5 for Leadership (2/28/15)


Here is a fresh 5 for this final day in February. The topics include forgotten women leaders in history, how to collaborate, leadership legacy, questioning leadership and ways you might be sabotaging your leadership. Be challenged.

50 Years After I’m Gone  Just this past week I had the privilege of hearing D.A.Horton speak. He is fiery, grounded, biblical leader and communicator. I also was able to meet him personally and interact briefly. I was also struck by his humility and sensitivity. I think he is a rising leader worth getting to know. This post is from his blog and written back in December. It provides a good window into his heart on leadership and what he hopes to accomplish.

3 Lessons on How to Promote Successful Collaborations  “One of the benefits I garner through my work are opportunities to collaborate with different groups and individuals. Through these collaborations, I not only get the chance to learn and understand different perspectives, but to discover new ways to work with people who have different approaches to guide things forward.” Tanveer Nasser, whom I have highlighted several times before, provides some great insight to collaborative work. This is essential in the 21st century for every leader.

The Most Amazing Female Leaders That History Books Forgot  This is a really cool infographic from the Linked2Leadership blog. There are 10 women portrayed who have had great influence–that you might not know about.

5 Questions Leaders Should Ask Themselves  “Leadership isn’t without pitfalls. We can easily find ourselves in compromising situations or making bad decisions. This happens when we stop asking ourselves vital questions. Questions that look deep into our motives and propel us in the proper direction. When leaders ask questions of themselves, they’re able to look within. And every leader could use a little more of this introspection.” These 5 questions give us a good daily diagnostic on our leadership lives–from Joseph Lalonde.

10 Belief Triggers That Sabotage Success  “Some of our inner beliefs can trigger failure before it happens. They sabotage change by cancelling its possibility! Discover how to recognize these sabotaging beliefs and learn what you can do about them.” This coms from Marshall Goldsmith on his personal blog.

There are the 5 for this final week of February. Here’s to hoping that we are about done with snow and cold weather. May March bring the colors of spring.

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5 for Leadership (2/21/15)


In this installment of 5 for Leadership there are posts on leadership and money, the “Don’ts” of success, developing young leaders, life management, and an every day, real life character test. There is something here for you. Take a look at one or more of these fresh posts.

8 Things Successful People DO NOT DO Every Day  “If you get decent value from making to-do lists, you’ll get huge returns — in productivity, in improved relationships, and in personal well-being — from adding these items to your not to-do list.” I recently highlighted Jeff Haden and believe that this is another practical and helpful post.

Angel Investors: How Religion Changes Our Perspective on Money in Surprising Ways  “I had never met a leper before. But here I was surrounded by several of them at Nirmal Hriday, or “Home of the Pure Heart.” It’s also known as Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying & Destitute in Kolkata, India. Established in 1952, it is a small hospice for thousands of poor people who are found languishing in the streets. Someone dies there almost every day.” Kabir Sehgal provides us with a fascinating view of religion and money. This will help shape your leadership philosophy.

How A Young Leader Develops As A Leader  “I am a young leader. The kind that desires to not only improve my own leadership capacity, but one day grow into a great leader in a great position. I recognize that I have a long way to go in developing my own leadership skills, and I recognize that I have plenty to learn about leadership in general.” This is a guest post by Tyler Crosson on Ron Edmondson’s blog. Tyler’s 7 questions of learning are worth the read.

Turning Time Management Into Life Management  “The concept of time management is outdated. You can’t manage time. You can manage life. Often, the ambitiousness of our plans does not result in equally laudable accomplishments.” This is a very insightful post from the Lead Change Group blog. I love the perspective that Vasiliy Smetanin provides in discerning the difference between these two styles of stewardship.

9 Little Character Tests That Tell You Way Too Much About Yourself  “Sometimes progress in life can be tough to measure. You might feel stuck right now. Or just the opposite—you might feel like you’re making incredible progress. But are you?  How would you know?” This is insightful and you will be challenged–from Carey Nieuwhof on his blog.

There are the 5 for this week. Be inspired.

