Category Archives: Leadership Development

5 for Leadership (8/10/12)

Today’s 5 will expose you to some new authors for me.  I have included a powerful leadership story, some great leadership principles, and some timely leadership quotes.  Enjoy.

Red Marbles and a Very Kind Leader  You must read this post.  I found it on the Teamwork and Leadership blog.  It is the story of personal leadership with influence and great generosity.  For me it highlights well that all leadership is influence and that generosity in leadership is often a forgotten component.

Overcoming The Fear of Asking  Are you an inquisitive leader?  If not, why not?  This is something I struggle with at times.  I either think that I am wasting someone else’s time or I fall into the trap that I don’t have time to be an asking leader.  This post from the Leadership Solutions blog provides some very practical reasons and practices for becoming a more inquisitive leader.

Leadership By Choice  I have often highlighted the Leading Blog for it’s quality content.  This offering is a simple four part evaluation to better determine if you are leading with great intentionality.  It is a brief summary of a book written by Eric Papp.  I think all four parts are critical and worthy of our reflection.

Can A Church Be Both Attractional and Missional?  This comes from Tony Morgan’s blog and is an interview with Dave Ferguson.  Dave and Alan Hirsch recently co-authored a book entitled On The Verge.  This is an insightful interview on this ongoing and very important topic.  It will give you a taste of the book.

Leadership Summit: Bill Hybels  The well known Willow Creek Leadership Summit is currently in progress.  I returned to Tony Morgan’s blog for this offering because he has been capturing some of the key principles and quotes from the summit for our digestion.  Here is Tony’s gleanings from Bill’s opening address.

There are the 5 for this week.  Lead well!

5 for Leadership (8/6/12)

Here is 5 for Leadership for the 1st week of August.

Leadership and Courage This first post comes from Gwyn Teatro on her blog You’re Not The Boss of Me. Gwyn defines courage in the context of good leadership. She offers a great real life illustration of a CEO who either lacked the courage to truly investigate a problem or was simply ignorant of the problem. Gwyn closes with the principle that real courage is sometimes simply facing the truth.

The Outrageously Simple Visual Guide to Goal Setting Here is a great info graphic on goal setting in ten practical steps. Take a look.

Rembrandt and Leadership This is a guest post on the Great Leadership blog. The authors compare the life of the great Dutch painter to leadership. The points are very sailable as they talk about dealing with both success and failure-and the need for authenticity.

Graceful Leadership 101 This post is by Tanmay Vora and offers a pdf download of 101 ways to be a more graceful leader. This is a resource you can read and share with those you lead or those you are developing for leadership.

The Three R’s of Christian Engagement in the Culture Wars This final post is from Kevin DeYoung and offers three worthy points of how Christian leaders should act when taking on the moral issues of our day. This post holds some good principles in light of the Chick-fil-a controversy.

There are the 5 for this week. Lead well!

My Top Posts for July

Here are the five most popular posts from my blog for the month of July.

6 Common Errors in Strategic Planning  In this post I attempt to uncover regular mistakes I see leaders and teams make in the strategic planing process-and offer some tips to correct.

Delegation vs Empowerment  This remains my most popular post month in and month out.  This is a critical leadership issue for the effective function of organizations and for the multiplication of leaders.

The Leader and Planning  This post was the first of a five part series on planning.    Here, I revealed the two primary purposes of team planning, stewardship and celebration, to lay a foundation for the planing environment.

3 Types of Leadership Decisions  Decisions are at the heart of effective leadership.  In this post I discuss the merits of directive, consultive and delegative decisions.

The Nature of Leadership Decisions  This post originally preceded the 3 Types of Leadership Decisions post.  In this post I lay out three diagnostic questions I believe every leader should answer before making a critical decision.

There are the five most popular for July.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and interact.  I hope you find these posts beneficial for the first time-or again.  Lead well!

5 for Leadership (7/27/12)

Here is this weeks edition of 5 for Leadership.  I hope that these posts inspire, educate, and provide you with some helpful principles toward your leadership life.

Letter To A Young Leader  This is a really insightful post from Mary Jo Asmus.  She offers five great pieces of advice for any leader-but especially those who are emerging and young.

If It’s Important, Be There  This post comes from the Leading Blog and highlights a central tenet of a book by Catlett and Hadden.  It lifts up the value of training beyond skills and the need for every leader to participate fully in the development process.  It is a brief post, but will stimulate your thinking about leadership engagement.

Set Boundaries On The Sacrifices You’ll Make For Work  This is by Bill Barnett in the Harvard Business Review blog.  Bill offers four practical principles to help you avoid burnout and bailout in your leadership life.  This is a must read for every harried leader-which probably means most of us.

Trust:1-2-1 Leadership This is a post from the Leadership Reflections blog.  The author reasons that it is detrimental to judge people on initial impressions.  Rather, he argues, we must move towards a trust and development approach to see people reach their full potential in Christ.  He uses Moses and Joshua as a biblical example.  There are some worthy paradigms here.

The Global Leadership Summit  For my final offering I will make a pitch for Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit.  I never do this-but I think this is a great opportunity for any Christian leader to benefit from top leaders in different fields.  I have been to the summit in Chicago and have attended virtually.  There are over 200 sites around the country where you can be a part of this experience.  Take a look at their web site-and see if this would be a good opportunity for you.

There are the “5” for this week.  Lead well!

5 for Leadership

Here are 5 new posts on the topic of leadership for the 21st of July.  I hope they stimulate you towards new learning and application.

Top 10 Marks of Lousy Leaders This comes from the Leadership Freak.  I point you to Dan Rockwell pretty often.  His posts are short and practical.  In this one he contrasts ten wrong attitudes with seven good ones.  See how you stack up.

