Tag Archives: leader

The Five E-s of Leadership:

The Five E-s of Leadership:

Think about the word Leadership.  Now what if I were to put Five Es in a row: Leeeeeadership.  Sounds crazy doesn’t it?  But what if I told you the Five Es are Exemplify, Enlighten, Encourage, Empower and Elevate?  Would that make more sense?  Would you buy into the Five Es of Leeeeeadership?  I will attempt to explain the Five E-s of Leadership.

Exemplify, Enlighten, Encourage, Empower, Elevate: The Five E-s of Leadership

Exemplify, Leaders should lead by example.  Are you willing to do what you ask others to do?  People can tell, sooner or later if you are real or fake with your leadership.  Now some people may still follow you, but can you live with yourself if you are leading based on lies?  If you can, than you are really missing the point of what 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo is all about.  Leaders should tell the truth, and should lead by example.  If you want someone to help you with something, will you help them?  If you want someone to aspire to be great at something, are you aspiring to be great in similar or complimentary areas? Leeeeeadership has Five Es, Leading by Example is Step One!

Exemplify, Enlighten, Encourage, Empower, Elevate: The Five E-s of Leadership

Step Two of Leeeeeadership is Enlighten.  Leaders should be Teachers, Mentors and of course Students.  Leeeeeaders should be constantly striving to create an environment of Learning.  Everyone has more to learn, everyone should try to accept coaching and coach others. If you are Leading by Example, you will clearly be able to see how important is to Enlighten, to teach anyone who chooses to travel with you.

Exemplify, Enlighten, Encourage, Empower, Elevate: The Five E-s of Leadership

Leaders should encourage those around them.  It is easy to have a great attitude when things are going good, and it is easy to slip into a bad attitude when things are going bad.  Leaders must have a good attitude no matter what kind of times they are facing.  This is not about smoke and mirrors.  No, this is about finding the good in any situation.  If you are Leading by Example, and you are Enlightening your followers based on teaching the truth; Step Three is to Encourage.  All of us have or will go through tough times.  Leaders make sure they can get you out of tough times, better and stronger than when you went into them.  Leeeeeaders encourage those around them!

Exemplify, Enlighten, Encourage, Empower, Elevate: The Five E-s of Leadership

Step Four, Empower!  Leeeeeaders understand they can not be all things at all times to all people.  Leaders are people and people need to take breaks.  People need to be able to take time off and unwind.  The world keeps turning.  Will your team keep moving without you?  If you are afraid to empower others, the minute you take a break things will grind to a halt.  Empower others to make decisions.  Let others make decisions while you coach and guide them.  Let others take the reins so you can leave the team in good hands.  Leaders understand they strengthen the team when they empower others.  Tyrants do no understand this.  Don’t be a tyrant, be a Leeeeeader!

Exemplify, Enlighten, Encourage, Empower, Elevate: The Five E-s of Leadership

Elevate; Leeeeeadership Step Five.  If you want you team to grow, you will not be able to be everywhere at once.  You are going to have to Elevate others into leadership positions also.  One day you will be gone, but can you leave a legacy?  Elevate others around you into positions as long as they earn it.  This should be easy if you have set a good example, if you enlighten and teach those around you and continue to learn yourself, if you are encourage others to step up and empower them to make good choices.  Elevating the people who earn it should be the easiest step to understand.  You have to make people earn it though.  You just can’t give it away to your friends.   This will diminish the results that others have accomplished.  Make sure you are fair and balanced when you elevate others.  Again, if you are doing the first four steps, this should be easy; remember, you can not short-circuit this process.  This is step five of Leeeeeadership; Elevate.

You can lead a great team, and you can be a great leader!  Leeeeeadership has five steps: Exemplify, Enlighten, Encourage, Empower, and Elevate.  Follow them closely and you will see results.  This may take time, use that time wisely.  Always set a good example, always seek a learning environment, always encourage others, and empower those who are participating and elevate those who are showing results.

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Why Teamwork sometimes doesn’t work.

Fail

We hear it all the time; teamwork is the magic cure to everything that goes wrong in a business.  Well sometimes teamwork does not work.  And of course everyone is ready to place blame.  I can give you 4 reasons why teamwork some times does not work.  Time, Energy, Attitude and Management will make or break a team based on one condition.  If you want to know more, keep reading.  If you just want to place blame, you can stop and find your answers somewhere else.

