WHAT WILL YOUR LEADERSHIP LOOK LIKE IN 2020

“Don’t Fool Yourself; LEADERSHIP IS HARD!”

In my effort to cultivate and grow my leadership, I find it challenging to stay the course and achieve what I read, witness, and teach. In fact, I often find myself telling people one thing and doing the exact opposite. Doing that can hurt those you lead, coach, mentor, or teach. If you don’t improve, you will ultimately lose respect, trust, and, eventually, the ability to influence. 

As 2020 approaches, I decided to evaluate my leadership abilities and identify those things I do well and those areas where I need to improve. The last four years have been a personal leadership challenge for me. I’ve had a job change that put me in a role with no direct reports and limited my decision-making authority. I’ve had to learn to lead differently. The term; “influence without authority” has become an actual reality challenge for me.

During my self-evaluation, I identified my top 5 strengths in leading others and having a strong influence on the decision making process.

1. I am a very HIGH ENERGY AND PASSIONATE leader in the areas I believe in.

2. I am willing to embrace CHANGE, even if I don’t entirely agree with it

3. I am PERSISTENT in my approach to achieving my desires, goals, and objectives

4. I am CONFIDENT in my decision making but open to ideas and suggestions

5. I am a strong ENGAGER of people

It is always good to identify your strong points, but it can be challenging to identify areas for improvement. The way I approached this was to reflect on 2019 and the many conversations, suggestions, and feedback I received throughout the year. I am always asking for feedback (although many times I don’t want to hear it or I have an excuse) 

Based on my evaluation and reflection, I will focus on building and improving the following five leadership traits in 2020. 

1. Being Clear in My Communication – I will work to enhance my communication approach through tone and word choices. Working to pull my feelings and frustration back and undoubtedly transfer my thoughts, ideas, and expectations. I will explain the “why” more often and ensure people are well informed. People want to be “in the know.” People want to deliver expectations, but can’t be successful if we don’t clearly and successfully communicate. They also want to know what the rewards are for good work and the consequences for sub-standard work.

2. Build Stronger Relationships – Relationships are critical to leadership. Strong relationships build trust and respect and offer the opportunity to influence. I will work to be present with my customers, leaders, and the workforce. I will reach out for general conversations and make sure I follow-up with the right people. I will work to show how much I care about all facets of the business. It is said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!” They are looking for you to care for them and build a working relationship. I will work harder to learn and remember names and recognize that life is going on outside of work.

3. Humble Myself – I am am very confident in my role but must be better at leading with humility. I don’t know everything and always make the right decisions, but I will work diligently to illustrate my knowledge through the quality of my choices. I will recognize all persons, regardless of position, and work to realize that no one is any more important than anyone else. I will demonstrate this through my actions and interactions. I will let each know how important they are by involving them and getting their brains in the game.

4. Be a Stronger Encourager – I will continuously look for and recognize the great work people are doing. I will express my gratitude and exemplify the positive difference they are making. I will encourage them for their actions, the work they perform, and the value they add.

5. Have Courage – I understand creativity and innovation drive progress and performance. I will make bold decisions, push back when needed, but fully support the final decision. I will have difficult conversations when necessary, and I will do the difficult right things.

With a new year and new decade roll into place, I feel like it is the optimal time to increase my influence and achieve more than I ever have. I don’t know where most of you fall within your leadership needs (unless I know you). Still, I believe the results from my self-evaluation will encourage many of you to look within yourself, identify areas of improvement, and make the necessary changes to become a stronger influencer and more effective leader.

PERSONALITY BASED GOAL SETTING

Our personality impacts everything we do; how we respond to pressure, how we network, socialize, and react when there is an emergency. Our personality is something that we cannot escape. When I reflect upon those who are successful, I see bold individuals who are assured within. They know what they are good at and they maximize upon those strengths. Successful people, regardless of their industry, are always boldly self-aware.

With the beginning of 2019, the New Year provides us with an opportunity to build upon the experiences and lessons learned from the previous year. I don’t believe we ever truly start over, instead; we build upon our achievements and/or the lessons learned from past failures and shortfalls. In retrospect, one of the things I’ve gleaned over the past couple of years is that our personality identifies our strengths and weaknesses. It directly affects our ability to achieve our goals and meet our objectives.

As a DISC Behavioral Consultant, I’ve learned to identify personality types through consultation, and help others develop goals that coincide with their character. In doing so, individuals maximize their opportunity for achievement.

These 3 actions will help individuals streamline their personal goals:

  • Tailor your conversation based on personality traits. This gives you the ability to make adjustments within the discussion to lead the path forward.
  • Generate goals that motivate the person to put in the necessary effort to achieve each one.
  • Identify areas to stretch the individual and achieve things that will take a focused effort.

