#2204 - The Power Of Painting Yourself Into A Corner

#2204 – The Power Of Painting Yourself Into A Corner

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There’s a specific place where each of us can find our greatest growth. It’s the corner. 

The corner is a metaphor for a place we all must go in order to move forward. It represents a place where we’re no longer relying on excuses. Once we paint ourselves into the corner we suck all the oxygen of our excuse-making out of the room. We stop being victims. We’re uninterested in blaming others for our circumstances. Instead, we make up our minds we’ll accept full responsibility for everything. 

Lisa is producing a “Walk The Talk” series for Grand Prairie, Texas (her employer). Here are the links to the current episodes (she continues to produce new episodes for city leadership and emerging leaders):

Intro to Walk the Talk + Leading Vs Managing

Walk-the-Talk: Knowing Your People

Walk-the-Talk: Leading Through Crisis:

Walk-the-Talk: Bring out the Lion in You:

Walk-the-Talk: Impact and Influence:

Walk-the-Talk: Discipline and Performance Management:

Walk-the-Talk: Having Difficult Conversations:

Walk-the-Talk: The Power of We Begins with Me:

Walk-the-Talk: Inclusion:

Clarity is important. Sometimes we need to be caringly challenged to see things more clearly. We each figure things out when we figure them out. Sometimes it’s difficult to see things…but once we do, it’s impossible to not see it. In the picture below, do you see the young lady or the old woman? Now, find the other one – the one you didn’t see at first.

You don't see it...until you do see it
You don’t see it…until you do see it

That doesn’t mean everything is our fault. It just means we no longer care that much about blaming ourselves or anybody else. Rather, we decide that we’re going to work hard to see things as clearly as possible so we can figure out what our next move should be. 

“If it is to be, it’s up to me.” That’s the mantra of today’s show. It’s one of the times when we’ll encourage you to be self-focused. Daily we’re urging our team members to improve. It only makes sense that we expect the same of ourselves.

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

#2203 - Leading Versus Managing

#2203 – Leading Versus Managing

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We lead people.

We manage the work.

Leadership is a focus on others. It’s about influence and doing for others what they can’t do for themselves.

Managing is about getting the to-do list accomplished. It’s about output. 

Leadership doesn’t depend on a title, position or authority – but it helps. Leadership with authority speeds up progress and growth because bosses have the ability to remove obstacles. 

Be who you are, just be better. Become the best you possible. It’s an ongoing effort. The good news is you can start right now, right where you are. The bad news is you can never stop. Just keep pushing to grow. 

Teach a girl how to fish is Lisa’s philosophy. That’s leadership. Give a girl a fish can provide short-term value, but cripple people of longer-term opportunities for growth.

Teach a girl to fish (while working)
Teach a girl to fish (while working)

Don’t confuse leadership’s direction as just being down – aimed at your team. You must learn to serve peers and your bosses, too. 

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

#2202 Getting To Know More About Lisa & Randy

#2202 – Getting To Know More About Lisa & Randy

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Today we’ll share a bit more about who we are and why you may want to listen to our leadership podcast. A podcast about city government leadership. 

Rather than act like we’ve got all the answers, we’re mostly interested in helping you explore the path forward in your own leadership journey. We share a view of the importance of leadership and our belief that it’s desperately needed in every organization. The fast pace of city government pushes people to get more done…faster and often, with fewer resources. That makes leadership even more important. 

As practitioners, we’re continuing to learn and develop new skills. Thank you for being part of the journey so we can all benefit from each other.

#2201 - Grow Great: A Podcast About City Government Leadership

#2201 – Grow Great: A Podcast About City Government Leadership

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It’s been months in the works…a reboot of the Grow Great podcast. 

