Category Archives: Leading

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The Discipline of Continuous Improvement And Growth

Improvement a blog by Vince Miller

The Discipline of Continuous Improvement And Growth

"You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over." Richard Branson

"Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance." Proverbs 1:5

There is a need for leaders in our fast-paced world.
Leaders must have a disposition for disciplined growth in today's business world or suffer the fate of professional suicide. Many jobs and job levels that we once considered to be permanent occupations in the business world are now changing faster due to technological innovation and globalization and driving organizations toward flatter and leaner models. Soft skills in the areas of cultural intelligence and emotional intelligence, unheard of not too long ago, are now considered critical leadership skills. The pace of networking and marketing in a web-driven social media environment are driving the speed up and offering connections to people worldwide. And with this challenge comes change to how leadership is being accomplished - at lightning speed nonetheless. As John Kotter has said, "As the pace of change accelerates, there is naturally a greater need for effective leadership.” And the way we address it is through our improvement and growth.

Three principles of continuous improvement for the leader.

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Principle One | Aim for there.
Think about this: What got you to here, only got you to here - it won't get you there. Every new level of leadership has its own set of challenges that require a new mindset and thus a new set of skills. As we face these challenges, we should welcome the opportunity to develop new paradigms that will accelerate our leadership. It used to be that a leader would gain certification in a single field, and leverage that degree or certification for a lifetime. But in today's world, a person with a broad set of work experiences, many certifications, and numerous cultural experiences has the upper hand. It's a queue for developing organizations that you have a drive for continuous learning and advancement. Companies and their leaders today know that the way business is being done is changing and with this comes needed knowledge in new areas, some roles might have unique and new titles. Being committed to continuous learning has the power to take you there - that new place others are looking to go.

Principle Two | Find mentors.
Mentors, not a single mentor, is another way to drive for continuous improvement. No one person can mentor us in all areas. I have mentors I lean on for financial advice, spiritual advice, fitness advice, sales advice, personal advice, family advice, strategic advice, and kid advice. You name it, and you can find a mentor. But you may have to draw it out of them; they will not think of themselves as a mentor. They will be people who do things you want to do when you don't know how and may accomplish great feats effortlessly. Multiple mentor relationships with people who are a step or two ahead of you can help you learn things that you want and need to learn faster than any book you will ever read. They can also help us understand how one's work values need to change when one goes from one level of responsibility to another. These are things we would not naturally know as we had not been there before. So when initiating a relationship with a mentor be very specific as to what you desire to gain from the time together and be willing to read or participate in learning experiences that they recommend.

Principle Three | Read and ask questions.
Ask your mentors or those you respect what books, articles or journals they would recommend to you. Well-chosen books are far more critical than the number of books you read, although attempting to read at least one book per month is a good one. It is said that Bill Gates reads about 50 books each year, and many great leaders have followed his lead on this. Also, strike up conversations with as many people as you can. And not just senior level leaders or those you want to mentor you, but those who have hands-on and meaningful work in specific areas. Peter Drucker would spend up to an hour every morning talking to line managers in various industries to find out what was happening. He had a range of knowledge that was phenomenal from a conversation he had with people "down the line."

The bottom line is that leaders are learners - continuously and aggressively. The best leaders focus on growing holistically including in their spiritual, emotional, relational, cultural and work-related skills. The more we develop, the more we have to offer and the more valuable we are to the organizations we serve.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Leadership Focus

Leadership Focus a blog by Vince Miller

Leadership Focus

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee

"Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you." Proverbs 4:25

Why some leaders accomplish more than others.
It is always intriguing to me what some people accomplish in a lifetime. Some people achieve a great deal more than others - significantly more. We all are given the same amount of time every day. And we each have intermittent issues and thus have levels of busyness. But what factors separate those who consistently accomplish more than others? Is it that they are of higher giftedness, greater intelligence, or more in tune with themselves - or are there other factors?

The answer is quite simple. These leaders are far more focused than the average person. They have an intense clarity, concentrate on concise objectives, and evaluate them to free themselves to accomplish more than the average person.

Three factors to leadership focus.