Finger

There is no I in TEAM, but there is an M and an E.  Is the team about “Me” or is the team about “We?”  This is a simple question that every Leader and every Team member have to ask themselves.  I told you I would give you Four Reasons why teamwork sometimes does not work.  All based on one Condition.  Time, Energy, Attitude, and Management – now place either “Me” or “We” in front of each of them.  Successful teams have are based on the power of “We!”  Teams that fail, fail because people put “Me” before “We.”

Time

Me Time vs. We Time:  When people describe events do they talk about what they do or what the team does?  Team players focus on what the team accomplished.  I get it, everyone needs Me Time, but for a team to be successful, people have to learn the power of We Time.  When the team is together, be it for practice, planning or game time; everyone has to focus on what the team can do together and not focus on what people can do or have done separately.  Teams need time to form and gel.  If there is no We Time in the Team Time all you have is a collection of Individuals who only value their own time.  Too much “Me” Time can kill a team.

Energy

Me Energy vs We Energy.  The best example of energy I can give you is a Tug Of War Team.  If everyone one a Tug of War Team is pulling at different times, the team will fail.  For a Tug of War Team to win, every has to pull in the same direction at the same time.  This is the difference between Me Energy and We Energy.  Me energy, everyone is working separately and could be working against each other.  We Energy is focused, concentrated and working in the same direction at the same time.  We Energy makes winning seem a lot easier.  Me Energy makes winning a lot harder.  Teams need to focus on using We Energy.  I hope this makes sense.

Attitude

Me Attitude vs We Attitude:  This one should be the easiest to understand.  People with a Me, Me, Me Attitude will kill a team’s spirit.  No one likes it when someone else takes credit for their work.  Teams and Team Leaders must have a We Attitude.  Make sure everyone gets credit for the efforts of the team.  I am not talking about lip service, I am taking about recognition and rewards, share them with the team.

Managment

Me Management vs We Management:  This is very important for a team to win.  Management must have a Team attitude.  It does not matter if it is a business, a hobby, a professional sports team, a church group or a charity.  Me First Management will rub off on the Team.  This will affect the team’s attitude and energy, and sooner or later, everyone will think the team is a waste of time.  We Management will make sure to put the good of the team above the good of any one person.

Lesson

When a team fails, there is a valuable lesson to be learned.  Don’t lose the lesson.  Did the team take the proper amount of time to form and prepare.  Was Team Time mainly “Me” Time or “We” Time?  Did the team apply the proper amount of energy?  Did everyone work together and focus their energy for maximum results or were people working against each other or not at all?  Did the team have a team first attitude?  Or were people more worried about making themselves look good?  And above all, did team management create and foster a team spirit?  Did management stress we win or lose together, or was management putting themselves above the team?

Team Victory

Team work does work, but you have to work as a team!

The Backup Singer.

Luther_Jon_Kesha

What do Luther Vandross, Jon Secada and Ke$ha all have in common?  Even though they sing different styles of music from different eras to different audiences; they all started as backup singers before they stepped out on their own.  Today here at 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo, I will look at this a little closer.  I will dig a little deeper.  And hopefully in the end I will motivate you to allow yourself to be in the background before you step out on your own.

Learning the ropes; a lot of different careers can be nerve-racking, exciting and very competitive all at the same time.  This would be true of being a singer.  Everyone sings; few do it well.  Even the most mediocre singers can dream of being stars, but few will ever get there regardless of how much talent they possess.  Few can argue the impact of Luther Vandross, Jon Secada or even Ke$ha, but many can argue who had more talent.  For this post talent is not the point, the point is that each of these singers sang backup for other artists before they were given a chance to go solo in the big time.  David Bowie, Flo-Rida, Gloria Estafan or Britney Spears are names that most people have heard of because they each have a string of hits to choose from.  Ke$ha, Jon Secada and Luther Vandross each sang backup for one or more of these artists.

Luther_David

David Bowie is one of the most recognizable singers in Rock and Roll history.  Not many people know that Luther Vandross sang back up for David Bowie during the Blue Eyed Soul Phase of his career.  I would venture to guess that most Luther Vandross fans are not big David Bowie Fans or vice versa.  Again, this is not the point.  The point is Luther Vandross was able to take on a role of a backup singer for a Rock and Roll Artist while he was trying to make a name for himself as a R-N-B, Soul and Jazz Singer.  Singing backup for a major artist like David Bowie meant Luther Vandross could begin to make a name for himself among Producers, Managers, Agents and Promoters in a very competitive field of that is the music business.

