How to Lead Stupid People

Stupid People

“How to Lead Stupid People” as an article title… Offensive, right? Who would think that the people that work with them are stupid?

Well read these statements:

“I was just promoted into management and am shocked at how stupid my employees can be. I give them directions and then they do 18 things I didn’t want. I’m getting really frustrated and curt with them. How do I make sure they do tasks the way I want them done?” – Actual question sent in by recently promoted manager (Source)

“My organization has tripled the number of employees I supervise, and I’m exhausted with how many stupid mistakes they make. I make every effort to train them, and yet they still manage to misunderstand nearly everything I say. How can I make the job to clear to them and not waste so much time with their mistakes?” – Yes, another real question sent into a newspaper! (Source)

Not only do people think that their direct reports are stupid, they are also willing to ask for advice about them… And “experts” are willing to answer.

But take a different look at the equation:

What if the reason that a team is “stupid” has more to do with the person in charge than the people on the team?

People Are Only As Stupid As Allowed

We are the masters of how we interpret the world. That’s why people can see the same glass as half full or half empty – the glass isn’t different, the perspective is. It’s a phenomenon called confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is a trick our brain plays, only looking for evidence supporting our preconceived notions or strongly held beliefs.

In one my first real jobs, my first manager struggled to identify three positive attributes in my first quarterly review. Right after that, I got the opportunity to do the same job for another leader in the organization. In three months, I was given a huge project to reduce attrition in a key area. It was successful and I was promoted to manager of the group.

  • Was I smarter while working for the second manager? No.
  • Did I make mistakes and fail while working for the second manager? Absolutely.

But for manager two, I was a capable and resourceful employee. For manager one, I was a total screw up. I didn’t act differently work any harder. The difference was in their perspective…

Do you think that the people who “work for you” are brainless? It likely has more to do with your view of them than their performance.

If Your Employees Are Stupid, That’s On You

Teams are only good as their combined abilities. Leaders aren’t always given the opportunity to pick the people, but they can shape a high-performance team culture. This culture encourages people to step up or step out. Either is fine, as long as everyone is rowing in the same direction.

During a promotion, I “inherited” a team that wasn’t doing so well. I interviewed the team. They were passionate and diligent about doing a great job, but the previous manager assumed their jobs were mundane and they must be “simpletons” (his words, really). He also didn’t deal with a single performance issue.

I took the following actions immediately:

  1. Started to promote the wins of the team
  2. Met with all the business partners to realign goals and projects
  3. Had a tough conversation with the person that was not performing their duties

The team’s performance turned around dramatically.

On Leadership and Culture

Shadow of a Leader

Did the team change? Not really. I didn’t rejigger their processes. It was really a matter of what I thought of the team. It’s the notion of “shadow of the leader.”

Essentially, the team will emulate the leader’s actions, and will be a reflection of the leader’s perception of the group. Think about a person you were in a relationship with that didn’t work out, then they end up great relationship. It’s likely they didn’t really change much.

What’s more likely is that they found someone that saw their inner greatness.

You shape how the people around you show up. Unless you are in a war zone (and research tells us sometimes even then), you control how great people show up.

You Can’t Fix Stupid, But You Can Fix You

What does this all mean for the stupid team that you are forced to lead?

It means if you think you are leading stupid people, look in the mirror. The likely cause of the collective stupidity of the team is that you haven’t answered/addressed some very important questions:

  • Do you really know what the team does?

    • Not just the “they process form 47” level, but the impact on the end customer or bottom line – if you can’t clearly articulate that, then how can your expect your team to know the impact of their actions?
  • Do you know how your team impacts and interacts with other teams?

    • Part of overcoming the label of “stupid team” is understanding the interactions between teams.
  • Do you know what motivates your team members?

    •  Not the fluffy stuff, but the underlying motivation – this insight enables you to see why they act the way they do.
  •  Do you know their strengths?

    • Far too often, leaders don’t really know what their team members’ strengths are – they constantly give them either crappy, mundane work or tasks they struggle with. I’m 5′ 1″ tall – if my manager gave me the task of being the center of a basketball team, I’d fail no matter how hard I worked.
  • Do you know what they want to do with their careers?

    •   Its vital to know what folks want out of the time they are working. Is it to be the manager, to get a paycheck, or to start his or her own business? All of those are awesome. This gives you insight into how you can work with them to achieve those goals and frame tasks or projects. You will really have to think about why you are assigning things (and to whom) when you’re assigning them.

Are the people on the team you have the privilege of leading really stupid? Probably not. A team being “stupid” has more to do with the leader than the members of the team. Everyone is masterful at something – it’s just a matter of finding out what.

