Posts Tagged: leadership style


Find the Perfect Career Coach and Maximize Your Investment

September 22nd, 2017

There are many reasons why your job search might not be exactly progressing. Maybe you’re one of those people who originally had success when job hunting. Then time passed and life happened. Maybe you’re a young professional who decided to take a few years off and take care of the kids while your spouse continued working. Now that you’re ready to jump back into the game (at least part-time) you’re finding that today’s job market has changed and that you’re not getting replies to any of the hundreds of resumes you’ve been sending out. Maybe the job you used to do doesn’t even exist anymore! Before you get tangled any deeper in a web of both your own device and the result of a downward sloping economy, it might be time to call in an expert – a career coach who is in tune with the latest ways to be successful in finding a new career.

Where to Begin

A keyword search on Google can get you started. If you live in Newark, Wilmington, Hockessin, or the New Castle, Delaware area, put your location name online along with keywords like career coaching services, career resources, and finding a job. A career counselor will help you by using a variety of career assessment tools (MBTI – Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator – Career Leader, SkillScan, etc.) to explore your aptitudes and work with you on applying the results to your job searches. A career coach will work with you on successful resume preparation and help you to understand career research resources, and also prep you on how to prepare for an interview. Today’s career counselors will review your presence on various social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogs, etc.) so that you will present a positive picture for any prospective employers when they go to check out your online presence. In addition, they will provide job search support, and help you with strategies to overcome any obstacles in today’s very hard job market.

What Will A Career Coach Do For You?

A good career coach will do their best to suggest careers that are very closely matched with your life purpose. They will discover what your life purpose is by administering tests, having general discussions with you, and also ask you some specific questions about your goals. The best career coaches are very honest, and they will show you what your strengths are as well as your weaknesses. They will help you both with your job search and your resume, and they will coach you on how to perform in the job interview. Remember this, though – you can hire an excellent career coach, but if you don’t do the follow-ups and listen to the advice that is given, you will simply be throwing your money away. A career coach will instruct you on which job posting site is best for your particular career, and which staffing agencies, employment agencies, temp jobs, and temporary staffing opportunities can offer the most chances for a successful new career opportunity.

Do You Really Know Who Would be Best for Your Team?

September 28th, 2016

When there are open positions to fill, you have the chance to add team members who can enhance your current status quo and take your company to the next level.  On the other hand, if you hire the wrong people, you could be facing an epic fail that will be costly on budget, as poor hiring decisions typically result in expensive turnover costs.

flat vector design of employees or executives in meeting. this vector also represents company meetings discussions and opinions employee interaction & engagement

So, how do you combat the potential pitfalls and find people who will be perfect for your team?  Many decision-makers are far removed from the day-to-day tasks of the people under them.  Ironically, these same leaders are often the people tasked with choosing which candidates to hire.  When you take a step back, and look at the bigger picture, this system is set up for failure.  If you want to hire folks who will truly fit well with your existing team, you need to go directly to the source, and seek input from the people who will be working next to the new colleague.  Remove yourself from your role as a leader, and become a learner, the results can be astonishing!

 

Gathering Employee Feedback Boosts Engagement

When you seek assistance from your existing staff, employees will appreciate the fact that you trust them enough to want their feedback.  This simple act shows that you trust your team and want what’s best for them — two key elements to boosting existing employee engagement.  If you don’t want to be stuck filling more positions in the near future, it’s vital to learn how to build and retain employee engagement at every opportunity.

Integrating the Input of Existing Employees

Before you even begin calling candidates into your conference rooms, consult with your team members.  Begin by bringing everyone in as a group.  This will allow people to bounce ideas off each other as suggestions are made.  Make note of the following characteristics:

  • What do they do everyday?
  • What traits make the existing team work well together?
  • What are the downsides to the work they do?  (Although this isn’t a pretty question, the honesty can help open discussion for further improvement in the future, and it can help you identify candidates who can withstand the downfalls in the meantime.)
  • What can your team or company do to improve?

Each of these questions will likely lead to longer discussions from which you can derive plenty of information that you can take back to leadership regarding both the addition of your new team members, as well as changes that should be considered for your existing employees.

Invite Your Employees to the Interviews

Rather than relying on your instinct, bring a team member or two to the interviews.  They will likely think of questions you may not have even considered, and when it’s time to choose the right candidate, you’ll be able to gather a more well-rounded general consensus.

 

What are your thoughts about integrating existing employees into the hiring process?  We’d love to hear your opinions!  Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below, or head over to our Outside-In Facebook page!

