Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Key To Leadership Likeability: Help Out!

napoleon hill help others succeedLeadership Likeability is simply, “Doing something good for someone that helps in someway.” 

Leadership Likeability isn’t about how you can get your team to like you; it’s about how you can influence your team to help each other and others outside of your team. 

When one of your team needs help, do you want another member of the team stopping to decide what’s in it for them before they lend a hand? Of course not.  That’s why it’s up to you to set the example of helping others, even if it doesn’t appear that it will benefit you.     

“Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.” – Edmund Burke

Why is helping others important for your team?

It’s the right thing to do. We have all benefited from someone else’s help at some time in our lives.

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”  – Mohammad Ali

It isn’t as hard as it seems. Helping others is really nothing more than small things done consistently.  

“Great opportunities to help seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.” – Sally Koch

It has great personal rewards. If you want to be a successful leader with a successful team, than helping others is the way to get there.

Brian Tracy says “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.  Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’” Here is how that works according to Tracy, “The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.”


How to be a Likeable Leader

Likeable - Dale Carnegie making friendsThey key to being a likable leader is to achieve both the “What” and the “How.”

What – People will like you for achieving success for the company (or team) and the individual.

How – People will like you for setting the strategy for the company to succeed and providing opportunities for the individual to succeed.

What does a likeable leader do?

Success for the company (or team).  How do you define success for your company or team? It’s about the results:  Sales, Profits, Stabilization of the Community, Growth, Returns, Market-Share…There are many ways to say it, but in the end success for a company is measured by achieving the results that the industry demands.  It’s hard to be a likeable leader if you can’t provide a source of income for the people in your company or on your team.

Effective leadership is not just about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results.” – Peter Drucker

Success for the individual.  What about the people that make up any company.  Their company or team is doing well, is that enough?  The answer is no.  By achieving success for the company or team you have provided stability and also a sense of pride in the group.  But people are more than just members of a team, they are individuals and individuals have their own dreams and desires.  Do you know what the individual dreams and desires are of the people in your company or on your team?  If not, how can you hope to help them fulfill that need?

“All successful people are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.” – Brian Tracy

How does a likeable leader do it?

Strategy for the company (or team).  The leaders job is to decide on the goals that once achieved will bring success.  And just as important, the leader picks the path that the whole company or team will take to achieve its goals (including where not to go). No company or team can hope to achieve long term success without a winning strategy. 

“Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different…The company without a strategy is willing to try anything.” – Michael Porter

Opportunity for the individual.  Leaders must always keep in mind that a company or team is made up of individuals.  Your goals and plans may be strategic and energizing, but Monday morning comes and each person in your in your company or on your team has to know what they can do to help achieve the goals while bettering themselves. A company’s or team’s success is the sum of the individual’s successes.

“All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” – Albert Einstein

Finally, here are a few daily exercises for the likeable leader:

Lighten up your approach

“If you look back on all the teachers that you liked, I am sure you will find they were very entertaining.” – Bill Nye

Look up and see others

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”  – Dale Carnegie

Lift up other people

 “Basically, likeability comes down to creating positive emotional experiences in others. When you make others feel good, they tend to gravitate to you.”  – Tim Sanders


The Four Obstacles to Change

obstacles - Michael JordanAs a leader you will experience obstacles that may cause you to veer off your vision unless you have plans to move around them or through them.

The obstacles you will face as a leader are not physical impediments, but the responses of some of the people around you whose lives are being changed. If you pay attention you will see the obstacles coming and be able to take action to avoid running into them or being stopped by them.

According to Dr. James Belasco, “Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have—and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.” Large changes, like moving from where your team is now to where your vision will take them, require giving up a lot. Remain calm when people challenge your vision. Recognize that it isn’t personal; it is a natural response to change.

There are four obstacles that emerge in an attempt to stop or slow down change in the people’s response to change. Your particular plan for continued success will differ slightly for each of these four responses but your theme will remain the same: focus on your vision. Automobile industry pioneer Henry Ford had this same idea in mind when he said, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

The first response to change is fear of failure. In this response, there will be doubt cast over the possibility that your vision will work. Comments will be made about your vision and your ability to deliver your vision. You can recognize this response by comments such as “This has been tried before and it didn’t work,” or “He has never led a group this large, I am not sure he can do this.”

When this response occurs, don’t spend your time debating when comments are made; instead invest your time achieving your quick wins, one at a time. There is no better way to remove doubt or fear than through the observation of success.

