Leadership Starts With Why

One of the greatest resources in helping me think outside the box in leadership is TED: Ideas worth spreading. There are some amazing talks by incredible people there, and it is all free. I recently came across a talk by Simon Sinek from 2010 that looks at why some people are able to defy the odds and do well when others who seem to have everything together end in failure.

He sums it all up in one simple statement.

People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.

Leading teams is difficult, especially if your team does not understand or buy into why you are doing what you do. If all your team knows is what their tasks are and how to do them, they are likely to burn out or stop at satisfactory. If your team knows why they are working, they will put in that extra effort to achieve excellence in what they do. If they buy into the why, they will follow your lead and bring others along with them….


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….


Martin Luther Quote

Character & Courage – Two Sides of the Same Coin (Part 2)

In my prior post, I proposed that leaders cannot rise above the limitations of their character. How a leader deals with the circumstances of life tells you many things about his character. Crisis doesn’t always mold character, but it certainly does reveal it. And adversity is a crossroads that makes a person choose one of two paths: character or compromise. So it takes real courage to have character. Where does this courage come from?

Courage begins with an inner battle. Every test you face as a leader begins within you. The test of courage is not different. All significant battles are waged within one’s self. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It is having the power to let go of the familiar and forge ahead into new territory. Courage is fear that has said its prayers. Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do.

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. declared, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” Great leaders take a stand when needed. Courage is making things right, not just smoothing them over. Courage deals with principle, not perception. If you don’t have the ability to see when to stand up and the conviction to do it, you’ll never be an effective leader. Your dedication to principle must remain stronger than your desire to appease others….