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Leadership Is About Removing Obstacles


Last week was a rich time of learning as I participated in a Doctor of Ministry intensive. One or our professors for the week was Dr. Jason Carthen (check out his web site). He introduced us to the Path-Goal Theory of Leadership.This theory was popularized by R. J. House and T. R. Mitchell. This is not a new concept, but it was new to me. As he described the role of the leader according to this theory I came to realize another aspect of servant leadership that is critical.

While the Path-Goal Theory is not exact, it often includes three basic steps: determine the employee and environmental characteristics, select a leadership style, and focus on motivational factors that will help the employee succeed.

One practical application of the Path-Goal Theory is the removal of obstacles by the leader that might stand in the way of any follower. This is a crucial role for any leader to play. If a leader truly sees that one of his or her primary functions is to raise up more leaders, then this aspect of the Path-Goal Theory should be a daily mandate.

But how does one practically go about removing the obstacles of followers, and thus empowering them to become potentially great leaders. I think there are three specific steps each leader can take.

1. Through Greater Personal Development  As a leader we can first seek to remove obstacles by providing great personal development. This usually begins with a 360 review process that will lead to a personal development plan. Every emerging leader needs this type of feedback rich environment to ensure their ongoing development. The personal development plan needs to be specific, largely focused on a a person’s strengths, and with specific measurable goals. It should also be accompanied by some monetary investment towards outside training programs that will add to the emerging leader’s skill development.

2. Through Providing Adequate Resources  Another key way to remove obstacles from your emerging leader’s path is by providing adequate resources in fulfilling their assigned responsibilities. A leader is in the unique position of steward. A leader needs to constantly think about what their followers need to get the job done. Those resources might include funding, tools or more people for their teams. Don’t ever forget that the most important resource you may provide on a daily basis is hope. Emerging leaders need a variety of resources to succeed and grow. Be sure that they have them.

3. Through Acting As A Sponsor For Those You Lead  A final way in which a leader can help remove obstacles from the path of an emerging leader is by providing sponsorship. Every emerging leader will one day need a good word provided on their behalf. This may be a word to a senior leader. This may be a word to a potential partner. This may be even a word on behalf of the emerging leader to that leader’s team. Sponsorship is an asset and a blessing that every established leader can gift to an up and coming leader. I guarantee you had someone act on your behalf somewhere along the way.

The Path-Goal Theory is about helping those that follow you, and have the potential to be good leaders themselves, by removing the obstacles that stand in their way from becoming truly great leaders.

Who do you have your sites set upon? What obstacles can you identify that are standing in their way of success? What are you going to do about it?

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5 for Leadership (2/14/15)

3915604902_f66d2bf6e1Here is a fresh 5 for your Valentine’s Day. We have posts on Tim Tebow, leadership inquiry, leadership truths, leadership trust, and happy habits. Take some time and become more informed as a leader.

Trust & Leadership  “The key to a leader’s success is the relationship they develop with their constituents. This relationship is always based on trust. Without a deep sense of trust, a leader cannot have any relationship with constituents.” This comes from Will Lukang on the Lead Change Group blog.

7 Inquiry Methods You Must Master  “For most adults, inquiry is a route to information. For teenagers, questions are a rhetorical way to emphasize their point. For toddlers, questions serve to drive their parents batty. There’s also a more nuanced role for questions.” This provides an interesting paradigm for influence–from David Fields. Take a look.

Did You Learn These 9 Critical Leadership Truths?  “As I was visiting my children’s school*, I was struck by 9 critical leadership truths that were being promoted. What impacted me was the fact that as a leadership coach and consultant, I am often talking about these very same qualities and skills with my ‘adult’ clients.” This comes from Andrew Bryant and was found on Linkedin Pulse.

7 Essential Habits of Happier People (How Many Do You Possess?)  “Happiness: everyone wants it, yet relatively few seem to get enough of it, especially those in their early forties. (That’s about the time many of us start thinking, ‘Is this all there is’)” Jeff Haden offers some worthy reflection–this too coming from Linkedin Pulse.