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Factor One | Clarity.
Clarity is a discipline. It knows what we want to go after in our life and work. If you lead a family, team, or organization, you can stay very busy doing all kinds of irrelevant activities, and most know what this is like and how it feels. Or you can identify those things that only you can or should do to help others meet their objectives. The reason many leaders don’t leverage this early enough is that it requires some deep reflection, honesty, self-realization, and feedback to hone in this discipline. It is far easier to be attracted to immediate and urgent concerns than it is to clarify what is essential for you to – and for your team members. A disposition for personal clarity is of primary importance to the leader, and you will find that your people crave it in a time of uncertainty.

Factor Two | Less is more.
A leadership mindset that is focused on less, but on the right priorities, will by nature address other minor interruptions. The "less is more" precept is something always stirring around in the back of a leader's mind. With a bit of strategic thinking, they understand that focusing on doing first things first will address bigger issues, and keep them, and others, running from one small issue to another. If two leaders of equal talent, enthusiasm, and experience work the same business market in the same manner but one focuses 100% of their time on activities that lead to results, who do you think is going to win out? Getting things done is not the focus of a great leader, it accomplishing the right objectives. Zig Ziglar said years ago, “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem.” There are far too many distractions day to day. Those I know who focus on these few essential things always achieve far more than others.

Factor Three | Evaluate.
The best leaders continually evaluate their time and work priorities. This is in order to keep the main thing the main thing and not allowing their time to be absorbed up by less important things. They evaluate their time commitments carefully to ensure that what they say "yes" to is consistent with their key objectives. They will say "no" often - but with good reason. They may use the word "no" a lot more than others to increase give time or effort in another area. Steve Jobs said, “Focusing is about saying no.” Weekly, monthly and annually a leader should take time to evaluate their objectives and alignment with what is most important. They are willing to stop doing those things that do not contribute to their goals.

If you practice these simple principles you will be amazed at how much more productive you are and by extension, your team.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Leaders and Cultural Intelligence

Cultural Leadership a blog by Vince Miller

Leaders and Cultural Intelligence

"Strength lies in our differences, not our similarities." Stephen Covey

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." Proverbs 11:2

It's more than classroom education; it's your real-world education.
Classroom education and business acumen will attribute to our leadership development, but in today's world, we need more than just these two elements. Leadership today has many more high-touch experiences with stakeholders and leaders at every level, than in preceding decades. Add to this that leaders need to be able to maneuver ever-changing cultural settings. We cannot miss the fact that as our world "gets smaller" business is becoming more globally founded and leaders must be able to understand, appreciate, and support these differences to lead effectively.

Cultural intelligence is the ability to negotiate cultural practices, leadership nuances, team distinctions, and communication diversity. These are skills learned while interacting with culture and abilities that are intricate to bridge and yet critical to understand and can strengthen or weaken alliances. Leaders who actively grow their cultural intelligence are in stronger positions to lead through changing circumstances. Here are three postures of the culturally intelligent leader.

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Posture One | Humility
Leaders who are overconfident of themselves are destined to fall. The question is usually how far and how hard. Hubris keeps a leader self-focused prohibits them from listening carefully to cultural nuances, but humility works hard to be others-focused taking the position of a learner. Cultural intelligence requires the humility to understand that we hold some level of expertise in our role and position but recognizes that we don't know all things about all cultures. It assumes that while a solution, system, sequence, or segmentation works well in one culture, the implementation of this may not work well in another.

Posture Two | Curious
Humility gives way to a leader being curious. The best thing we can do in a cross-cultural situation is to ask a lot of questions and draw people out rather than to talk about ourselves, our methods, and our ideas. In our questions, we seek to understand not merely be understood. We may even need to yield our cultural ignorance or inexperienced to build a meaningful connection with others. The more time you spend with someone of another culture the more, you will become sensitive to other cultures and recognize how much you may not know. This leader is willing to invite questions and discussion knowing they may create the best exchange and being able to encourage others to share their viewpoints is an art in every culture. Keep in mind some cultures employees are not allowed to challenge a process, and others make decisions by consensus. We don't know what we don't know so be inquisitive.

Posture Three | Sensitive
In conversations and dialogue with those from another culture than you whether in a group setting or one on one it is essential to be sensitive to matters that could be risky. For example criticizes a government, while fine in American culture, may be taboo in another. Remember that each cultural group has a unique worldview and the fact that it is different from ours does not mean that it is wrong, just that it is different. And, just because another country speaks the same language – Canada, the United Kingdom, and Kenya for instance – does not mean that their worldview is the same.