  • A leader actively looks for the greatness in each and every person on the team.
  • A non-leader just complains that the team is ineffective because the people on their team are stupid.

Which one are you?

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Anil Saxena is a President & Senior Consultant Cube 214 Consulting
He helps organizations create environments that generate repeatable superior results
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Articles of Faith: Leadership, Legacy and Grasping the Wind

Leadership Double Glasses
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.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23, NLT

A month ago I finally began to appreciate this proverb. A month ago, I died and was rudely shocked back to the operating table by a wonderful team of well-meaning surgeons. How were they to know that I was thoroughly enjoying the total peace and joy of having truly let go?

Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless–like chasing the wind. NIV Ecclesiastes 4:4

It took a heart attack and an all too brief visit to heaven for me to accept that anything I have been doing on this earth is no more than a striving after the wind.

But surely that wasn’t me. I wasn’t doing what I do for my success because I was envious. Surely, I had much better motives than that?

Some Context…

I should back up a little and give you some context:

I am a leadership coach and mentor, and the marketplace is my ministry. My mission is to impact lives, to be a lighthouse for people struggling to find meaning and direction in their careers and help them get in balance and make headway towards their own purpose and mission in life.

I love helping people and I’ve been working hard these past few years to expand the business and grow such that I can impact more lives. And perhaps you are beginning to notice what happens as soon as I talk about this. It’s all about me, and it’s all about doing.

Feeding on the Myth of Better

As I reflect on the months leading up to my taste of mortality, I realize that I had been striving to achieve something worthwhile, and I had chosen to feed on the myth that I had to be better, to do more, to compete to win in this world. I had unwittingly re-joined the rate race. I was on the hamster wheel of life running to keep up and falling down exhausted.

In the months prior to my heart attack, my thought life had been quietly and insistently repeating: “What are you going to do? What are you going to do?” All because I wanted to get on with things and stop wasting time.

I may not have consciously been competing enviously with other, more successful, and more spiritual people in my line of work. Even so, I did want to be known for doing it better, if I am to be completely honest here.

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. Proverbs 3:5  (AMP)

Learning to Let Go

When was I going to realize that I am simply not smart enough to run my own life, let alone build this business and ministry into something that, in all humility, is a worthwhile legacy?

Trusting God. So often this is a last resort: “Well there’s nothing more I can do, all I can do now is trust God.” Proverbs 3:5 does not say, “…with a little bit of your heart”, nor “…rely on some of your own insight and understanding.”

Am I utterly barmy?

[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. Jeremiah 17:7 AMP

I Want to Be a [Most] Blessed Man!

I’ll guess that you. Like me, have heard many wondrous testimonies of instant miracles, overnight turnarounds, miraculous healings and effortless overcoming of addictions. I love to hear them. And then my thinking starts to buzz inside like a mosquito in the bedroom: “Why God why? When God when?” Consciously, I chastise myself for such unchristian thoughts and repeat Proverbs 3:5 until I drown out that mosquito. Only for it to come back a little later just as I let my guard down.

If I can’t ‘guard’ my heart, perhaps I can ‘let not it be troubled’?

Jesus left me His peace (John 14: 27) and thus enabled me to “let not” my heart be troubled, nor be afraid. However, I still struggle to get comfortable not knowing when, why or where and just trusting God.

On REALLY Letting Go

It’s easy to tell someone to “let go.” I’ve shared this “wisdom” with many. But then I started to wonder how we actually can let go.

Before they shocked me back to the operating table, for a short while, I felt that peace and joy of having chosen to finally, and completely, let go. Oh, I cannot begin to describe how good it felt. For now though, it seems I am not finished here yet.

I didn’t struggle to completely trust the surgeons and staff at the hospital… Perfect strangers. I had no qualms about letting them be utterly in charge. Yet, in spite of the overwhelming evidence in my own life that He is always there, I keep taking the reins of control back from God.

I know Jesus will never leave me, nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). I know that when I keep my eyes on Him, everything works out for good (Romans 8:28). And then just like Peter (Matthew 14:29-30), I get distracted by the circumstances around me.

Distraction is a jealous seductress. It lures me away from my peace and sabotages my joy in rest.

Let Go, Let God

It is time to throw my own retirement party and let God.

Striving after the wind is all vanity. I will still strive. I will strive to enter that rest and not fall into the same disobedience as those in the wilderness by trusting in myself (Hebrews 4:11). I shall get comfortable not knowing what or how or where or when or why and trust Him. Pray for me.