The second response to change is forced failure. In this response, there will be action taken to impede any progress on your vision and derail the train of success you have set in motion. This response can come in the form of intentionally missed or incorrectly completed assignments. You may also see that one or more people will refuse to agree on the next steps, but instead will want to debate the solution endlessly.

Take each person responding in this way aside and discuss their response one-on-one. Acknowledge and validate their fear of the change that is occurring, and reassure them that your vision will create success for everyone, including them. Finish the conversation by reaffirming your commitment to your vision with a promise to not let their actions interfere with the success of the rest of the team. Once your team knows that you are committed to their success, they will commit to your vision.

The third response to change is false friendship. In this response, your attention will be drawn to other activities in an attempt to take the focus away from your vision. Statements that start with “Let me tell you as a friend” or “No one can do this as you can” are frequently meant to divert your efforts to areas away from your vision.

Your time is limited and should be invested in achieving the purpose and vision of your team. If the suggestion or request does not bring you closer to success, return your focus to your vision and proceed. Don’t let flattery cause you to forget your focus.

The fourth and final response to change is false facts. In this response, your intentions will be challenged through statements that misrepresent the truth in order to convince others not to follow your vision. For your vision to be successful, your team must believe in your intentions. Your team will turn to you for an answer to these claims.

Do not argue or spend time trying to prevent these challenges from occurring. Instead admonish the challenger and demonstrate your intentions by recounting the success of the team and moving forward to further success. The proof of your character comes through in the lives of those on whom you have an impact.

Leadership is Transformation

transformation-is-not-a-future-event-it-is-a-present-activityThe ultimate goal for every leader should be transformation.  Long term success requires continuous transformation for every company, team, and individual.  No company, team or individual can just stand still and succeed.  So if you want to transform a company you do it through its teams.  If you want to transform teams you do it through its individuals.  Therefore, all transformation is achieved through individuals.

Successful leaders know that you don’t try to transform people into what you want them to be.  You can only equip and empower people to transform into everything they can be – and only if they want to. After all, “A caterpillar only becomes a butterfly if it wants to fly so much that it is willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

Here are three key points about transformation that each individual must learn to succeed:

Transformation is possible  You may not be satisfied with your job, accomplishments, or the impact you have had on the world – so do something.  If you don’t like where you are then change, you are not a tree. You have the power to change where you are, or change right where you are. 

You decide where you plant your roots. One option for transformation is to change locations.  Get a new start.  There are opportunities all around you.  However, before you decide to pack up and leave consider that you are where you are right now in part because of you past actions.  Will you find yourself unsatisfied somewhere else?  As yourself if you have bloomed to your fullest potential right where you are?  John Maxwell has a great quote that says, “If you think the grass is greener on the other side then water your own lawn.”

Transformation takes planning  If only I could…says those that don’t.  What would you like to transform into?  Nothing happens overnight except the sunset and the sunrise.  Wherever you would like to be one year from now will take you 365 days to get there.  What is your plan for tomorrow to get you one step closer to your transformation?

Success is more about momentum around small wins than it is about big wins.” – Tom Peters

Transformation means change  Obtaining more than you have right now will require change.  Now that change could come from other people, your circumstances, your opportunities, or from you.  Of all of those possible changes, the only one you can control is you.  So while the world around you might change to meet your desires I wouldn’t suggest you count on that happening.  You will get what you seek quicker if you change first to at least meet the world halfway

Remember the wise words of Jones from Andy Andrews’ book The Noticer Returns, If you want to make a difference you have to be different.”


Sacrifice: Another word for Teamwork

individuals sacrifice so that teams win championshipsFootball playoff season is here.  I love the playoffs.  Only the best teams remain; the ones that made the sacrifice to earn their place in football history by making the playoffs.  Teams that made it this far are already a success in my book.  These players sacrificed their time, energy, focus, knowledge and skill so the team could reach this pinnacle of their sport. 

Every player chose to give of themselves to reach this goal.  They focused understanding their role on the team and executed that flawlessly.

Women’s soccer great Mia Hamm defined teamwork like this, “I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.”

All teams, whether in sports or business, rely on teamwork to succeed.  And teamwork only works when the members of the team are willing to sacrifice for each other’s succees, and for the success of the team.

