Personal Responsibility & Accountability In Leadership

Personal Responsibility & Accountability In Leadership

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Sometimes we urge people to “own it,” meaning “accept responsibility for it.” What do you think of when you hear that? 

Some think about blame and guilt, declaring, “I didn’t cause it. It’s not my fault.” But today we don’t use that phrase to assign blame. Responsibility and accountability aren’t about finger-pointing, but rather about each of us – as leaders – deciding we’re going to take ownership of our actions and behavior. And we’re going to help serve others by showing them the power of doing that in their careers and lives, too. 

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

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Humanity In Leadership

Humanity In Leadership

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Connections are most easily made with people we can relate to. Trust only follows connection. That’s why displays of humanity prove some of the most fruitful leadership work. Today, we talk about how our own experiences of showing our humanity paid off in building high-performing teams. 

Speaking of connections…be sure to connect with me and Lisa at Linkedin

We’re now going to publish episodes every Wednesday morning. Early. Hopefully, you’ll make us part of your Hump Day routine. 

How To Have Crucial Conversations-Be A Buffalo

How To Have Crucial Conversations: Be A Buffalo

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Procrastination. Hesitation. Dread. Fear. 

They’re all employed whenever managers don’t want to have the difficult – we’re calling them – crucial conversations. 

Hiding is tempting. Sometimes we surrender to it, opting to avoid doing what we know needs to be done. Today, we challenge you – and ourselves – to behave more like buffalo and less like cattle. 

Maybe I heard it because I was born in Oklahoma, a state with quite a bit of native American history and heritage. As a boy, I remember being fascinated whenever we’d find an arrowhead. The story likely came from that Indian culture I was around as a kid. I can’t be sure. Either that or it may have been because Oklahoma is also smack dab in the middle of tornado alley. Thunderstorms are a way of life around these parts (Oklahoma and north Texas).

The illustration is powerful. It deals with buffalo and thunderstorms. For those who may not know, thunderstorms travel from west to east. Cattle and buffalo react when the dark clouds start rolling in, signifying a coming storm. The cattle run east, away from the storm. The buffalo run west, directly in the path of the storm.

Question: Which animal is in the storm the longest?

Answer: The cattle…because they’re traveling with the storm.

The moral of the story is to behave more like a buffalo. Lean into your problems. Run into the storm. Don’t hide. Fight.

We all have to endure the storms. It’s up to us how long we take it. We can be like a cow running away from it, hiding. It just means we’ll be in the storm longer. Or, we can be buffalo and fight. Face our storm by charging into it knowing that our time there will be much briefer than we ran away from it.

Storms often appear in conversations we need to have, but we’d rather avoid conversations. 

Leadership is about doing for others. It’s a focus on others. Stop thinking of yourself. Stop being fearful for selfish reasons. Instead, think about the value you can provide in the other person by having a crucial conversation that can serve them. 

We hope you find value in today’s show. Please share it with a friend. 

#2213 Building & Fostering Relationships

#2213 Building & Fostering Relationships

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Do you know what a poor relationship looks like?  I can tell you. They dont want to help. They dont care. They are uninterested in what you are trying to achieve.  That alone should tell you why relationships, and fostering them, are crucial.

poor relationship management = poor customer/team experience = poor culture

It’s also serving the people you lead by lifting them up. Sometimes, that’s praise. Sometimes, that’s difficult conversations to challenge them to elevate their performance. It’s always about helping them improve and grow. 

Great leaders see the future first. When it comes to relationships, it means leaders see potential in others perhaps before they even see it themselves. And we foster that in people by doing for them whatever we can. Growing great is the goal – not just for ourselves, but for everybody on our team.

How can we be what others need?

  • We have to know our teammates. 
  • We have to understand them.
  • We have to connect with them by being truly interested in what they most want.
  • We also have to figure out what they most want and how that fits within the context of our team – and the work. It doesn’t mean we can’t still serve them…but it may mean we have to help them figure out how their improved performance here can help them achieve what they most want. (HINT: We can’t behave like parents who force or coerce children to pursue what they most want. It means we must behave more like parents committed to helping the kids figure out what they most want.)