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——————–
John Kenworthy

Dr John Kenworthy is Chief Success Officer at AdvantEdge
He serves clients with his Potential to Performance Success System
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook

 

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On Leadership, Persistence and The Strong-Willed Leader

My Way

When I was a kid, I was known to be a little hard-headed at times. I must have driven my parents crazy with all the times that I refused to do what they asked me to do.

I wanted to do things my way.

What Goes Around…

I can see that God has a great sense of humor now that we’ve had our daughter, Ava, because she definitely inherited the hard-headed gene. I say that I see a sense of humor because if I don’t laugh, I’d be crying!

In educational circles, we would call Ava a “strong-willed child.” As parents, we call it “you make me want to scream, now get into timeout!

You have just  got to love those hard-headed kids that insist on getting things their way, don’t you? We joke with Ava that she’s going to be a lawyer because she negotiates every last request that we make of her.

  • We ask her to eat all her dinner before she can get dessert and she will try to negotiate it down to taking just a few more bites.
  • She even tries to negotiate the amount of time that she spends in timeout when we discipline her.

It took her a while to learn that we might negotiate dinner portions, but we will not negotiate timeout. We haven’t budged on that front once, but she keeps on trying. She just won’t take “no” for an answer.

Just Saying No

I have realized over time that many of the successes that I’ve had in my life were because of my hard-headedness. The same is true for all leaders. Sometimes “no” comes out as someone saying, “it can’t be done” or “no one has ever done that before.

However you phrase it, it still means “no.” I have learned that “no” is just temporary. Persistence pays if you want something badly enough.

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill

What’s the Big Idea?

All success starts with an idea and a desire to make it happen. This idea becomes fixed in our mind as something that we’re going to achieve. We’re not talking about the fleeing ideas that we allow to pass.

We have to grab hold of the one that we can become convicted about. Grab hold of it and don’t let it go until it’s achieved. All great success stories start off this way.

Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” ~ Napoleon Hill 

Determination to Succeed

True determination comes from knowing, not just wishing, that your idea will succeed. It has to be so fixed in your mind that you are determined to make it come to life.

Any setback that you may feel is a minor one in the scheme of things. Having determination means that you are willing to make sacrifices in order to succeed. Do you really want this thing that you’re striving for?

Persistence Is Key

Persistence and determination run hand-in-hand with one another. Nothing worthwhile ever comes right away. Those that are willing to persist through the adversity that life throws their way are the ones that succeed. Times will be tough.

It seems like life will do what it can to test you. Life will throw you a few setbacks just to be sure. How do you persist through the tough times?

Keep Good People Around You

The people around you can help lift you up when you’re feeling down. The pressures of success can wear on leaders from time to time and encouragement from the people around them are special cogs in their success engine.

I have been blessed enough to have family and friends who believed in me attaining my dreams that failure wasn’t an option in their eyes. They know without any shadow of a doubt that I can be successful in what I do. Who are you spending time with that will lift you up?

This post was adapted from Rich Bishop’s book, “Child-Like Leadership.”

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———————–
Rich Bishop

Rich Bishop is President of Bishop Coaching & Consulting Group
He takes a hands-on approach to your Development through Coaching & Training
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On Leadership, Winning and Losing

Winning and Losing

There are many components to classical effective leadership. But today I want to discuss just a single critical part of effective leadership through the sharing two stories with you.

One: I got a funny comment of one of my blog posts this week. After reading one of my articles discussing one of the areas where I struggle as a leader, the commenter said this:

Gutsy post, it must take a lot of courage to be that open about your faults. I would never do that as a consultant.”

Two: I published a post on LinkedIn this week that after two days had received over 13,000 views. By far this has been my post popular article of all time and the only post I’ve written that has ever gone “viral.” I felt like a semi-celebrity as the LinkedIn number of shares crossed 700…800…900 and up.

My Million Dollar Question

As these situations were simultaneously circulating around me, I couldn’t help but ask myself the million dollar question:

“Am I a failure as a writer because of all the times my posts have just sat there and done nothing? Or am I a success because of this most recent mind-blowing success?”

On one hand, people didn’t like my writing style, while on the other hand people did.

What was I to think? Was a good writer or not?

Your Emotional Connections

The reason why I share these two stories is because I want to spend a few minutes talking about why it is so important as a leader to not get emotionally attached to the outcomes of our efforts.

I once heard an expression at a conference one time that sums up how to do this:

“Don’t take anything personally – the good or the bad”

I thought it was interesting. The speaker was trying to explain that if we interpret our successes to mean that “Yay, I’m great, they like me!” then we are equally as likely to internalize the negative feedback that comes at us when things aren’t going so well.