Remember this when interacting with those from a different culture.

  • Our worldview is different
  • Our collective experiences are different
  • Our leadership practices are often different
  • Our practice family is often different
  • Our view of authority is different
  • Our social strata are different
  • Our politics are different

All this is enough to suggest that humility, inquisitiveness, and sensitivity are critical components in developing cultural intelligence.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Writing And The Leader

Writing and the Leader a blog by Vince Miller of Resolute Mens Ministry

Writing And The Leader

"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that." Stephen King

"And you shall write on the stones all the words of this law very plainly." Deuteronomy 27:8

Leaders write
In today's fast-paced world, how you present yourself and your ideas in writing can have a powerful impression - both positive and negative. The ability of a leader to communicate well in writing is critical for superiors, boards, employees, and customers. Many leaders are ineffective at this necessary and essential skill. Nothing will dismiss your voice than a poorly written email, a counterproductive letter, defectively drafted post, or even unprepared speech that failed to recognize language or wording that hijacked the main point. Writing remains vital, and this will not change. The better we can articulate our ideas the better people will hear and the more effective we will be as we lead.

The benefits of writing to the leader

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One | Writing synthesizes random thinking
While there are many forms of communication today in our digital world, the written word still matters. Presidents and officials in countries around the globe communicate from written notes and teleprompters because every word matters. And it is in writing that we arrange our thoughts, words, ideas, and images into thoughtful patterns that people can hear, understand, and then act on it. While we think unprepared communication works more effectively a well-prepared communication is synthesized more effectively by us and others. There is not a time that slowing the mind by writing words out does not help us to build a message that we want to communicate more effectively.

Two | Writing reduces not complicates
Writing also helps to clarify often complex reasoning. It does take time and effort to do this, but when we write thoughts out we have to think about how people will read, hear, and interpret it. As we write, our mind often slows to clarify complications reduces them to essentials insights that are easy for people to understand. Organize thoughts and concepts is an inherent part of writing. Writing declutters so we can clarify for others.

Three | Writing values attention and does not waste it
With all the competing information that our teams, boards, and staff come across daily, it is easy to become confused and distracted - or let's say waste valuable time and attention. The value of a persons attention is not infinite. Each person we speak to has a limited amount of time, and their attention is valuable. Being concise, and not wasting their time with useless conversation, pointless email, and a time-sucking report is essential. We live in a day where content is no longer king, but rather precise content is king. When a leader comes along who can cut through the static, state with clarity a plan or concept, and simplify the complex, people listen and respond.

Four | Writing should be kept plain, not made complicated
Writing should always be plain. Clear in its content, easy to read, devoid of complicated words, and written so a modern reader can understand and know exactly what to do. To ensure that your writing is understandable, it is a good idea to have one or two people from a variety of angles preread communications and offer suggestions. Sentence fragments, vague words, subject and verb disagreement, misspellings, comma misuse, and big heady words can and will be a distraction. So keep it plain.

You will need to practice. And practice a lot. But the more you write, the better you lead.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Feedback

Speaking Up a blog by Vince Miller Mens Bible Studies

Feedback

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” Ken Blanchard

"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid." Proverbs 12:1

Blindspots, you have them

We all have blind spots. We discover this in driver's education classes; we have gaps in our vision as we drive down the road. We have a forward view, side-view mirrors, and rear-view mirrors that each gives us perspective on our surroundings. But even with the help of side and rear-view mirrors there is still have 10-15% that is outside of our view. These are our blind spots.

We also have blind spots in our life; both in our leadership and character. What's interesting is that other people see them, but we don't. But we can choose to see them or refuse. And often the culprit of being able to see them is our fear. Fear of others, fear of truth, fear of change, and fear of transparency, and fear of admitting weakness or fault. But what we often fail to realize is that others in pointing out our blind spots usually do so to make us better. And the path to getting better is through discovering blindspots with a little feedback. But it's not a natural leadership muscle. It's one that must be developed.

Here are some principles on how to receive feedback

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One | Listen to your emotions.
When we're receiving feedback, it's almost an automatic response to emotionally ramp up. Often we will respond with blaming or explaining. But we need to bite our lip in these moments. When your pulse begins to race and your body starts to signal biological responses like sweating, blushing, or muscle tension, you need to take a moment and quiet your emotions. Reduce the impulse in these moments to self-preserve and try not to see the person delivering the feedback as an adversary.

