The pursuit of power is universal and rightly human. I want to know that I can make a difference. I want whatever it takes, the power, to do just that.

Let’s clarify terms and point of view. The role of leader inherently means power. A leader is someone who has influence, an expression of power. The parameters of influence define the degree of power. The leader must identify the desired level of authority and then determine and walk the path to reach that level. Once achieved the leader must decide how to handle that authority.

Let’s get practical. What does power look like to you? Tell someone your answer.

Now, how do you handle the power you are given? This is the critical factor.

I think great leaders “give away” their power without losing their power. And the fascinating result is multiplication, a practice gains more influence.

The life-blood of a high performance organization is the flow of empowerment, of releasing initiative and ownership throughout the organization. A culture of honor and dignity thrives as the members feel the power to make a difference and to be aware of their contribution to reach the goals and succeed.


Count the ways you empower others. Now in the next 30 days, double it. To figure out ideas, go to your team to create these new avenues for growth and releasing others.

Then, evaluate the impact on yourself and the others in your organization. Track changes in attitude and in concrete results. Let me know how it goes.

Setting the Pace

Setting the Pace

From the Chess Not Checkers Field Guide – “Emerging high performers in business are no different than those in athletics.  They need someone to show them the way to greatness.”

I had some great coaches and team members who inspired and challenged me to become better. So – Who showed you the way to greatness? and How are you setting the pace for the people you lead?

React or Respond?

React or Respond?

When Technology Isn’t Your Friend…

These days, progress often means a new opportunity for technology to be the answer. Exciting to engage with a new, reportedly more efficient tool or to stay with the current trend. Technology—the wave of the future. Okay, jumping on board.

Then your best efforts go south. The link that was supposed to serve as the Welcome-Handshake leads instead to a mock page with Latin gibberish. Or the internet connection that says it is working when your email is not showing up and an important communication must be sent, like yesterday. Maybe important items are swallowed in a computer crash. I meant to back it all up.

In the face of the technology fail, I must make a deliberate choice to respond, not react. To pause and not release what is rising up in me. Frustration. Words. Judgments. Whatever the situation “deserves.”

A reasoned response is an expression of self-leadership. Self-leadership is central to walking in wisdom and powerful influence. Self-leadership requires a heart to grow in maturity. Self-leadership requires internal honesty and courage to address the “why” behind the reaction. Sometimes being asked powerful questions unlocks my motive and my options for change.

I can justify reactions pretty easily. But what price am I paying for my reactions and what impact is my leadership having on those in my team?

Things happen. Technology fails. People fail. I fail. The strength of my leadership is exhibited in my response to moments like these. Atmospheres are created by a leader’s reaction.

  1. This week, notice whether you are reacting or responding.
  2. Identify themes in what sets you off and what you handle well.
  3. Get honest about your “why”, perhaps with a trusted thinking partner.
  4. Focus your change area and create next steps.
  5. Celebrate your increase of self-leadership!

Turn those “fails” into leadership success moments. Create an atmosphere of positivity and honor in the face of the unexpected and the unwanted. You choose.

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams

This weekend I watched a movie that is on my top ten list, Field of Dreams. The following dialogue is from one of my favorite scenes.

John Kinsella: Is this heaven?

Ray Kinsella: It’s Iowa.

John Kinsella: Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven.

[starts to walk away]

Ray Kinsella: Is there a heaven?

John Kinsella: Oh yeah. It’s the place where dreams come true.

[Ray looks around, seeing his wife playing with their daughter on the porch]

Ray Kinsella: Maybe this is heaven.

What dreams do you want to come true? Where is your place to make them happen?

Vision & Purpose

I had a friend who often said “Vision gives pain a purpose.” There is great truth in this simple but deeply profound statement.  I’d be willing to endure hardship, sorrow, and even pain if it meant the fulfillment of a dream or at least a step in that direction.  What pains might you need to endure in order to see the vision for your team or organization fulfilled?

Life and Death

Life and Death

I recently had a good friend pass away. It got me thinking – death is a part of life, and sometimes life cannot happen without a death first. Often times we do not like the topic of death, but it seems that death has the potential to be a good thing, depending on how you look at it. Death doesn’t have to be literal, it can be the death of a way of thinking, the death of an unhealthy relationship, or the death of certain behaviors and/or patterns. It also doesn’t have to be sorrowful or complicated, especially when there is hope. Consider a seed, unless it is planted in soil it cannot die, and unless it dies it cannot produce its fruit.  So, what needs to die in your life or in your business, so that good life and fruit can happen? Here’s to bearing good fruit in all you do!