s important for you to identify the most important ones and address those.

 

Balancing Strengths

It’s not efficient to deliberate over every single factor. Be prepared to leverage people with strong Command, Activator, and/or Self-Assurance Strengths. They will help you make strong, efficient decisions and implement them. It’s also important to be aware of your team’s perceptions.

No, being popular isn’t more important than making good decisions, but your Deliberative can be misconstrued as an inability to act or tentativeness when addressing challenges or change.

As a leader, that can be detrimental to your cause.

To avoid this, make sure you explain your decision-making process, and that you find the risks in order to mitigate and reduce them.

Leading The Vigilant

If you are leading someone strong in Deliberative, they can be a great asset for you, especially if you are strong in Activator, Achiever, or Futuristic. You will be inclined to move quickly and may not have thought of every possible outcome or pitfall.

Though it may pain you to take a step back and slow down, you will have more successful endeavors that not.

Your partnership will also benefit them because you will be able to push them forward, as they have a tendency to sit still for long periods of time.

If you are a Deliberative person, what’s your process for decision-making? Do others come to you to help them make decisions? How to you avoid taking too long while still being thorough? If you lead someone with Deliberative, do you leverage them in team decision-making processes? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Alexsys "Lexy" Thompson HCS, SWP

Alexsys “Lexy” Thompson is Managing Partner at Fokal Fusion
She helps building Strong Leaders through Strong People Strategy
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web

 Image Sources: photographyblogger.net

 

When Personal and Organizational Leadership Values Aren’t Aligned

We’ve all faced this moment in our personal or work life. You’re in a work culture where your priorities and values are being challenged, and you have to make a decision. If you didn’t have the external pressure to get results in your work, your internal answer would be simple; but it’s not that easy is it?

So what do you do?

Leadership Lesson Learned

In his book, From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership, Harry Kraemer addresses the need for self-reflection to keep one on course. This former CEO/Chairman of Baxter International, a multi-billion dollar international healthcare company, tells a story that taught him an important lesson in making decisions as well as living intentionally in personal leadership development.

Here’s His Story…

He accompanied his parents on a trip to a retirement home where they led the residents in a time of singing familiar songs. Kraemer’s mom played the piano while his dad led the music and often sang memorable songs from Broadway musicals. Kraemer sat in the audience with the residents enjoying meeting the people and learning about their life stories.

On this particular occasion, he noticed a distinguished elderly man dressed in a tweed sport jacket and a bow tie who looked very professional. During one of the breaks, Kraemer approached this man and discovered that he was a retired senior executive from Pillsbury.

Always the student of learning, Kramer asked this man questions about his career and life. He specifically wanted to know what this former high-level executive would have done things differently now that his career was over. 

Kraemer’s Answer

This 89-hear old man pondered Kraemer’s question and then shared this golden nugget:

“You know, back in my early forties, I wanted to leave corporate America. I was on that ladder climb and doing well, but I wanted to leave corporate America and become a teacher. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of high school kids.”

But he said, “I never did it because I was worried about what ‘they’ would say. I’m 89 now. I’ve had a lot of time to sit and reflect about the ‘they’ that kept me from pursuing my dream. And I think, who were the ‘they’ that was driving so much of my decision-making?”

Like a wise sage, the man continued:

“Here’s what I want to tell you: People can be divided into two groups. The first group is composed of people who genuinely care about you. I mean, they want to celebrate with you, they want to encourage you, they want to be with you on your life journey, they want you to succeed and have the highest of times.

But they’re also going to follow that up with a question such as, ‘How are you doing? How is this promotion going to help you take care of yourself? What are you going to do to maintain your balance?’  These people will ask you the difficult questions because they’re concerned about you.” He said, ‘for most of us, we’re really lucky if we have five to eight people who fit that category. That’s it.’”

Then this former Pillsbury executive said:

“That other group, that’s the ‘they.’ These folks are good folks, and they may ask about you every once in a while; but for the most part they’re busy living their lives. What I came to find out is they really weren’t thinking about me anyway.

I gave them too much weight because I was worried about what they were going to say, and they weren’t saying anything because they weren’t thinking about me; they were busy living.” He said, “If you don’t pull aside to self-reflect and assess, you allow the invisible ‘they’ to determine your life course.”

Where Are You?

You may be in a very critical situation in your work where your values and desires aren’t aligned with your organization, and it’s not easy to make the difficult decision to either affect positive change for better alignment or make the decision to leave. 

Core Values Cards

Find Your Core Values with Recalibrate Cards!

As an executive coach, one way that I help my clients is to establish a PQM: a personal quarterly meeting. This practice of self-reflection assists you in focus and to remain aligned with your values.  Through the coaching process, we drive down to the core of what you desire to define you as a leader.

