Movers, Shakers, Leadership Makers

Relevant Resources for Leaders, Innovators, and Thinkers

30 Seconds on Leadership….The importance of your Example — October 13, 2015

30 Seconds on Leadership….The importance of your Example

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Leaders your actions make a greater impact than your words. Strive to be intentional and ethical in all you do!
-ENNA B

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Enna on Leadership….We Lead By Example — August 18, 2013

Enna on Leadership….We Lead By Example

We lead by example. The thing to remember is that whatever example we set (good or bad,) is the one that has inlfuence. Leaders who use their power and influence to bring out the best in in their followers advance the goals and objectives of the organization in the most impactful ways. -Enna B

We must begin to see every action, intention, and conversation as an impact on our organization, stakeholders, and followers. As the head goes, so goes the body. Never under estimate the the power of your example and influence.

 

Why we Need More Heroes — August 15, 2013
FOUR THINGS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU ARGUE — August 8, 2013

FOUR THINGS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU ARGUE

What do you do when you find yourself sitting across the table from someone who makes a comment that strikes at the core of everything you believe in? I’m not talking here about intervening in cases of clear wrongdoing, violence or aggression. I’m talking about the kind of disagreements or confrontations that cause people to feel terrible for the rest of the day, or worse, to start resenting colleagues with whom they are better off remaining peaceful.

Your reaction depends on what you hope to accomplish.

So before you get baited by someone else’s view, ask yourself the following questions.

Is there anything to be gained by engaging in conflict with this person?

I was taught that if you have something on your mind, you say it. But this isn’t a very strategic (or fun) way to approach relationships. When you say what’s on your mind without thinking first, you can end up wasting a lot of time — your own and the other person’s.

Stating your views doesn’t mean you’re contributing anything toward creating the kind of environment in which those views can take hold. I love living in a free country, and I wish everyone could. But wasting time isn’t freedom, and free speech is better practiced responsibly. After the shooting in Newtown, for example, many gun supporters took the time on social media to remind people why they think it’s important for Americans to maintain the right to bear arms. This created the impression that some people don’t mind when children are slaughtered, as long as guns remain in circulation.

These people would have been better served quietly focusing on ways to make sure gun safety and responsible ownership take top priority in the future. Many people in the other camp argued with them, when their efforts could have been better spent focused on gun safety and responsible gun ownership as well. Even when two sides disagree on specifics but agree on the bigger picture, arguments tend to cause both sides to dig in, and ultimately, I suspect, to take less meaningful action because in arguing, they feel that they’ve already done something. Obviously talk and action are not mutually exclusive, but you might ask yourself if talk has become a substitute for results-based action.

Do I really understand why this person is reacting this way?

This post was sparked by a recent experience I had at a meeting. A colleague of mine mentioned her work to inspire girls to feel they can pursue careers in science and technology, and the person we were meeting with indicated that he’s tired of boys feeling as if they are growing up in a world where all the opportunities are reserved for girls.

It happens that right before I met up with them that day, I had just read an update about the girl in India whose face was destroyed when boys attacked her with acid. I wondered if she would agree that the future of the world belongs to girls alone. Additionally, I had just re-read this post, Distress of the Privileged, by Doug Muder, in which the author nails the broader context of how people tend to occupy prescribed positions in society and what happens when the order breaks down. These two items were heavily on my mind, influencing the way I interpreted the discussion. The same way I had my own ideas about the subject, so did they.

They were both upset. But it seemed to me that they were both coming at the same problem from two different angles, even though on the surface their views seemed to contradict each other — which brings us to the next question.

Am I listening to the other person?

It’s very easy, once our buttons have been pushed, to close off to the view of the other person, get defensive, or hear what we want to hear. History is filled with bloodbaths that started off with simple disagreements and escalated into epic battles.

The thing about the argument described above is that they were both right, but they were both focused on a single dimension of a much bigger problem: the fact that both boys and girls are raised to believe in illusions that dictate how each gender is “supposed” to act. It’s poisonous for all kids to be subjected to these artificial paradigms, their elastic young brains programmed with outdated rules.

If a guy is scared about women being in power, maybe that means the movement to cultivate more people with female leadership characteristics is getting somewhere, but that at the same time, boys shouldn’t be made to feel marginalized the way girls are. Listening to a dissenting view, no matter how much it flies in the face of your beliefs, is actually quite educational.

Am I just repeating a pattern?

Sometimes we repeat old habits of mind without stopping to wonder whether they still serve us. We are creatures of habit, and we tend to reject new ideas without thinking them through. In her excellent book How to Stay Sane, Philippa Perry argues that reframing our interpretations of reality is the key to experiencing life in a sane way. Another key obstruction is the fear of being wrong.

“If we practice detachment from our thoughts we learn to observe them as though we are taking a bird’s eye view of our own thinking. When we do this, we might find that our thinking belongs to an older, and different, story to the one we are now living,” Perry wrote.

@RitaJKing

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