By successfully implementing these 3 things into the development of goals, I believe we give people the ability to be successful and achieve more than they might expect.

So how do we set goals based upon a person’s personality? To answer this question, I will identify methods that reflect the DISC personality styles in general. I’ll use the behavioral traits and the typical strengths and weaknesses of each personality style. Let’s take a look at how to set goals for each personality style.

Dominant

People with dominant personalities are direct, decisive, problem solvers, risk takers, and self-starters. People with a strong dominant personality are hard-charging, get-it-done kind of people! I identify with this particular personality type. I tend to set very ambitious, lofty goals. However, if I don’t see immediate results, I’ll quickly lose motivation.

People you identify as having a dominant personality need to have goals that meet the following parameters;

  • Identify a few more than required. If you want 3-5 goals, a dominant person will set 7-10.
  • Make the majority of the goals short-term. This serves as motivation to accomplish many things.
  • Set a couple of long-term goals with the expectation to endure until the end.
  • Each goal must be clearly identified and the timeline for completion well established.
  • Establish regular one-on-one follow-ups and progress meetings.

When developing goals for a dominant personality consider the following:

POSITIVE CHARACTERISTICS

  1. Autocratic in teams and will rise to the top in a crisis
  2. Good at providing direction and leadership
  3. High assertiveness
  4. They have a clear idea of their ambitions and goals and will push hard for accomplishment
  5. Function well with heavy workloads
  6. Very competitive attitude
  7. Welcomes new challenges
  8. Tend to follow their own ideas

AREAS FOR GROWTH

  1. LEARN TO LISTEN MORE AND SPEAK LESS
  2. Gather consensus on decisions
  3. Don’t act alone
  4. Learn to answer the question “why” when asked about decisions and proposals
  5. Work on body language and tone of voice when dealing with frustration
  6. Focus on developing sincere personal relationships
  7. Can intimidate others
Influential

People with an influential personality are enthusiastic, trusting, optimistic, persuasive, talkative, impulsive and emotional. They are just pure FUN! They are the life of the party and are typically the ones we talk about after the Christmas party. They love to set goals and dream about the things they want to achieve.

These fun-loving social characters need to have goals that meet the following parameters:

  • Harness their enthusiasm when identifying goals
  • Identify goals that will move the company forward and acknowledge their value
  • Clearly define the steps to achieve each goal and have them focus on each stage before moving onto the next
  • Set smaller goals
  • Identify the timeline for each goal
  • Prioritize each goal for the company and the individual
  • Establish regular one-on-one meetings to verify progress and determine the next steps for successful performance

When developing goals for those with an influencing personality style, consider;

POSITIVE CHARACTERISTICS

  1. Great communicators who are both influential and inspirational
  2. Have the ability to motivate others
  3. Great advocates of change and deal well with change themselves
  4. People are drawn to them, thus creating a great opportunity to lead others
  5. Positive attitude
  6. Great at brainstorming and visionary projects

AREAS FOR GROWTH

  1. Impulsive in decision making
  2. Can be slow to action (a lot of talk, but little action)
  3. Need to exercise control over actions, words, and emotions
  4. Need to talk less and listen more
  5. Tends to over-promise
Steady

The steady personalities are good listeners, team players, possessive, steady and predictable. They are understanding and friendly relationship-based people. Goal setting usually means change is coming, which immediately causes tension for a steady personality—because they don’t like change.

If you see yourself as a person with a steady personality or will be working to set goals with someone described above, consider:

  • Goals that establish step by step directions with a clearly defined plan for achievement
  • Establish the benefit for achieving each goal
  • Needs more time to develop their goals
  • Set timelines for each goal and hold them to it

Consider the following when developing goals for the person with a steady personality:

POSITIVE CHARACTERISTICS

  1. Supportive and natural relationship builders
  2. Grounded in reality and common sense
  3. Talented multi-taskers
  4. Patient
  5. Loyal
  6. Even-tempered
  7. Peacemakers in groups and teams

AREAS FOR GROWTH

  1. Struggles with change and making adjustments
  2. Can be overly agreeable
  3. Tends to put other’s needs before theirs
  4. Need to be more direct in their interactions with others
  5. Their pace tends to be slow, thus causing them to miss deadlines
Compliant

A person with a compliant personality is accurate, analytical, conscientious, careful, precise, meticulous and systematic.  Those with a complaint personality are very focused on procedure and making sure things are done the right way. They don’t have a problem with setting goals, but they do need help prioritizing. A compliant personality wants to accomplish EVERYTHING!

