Leadership Fuel Blog

Loyalty Earned

Loyalty Earned

Building Trust, Communication, Leadership, Loyalty, Team Results, teams, Teamwork, Trust
Loyalty is earned and is not automatically guaranteed. In other words, loyalty is not openly given as it is a two-way street. When leaders place trust in those they lead it encourages loyalty within their team. I believe Richard Branson’s quote says it well, “Train people well enough so they can leave; treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” This is the essence of cultivating loyalty. Great leaders know that modeling trustworthiness in their behavior will be reciprocally effective. Because mindful leaders are aware of how they are being perceived by their co-workers, they are deliberate about their encouraging interactions with their team. A skillful leader knows they have a responsibility to set a high bar, because they promote the standard, form the expectations, and create the culture…
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Embedding Trust

Embedding Trust

Building Trust, Embedding Trust, Leadership, Leadership Coaching, Trust
Trust is foundational in leadership. Without it, there is no traction. Without it, leaders have a barrier to success. When trust is present, your team feels comfort and safety. In order to embed trust within your organizational culture, you must develop, grow and expect trust at all layers of leadership. Trust does not come with your title. Trust can only be earned when you demonstrate your ability and integrity to be a trustworthy leader.   One of the best ways to build trust is by connecting with those you lead. This connection comes from listening and asking engaging questions. Show genuine appreciation for a job well done.  Consistent effort is necessary, because this is not an overnight project. Trust is cultivated with time and effort. In today’s cutthroat business climate, it…
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Listening Leader

Listening Leader

Leadership, Leadership Coaching, Listening
Listening is a skill that leaders must learn and perfect. Because I recognize the importance and strongly believe in listening as a leadership competency, you can find me on Twitter @listeningleader. Fortunately, I have been gifted with listening as a God given talent. However, most leaders do not naturally possess the talent of true listening. Listening requires you to be present in the moment and focused on the issue or person at hand. If you want to become a better leader, stop talking and listen. A leader that does not value the skill of listening is missing an opportunity. Listening leaders have realized that you can glean far more from another’s intellect when effectively listening. Because a strong leader needs to be an effective communicator, engaged communication begins with listening.…
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Leadership Traps

Leadership Traps

Leadership, Leadership Coaching
When backing out of the driveway or changing lanes in traffic, you check your blind spots as a safety measure. However, many leaders fail miserably at checking their leadership blind spots. Whether your leadership trap is managing instead of leading, loss of focus, or lack self-awareness, taking time to evaluate and identify these blind spots is an important leadership step. Make a habit of looking in your leadership blind spots in order to be aware of potential hazards. Consider using a leadership coach to help you navigate your leadership traps as these traps are limiting behaviors. Awareness, examination, and self-evaluation are valuable exercises. Do not skip these important opportunities in the journey to becoming an effective leader. “Self-awareness allows people to recognize what things they do best so they can…
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Growth Habit

Growth Habit

Coaching Culture, Culture of Coaching, Leadership Coaching
Professional athletes understand that with the use of a coach for athletic training, growth and measurable improvement is realized much more quickly. You, too, can utilize the tools of a coach in your professional life. An executive leadership coach can help you visualize your strengths, navigate your blind spots, and increase your competencies for improved leadership skills. Growing your capabilities as a leader will assure your career path has an upward trajectory. Adopting the habit of growth is critical to effective leadership.“In this world you're either growing or you're dying so get in motion and grow.”-Lou Holtz  Using coaching as a growth strategy will bring added value and give your organization a competitive edge. When an individual chooses coaching they are empowered to stretch beyond their comfort zone where growth lives. Organizations that…
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Catapult

Catapult

Leadership Coaching, Leadership Development, Self Awareness
Commitment to development at all levels is essential to an organization's success. When you support your emerging leaders, it sets a firm foundation. Expanding capacity is a cornerstone of leadership development. A great strategy for organizational growth is found in the many aspects of leadership development. Growing the capacity of your team members creates alignment for future growth. Meaningful leadership development is proof of an organization's focus on the future. An investment in your leadership team through growth opportunities is as equally important as an investment in your bottom line. A 2014 study by The Creative Center for Leadership shows that leadership development can positively identify high-potential employees who are effective to an organization. Developing your leaders will not only catapult individuals but also your organization. Providing management growth and executive coaching opportunities for your executives is a valued leadership developmental activity for your high-potential leaders. Catapult the capacity of…
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Grab Hold

Grab Hold

Engaged Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development
Leadership takes action and action requires taking hold of the responsibilities of effective leadership. Yes, grab hold for leadership is active engagement with those you lead. Take an active role in casting the vision and expectations for the future. Leaders that blame the past or present circumstances on others are skirting responsibility for their leadership situation. Being accountable, taking responsibility, and owning your successes and failures makes the difference in exceptional leadership. Note, that responsibility and accountability are two different but necessary functions of leadership. Responsibility is task focused while accountability is taking ownership to make sure that responsibilities are achieved. Simply put, responsibility has a broad focus, and accountability is more narrowly focused. With active engagement, “grab hold” leaders will be both respected and effective. Steer clear of disengaged…
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Essential to Leadership