On a quarterly basis, set aside an hour or more to focus on where you are on your leadership journey.  Here a few questions to answer during your reflection –

  • What are your top leadership priorities?
  • What are your top three values?
  • Where are you driving change based on your core values? 
  • Where have you allowed the pace of business to move you off course? 
  • How am I letting the “they” influence my decision-making?
  • What is it that matters beyond anything else in your life right now?

As Harry Kramer reminds us, you must take the initiative to map out time for personal reflection and evaluation because no one is going to map it out for you.

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Mike Day

Mike Day PhD is a President of MorningStar Leadership Group
He’s a Keynote Speaker, Executive Coach & Trainer on Values-Based Leadership
Email | LinkedIn |  WebBlog

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Improve Your Team by Developing the HERO Inside You!

Be the Hero

Real heroes don’t really wear capes or have supernatural powers. In the real world, HERO’s are simply ordinary people who choose to respond to a set of circumstances in a way that inspires others. And it IS possible to develop the HERO inside you.

But before you can lead others, you must first learn to lead yourself.

That’s how you develop into a HERO.

The Hero Inside

There are battles inside you that go on every day, and those battles are the reason that you haven’t accomplished as much as you promised yourself you would back on New Year’s Eve. Internally, there is a part of you – a HERO – that wants to succeed and has strong values and great ideas and when you wake up it is your best self that is energized and bold and determined.

Friedrich Nietzsche called it the Übermensch. The term, loosely translated, means “superhuman.”

But your best self, your internal hero, has enemies…

  • Every day your HERO has to wage a battle against distractions, and disappointment, and disparagement.
  • Every day he has to struggle with ghosts of regret or monsters of misfortune.
  • Our history, things that happened in the past.
  • And our experiences, things that happen to us and around us, can sometimes seem devastating.

Fighting Your Battles

Imagine being a recently divorced woman, caring for a 3-month old daughter, forced to go on welfare after losing her job. Those would be hard battles to fight! And even though those circumstances and experiences are dangerous adversaries, they are not as powerful or impactful as our internal response to them.

If we respond poorly, we experience more painful outcomes. We become victims of our own negative responses. 

People, and teams, are not victims of circumstances. They only feel this way when they do not develop and use the HERO within them.

Winning the Battles Within

Too often our internal HERO’s greatest threat is our own fear, or contentment, or excuses, or doubts… those deceitful soldiers that protect the walls of our comfort zone.  And it is amazing what sometimes we can allow ourselves to grow comfortable with.

But if you want to develop the HERO within you and accomplish your ambitious goals, you have to:

  • Exile your excuses
  • Dump your doubts
  • Crash through that comfort zone that has caged you

The HERO Formula

So, what separates the average man from Nietzsche’s Übermensch?

The answer is a simple equation.  H + E x R = O

History + Events x Response = Outcomes

We cannot control our history… or the events that occur to and around us. But we CAN control our RESPONSE to them. And no matter what the first parts of the equation are, OUR RESPONSE DETERMINES THE OUTCOME!

To get something different, to feel something different, to become something different, you will have RESPOND differently!

I offer team building for teachers, for athletes, and for corporate groups that inspire unity and boost morale, but the key to any group’s improvement is each individual within the group claiming responsibility for their response to the history and events around them.

The HERO Attitude

Remember that single mother we imagined above? Well that was J K Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter series.  She developed her HERO because she decided to choose a positive response to her circumstances.

We cannot control our circumstances.  But we can control our responses. Regardless of the circumstance, we get to choose our attitude and our actions. We can develop a victim attitude and spiral down, or the kind that J K Rowling did and ascend far beyond expectations.

And if you keep a good attitude and take appropriate action consistently, those habits will lead you to accomplishing the goals you have set for yourself.

But your focus must be on changing the equation with a quality response. The world is not going to change  and we remain victims as long as we are waiting on someone or something else to change for us.

Becoming a HERO

So, how does one become a HERO? Commit to responding to your history and your experiences as your best self. Remember, you cannot choose where you were planted – but you CAN choose to bloom there.

Want to improve your organization and inspire team development? Want to improve your family?  Your community? Your workplace? Then develop the HERO inside you. Your example and responses WILL impact others. Whatever your history or experiences, your response to the events you experience will determine your teams success.

So how are you responding to your past and current situations in life, at work, and in your community? Are you mentally stuck in the past and still paying a heavy price? If so, WHY? What steps can you take today to reprogram your responses so that you can get those superhuman results and lets the HERO soar? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here!
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Sean Glaze

Sean Glaze is Speaker, Author, Coach, and Facilitator at Great Results Teambuilding
He delivers Engaging Events that Transform Laughter into Lessons
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Web | YouTube | Book | Blog

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