The Advantages & Disadvantages of a Flat Organization

July 8th, 2015

Today’s organizations have no choice. Speed, the flow of information, and a 24/7 global world make it difficult for any team or organization to survive in a traditional, hierarchical, command & control structure. But maybe this is not about survival at all; but instead about organizational advantage!

Look to today’s brands and business success stories like Google or Zappos — what are people talking about? Culture. These firms are successful for many solid business reasons, and especially about the way they design their organizations. Things like org charts, roles, compensation and even leadership philosophies have become more than an afterthought — they can be a company’s true advantage! Each of these structural decisions can make a difference and create better outcomes for the business. Which got me thinking…

Pro Cons word on notebook page What are the advantages to flattening out your company?  And will the results be worth it the trouble? Here goes:

Advantages of Flat Organizations:

  • Lower Cost: Sometime around the mid-90s, businesses took out middle managers that were simply extra layers that helped organize the business but did not add value. Good luck finding a business that has a lot of middle management bloat today. This cut is basically permanent.
  • It’s easier to manage teams: In flat companies, business teams are organized in smaller units that are closer to the customer and where the team community is easier to manage. Strong teams often follow the “two pizza rule.” If it takes more than two pizzas to feed the team, then it might be best to break the group down into smaller units.
  • Decision-making is closer to the customer: Military organizations put the decision-making too far away from the customer. A flat company does the opposite, allowing employees who talk to customers every day to make decisions.
  • Empowerment of the “front line”: In a flat company, the power shifts in the organizational chart to the front lines, which creates empowerment amongst the ranks. This is a shift in cultural thinking. Give the front lines folks the go ahead to ask and solve customer problems!
  • Team-based problem solving: Instead of dumping problems & challenges in the leader’s lap, employees in flat organizations work as a team and garner input and feedback from many perspectives. This power of the team enables buy-in and change to often happen a little bit easier as folks are a part of the change!

So that is the good stuff. What are the downsides?

Disadvantages to Operating a Flat Organization:

  • Inability to shift in leadership style: Many leaders are not capable of changing up the way they lead. Even those leaders that want to change may not be able to adjust when the going gets tough. Power, control, titles and access to information are all either tools for all or weapons for a few!
  • Change management is difficult: Conversely, even if the leader can shift their leadership style, sometimes folks simply can’t handle the the change.
  • Time investment: In a world where we are judged by weekly status reports and quarterly earnings will anyone take the time to make the investment in a new way of operating before someone screams “results now!”
  • 9-5 workers aren’t interested in empowerment: Not all employees long to make decisions nor have the skills to be on active work teams. The organization must be prepared to provide the knowledge, training and ongoing framework for this to work.

For leaders every aspect of the business and its design is a decision. Where can you get more productivity; flat or with hierarchy? All that matters in the decision is what works for you and your shareholders. Even if that shareholder is you.

Outside-In® Chronicles: Mother Knows Best – Parental Leadership (Dale Carnegie Style)

February 18th, 2015

What can we learn about leadership from watching a parent? Just about everything. Parenting and leading require the same concepts and principles—communication, setting expectations, establishing roles, and setting boundaries. Let’s not forget building relationships and knowing what is important to the other person. In Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, one decree involves baiting the appropriate hook to suit the fish. In other words, knowing your audience and what they want. This requires you to think and speak in terms of the other person’s interest—in the Outside-In® world, this means being Customer Centric.

1871_001-2A great example of baiting the right hook involves my experiences as a young boy on any typical Saturday morning involving chores. The morning began with the Dale Carnegie approach from my mother, “Chris, remember today is chore day and if you still want to go to your friend’s house you have to clean up your room!” The answer was always, “Sure, Mom.” She would march off to scrub a wall, sweep, vacuum, or do the mounds of laundry that her active family always produced. Me? Well, I would go to the opposite side of the house; constantly moving and dodging parental contact. And then childhood pastimes would get the best of me—Saturday morning cartoons, eating, frankly staring at the ceiling, or even doing homework would be better than chores.

Then the second and even third requests would come, “Chris, why have you NOT started to clean up? You’re not going anywhere today and you’re really close to losing out on the whole weekend.” No longer was Dale Carnegie present in our household. It was “do it or else” time. Which never, ever worked. The more you push and tell me what to do, the less I will listen. (Did I mention I am an entrepreneur?) Try to make it my idea. Ask me. Explain the value of accomplishing the task. Even bribe me to do it. Don’t tell me what to do.

