Tag Archives: Jesse Lyn Stoner

Summer Reading: 10 Leadership Blog Posts I Like

This week’s blog post was not working out for me.  After several false starts, I realized my problem.  I was trying to be deep and clever…again.  I’m quite capable of both of those things, (from time to time), but when I try to force it, it comes out, well, not like me at all.  So I stopped and instead, began to think about other people, who write about, and practice, leadership every day. With that in mind, I’m going to highlight some of these really talented, experienced people and share with you their perspectives about leadership by offering a variety of blog posts that will both inform and challenge you to stretch your thinking.  At least that’s what it did for me.

Joe Gerstandt (@joegerstandt) works to help us truly understand the meaning and import of diversity, inclusion and culture.  Joe ‘s post entitled, Dancing in the Intersection asks us to think about the tension that results when our differing viewpoints come together and to consider the notion that this place of tension is where our greatest opportunities lie, if we choose to embrace, rather than avoid it.

Anne Perschel, (@bizshrink) is one of my favourite people. And, she is a staunch advocate for women in leadership.  She has compelling and global reasons for placing her considerable energies here. In her post, Bigger is Not Better any more ~ Paradigm Shift and the Paradox of Power, Anne explains the problems created by the Bigger mentality and describes a world where women play a larger role in leadership, not by replacing men but by partnering with them to, as she puts it, Make the World a more sustainable, socially conscious, emotionally connected, livable place”.

Wally Bock  (@wallybock), author of the Three Star Leadership Blog has a wonderful way of cutting to the chase when it comes to writing about being a good boss. Here he shares his Thoughts on Exceptional Leaders.It is short and to the point and makes great sense.

Many organizations spend inordinate amounts of money on Leadership Development. Dan McCarthy (@greatleadership) author of the blog, Great Leadership and a highly skilled leadership development practitioner generously shares a leadership development program that, if faithfully followed, provides great opportunity for learning and growth in his post entitled: Free Leadership Development Program: Becoming a Great Leader 

Taking a little time to reflect on our own performance is always a good thing and Jane Perdue(@thehrgoddess), Founder and President of the Braithwaite Innovation Group provides a useful template to follow in her post: The 7 C’s ~ a Mid Year Leadership Check up/

It is often tempting, when we first consider an issue to look at what’s wrong or what’s not there, first.  In her post: Is There a Shortage of Good Leaders?  Mary Jo Asmus (@mjasmus) suggests that perhaps we are looking through the wrong lens and in the wrong places when it comes to finding good leaders.

Some of us like to believe that we don’t play politics at work.  In fact, I expect that we all see the destructive side of organizational politics.  But, I also believe that politics in organizational life will always be present.  In his post: 4 Ideas for navigating organizational politics, Art Petty, (@artpetty) shares some wisdom about politics in the work place that makes a great deal of sense and can serve as a tool for anyone navigating his or her way through the political labyrinth.

If you’re a boss, there is no question but that you will be busy.  Sometimes you might think that you are too busy to take a holiday… that your time would be better spent if you remained at the office and worked.  But, Tanveer Naseer, (@tanveernaseer) in his post: Why Summer Vacations are Important to Being Effective  explains why you might want to re-think that strategy.

Delegation is a big deal in leadership.  Often it is such a big deal that it can be quite daunting. In her post: How to Delegate with Confidence, Jesse Lyn Stoner (@jesselynstoner)provides seven guidelines for achieving effectiveness in this area.

And finally, while we are on the topic of delegation, I’m going to throw in something I wrote some time back called: Taking Charge~ When Not to Delegate.

That’s it for now.  What do you think? What would you add to the reading list?

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Filed under building awareness, communication, diversity, Leadership, Leadership Development, Reading

Going First

Photo by Erik Johansson

Leadership is a very big and often complex topic.  In very simple (possibly even simplistic) terms though, it’s about going first.  It’s also about having a clear sense of purpose and about engaging others in believing that the purpose is something worth pursuing; something that can be trusted; something that will make things better, not worse.

