Month: April 2011

Relevance is Not Enough

Relevance and PassionIt only gets people in the door.

It’s like having a high school kid spin a ‘50% off everything’ sign in front of a run-down store. You like to save money, so you decide to stop. Then, you find out that the store is mangled and the inventory is weak. The owner clearly doesn’t give a hoot. Will you buy anything?

That’s what its like when a leader without passion invites you to his or her world. You’re attracted by the idea of ‘saving the baby seals’ or ‘conquering the world of widgets.’ The vision is relevant to you in some way, so you give it a shot.

Then you get in, realize that the operation is a mess, and bail.

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Why Should I Listen to You?

Relevance and the question WhyIf you’re a leader, you’ve got something to say…

  • “You should follow me.”
  • “You should do what I tell you to do.”
  • “You should buy my company’s product.”
  • “You should care about my cause.”
  • “You should read my book.”

My immediate response is, “Why?

I’m busy. I have a business to run, friends to spend time with, and other things to do. Why should I drop what I’m doing and listen to you? Why should I abandon my previous opinion and adopt yours? Why should I do anything that you tell me to do? Why should I care?

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Trying to See With Your Eyes Closed

Trying to See With Your Eyes Closed

When was the last time…

  • you went for a blindfolded stroll in the park?
  • drove your car at night with the headlights off?
  • read a book in the dark?

I’m willing to assume your answer is somewhere along the lines of, “I’ve never done any of those things, Kenny. ” This is because you understand the value of sight. You need to see what you’re doing in order to be able to do it well.

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The World is a Classroom – Are You Paying Attention?

Are You Paying Attention?I never used to pay attention in school. I would get good grades, but my head would always be way out in left field. I’d either be doing the homework for my next class or playing a video game on my TI-83 graphing calculator. This was a bad way to learn.

A lot of us are living our lives this way.

People, places, and experiences are flashing by with each waking moment. Thanks to the rise of the smart phone, we’ve stopped paying attention. We are surrounded by and immersed in a world that begs to teach us so much, but our heads are down and we’re simply not listening.

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6 Ways to Take Advantage of Others' Leadership Experience

leadership trainingIf you read yesterday’s post, you’re already on your way to reading more and developing your leadership IQ. That’s fantastic, but I’m sorry to say that its not enough. Book knowledge is great, but the real development comes when you get out and learn from other leaders who have gone before you.

Here are some ways to develop your leadership skills by gleaning from others:

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Leaders are Readers: How to Develop a Reading Plan

Leaders are Readers

I used to hate reading. I avoided it like the plague. I felt like my time could be better spent elsewhere. Over the course of my first year post-college, I did not read one book from cover to cover. It was pathetic.

The average American reads 3-6 books a year. That same average American will also watch about 35 hours of television… this week! That’s 35 hours that could’ve been invested into your own development and growth.

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Waking The Leader Within

Leadership DevelopmentIn my younger years, I was attracted to positions of leadership. I was usually the captain in sports or the president of some after-school club. This carried on to my military years, as I would usually find myself in positions of leadership amongst my peers.

When I got into music, however, I turned inward and spent most of my time in isolation. For 5 years, I didn’t spend too much time with groups of people. My leadership skills went into atrophy. I had been neglecting a large segment of my skill-set. It took a pastor to remind me who I was. (more…)