Articles of Faith: Leading With Peace

This series investigates leadership lessons from the Bible

Inner Peace

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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Management Question:

Do you approach each new day with a set of logical convictions in your head that help you reach your goals? Are you focused intently on achievement, winning, and gain? If so, bravo! You have a great sense of objective management skills and behaviors. You are being important.

This is needed for results.

Leadership Question:

Are you also checking that “gyroscope” in your heart to see if you are being an actual caring, empathetic, and understanding human being while you achieve your results? Are you getting your results through healthy relationships? If so, then even better! You have a great sense of subjective leadership skills and behaviors. You are now being influential.

This is needed for excellence!

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By definition, leadership is interpersonal. However at its core, leadership is personal. It is personal to you and to the people who you lead.

So, if you accept that leadership is personal, then here is a bigger question for you. It has to do with your leadership stability and your long-term effectiveness in getting things done with the help of others.

The question is this: Do you lead with PEACE?

Do you lead with these elements:

  • Purpose
  • Excellence
  • Accountability
  • Certainty
  • Equipping Others?

Actually, more importantly than an acronym of P.E.A.C.E. is the real meaning of leading with peace. It means leading with calm waters on the inside while it is rocky waters on the outside. It means being able to keep your cool under feast or famine conditions. Peace is the fulcrum in leading with balance.

Would you rather follow someone who had internal peace and displayed it on the outside, or follow someone who didn’t have that calming effect on their leadership?

Challenge Question:

So how are you doing on finding the peace to lead your team most effectively? Do your followers feel the comfort of your internal peace as you lead them, or do they feel the turmoil, stress, and discomfort that you may have coursing through your veins?

Take a good loooooong look in the mirror and ask yourself this question:

“What do I do to recharge and get peace in my life and in my leadership?”

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About the Author :: Tom Schulte

As a Christian leader in business, I get my peace from living my faith in Jesus Christ. Specifically, I get it from Philippians 4:4-9. It works EVERY time for me. Check it out:

4-5Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

6-7Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. (Philippians 4:4-9, The Message)

A Peaceful Death

When I learn to die to self and let my trust in Jesus take over me and focus on the good things in my life, I instantly calm down and experience a tranquility and peace that I cannot even describe. It is promised to me and I have never found it to fail me. Not once. When people say “count your blessings,” this is what they are talking about. And for me, this is not just a daily thing. My goal to die to self is a moment-by-moment undertaking. And yes, it is difficult.

If you don’t have a source for peace and are not sure about the way I go about it, here is a tip to help you find peace: Seek Truth. When you find it, you will find your peace.

Expressing your faith in a business environment can be difficult because it is so personal and many people are just uncomfortable with it. If you feel that you want to learn more about incorporating your faith in your business life, simply look to the many resources available to you. Simply google the subject and you can tune into many resources.

Wanna’ see where I recently experienced a great sense of peace and freedom? I had the pleasure of spending a weekend last February at a Souly Business conference for men in the North Georgia mountains. Above is a great video that expresses how I recharged my soul with other business men.

Imagine being able to display true inner peace to the ones you lead. Find that peace and watch your personal leadership effectiveness skyrocket!

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Tom Schulte is Executive Director of Linked 2 Leadership &
CEO of Recalibrate Professional Development in Atlanta, GA USA.
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web

 

On Leadership, Suffering and The Sacrificial Leader

Essential Elements of Right and Effective Leadership

Helping Others

There is not one leader reading this that hasn’t struggled with the mystery of suffering or wrestled with the mastery of personal sacrifice.

These are universal and timeless concepts—regardless of background, education, economic status, etc. But what I’ve found over the past 30 years as a student of leadership is the selfless commitment to take pains with them is firmly embedded in the footings of every real leader’s platform.

Every real leader puts deliberate thought into how their commitment of the will in these areas is going to shape their behavior…their actions and the impact they have on others.”

The Case for Suffering & Leadership

Buried deep in the historicity of Leadership is this idea of suffering. Originally taking on the context of movement by appointment, the term ‘Leader’ began to take on additional association with words like passion and suffering as freedom-loving Gothic leaders stood against high taxes, Roman prejudice, and government corruption in the late 4th Century.

