Thursday, May 30, 2013

The best of Lead With Giants-Uplifting Leadership Insights!

This month’s Best of Lead With Giants is being hosted by Dan Forbes on his blog .  Jump on over there now to see the best leadership blog posts published this month from the Lead With Giants Community.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Are you communicating or connecting with others?

With the increase use of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs, we are bombarded with thousands of messages every single day. 

Our world is cluttered with words all day long as we receive and send messages to the people around us. 

We seem to communicate more than any other time in history by the resources available to us. 

But are we communicating or connecting?

When we connect with other people, we not only feel more human, we are able to do greater things than we could have done alone. We move beyond the isolation of office cubicles and gated communities to unite with others on many levels. The days when we could do our own thing and it was ok are long gone. Even simple mechanical procedures require connection to be effective.

Great communication and leadership are all about connecting. Your ability to communicate and connect with others is a crucial factor in reaching your leadership potential. To be a successful leader, you must work with others. And to do that, you must do more than just communicate—you must connect.

As leadership expert John C. Maxwell says, “Everyone communicates but few connect.” Connecting is everything when it comes to meaningful relationships.

Connection is part of the human condition we cannot ignore. We were born to connect and interrelate with other people on a higher level. When we meet new people, we seek to connect with them and try to find something in common with the other person by sharing our stories to learn more about each other.

Connection increases trust

When we connect, we build trust, and when we build trust, we are able to be open to new possibilities. When connection increases, trust increases. Connecting people to each other is the foundation for team synergy. Without connections, teams don’t exist. The more I get to know about you, the more I can trust you.

When I trust you, I am more willing to work with you and take risks. As we work together we learn more about our strengths and weaknesses. In the process of working together, I learn that you are reliable and that I can count on you for support, then trust increases further and our relationship deepens.

Connection helps relationships

Connection is the key to any successful relationship. If you can connect with others at every opportunity whether it is one-on-one or in groups, your relationships will be much stronger.  Your ability to create teamwork increases as you increase your leadership positive connection with others.

Relationships are more trustworthy and open when there is a connection there. The small connections every day can be very meaningful and insightful as we grow and mature in our relations to each other. 

Connecting leads to better understanding because when you connect, you listen attentively and care for the other person’s story as it was your own.

Connection helps your growth as a leader

Connecting is vital for any person who wants to achieve personal growth. It is essential for anyone who wants to continue building and sustain great relationships. You will only be able to reach your leadership potential when you really learn to make the effort to connect with other people. 

If you are going to connect and grow as a leader, you need to understand yourself and others better. Great leaders focus on other people needs and aspirations. When people know you care about them and understand them, it makes a lasting connection.

Before you can communicate with anybody, you need to care for them and empathize with them. Connection helps make that leap from being a good communication to a great one.

How do you connect with others?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Become the Kind of Person Others Want to Follow

“The key to becoming an effective leader is not to focus on making other people follow, but on making yourself the kind of person they want to follow. “ Lee Cockerell

Leadership is an expression of your heart and soul. To become a leader, you need to know your higher purpose and believe in it passionately.You can develop the qualities of authenticity, empathy, curiosity, developing others and explaining the big WHY. 
As a leader you need to be fully committed to nurturing the well-being and commanding the trust of the people around you

Only in the context of a meaningful relationship can people feel empowered and inspired to demonstrate their greatest potential.

Finding your authentic self

Leaders need to feel comfortable in their own skin. It begins with the ability to explore and share one’s life story by helping people understand how we all mesh together for a meaningful journey. You intentionally begin to discover your authentic self by connecting with who you really are. Authentic leaders are not power driven but meaning driven people.

They want to explore why they are here on this earth. They want to connect to their heart and understand how to elevate their soul to help other become the best they can be. Vulnerability and humility are trademarks of the authentic leader and create a positive, beautiful energy. Customers and employees want to help an authentic person to succeed.

Why empathy is more important than ever?

A leader who has walked a mile in their follower’s shoes is more likely to inspire loyal followers.

Leaders need to find a genuine balance between the ability to share their own stories and take the time to listen to the stories of others. Leaders need to understand the people around them and how to uplift the human connection. A great way to do that is by practicing empathy.

