Tilting at Windmills Many of our “enemies” are illusions–specters of past traumas or the product of misguided beliefs. We allow old narratives to play out again and again, unquestioned. We simply draw our swords and start swinging, just as Don Quixote does in Miguel de Cervantes’ novel. That’s where the term “tilting at windmills” originated. [...]
Category: Just Ask Leadership
Your leadership and management skills can be dramatically improved by taking a page out of the motorcycling playbook. This past weekend I took a training course in how to drive a motorcycle from Rider Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota. To say I stretched myself would be an understatement. I was left fatigued at the end of each 9 hour day. [...]
Rethinking Leadership Infographic was developed by Sammi Cohen. To develop your own infographic, reach out to Sammi Cohen. Rethinking Leadership In working with leaders, I have found asking questions is a sorely undervalued technique. Many equate asking questions with losing power, looking like a fool, or admitting defeat. Some believe that asking questions will simply waste [...]
Animation has given us more than great entertainment; it has given us remarkable leadership lessons. In Toy Story we are given a surprising leadership lesson by Slinky Dog. Slinky Dog is the head, feet, and tail end of a dog with the body made of Slinky. Imagine for a moment that you as the leader [...]
Focusing, by definition, will narrow your field of vision. That’s great…if you are on the right path. Not so great if you and your team are trying to solve the wrong problem. How do you and your team keep yourself open not only to new solutions, but also to new problems?
Focus I am an avid photographer, and when taking pictures I am focused on focus. Without focus, the shot is a bust. What do I want in focus? and What do I want out of focus? are questions I ask. A wide aperture provides minimal depth of field (only a small portion of what is in the [...]
The Entrepreneurial Guide to Success Joe Powers is the owner of the Canadian Honker, an unassuming “comfort food” restaurant in Rochester, MN. The restaurant is located directly across the street from St. Marys Hospital, part of the world famous Mayo Clinic. Heads of state, Fortune 100 executives, and media personalities are routinely cared for at [...]
One of the most used habits of successful leaders is asking questions. And the exceptional leaders know what questions to ask and when to ask them.
Becoming a Leader: Challenge #11–Focus A FranklinCovey study on goals revealed the following: 1. If you have 2-3 primary goals, you will most likely accomplish 2-3 of them. 2. If you have 3-10 primary goals, you will most likely accomplish 1 or 2 of them. 3. If you have more than 10 primary goals, you [...]
Becoming a Leader: Challenge #10–Get 360° Feedback We have touched on using criticism to the best of your ability and improving your reaction to criticism. Sometimes it’s important to seek out criticism–and not just from the same old sources. If you’re serious about improving your self-awareness and Emotional Intelligence, get a 360. 360° feedback allows [...]
Becoming a Leader: Challenge #9–Learn From Criticism You can’t learn from criticism, and you’re not likely to receive constructive criticism from colleagues in the future, if you react defensively. When you’re criticized, don’t return fire immediately. Use your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) to remain calm and try to understand both the criticizer’s position and emotions. Here [...]
Becoming a Leader: Challenge #8–Encourage Dissent During a period in the late 1990′s, Korean Air had more plane crashes than any other airline in the world. Yet, their pilots (and co-pilots) were impeccably trained. So, why the rash of crashes? Ultimately it was determined that a culture that didn’t honor dissent, but rather honored a rigid hierarchical [...]
Becoming a Leader: Challenge #7–Engage Your Audience Words often stand alone. But words are usually more compelling when they’re spoken aloud and accompanied by something that engages the audience visually–whether it be graphs, pictures, or simply hand gestures and physical expressions. The words of Dr. Martin Luther King in his “I have a dream” speech, [...]