Winston Churchill

Communication is the Oxygen of Leadership (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from last week, here is the conclusion of our review of the 12 great principles of communication…

Winston Churchill was a great leader and a great communicator. He was a man fit for his time. Some called him “the voice of England” because he could communicate in such a way that it captured the hearts and minds of the people and their dreams. The following quotes illustrate this:

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…

Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival….

Never, never, never give up!

Winston Churchill was amazing at knowing the needs of his audience, living his own message, and painting a vision that moved people forward with hope and anticipation….

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1971 Titans

Communication is the Oxygen of Leadership (Part 1 of 3)

Leadership is our ability to positively influence others. As such, it is fundamentally a relational skill. It has been said, “Communication is the oxygen of relationships.” Without good communication, relationships die. Consequently, without good communication, leadership doesn’t stand a chance.

In the early 70s, many communities in the United States were in the process of dismantling segregation. Alexandria, Virginia was one such community. It took tangible steps toward equality when it combined the populations of three area high schools into one. Two had been white and one was black. Herman Boone, a black man, was chosen to be the football coach at the new high school ……. over Bill Yoast, a very popular white coach. This added to the tension, especially since Yoast and another white man became Boone’s assistant coaches. Boone did everything in his power to bring the players and his coaching staff together. And it worked. That season, the team won the state championship and became the second highest ranking high school football team in the country!

When asked what the secret was to this high-performing team’s success, Boone stated, “Communication. Talking to each other. Getting to know and appreciate each other. We forced the kids to spend time with each other to find out things about each other. Every player was required to spend time with teammates who were a different race.” Result: the team went undefeated. And that is why, to this day, the people of Alexandria still remember, and talk about, the 1971 Titans.

You cannot have a high performance team unless you have communicative players on the team. Without communication you don’t have a team, you just have a collection of individuals. You will be a much more effective communicator, and leader of your team, if you follow these 12 principles:…

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Leading From Within

“This is why, I think, so many companies fail. Not because of challenges in the marketplace, but because of challenges on the inside.”
– Howard Schultz, Onward

There are many times that I have heard leaders point to things outside of their organizations as obstacles to growth and/or reasons for why efforts for success are failing.

The truth is, if it is solid and healthy on the inside, your organization can weather most storms that come from the outside. Easy? No. Survivable? Yes.

Flip that scenario around, and it’s a different story. If your organization is not healthy on the inside, it is doomed to be an obstacle to its own success. I’m sure you know of at least one example that proves this point.

As a leader, what are you doing to make your organization stronger?…

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Jesus Washing Peter's Feet

To Lead, You Must Serve

If leadership is influence, and we have the desire to be leaders, why do we want to influence people? I’m sure there are many answers to that question. Some people want to influence others in order to feel better about themselves. I think that is why there are so many self-help books out there. Others work to influence others for their own gain. Our primary goal at Passavant Leadership Group is to come alongside the leaders of churches, so our reasons are much different than these. We want to partner with leaders in order to advance The Kingdom of God. Our reason for influence is Jesus Christ.

This is why leadership in the church looks so much different than leadership in many companies of the world. Our leadership example did not influence others for His own gain or to feel good about Himself. Instead, He served others in order to influence them….

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Pope Francis Washing Feet

Make A Difference In The Lives You Hope To Influence

If you’ve been following the PLG Blog, you probably understand to some extent that Leadership is Influencing People. There are different levels of influence that you can have on others, and they have the ability to influence you as well. Influence, or leadership, happens best through relationships. If you look at the life of Jesus and the people he influenced most, you will see that they were his closest apostles. He was a leader to multitudes of people, but it is those few He invested in who went on to change the world, building His church. Jesus influenced the sick and broken through healing and teaching.

As I was listening to the news earlier today, I heard that Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 inmates at a juvenile detention center in Italy where Holy Thursday Mass was held (read about it here). This act of servanthood is likely to be the catalyst for change in at least one of those twelve inmates, and it is likely to influence many people who hear the story. When I heard the story on the news, they made a point to mention that many of the inmates in that prison are Muslims. Can you see what a difference that serving can have on influence compared to debating and arguing?…

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Disciple Makers

Disciple Making 101

Nearly every pastor of an evangelical church looks for ways to “make disciples”. It is one thing to have a mission statement that declares “discipleship” as the means of growing the church; the “how” of discipleship is much more complicated.

Some churches establish very detailed classroom environments with set days of the week where they share plenty of scripture and often times a component of teaching. Perhaps the participants interact around that scripture as well. However, some of the most effective churches in “making disciples” (based on the level of participation in all areas of the church’s life) have embraced the model where almost everything happens in a small group….

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Turtle On A Post

Turtles

“What’s one thing you can know for sure about a turtle on a fencepost?”

I first heard this question my freshman year in college. It’s a question that is intended to inspire a journey into a multitude of questions and infinite unknowns. The question makes you wonder about meaning, purpose, and sacrifice. The answer to the question, however, sounds like a punchline to a joke, and, like so many other punchlines, it holds deep meaning.

“So, what is one thing you can know for sure about a turtle on a fencepost,” you ask?…

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Vision and Action

Leadership Requires Vision and Action

When you look at the math for calculating a vector, you either understand it or it looks like a secret code that’s impossible to decipher. What you may not recognize is that the vector is a great way to describe what leadership is. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a vector as this:

Vector: a quantity having direction as well as magnitude.
New Oxford American Dictionary 3rd edition © 2010 by Oxford University Press, Inc.

When I was learning about vectors in middle and high school, it boiled down to direction and velocity. Without direction and velocity, a vector is nothing more than a point. This same idea applies to leaders. Without movement and direction, a leader is nothing more than a person standing still.

Leadership Requires Vision

Every person has their own unique blend of natural talents and learned skills. Some people are very organized people and thrive in structured environments where they can lead within an established structure. This is often referred to as management, but there are some necessary leadership qualities for a person to go beyond accomplishing tasks. Others may be more skilled in coming up with new ideas and methods for improving upon whatever it is that they are involved in. These people are often mislabeled as visionary leaders. Just because someone is great at coming up with new ideas does not mean that they can cast vision and influence people towards that vision….

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Don't Run On Fumes

What's In Your Leadership Tank?

If you have been following the Passavant Leadership Group Blog, you’ve read that Leadership is Influence. You’ve learned that Great Leaders are constantly learning, and have to be bold. Sometimes you have to stand up against adversity, and other times you have to be patient while people align with new vision. Leaders must have followers and great leaders develop more leaders within their followers.

The general concept of a leader implies movement in a specific direction. If a leader is not moving, they are just standing in a crowd of people. Leaders have to move forward, but they can easily run out of gas and burn out if they are not prepared. Just like a car or airplane needs fuel to keep going, leaders cannot lead very far if they are running on fumes. You’ve got to keep your tank full in order to lead well for any extended amount of time.

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Top 10 Qualities For A Great Leader

What Personal Qualities Do Great Leaders Have? (Part 1)

This is a complex question. I have been a student of leadership for many years and there is a plethora of theories and models concerning what good leadership looks like. As I have blogged before, Leadership is Influence. There are many bases for leadership: positional, relational, knowledge/information, performance, etc. But real, lasting leadership tends to be based upon influential relationships.

In my last blog post, I listed 5 Common Misunderstandings About Leadership. If those misunderstandings are examples of what leadership is not, then what personal qualities do make a great leader? Here are the first 6 of my “Top 10” personal qualities for a great leader:…

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