Two | Listen thoroughly.
Rather than respond too quickly listen completely to someone giving you feedback. People are not always so good at delivering it - like you're not good at receiving it. So give the giver an opportunity to explain. It's good to invite them also to clarify, restate, or to give examples as you listen. Just let them talk and get everything out. Often they will have been thinking about it a while. If you demonstrate, you hear they will often gradually soften their tone and bring a more positive perspective to the feedback their giving. You might even find you'll win them over. And don't prepare an answer in your mind, instead pay attention entirely to them. Ask them also to given illustrative examples. Remember they are not the enemy. The problems they see are just opportunities to find better solutions.

Three | Ask for suggestions for improvement.
To help a person move from raw feedback to constructive feedback, ask them to give examples of how they might handle the issue or what they might do to improve. When you do this, you're inviting them, and since they see the problem differently than you, it might benefit you to hear their perspective. When you do this, you're winning them over to a positive view and inviting them to help you to become better.

Four | Thank and apologize
There is usually an opportunity to apologize. When appropriate you should do so, without blaming or explaining. Own up to your issues, we all have them because no one is perfect. And then tie a nice bow on the end by thanking them. A genuine thank you when you mean it, will give them the courage to do it again - but only better. It will signal to them that you want a healthy, open, transparent, and authentic relationship with them as well. And they might have something amazing to report back to other peers about your courage and willingness. But thanking them helps to bring closure for you as well so that you can move forward. While you are sure to think on what was said for a while, the moment will be over for them - now it yours to learn from and move through.

Remember your leadership requires courage to both give and receive feedback, and how you receive it matters. So develop the skill and ability to invite feedback from others, because this is what accelerated leaders do. Leaders who do will grow faster. Build a culture of positive feelings toward feedback, and you will become a better leader and culture.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Media And The Leader

Media and the Leader a blog by Vince Miller of Resolute

Media And The Leader

“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” Jim Morrison

"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18

The power of media
Leadership carries power and position, and because of this, we are given a platform to inspire others to action. A leader of character knows that this comes with a heavy responsibility to effectively engage media - a skill that must be cultivated. Media venues are at our fingertips today (blogs, videos, social platforms, and audio forms) used to communicate a message that will be heard by many audiences. If we ignore the influence of media, the tool of media, or our emotional response to media then we end up leaving a lot of our leadership potential on the table. At the other end of the spectrum, the overuse and improper use of media can generate annoyances with our audience. So we must find ways to use it successfully leverage this tool.

Five ways to engage media

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One | Produce compelling content
Too often in using the media, we think to produce "content" when we need to be thinking produce "compelling content." There is always a difference between what we believe is valuable to communicate and what our audience thinks is valuable. If we don't deliver what's compelling to our audience the messages will be ignored. Understanding what motivates and compels our audience is vital to compellingly messaging content. Here's a quick tip - grab your audience emotionally by reaching out to their hopes and dreams, not yours. Keep them the center of the story, and they will be more engaged.

Two | Properly disseminate
It's good always to consider how you will spread your message. The key is to adopt a method that will work for the target audience and for the type of content you have to deliver. Is it a memo or a meeting? Is it a webinar or a training event? Should you say in on social media or should it be delivered in person? Do you give it away for free or do you charge? Is it satire or serious? Do you need to be professional or funny? Consider your options and disseminate accurately.

Three | Pace appropriately
Sometimes business goals will have us working at a pace that outperforms our messaging. But our message doesn't have to keep up the pace. We live in a world today inundated by content and messages; therefore, people can only tolerate so much. We have to moderate the pace. If all we ever talk about is one thing, then people will stop listening. And if we don't talk about it enough, then people won't remember. We have to find a good pace for our message, one that is paced at the speed of consumption (not over or under consumption). Consider a pace that is consumable by your audience, and be systematic about revealing the message one phase at a time.

Four | Social media engagement
Social media creates and invites the opportunity for interaction. It is not just for posting ideas, pictures, and thoughts we have, but for encouraging discussion and engagement with others. Most ignore the power of the social media conversation, therefore post in a way that shuts down a dialogue than giving way to messages that invite discussion. The best use of social media invites dialogue that lets others become the center of the conversation. Also, as we use social media for personal engagement, we need to realize not everything needs to be posted. While we might think it only represents us, it might adversely affect our business, character, relationships, and witness to the world.