That’s the hard part.  Going first puts us under harsh scrutiny, creates (often vehement) opposition and sometimes gives rise to sabotage.  It also represents change and while we often talk about embracing it, for many of us, embracing change is sort of like, as children, having to give a distant and unfamiliar relative a hug.   You know you should, but you don’t really want to.

Going first asks a lot of us.

It asks us to be bold without being obnoxious  ~ willing to risk rejection, to bend rules, to make new ones, to explore uncharted waters but to resist the belief that only our own views count.

It asks us to be resilient without being stubborn ~ to learn to cope with stress, disappointment, criticism, to bounce back from adversity; but to maintain a level of vulnerability that allows us to express our emotions; show our humanity and accept the things we need to see about ourselves.

It asks us to be tolerant without being a pushover ~ to listen to, and learn from, opposing views but to challenge those that work against our purpose or values.

It asks us to be tough without being callous ~ to hold ourselves and others accountable for the decisions we make but to do so in a way that creates lessons rather than metes out punishment.

It is not an easy road but many choose it because they have a dream; because they see something and want something that the rest of us have yet to consider.  And, they want to help us get there.

So, if you are one of those people, the question is how do you blaze your trail and convince others that it is a road worth following?  Yes, I know.  It’s a very big question.  But, I have some ideas and also some very interesting places to point you to, so here goes:

Keep the Fundamentals of Being a Good Boss in Mind

There is a plethora of Leadership blogs out there.  Frankly, It is hard to determine which ones are going to do the trick for you.  But, here are a couple of places to start.  First, Wally Bock’s Three Star Leadership Blog is an excellent place to go for reference material and practical down to earth advice about how to be a good boss.  Similarly, Art Petty’s Blog, Management Excellence is equally thought provoking and informative.

The point is, there are a lot of fancy and complicated views about what it means to go first and bring others happily along with you.  Wally and Art will help you to get at what’s most important.

Be Clear about your Vision and Purpose

If you are even the least bit fuzzy about where you want to go, going first can turn into going alone.  This is where bringing clarity to your vision and purpose is critical.  To help you do that, I note that Jesse Lyn Stoner and Ken Blanchard have released a second edition of their book, Full Steam Ahead ~ Unleash the Power of Vision in Your Work and Your Life.  This book is written for those of us who enjoy a good story (and who doesn’t?).  It examines the notion of creating a vision, (which can have rather ethereal connotations) and brings it to life in a very real way.

Develop a Thick Skin

In order to be bold and to bounce back from the inevitable setbacks, going first often creates, we have to learn to take disappointment in stride and to hold ourselves in high enough esteem to weather undue or unfair criticism.

Anne Perschel of Germaine Consulting, recently wrote a blog post entitled,  Hold the Botox – Thicken Your Skin While its message is pointed at women, I think both women and men could learn something about developing resilience from Anne.

As well, I read another post from Jane Perdue in her blog Get Your Big On called, “When Pretty isn’t a Compliment ~ A story of Resilience This story illustrates how easy it is for the balloon of self-confidence to suffer from even the slightest pinprick if we are not vigilant.

And finally:

Learn to Coach …and Get a Coach

If you want to go first with purpose it is always a good idea to find someone you can trust to help you get there and hold you accountable for the things you want and the things you say you are going to do.  A coach can help you with that.  As well, if you want others to follow your lead, learning to be a good coach is a must, especially if you want them to follow you happily.

One of my favourite coaches is Mary Jo Asmus.  Mary Jo writes an excellent blog and one that is on my regular reading list.  One of her most recent posts is entitled, “When You Coach, This is What happens” You will not only get some insights about how to coach but perhaps also see the benefits of having a coach in your own life.

Of course there is much more to learn about going first.  In fact it is a never-ending pursuit.  Hopefully, this has provided something of a start to your own journey, one that will gather many followers.  And, there is a lot I have left out.

What would you add?


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Filed under Change Management, Establishing Direction, Leadership, Leadership Development, Leadership Vision, Learning, motivating & Inspiring, Uncategorized