Sunday, December 20, 2009

LEADER - E is for Encourage

It has been a while since I have posted. Hope to get back into the rhythm now.

I began a series in which I plan to look at each of the letters in the word LEADER and connect to an attribute leader's possess. Today's posting will focus on E = Encourage.

One of the significant elements of leadership is encouragement. When times are tough or when there are challenges ahead encouragement can be a way of keeping forward momentum.

So how does one encourage others? Let's look at a definition of encourage from to get a clue - Encourage: to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence. So one key element of encourage is 'inspire' and a component of inspire is 'influence'. A part of encouraging then is to influence someone in a positive way so that they can keep moving forward. Moving forward can be keeping on the same course or moving in a new direction. The key here is appropriate action for the situation at hand.

The others components of the definition of Encourage highlighted here are: courage, spirit, and confidence. Sometimes to move from 'where we are today' to 'where we need to be' requires courage and coupled with this is whether or not we can do so confidently. This is where encouragement from someone can instill in us the confidence we need. By knowing the person and knowing what challenges them we can be there to help motivate them to go beyond the barriers they encounter to achieve the success and fulfillment desired.

So may I Encourage you to Encourage others. It can make a difference!

Next posting: A … Advise

Signing off for now - LD Guy from MN

Friday, November 27, 2009

LEADER - L is for Listen


I am going to change my format for the next several blog postings and take a look at the word: LEADER. I want to look at each of the letters in the word LEADER and connect to an attribute leader's possess.
  • L … Listen
  • E … Encourage
  • A … Advise
  • D … Decide
  • E … Empower
  • R … Respond
Today, I will comment about the importance of Listening as it relates to leadership. One of the key traits impactful leaders have is their ability to LISTEN. Through listening a leader can learn and discover many things. Active listening also conveys you are interested and care about what is being shared with you. This helps people recognize recognize their input is valued and will encourage them to keep the flow of information and ideas intact.

In Wikipedia there is some useful information about 'active listening':
The Wikipedia entry provides a summary of tactics and indicates some sample situations where 'active listening' can effectively be used.

One of my favorite ways to focus on listening is via the asking of questions. Questions can shift the focus of the conversation to the person being asked the question. Listening is a key tactic to indicate you care about what is being shared as the person answers the question and as they continue to expand the conversation in new areas.

Consider the value of listening and what it means to you as a leader. Leaders listen & learn and through this position their group/organization to be on the path of success.

Next posting: E … Encourage

Signing off for now - LD Guy from MN

Saturday, November 21, 2009


STEPS: Share … Thoughts … 2 … Engage … People's … Spirit.

Lately a theme that has been occupying my thoughts is 'taking steps". So much of our lives involve taking steps … moving in the direction that we want to go. 'Steps' also can refer to segments in a process. Step 1 is the start of the process … Step 2 is the 'next' step etc. So many elements of how we experience life involve 'STEPS'.

Today I want to reflect on STEPS as being a way we can SHARE our THOUGHTS so that we ENGAGE PEOPLE'S SPIRIT. That are many ways we can motivate people. We can do so through our actions and we can do so through our words. When we on intentionally SHARE our THOUGHTS with others with the intent to inspire, it can be a way we can ENGAGE their SPIRIT. Sharing a 'vision' with others in a way that they can see themselves being part oh how that vision can be achieved is one way we can potentiality connect with them and see them become engaged.

Do you see the value of taking STEPS? Will 'stepping up' to tackle an important challenge be a way you can engage yourself and others in accomplishing something of significance? Think about taking some STEPS and see what happens …

Signing off for now - LD Guy from MN

Saturday, October 31, 2009


OPEN: Opportunities … 4 … People … 2 … Encourage … Newcomers

I am a relatively shy person by nature so I am discovering writing is a way for me to connect with people in a whole new way. When I am in a public setting, especially if it is new situation for me, I find it a bit of a challenge to take the first step and introduce myself. For me being a newcomer is hard. I know, however, that if I remain on the sidelines, then that is likely where I will stay. So are there ways to make that "first step" easier?

One way for us all to move forward is to be OPEN. Can we be on the lookout for OPPORTUNITIES for helping PEOPLE (including ourselves) to ENCOURAGE someone who is a NEWCOMER? As we recognize the value of connecting with people can we be proactive in how we help others connect and "feel part of the group"? When we "welcome someone in" it is so much easier for them to move forward from that starting point. So the challenge for me is to be the "welcomer" and help get the relationship started.

Are you OPEN to helping the NEWCOMER? Can you be the person for them who is willing to take the "first step"? Think of the conversations and learnings that await when we have an OPEN mindset.

Signing off for now - LD Guy from MN

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


HONOR: Highlighting … Others … 2 … Nurture … Ongoing … Rejuvenation

One of the cool things people can do for someone is to honor them. Oftentimes we honor someone if they have done something extraordinary. We may honor someone for something they have done once (e.g. saved a life) or something they have done on a daily basis (e.g. a beloved teacher). When we honor someone it is a way we can show appreciation.

Perhaps another way we can think about how we can HONOR someone is to look at it as a way we can re-energize and empower them. Think about HONOR as a way of HIGHLIGHTING OTHERS in order to NURTURE their ONGOING REJUVENATION. When we call out (i.e. highlight) the great accomplishments or efforts of others it can be a way of nurturing their continuation of these activities and in the process re-energize or rejuvenate them in an ongoing fashion. Sometimes a word of appreciation can go a long way because it shows people noticed and cared.

Can you think of someone you would like to HONOR? Has it been an HONOR to know them? Think of the message we can convey when we take time to HONOR someone today!

Signing off for now - LD Guy from MN

Sunday, October 25, 2009


START: Show … That … "Arriving" … Requires … Taking-off.

To get started on a "journey" requires you to go from where you are today and begin "taking steps" in the direction you want to go. You have to leave the familiarity of the "current state" to head towards your destination.

So one way to START is to SHOW THAT ARRIVING at your destination REQUIRES you TAKING-OFF from "where you are" in order to "land" or "end" where you want to go. You can't get to a new place if you are unwilling to leave where you are now. The familiar can be enticing; it may seem safer to just stay where you are today. If, however, we look to travel to "new places" in our lives the bottom line is that we have to be able to leave so that we can arrive at our port of call.

So, do you know how to START? Will a fresh START make a difference in your life? The journey requires taking steps … I hope you have fun along the way.

Signing off for now - LD Guy from MN

Saturday, October 24, 2009


LEAP: Leave … Existing … 2 … Achieve … Purpose.

When I think of "leap" my mind conjures up the image of standing on one side of a chasm and looking at jumping across to the other side. The "chasm" can be a representation of what stands between us moving from where we are today to where we need to be. So the question is: "How do we embrace the leap we need to take?"

Part of what helps us take a LEAP is to look at the benefits of leaping. If we view the LEAP as an opportunity to LEAVE the EXISTING in order to ACHIEVE a specific PURPOSE we can be more motivated to "jump". What perhaps is the most intimidating is when we LEAP into the unknown. However, if we a have PURPOSE in mind that helps us ACHIEVE our goal, then our willingness to LEAVE our EXISTING situation is increased. So the key to "leaping" is to have a goal you are seeking to accomplish. You might see this as a way of connecting to the axiom: "look before you leap".

Are you ready to take a LEAP?

Signing off for now - LD Guy from MN