John_Gloria

Fans of Jon Secada are more than likely fans of Gloria Estefan.  They both sang Latin Infused Pop called the Miami Sound in the 1980s.  Jon Secada agreed to sing back up for Gloria Estafan, and she in turned agreed to help mentor him and launch is solo career.  Though Jon Secada may have only had a hit or two, he was still able to learn the ropes from his mentor. He was also able to get a lot farther, faster than if he would have tried to go out on his own. He was able to build her career outside of being a backup singer, just as Luther Vandross and Jon Secada were able to make a name for himself.  In the music business, like many businesses; you can benefit from who you know.  Jon Secada is another example of someone who was able to build their name while being a back ground performer for someone else.

Kesha_Flo_Britney

Ke$ha is a current trending pop star.  Before she had any hits of her own, she sang backup and duets with Britney Spears and Flo Rida.  Now she has a string of hits of her own.  She was able to go from being almost unknown to being featured performer on Television for New Years Eve Broadcasts.  Why, because she was able to not just perform in the background but to make a name for herself while working with other artists.

Now before I go any farther let me stress, Luther Vandross, Jon Secada and Ke$ha made names form themselves, but when they stepped out on their own; their were not coping their mentors.  They were showcasing their talents and their styles.  It is ok to learn the ropes working in the background, but when your time; you have to use your talents, not just copy the work of others.  These artists were waiting for their chance to step out and shine.

What do Phil Collins, Martin Gore, and Bernard Sumner all have in common?  Each of them was able to step up when key members of the groups they were in left.

Phil_Collins_Genesis_Peter_G

Phil Collins took over the lead vocal duties for Genesis when Peter Gabriel left the group.

Martin_Gore_Depeche_Mode_Vince_Clark

Martin Gore took over the song writing duties for Depeche Mode when Vince Clark left the group.

New_Order_Joy_Divsion

Bernard Sumner stepped up to when the lead singer of Joy Division committed suicide; the group moved forward forming New Order.

In each case the groups became even more popular after the people working in the background came forward and kept things moving.  Yes, these may be more extreme case, but sometimes working in the background gives you the chance to learn the ropes and hone your skills so you can be able to take over if you are called on.

Working in the background may give you the experience you need to be the leader you want to become.  Learn while you are working in the back ground.  Ask questions.  Accept coaching and mentoring.  Put yourself in the place to make a name for yourself.  Don’t take people or the chances you are given for granted while working in the background.  Your time could be right around the corner.

Finding Balance, the Little Drummer Boy Part Two:

For the second weekend in a row, I was able to play the drum with a group of musicians.  We were learning new songs and had one day to get it them down.  Finding the right balance was vital to our success.  I am learning to be a leader by being a good follower and servant.

Let’s review my journey as a drummer.  I have never owned a real set of drums.  I did have a toy set when I was a kid.  I have owned various other musical instruments, mainly the Bass Guitar, Six String Guitar and Various Keyboards.  I play the drums because I like the drums and I will play what is needed most to keep things moving forward.  I have been asked to play the drums because a drummer is what is needed most.  So I am taking what I have learned from other drummers and try to apply it to this situation.

Normally, our singer / keyboard player is used to leading a vocal group to pre-recorded music tracks.  Now we are trying to build a band to take the place of the pre-recorded music.  This weekend, we had to learn three new songs in one practice session as a band, and then we got one practice session with the vocal group.  Everything came down to finding balance.  As a drummer I did not want to play to loud.  I did not want to play too fast.  Lastly I did not want to play too complicated and lose the beat.

So first and foremost, I did not want to be too loud, because then I could not hear the two guitar players, the keyboard player or the singing. I would have just been a drummer bashing away.  As a leader, it is very important that we listen to the people around us, and make sure we are all in harmony.  Now the flip side of this is playing too soft.  As a drummer, if I play to soft then there is no definite beat to follow.  As a leader; if the leader is to quite, than you may not be making steady progress.  Both a Leader and a Drummer have to know when to be loud and when to be quiet so that everyone follows a nice steady pace.

