Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The New Business Manager: Change Leadership

There are various leadership styles that I have learned over the years. While some choose one approach, the most effective is the situational leadership style. This means constantly evaluating decisions for the situations that are before you. How you approach one situation may be different than how you approach another due to several factors and your experience in these circumstances. In order to quickly be able to adapt to change, it is important to keep this style because it creates a flexible leader. At times, a manager who chooses a “fixed” style of leadership tends to either get frustrated or is unable to quickly adapt to the change.

Jack Welsh said it best, “Change before you have to.” I am beginning to understand this concept. Either you can change and adapt to the situation or choose not to and painfully have to get there or never do and that has its own tensions.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Leadership in Tough Times

Anyone can lead when the waters are calm. True leaders are defined when they can lead through a storm. Are people willing to step up and be leaders when it's not convenient for them, when there is no prize or recognition for their efforts? Are people willing to step up if they also must feel the pain? Good leaders do what is responsible because that is what is required. Hopefully, others follow suit and, if not, then their leadership ability is defined in the storm. Those who are team players may not get the convenience, the prize or the recognition in the short-term, but in the long-term, they demonstrated what it really takes to be a leader and sometimes that means sacrifice. Those who cannot sacrifice are short-term thinkers wanting immediate satisfaction as opposed to what truely defines a person's character in the long-term. Good leaders demonstrate selflessness and not selfishness. It is much easier to serve yourself instead of others, but good leaders prefer challenges.  Which are you?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Comedy in the Workplace?

Dealing in high stress environments, I've learned how important it is to keep a sense of humor.  Some situations are serious and warrant critical thinking, but we all need a break from that sometimes.  Lightening the mood can help people think more clearly and more relaxed. The result is that people feel more comfortable to provide input to be a part of the solution. I've been in some meetings where I thought a person's face might crack if I saw a smile.  I look at it this way, you can be serious all the time at work or you can take the time to enjoy what you're doing and still be serious about it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Learning To Pace Yourself

I've spent years working at this momentum like a snowball turning into an avalanche.  I feel a poem coming on.  Grow, Grow, Grow while you can has been my motto.  It still is, but now I'm learning how important it is to balance yourself.  What I mean is growing in different directions; for some it's personal, for others it's professional, for others it could be their mid-section.  Gotta add humor.  I've spent many years growing in one direction.  I think at times when someone is focused, that this can happen.  I am understanding how important it is to broaden your focus, so when it comes down to it, you are able to be flexible.  Who knows what life is going to throw at you and so many people put all of their eggs in one basket.  When the basket drops, what's left but a bunch of broken eggs and a mess to clean up.  The key is to never end up with egg on your face or on the floor for that matter.

Monday, March 15, 2010

To See Them for What They Really Are

In my journey of raising pitbulls, I’ve noticed a couple of things. These creatures are pretty black and white. They can either be really good or really bad. It’s such a line and there are no gray areas. I see both sides when I deal with a pitbull, however, I chose to focus on one side: the good. I can tell you in raising four different pitbulls, I’ve never been let down. I see the good in these animals. Now granted, there are some that are beyond recovery. I am telling you my experience with four different pitbulls all who have been saved or rescued. Most wondering in the wilderness. Many people tell me to be aware. That any day one will snap. After eight years and four dogs, I am fortunate to say that I have not seen this behavior. But I believe it’s because I do not see this in the dogs that I raise. I see fierce strength that is unmatched beyond any dog breed. But I also see a vulnerable, caring creature that just wants to be accepted for who they are. They are black and white. They can either be good or bad, which is what intrigues me about them. They require a strong individual to guide them to their true self. If you think I’m over analyzing these dogs, you couldn’t be further from the truth. To think that I have never encountered a bad pitdog I’ve taken in, is a testament to the capability of the breed. They can be what you see them as. I take risks every day I kiss the dog that has been estranged. I treat them the way that I want them to be, not the way they could be. I just show them love. It has taught me a lot about myself and a lot about the capability of love. They are magnificent creatures that deserve a chance.