I find leaders start this way in work situations. We start by giving one a gentle push to complete a nagging, maybe slightly-behind project that is more important to us than the ones of whom we are asking. Then we check in and we get more directive, “I want that done by Monday. Are we in agreement?” And we end with the threat, “You know that your vacation day is in jeopardy and you are falling well off of plan. Performance reviews are right around the corner you know…”

water-24420_640So what does the inventive and creative Mom do when progress is behind? She takes the hill like a true Leadership General. She heads for the trash bag under the sink. Nothing moves people (or children) faster than the reach for the trash bag. Not following? Mom would grab the bag and head to our room or wherever our stuff happened to be piled that day. And she would say, “Anything I pick up you will not get back, it’s going to Goodwill.” And then I would come running, perhaps with tears streaming, “NO!” Sometimes it took action, not words to move the task or project to completion!

PS – Don’t try this on teenagers. They are prone to mumble, “Good now I don’t have to do it.” Or, “I have too much stuff anyway.” Any verbal warfare they can think of that gets to you!

World Cup: Who Wears the Yellow Arm Band?

June 25th, 2014

Almost half of the entire planet is watching the World Cup. Perhaps not where you live, but here in the Mid-Atlantic it’s all we have. Hockey and basketball are over. Our baseball team stinks. And football has not started just yet. The sentiment of local sports radio personalities is that the World Cup is boring. Soccer does not score enough. This is cross country running with a ball! In fact, the radio folks seem restricted in their ability to talk about it, even if they are one of the few DJ’s that will embrace the sport and the Cup.

ID-10056952Well, not in my house. And frankly the public sentiment is changing. Today kids play the game and parents socialize on saturday mornings on the sidelines and at tournaments. Soccer is becoming a lifestyle here in the states. Now I will get off my soap box!

As a leadership coach, entrepreneurial leader of a company, and a high school soccer coach, I tend to see the world of soccer through a different lens that comes from an adoration for the sport and the study of what makes a leader in any life situation. What has fascinated me most is what it takes to be Captain. In soccer, this is signified by the yellow arm band. My curiosity lies within the question of if the traits of a leader are the same on the pitch as they are in the board room. What do you think? My sense is that you can insert the President, the VP or a Manager in any of these situations if they represent good leadership behavior.

What it takes to wear a yellow arm band:

  • You have to have players that will follow you. Every leader must have followers. Leaders can’t send a message or create a vision if no one believes in it. No one can be Captain without buy-in from the players!
  • A Captain is vocal in both big and small ways. A captain knows all aspects of the game. And they put their teammates in the right place while on the field. They communicate constantly. They direct and put players in the right position. The team listens and respects the chatter. This mental direction is so critical in the game. The smallest mental lapses in spacing, positioning, and decision making on and off the ball create most of the goal scoring opportunities for your opponent.
  • A Captain can put the game on their back as they say. No matter what is required. Shut down the other team’s best player. Make the critical play or pass. Even the score—go ahead and make a goal.
  • The captain must lead the team 24/7 on and off the field. Winning and being competitive is not contained in a 90 minute game. The season begins the day the last one ends. Being a leader is learning more about the game, playing it, getting in better physical condition in the off season, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Captains do everything with intention. Every meeting, every Friday night game or spaghetti team dinner is with a purpose. Closeness in a team off the field relates to trust and understanding of your teammates on the pitch.
  • The captain respects the entire team and knows that all have value. However, the captain also understands and respects individual roles and contribution levels.
  • A captain knows the team values and communicates with them. All action, word recognition, and discipline stems from living the values or helping teammates do it better.

Interesting to note, leadership behavior is just as hard to notice in a soccer game as it is in the game of business. You really have to look for it because it is effortless for good Captains and good leaders.

Three Things Grandmom Rose Taught Me About Leadership

February 12th, 2014

photo 2My Grandmom Rose was an amazing person. When she was young, she absolutely loved to dance. When she was older, during a time when marrying those of another religion was uncommon, she left her Jewish faith to marry a man of a different one. And for decades, she fought for the underdog through volunteering for the rights and privileges of the blind here in Delaware. She lived to be well over 102—but her wisdom is infinite. Although Rose died a few years ago, I think of her often. How could I not? Whenever I was sick as a child, Rose played 97 straight games of candyland with me. Imagine that. I think she let me win every time, too.

Today, I thought I would share a few thoughts on Rose’s lifestyle that I think translates pretty darn well into reminders for all of us in leadership positions.

