A Guide To Facing Reality as a New Leader

“A new leader has to be able to change an organization that is dreamless, soulless and visionless … someone’s got to make a wake-up call.” – Warren Bennis

You are the new leader. Your predecessor, Marty, was a nice person but under his leadership, the organization continued to struggle, people were not engaged and Marty tried to gloss over problems by giving inspirational speeches and pep talks but rarely backed them with ideas and action. The truth was Marty couldn’t face reality. He couldn’t be honest with everyone and say, “Hey, we got some problems and here they are.”

Max De Pree in Leadership is an Art said that the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. Jack Welch of GE said about reality; “Face the facts and don’t flinch.”

A strong leader has to be willing to face the cold hard facts and then communicate them to the entire organization.

Here are some suggestions: 

    1. Lead with your beliefs & talents – let others know what you stand for and the talents you have

    2. Be honest – be willing to reveal the good, the bad and the ugly as you see it

    3. Be positive – lead with a positive mindset and begin to develop a positive culture 

    4. Have a plan – don’t bring up problems without suggestions and plans for solutions

    5. Listen & learn – conduct an open forum with the purpose of gaining information

    6. Seek advice – admit you don’t have all the answers and demonstrate your willingness for suggestions and solutions 

New leaders need to establish the proper atmosphere for collaboration. Demonstrate immediately that you intend to involve everyone, listen, seek advice and work together find the best solution for everyone and the organization.

Have a Great Masonic Day!

Pick Your Leader From One of These Cartoon Characters

Mr. Magoo – a loveable character but his nearsightedness, compounded by his stubborn refusal to admit the problem, gets him into constant trouble.

The leader – someone with no long-term vision which causes the organization to drift aimlessly. The lack of a defined goal is uninspiring and the followers are not actively engaged.

Elmer Fudd – his aim is to hunt Bugs, but he usually ends up seriously injuring himself and others, as well as, antagonizing other characters.

The leader – a person whose”win at all costs” attitude on one target ignores other important issues. So while they may win the battle they lose the war and this tunnel vision damages the organization. 

Wile E. Coyote – uses absurdly complex contraptions and elaborate plans to pursue his prey.

The leader – a micro-manager that focuses on systems, rules, and regulations to accomplish a task. Followers spend their time complying with rules; imagination and innovation are non-existent. 

The Grinch – someone with a coarse, greedy attitude.

The leader – someone focused on establishing and maintaining power. They make sure they are the center of attention and the organizational victories belong to them; they don’t share the glory. 

Homer Simpson – he is crude, overweight, incompetent, clumsy, lazy, and ignorant; however, he is essentially a decent man.

The leader – they have been elevated to their position of leadership by forces other than ability. They will not acknowledge their weaknesses and feel no need to heed advice from others with greater knowledge. 

Bugs Bunny – carelessness, heedlessness, indifference, or casual unconcern cocky and brash

The leader – these leaders believe they are bullet-proof. They approach difficulties with the attitude that because of who they are problems will be solved. They view major problems as minor setbacks.

Have a Great Masonic Day!

How to Stand Out as a Leader

When I was with the rest of the Founding Partners of the John Maxwell Team, I knew that parts of the program were to be filmed. I purposely wore a bright red shirt so when the camera panned the crowd I could quickly find myself. It worked; of the 500+ people in the room there were only 3 or 4 with red on. When you watch the video below, you can see me over John’s left shoulder. I’m the bald guy with the red shirt.

For leaders to be effective they need to be easily spotted; they need to stand out

Here are some thoughts to make that happen.

    1. Project an air of confidence. This is not arrogance but an ability to project your clarity of purpose and leadership competence which instills confidence in others.
    2. Display a positive mindset. When you have clarity about yourself you become aware of your leadership talents. By leading with these talents you will display a positive attitude.
    3. Be responsive to others. Followers want to be heard, understood and know their contributions are appreciated. You will stand out if you listen intently to others.
    4. Be a problem solver. Leaders find ways to remove obstacles; be willing to do hard work.
    5. Love people. You will gain trust, build positive influence and have the most impact if you display by your actions you truly care.

Now let’s listen to John talk about influence.

Have a Great Masonic Day!

“The Boss” Bruce Springsteen Leads with Trust

BruceSprintgsteen_05

At the E Street Band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Roy Bittan, piano player for the band, said this:

“When we are called into the studio we are not handed a piece of paper with music to play. We are entrusted with the responsibility to use our music instincts and our particular vision to create a record.”

This statement by the E Street Band’s piano player says so much about Bruce Springsteen’s stature as a leader and the respect the band members have of him and their craft.

“We are entrusted with the responsibility…”

  1. They understand that what they are about to create will reflect on their leader’s reputation
  2. They acknowledge that Bruce trusts them to maintain that reputation
  3. They respect Bruce and his music and do not want their efforts to tarnish him or his music

“…to use our music instincts and our particular vision”

  1. They understand that Bruce has given them latitude to use the music they individually believe will produce a great record
  2. They also know that their individual vision must meld with the other musicians’ visions to preserve the E Street sound
  3. They understand that Bruce respects them as musicians and has great trust in their instincts

Great teams build great trust. They build great respect for one another. This trust and respect allows them to pursue and accomplish the team’s goal without fear that their individual reputations will be diminished by another member of the team.

Be a great leader and build great teams with Trust and Respect.

Have a Great Masonic Day and Become a Leader!

 

 

 

Do Your Lodge Leaders Have These Qualities?

Officers vintage photo

There is certainly more to being a lodge officer than learning ritual…

Here are some leadership qualities to think about and to look for in selecting officers.

Positive Attitude

There nothing more harmful to an organization than a leader who is not positive in his outlook on life. We all have our “down days” but a leader who displays negativity constantly does nothing to create positive momentum. The lodge needs officers who will face our challenges positively, and with an attitude that will inspire others.

Character

As Masons we are taught to live respected. Gaining respect as a leader requires that we constantly demonstrate that we are trustworthy, lead with fairness, responsibly and a caring attitude. The display of a solid character will establish a leader as one who will lead with the best interest of the lodge at heart.

An Attitude of Service

Having the wrong attitude as a leader will lead you into disaster. Just because you have been given a title doesn’t make you a leader.

Your title means that you have been given responsibilities and  a good lodge leader understands that  because of these responsibilities he must make decisions that are good for the lodge and not himself.

This attitude of service also means that a lodge leader must be willing to make some personal sacrifices to ensure he fulfills his lodge responsibilities.

An attitude of service will bring you respect as a leader.

Commitment

A committed lodge leader is one that believes in the practice of Masonry and understands that personal sacrifice is necessary to be an effective officer. As your responsibilities grow as a leader your options become fewer. The higher you go in the lodge line the more you must realize that your personal preferences are secondary to the needs of the organization. Don’t become an officer without assessing your commitment to the work that must be done.

Communicator

A good leader must be able to communicate effectively, especially when part of a leadership team. Lodge officers must be able to communicate with each other, the brethren, other lodges and the community. Their communications must be clear, concise and understood.

An effective communicator understands that communication is a two-way street; listening is just a important as talking.

Visionary

A good leader must be able to see before others  and further than others. A lodge officer must understand that part of his responsibility is to see that the organization continues after he serves as Master.

So an effective leader must be able to envision the future needs of his organization and lead currently in a manner that prepares the organization for the future.

A visionary leader will strive to constantly find others to mentor and build into the lodge’s future leaders.

Have a Great Masonic Day!