What’s Your ‘Leader-Print’   I found this on the Lead Change Group blog and is by  Julie Winkle Giulioni.  She argues for the idea that every leader has their own unique expression of leadership-hence a “leader-print.”  Julie uses her own leadership history as an illustration of what she means by this concept-and argues for active leader learning along the way.

Three Things Putting a Golf Ball Taught Me About Decision Making  This post is by Tim Milburn.  I have highlighted Tim before because of his solid insights on various aspects of leadership.  In this post Tim makes a very good analogy between golf and decision making (I have been blogging about this very topic this week).  As a (below average) golfer myself-these principles ring true and are memorable.  Take a look-even if you don’t play golf.

13 Simple Ways to Increase Your Leadership  This post is by Scott Williams.  I follow Scott on twitter also and enjoy his brand of leadership thinking.  Scott offers up 13 very practical ways you can engage in self development-whcih is critical to the longevity of any leadership life.

How Can Christian Leaders Get Started With Social Media?  Here is a good 10 minute video piece by Michael Hyatt.  I find that many Christian leaders are still resistant to engaging in social media world.  Watch Michael being interviewed about the importance of this means of communication.  He is certainly one of the best when it comes to utilizing social media.

There are my five offerings for this week.  Learn and lead well!

3 Types of Leadership Decisions

This is the 2nd post on the topic of leadership decisions.  In the first one I discussed the nature of leadership decisions and offered some diagnostic questions to help you in thinking through every leadership decision you make.  In this post we will look at three types of leadership decisions.  Sometimes leaders look at decision making like a game of rock, paper, scissors.  We use the same approach in every situation and we leave it up to chance.  But there is a way to think through the type of decision that should be made for the best possible result.

1. The Directive Decision  This type of decision is where the leader alone makes the decision and announces it to those he or she leads.  This is an autocratic approach that should be used very sparingly, but does have it’s place.  This type of decision is probably most useful in times of crisis.  This is when there is chaos and people are looking to a single person or body to make a command decision.  Someone needs to take charge and provide clear direction to meet the need.

2. The Consultive Decision  This is where a leader presents a tentative decision and invites input that will affect the final outcome and execution.  This may be the most common scenario for leaders in the decision making process.  Leaders should rightly see things from a unique perspective that is more encompassing of the whole.  They should have some unique insight that can put forth an initial idea that may need refinement and specificity to actually work.  Gathering pros and cons and thinking through the consequences as a team can help to insure a better outcome.  These types of decisions build ownership and trust.  They also tap into the collective brain power and creativity of a team.

3. The Delegative Decision  This is where the leader provides freedom for making the decision within a prescribed responsibility.  This can often take place at the execution phase of leading.  This is where you have developed a strong sense of trust with those you are leading and you are able to empower them to make decisions for themselves in how things get done.  You may have collectively determined what needs to be done over time-but you provide freedom in how those goals and plans are accomplished.  This is a great leadership development tool and will help to multiply the leaders necessary for fulfilling the mission.  This requires a servant leader who can give away power and control and trust others toward the fulfillment of the mission.

When you are thinking through what the decisions that you need to make as a leader-ask yourself what type of decision is this?  What would work best for this problem or opportunity?  Is this a directive decision, a consultive decision, or a delegate decision?  The desired outcome will help determine the approach.  Lead well!

The Nature of Leadership Decisions

Decision making is a critical component of effective leadership.  Your team and those you report to are deepening on you to make timely, well communicated decisions that will aid the team and make progress toward the vision.  Good leaders make a myriad of decisions every day.  Some are simple and easily executable.  Others are weighty and have much at stake.  Some can be anticipated and planned.  Others are in the moment and must be made immediately.  And every leadership decision has a multiplied impact.

Over this post and the next I will look at some key principles regarding leadership decisions.  Today, we will look at the nature or components of every leadership decision.

3 Considerations for Every Leadership Decision  By definition, a “decision” is a determination arrived at after consideration.  Here are three diagnostic questions you can use as you consider every leadership decision.

1. What exactly is the decision that needs to be made?  This may sound overly simplistic.  But I have seen many bad leadership decisions simply because the leader or leaders had not well defined the decision that needed to be made.  This can be especially true in times of urgency.  A presenting set of circumstances can blind leaders to the real issue-the underlying issue.  A leader must determine what the right decision is in any given situation.  This may cause the process to slow down some-but may prove to be the better part of wisdom later.  Analysis, counsel and reflection may be critical to determining the essence of any given decision.

2. Who should be involved in making the decision?  Leaders must also consider this important question.  Too often leaders make decisions in a vacuum.  They do not value the counsel of others and they do not value the ownership and energy it will take for others to execute their decisions.  This also does not mean that every decision should be a result of group think.  A good leader will be discerning about who should be included.  Who are the ultimate stakeholders?  Who needs to contribute to the solution so that you have their best creativity and ownership to follow through?  There is a “sweet spot” of people to include for every decision one faces.

3. How will the decision get communicated?  This may be the area I see most often that gets overlooked.  The right people are gathered and good decisions are made-and then they are communicated out to the rest of the organization in a disastrous way.  A good leader must consider the weight and impact of every key decision and then determine the best means of communication for the highest positive impact.  Again, this may require some good counsel with people who are sensitive to the softer side of leadership and people.  Some leaders falsely believe that the highest value is just getting the information out and any email will do.  Sometimes communicating leadership decisions take more time and rigor than actually making them.

Try these decision diagnostic questions on for size in your own leadership.  In the next post I will look at three types of decisions every leader must make.  Please add your thoughts and comments on this important topic.  Lead well!

Additionally, here are some great Bible references from the books of Proverbs and the Psalms about decisions:  Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 16:1; Proverbs 16:3; Proverbs 16:33; Proverbs 21:5; Psalm 25:12