On Leadership, Perspective and Toxic CEOs

6 Types of Toxic CEO's

 

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Hey Leaders: 5 Tips to Positively Powerful Presentations

Public Speaking

Great leadership requires great communication skills.

And one of the most challenging forms of communication is presenting in public!

Public Speaking

Hosting a work or group presentation often comes with a great deal of anxiety attached. Many people do not like to stand up in-front of groups because they wonder how they are going to sound and if the audience will enjoy the presentation.

Fortunately, preparing yourself to properly articulate words and capture the attention of your audience will help to chase some of these fears away.

5 Tips to Positively Powerful Presentations

Plan The Right Way

Speaking extemporaneously is a gift that some people have. However, chances are you don’t have this talent if you are afraid of public speaking. Start drafting ideas for the presentation once you receive the assignment. By having at least a structure in place when you sit down to complete the bulk of the work, the presentation itself won’t seem so overwhelming.

Use notecards if permitted during the actual speech, and put cue words and phrases on them. Writing out your entire presentation and reading it word-for-word is not the best idea. Not only will the speech sound robotic, but you will be more focused on reading a single word than anything else.

Use Audience Interaction

Think about what you like when you go to a presentation or listen to a speech. Sitting in silence for a lengthy period isn’t fun for even the most attentive of audience members. Find a way to incorporate audience interaction into your presentation.

For example, you might start by asking a question of the larger group, or, if time permits, plan out an activity where the audience divides into smaller groups to discuss an issue.

You could have them fill out surveys or answer quiz questions as an ice breaker or as an introduction to the topic you are going to discuss.

Harness The Power of Visual Aids

Visualization is an extremely important component of a strong presentation. Audience members can hear what you are saying, but that doesn’t mean they will retain or fully comprehend the information. A presentation that delves into statistics needs to have charts and graphs to properly display them.

You can pass this information around to the audience members so that they have copies to take home. Use pictures to depict a new plan for a management team, or show images and video clips of a new product or service that your company is launching.

Know How to Speak

Even if you have spent the last few months preparing and you have the coolest graphics in the world, people aren’t going to listen if you don’t have some basic speaking skills in your pocket.

  • Your voice needs to be loud and clear enough for everyone in the audience to hear.
  • Looking into the audio devices available well in-advance of the presentation date is wise.
  • Make eye-contact with the audience members.
  • Know what language the audience speaks, and do not use words that they are unlikely to understand.
  • Find a tone somewhere between boringly formal and overly casual that addresses your goals while engaging the audience.

Strong Introduction and Conclusion

You want to make sure people are listening when your speech starts, and you want to make sure that they take something away from it when it is over.

  • Use a hook question or a quotation to grab their interest at the start.
  • When you near the end, reiterate your main points, and let them know how to contact you for more information.
  • Opening up a question and answer session helps audience members to recognize you care about their absorption of the material.
  • If you are selling something, give free samples.

Being a Trained Professional

Creating a strong presentation is important because this is the first impression you’re providing to the audience members. Using these tools helps to let the audience see that you are a trained professional who cares about his or her purpose and goals in the presentation.

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————
Robert Cordray

Robert Cordray is a freelance writer with over 20 years of business experience
He does the occasional business consult to help increase employee morale
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

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On Leadership Styles, Philosophies and Where You Live

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How to Be a Really Stupid Leader

Stupid Leaders

What makes a leader stupid? Most believe it is a combination of a number of unattractive and unproductive behaviors that are incorporated into their style that makes them unsuccessful, along with a refusal to change.

A stupid leader is a committed self-serving leader.

They see every situation and activity from their own vantage point and are unable to head in a different direction.

Smart or Stupid?

Learning how to be a successful leader requires time and attention on what the stupid leader behaviors are, so by doing the opposite, a person can develop into a smart leader instead.

While the following list is anything but complete, it is a good start of some of the top things to include if you too want to be known as a stupid leader someday.