I love how Quint Studer covers this in Hardwiring Excellence:

At the heart of every success story is a person whose passion…has driven them to reach out in some extraordinary way to their fellow-man and make a true difference.”

Quint is really on to something here. This act of reaching out in some extraordinary way to our fellow-man in order to make a true difference requires sacrifice, and almost all sacrifice will cause suffering. There is no gain without pain in many areas of our experience, and real leadership is no exception.

Passion, Drive and Sacrifice

I see a lot of passion in today’s leaders (self-included), but not a lot that is driving us to make essential sacrifices or to suffer for and with others in order to get the right things done extremely well. And there’s good reason for this, according to Ronald White in A Short History of Progress:

In a progress trap, those in positions of authority are unwilling to make changes necessary for future survival. To do so they would need to sacrifice their current status and political power at the top of a hierarchy.”

Have we really become this enamored of status and power as leaders that we can’t make the changes—the sacrifices—necessary for our collective success? If we’re honest, an affirmative answer is not difficult. As I’ve written elsewhere, we can get so mired in past success (accumulated while climbing the corporate ladder) and trapped by a desire to maintain that position in the hierarchy that we don’t see the natural and negative consequences:

  • Empowerment to renew and improve dries up
  • Yesterday’s solutions become today’s problems
  • Low hanging fruit grows back
  • All upward and outward movement grinds to a halt

From Transactions to Transformation

In contrast, we could learn a lesson from A.J. Russell:

All sacrifice and suffering is redemptive. It is used to either teach the individual or to help others. Nothing is by chance.”

And herein lays a benefit that deserves repeating. Sacrifice and suffering are used either to teach (this is personal transformation) or to help others (this is organizational transformation).

There is really nothing in the world like the force multiplier created by sacrifice and suffering when it comes to breaking away from the daily leadership grind of transacting with others to produce short-term results. Approaching others and our work this way is a sure-fire way to stay trapped on the performance plateau.

By learning and helping others—by sacrifice and suffering–we begin transforming.

Are You Ready?

At the risk of stating the obvious, sacrifice is seldom easy. If it were, we’d see it happening far more frequently. As with other things in life, when it’s needed most it gets practiced least. But only those with a sincere wish to sacrifice—to put the needs of others before his/her own—can lead transformation, first for themselves and then for their organizations.

And there is no need to focus on the suffering, just commit to making essential sacrifices out of love for your fellow-man and you’ll find that suffering itself will take on a whole new meaning and have a completely different context that what you may otherwise be accustomed.

So, when was the last time you made sacrifices and suffered as a leader? What sacrifices can you make today that will kick-start transformation? Here’s an even tougher question: What sacrifices is your team, group, company willing to make today because of the authority of your example? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders
——————–
Richard Dillard

Richard S. Dillard is Founder/ Managing Partner at Dillard Partners, LLC
Pursuing Success at the Speed of Leadership!
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Mastering the Most Exciting Leadership Skill: Situational Awareness

Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton

The Latest Coaching Article – “Mastering the Most Exciting Leadership Skill: Situational Awareness”

“Think or Die.” In our work, most of us would consider this statement to be pretty dramatic. But, coaching and training others on the skill of Situational Awareness (SA) is both rewarding and critical—and as close to the excitement of being a fighter pilot as I can get.

How can you coach yourself and others to be more situationally aware? See More

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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.

 

Leaders are Healers: Leaders Must Heal Themselves

When we read the papers these days or watch television, or consult social media we can easily be filled with sadness and even despair.

We seem to have “leaders” who have no boundaries to the hurt they impose on others.

On Leadership Failures

If we made a list of the hundred worst leaders who do more harm than good, the list would be a horrible summary of humanity’s disgrace. The list would include men and women from all over the world; some from under-developed countries and some from so-called developed countries.  

When we confront the evil lives of those who start wars, displace millions of people, abuse and oppress the needy, destroy jobs and families for a better bottom line, use others with no respect for their dignity, we cannot but be overwhelmed by leadership failures.

Certainly we need leaders who can heal others instead of harming them, but first and foremost it is increasingly obvious that leaders must heal themselves.

On Regretful Leadership

 History and contemporary experiences show us leaders who have led followers to atrocities, violence, hatred, division, and polarization.

But even locally many leaders diminish and become less than they could be because of their own leadership styles.