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problem of modern society.” – Vince Lombardi


Is there an “I” in Team?

there is a me in teamI once heard a story of a coach giving a beginning of the year pep talk to his young baseball players.  Trying to stress the importance of teamwork he said, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” After practice one player approached the coach and asked innocently, “Coach, my English teacher taught us that ‘I’ and ‘Me’ mean the same thing, there just used in different ways.  It wouldn’t be correct to say ‘Me is on the team’, the proper sentence would be ‘I am on the team.’ So there is an ‘I’ in team, and it’s me” 

This young baseball player may have misunderstood the coach’s initial statement.  However, he was exactly correct in his understanding of teamwork – its success is dependent on the individual success of each “Me.”

Teamwork does not discount the individual, it relies on their unique abilities working together.

“Teamwork divides the tasks and multiplies the success”

Each “Me” can’t do everything needed for success, and that is the great thing about teamwork. John Wooden said, “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do,” and Napoleon Hill said, “If you cannot do great things do small things in a great way.” It is the combination of individual talent that brings success to the team.

Each “Me” won’t be as successful alone as they will being part of a team.  This holds true whether you play Baseball or an individual sport like Tennis (think of the coach and racket manufacturer as part of the team), or if you work for a large corporation or for yourself as an Author (think of the publisher and Federal Express as part of the team).  The reality is that working together to accomplish a goal raises everyone’s success.   

“Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities… without becoming very good at it.”  – Brian Tracy

In answer to the title of this article, as our young Basaeball player said, “There is an ‘I’ in team, and its ‘Me.'”


Individual commitment to the greater goals.

Success - individual commitment to a group effortEveryone seeks to achieve success. Most people look at their own individual accomplishments to fulfill that desire. As the leader of a team, you are responsible for the success of the team. But it is the commitment of the individual that makes a team successful. It is therefore important to understand how you can achieve success for your team through the individual success of your team members.

Individuals focused only on their individual success may not be applying their talent to the tasks that will generate the most success for the team, and hence for them in the long run. While each person should use their talents to their fullest extent, long term success comes from not just focusing on individual success, but on how individual talent can be used for the success of the entire team.

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”– Vince Lombardi

Here are three areas for leaders to focus on when it comes to individual commitment to team success:

Explain the definition of team success. If you want your team members to have a commitment to something bigger than themselves, you have to describe what that team success will look like – in a detailed and vivid way. You are going for an emotional connection to the outcome. Something that your team members will be proud to be part of. Something they can visualize.

“Every well built house started with a definite plan in the form of blueprints.” – Napoleon Hill

Explain how the individual commitment will benefit the team success. Now that your team has a picture of the team success in mind, they need to know what part their individual talent and success will play. Your team members need to feel that their contribution is key to the ultimate team success they now envision. The team needs them to be individually successful as they do their part.

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” – Babe Ruth

Explain how everyone on the team will play a role in the team success. Picture of team success – check. Understanding of how what I do contributes to the success – check. Now comes the part that sometimes gets left out – how is everything else going to get done if I don’t do it myself? It’s not enough to just explain the total picture and the individual team member’s part, leaders must lay out the entire plan. Successful individuals want to know how the piece before them and after them is going to be successfully done so the team success will come.

“I can do things you cannot; you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” –Mother Teresa

It is only through the joining together of individual talents that we can achieve beyond our individual abilities. As Andrew Carnegie said, “Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to achieve uncommon results.


Prioritize – deciding between AND & OR

PrioritizeIt’s a new year. Time to dream big dreams and never settle for easy. What do you want to accomplish this year? Picture next December 31st – What do you want to have accomplished?

Some people have trouble with this exercise. Is it a matter of “This And That?” Is it “This Or That?” So much is running around your head, it’s hard to decide – so you just don’t start.

Here is the secret to achieving big goals:

First, don’t limit your scope and don’t decide what to do yet. Think of big ideas and set big goals. Then take a look and decide what’s first – Prioritize. Out of your list, if you could only accomplish one thing, what would it be? Then out of the remaining list, if you could only accomplish one thing what would that be? Complete this exercise until your list is empty. That is how you prioritize.

There is no reason to sell yourself short on this year’s goals. But step two is to focus on the best ideas. Remember, if everything is a priority, nothing can truly be a priority.

“Sometimes you have to pass on good to focus on great” – Denis G. McLaughlin

Prioritize your goals. A major part of success lies in the ability to put things first. The reason major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” — Stephen Covey

 Scroll to top