9 Ways to Be a Really Stupid Leader

1) Allow Your Ego to Lead You

Stupid leaders are known for being arrogant and full of themselves. They don’t need a formal fan club because they are so enamored by their greatness that they lack the need for reinforcement. If you remember to lead with your ego, and always remember your importance in the scheme of things, nothing can go wrong.

2) Cultivate a Selective Memory

Stupid leaders remember things that go well and things that make them look good. Of course there may be times where you are fully aware of a situation, that has now gone bad, but if you forget the details, hey, you are just human. Finding out the bad news with everyone else is even better, because you have the added benefit of plausible deniability to lean on too.

Just remember that too much memory loss could be considered a liability, so there may be times you remember a small detail while most of the story is fuzzy.

3) Take Credit for All Good Deeds

A stupid leader knows the value of good publicity, and is always quick to the podium or press release when there is good news to share. Stupid leaders know that there is no “I” in TEAM, but are equally aware that there is a “ME” in those letters.

Sharing credit with others is time-consuming, and if it were not for your leadership, whatever good that did happen is really secondary. Keep your focus and rather than taking time to mention other people, just arrange the talking points to make yourself the center of attention.

4) Blame Others for Troubles

Stupid leaders also realize that when trouble hits, it is a perfect time to remember you lead a team of people and they are open to human error. Whenever possible point out people with complete name, title and responsibilities when you need a fall guy or girl to blame.

Taking responsibility for something that goes bad is simply not a way to end the day on a good note, so learn the art of finger-pointing and get good at it!

5) Avoid the Truth

Now while many people call it lying, it is better to call it a redirection or deflection. When people ask a direct question, often they think they want a direct answer. The truth is they want to feel good, and telling them what they want to hear avoids conflict.

Don’t worry about them finding out later what really happened, by then they will forget who told them.

And even if they have you on video, you can always say they misunderstood your intent. Bottom line, truth builds trust between people, and that is the last thing a really stupid leader wants to build.

6) Demonize Your Enemies

One of the best skills a stupid leader must be good at is to demonize anyone that is against your vision and success. Just because they have a different opinion doesn’t make them right, and debating them is a big waste of time. These people are against you, and just like in war they are the enemy.

For a stupid leader to be successful they must make their enemies appear incompetent, immoral or crazy.

Don’t hide behind a lampshade and expect others to do this for you. Get out there and trash these people yourself!

7) Close Your Mind to New Ideas

Serious stupid leaders know that for them to lead others it is important never to share the stage, less the followers lose focus on them.   Listening to other ideas would only spark a possible change in direction, and stupid leaders know with certainty that changing course makes you look weak.

Sticking to your own ideas no matter how wrong you might be only opens the door to criticism. And imagine what would happen if you did try another approach and it worked; you would have to share the credit!

8) Talk Your Talk and Avoid the Walk

So called leadership gurus have been saying for years that it is more important to walk your talk than talk it. But stupid leaders know that if you talk long enough, and keep the message on track, people begin to believe that snow is hot to the touch. Walking in any direction only confuses people, and talking more saves the wear and tear on your new shoes.

9) Flaunt Your Success

Lastly, it is so important for a stupid leader never to forget to flaunt their success in everyone’s face. If you got a big bonus, tell everyone how you are going to spend it. While staff members may have to save for a year to stay at a KOA camp with their family for a week, they will look up to you once they know you and your family booked your own private cruise ship for a round the world trip.

In Conclusion

Sadly we can all visualize a leader that should have their picture next to each of these points, and it was a challenge not to select photos to illustrate as examples. The lessons to be learned are simple because we need only do the opposite of what it takes to be a really stupid leader so that we can be a really brilliant leader instead.

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Jim Hopkins

Jim Hopkins is the CEO of JK Hopkins Consulting
He a Consultant, Coach, Author and Speaker in Organizational & Performance Health
Email | LinkedIn | Website | Blog | (562) 943-5776

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Lessons From Argentine Reaction to World Cup Loss

Argentina Riots

VIDEO: Riots erupted in Argentina after World Cup loss.