He painted a picture of us being on a teeter-totter where our emotional health and was totally dependent on the results we were achieving (or not achieving).

  • Feedback is good? We’re happy.
  • Feedback is less than great? We’re depressed because we obviously suck.

Are either of those assumptions true? No. Am I a failure because some people don’t like my material? No. Am I a success because I hit a home-run? No. The truth is we are not our losses or our victories – we are all a big combination of ups and downs and all incredibly valuable just as we are.

Keeping On Track

How then do we know if we’re on the right track if we’re not using our outside results as our primary “success” gauge? Three things I ask myself when facing self-worth questions:

  1. Am I being obedient to what I feel God is calling me to do? Really His opinion is the only one that matters to me.
  2. What do I think? Personally I felt great about the articles I had written and didn’t base my work satisfaction on something I had little to no control over (in this case the feedback to each article). I had done my best and for me, that was enough.
  3. Does my inner circle think I’m on the right track? We each have a few people in our lives that know us well and will hold us accountable to becoming our best selves. Listen to them for feedback if you’re feeling unsure.

In closing I write this as a reminder to those of us who get a huge high from a victory yet also reel just as much from a supposed loss.

Don’t identify either way:

  • Don’t deflate when you lose.
  • Don’t get puffed-up when you win.

The truth is that you’re amazing just the way you are: We are all a work in progress.

Breath when you lose, breath when you win, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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———————–
Natasha Golinsky

Natasha Golinsky is the Founder of Next Level Nonprofits
She helps nonprofit CEO’s take their leadership skills to the next level
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On Leadership, Playing Sports and Achieving Business Excellence

I have long recognized the strong correlation between having a history of playing sports and success in business.

And as a general rule, I have found this link to be remarkably evident in females.

Having competed in sports as a child and competing in the business world today, I know firsthand how valuable the experiences gained in sports can be.

On “Sporty” People

As a hiring manager, I often favor candidates who played team sports or engaged in other competitive activities in their youth. I find that the skills they honed on the “playing field” were often the very same that propelled them to the top of their game in business.

The most prominent skills are:

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Perseverance
  • Discipline
  • Sportsmanship
  • Time Management
  • Grit
  • Punctuality

In my experience, “sporty” people are taught to stay focused on their goals. They have the motivation to continue following setbacks, and they know that success takes hard work.

Just the Facts

I recently found two studies that validate my experience and underscore the fundamental role that participation in sports plays in developing female leaders.

The most recent data is from a global survey commissioned in 2013 by the professional services firm Ernst and Young. This survey found that 96% of women in the “C-Suite” played sports at some level while growing up.

These survey findings are consistent with an earlier study conducted in 2002 by the mutual fund company Oppenheimer. The Oppenheimer study revealed that 82% of women in executive-level jobs had played organized sports after elementary school, including school teams, intramurals or recreational leagues.

It’s Not Too Late

If you didn’t play team sports as a kid, it’s not too late.

The study also showed that businesswomen exercise and play sports significantly more than the general population of women. Two-thirds of women business executives exercise regularly, which other research would show is close to double the proportion for the general population of women.

The data is clear and that is this:

Being sporty not only helps women succeed in business, it sends them straight to the top.

On Playing Sports

Consider the benefits of playing teams sports:

  • Teamwork:

Team sports teach athletes how to cooperate with others to achieve a common goal. Being able to work productively with a team is critical to achieving success in business. Being able to work on a team is a crucial part of my hiring process.

  • Goal Oriented:

As an athlete, you are always looking to improve your performance. It may be to run further, faster or lift more weight. Employers need workers that will work hard to accomplish their goals and continually “raise the bar.”

  • Perseverance:

Athletes learn that if you get knocked down, literally and figuratively, you can pick yourself up and keep going. People that persevere in business, work hard to hold themselves and others responsible for achieving business objectives. They don’t let obstacles get in their way.

  • Time-Management:

Child athletes learn at a young age how to balance school, homework and athletics. Employers desire efficient workers that are self-motivated and stay on task.

  • Competitive & Assertive:

Competitive activity teaches the importance of winning and bouncing back after losing. Engaging in competitive activity as a child may help women learn that it is acceptable to compete aggressively.

The “Ginormosity” of it All

Clearly, the value of engaging in physical activity throughout you’re your lifetime is enormous.

Hiring managers consider the benefits of hiring candidates with strong competitive and/or sports backgrounds? Individuals with a sports background, consider the skills you have gained and use them to help you garner success in business.

So did you play sports growing up? If so, what lessons did you learn that have helped you in business and in life? How has this background benefited you and those you lead? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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——————
Dee (Wolfe) Mahoney

Dee Mahoney is Founder and President of Career-Lessons, LLC
Dee is an Executive Coach and a Leadership Trainer
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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.