1. Have a sense of mindfulness. This is a hard one. Are you centered and focused on the moment or the task at hand? Are you in the meeting you’re in? Or are you messaging others on your cell phone and trying to keep up with the rest of your day? Rose never knew technology and its advantages, but you always knew she was focused on you when you were sitting in front of her. As a leader, are you giving 100% to the team or person in front of you? Or do your distractions show? Does your lack of attention send the message that your time there is not important? Value the face time.

2. Ask valuable questions. If you’re in a sales, leadership, consulting, or frankly any role in life, there is nothing better than the ability to invest in others through asking questions. If you knew Rose she could ask some humdingers. They would just keep coming, too. They were good and stimulating questions. She genuinely cared about you and life—this showed through her investment in you. As a leader, how many times do you catch yourself talking, maybe dulling out general advice because it’s easier and feels good. Certainly easier than asking the style of questions that help people work through their own challenges and opportunities. Staff members want more than answers. They want skills they can use again and again. Does your leadership style involve a healthy sense of curiosity and frequently asking questions? Or are you too busy to lead and simply give out answers just to keep the day moving along?

3. Do one thing at a time. This sounds so…well, impossible in today’s world. Rose was really great about doing one thing at a time. I think she just wouldn’t understand why we think it is a good idea to multi-task to the point of exhaustion. Leaders get that adrenaline rush. Fight that fire. Answer that email. Text that message. All of these are signs of a normal, hectic day. However, before we know it the day is done. Did you accomplish your most important task? Did you finish what you started? It may seem old fashioned, but there is something to working on the hardest thing first and working on it until it is completed. It’s even more impressive if you do so without succumbing to the constant distractions of smart phones, tablets, and laptops!

When I was young, Rose took me to Gino’s for lunch every week for almost a year to collect that week’s plastic NFL football helmet. Each time she would laugh as I would eat one Giant burger and then ask for a second one! Rose knew what was important in relationships. She knew what to bother with. If you see me turn off my phone, close my laptop, or shut the door to focus, know that in some small way, it’s my ode to Rose!

Mother Knows Best – Parental Leadership (Dale Carnegie Style)

November 14th, 2013

What can we learn about leadership from watching a parent? Just about everything. Parenting and leading require the same concepts and principles—communication, setting expectations, establishing roles, and setting boundaries. Let’s not forget building relationships and knowing what is important to the other person. In Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, one decree involves baiting the appropriate hook to suit the fish. In other words, knowing your audience and what they want. This requires you to think and speak in terms of the other person’s interest—in the Outside-In® world, this means being Customer Centric.

1871_001-2A great example of baiting the right hook involves my experiences as a young boy on any typical Saturday morning involving chores. The morning began with the Dale Carnegie approach from my mother, “Chris, remember today is chore day and if you still want to go to your friend’s house you have to clean up your room!” The answer was always, “Sure, Mom.” She would march off to scrub a wall, sweep, vacuum, or do the mounds of laundry that her active family always produced. Me? Well, I would go to the opposite side of the house; constantly moving and dodging parental contact. And then childhood pastimes would get the best of me—Saturday morning cartoons, eating, frankly staring at the ceiling, or even doing homework would be better than chores.

Then the second and even third requests would come, “Chris, why have you NOT started to clean up? You’re not going anywhere today and you’re really close to losing out on the whole weekend.” No longer was Dale Carnegie present in our household. It was “do it or else” time. Which never, ever worked. The more you push and tell me what to do, the less I will listen. (Did I mention I am an entrepreneur?) Try to make it my idea. Ask me. Explain the value of accomplishing the task. Even bribe me to do it. Don’t tell me what to do.

I find leaders start this way in work situations. We start by giving one a gentle push to complete a nagging, maybe slightly-behind project that is more important to us than the ones of whom we are asking. Then we check in and we get more directive, “I want that done by Monday. Are we in agreement?” And we end with the threat, “You know that your vacation day is in jeopardy and you are falling well off of plan. Performance reviews are right around the corner you know…”

water-24420_640So what does the inventive and creative Mom do when progress is behind? She takes the hill like a true Leadership General. She heads for the trash bag under the sink. Nothing moves people (or children) faster than the reach for the trash bag. Not following? Mom would grab the bag and head to our room or wherever our stuff happened to be piled that day. And she would say, “Anything I pick up you will not get back, it’s going to Goodwill.” And then I would come running, perhaps with tears streaming, “NO!” Sometimes it took action, not words to move the task or project to completion!

