Leadership Mints Series Sampler: Cashing In On Your Empty Space

Star-gazers sense the awesome power and presence of light traveling 6 trillion miles a year for 4.367 years from our nearest star (Alpha Centauri) to finally come into our view.

But leaders see much more than meets the eye. They also factor the affect of the empty space between the stars. That “empty” space is full of something — something that governs the behavior of the stars.

In fact the space between the two flickering stars “is not nothing” as author Daniel Shapiro points out in his book Negotiating the Nonnegotiable. “It contains the gravitational pull that shapes their relationship.”

That gravitation pull of the spaces between the stars is critically significant in defining most objects not simply in defining the stars as Chinese philosopher Lao-Tse’s observed:

     Thirty spokes meet in the hub but the empty space between them is the essence of the wheel.

      “Pots are formed from clay but the empty space within it is the essence of the pot.

      “Walls with windows and doors form the house but the empty space within is the essence of the house.

        “And so, we see advantage is had from whatever is there but usefulness rises from whatever is not.”

 

Indeed, usefulness in a bicycle wheel stems from whatever is not there — the spaces — between the spokes. It is that space that ultimately governs the strength of each spoke. Likewise it is the follower who ultimately governs the strength of the leader, according to Keith Grint, a professor of public leadership at Warwick University in Coventry, England.

“In short, the power of leaders is a consequence of the actions of followers rather than a cause of it,” Grint says. “In effect, leadership is the property and the consequence of a community rather than of an individual.”

Likewise a leader is sanctioned only when others are aligned to follow in much the same way a wheel will spin only when the spaces (followers) are correctly — and collectively – -aligned to support the spokes (the leader). Both need each other.

On terra firma or beyond in the celestial heavens.

For more information on how you can enhance your leadership space — your pull on others — wherever you are,  purchase a 300-page book filled with 77 short stories (5-minute reads called Leadership Mints) from Amazon.com on examples from business, sports and politics.

It’s titled: THINKING Like a Leader with Clarity.

         It’s one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading.

The two other books in The Leadership Mints Series -now available on Amazon.com — include and SPEAKING Like a Leader with Civility    and
LOVING Like a Leader with Empathy–

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leadership Mints Series Sampler: Love in a Business Context

Heightened awareness. That’s what love is in a business context, notes Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She has conducted more than 25 years of research on positive emotions.

In her book LOVE 2.0, Fredrickson notes that when humans are in love, they reach out for something beyond their own “cocoon of self- interest” and become more aware of others. They become more likely to focus on the needs, wants and concerns of others and to see things from another’s perspective.

“The best kept secret of successful leaders is love”

Focusing on others is so intensive for the most effective leaders that “the best-kept secret of successful leaders is love.”

That’s the conclusion of researchers James Kouzes and Barry Posner in their seminal book The Leadership Challenge. Their research is based on more than two million interviews and surveys over the last 30 years with leaders all over the world.

And that secret is also the key to sustaining long-term leadership success add Kouzes and Posner: “Of all the things that sustain a leader over time, love is the most lasting.”

When a leader is in love with the process of leading, he or she has “the fire to ignite other people, see inside other people, and have a greater desire to get things done,” noted John H. Stanford, a former Major General in the United States Army, cited in The Leadership Challenge.

Psychologists tell us that love is a behavior more than simply a feeling, a behavior that champions others, a behavior that validates the dignity and worth of another human being, and a behavior that compels you to hate the sin but love the sinner.

Loving others in a business context –with a heightened sense of awareness — is so vital – that Kouzes and Posner flatly state in their bible of leadership development (The Leadership Challenge) that:

“Leadership is not an affair of the head. Leadership is an affair of the heart.”

For more information on how you can positively impact your bottom line with love in a business context (empathy), purchase a 300-page book filled with 77 short stories (5-minute reads called Leadership Mints) on examples from business, sports and politics. It’s titled:

          LOVING Like a Leader with Empathy– one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading. And as a bonus, the postscript titled– BUSINESS: A HUMAN EXPERIENCE — shares the impetus for this book on empathy impacting the bottom line.

The two other books in The Leadership Mints Series -now available on Amazon.com — include THINKING Like a Leader with Clarity and SPEAKING Like a Leader with Civility

 

 

 

Leadership Mints Sampler: Dancing The Tofu Tango

Sizzling in the vegetable stir fry, the tofu looked bland in the pan yet tasted grand on the plate.

How come?

Think of Tofu as an aromatic sponge that soaks up air-borne smells. And think of yourself as a key ingredient in that Marinating Magic Show.

Like Tofu, your leadership skills sizzle in a skillet with other flavors, seasonings and spices and bring out the best flavor in yourself and others.