To set effective goals, a person with a compliant personality must consider:

  • Start the process early!
  • Focusing on goals that are important to YOU!
  • Ensure each goal is practical and detailed
  • Create clear, identifiable goals that establish their role within the group, department, and organization
  • Establish data-driven goals that focus on details others may not see
  • Stretch the person by developing one or two visionary goals

As you consider developing goals for the compliant personality, consider the following:

POSITIVE CHARACTERISTICS

  1. Instinctive organizers
  2. Excellent at creating and maintaining systems and processes
  3. Consistent in their approach
  4. Will see projects through until completion
  5. Strive for a diplomatic approach
  6. Strive for a group and team consensus

AREAS FOR GROWTH

  1. Tend to be critical of others
  2. Consider other’s ideas and methods
  3. Need to speed up to help the team or group accomplish their goals
  4. Work on focusing more on building strong relationships
  5. Make faster-informed decisions
  6. Take more risks

Final Thoughts

Each one of us has a unique personality style. Sure, we can put people in “personality” buckets, but that only helps to identify our approach. As leaders, we must know our coworkers and ourselves well enough to understand what motivates them and how they react to different situations. Knowing a person’s personality style can proactively help you and your employees make adjustments. Consider the information presented and strive to achieve your personal best and the best from your employees in 2019!

Denis is an Executive Director at the John Maxwell Group, is a certified leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and DISC Behavior, Consultant. He is a passionate person of influence committed to teaching and communicating practical and relevant influencing techniques.  His unique passionate and emotionally driven style resonates with many, creating a desire to become an effective leader.  

You can contact Denis at dbaker@leaderinfluence.net for information on coaching, training, DISC Behavioral consulting or to be an inspirational speaker at your next event.

HOW TO REMAIN ENCOURAGED DURING DIFFICULT TIMES

You remember the saying, “Let the good times roll.” Well, sometimes the good times turn bad. We enjoy the benefit of things going well and t’s easy to encourage others when they’re down. But sooner or later, we will enter into difficult times. It’s inevitable. As I said in my last post, “How to Remain Motivated and Influential During Difficult Times,” I stated that, “no one will escape difficulty in life.” The reality is, there will be times of discouragement. But discouragement doesn’t mean we have to fall apart or quit.

I look to the scriptures for my daily encouragement. When difficult times hit, I find it even more important to study and mediatiate. Here are five bible verses to encourage you during difficult times.

Psalms46_3_1to7

nahum1_7

Psalms62_6

2Timothy1_7

Isaiah41_10

2017 GOALS, blah, blah, blah……

As 2017 swings into full gear, I’ve slowly been thinking about what I need to have as my professional and personal goals. My staff and I created a strategic plan, I’ve had each of them create a list of achievable and measurable goals. But for me, well I just can’t seem to get the motivation to generate a list. When I think about it, all I hear in my head are different songs or I’m thinking about what I need to be doing.

Goals…Blah, blah, blah………

He faces difficulties

Then it hit me!

I recently identified four focus areas that apply to my professional and personal life. I thought, why not use them as my goals? So that is exactly what I did!

So for 2017, I don’t have any professional or personal goals, but rather I have four areas of focus!

MAINTAIN PERSISTENCE

Jim Rohn said, If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent you will keep it.” I tell professionals all the time, “in order to achieve behavior modification and ensure sustainable change, we must always be persistent in our expectations, regardless of who and what it is.”  It’s hard to be persistent everyday, every moment, every time. Some days, you simply want to act as if you never saw or heard it. However, persistence establishes expectations and I believe expectations will generate results. My focus is to be more persistent in what I believe is right. I won’t let personalities or politics dictate my actions, but rather find ways to persistently influence for performance.

BE MORE CONSISTENT

Bruce Lee said it so well, “Long term consistency, trumps short-term intensity.” Being consistent in what we do and how we do it, adds stability and expectation to those we lead. Employees need consistent leadership for consistent direction. When you integrate consistency into your life, you realize the reward comes as a result of a process. My focus is to show greater consistency in 2017. I’ll accomplish this by thinking before I speak, and not reacting to a situation. I want to be methodical in my decisions, interactions and actions. Consistency is essential to change and change is needed in my professional and personal life.

HAVE A GREATER SENSE OF URGENCY

Jim Rohn said, “Without a sense of urgency, desire losses its value.” When you know something has to be done, DO IT! A sense of urgency allows a person to accomplish more than others. When we realize our sense of urgency extends beyond our list of goals or projects, we generate results which create value. Value creates influence. When you can influence, you can lead anyone. The longer one waits to accomplish things, the less value one adds. I will accomplish more in 2017, in less time by having a greater sense of urgency to get more done, add more value and have more influence.