High hopes and expectations gave way to defeat, shock, dejection and finally to pain, anger and destruction.

This was the 120-minute journey taken by Argentina’s national football team’s supporters who had gathered at a public square viewing area in Buenos Aires, to watch the final 2014 FIFA World Cup match between Argentina and Germany. Chaos erupted after Argentina lost to Germany.

Who publicly vents their frustration through riotous acts of violence and hooliganism because of a loss?

Success Today

Before we rush to condemn the fans’ behavior, it’s important to consider what may have led them to do what they did. In today’s world, success is highly overrated. We celebrate those who come first, conquer (however we define that), make it big, win awards and medals, achieve in one way or other. It’s all about positive feelings, positive emotions and positive labels.

On the other hand, we look down upon those who have suffered defeat, loss and humiliation. For them, it’s negative, negative, negative – feelings, emotions and labels. They’re not good enough, they’ve failed, lost, let themselves and us down.

So it’s shame, shame, shame!

Acting Out

And so for Argentina’s fans, theirs was not just a case of lawlessness. They were simply projecting on the outside what they were going through on the inside – their pain and disappointment. But, one may – nay, SHOULD – ask whether the fans could have displayed their feelings of loss differently.

After all, with no exception, we go through loss and defeat at different times in our lives.

  • Does that give us the license to take to the streets every time we lose and generally make other people’s lives miserable in the process? Especially when the loss is so intense, it’s palpable.
  • Or, do we have a choice as to how to respond to loss?

To quote a popular saying, we need to win with humility and lose with grace. But, what does it mean to lose with grace? In this post, I share a 3-step process that one can follow.

3-Steps to Winning With Humility and Losing With Grace

1) Accept That You Have Lost

Once you’ve lost, you’ve lost. You can’t wish the loss away. And you can’t turn back the clock, to translate the loss into a win. So, admit that you’ve lost. Allow yourself to come to terms with your loss and grieve if you must.

Argentina’s loss to Germany was boldly summed up by Joao Cuenca, who has an Argentine father and a Brazilian mother:

“This was a trauma. We were going to be able to leave singing songs in victory with the glory of the Cup. What happened is nothing short of a disaster.”

Ouch! The good news is that facing your loss and pain head on makes it much easier for the healing process to begin.

2) Learn All You Can

At one time or other, you will lose. It’s just a matter of time. And each loss has a lesson embedded in it.

  • Ask yourself what you can take away from the experience and make it work for you.
  • Don’t waste your loss.
  • The good news is that losing does not make you a loser.
  • It’s an experience, not a state.
  • So, make it your aim to learn all you can from any and every loss.
  • Drawing lessons can help you emerge a stronger, better person.
  • Apply those lessons to future pursuits, to improve your chances of succeeding then.

Internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach and author, John Maxwell says in his book Sometimes You Win Sometimes You Learn, that winning isn’t everything, but learning is. Don’t waste your experiences whether it’s a win or a loss. Learn from both.

3) Move On

Easier said than done, but you must. Don’t camp where you lost the game – for if you do, you’ll waste the chance to get ready for your next big opportunity. Guard against what Abraham Graham Bell, the late Scottish scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator warned about:

“When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

You have to make the decision to keep moving through other open doors. You never know – your next win may be far greater than your last loss. As long as you’re alive, keep moving.

Leading Through Loss

Indeed, better days lie ahead if you accept your past losses, learn from them and move on to seize future opportunities. This lesson applies in sports, family, business, community and in life.

How do you currently deal with loss in your life? Does it make the situation better or worse? How could you respond to losses more effectively?

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Joyce Kaduki

Mrs. Joyce Kaduki is a Leadership Coach, Speaker & Trainer
She enjoys working with Individuals & Teams to help them Improve their Results
Email | LinkedIn | Web

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On Leadership and The Personal Courage Required to Be a Leader

Personal Courage

One of the most overlooked aspects of being a leader is the inherent need for personal courage.