Secondly, I had to keep myself from playing too fast.  Sometimes the singers would kind of hold notes and let them linger through changes in the song.  This would change the feel of the song, which would of course change the pace or rhythm of the song.  If I played too fast, I would lose the singers through the changes.  The easy solution was to slow down a little and make sure we are all staying together.  As a leader, it is important to keep everyone moving together. Projects, Programs, Clubs and Companies have to learn to work as a team.  Win together or you will lose together, so it is important to keep everyone moving together.  A leader can not run ahead of the pack so fast that they lose the pack.  Again, the flip side of this is moving too slow.  You have to keep a steady pace.  You have to maintain a level of energy that everyone can follow.  The same is true of being a drummer; if you play too slow, the song will lose energy.  Again it was important to find that balance.

Third was not playing too complicated.  As a group we were listening to the recorded versions of the songs and there was a lot going on.  There was more music than we had players to cover all the parts.  We had to keep things simple.  We had to pick out what parts of the songs were the most important and make sure we covered those points first.  We had to keep things simple and yet put first things first.  If we got too complicated then we would get lost as a group.  I feel leaders need to learn this lesson.  Do not get to complicated, but still put first things first.  As a drummer; I told the group, it is better to play less and stay steady than to try to do too much.  As a drummer and as a leader in the group, I had to listen to my own advice.  I took some very complicated drum parts and kept them very basic.  Keep it simple and stay on target.  As a leader, we should do the same things.  Figure out what are the most important and vitals things and do them first.  Do not get too complicated.  Now the balance is if you are overly simple, everything sounds the same.  You have to be able to switch things up and not get boring without being so complicated that everyone gets lost.  Balance, balance, balance; a Leader and a Drummer have to maintain balance.

Even though it was not obvious to the people in the crowd when we were performing, I was able to play a leadership role in keeping our newly found band on pace.  It is a great feeling to be a to be a leader and a follower and a servant all at the same time.  I hope this thread helps you find balance.  Not too loud and not too quite; a leader has to be heard without drowning out everyone else.  Not too fast and not too slow; a leader has to set a steady pace, and make sure everyone stays together.  Not too complicated and not too simple; a Leader has to put first things first, and know how to change things up to avoid being boring.  A Drummer is like a Leader when it comes time to find that balance.

To be a Leader you need to be going somewhere.

Do you know where you are going?  Do you want to be a Leader?  These are two of the many questions you have to answer to become a Leader.  First and foremost to be a Leader you have to be going somewhere.

Now this may seem to be an over simplification of what it takes to be a Leader.  Of course it is an over simplification. These are just the first two questions you have to ask yourself before you can even dream of being a Leader.  Do you want to be a Leader?  If the answer is “Yes” then you have to be going somewhere.  Are you going somewhere?  If the answer is “Yes” then you have to ask yourself if you want to be a Leader.

Again, seems simple doesn’t it.  I know some people who have a full head of steam, and they were going places.  The thing about them is they did not want to be Leader.  They know where they want to go, but they are perfectly happy being loners or doing things on their own terms.  Then there are people who want to be Leaders, but they are not going anywhere.  This to me is a very frustrating place to be; because you see, people who want to be Leaders but don’t know where they are going do not want to see you get where you are going.

This post is not going to answer all of the questions a Leader will have to answer.  No, this post is just to state a simple fact.  To be a Leader you need to be going somewhere.  See if you are just running around in circles, people will notice.  They may even ask you, “Where are you going?”  You may or may not have answer, and the answer may or may not be true.  Some people may just follow you. They may ask you “Where you are going,” or ask if you need help.  Do you have an honest answer?  Sooner or later, if you are just running around in circles, people will not follow you any longer.  To be a Leader you need to be going somewhere.

Where am I going with all of this?  Good question.  I know some people who are incredibly driven, but they are not Leaders.  They do not explain where they are going to the people around them.  I know some people who want to be Leaders, but they really don’t have a plan worth signing up to follow.  They usually spend a lot of time throwing stones at other people’s lives.  If you have somewhere you are going, and can see the value of working as a team, then maybe just maybe you have want it takes to be a Leader.

Now there are many more items on the list.  You have to be able to explain where you are going and why, if you want people to follow you.  You may have to challenge people to step up their game to keep up with you.  You may have to slow down a minute so you do not tear the team apart.  You may have to teach people how they fit into where you are going, but it is all worth.  Bottom line though, to be a Leader you have to be going somewhere.