PS – Don’t try this on teenagers. They are prone to mumble, “Good now I don’t have to do it.” Or, “I have too much stuff anyway.” Any verbal warfare they can think of that gets to you!

Locker Room Leadership

March 6th, 2013

Some leaders build a following. Others demand it. Then there are those who assume the mantle through their actions, words, accomplishments. They model the behaviors they expect from others. Their words and their actions are very tightly bound. We all know a good leader when we work for one, but talking about the experience is a very different thing. I’m not sure why this is the case, however, it is true. Seeing it is easy. Explaining why seems hard for many. Sports leadership seems to be an area of common ground. We watch sports for its entertainment value, however, its leaders seem obvious to us.

In the sports world, many people talk about players and their abilities to be great leaders in the clubhouse or the locker room. These players are not always the most skilled or even considered in their prime.  But they add value nonetheless.  How do you think this type of person translates to your business?  This got me thinking.  My all time favorite leaders are Bobby Clarke of the Famed Ferocious Flyers of the 1970’s and Brian Dawkins, the soon-to-be Hall of Fame safety of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Not from Philly? Hate the City of Brotherly Love? No problem. Insert your sport, your city and your favorite clubhouse leader and you will get the picture. The best sports leaders show up on the field and the locker room.  They are one and the same.  They are constantly leading.

President Chris Burkhard "emulates" his favorite Flyers player, Bobby Clarke. Can you see the similarity?

President Chris Burkhard emulates his favorite Flyers player, Bobby Clarke. Can you spot the similarity?

A Locker Room Leader:

Offers their expertise freely to others.  They lead by offering their knowledge to the team. This is little things and big things. They know that sharing makes the team better, stronger, and more aligned to the goals of the team!

Leads by doing. They show up early. They stay late. They work at preparing for their job, and this models behaviors for new teammates to emulate and learn from. Their work ethic and preparation can become contagious. So many new teammates with skills and education do not know how to conduct themselves day-to-day.  A locker room leader shows this new talent the way and helps them norm to the culture of the club.

They lead teammates to greater outcomes. They lead with emotion.  They demand excellence even when the team does not know they are capable of it.  When you play for this kind of leader you do not want to let them down. You demand more from yourself simply because of their expectation of you, and you’ll never want to let anyone down when the expectation is so high. They’ll be sure to call you out when your not doing it right or giving your best!

They show up when it matters most.  They make the big play.  They score the goal, make the tackle, steal the ball just when it seems to matter most.  There is lots of talent in sports and in business.  But there is a big difference between sports leaders and business leaders who put up good numbers (in general) and those that do it when it matters most to the team. Think Jordan. Think Montana.

They are recognized by their competitors. Whether its through feelings of respect or feelings of hate, their competitors are aware of them. Half of their mojo is the effect they have on the other team.  Teams go out of their way to prepare to beat them.  They have a mystique and a respect level that has to be take seriously.

Great leaders want to play the game when it matters most.  They step on to the court, ice, grass when others don’t want too.  They do the tough sledding.  They protect their team.  They do what needs to be done.

If you could improve your leadership persona in your company what sports star could you learn from? For me Bobby Clarke would be the guy.  I am 44 and I still wear his jersey proudly like a little kid.  He was not the most skilled, but he was tenacious.  His effort was Herculean.  He seemed to give every ounce of energy and will that his body had to give preseason or playoffs.  His team, and his city would do anything for him.  He outworked his opponents.  Yes, he had God given talents, but many leaders have talent.  To me I believe it is what you do with what you have that matters.  Bobby Clarke closed the gap between what he did and what he was capable of!

If you could work for a great sports leader who would it be?

Developing Outside-In® Leadership

January 30th, 2013

Often times we address individual leadership traits or behavior. Today, I’m here to discuss the group dynamics of leadership in an Outside-In® company.  What factors are different compared to those of other organizations?  I thought it made sense to put together some different perspectives that are challenging and important for leaders who chose to lead in an environment where all are equal, and communication flows in all directions.

Seven Steps to Outside-In® Leadership

1. Leaders must always be accessible.  Our goal is to “Never have you see us sweat”. Not in a dishonest way, but instead, to show that we view our role as one of being available, calm and truly centered on the situation at hand. It’s important to be readily available for our team when they need us, whether its taking the time out to address their immediate need or acknowledging they need guidance and figuring out a time to work out a plan.