Empathy takes a lot of emotional effort because it’s not in our nature to live another person’s story. We really have to strip away from our own personal thoughts, assumptions and evaluations of the people around us. We have to really listen hard as though we are experiencing their pain.

Good leaders take the time to listen to, and connect with followers at all levels. They demonstrate they understand and empathize with followers' concerns, values, priorities, and aspirations.

Developing others will be a priority

Leaders are also investing in one of the most significant facets of leadership today-teaching. Teaching can be very rewarding experience as we continue to develop the capacities in others. With teaching, we are taking people to a mentoring journey that hones people’s potential.

When we teach, we make a difference with our hearts and minds. We are interested in other people’s growth and capacities. We have to be committed to nurturing and planting more seeds for the next generation of leaders.

Leadership legacy involves bringing out the best in your followers. We need to create an organizational culture in which the strengths and potential of each individual are valued and recognized.

Explaining the big WHY

Leaders need to develop the big WHY As the days of command and control are over, the vision and direction of a team would be about the ability of the leader to capture the big WHY in the hearts and minds of others. People rally behind a strong vision when they know WHY they doing what they doing.

Explaining the big WHY also creates a dynamic accountability within the organization. When people understand how their roles tie into the big vision, the more of a difference they can make on a daily basis. But when people fall short of that difference, we have a compelling WHY to help them understand and hold them accountable.

Developing curiosity

Leaders will need to develop a sense of on-going curiosity to help them bridge the gap between today and tomorrow ever- changing work force and innovation. Leaders need have to embrace the unknown by being curious as global changes happen rapidly almost every day.

As more and more people join from different cultures and backgrounds, the leader would have to connect and discover new ways to establish new connections and create a harmonious organization.

Leadership will require exploring and discovering new ways of leading and serving as a whole and not only within a local community. People have found ways to communicate and build communities of practice throughout the world by being curious.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The meaning of trust

“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trust is fundamental to our safety, autonomy, and self-worth as human beings. It’s the core foundation of every relationship we have. When we trust someone we feel safe to share our feelings, hopes and dreams. We feel we can talk about our concerns without any repercussions.

Where does trust comes from? Where does it begin?

Everyone has the need to trust someone. Even at birth we needed to feel the bond and trust of our mother holding us tightly to know she is there for us as the beginning of a trusting relationship.
We didn’t know anything about relationships but we were vulnerable to give trust to the people we love the most.

Trust comes from being vulnerable and open to others. Trust is not putting on a fa├žade to make us look better in front of others. Trust sometimes means being able to admit you didn’t understand. Trust means you are willing to say you didn’t do something right but you are willing to amend and do it right the next time.

When you are willing to be vulnerable and open, the more trust you will gain from others. Trust doesn’t mean you won’t face disagreements. Trust allows us to disagree and debate in a respectful manner

It allows us to test each other ideas and innovative ways of doing things.
When it comes to developing meaningful relationships and trust between people, it is made of many many interactions such as taking the time to listen to other people, to understand them and to see what is important to them

Trust takes empathy. It takes the ability and the courage to sit down and shut up. Let others speak to you from the bottom of their heart. Hear their concerns and follow through on it can create a better trusting relationships.

We have to make and keep the promises we make to them. We need to treat people with kindness and courtesy because that’s where trust begins to form between people. We must live out to our daily commitments.

Care is one of the most important elements of building lasting trust. When people believe you are only concerned with your interests and don’t consider other people interests, they will begin to limit their trust in you because you only care about yourself. On the other hand, if you are willing to place other people’s concerns and aspirations on the top of your agenda, you will be able to expand the trust with them for the long run.

As you can see trust consists of many human touches but at the core of every person there must be trust to move us forward to trusting relationships. We need to begin to search within ourselves the humility and openness to let other people see what we are made of.

People want to be trusted and they will respond to your actions of trust. Whatever the situation, we need to get better at establishing, extending and restoring trust as the most effective way of communicating and relating to others. The results will speak for themselves.

“None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.”  Paulo Coelho