Where the (Soft Skills) Rubber Meets the Road

Now that we have A Practical Definition We Can Apply Right Away, let’s close this loop by looking at some practical action steps we can put in place to make sure our soft skills are yielding measurable results - just like we’d expect to see from developing new or better technical skills! Last time I tossed some stats from a study that showed what executives saw as the cause of most workplace failure as well as some number showing the cost of downtime due to poor communication. If only that were where it stopped…

In Leadership Gold, John Maxwell shared that “Some sources estimate that as many as 65% of people leaving companies do so because of their managers… The ‘company’ doesn’t do anything negative to them. People do. Sometimes coworkers cause the problems that prompt people to leave. But often the people who alienate employees are their direct supervisors.” I recently read an article from the American Management Association...

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My Way or the Highway!

We started down this path by looking at some Essential Qualities of Leadership, then we looked at just how critical Leadership in Management really is, and we’ve worked through several Qualities of a Bad Leader - which I believe provide us with great insight on what NOT to do! Let’s look at one final example to close the loop and tie this all together...

While each of the qualities of a bad leader that we’ve looked at to this point can certainly drive a wedge between someone with positional authority and the team they’re responsible for, there’s one thing that I’ve seen serve as that final proverbial nail in the coffin: the my way or the highway approach to basically anything and everything that needs to be done…

One of the tasks I was involved with frequently while I still worked in manufacturing was developing something called “Standardized Work Sheets” for various processes in the facility. Regardless of the name, it’s...

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Accountable for Results

Once we’ve been intentional about defining leadership development, our work should be done! Right?

Before you fall completely out of your chair, laughing at that ridiculous statement, I’ll challenge you to show anything of significance that’s truly that simple… If we want to achieve significant results, especially the tangible results that make a measurable impact on our organization’s bottom line, we’ll have to be sure to see it through - not just issue a statement and call it done…

For close to 15 years, I worked for a Human Resource Manager who was always very vocal about what he expected from me anytime I attended any type of class or conference. I was required to report back to him, and often the entire management team, showing I had learned and what steps I would be implementing in the process I led. I was also responsible for seeing this through and for showing a tangible return on the investment that had been made for me to attend...

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The Root of All Leadership

The Law of the Ladder is about growing your character to grow you. And says, character growth determines the height of your personal growth.

When you think of character what comes to mind? I (Cindy) think of honesty, integrity, accountability, being genuine, the same person on the inside as we are on the outside, doing the right thing, many thoughts come to mind when the topic of character comes up.

The development of character is so foundational to the success of every individual that Wes and I started our Emerging Leader Development course session one, module one, with character! For us, we would be failing individuals and organizations if we didn’t start this people development course with the very thing that makes up the foundation of the person.

What does character mean to you? How can character help you on your personal growth journey? Whatever it is for you it is important to remember character is a foundational component to who we are and how we show up for...

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The Top Trait Universally Valued By People

A study mentioned in the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth states, HONESTY is the top trait universally valued by people.  Good to know and not a real surprise! As we are leading ourselves and leading others we are always honest, right?  But how many times have you seen this and maybe it even happened to you: a stretch of the truth, a white lie, a version of truth, can hurt people and is not the truth. Of course, we have to stay away from any variance that is untrue and stay above board in all things.

The good news is our inside development is totally within our control. We will each face character choices determining not only our own growth but the value we can add to people. The right choices allow us to help people and not hurt them!  Plus, the growth within ourselves is priceless.

In a recent Leading at the Next Level lesson, I (Cindy) shared the Law of Solid Ground which says, trust is the foundation of leadership.  This particular lesson delved into What the...

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How Well Is Your System Working?

I remember learning the Law of Design which says, to maximize growth, develop strategies.  What a relief… I had strategies!  At the time, I had a system that allowed me to get two young children up each morning, safely delivered to school or childcare, as a single Mom and even get some form of exercise before they woke.  Granted, this was on days when no one was sick, had a bad night, or mornings when I faced a child who was attempting to be in charge of the house… and everything else for that matter. 

Life felt more like survival than a sense of thriving but at least I had a system, right?!  I didn’t say it was always pretty but it was always attempted and helped us have structure even on the tough days.  It wasn’t until I delegated responsibility to my children that we were able to create good habits and have a smoother transition each morning, not to mention more fun together!

The truth is…we all have a system. ...

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Maybe Not Slow, But Definitely Steady!

First off, let me apologize for the last post. I had no intention of pushing anyone to break any New Year’s resolutions so early on by sharing how little will power I have when it comes to greasy pizza. Judging by a few of the replies I received, I may have been a bit too graphic…

As I closed that post though, I referenced the old fable so many of us have heard about the tortoise and the hare. The hare gets a blazing start, runs way ahead of the tortoise, then decides there’s time for a nap since the tortoise is so far behind. The tortoise keeps moving, ever so slowly, and eventually passes the sleeping hare to win the race. It's a cute story for sure, but it’s not so cute when it matches our own behavior!

I’ll emphasize here again, I’m not knocking the importance of setting goals and working to press forward toward them. But if we give it all we have out of the gate, and the changes we’re attempting to make (like cutting out every bit of...

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All In, At Least For A Little While...

Picture this: so many times I’ve buckled down and cut nearly all the carbs out of my diet. No candies, very little bread, no macaroni & cheese or pasta… Basically nothing I enjoy except meat and cheese. As I write this, I have an image in my head of Buddy the Elf telling the fake Santa he smelled like beef and cheese. I knew a guy like that once; front lobby Bobby! He ate summer sausage and cheddar cheese every day for lunch and it oozed from his pores, but that has absolutely nothing to do with my point so I’ll get back on track…

With regards to changing my own eating habits, I even remember a time where the only things I ate after 5p was two cans of tuna with a splash of Italian dressing and some hot sauce. Over the course of 30 days or so, I dropped more than an inch off my waistline but I still struggle to even touch a can of tuna and that was nearly 15 years ago!

Regardless of the approach, going all in to cut carbs and trim down was always a chore...

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Our Attitude and Our Action

In the last post, I referenced what I’ve always heard as the only two things we can control; our attitude and our action. That ties right in with something we looked at in this series a few months back regarding what I heard a mentor of ours call The Cycle of Success. He said, “Our beliefs drive our thoughts. Our thoughts produce our feelings. Our feelings are seen through our actions. Our actions yield results. And those results reinforce our beliefs.” 

So here’s the thing… If we neglect taking complete responsibility for controlling our attitude and our actions, we can’t expect to have any real say in where that success cycle leads us! When we do make a decision to take control of that cycle, then we back that decision with action, we’ll see that cycle have a compounding effect! Understand though, it won’t be an easy path to follow. Remember John Maxwell’s quote I shared before, “Everything worthwhile is...

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Are You Willing to Pay the Price, Again?

Through the last several blogs, we’ve taken a look at some of the things we need to be prepared to do as leaders in order to develop and empower our team members to reach their full potential and help us carry the load as our organizations grow. That requires a significant degree of trust, confidence, patience, and investment on our part. Before I share something with you that John Maxwell and Mark Cole challenged me to consider recently, there’s one quick thing I’d like to call your attention to…

On Friday, October 9, we get to host the first ever live, virtual LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg experience! In addition to the world class content from John, Steve Harvey, Kat Cole, Alan Mulally, and Craig Groeschel, there’s a TON of bonuses. This includes a full 72 hours to access the 2020 content, access to content from all of the 2019 Live2Lead speakers, a lesson that Cindy and I are building just for this year’s event, and complimentary access to one of...

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