Again, this post is not about all the things it takes to be a Leader.  No, it is just to state the simple fact, you have to get up and do something to merit being a Leader.  You can not just be running around in circles yelling “Follow me!”  After a while, people will get tired of spending a lot of energy to get no where.  There needs to be a plan, there needs to be a goal, and there needs to be a purpose.  If people are going to follow you, they deserve to know where you are going.  If you want to be a Leader, you need to be going somewhere.

Be R.E.A.L.

Be R.E.A.L.

First and foremost I have to thank my wife for being the inspiration for this post.  A lot of things I post are things my wife and I talk about every day.  We are trying to find our way to help make the world a better place, or at least make a better place out of our corner of the world.  People need to Be R.E.A.L. – Reliable, Energetic, Authentic and A Leader.

Now let me start with a disclaimer.  A lot of people who run around saying “Be Real” are as fake as it gets.  So when I say be R.E.A.L. notice I am using an acronym.  Be R.E.A.L. – Reliable, Energetic, Authentic and A Leader.  So what is the difference?  Well use this litmus test. Does the person saying “Be Real” or “For Real” have something to gain by you making a quick decision in their favor?  Is the person trying to convince or pressure you into something before you can check the facts?  Then they may be trying to scam you and are not R.E.A.L.  Be smart enough to see past the Wingman or Wing woman who is telling you to trust the person; they could be in on the scam.  Being R.E.A.L. – Reliable, Energetic, Authentic and A Leader takes time, but I only have 60 Seconds to break this down for you.  So, here I go.

Be R.E.A.L. – Reliable, Energetic, Authentic and A Leader.

Be Reliable.  Are you dependable?  Are you on time?  Do you do what you say you will do?  Listen step one of being R.E.A.L. is being Reliable.  To find out, you have to Make Plans, Set Goals, Make a Schedule and Track your Results.  It is so easy to say and so hard to do.  Being Reliable means you have a track record for doing want you say you will do, you have a track record for standing up for what is right, you have a track record for admitting when you are wrong and you have a track record for fixing the things when you mess up.  Operative phrase here is “Track Record” don’t fall for the quick and easy pitch.  This is step one of Being R.E.A.L. and not everyone qualifies.  Don’t fall for the people who say “Be Real” watch people who have a proven Track Record of being Reliable.

Be R.E.A.L. – Reliable, Energetic, Authentic and A Leader.

Now Be Energetic:  Being reliable is step one, now you have to get active, vigorous and full of life.  If you have a proven track record, then hopefully you are excited about making the world a better place!  You have plans, goals, a schedule and a proven track record.  Now have the energy to set your plans in motion.  Now have the energy to reach your goals.  Now have the energy to get ahead of schedule.  Now have the energy to break your records!  The world can drag you down.  I get dragged down by people who talk about being real and then take advantage of you or do not show up when you need them.  I am uplifted by people who are Reliable and Energetic.

Be R.E.A.L. – Reliable, Energetic, Authentic and A Leader.

Be Authentic! Be true, be valid.  Be what you say you are.  Does this reinforce being Reliable?  Yes it does.  A well maintained Chevette can be a reliable car; but a well maintained Chevette is Not a Corvette.  Be what you say you are; don’t make a bunch of false claims.  Listen, there is a balance you have to maintain.  Yes, Dream Big, and yes Be Reliable and Be Energetic; but when you are setting your goals and making you plans, set realistic goals, and then stretch them slightly.  Stretch your goals enough so you have to reach for them but you can still reach them!  Big Dreams need Strong Teams.  Do you have the Time, People Power and Resources to reach the goals on schedule?

Be R.E.A.L. – Reliable, Energetic, Authentic and A Leader.

The bottom line on being R.E.A.L is being a Leader!  Take the bull by the horns, and I mean when you hear something the sounds like Bull, take it by the horns and Lead it out the door.  If everyone around you is Reliable, Energetic and Authentic, you can get a lot done by just setting things into motion.  If people are not who they say they are, they can train wreck everything you are trying to do.  A Leader has to know how to keep things on track, a Leader needs to know how to keep everyone focused on the goals.  A Leader needs to know how to include everyone who is trying to help out.  And sometimes a Leader needs to know when to leave people who are disruptive or deceptive behind.  Not everyone will be heading in the direction you and your team want to goal.  I have never heard of a Plane heading to California stop and turn around and go To New York because One Person got on the wrong airplane.  If you are Reliable, Energetic, Authentic then you understand that the Busses, Trains and Planes have to run on Schedule.  Do not let people who are “Faking” it derail you.  Be a Leader, help make plans, help set goals, help make the schedule and help keep things on track; but as a realize as a Leader that everyone has to pull together, everyone has to pitch in, and everyone has to do their fair share.