Some leaders are immersed in denial, arrogance, and deceit, and their leadership makes them inhuman. Domineering, arrogant, greedy leaders create victims everywhere. In many organizations, the boss who is responsible for vision, values, and standards cause regretful leadership.

They have:

  • No sense of responsibility
  • No vision
  • No values
  • No standards

Much contemporary organizational disease that cries out for healing results from leaders’ inauthentic, that is, sick ways of thinking and desiring. Other leaders, at least become aware of a gnawing sense of regret for their leadership failures.

Leaders must heal themselves of their own failures and bring harmony into their own lives.

On Healing Leadership

The primary focus of healing leadership is the self-healing of the leader, who like everyone else yearns for wholeness. So much pseudo-leadership today is a festering wound that must be cleansed and disinfected before it will ever heal.

An individual leader must always appreciate that he or she needs healing in order to effectively serve others and the organization.

Perhaps, leaders should take an oath similar to the physicians; first do no harm.

Some so-called leaders could only have a healing influence on the organization by resigning. There are situations that cannot be healed, such as those that arise from deliberate evil and unethical decisions of a controlling boss.

Moreover, individuals who have been absolute jerks for years and years need psychological counseling before change is possible. Healing self from greed, ambition, and controlling attitudes need:

  • Self-discipline
  • Temperance
  • A focus on others
  • A new view of self
  • A new commitment to integrity

On Appreciative Leadership

A leader who wishes to heal others needs self-care, a healthy lifestyle, and behavioral changes where appropriate. He or she also needs to appreciate the meaning of life, have some personal understanding of suffering and sickness, appreciate the benefits of personal healing, and be open to the healing effects of others.

Once a person understands his or her own need of healing, he or she can then appreciate the advantages of healing for others.

A leader then hopes for his or her own change and for others’ too.

The Hopeful Leader

A leader of hope must also deal with the negativity and pain that come with leading others. At times, leaders work with awkward and difficult employees, suffer the stress and even agony of decision-making, and face the anguish of attempting to resolve gut-wrenching situations.

They must cope with the personally felt consequences of job stress, burnout, accidents, others’ harassment, terminations, losses to the organization when workers retire, and even the pressures of success.

Leaders frequently need to deal with their own pain and with the pain of others, and find that leadership can impact one’s health, relationships, sense of purpose, and fulfillment. They can be dedicated to community and feel lonely. Of course, a sick organization makes good leaders of hope sick too, unless they can steel themselves against it.

Personal Transcendence

Healing self in these situations is part of the ongoing conversion of a leader. It means overcoming personal sin, even the small tendencies to selfishness that tend to weaken one’s wholehearted commitment. A leader’s journey is away from self-centeredness to self-transcendence and to a focusing on the importance of others.

This includes:

  • Removing prejudice
  • Being open to others
  • Listening more
  • Talking less
  • Being more attentive
  • Less distracted
  • Valuing others more
  • Judging others less
  • Centering on the legacy of others

Healing of Self

It will also include working for trust and never presuming it, telling the truth and living the truth in love, communicating well and clarifying positions and values, guaranteeing others their own space, maintaining a vision of high hopes amid the mini despairs.

The training of leaders to self-healing includes integrity, honesty, breaking down barriers, releasing others’ potential, being magnanimous in dealing with others.

Healing of self is a redirection of one’s mind and heart and is an integral component of successful spiritual leadership.

So how are you doing at taking an honest look at your personal leadership flaws and identifying where you are broken? How can you work to find remedies to replace areas of trouble. With whom can you seek advise and coaching to improve you personal leadership effectiveness? i would love to hear your thought!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

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Dr. Leonard Doohand

Dr. Leonard Doohan  is an Author and Workshop Presenter
He focuses on issues of spiritual leadership
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog

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Leaders, Turn Your Informed and Engaged Employees Into Advocates

Part 3 of 3

Leading a team of informed and engaged employees is extremely rewarding .

Everyone seems to get along, people are motivated to do their jobs well, and your business appears to be running like a well-oiled machine. (For more on that, see my Part 1 of 3 or Part 2 of 3 in this series.)

But if you stop there, you’re doing yourself and your team a huge disservice.

You’re missing out on the key next step: creating advocates.