INCREASE MY PASSION

Zig Ziglar said, “Know your passion. Follow it. Dream it. Live it.”  I am constantly telling people, “ If you don’t love what you do, then go do something else.” Passion fuels results! It gives us purpose. It is what we believe in. It will turn your have-to’s into I want-to’s. Those with passion will be motivated to succeed, not settle. I have been told many times, that I am a passionate person. However, I want to increase my passion in 2017. I will do this by getting more excited, more engaged, thinking of better ways to do things, get more emotional when I don’t get the results I expected, take more risk, and dream bigger!

There you have it my focus areas for 2017. I believe these four areas will allow me to accomplish more and do it better.

focus

Consider identifying focus areas. I heard it said, “Effective leaders keep one eye one the compass and one eye on the clock.”  Commit to more focus in 2017 and become a more efficient and effective leader.

Denis is a certified Executive/Business Coach, Trainer and Keynote Speaker and owner of Leader Influence LLC. Possessing over 28 years of leadership experience in multiple industries, Denis has cultivated a unique teaching, coaching and speaking style that resonates with participants and attendees.  
He is a passionate influencer committed to teaching and communicating practical and relevant influencing techniques. His uniquely passionate and emotionally driven style resonates with many, planting a desire for change and to become a more effective leader.
Consider Denis for your leadership, personal development or team speaking, training or coaching needs.

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

As you enter into the new year, first reflect on your experiences in 2016 and answer these questions;

  1. Where were you successful?  Build on those.
  2. Where did you fall short? Identify what lacks and complete it successfully.
  3. Where did you flat out fail?  Learn from your mistakes and move on.
  4. Who can you help be successful? Commit to coaching that person to success.
  5. What areas do you need to improve in? Identify and commit to a daily growth plan.

“Reflection turns experiences into insight”, John C. Maxwell

Happy New Year 2017

 

INSIGHTFUL THOUGHTS ON CHANGE

Change Colorful Random Shapes

Change happens.  In fact, the only constant in life , is change.  I once told someone,

“The only things I can count on are; birth, death and change!”

If the world is going to continue, then change must occur, plain and simple.  As simple as it sounds, change is not easy.  There is always some stress involved, regardless if it’s our own choosing or not.

I recently changed jobs, which to many, was somewhat of a surprise.  I left a job that I was seemingly happy at.  I made a good living and had taken a company from virtually having no safety program to being a program desired by many competitors and even customers. It was a job I was successful at and generated a lot of personal and professional gratification.

The change meant leaving an area that I loved, a house I loved and more importantly, it meant leaving my daughter, son-in-law and my 5 month old granddaughter (my first grand baby).  So why the change?  I will provide a very simple answer at the end.

For me, job changes have been a way of life.  It typically occurs every 2-3 years.  My most recent change occurred after almost five years.  I’ve always looked at change as a positive thing.  I never want to become comfortable in a position or with a job.  I believe comfort creates complacency.  I was always working hard, looking for opportunities to improve. While the most recent change has open up the opportunity for many new challenges, it has opened my eyes to the stress it causes, not only in myself, but to those closest to me.

Change is now, handwriting with chalk on blackboard

I have come to realize all change leads to stress, even when it is of our own choosing, or is something we want.  You get a new job, buy a new house, get married, or simply buy a new car!  Well congratulations hot dog!  Now you have to wait 30 days for insurance, pay your mortgage, share your bathroom, and worry about when the first scratch will happen.

Sometimes we experience change unexpectedly, without warning.  You reach a point in life where you think you have it all under control, you hold all the cards, and everything is working just the way you want it.  Then the economy stutters, revenues decline, and you hear rumors of downsizing.   How are these changes going to affect you?  Will there be money to pay the mortgage, buy that first anniversary gift or even put gas in that shiny new vehicle?

Everything changes at some point. Whatever the change, we must adapt.  By adapting, you can learn to embrace change and conquer it for success.  However,  one must have the right mindset for accepting change.

Here are 13 quotes that will help put change in perspective.  Read these quotes and latch on to the ones that motivate and speak to your heart and mind.  Not all  of them will.  But I do think they can be beneficial when change, unexpected or planned, comes your way.

  1.  “I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” —Georg C. Lichtenberg

  2. “The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” – Bill Clinton

  3. “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

  4. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller

  5. “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” —Jim Rohn

  6. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” —Henry Ford

  7. “When in doubt, choose change.” —Lily Leung

  8. “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” —Benjamin Disraeli

  9. “Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant.” —Anthony D’Angelo

  10. “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” —Victor Frankl

  11. “You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler.” —Denis Waitley

  12. “Change before you have to.” —Jack Welch

  13. “Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history.” —Joan Wallach Scot

So why the change in jobs?  Because I am MOTIVATED by change and BORED by  redundancy!

Cartoon of business people who want to avoid change.