Be R.E.A.L. – Reliable, Energetic, Authentic and A Leader

When a Leader should be first and when they should be last.

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  It seems I am blogging about Leadership a lot.  Maybe I have a lot to learn, maybe I have a point to prove or maybe a little of both.  I my mind a Leader has to know when to be first and when they should be last.  This is all just my opinion; you should make up your own mind.

A Leader should be the first to explain their vision.  If the leader can not help you see the goal and feel excited about reaching it, than who will?  How do you know that the vision has not been distorted?  The vision has to be the first to explain, train and teach others to help make the vision a reality.  A Leader needs to have a goal, a vision; a dream that they are trying to reach.  They should be the first to explain the vision as simply and clearly as possible.

A Leader should be last in line to seek glory.  Leadership should be first and foremost about service to others and not personal gain.  If you are instrumental in building a system to help others succeed, you will succeed.  If a Leader is focusing on building themselves up, what are they doing to those who follow them?  If a Leader is not serving those who follow them, they might just be using their followers.

A Leader should be first in line when it comes to helping others.  A Leader should genuinely care about the people who follow them.  That does not mean the Leader can be all things to all people, but in the context of the vision that is being pursued, the Leader should be the first to lend a helping hand when they see someone struggle.  A Leader will learn again and again how to see through others eyes, and can learn more because of it.  Again, a Leader can not be all things to all people, but they can help other avoid the traps they have learned along the way.

A Leader should be the last one seeking reward.  A Leader makes sure that others are taken care of first.  It can be something as simple as flipping burgers at picnic, or something as complicated as splitting up bonus checks.  If a Leader is looking out for number one first, then what happens to everyone else?  Are they left fighting over the crumbs?  You see it all too often when greed runs wild.  The people on Top jump ship, leaving everyone else stranded.  If a Leader is setting up a fair and honest system, they know there is more than enough to go around, if the Leadership is worried about personal gain over the greater good, there may no be enough to go around for your efforts.

A Leader should be the first seeking to understand both sides of any story.  A Leader should understand there are two sides to every story and try to take a fair and balanced look at the facts before making up their minds.  Leaders should be open-minded, and see what adds up before they act.  The best deal is not always the first deal, and the facts are not always the first story told.  A Leader should be the first trying to find out the facts and the truth and get understanding of both sides of the story.

A Leader should be the last to place blame.  It may be hard to let things play out, and to also minimize the damage that can be done when people do not do what they say they will do.  A Leader should be seeking to find the problems in the systems and help people.  A Leader does not use people as scapegoats or hang people out to dry to make them self look good.  Leaders that spend too much time blaming others may be trying to cover up for themselves.  Choose Carefully.

A Leader should be the first person looking for the win-win situation.  Yes there are winners and losers, but be careful not to follow someone who wants to take advantage of people and set up I win -You lose deals.  Leaders should be looking to make deals that benefit the most and harm the least amount of people possible.

The list can go on and on, but it is important to know when a Leader should be first and when they should be last.  This list is not for show, but to show you really care.  If a Leader does not care about the people who follow them, then they are not worth following.

You can lead a leader to leadership but you can’t make them lead.

If you are new to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo, this title may make you wonder for a minute.  I guess that was my point.  To paraphrase a popular proverb about a horse and water; “You can lead a leader to leadership but you can’t make them lead.”  I have been involved in a sweeping discussion about Leadership, Vision and Courage to Act.  The discussion has revolved around the definition of a Leader, and that everyone has Leadership Potential.  So if you want to know more on my point of view, keep reading.