Out of the NFL, Tebow Builds His Lasting Legacy  “The incredible fourth quarter finale to this year’s Super Bowl, complete with a bobbling catch and unlikely interception, made me wonder what’s become of a Christian brother with a knack for fourth quarter heroics: Tim Tebow.” Here is a leader who continues to make a difference in the lives of others.

There are the 5 for this week. Read more than one of these posts and consider.

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5 for Leadership (2/7/15)

4337593410_634b07caf2This week, 5 for Leadership covers some broad ground concerning leadership topics. We have posts on hidden leaders, the topic of trust in leadership, questioning leadership, pastoral leadership, and the topic of racism. Take a few minutes and consider!

4 Keys to Finding Hidden Leaders in Your Organization  “. . . ‘hidden leaders are those people in your organization who share the belief that what they do matters.’ And they are all around us.” There are four key indentifiers to discovering your hidden leaders. Take a look at this timely post on the Leading Blog.

How Do You Answer These “Open Leadership” Questions?  “Open Leadership author Charlene Li reminds leaders to periodically ask themselves these ‘open leadership skills assessment’ questions.” Here are seven questions that must be asked and answered regularly.

To Trust Means To Be Careless  “There are numerous resources stating what trust is and what trust isn’t. There are countless articles, illustrations and books with all kinds of defintions. So I decided to embark on my own search for the meaning of the word trust.” Lolly Daskal writes a great piece on the very nature of trust in leadership.

7 Suggestions for Pastors and Pastor Spouses to Find True Friends  Ron Edmondson shares  seven very practical insights for all those who lead in the ministry in facing the challenge of finding and staying in community. You will want to take a look at this post if you lead in the ministry space.

The Biblical Root of Racism  There are times as leaders when we need to challenge our own perspectives on a variety of topics. This post by my friend Dirke Johnson will do just. “Racist! Few labels are hurled in today’s rhetoric that packs such a combative punch. The knee-jerk reaction to the charge of racism is immediate denial. No one wants to admit to racism. It has become viewed as one of society’s most evil sins. And for this reason I have found it counterproductive to ever use the word as a label, even if it might be true.”

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3 Valuable Results for the Self-Aware Leader

medium_8557948783Self-awareness is critical to self-leadership.

And self-leadership only becomes more important the longer you lead.

Awareness is the knowledge that something exists within you and around you.

Your leadership presence carries weight wherever you go.

But are you knowledgable of what is inside of you and of how what is inside of you affects all who are around you? This applied knowledge is self-awareness.

Leaders who are rightly self-aware can expect three valuable results.

1. To Do No Harm.  Self-aware leaders are cognizant of their dark side. Every leader has selfish tendencies. Every leader has the potential to hurt, manipulate, and deceive those they lead. Every leader has elements of insecurity that might show up in the form of blaming, domination, or control. Even leaders who get results sometimes do so at the expense of those they lead. Often, leaders like this cause great destruction and do so blindly. But self-aware leaders have the potential to keep these tendencies in check and tell a different leadership story.

2. To Make Their Best Contribution.  Self-aware leaders know who they are and who they are not. They know their talents, gifts, and abilities. They work hard to see these talents become true strengths that will benefit others. They are also keenly aware of the things they don’t possess. They understand where they need to lean on others. There is no such thing as an omni-competent leader. And by being knowledgable in this way they are able to make their best and most significant contribution. They can focus their leadership towards greatest impact and service.

3. To Rejoice In The Contribution Of Others.  Self-aware leaders understand their limitations in such a profound way that they can value what others bring to the table. They understand that there is no sustainable impact apart from the contribution of others. Leadership by definition is a team sport. One person alone rarely makes a mark. But complimentary pieces, valued equally, and led well, can lead to a greatly leveraged accomplishment. The leader who can see their own worth and the worthy contribution of others will rejoice in what they can do together.