Five | Enable freedom
As a leader, we need to help people understand how to use media. Today we need to give people a reliable understanding of what is appropriate and inappropriate. Media can be powerful in both a positive and negative way - so don't just tell people what you don't want them to do. Show them what to do. In media today, with new forms, and growing platforms teach people how to do it and leverage it to make life easier. If you show them how they will learn healthy patterns of engagement.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Decision Making In Leadership

Decision Making in Leadership a Blog by Vince Miller

Decision Making In Leadership

"Be willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality in a good leader. Don't fall victim to what I call the 'ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome.' You must be willing to fire." T. Boone Pickens

"Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed." Proverbs 15:22

Leaders are required to make decisions and as the leader and organization grow and the complexity of the decisions increase, and the results take on more probable consequences. Three potential pitfalls are not making necessary decisions, making decisions without the required counsel, or putting off deciding till every detail is perfect. Great leaders will tell you that they have made far more unfortunate choices than the best ones, but they will also tell you that they learned from every bad decision allowing them to make more good choices as time progressed. As a leader, you should be conscious of the four standard methods of decision making and the upside and downside of each.

Four Ways Leaders Make Decisions

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One | Command
Here decisions are made unilaterally by the leader without the involvement of others. In certain command structures, like the military, people with the power to make decisions must act promptly within their area of influence to resolve an issue. The upside is decisions get made quickly. However, sometimes command decisions carry with it a downside. Without the voice and counsel of others, we can be surprised by the unintended consequences of the judgment or the lack of ownership that may result. Command decision making is efficient and effective but can feel unilateral where teamwork could be welcomed. But used in the right circumstances, it gets things done.

Two | Consult
In this case, a leader makes the final decision but consults with others in their decision-making process. Generally, consulting with the right team members or stakeholders is a smart decision. Others will hold options, share ideas, see issues, or have opinions we may not have thought of and may well suggest modifications or alternative paths that compliment the views we hold. There is rarely a downside to consulting with the right people in the decision-making process, other than them having an awareness. The key is that they need to be the right people who give sound counsel.

Three | Vote
Voting is a conventional method of executing decisions on boards that include partners or directors that are working together toward a joint mission. Usually, this is used in situations where a group process is mandated or where more than one person is ultimately responsible for the decision made. Church boards or a group of partners often deploy decision-making by vote. But this can be true of a workgroup that is responsible for a project. Used in the right situations and the right way, voting is an excellent way to decide so that the group can move forward.

Four | Consensus
In consensus, a group will discuss and debate until there is general agreement to move in a confident direction together. Consensus sometimes means a group will unanimously agree. But not always. However, they generally agree sometimes for lack of better options. Here you need a deliberate process to arrive at a consensus, and in the end, stakeholders are usually the ones making the final decision and announcement to teams, employees, or the organization as a whole. This type of decision making ensures that boards or groups are operating in harmony and it is often the decision-making process used on senior teams. This process works best where you have other individuals who know how to work together well.

In this end, great leaders will use different decision-making processes in different situations. Knowing which to use in specific circumstances is how leaders make the very best decisions.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Enlisting Others

Enlist Others a blog by Vince Miller at Resolute

Enlisting Others

"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." Dwight Eisenhower

"No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him." 2 Timothy 2:4

Extraordinary leadership is not about you. It's also not only about people following you. It's also not just about having a stellar vision. It's actually about others subscribing to a vision that they embrace and can successfully leverage without you. As the leader, you help people see, experience, and realize a better future that they want to accomplish. Therefore, leaders know how to enlist others in a vision greater than themselves that may never be entirely achieved. Here are some fundamental principles leaders understand about enlisting others.

Four fundamental principles of health

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Principle One: Followers select leaders.
Those who follow a leader always voluntarily choose to follow. Leaders don't select followers, even though this may appear to be the case. And here are two compelling reasons followers select their leader. First, they articulated a vision that the follower embraced, which is a big deal because some leaders lack vision, have an unclear vision, or fail to cast a broad enough vision. People enlist to a cause greater than themselves which elicits an emotional connection to contribute positively to the world. Second, they select a leader because they see someone who was worth following. This is where the consistent character of the leader is essential. And when a leader casts compelling vision and exhibits consistent character, others enlist in what they say and who they are.

