Remember, It's Your Time to Lead!

general May 01, 2019

Hello,

Bob and I are delighted to announce the launch of our new blog, It's Your Time to Lead®!

We created this blog to provide you with our insights into leadership to help spark your desire, or continue to feed your leadership learning. We will be sharing our personal and observed leadership experiences (both good and bad). Of course, changing the names to protect the guilty :-).

We look forward to sharing why we feel leadership is a critical component for organizational success and why we feel it’s a crisis for most organizations. As John C. Maxwell, #1 leadership Guru states, "Everything rises and falls on leadership."

It is our desire that this blog will become a place for you to visit frequently and to share your ideas, comments, and feedback. Please take a moment to explore our new blog, bookmark us, or subscribe in order to receive weekly posting updates.

Thank you for letting us join you on your journey!

All the best,
Bill & Bob

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Appreciation Is Life

I was recently looking through one of my favorite classic books How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in the Dale Carnegie Program and then to be an Associate Instructor.  But this time, when looking thorough the book again, I noticed that 3 of the 27 principles that Carnegie discusses all deal with giving appreciation.

I was surprised that I hadn’t noticed it before because two of my favorite quotes center on appreciation.  One from Mother Teresa “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” 

And the other from Robert Cavett “Three billion people on the face of the earth go to bed hungry every night, but four billion people go to bed every night hungry for a simple word of encouragement and recognition.”

Note that these two quotes put both food and appreciation on the same level of significance.  Food is...

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The Empowerment Cycle.

By Bob Maksimchuk

Empowerment is a word we hear bandied about freely. But what does this mean? Most people struggle to explain it.  When asked the more important question of how you empower people, you usually hear a very short, shallow answer such as you just give them a challenging assignment. Either that or you hear crickets.

However you want to define it, it’s more important to understand how you empower people.  Empowerment is a process and this process has four mandatory components. If any of these are missing, the result will simply be failure.  Here you see the Empowerment Cycle.©

It’s the repetitive, iterating, full cycle process for enabling people to incrementally increase their autonomy so that they can independently and responsibly achieve their goals. Now let me repeat that.

Empowerment is the repetitive, iterative, full cycle process for enabling people to incrementally increase their autonomy so that they can independently...

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The Downward Spiral of Leadership

By Bob Maksimchuk

You don’t have to ask many people.  Everyone is busy.  But as a leader, you don’t have that as an excuse.   It has been said that managers keep the business running, but leaders move the business forward.  If you don’t think you have the time to move the business forward, the business will stagnate.  Be stagnant for too long and the business will lose ground and be overtaken by its competitors.

As a leader, you must use your time and teams most effectively.  A simple first step is to leverage your team’s capabilities.  You must enable your teams to receive delegated work from you.  And here is where many leaders don’t leverage their teams.  The reason many leaders give: I “don’t have the time”.

That begins the “Downward Spiral of Leadership”.  If you don’t think you have the time you don’t delegate.  If you don’t delegate the...

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Dysfunctional Delusions

By Bob Maksimchuk

If you want high performing teams, they have to be built first and foremost on a foundation of trust.  Patrick Lencioni cites the lack of trust as the first (of five) dysfunctions of a team.  The team members must feel that their other teammates will “have their back” when things get rough.  And as a manager or leader, that includes you too.  In fact, if you want to shift your organizational culture to a more empowered, trust-based culture, management must lead the way by demonstrating (not just talking about) the values and behavioral norms you want for the organization.

One key factor that trust is built on is consistency.  Are you consistent in your behavior?  Are you complimentary one moment and then arrogant or dismissive the next?  Are you puerile?  Vindictive?  People trust their leadership when the feel they know how you will react in various situations.  With trust they will feel they can bring...

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The Baker’s Dozen of Coaching Leadership

By Bob Maksimchuk

1. Be Dedicated – to your client, your team, yourself. Commitment builds trust.
2. Be Curious – about your profession, your client, other fields. Learn continuously. If you think you know it all, you have limited your potential.
3. Be Humble       – no matter how successful, smart, or well-known. Arrogance destroys relationships.
4. Be Energetic    – Do you bring energy into the room or do you drain the life out of it?
5. Be Engaged      – Your client doesn’t value an aloof adviser who provides little value.
6. Be Perceptive   – See their gifts. Does your team have cheerleaders (encouragers), pragmatists (guides), jokers (morale builders), and dreamers (visionaries)? Leverage these soft abilities as much as hard skills.
7. Be Empathic    – See their needs. Be sure to serve their actual needs, not yours.
8. Be Resourceful – When your team has...

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The Leadership and Communication Lessons of Josey Wales – Part 4

By Bob Maksimchuk

 

In the last installment, we left Josey and his rebel friend at a river crossing.  There they met the boatman Sim Carstairs, Granny Hawkins, who runs a supply store, and a carpetbagger.  We discussed the loquacious Sim and now let’s see what we can learn from the unforgettable Granny Hawkins.

 

Josey orders the supplies they need from Sim and as Sim begins to load the horses, Granny Hawkins steps onto the front porch of the store.  This grizzled, toothless, old woman smoking a long pipe turns a cold gaze upon Josey, and calls him by name, to his surprise.  She then relates what the Union soldiers, who had been there a few hours earlier, told her:

 

“They say ye killed your own men…They say ye killed a slew of defenseless soldiers too.  They say ye are hard put and a desperate man, Josey Wales.  They say they are going to heel and hide ye to a barn door.  You...

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The Leadership and Communication Lessons of Josey Wales – Part 3

The scene:  Josey and his injured young rebel friend furtively approach a river crossing.  There they meet three very interesting people – the boatman, Sim Carstairs, who ferries people across the river, Granny Hawkins, who provides supplies and “poultices” to travelers, and a fastidious carpetbagger, wearing a white suit, selling bottles of a cure-all elixir.  It is these new characters, not Josey, that teach us a few interesting leadership and communication lessons.

 

Depending on your point of view, Sim is either a brilliant businessman or a snake in the grass.  He tells a carpetbagger who is waiting to cross the river, “In my line of work you got to be able to whistle either the Battle Hymn of the Republic or Dixie with equal enthusiasm, depending upon present company.”  Which would you think he is?

 

Lesson 6: Communication is Received Best When You Talk to People in THEIR Language.

You...

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The Leadership and Communication Lessons of Josey Wales – Part 2

By Bob Maksimchuk

 [If you missed part 1 of this series you can read it here. Spoiler alert: This series will incrementally reveal the plot of this movie. If you have not seen the movie (Where have you been?), I recommend you get the movie and enjoy it prior to reading this series.]

The scene: After his family and farm are destroyed, Josey joins with a group of rebels who fight a guerrilla war against the Union. The fight drags on. Eventually, the group’s leader (Fletcher) convinces everyone, except Josey, to turn themselves in to the Union soldiers. Fletcher had negotiated amnesty for the band of rebels. What the rebels did not know was that he did it for a price. The men surrendered and were killed by the Union soldiers. Despite a valiant effort, Josey could not save them. Only he and an injured young rebel (“the boy”) escaped.

All the rebels had been betrayed by the Union (including Fletcher – he believed they would receive amnesty). But...

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