The importance of a tribe.

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I recently read a chapter of a John Maxwell book that I found great.  The article was on hiring people, but there was a list of characteristics that I thought was important.  There are two types of people in my life.  People that I am investing in and people that invest in me.  I never mean to sound rude, but I just don’t have much bandwidth for more people.  What is important is who I spend time with.   People close to me need to:

  1. Know my heart.
  2. Be loyal to me.
  3. Be trustworthy.
  4. Be discerning.
  5. Have a servant’s heart.
  6. Be a good thinker.
  7. Be able to follow through.
  8. Have a heart for God.

Let’s run through these quickly…  Know my heart, refers to people that understand what my intentions are and look to understand where I am coming from not assume I am up to something.  Loyalty, not in a worship me way, but someone who has my back and is willing to challenge me if I am in my own way.  Trustworthy people are hard to find so find people that you know you can trust, and they trust you.  Discernment.  Always look to find people that can help you make those tough decisions or discuss the aftermath of a poor one.  Servant hearts are special people and usually have several of the other attributes.  Find a good thinker.  They can help you dream, solve, grow, and invest in yourself and others.  I love people who follow through.  If I can ask you to take on a project or share a load, you are invaluable to an organization or a friendship.  Have a heart for God.  This is the most important for me.  I am one who follows Christ and for me to truly trust you and learn from you, I need someone willing to hold me to my word, deeds, and thoughts.

You can’t go through life by yourself.  Learning how to be at your best, requires a tribe.  Look to surround yourself with people who will sharpen your skill sets and will hold you accountable.

Keep leading,

Eric

 

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What I thought about when I left healthcare…

Last year I decided to leave healthcare to have more in life. I wasn’t looking for more money, more titles, or more satisfaction. I have had a good career accomplishing and chasing different things people deemed important.
One day after spending the whole week on the road, it hit me. Why? Why am I doing what I am doing? What is the most important thing to me? What do I want those who look to me for leadership to see?
My priorities were off. I had a daughter starting her senior year of high school, a son who was starting high school, and another child that it wasn’t too late to have time for.
I decided I wanted a job that would balance my life out but still give me a reason to push myself. I also wanted leadership that I could look up to. I found it at Lee Company. They didn’t have a mission statement full of fluff… It wasn’t about how we could grow our business or change the industry. Our mission is to create an environment where our employees can thrive. Crazy, huh. This isn’t something written down but not enforced or created. It really is our culture. Below is an actual email from my boss. He makes me want to be the best I can. He wants to help me raise my lid.

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From Steve Scott:
An early morning read today included this scripture and it
spoke volumes to me, thought I would share:
“Live right, and you will eat from the life-giving tree. And if you act wisely, others will follow.” (Proverbs 11:30)
We are all smart people, we wouldn’t experience success in
our careers if we did not “know” the “jobs” we are employed to do. However,“wisdom” is quite different than being smart…and that’s why every morning for me includes some time spent in Proverbs…seeking wisdom. (God knows I need it!)
I believe a lot people tend to think of leadership only in terms of action. But true and great leadership is so much more than just that. Leadership is not just something you do; it’s something you are. And that’s one of the reasons great leaders have such strong magnetism. People are attracted to who they are. Are people attracted to WHO you are?
All leaders desire results, but being must precede doing. We have high goals….to achieve higher goals, you must be a more effective leader. We need great people…to attract better people, you must be a better person yourself. Great results are expected….to achieve greater results, you must be a person of great character. I have learned that a very common problem occurs when a leader’s real identity and the desired results don’t match up. But when those in leadership roles display consistency of character, competence, and purpose, it makes a powerful statement to our people around them – and it draws those people to them.
Here’s the plain and simple wisdom…If you desire to do great things with your life, then seek to become a better person and a better leader. Our goals are BIG and nothing great can be achieved alone. Any task worth doing requires the help of others. And if you want to attract good people, you’ve got to become a better person yourself. If we’re willing to do that, then I think we can leave the results to God.
“if you act wisely, others will follow”. Fortunately for me, a simple person, God makes His advice very simple to read and to apply.
Seek wisdom and remember BEING a great leader always precedes great results!
Lead On!
Steve
Steve Scott / Senior Vice President of Facilities
Solutions
Whether you agree with his thoughts or not, the key is finding somewhere you are investing in, but also finding a place that invests in you. As Steve said above…
Lead On!

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Trust Is The Fundamental Factor

Anyone who has hung around me much, knows my focus on love.  It is a key factor to any successful relationship.  Having said that, love can’t happen unless there is trust.  How does trust effect your teams?

I recently read a summary by Ken Blanchard and I love his outlook on trust.  He calls it the A,B,C,Ds…  When people have trust they will resemble these attributes:

AbleDemonstrate Competence.   When your team understands your directions and believe in where they are going, they show their competence.  People show they are able when they have the expertise needed for their job, role, or position. They consistently achieve results and are effective problem solvers and decision makers. Demonstrating competence inspires others to have confidence and trust in you.