After all, you become a part of all you touch and all who touch you impart something of themselves to you that lasts over time.

That osmosis shapes your thinking, guides your soul and alerts your mind to the opportunities and obstacles ahead.

In fact the people you habitually associate with “can determine up to 95% of your success or failure in life,” according to Harvard psychologist David McClelland.

And of course the people you habitually associate with can also determine how well you dance The Tofu Tango. Indeed, the more you dance with the stars ––leaders in their own fields –– the more they rub off on you –– and the more you rub off on them –– the more seasoned and spicy your leading performance can become.

For more insights on dancing The Tofu Tango –– and on the value of interacting with others to enhance your performance in particular and your leadership skills in general –– purchase a copy of THINKING Like a Leader from Amazon.com ($15 paperback and $8 E-book).

THINKING LIKE A Leader is the first book in The 3-book Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading on-the-go with 5-minute stories on leadership principles called Leadership Mints that like the candy are easily accessed,  quickly digested and immediately refreshing.

The other two books in the Leadership Mints Series focus on leading with empathy (LOVING Like a Leader) featuring 77 more Leadership Mints (stories) and leading with civility featuring 52 Leadership Mints (stories) (SPEAKING Like a Leader)

 

Leadership Mints Sampler: Leveraging Your Laughter

How do you build trust as a leader? Laugh a lot.

Poet Maya Angelou observed that she couldn’t trust anyone who didn’t laugh.

Laughter spawns an authentic response,reaffirms your sense of humanity and attracts others.

That’s why “laughter is the shortest distance between two people,” noted comedian Victor Borge.

Laughter is also a quick stress reliever.

When you laugh you literally take a “breather.” You expel the bad air in your mind and body.

Then your laughter generates a 25% increase in your brain’s oxygen supply so that you can  breathe more fully, think more clearly and ride the rocky road of life more comfortably as author Henry Ward Beecher noted: “a person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.”

 “Humor is a vital tool  of leadership”

       No wonder that humor is a “vital tool of leadership,” says leadership development researcher  Gerald D. Bell.

        At least that’s what the data showed when Dr. Bell’s researchers surveyed 2,700 employees over two years on what traits contributed most to an effective leader.

         Having a good sense of humor and a strong work ethic were mentioned twice as often as any other trait of the most effective leaders.

          Maybe that’s because humor helps us “to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected and outlast the unbearable,” according to Rev. Billy Graham.

            At any rate,  9 out of 10 executives in a Robert Half International survey believe a sense of humor is important for career advancement.

                                     For more insights on the value of humor in general and  laughter in particular to enhance your leadership skills purchase a copy of THINKING Like a Leader from Amazon.com ($15 paperback and $8 E-book).

THINKING LIKE A Leader is the first book in The 3-book Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading on-the-go with stories on leadership principles called Leadership Mints that like the candy are easily accessed,  quickly digested and immediately refreshing.

The other two books in the Leadership Mints Series focus on leading with empathy (LOVING Like a Leader) featuring 77 more Leadership Mints (stories) and leading with civility featuring 52 Leadership Mints (stories) (SPEAKING Like a Leader)

Leadership Mints Sampler: What Loving Leaders Don’t Do?

What’s the opposite of a LOVING LEADER?

Former CEO Terry St. Marie cites the following 15 traits of those who command and control others to perform vs. engaging and encouraging others toward continuous improvement (like a loving leader). In his blog More Human Leadership, St. Marie notes The Bossman:

  1. Sees black and white and never any grey.
  2. Likes to tell instead of teach.
  3. Likes being on the pedestal – above the fray.
  4. Gets lost in the details.
  5. Rules by fear.
  6. Displays great hubris.
  7. Likes to talk. Hates to listen.
  8. Wants to dictate not trust.
  9. Outlines the what and forgets the why.
  10. Thinks first about profits.
  11. Gets lost in the process.
  12. Is a disabler.
  13.  Criticizes harshly.
  14. Manages to an end not a cause.
  15. Demotivates with impassiveness.

    Let’s face it: all of us are guilty of those traits at times.

However the most effective leaders are committed to a sense of continuous improvement in leading themselves and others more authentically and ultimately more productively and profitably.

For more information on how you can positively impact your bottom line with empathy, purchase a 300-page book filled with 77 short stories on examples from business, sports and politics. It’s titled:

LOVING Like a Leader — one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading. The postscript  –titled BUSINESS: A HUMAN EXPERIENCE–shares the impetus for a book on empathy impacting the bottom line.

The two other books in The Leadership Mints Series -now available on Amazon.com — include THINKING Like a Leader and SPEAKING Like a Leader.