By George Ambler
Those of you who are new to “The Practice of Leadership” this Manifesto briefly describes the key leadership ideas talked about in this blog. This manifesto is a work in progress which is updated once in a while. This is the second version of the manifesto.
The focus of this manifesto is on the practices of effective leaders, rather than focusing on leadership qualitiesof creativity, systems thinking, charisma, etc. These are some of the practices that leaders leverage to produce the outcomes of leadership:
- Leaders have vision. Leaders have a strong sense of direction and a clear point of view. Unless the leader knows where he is going, people will be hesitant to follow. Leaders are always looking towards the future, plotting the course to new land, leaders are modern explorers, always seeking new lands and striving for distant shores.
- Leaders create change. Leaders bring change and leaders challenge the status quo. Leaders initiate change, before there is an urgent need for change. If there is no need for change, there is no need for leadership! Leaders bring about change, they initiate, they innovate, they make things happen, they disturb the status quo!
- Leaders face reality. Leaders have the courage to face reality as it is, not as they imagine it to be. Leaders who fail to face reality as it is, delude themselves, they make change impossible and are doomed to fail. Leaders who face reality adapt their strategy and tactics to reflect reality. Leaders embrace reality and use it as a catalyst to accelerate change.
- Leaders are unique. Leaders are unique and original, they are not clones. They do not have a specific personality type, they do not all exhibit a specific leadership style and they do not all exhibit the same set of leadership traits or competencies. They are all different, they have their own peculiarities and they all have their own unique personality and style.
- Leaders set high standards. They set high standards for themselves and for those they lead. They set stretch goals that go beyond what is expected. They push the boundaries. they pioneer, they blaze new paths. They stretch our abilities, they stretch our thinking and they stretch our capabilities. Leaders we’re responsible to set the example and the example they set should inspire others to a higher standard.
- Leadership is a choice. Leadership does not just happen. Leadership is a choice we make to live our a vision and purpose every day. When we don’t intentionally chose to lead, we ultimately choose to follow. Leaders are not passive, they make proactive and intentional choices.
- Leaders are made and not born. Leaders know who they are, understand their unique purpose, strengths and skills. Leaders are made, that is they learn, grow and develop into great leaders through the books they read, the people they associate with and from their experiences. They use who they are to bring their vision into the present.
- Leaders set the example. Leading by example is the most powerful form of leadership. Leaders are constantly seeking to become the change that they want to see in the world. They set the example and show the way.
- Leaders incite conversation. Leaders are the custodians of an organisations conversation. The quality of the conversation can be directly correlated with the quality of the organisation’s leadership. Leaders make sure that the ideas that get talked about are the ones worth talking about, the ones that will make a difference.
- Leaders understand character matters. Character sets the foundation for leadership. Character establishes the necessary environment for trust. Without trust you cannot lead. Ability may get you there, but it is character that keeps you there! You cannot rise above the limits of your character. Behaviour is the expression of the leaders character.
- Leaders communicate continually. Communication is critical to effective leadership, however it’s often something we take for granted and not given the attention it deserves. Without effective communication you cannot lead… you end up talking a walk on your own. No communication, no leadership!
- Leaders take responsibility. Leaders don’t wait for permission or authority, before they take responsibility and act to make a difference. When a situation needs to be improved, leaders make the choice to take responsibility. The accept responsibility to face reality, to create vision, to be the example, to develop their character, to inspire, to develop others and for the results they achieve.
- Leaders invest in themselves. Leaders take care of their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical needs.
- Leaders are results focused. Leaders initiate and make things happen. Leaders are judged by their results. Failing to achieve positive results undermines a leaders influence and erodes trust. Leader focus on results and outcomes.
- Leaders inspire others. Leaders cannot achieve their visions alone. They inspire others to come alongside and participate in the journey. They lead in ways the inspire others to volunteer their talents and energy towards the achievement of the shared vision.
- Leaders leave a legacy. Success is what we do for ourselves whilst legacy is what we do for other. A leaders legacy is what they do for other and how they have invested in and developed others.
- Leaders build influence. Leaders achieve their vision through others, this requires influence. Leaders consciously build the influence required to execute on the vision.