You can lead a leader to leadership but you can’t make them lead.  Ok, first let’s assume that everyone is a Potential Leader; they just need to be given the chance to lead.  Let’s say that everyone has an idea or opinion on how they could make something better.  Come on, we have all been there.  Listening to people complain about their jobs or their lives in general.  Someone says that someone should do something; and then nothing gets done other than placing blame and going back to the same old same old routine.  Now, let’s take that person who says “Someone should do something” and ask them what should be done?  Do your think they really have an answer?  If they do, ask them one simple question; “Why don’t you do something?”  Now does this sound harsh?  To challenge people to put their money where their mouth is?  Is it wrong to challenge someone to back up their words?  I am not talking about physical confrontations.  I am talking about challenging a (Potential) Leader to stand up and take the Lead.

I have seen this from the inside out and from the outside in. I have been a part of a few organizations and I have watched people who are part of organizations complain about how things are being ran.  I ask the very simple question, “Why not put it to a vote and see who else thinks the same way you do?”  You would be surprised how many people will not even do that much; “You can lead a Potential Leader to the point of taking the lead, but you can not force them to actually take the lead.”  Do you see what I did there?  Let me break it down again.  “You can lead a leader to leadership, but you can’t make them lead.”

You see leading takes action, and action takes effort; and not all Leadership is Dictatorship.  People may actually not want to do what you suggest.  Are people scared to actually voice their opinions’ in a group setting?  Is peer pressure or the fear of failure too great to stand up for what you believe is the right thing to do?  I think sometimes people lack the courage to act on their ideas.  They have been told their whole lives to play it safe and not make waves, and go with the flow to the point where they no longer believe in themselves.  I think that everyone has a vision, no matter how grand or small; but most people lack the courage to act.  So some people, who are good a speaking in public, they voice their opinions’ and people follow; while others are too afraid to voice their opinion in public, but they will sit in their small circle of friends and complain all day long.  Following does not take as much effort and nowhere near as much courage as leading.  You can’t force people to lead.  Man what would it take to get them to stop complaining and placing blame though?

Trust me, I say all this out of love and respect for the people who read 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  I am saying the “misery loves company circle” is a trap you can not allow yourself to get stuck in.  If you are surrounded by people who are saying “Someone should do something” and no one is doing anything, you must find a new circle.  Otherwise you can get stuck in a very deep rut where nothing ever changes, no matter how much complaining you do.  Be brave enough to stand up and put things to a vote.  Be brave enough to try to find an answer and make a change for the better, no matter how small.  You can lead potential leaders to leadership but you can’t make them lead.

OK, how do you make the change?  First try to figure out what is wrong without throwing a lot of stones at anyone.  Simply, what is the problem, and how can we fix it?  If you have an idea, ask people what they think; and take their input and advice.  This is not just a “complaint department,” this is the “propose a solution department.”  Once you think you have an idea that everyone or at least most people can live with; take it to the person who has the power to make the change a reality.  What do you have to lose?  Did you really lose if they say “No?”  You tried; you stood up and tried to make a difference.  Now even if they say “No,” at least they are aware there is a problem.  The next step is again, to ask for more input; what else can be done that can change the situation?  Maybe you can still find an answer that is better that what is currently going on.  Or you can give up and complain.  You can lead a leader to leadership but you can’t make them lead.

A leader has to believe they can make a difference.  This is an art and a skill, and any skill needs practice.  If you will not learn how to bring about small changes in small groups, how are you going to bring about large change in large groups?  You have to believe that there is an answer.  You can lead a leader to leadership, but you can’t make them lead.  Maybe if I type it enough times, maybe if you read it enough times; you will start to get it.  Really listen to the people around you, do they complain and never have an answer?  Do the people around have answers and never follow-up on them; or do the people around you believe they can make a difference and then take their shot?  Do not allow yourself to get caught in an endless parade of pity parties.  Get around people who are committed to making a difference and get involved.  You can’t make a person a leader.  I can’t make you a leader.  Everyone has to find the vision, the commitment to the vision and the courage to act inside themselves.  Start with small changes in small groups and work your way up.

You can lead a leader to leadership but you can’t make them lead.

What do you have to lose, by taking the lead?

Nothing, you have everything to gain.  If you have a vision, you have a dream, do you think it will fall out of the sky and into your lap?  If you have an idea, do you think someone will do it for you?  What do you have to lose by learning how to be a leader?  Nothing, you have everything to gain.

