Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

@maurilio:

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How I Have Assembled an Awesome Team

We purposely don’t have many sacred cows in the businesses that I run. We adapt and change fast and have become “platform agnostics” so we can server our clients better in a fast-changing business environment. Sacred cows only slow things down and are always self serving. There are three things, however, that we fight hard never to compromise. And if we ever do, we are quickly reminded of their importance and why after all these years, they are still relevant. We call it our 3 C’s. These core values are more than just posters on a wall or words on a website. These helped form the DNA of  these businesses and have everything to do with the environment we create internally. We take our time to hire someone at The A Group, so managing them is an easier process. C is for Character Character is a foundation of any success…

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Management Lesson from My Teeth

My teeth have recently taught me a management lesson I  have known for years but had neglected. I have a love/hate relationship with my teeth. While most people start having tooth issues late in life, mine started early in my teenage years. I’ve had braces, root canals, crowns, oral surgeries and not because I refused to brush and floss, but because my parents passed down some pretty bad genes. However, the point here is not sympathy for my plight, which I hope to garner some, but the management lesson I was recently reminded of. Here it is: when you neglect the team in order to focus on an under-performing member, the entire organization suffers. A couple of years ago I started having problems with number 11 (in case you don’t know, number 11 is your right left canine tooth). My dentist told me to “baby it” and gave me a…

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Don’t Spiritualize Your Management Problems, Fix Them

A lot of bad decisions get blamed on God. In my years of consulting, I have run into poorly managed organizations with broken systems, ineffective workers, and bad strategies. All of them can be fixed. Well almost. There’s the spiritual trump card that stops any effort cold: “I feel God wants me to do it this way,” or “God has not released me to do that.” While I understand that sometimes God calls us to do the impossible, to pursue goals and dreams that most people will never understand, I believe that God gets blamed for people’s fears, insecurities, and downright incompetence. Really. Borrowing more money than you should, hiring the wrong person for the job, mismanaging people, failing to do due diligence on a deal, are not spiritual issues. They are management and leadership problems. We don’t need to pray about firing an employee who has stolen from the…

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Why Non Christians Cannot Lead Successful Christian Businesses

Christian industry businesses run by non Christians cannot succeed. I know that’s a bold statement, but after years of watching large conglomerates buying Christian music labels, publishing houses, retail stores and failing to make it work, I’m more convinced than ever that a non-believer cannot successfully lead a Christian businesses. Here’ s why. It’s all about the message. Unlike any other industry, the Christian message is key to product development. If you don’t understand, relate, and more importantly, believe in the message, nothing else matters. If the power of the message is not there, then you no longer have a compelling reason to sell your product and you are competing in the same crowded waters as everyone else. Your focus then, has to be on price, packaging and marketing–the product becomes a mere commodity. At this level your uniqueness is gone and you have to do your best to outsmart…

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The Right Stress: Yet Another Reason I’m an Entrepreneur

We all have stress in our work, but there is a big difference between what I call “corporate stress” and “entrepreneurial stress.” I have dealt with both and I have chosen the entrepreneurial stress. Here’s why. I hear often from friends who work in a corporate environment about the challenges they face daily. While the size of businesses vary, they all share some of the same dynamics, particularly the personnel, policy and culture dynamics that are beyond their control. While I know that control is elusive at best, entrepreneurs have a simple creed we all live by: we eat what we kill. While that might sound simplistic, it’s ultimate the bottom line for those of us who work for ourselves. As a business owner, I cannot blame anyone else for making bad business decisions, or for not moving forward fast enough to take advantage of opportunities. These are usually my…

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Without Systems Your Vision is Just a Dream

Systems, not vision, determine the sustainability of your dream. This has been a difficult lesson for me to learn, but over the years, I have met many a visionary leader whose dreams grew to a fraction of their potential because of the lack of an environment where the vision could thrive. Vision must come first in any organization, otherwise systems tend to get a life of their own and become what we hate the most about government: bureaucracy, a means into itself, a self-preserving, self-entitled nothingness. However, vision without systems is like a train without tracks. In a growing organization, sustainability means understanding strengths, threats, opportunities, trends and how to design organizational culture and procedures to address them. I’ve heard someone put it this way: what determines your product is what happens down the hall and not what’s hanging on the wall. I’m saddened every time I run into a…

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The Problem with Positional Leadership

We can distill leadership in two of its basic foundations: positional and influential. Understanding them will dictate and help you successfully navigate through leadership waters.  You can be given the position but unless you also have the influence, you are not really a leader. Positional leadership is given, while influential is earned. While they are not mutually exclusive, some never make the connection. It took me a while before I got that lesson, but once I did, I understood the power of influence. Anyone can get a job managing a person, or a group of people. My first job as a manager was as a part-time music director at a church while going through graduate school. I had to lead a choir, which I was prepared to lead; however, the choir was not the problem, Rosie, the organist, was. I remember my first day on the job when one of…

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Leadership Style: Opportunity vs Crisis

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night I understand where Shakespeare is coming from even though I’m not sure anyone is truly born great. But the last part of that sentence has always caught my attention: some have greatness thrust upon them. Sometimes a strong leader guides us into new opportunities. Other times a wise leader guides us through difficult situations. But in each of those cases, the quality and heart of true leadership is forged out of either the crucibles of opportunity or crisis. As I look back in my own life and weigh in my own leadership style, I am coming to the realization that I am probably a better leader during crisis than I am during the season of opportunity. I’m not sure it’s complacency or content, but I find myself staying too long in the…

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The Power of Self Awareness

There’s nothing worse than a lack of self awareness, special for a leader. If you’re a fan of the the sitcom, The Office, think of branch manager, Michael Scott and his apparently clueless existence. It’s more often sad and uncomfortable than it is funny. But not matter you role at work, school and in a relationship, your ability to identify your strengths and weakness is key in determining whether you are going to navigate life successfully or not. Regardless of what your mother told you growing up, you’re not wonderful at every task in life. I know that’s a significant blow to your self esteem, but get over it, and fast. I had to. Sobriety in life goes beyond not being drunk. It implies that you can look at yourself honestly and assess your skills and talents as well as the areas you are ignorant, deficient, and just plan inept.…

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Rules for Successful Team Work

My best projects have been a team effort. The coming together of two entities, units, or even individuals bring different sensitivities and perspectives that can make a good project, a great one. As I reflect on my successful as well as failed collaborations, I have come up with a few rules that must be in place before the proverbial “best of both worlds” can come to fruition. The difference between the this-was-great, and the it-was-a-total-disaster outcome is directly dependent on team dynamics and how closely I followed the following rules. Strategic leader. No matter the scope of any collaborative project, it needs to have someone as the keeper of the vision. Who is the champion for the project? Who is going to keep the entire team focused on what’s important and needed? Without strong leadership, projects with multiple stakeholders can move away from its original intent and the entire outcome…

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