Employee Advocates as First Responders

As a leader, creating a team full of brand advocates is beneficial for a number of reasons. Most of all, it adds a human element to your public relations. When your employees are the ones promoting your brand, your audience is much more likely to listen.

In fact, 84 percent of people say they trust recommendations from their acquaintances over those that come through traditional advertising.

Employee advocates are also your first line of defense against those who may be uninformed about your brand (or unhappy with it). In a social media-driven world where people are digitally communicating 24/7, this is especially crucial.

In one study, 56 percent of employees said they’ve defended their company via a public platform — and raising this number is the ultimate goal of employee advocacy.

Acting as a Brand Megaphone

The best employee advocates are proud, vocal, savvy, and educated about what they do. They take their jobs seriously and understand the importance of their roles — both within their departments and for the company as a whole.

Advocates are driven and career-oriented, and they place a high value on their personal brands.

Their ability to be vocal creates enormous levels of engagement. Not only do they show their enthusiasm for their jobs internally, but they also want to share their appreciation with the world.

That said, a love for the job isn’t enough. To be effective advocates, they must also get the proper guidance, training, and tools to share their knowledge with their audience of followers and connections.

That’s where you, as a leader, come in.

Creating Employee Advocates

Here are five techniques that will help you create employee advocates:

1. Put Parameters in place

Informed, engaged employees need to know what they can and cannot say about their companies on public platforms. For instance, someone might be dying to celebrate the positive outcomes of a corporate rebrand, but he isn’t sure whether it’s OK to share that information with the public.

To avoid this, create and distribute a list of best practices for communicating about the company, as well as a social media policy. This might seem like a no-brainer, but one survey revealed that fewer than half of all companies currently have policies in place. Without clear parameters, employees will likely share too much or too little, causing their advocacy to be ineffective (or to backfire).

2. Collaborate to Identify Goals

As you build your advocacy program, be sure to include your employees in the process. They’re the ones who will carry it out, so work together to determine your goals and definition of success.

For instance, are you looking to improve HR and company culture? If so, your ambassador program should be more internally focused. But if you’re striving to improve social selling and lead generation, then your program will be largely social and built on employees’ existing connections.

Either way, your employees have a valuable perspective that should be factored into your plans.

3. Incorporate Technology

To ensure ease of use, simplicity, and adoption, implement technology that supports your advocacy goals. Studies show that employees’ usage of social media, smartphones, and after-hours Internet directly correlates with their performance as advocates.

In addition, employees of socially engaged companies are 57 percent more likely to align social media engagement with more sales leads.

4. Level the Playing Field

To encourage participation, you must give employees a reason to opt in — and an easy method for doing so. Some employees aren’t natural advocates and have no interest in participating; don’t force them. That will only lead to bad things for both of you.

Instead, recognize and reward employees who are talking about your organization and spreading your brand’s message.

Create toolkits for managers to share with their direct reports that detail your program, the opportunities it offers, and the benefits of joining. Announce it during all-hands meetings, share success stories, and give employees more than one chance to sign up.

5. Dive Into the Data

Once you’ve defined success, identified measurable goals, and launched your employee advocacy program, make sure to continuously gather and analyze data.

Over time, this information will uncover what’s working and what’s not, and it will allow you to make necessary adjustments down the road to maximize your program.

Creating Positive Impact

Informed and engaged employees are prime candidates for brand advocacy because they’re already intrinsically motivated to collaborate and make a difference for your company. They want to have an impact on both your culture and your bottom line.

Employee advocates can be your most valuable assets — but it’s up to you to provide them with the framework and tools to get there. For more on this, see my Part 1 of 3 or Part 2 of 3 in this series.

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders
——————–
Russell Fradin

Russ Fradin is the founder and CEO of Dynamic Signal
He is a Digital Media industry veteran and an Angel Investor
Email | LinkedIn | TwitterWeb

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Becoming Strategic: Leading with Focus and Inspiration (Timi Gleason, 2015)

It’s time to stop feeling overwhelmed by the abundance of tactical thinking that is going on around you.

Or are you not sure what strategic thinking is?

Becoming Strategic will clear that up!

Originally published as Coach As Strategic Partner (2010), this very readable book is loaded with techniques and ideas for assuring your brand as a valuable strategic thinker is noticed!

More About the Author Here

 

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