Principle Two: Leaders persuade.
Great leaders don't resort exclusively to command and demand; they persuade and influence. There's a tremendous difference. Command demands that we fall in line, but influence persuades us to follow of our own will. While there are times command and demand must be practiced, especially in life or death situations, a leader must also primarily understand the call to persuasion and influence. Leaders persuade people to work together, to achieve more, to reach for improbable goals, and to put personal interests aside. They essentially convince people to change their mind. And since changing people's minds is both an emotional and intellectual venture, persuasion is the predominate tool required to enlist others.

Principle Three: Leaders invest in people.
Remember, leadership is not about you, but instead, a cause others are enlisted in. Yet it is about you in that it's your responsibility is to invest in people so that they can successfully realize the vision they joined. You are a steward, not an owner of the vision, the process, and the people who live out that vision. As a steward, it's your primary responsibility to pour yourself into people so that they can realize the full potential of the vision they embrace, so the mission moves forward. But that only happens with a large amount of investment in others.

Principle Four: Leaders develop new competencies.
Competency in leadership is essential to enlisting others. Leaders advance in leadership by developing new competencies along the leadership path. While leadership is not all about skills, tactics, strategies, or a slew of other competencies, people won't enlist to follow incompetent people. There are amazing leaders in our world today, some who hit a leadership ceiling because they fail to develop new competencies. But exceptional leaders understand that there is always something new for them to learn. They have a keen and humble awareness that they don't know it all. They understand that their leadership needs constant honing and development. Remember, people choose to follow a leader. And they can also choose not to follow.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Leadership Health

Leadership Health a blog by Vince Miller of Resolute

Leadership Health

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb

"Be not wise in your own eyes." Proverbs 3:7

It's possible to get a read on the health of almost any leader. Usually, this is determined by a variety of factors including their honesty, integrity, openness, and willingness to have candid conversations. Staff always have a read on their leaders. They know when the subject matter is taboo to discuss with on in the presence of their manager or leader. This taboo subject matter is a definitive indicator of insecurities and can result in a leader demonstrating narcissistic tendencies that include authoritative control and excessive micromanagement. However, the higher the willingness of a leader to address issues in the culture and their leadership, the healthier their leader will be. Add to this that the best leaders will allow and even encourage their staff to put issues on the table even if it is about them. The following are two factors indicative of leadership health.

Two factors of leadership health.

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One | Unthreatened self-worth
Leaders with high levels of health are leaders who foster a "nothing to prove, nothing to lose, and nothing to hide" attitude. In other words, they are not afraid of pushback, criticism, suggestions or change. When wrong they do not get defensive, over-explain, and blame others. Sometimes they will own up and even take the heat for someone else's mistake on the team. And because they have nothing to prove it's okay if team members get something wrong. But it is also okay if a subordinate gets the credit too. Their pride or ego in unaffected by wins as much as losses. They are far less concerned about wins and losses but rather how they consistently play the game. Anyone with this attitude is a leader who cares deeply about their leadership and the impact it has on people and therefore is unthreatened personally.

Two | Openness to dialogue
What does it mean to invite open dialogue? It means that other than personal attacks or issues that hijack the given agenda, any problem is free for discussion. And why? Because leadership is not about a win for a single person but the win for the mission of the organization, therefore issues openly discussed result in solutions that must be addressed. Open dialogue about issues allows a team and leader moments to bond. The best leaders foster this kind of public discussion around their table. There are no issues that cannot be raised with the two exceptions above. It is evident that this type of leadership requires a leader with a non-defensive posture. But if we live by the value that we have nothing to prove, nothing to lose and nothing to hide, robust dialogue becomes possible – even when the comments had openly are about a leader or leadership adjustment that needs to be made.

The key to both of these values is that the leader must live them out. When staff finally comprehend that their leader lives non-defensively and is not threatened by those who disagree with them or even criticize them, they will start to do the same. It's in this kind of culture that the best decisions are made because it invites high levels of candid conversation and honesty. If you lead, consider making these two values present in your leadership circle. But be prepared to swallow your pride and become less defensive.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

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