Believable – Act with Integrity. Trustworthy people are honest with others. They behave in a manner consistent with their stated values, treat people fairly, and behave ethically. “Walking the talk” is essential in building trust in relationships.

Connected – Care About Others. Being connected means focusing on people, having good communication skills, and recognizing the contributions of others. Caring about others builds trust because people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Dependable – Maintain Reliability. Dependable people follow through on their commitments. They respond timely to requests and hold themselves and others accountable. Not doing what you say you will do quickly erodes trust with others.

These are the characteristics that many look for when building an “high performing” team.  So how do we create this level of trust?  There are three things I look for, listening skills, humility, and freedom.

Listening is active.  The biggest problem I have had personally is I tend to listen with the intent of responding.  This has been a hard habit to break, and one I still focus on.  The key is listening to LEARN.  Take the time to understand, don’t assume, or jump to solutions.  Listen to learn means not inserting your opinion and not judging what the person says while he or she is speaking.  Many of us are horrible listeners because we’re too busy, we assume we already get the point, we jump to conclusions, we keep adding our own two cents or we just don’t care enough. We need to be better. When we really listen, we build trust. Listening makes us more approachable, and employees will believe we have an open mind and that we’ll both hear and understand them. Employees know when you’re faking it–so it needs to be real. 

Action follows if you truly listen.  Even if you are trying to encourage that an idea is worth pursuing, or why they should make that decision.  Listening is active, not passive.

The next thing to building trust is being humble.  Regardless of how smart you are, you don’t know everything and you’ll never have the collective brainpower, knowledge and insight of everyone on your team. So be humble enough to recognize that great ideas come from everyone.

I worked with a salesman who was incredibly intelligent and at times offensive to other team members. It built resentment and frustration, not trust. I asked him to operate under the assumption that there is always the possibility that he could be wrong. I suggest we all operate that way. Be open to improvement, change, innovation and then make sure to highlight others. Never be afraid to admit a mistake, learn from it, and share what you learned.  It’s amazing the trust that can be built by giving honest feedback to the true sources of good things.

The last thing I feel you should focus on is giving your team freedom.  Truly listening and a little humility should naturally lead to employee freedom. People thrive when they’re open to challenge the status quo and have a meaningful impact on their work. They need freedom to grow, freedom to run, freedom to learn and even freedom to fail.

A culture of freedom, wisely crafted and providing a framework of mission and vision, will lead to an incredible result.

Any positive working relationship is based on trust. If that is the environment you create, you will find a team that has each other’s interest at heart. That is why employees can accept criticism and even anger from a leader they trust. The employees know deep down that the leader really means to help.

Trust is an interesting quality because, once it is lost, it is hard to recapture. Many professional relationships gasped their last breath with the words “I just do not trust you anymore.” Therefore, to have optimum working relationships, all parties must feel a sense of trust.

Freedom forces them to make decisions by themselves and sometimes make mistakes.  Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  That is my mantra and one of the ideas I want my team to embrace. 

The next time someone tells you other things are more important than trust, share it all starts there.  You can’t love who you don’t trust! 

Lead on,

Eric

We are mentoring, but are we committed to it?

This is week 23 of the year…We are almost half way in the year. Where are you in your goals? Where are you in the relationships in your life? Who is holding you accountable? And, who are you holding accountable? One of the best things I have learned as an adult is the beauty of mentorship. I believe you should always be investing in someone and be invested in by someone else. It is one of the most important attributes in the Bible.  Moses, if you remember, was banned from entering the Promised Land because he lost his temper. Numbers 27:15-18 Moses asked the Lord to set a man over the people of Israel. God sent Joshua to Moses…Moses and Joshua spent many years together and when Moses died, the people looked to Joshua. Who are you investing in?

Here are some things to look into when finding a mentor. (From John C. Maxwell)

  1. Does my model’s life deserve following?
  2. Does my model’s life already have a following?
  3. What is the main strength that influences other to follow them?
  4. Does my model reproduce other leaders?
  5. Is my model’s strength reproducible in my life?
  6. If that strength is reproducible, what steps must I take to develop and demonstrate that strength?

leadershipAs a follower, be worthy! Learn to ask questions. Make the questions strategic for your growth. Don’t let your ego get in the way of learning. Respect mentors, but don’t idolize them. Put into effect immediately what you are learning. Be disciplined in relating to mentors. Arrange for ample time, select a subject matter in advance, and do your homework. Let mentors know they’re not wasting their time.

Mentors force you to be humble and learn. Mentoring allows you to grow others and help hold you accountable.

“God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible- what a pity that we plan only the things we can do ourselves.” A.W. Tozer

Keep Leading!

Eric