“Personal courage is the ability to act on the tough but necessary decisions guided by a moral compass that serves to benefit the team or stated goals.”David Stricklin

On Personal Courage 

At a cocktail partly last night, I was discussing leadership with my cousin who is the director of operations for a global health care corporation. As we verbally crossed through the different aspects and principles of leadership, we quickly realized one of the most overlooked traits in writings today was the personal courage required to be a leader.

We both agreed strongly that personal courage must be a bedrock of leadership.

A quick search of the internet for leadership principles reveals over 13M returns but target this to personal courage and the returns are reduced by over 60%. To be successful, a leader must display both moral and physical courage. This is accomplished by showing a willingness to take calculated risks, acting independently, and demonstrating personal responsibility for their actions.

On Focus and Intensity

The leader must persist with focus and intensity even when faced with adversity and, in when faced with challenge, project confidence, credibility, and poise.

As Aristotle informed us so many years ago:

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” ~ Aristotle

Without personal courage, leadership cannot be effective, revolutionary change is not possible, evolutionary advancement will not occur and an organization will quickly find themselves on the express path to extinction.

The Personal Courage Required to Be a Leader

Leaders must have the personal courage to stand up for what is right.

They demand accountability…from followers, superiors and themselves. Leadership is about doing what is right, not just doing the right things. Successful leaders are never yes-people, but they respectfully dissent.

They also understand that decisions may be delegated but responsibility can not. Courageous leaders are always responsible for their actions.

Leaders must have the personal courage to make decisions.

A leader is continually asked to make decisions with incomplete and variable data sets. The choices many times are not right or wrong, but differing degrees of good enough with conflicting second and third order effects. This draws many leaders into analysis paralysis where a decision is delayed into nonexistence because of the continual search for a perfect solution.

A courageous and dynamic leader knows their worth is determined by their ability to properly analyze situations and take deliberate, calculated risks to move the team forward.

Leaders must have the personal courage to ensure positive change.

It takes courage to question everything, to break from the status quo, to challenge the norm and determine how it could be improved.

A successful leader strives to make positive change every day.

They are not afraid of leading paradigm shifts to ensure success and positive progress. 

Leaders must have the personal courage to deliver bad news as well as good news.

All leaders deliver good news, good leaders delivers bad news. Negative feedback is painful for both sides, but your followers will appreciate your candor when their behavior is improved in the early stages of poor or unsatisfactory  performance instead of waiting until the issue becomes so large it is almost impossible to deal with simply.

We have all needed constructive criticism in our lives. A successful leader cares about their followers enough to have the awkward conversations to discuss missteps, mistakes, or mannerisms.

Making each person better helps the team be better. It takes personal courage to do the right thing and not just calm the troubled waters in your organization. 

Leaders must have the personal courage to develop their followers.

True leadership is not found in an individual, but the people developed. The true measure of a leader is not just measured by success of their organization, but by the measure of leaders they influence and develop to follow in their footsteps.

Successful leaders invest in the future of their followers and not just the organization.

The more you care about your followers, the more personal pride and motivation they will feel toward you and your organization.

Leaders must have the personal courage to delegate.

Leaders must give their team vision…Courageous leaders trust their team to execute their vision. As any new leader can attest, one of the toughest actions is to do nothing on a task and trust your team to execute your direction and wishes.

This is the transition from a tactical level action officer to an organizational and strategic level leader.

Leaders must have the personal courage to seek help from others. 

Leadership has many aspects and principles, but the first building block of a successful leader must be personal courage. The U.S. Air Force defines courage as what allows you to remain calm while recognizing fear.

Further, moral courage means having the inner strength to stand up for what is right and to accept blame when something is your fault.

Improving Your Personal Courage

The obvious question looming is how do you improve your personal courage? You can begin your quest to control fear by practicing self-discipline and calmness. Determine the area in which you experience the most fear in your daily life, and your leadership duties, then force yourself to do them until you can satisfactorily control your reaction.

Personal courage allows the right questions to be asked, followers to be developed and credibility established.