Why is any of this important?

Because it influences outcomes. It builds respect and trust while generating camaraderie. It impacts the customer experience. 

We know what good relationships feel like…and bad ones, too.  But if you are new at this, working on it, or good and it and want to continue to grow. How? Listen. Employ the leadership recipe we talked about in our first episodes: humility, curiosity, knowledge, understanding, and compassion.

Be genuine and honest. Be dependable. Be fair. Always do the right thing.

Lisa & Randy

Leadership Insights: Deputy City Manager Cheryl De Leon (Grand Prairie, Texas)

Leadership Insights: Deputy City Manager Cheryl De Leon (Grand Prairie, Texas)

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Cheryl De Leon serves as Deputy City Manager over Airport, Audit Services, Budget, Communications and Marketing, Downtown, Community Services, Finance/ Human Resources, Information Technology, Library, Parks Arts and Recreation. She joins us today to discuss the art of mentoring, a topic she’s passionate about to help grow leaders in city government in Grand Prairie, Texas. City government leadership, like all other leadership, desperately needs committed mentors willing to pass it on, people like Cheryl. 

Lisa & Randy

#2212 Trust: The Foundation of Your Leadership Effectiveness

#2212 Trust: The Foundation of Your Leadership Effectiveness

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A lack of trust is very evident. Nothing serves as a more solid footing for effective leadership. 

What does it mean to trust? In a word, “confidence.” It’s an assurance we feel about somebody’s character, integrity, competence (ability), and honesty (truth).

Why don’t we trust? Because people, including us, sometimes prove we’re not what we claim. Leaders too often display incongruence – say one thing, do something different. Or contradict what they do and say.

For example, if a business owner constantly preaches that customers are important, but at every turn, he short-changes customers for the profit of the business, employees quickly learn “he doesn’t really value customers; he values profits more.” Employees won’t trust him.

That being said, most everyone has experienced a lack of trust and its impact. The organization, department, and team suffer. It creates distractions, prohibits creativity and innovation,
stifles communication, and team productivity, prevents relationship development and rapport, disengages team members; loyalty is lost.

“Without trust, we don’t truly collaborate; we merely coordinate or, at best, cooperate. It is trust that transforms a group of people into a team.” 

– Stephen Covey

How do you build trust? Trust requires every leader to first be a good person. Not some of the time. All of the time.

Will others forgive us for our weaknesses? Yes, if we admit our wrong and fix it, then display behavior that shows we mean it. But otherwise, no.

Don’t blame shift or deflect. Own mistakes. You are REAL.

Great leaders who create and build trust don’t have to be perfect, but they must be willing to honestly own their errors.

Communicate well.

Be transparent. Genuine. Honest and open. Listen. Keep people informed.

Trust requires every leader to be quick to openly share information, as much as possible. They must also deftly be open and vulnerable when they can’t share information, or when sharing sensitive information might damage the employees or the culture. The great leader won’t lie, but will instead openly tell the employees that she’s going to keep the employees properly informed.

Be vulnerable. Trust requires leaders to be vulnerable. You’ve heard that in negotiations, the first to blink loses. Well, when it comes to trust, the first to show vulnerability earns the trust. That’s what great leaders do. They reveal more of themselves to show others the way. They LEAD by going first.

Accountability. Inspect what you expect.

Trust requires leaders to go the extra mile. The most trustworthy leaders undersell and overdeliver. Always. They don’t promise the moon, then fail to launch the rocket…which is far too common.

Keep their best interest at heart. Trust requires people to know you’ve got their best interests at heart – and that you’ll do whatever you can to help them succeed. That doesn’t mean the leader owns all the performances of the people, but it doesn’t mean she knows she’s responsible for it. And if people fail to perform, they know the leader will put in the work to help them fix it.

Also, if they neglect to do their part, the leader will protect the rest of the team – and the organization – by no longer allowing the chronic poor performers to remain on the team. Through trust, your team will follow you into the storm without hesitation.

High-performing team. High outcomes. Period.

Lisa & Randy

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