L2L Reader Survey 2014

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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——————–
Georgina Stamp

Georgina Stewart works for Marble Hill Partners
She helps Organisations to Recruit for Executive Roles and Interim Management
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On Leadership and Living a Below Average Life

Dr. Ben Carson

His mother dropped out in the 3rd grade and then married at age 13. When he was 18, his parents divorced. Growing up in a rough part of Detroit was no plus, either. In effect, he had nothing going for him.

But then, at age 32 he became head of Pediatric Neurosurgery at John’s Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. At 36, he performed the first operation to separate Siamese twins conjoined at the head.

So how does a kid with his history turn around and make history?

The Place All True Leadership Begins

Dr. Ben Carson refused to let a “far below-average” life cripple his walk toward achievement.

Average is contrived, a “fake” number or concept, the middle ground between extremes. What leader wants to be average? We know “average” is for losers. No one says,

“We were so excited to learn that our daughter tested ‘average’ in math! Next stop Engineering School!”

We love to think of ourselves as “above average” because average is boring and below average is downright despicable.

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Leveraging Your Past

Life Below Average Can Make You an Above Average Leader

My leadership and vision become crystal clear at the extremes. We learn how to really live and truly lead at the extremes, and often that means extreme failure or disappointment.

My life is a case study:

  • In my first major swim competition, my coach remarked I looked like I was taking a bath at a retirement home
  • I flunked organic chemistry in college, flushing my dreams for med school down the drain
  • I failed a blood pressure test for my application to the Naval Academy
  • In college English my first writing projects were awful (go figure)
  • Broke my foot just before senior year, losing all hopes to be a regular starter in college football
  • Lost 5 elections to a campus organization, taking second place each time
  • Was virtually fired from a dream job assisting the CEO of a top bank – I say virtually because I quit when I got wind the SVP was about to fire me
  • I failed at fund-raising for a new venture I was helping a team launch, and could not get the organization off the ground
  • Led a discussion group with 4 participants and, in just 6 weeks and with great skill, I was able to grow that fledgling little group to a whopping total attendance of … ONE!  Just me at meeting 6.
  • My first speaking engagement to a large group was a flop and I was raked over the coals by the organization’s top leader

Listen to the wisdom of Winston Churchill.

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts….Success is going from failure to failure, without loss of enthusiasm.”

The Rest of the Story

During each of my decidedly “below average” experiences, I found something far above average was taking shape.

  • My swimming failure led me to football, where I excelled and guided a team to an undefeated season
  • Failing Chemistry kept me from doctoring and thrust me into business and ministry, both of which I have enjoyed
  • Failing a blood pressure exam –only time– changed my educational trajectory from military science toward the humanities
  • My writing disasters led me to seek coaching from an editor, and now I write professionally, and love it  (See how I be a much more better writer? Hah!)
  • Leaving my bank job was the nudge I needed to explore ministry, something I was starting to love but was afraid to investigate
  • In that small group I “grew” from 4 attendees to 1, I discovered the keys to what makes a group or team thrive, and have become an expert in the field
  • My public speaking debacle confirmed my passion for communication but humbled me; I needed coaching and hard work to excel at the craft
  • Initial failures at starting an organization gave me insights for later starting my own business with greater confidence and wisdom

I now realize that living “below average” was a launching pad, not a landing zone, for my leadership.

Leadership Lessons from Being “Below Average”

  1. It can make you work harder when you ought to
  2. Below average work experiences can make you move on when you need to
  3. Below average performance can open your mind to new ideas and catalyze emotional and spiritual growth you otherwise would miss
  4. Sometimes pounding the same nail creates a desire to change nails and leave the carpentry business
  5. Having below average performances does not mean you will become a below average leader; these can be the fuel for greater success
  6. Many below average leaders are just 5 minutes and 1 decision away from seizing an above average leadership opportunity, if they are willing to persevere

Failure is not always good, but it can be useful. This article; “Failing by Design” by Rita McGrath in HBR is very reassuring. A good leadership read.

So how about you? Make a list of your “below average” experiences; they might be the foundation blocks for living an above average life and becoming an extraordinary leader.

Where did failure motivate you? How did disappointment bring clarity to your future? When did you realize that a below average living was actually the seedbed for extraordinary achievement later in life? I would love to hear your story!

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———————
Dr. Bill Donahue
Dr. Bill Donahue is President of LeaderSync Group, Inc

Bill is a professor at TIU and a Leadership Speaker and Consultant
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