Here are some outside publications, there are a number of publications you can sign up for. Some of my favorites:The Harvard Business Review‘s newsletter (free) The Business Insider’s “Instant MBA” newsletter (free) (you can sign up at the bottom of the page — really, the whole website is great for business advice) Inc.
magazine (probably about 1/3 of their content talks about leadership — see also Fast Company
) — some content available on the web but may be easiest to sign up for a subscription Ones I haven’t focused on, but may be helpful to you:
- Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office
- Great on the Job: What to Say, How to Say It. The Secrets of Getting Ahead.
- Basic Black
Read more: http://corporette.com/2011/07/14/how-to-become-a-leader/#ixzz1SHkGxZMi
by KAT on 06/28/2011
Reader R has a question that goes pretty well with our discussion of networking with older men — how to network with older women. Here’s the question: I’m a 24 year old summer clerk with a public defender’s office. I got the gig by networking through my friends; specifically, by getting to know their mothers and fathers who work in the legal field. Now, however, I’ve gotten to become friends with my friends’ parents and their colleagues, who are in their 40′s and 50′s. Do you have tips on navigating the waters of friendship with women who are quite literally old enough to be my mother? I’m frequently invited to lunches and happy hours with them and I always accept the offers and enjoy my time, but I’m curious as to what tone I should be striking. They always address me and treat me as a colleague, and I’m frequently told I act like I’m 30 (in a good way), but I want to keep fostering these friendships in an appropriate way.
It sounds to me like you’re doing a great job and don’t really need any advice! For my $.02, here are some thoughts:
- It’s probably a good idea to be clear with yourself about what your goal is — it’s to learn from these women, not to enjoy the mozzarella sticks at the bar. Your goal is to get on their radar as someone who they would recommend for a new hire, and possibly even consider you as a mentee.
- To that end: during this summer, try to listen more than you speak. The concerns these women face now will probably be struggles you’ll face in your own career at some point. Listen to the advice, and ask questions where you can.
- It’s fine to talk about yourself if you’re asked, but within limits. Don’t overstep by talking too much about yourself — not everyone at the gathering will be thrilled to hear the latest drama that occurred between your boyfriend, roommate, or mother, or your 5-minute take on the new restaurant or movie.
- Watch your table manners when you’re out, and don’t drink to excess. (And this is a minor note, primarily because I couldn’t think of anything else to use to illustrate the post, but it probably isn’t the best idea to order “young” drinks like Midori Sours if you’re out with older friends — if you can order what they’re having. Pictured: Midori Sour, originally uploaded to Flickr byNicole Lee.)
- Start building your contact files. This sounds a little creepy, but stick with me because I got this tip from some movie (which escapes me now), but if it’s from a movie it must be the proper way of business, right? In any event, what I’ve done — primarily with older people — was to keep written notes on our conversations. If they told me how they had gotten to where they were (a fairly typical question I’ve asked), I would briefly note the progression so I didn’t have to ask again the next time I met with him or her. It might look like this in my notes, which I would usually keep with their contact information:
from SmallTown, OH –> [Ivy League schools]–> worked as a ____ at [large nonprofit]–> [firm] –> inhouse for [large nonprofit]–> inhouse for [giant company]–> current position at [small nonprofit]
I’d also keep track of their partner’s name, as well as any children that they mentioned and a few facts about them (“just bought house upstate; recently into spelunking”).
- When you leave the internship, try to stay on their radar. With the example contact above, if I saw an interesting article that I didn’t think she’d have come across on spelunking, or something on one of the entities she had worked for, I would send it her way. Aim for one or two lunches or breakfasts a year to stay on their radar, as well — review your notes on them, see if there’s anything you want to ask them about that will further benefit your career (“So when you went from [firm] to [large nonprofit], how did that happen exactly? Who did you use for your references? Was it awkward to leave [firm]?”) as well as remembering the course of conversation (“so are you and X still spelunking upstate?”). Maybe I’m alone in that I have to keep track of things like this, but for friends you don’t see often it helps to have notes. Like I said, when I was younger this was primarily with older people who I only saw once or twice a year in a mentee capacity — now I keep notes on friends I haven’t seen in a long time, keeping track of what their partner’s name is; if they’re married, what date they were married; what their kid’s name is; when the kid was born, etc. (All of this was made easier by my Palm Pilot — I’m just recently upgrading to an Android phone, which is requiring some new contacts systems, but I’m sure I’ll get it sorted eventually.)
And I should probably note — to me this is just what a healthy networking relationship looks like (as opposed to one where you’re worried there’s some sex-related ulterior motive); there’s nothing specific here for older women.