Persoanal courage is simply not letting your fears overcome your goals and define you. It is the ability to admit and learn from your mistakes, and the continual quest to become a better person.

Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” ~ Billy Graham

What aspects do you consider vital in the personal courage to be a leader? How do you improve your personal courage? Is there any other aspect of leadership which you consider more important? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————– 
Chris R. Stricklin

Chris R. Stricklin is Chief Growth Officer of The General Leadership Foundation.
He is a Leader, Mentor and Coach integrating Fields of Negotiations and Leadership
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Google+ | Web

 

On Leadership, You and Your Modus Operandi

Please watch this short two-minute Ted Talk above and then read on…

Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” ~ Alan Alda

Your Modus Operandi

Did you know that you have a blueprint on the way you think? And like most people, you are generally locked into this modus operandi. This blueprint is called your assumptions. But don’t feel too bad about this. Everyone operates on an internal list of assumptions.

Otherwise we could not thrive in our complex and confusing world. We would have no bearings and would continually get lost.

Our brains use psychological frameworks largely based on assumptions about value and likelihood so that we avoid cognitive chaos. However, if we see our assumptions as a “best fit” which if we pay no attention can go terribly wrong, we gain a clearer idea of how nature has equipped us for misadventure.

Living With Misjudgement

Take a look at the psychology of misjudgement with this Daniel Gilbert’s TED talk.

Daniel’s examples are relatively simple compared with the complexity of our assumptions about how the “real” world, about other people, and about ourselves.

Our earliest assumptions come from our parents, siblings, friends, teachers etc. and colour how we process new experiences and information for much of our later life. These assumptions are the filters overlaying our personal lens through which we interact with the world.

Our unique experience is just that: unique. And we use our assumptions to make sense of this. The problems begin when we attempt to impose our unique personal assumptions on the world in general and expect everyone else to conform.

Seeking Different Assumptions

If one world view is too narrow it follows we must seek more experiences and assumptions to broaden our world view. As we can’t live everyone else’s life nor acquire their assumptions we must learn to share them by collaboration.

“Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.” ~ Miguel Angel Ruiz

Here there is a fork in the road. In one direction lies the pit of Groupthink and the other the garden of collaboration. If all you want is to have your assumptions reinforced then surround yourself with yes men. You will get a nice warm feeling but you court very public failure.

“Groupthink is characterized by a shared “illusion of invulnerability,” an exaggerated belief in the competence of the group, a “shared illusion of unanimity” within the group, and a number of other symptoms” ~ Fredric Solomon and Robert Q. Marston

On Courage and Facing New Challenges

If you have the courage to attract people with different views and encourage them to voice theirs, all evidence shows that together you will be more creative especially in facing challenge. Your innovations and solutions will most likely last longer and be more directly relevant.

“Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Collaboration is vital but insufficient for genius innovation. You need creative tension. One definition of tension is “A balanced relation between strongly opposing elements.” If we think of the most creative people we think of polymaths or renaissance men (and of course women.)

They investigated art, mathematics, biology, music, literature etc. etc. seeing no boundaries.

Our modern world is too complex to excel at more than a few things so we must build “Renaissance Teams” to cover the ground. The leader’s challenge is to nurture creative tension, appreciate different assumptions, and gel the whole in a vision which supports common purpose.

Your Actions Today

  • As you approach each person, task or meeting make a note of your assumptions.
  • Reflect on the “life history” of each assumption; where/who did it come from?
  • On a scale of 1 (my opinion) to 10 (the truth,) rate each of your assumptions.
  • Were you able to appreciate, understand and integrate other people’s assumptions into your world view?

Recommended reading

To hone your assumption busting skills try The Reflective Journal by Barbara Bassot

Gary is the author of the upcoming book “Your Personal Leadership Book of Days – Avoid Cookie Cutter Solutions By Using Your Adaptive Intelligence.” Download a free mini-version HERE.

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–  

Gary Coulton

Dr Gary R Coulton is CEO of Adaptive Intelligence Consulting Limited
He empowers leaders to release their Adaptive Intelligence
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Web

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