How does one become self-aware? There are two crucial attitudes and one important quest. The attitudes lay the foundation for action. First is an attitude of humility. Second is an attitude of teachability. The humble leader is able to acknowledge that they do not know it all. They don’t think less of themselves, they simply think about themselves less. The teachable leader is able to receive honest feedback. The teachable leader seeks out honest feedback. The humble and teachable leader has a growing ability to see themselves accurately and can live in that knowledge to the service of others. The quest is one of looking backwards to see where your journey to this point has added or subtracted from the leader you are today. We all have various aspects of family, life experiences, loss, and wounds that play into how we lead. We have those who believed in us and those who shamed us. Our leadership life map is an important aid in becoming more self-aware.

True self-awareness requires an inner strength of character, a change of heart. Are you becoming increasingly self-aware? Are you experiencing the results listed above?

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5 for Leadership (1/31/15)

medium_12334085603Here is a fresh 5 for Leadership for the final day in January. The topics include approachable leadership, passive leaders, active leaders, personal leadership vision, best jobs for your personality, and the prayerful leader. Take a few minutes and refresh your leadership.

The Best Jobs for All 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Type in One Infographic  “I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of personality and career. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test is a widely known tool used in the business arena for helping you find the “right” career.” See what else Paul Sohn has to say.

How To Turn Passive Followers Into Active Leaders  “You aren’t worthy of leadership if fear of giving control controls you. Successful leaders move away from ‘permission mode.’” Dan Rockwell does a great job distinguishing between permission and intention when you lead.

10 Ways To Become An Approachable Leader  “We’ve all been subject to the leader who wasn’t approachable. And that made our jobs miserable. That’s why we’ve got to be aware of what makes a leader approachable. We’ve also got to implement the actions of approachable leaders.” Joseph Lalonde provides some sound wisdom and actionable steps for becoming more approachable.

Guidelines To Create A Compelling Vision  “A compelling vision helps you make choices about where to focus your energy. Without vision, you are in danger of trying to be all things to all people, scattered or adrift.”

Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going, and what will guide the journey.

“Who you are is your purpose. Where you’re going is your picture of the future. What will guide your journey are your values.” Jesse Lyn Stoner always writes compelling material to grow your leadership.

8 Lessons From The School Of Prayer  Spiritual leaders should also being praying leaders. D. A. Carson speaks poignantly to this necessary dialogue. “Throughout my spiritual pilgrimage, two sources have largely shaped, and continue to shape, my own prayer life: the Scriptures and more mature Christians. The less authoritative of these two has been the advice, wisdom, and example of senior saints. I confess I am not a very good student in the school of prayer. Still, devoting [space] to their advice and values may be worthwhile before I turn to the more important and more authoritative of the two sources that have taught me to pray.”

There are the 5 for this week. Pass it on.

5 for Leadership (1/24/15)

medium_2115303614Here is a new 5 for Leadership with some excellent posts on MLK, Winston Churchill, leadership priorities, simple leadership and the future of leadership. There is something here that will enhance your leadership . . . I promise.

3 Leadership Lessons from Winston Churchill  “This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death. We might draw many lessons from Churchill’s life, and not all of them salutary (his views on religion, women, and alcohol come to mind). Nevertheless, Churchill was an inspiring and effective leader in a time of crisis, and it is appropriate to consider what he might teach us today about leadership.”  This comes from Gavin Ortlund and contains some great insights and foundational principles for leadership.

What Are Your Leadership Priorities? 5 Areas to Target  “During a recent 360 feedback interview, the client I was working with said something that caught my attention. I’ve been thinking of it since then, and it’s having an impact on what I am identifying as my priorities and targeted behaviors for this year. My client said there are five things you can never be too good at and always need to develop.” This is from Linda Miller on the Blanchard Leader Chat site.

Simple Leadership  “If you are anything like me, the never-ending books, articles, biographies, and latest best practices of leadership are both overwhelming in their volume and confusing in their analysis. So allow me to cut through the unnecessary esoteric complexity of today’s often convoluted approaches to leadership and share a profoundly simple yet powerful system for effective leadership. There are six essential skills of simple leadership.” This is by John Barney on the Business Timezone Blog.