Read more: http://corporette.com/#ixzz1QfFzYyTD
Well if I know the purposes for public speaking and how to plan ahead to answer the mental questions of my audience….what good is that if I crack under my nerves. Lucas shares his first step to prevent this…prepare, prepare, prepare. An interesting tidbit to this step is for
each minute of speaking time I need one to two hours of preparation time—perhaps more, depending on the amount of research needed for the speech.
My next discovery was that most nervousness is not visible! Lucas reassured me by sharing how only a fraction of the turmoil I am feeling inside is visible on the outside. So in other words….craziness on the inside, peace and tranquility on the outside!
Some other quick tips from Stephen Lucas to squash the jitters are:
A. As I am waiting to speak, quietly tighten and relax leg muscles or squeeze hand together and then release them. This will provide an outlets for extra adrenaline and reduce tension.
B. Take a couple of slow, deep breaths before I start to speak. Tense, short and shallow breaths = anxiety. Deep breathing =calm nerves
C. Work especially hard on my introduction. Research has shown that a speaker’s anxiety level begins to drop significantly after to the first 30 seconds…..This point also goes back to Nicholas Boothman’s statement of making a connection with my audience in 90 seconds or less. It’s a win-win; my anxiety lessens and my audience becomes captivated.
Step three: Don’t expect perfection! The same concept with nerves, slip-ups are usually not apparent to listeners because the audience does not know what I plan to say next; they only hear what I did say.
Remember: SPEECHMAKING IS NOT A KIND OF PERFORMANCE IT IS AN ACT OF COMMUNICATION.
But what kind of act of communication is Lucas speaking about? The act of communication that Lucas is speaking about is just plain ole’ conversation. Conversation has four main similarities to public speaking.
How many minutes and hours do I spend talking with others? Studies show that the average adult spends about 30% of their day in conversation. So that should make me a wonderful speaker then…right? By identifying the similarities between public speaking and conversation, I can have another perspective and source to calm my nerves when it comes time to step behind the podium.
1.Without thinking in conversation, I organized my thoughts logically.
2. I tailor my message to my audience (best friend, teacher, a child etc.)
3. I tell a story for maximum impact- Which means I don’t jump out of the gate with the punch line but I like to cultivate my story like a gardener cultivating their roses.
4. I can adapt to the listener feedback – Whenever I talk with someone, I am aware of that person’s verbal, facial, and physical reactions and am able to adjust my message accordingly.
An Aspiring Leader
Easier said than done, right? Here are some suggestions for making it happen.
1. Commit to writing for at least two hours every day. (Why? Because 1½ to 2 hours is the maximum that most of us can endure mentally and physically before needing a break.) So write for at least 90 minutes without getting up from your chair. Seriously. No breaks, no distractions, no getting everything else done first. And especially no e-mail and Facebook.
2. Write every day for two weeks. For most of us, that is enough to make it a habit. And I promise that if you do this, you’ll find out how much more productive you become as a writer. Try it.
3. What to do when you have holidays to observe and celebrate? Or when you are too ill to write? Or when you can’t possibly find even 90 minutes in your day to write? That is when you must write even 15 minutes each day. No matter how tired or busy or even sick you are, write 15 minutes each day. Here’s why this works:
- The hardest part of writing is getting started. We amateurs procrastinate minutes, hours, and days. (The pros – some of the best and most prolific writers – report procrastinating weeks and even years.) We’re afraid we won’t have anything to write. We’re afraid that what we write will be terrible. We’re afraid we’re not up to the real pain that good writing requires. For some of us, it’s only when the pain of what we would lose by not writing – fellowships, degree completion, book contracts, jobs – feels more real than the pain of actually writing that we even begin to write.
- If you make yourself write 15 minutes a day, you have overcome the biggest hurdle – getting started. I’ve never known anyone with the goal of writing 15 minutes a day actually limit writing to just that 15 minutes. Once you start, I promise you won’t watch the clock. You’ll write for 30, 60, even 90 minutes before you realize it. (The trick is that you tell yourself you only have to write for 15 minutes and that you can endure anything for that long. Once you start to write, the anxiety will begin to disappear and you’ll write longer.)
- Writing everyday contributes to continuity of your thinking and generating the ideas you need to write. Your mind will function differently when you write every day. We all think about our writing every day. But the cognitive processes involved in writing are different from those involved in thinking. Your project moves forward when you write… even if you write a gosh-awful first draft.” —Break Writers’ group, Columbia University (via writingadvice)