2. Leaders can never play the busy card. Bottom line, we are all busy. Your people will surely play the busy card for you. “I know you’re busy, but can you…?” Truth is no one cares that your busy.  Our job is to manage the business. It’s to work it to the point where, well, we have it all under control and are working on the right things in our role, making the place run better. On to my next point!

3. Plan your time as a leader in proactive ways. Leaders today do so much, and in today’s flat, matrix worlds this is somewhat necessary. Know that is not the goal of a leaders role in an Outside-In® company, your goal is to be proactive, to be available, to solve problems. Better yet, to go looking for areas of opportunity in the business. And by the way…

4. Leaders should delegate properly. You can’t get to Outside-In® leadership behavior, if you refuse or struggle with the basics of delegation.  Your staff is not your personal dumping grounds for menial tasks. That is not the point. But leaders seem to grasp the opportunities given them.  Staff are here to do big tasks, and to learn and develop their skills. They want and need that constant challenge. That can only happen if you plan accordingly and give them the work that fits!

5. Get out from behind your desk and teach smart employees every day. Outside-In® leadership has a job to do.  And that is to keep employees coming back with something new to learn. Sharing knowledge is a vital component of an Outside-In® company. It’s what supports the pillars of communication and flat management practices within the Outside-In® framework.

6. Accept that as leaders, we will never again have all of the information. Frankly we never had it. Today in the era of big data, we can have all of it and still not know what to do with it.  Making decisions is about experience and about the basics of doing it well. For me it is simple. SEE. THINK.  ACT. You will see things in your business, in your peer’s business, in other offices. You will be challenged to try and fix everything. You will have rumors, innuendos, half facts, stories, and in some cases, the real facts.

7. Trust that others are doing their job. It’s one of the hardest parts of leadership. Keep in mind, they may do it differently than you. Just like employees do a task differently than you, they still may want the same or better outcome! But trust we must. Yes, role clarity and organizational charts help.  Yes, it is important to get along with the people you work with. But in the end, do you help or hurt your teammates?  Do you really know how to team?

If you ask me, the hardest part of leadership is not knowing what to do. It is knowing what not to do! Use these steps as a guide towards developing your own Outside-In® Leadership. If your company is flat and knowledge-based (or you want to manage it that way), apply these practices and see how they work!

Developing Bucket List Leadership

August 29th, 2012

So, if you haven’t heard already, I am coaching Varsity soccer at Elkton High School.  The joke is that I probably have told you. I’ve told anyone and everyone that will listen…and be wary when asking me a question about business! (I will turn it into a soccer metaphor in a hurry.)  Why all the soccer talk these days? Well, coaching soccer is a Bucket List moment for me.  It’s something on my List that I’ve been wanting to achieve for a long time.

Coach Varsity soccer.  Check! 

Elkton High School Varsity Soccer 2012

Everyone should have a Bucket List of things they hope to achieve some day.  These things do not happen on any given day, you know. I find I may check off one moment per year at best.  And this particular one gives me a chance to use what I have applied and learned about leadership in my attempt at mastery of the subject.  Running a company?  Being Leader of a not-for-profit?  Running two companies?  Being head coach of a soccer team?  It is all the same. It all requires leadership.

So here is my Bucket List Leadership for today:

  • Players, employees, and volunteers respond well to cultural values.  Not rules.  Give a group values and it inspires and empowers.  Give them a rule book?  They will show you how to break them.  Trust comes from values.
  • Expect a lot.  Good coaches know how to get more from a player than they do on their own.  Believe in your people, support them, teach them, give them a great environment, and they will thrive.
  • Feedback really matters.  But don’t be vague.  “Good job” leaves people lost.  As I told my team, I can be tough on you but fair every day. Demand greatness and you can be the best we can be; or you can be content and happy everyday with no real challenge until we get beaten badly on game day.
  • Change is hard whether you are 14 or 44.  I changed forty years of tradition at Elkton High School this year.  It seems that freshman have carried water forever.  This was the “initiation” of sorts.  Do your time rookie!  No more.  Today we will all carry water led by upper classmen.  We are all leaders and teachers.  Modeling the right behavior is important for any leader from pitch to boardroom.
  • Half-Full matters to me.  I will not live with negativity.  I don’t want to hear it.  Don’t get me wrong – I can handle something that is wrong, broken, or that needs discussion.  But I will not tolerate anyone that is half-empty in my complicated world of leadership.  My list is too long, and time too short to be around it.  In fact, our value on the team is Hear no negative, Speak no negative.  And it works.  The boys correct themselves and each other.  They get it.  It wastes time and energy.

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