Imagining the Future of Leadership  Linda Fisher Thornton participated recently in the #LeadWithGiants Tweetchat. Here is her lead in: “During the Tweetchat, inspiring global voices weighed in on big questions, including these:

  • What will the future of leadership be like?
  • What is the best case scenario for the future of leadership?
  • How will we individually and collectively reach that best case scenario?”

MLK and Jesus: No Romanticized Kings  “Next to Jesus and the Apostle Paul, no leader has influenced me like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life and legacy we honor annually during this time of year.” Natasha Sistrunk Robinson shares a striking post in honor of MLK Day from her blog, A Sista’s Journey.

There are the 5 for this week. I hope your 2015 is off to a great start. Lead well.

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5 for Leadership (1/17/15)

medium_7419220612This week’s 5 for Leadership includes posts on an important movie for leadership, a collegiate quarterback on leadership, empowering leadership, future leadership, and women in leadership. Take a few minutes and grow your leadership.

What Marcus Mariota Teaches Us About Success  “But how do people like Mariota become so successful? Are there certain characteristics these people share that set them apart?? See what Michael Lee Stallard has to say about the outstanding quarterback of the Oregon Ducks.

Let Your Leaders Lead  ‘If you want a great culture in which leaders are excited, then do six simple things.” This is a guest post on Ron Edmondson’s blog by Tim Stevens. This is an important piece on empowerment and raising up more leaders.

2015 Leadership Predictions: 7 Big Changes Every Leader Wants to Know About  “Every leader knows the importance of being strategic.  Being strategic means looking into the future and identifying trends, opportunities and threats.” See what Dense Corcoran has to say as she peers into the future of leadership.

Women In Leadership Is Not A Zero-Sum Game  “When it comes to discussions on the state of today’s leadership, one topic that understandably comes up is the issue of women in leadership. Specifically, why there continues to be so few women holding senior-level leadership positions in both the private and public sectors.” This is really two posts in one. Tanveer Naseer rekindles the need we have to value women in leadership. Chelsea Berler shares her great learning in being a woman CEO of her own marketing firm. This is a great read.

‘Selma': American History, Raw and Honest  Leaders need to be aware of current events as well as historical realities to lead well. Jason Collins provides some great insight through this post on the current movie Selma. Hope should always be a valued currency in the expression of leadership.

There are the 5 for this week. Prepare for next week by reading a few of the posts featured here.

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5 for Leadership (1/10/15)

medium_2411807740Here is the first new 5 for Leadership for 2015. There are posts on busyness, mindfulness, integrity, having digital influence, and trust building. There is something here for you!

On Leadership and the Integrity Test  “All of us, at one time or another, have been asked to do something that made us pause for a moment before proceeding.” This comes from Eleanor Biddulph on the Linked2Leadership blog and serves as a good heart and head check about this most important trait.

Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain  “The business world is abuzz with mindfulness. But perhaps you haven’t heard that the hype is backed by hard science. Recent research provides strong evidence that practicing non-judgmental, present-moment awareness (a.k.a. mindfulness) changes the brain, and it does so in ways that anyone working in today’s complex business environment, and certainly every leader, should know about.” This comes from the HBR blog and provides more motivation for mindfulness and emotional intelligence.

30 Influencers Behind The Brands We Love  “These influencers are people that work daily on strategy and execution for their brands; the study looks past lists and rankings and strives to view the influencers behind their brands as real human beings.” Here is a fascinating look at digital brand influence . . . and maybe some key people to follow on your Twitter account.

3 Ways Leaders Build Trust  “Effective leaders know that there’s a lot to be gained (and learned) from listening, but they don’t always have the time to “go there.” Three questions make it easier to build trust at work.” This comes from someone new to me . . . Jason Womack. This post offers some very practical, instantly applicable advice.

4 Ways to Win the Battle Against Busyness  “I’m a busy person. I interact with busy people all the time. Chances are, you’re a busy person (which is why you’re not even reading this introduction . . . you’re already skimming my four points below). Busyness is in the air. Not many of us like it, but few of us have managed to escape it.” J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in North Carolina, provides us with some quality advice and biblical perspective on dealing with this common enemy.

There are the 5 for this week. Enrich your leadership life by looking at more than one of these great posts.

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