Let’s run this down.  Excuse Number One.  I don’t have any time.  Let’s say you have a great Idea, and you just don’t have the time to make it a reality.  Someone else comes along, takes your idea, and makes it a reality.  After they have retired do you think they will give you a big chunk of the profit?  What if the person does not even know you, they just wound up with the same idea you had?  You have to make time to chase your dreams.  In the beginning there will be no money, no resources except for the time you spend.  Take your idea, write it down, make it clear, figure it out, work on it, and get others to see the vision and help you.  Learn to lead a little at a time with the goal of making your vision realty.  What do you have to lose?  The only thing you have to lose is the excuses you are making.  You have everything to gain by trying.

Excuse Number Two.  I don’t have any money.  Neither do I, but why would you let that stop you?  Necessity is the mother of invention.  If your idea is a good idea, draw up your plans and take them to an organization like S.C.O.R.E.  They can help you get a business plan together.  Then you will have to build your team.  Get some like-minded people together who want to do the same thing you want to do, and work on your idea nights and weekend, until you gain some traction.  What do you have to lose, by learning how to be a leader?  Nothing, you have everything to gain!

Excuse Number Three.  I am not a Leader.  OK, then volunteer somewhere any where, and learn from the people who are leaders.  This is a lot cheaper than going back to college.  Figure out what you want to do, and get around people who are doing it, and learn directly from them.  Again, what do you have to lose, except another excuse?

Excuse Number Four.  No one will follow me.  No one will follow me either, but it does not stop me from trying.  Figure out what you want to do, and invite people to come along; but do not wait for them.  Do what you are setting out to do, even if you are the only one who does it.  If you get good people will notice.  If your friends will not come along, make new friends along the way; friends who are heading in the same direction you are heading.  What do you have to lose?  Again, you got everything to gain.

Excuse Number Five.  I don’t know anything.  Well if you are reading this, you know how to use a computer.  Google it, Wiki It, go to the Library.  Study, Do, Mentor, Get Mentored, Give then Take; Take away new knowledge, a little at a time, until it all comes together.  You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by becoming a Leader.

True Leaders give the M.O.S.T.

M.O.S.T!  Motivate, Operate, Serve and Teach:  True Leaders give the M.O.S.T.  Leadership is a choice and with that choice comes responsibility.  A Leader has to show the way and care for those who him them.  A True Leader has to give the M.O.S.T.  A Leader has to Motivate, Operate, Serve and Teach. 

First up a Leader should be a Motivator.  Leadership starts with vision, and a Leader has to communicate that vision to the people and then give people a path to follow.  Write the vision, make it clear.  A Leader should provide a plain simple message that should get people up and ready to act.  My message is simple, “Chase your dreams.”  Other messages may be more complicated, but still; they should be broken down into simple manageable pieces.  A Leader breaks down the vision into a simple message that people can understand.  The Leader has a duty to call their followers to action.  Therefore a Leader needs to be a Motivator.

Secondly a Leader needs to understand how to Operator in the vision.  I am not talking about a smooth operator, like the song.  A Leader should be able to set an example.  Two or more people have to Operate before there can be cooperation.  A Leader who is afraid to get their hands dirty may lose the trust of some of their followers; but people will trust a Leader that can lend a hand and carry a part of the load when the chips are down.

Third, a Leader should be a Servant.  A True and Faithful Leader cares about the people who are following them.  To serve those that follow you is one of the highest callings of a Leader.  This is what is missing in a lot of management and political positions.  People who are supposed to be leading lose sight of the fact that they are servants to their followers.  To give the M.O.S.T. as a Leader, you must remain a servant of those that follow you.  Losing sight of this fact can lead to corruption of the Leader.

Last, but not least, a Leader should be a Teacher.  Early on in my career as an Engineer, one of my trainers told me “The best way to move on is teach others how to do what you know so you can learn something new.”  Leaders need to learn how to teach for more than one reason.  First, it makes sure that someone can take the lead if you are not there.  If no one else can take the lead, the Leader can not take a day off.  Secondly, the more you teach others, the more you will learn yourself.  You will see things from more points of view.  Third, the more a Leader teaches their followers, the more they are freed up to learn new things.  A Leader must continually find ways to teach what they know to others.

True Leaders give the M.O.S.T.  They should be Motivators of a vision to their followers, they should be able to Operate in that vision, they should be servants to their followers and they should constantly find ways to teach others how to operate in the vision.  A Leader is constantly searching for ways to Motivate, Co-Operate, Serve and Teach.