  1. Let me introduce you to Lisa Norris. Lisa is currently the Director of Human Resources / Civil Services for the City of Grand Prairie, Texas. She’s going to be my co-host. 
  2. Leadership continues to be the focus of this podcast. Now, we’re going to take a more narrow approach to leadership – city government leadership! Many of the insights, experiences, and wisdom we share will be transferable to any type of leadership, but we’re going to focus on city government leadership.
  3. The show will continue to be an audio podcast available on every major podcasting platform. If you’re already a subscriber, do nothing. You’ll continue to get every episode of the podcast. If you’re brand new, subscribe using any platform you choose. Use our subscription page to make it easy. 
  4. The show will now also be available on video here on our website – and on YouTube. The YouTube channel is brand new so pardon the appearance as we begin construction (and as we begin to populate the channel with new videos). 
  5. Each episode title will now be preceded with a number to help you more easily find an episode. Sometimes we’ll mention things that you may want to make note of – but it’ll be difficult if not impossible (like when you’re listening and driving). Now you’ll just have to remember the 4-digit episode number, then you can visit our website to find links or other details. The first two numbers are the year. We’ll see how well our numbering system holds up. Mostly, we’re trying to make our content more helpful and more easily accessed. 
  6. The archives of previous episodes of Grow Great will remain live online. I realize this new iteration of the podcast may not be for everybody interested in leadership. As a person who never worked a single day in city government though, I can tell you there’s a lot to learn about leadership from any sector. People are people. We lead people. We manage the work. Even if you’re not involved in city government you may find some useful leadership insights. If you are involved or interested in city government leadership, there’s going to be a lot of valuable information for you. 

Thank you for giving us your time and attention. We hope you’ll subscribe and tell your friends.

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

Camille Neyhouser- Repassionate Your Organization

Camille Neyhouser: Repassionate Your Organization (Season 2021, Episode 8)

Camille Neyhouser is the Owner and Founder of Repassionate Your Organization (RYO). Camille helps organizations revolutionize their vision, employee motivation & engagement, productivity, and income. She helps leaders build/rebuild their organizations with passion, purpose & inner power.

Prior to founding her own company, Camille had a 14-year career with the most reputable international development not-for-profit organizations. She has a double Master’s Degree in International Development and a Professional Doctorate in Public Health / Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management. She did her doctoral thesis on, Building A Learning Organization By Design, Not By Accident.

She’s French by origin, but a citizen of the world having lived and traveled extensively. Today she joins us from her home in Florence, Italy.

We had a lovely conversation about her work, why she got started in this work, and some insights from her work that can propel us forward in our own journey. You’ll find value because Camille is a high-value person. Enjoy.

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

A Conversation With High-Performing Leader Tommy Gonzalez, El Paso's City Manager (Season 2021, Episode 5)

A Conversation With High-Performing Leader Tommy Gonzalez, El Paso’s City Manager (Season 2021, Episode 5)

Tommy Gonzalez is an impressively high performing leader with a vast and varied experience that includes a 22-year career in military service where he was a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army. In 2014 he was appointed the City Manager of El Paso, Texas, the 21st largest city in America with an annual budget of about $1B, a roster of over 6,000 with about 500 leaders. Tommy has helped the city achieve award-winning performance by caring about his teammates and relentlessly pursuing the best outcomes possible.

You’ll enjoy this conversation, recorded last Thursday afternoon – January 28, 2021.

Tommy had one book recommendation, Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews.

Enjoy the conversation. And take the advice Tommy’s dad gave to him – and fitting for each of us – “Don’t say it, do it!”

Here are some additional links you may want to check out. These demonstrate Tommy’s high-performing leadership results.

What It Takes to Improve City Government: A Leadership Perspective (from the official Baldrige blog)

Tommy received the Baldrige Foundation Leadership Award in 2019

Communities of Excellence: What It Is and Why It Matters by Tommy Gonzalez

The National Civic League’s post for making El Paso an All-American City finalist

In 2019 Texas Governor Abbott reappointed Tommy to the Risk Management Board

Tommy is also the chairman of the board of Quality Texas Foundation

City of El Paso Receives Texas Award for Performance Excellence

El Paso Independent School District earns Quality Texas Foundation awards

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

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