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Equipping Leaders

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Developing Leaders

Dear Leader,

Whenever I have the opportunity to train leaders, I use the acronym REAL to discuss how to be a real success.

    R stands for Relationships. If you and I are going to be successful, we have to be able to get along with people. People won't go along with us if they can't get along with us. We just have to be able to connect relationally with them.

    E stands for Equipping and Training. If we want to be successful, we have to be able to train people and continually sharpen our ability to equip people. Many hands make the load light.

    A stands for Attitude. Without a tenacious attitude, a positive attitude, or a humble attitude, we'll never find real success, or appreciate it if we find it.

    L stands for Leadership. We must be able to lead and work with others to achieve anything significant in this world. We must be able to build teams and motivate people to help us in whatever our cause may be.

Take a few moments to contemplate these four simple reminders and ask yourself, "Which is my weakest area?" For those willing to commit themselves to a lifelong pattern of relational growth, REAL success is assured.

Your friend,

Equipping Leaders

Principles for People Development
By Dr. John C. Maxwell

For years, I've devoted myself to developing others. In later years I focused on developing leaders who will, in turn, develop others. I used to believe that developing people came easy for me because of my motivational gifts. After years of telling others that the secret was, "Stay enthusiastic," or "Encourage others," I discovered that it wasn't my outward behavior that made the difference.

I found that my behavior was influenced by some inward beliefs I've held for as long as I can remember, without ever appreciating them. Some people have an easier time at embracing these inward beliefs than others. But I've observed over time, and know that those who become the best at developing people are different in three areas:

  • They make the right assumptions about people.
  • They ask the right questions about people.
  • They give the right assistance to people.

An assumption is an opinion that something is true. Our assumptions about people largely determine how we treat them, don't they? The reason why this is so is because what I assume about people is what I look for. What I look for is what I find. What I find influences my response. Therefore, negative assumptions about others will stimulate negative responses from me, their leader. A positive assumption about others stimulates positive leadership.

So I assume that everyone wants to feel worthwhile. That assumption leads me to treat them as persons of great worth.

I assume everyone needs and responds to encouragement. That assumption leads me to be an encourager.

I assume people buy into their leader before they buy into their leader's ideas. That assumption leads me to live a life worthy of their respect.

I assume many people have difficulty achieving success. This assumption leads me to invest in them, helping them experience quick, easy wins. This builds their confidence so that I can help them become the man or woman they've only dreamed of becoming.

I assume most people are naturally motivated. This leads me to work to create an environment in which people are freed from discouraging influences.

I assume people like to talk about themselves. This leads me to ask questions that help me really know them and what makes them tick, thus giving us a bond that transcends the task at hand.

Assumptions can be negative, or positive. The route I choose makes all the difference. Other choices I make are equally important. After all, success in building relationships of integrity depends on a high:

  • Value of people. I can choose my attitude.
  • Commitment to people. I can choose how to spend my time.
  • Integrity with people. I can choose the course of my character.
  • Standard for people. I can choose a lofty vision.
  • Influence over people. I can choose to lead.

While there are a few people in this world who just don't seem to get along with anyone, in most every other relationship, I can choose whether it will be successful or not. The only question left unanswered is, "What will I choose?"

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Adding Value

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Developing Leaders

What's Hot In Leadership

Winning Ways: 4 Secrets for Getting Great Results by Working Well with People by Dick Lyles (G. P. Putnam Sons, 2000)

In the tradition of The One Minute Manager, Who Moved My Cheese?, and Fish! comes the latest little book of business principles couched in fiction. Dick Lyles is President and Chief Operating Officer of Ken Blanchard Companies. I suspect that working across the hall from the original One Minute Manager, would give a person a certain confidence in this particular format, wouldn't you?

The beauty of "bizfiction" is that it gives context and texture to ideas, removing them from the realm of theory and idealism. It doesn't hurt that most of these books are short reads as well. Their effectiveness can be marred, however, if the writer is unable to write fiction in such a way that it doesn't read like fiction.

Winning Ways gets a solid "B" for its practical content. Unfortunately, Dick Lyles might want to leave the fiction to John Grisham. His characters are based on stereotypes, and therefore seem unreal. The office scenario he tries to create is plausible enough; a young gun out of college is a whiz in his field, but doesn't play well with others. His manager wants him to meet with someone who understands teamwork and the value, yea the necessity, of working with others. But Lyles' use of a football coach as the wise man to whom 'young Grasshopper' goes for knowledge is pretty hard to swallow. Take, for example, the coach's willingness to drop everything, drive two hours, and meet the young man at the beach on a weekday afternoon during football season. Maybe it's just me, but I thought football coaches were supposed to hold practices every afternoon.

One might wonder, why review a book if it's a real stinker? Because Winning Ways is really not a stinker at its core. The four "secrets" that Lyles presents are worth the wade through the tepid plot. Lone rangers find the motivation to work as part of a team when they understand and remember the following:

    1. Make people feel stronger, rather than weaker, as a result of your interactions with them.

    • Forget pecking orders.
    • Recognize people's strengths.
    • Honor people's efforts.
    • Involve others in planning, problem solving, and decision-making.

    2. Camels are okay. (A play off the old joke about a camel being a horse put together by a committee.)

    • Racehorses (those who resist working with teams) will win a few, and lose a few, but camels will cross the finish line every time.
    • Collaboration is better than competition over the long haul.
    • Camel building should not be left solely to committees.
    • The shortcut most often turns out to be the long cut in the long run.

    3. Avoid two-valued thinking.

    • While very few choices are between good and bad, right or wrong (e.g. conflicts between personal ethics and corporate values), most are neither.
    • Avoid analysis paralysis. Don't bring so many variables into play that you can't reach a conclusion.
    • Avoid indecisiveness. Looking at multiple variables isn't an excuse to avoid being decisive. Sooner or later you have to act.

    4. Influence for the future.

    • Develop a common vision with your colleagues.
    • Solve problems in the future.
    • Create a shared sense of identity and responsibility.

Authentic teamwork is so rare in most organizations that we can't afford to ignore any resources that give us insight into making team happen. Winning Ways does offer enough insights to make it worth the 60 minute read.

-- Review by INJOY consulting editor, Ed Rowell

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This article is used by
permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell's free monthly e-newsletter
'Leadership Wired' available at www.INJOY.com.

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