Essential to Leadership

Communication, Leadership
Leadership is action and movement. Leaders provide inspiration, accountably and encouraging energy. These are necessary components of leadership, and without them you are left with status quo. Leaders must be able to communicate well, because effective communication is an essential and highly important leadership skill. Communication as an essential leadership skill is more than just speaking words. It also includes listening and the ability to receive feedback. Great leaders are skilled in sending communication, receiving communication and feedback. Through skilled communication, leaders are able to successfully lead. Being an active and participative leader aids in effective communication, because absent communication leaders are unable to provide inspiration or accountability. This is an area where many with leadership responsibilities fall short. Remember the importance of active communication skills as they will bring…
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Leadership Clarity

Leadership Clarity

Building Leadership Capacity, Change Leaders, clarity, Leadership, Vision
Try leading without a clear vision, and, surely, this will lead to failure. A coherent vision appears only after much hard work and focused time. An explicit vision means there are no questions about what needs to be accomplished. Individuals gravitate to leaders who are able to concisely share their vision. Because these effective leaders demonstrate clarity, they will more fluidly lead their team to extraordinary accomplishment. Creating clarity is said to be one of a leader’s most important duties. Bringing clarity is the ability to simplify and inspire action. “One should use common words to say uncommon things,” ―Arthur Schopenhauer. Leaders with clarity have the ability to bring meaning to the group. Leadership clarity shows confidence. Leadership clarity enhances change, goal attainment, and value alignment. If you are interested…
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Leadership Privilege

Leadership Privilege

Building Leadership Capacity, forward motion, Great Leaders, Leadership
Unfortunately, we are witness to many examples of lack of leadership, i.e. decisions deferred to a later time, delays in confronting an employment issue, leadership absence, refusing to address blatant problems; these are just to name a few. As deferment is not an effective leadership strategy, procrastination will lead you down a road of poor outcomes. Leaders must be forward thinkers looking to the future with clear vision. I recently heard that “Just like Bluetooth and backup cameras now come standard on a Honda Civic, some individuals live life looking in the rearview mirror.”- @dennismcintee GHCA, Summer Convention. Leaders that live exclusively in the past will not be destined for distinction in the future. Being a leader is a privilege, it does not mean you are privileged. Understanding this privilege…
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Connected Moments

Connected Moments

Building Leadership Capacity, Great Leaders, Growth, Leadership, Leadership Coaching
Notable leaders are committed to growth through connections and personal leadership development. It is amazing how many people call themselves leaders but remain stagnant in their professional growth. Growth only happens with action and deliberate intention. Without this effort, there is a disconnect. Effective leaders know leadership is best facilitated with connection; connection to learning and others. This summer, I have the privilege of connecting and collaborating with like-minded professionals at an annual continuing education convention. The theme is: Enriching Lives with Treasured Moments. When reading the theme title, it made me consider what treasured moments might resonate with successful leaders. This in turn made me think about connected moments in a leader's journey. Leaders connect with others through authentic, high-quality conversations. It is through these conversations that we make…
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Don’t be ordinary

Don’t be ordinary

Full Potential, Growth, Leadership
Veterans aren’t ordinary. Their selfless service makes them exceptional. Many have paid the ultimate sacrifice for us. Today in the United States we celebrate Memorial Day. It is a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered. God has placed in you the ability to be outstanding. He has given you the choice and free will to make decisions. You can chose greatness, and I am not referring to the selfish sense of the word. You were created to be more than ordinary. As we take time to remember those extraordinary individuals who have served our country, commit to reflecting their example by striving for your full potential.
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Heads Down

Heads Down

Change Leaders, Leaders, Leadership, Leadership Coaching, Leadership Fuel
Have you ever thought, “I am just going to keep my head down and stay out of the way?” Obviously, this is not an effective leadership strategy, though, I bet you know a leader that has deployed this method. Ignorance and disengagement is no excuse for poor performing results. "Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat, Latin for ‘ignorance of the law excuses not’ and ‘ignorance of law excuses no one’ respectively, is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because one was unaware of its …” Failure to notice when your staff demands your attention is all too common with a heads down leader. Did you know that it is a myth…
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Soul Shine

Soul Shine

Energy, Energy Leadership, Energy Leadership Index, Leadership
When entering a room, a meeting, or a situation, you bring with you a level of energy. As the Allman Brothers say, "You've got to let your soul shine, shine till the break of day," it is important to be aware of the type of energy you bring with you on a daily basis. Did you know that your heart is a large electromagnetic field that can be measured from several feet away? Our body literally has energy emitting from it. It is necessary for effective leaders to lead with encouraging and positive energy. Research by the Wheatley Institution at Brigham Young University has "found that individuals who are positive energizers are four times more important in accounting for successful performance than people who are merely influential. Energy trumps influence by…
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In the Dark

In the Dark

Communication, Leadership, Leadership Coaching
Many executive leaders have great vision but poor communication skills. We often think of communication as speaking words though communication can be so much more than just words. A leader’s presence should also be considered as communication. When an executive states, “We are going to take that hill over there!” but is never seen again, what does that communicate? Associates will lose enthusiasm for the strategy without executive presence. You might hear, “They said we were taking that hill over there, but I haven’t seen our leader climbing with us.” As a leader, building your communication aptitude should be a top priority. Without effective communication, you might think you are leading in the light of day, but those that follow are completely in the dark. How are your written skills?…
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