Archive for aatencio

Where’s the Leadership

So a slight departure from the normal format of talking about leadership in this space.  Let’s for a moment talk about leadership in the context of the current situations playing out or having just played out in Washington D.C.  Our county’s leaders have over the last month demonstrated anything by leadership.  You might recall in an earlier post on defining leadership I wrote about the characteristics of what make a leader.

Some of these characteristics included being authentic, having principles, demonstrating character, integrity, and inspiring others to be and do better.  I would like to point out that regardless of your political leanings you cannot possibly look at the experiences in our nation’s capital over the past few weeks as having demonstrated any of those characteristics with any regularity.

It is difficult to speak on leadership and argue that people should aspire to be better leaders when there are fewer and fewer examples of good leadership getting airtime on the television. I would strongly encourage that if you are a leader or are aspiring to become a leader that you turn your sights away from our country’s leadership (in both parties) for examples of what leadership looks like when not mired in self-interest.  Look for examples of local leaders in your community, church, volunteer organizations, etc. for true examples of leadership that is self-sacrificing and at it’s heart base in true vulnerability-based trust.

In the mean time for our country’s leadership I would encourage you to get involved. Don’t spend you time complaining about it on Facebook or to your friends.  Use that time to become active in your local government. Use that time to volunteer to support representation from your city, county and state that demonstrate true leadership abilities.  Use that time to communicate to your current representation on what a poor job of being leaders to this country they are currently doing.

Leadership has the ability to be born out of irritation, frustration, and discontentment.  Leadership is not born out of complaining, complacency, apathy, or indifference.  Rather than blaming leadership, take control of leadership.  As was discussed in a previous post Leadership is an action not a noun.  In order for you to be a leader you mush lead, otherwise you are just another complainer with a lot of opinions.

Incentive vs. Motivation vs. Inspiration: The Passion of Life

So who would have ever thought it would be so difficult to get motivated to talk about motivation… To this point I have written about a couple of different key parts of motivation. As you look at your life and why you do what you do, not just for a living, but in living your life, what drives you? As a manager of people I have many different types of people that work for me. Some are driven by incentive, which typically takes a tangible form such as money or some other form of reward. Some are driven by an internal force or what I have began to discuss here as intrinsic motivation, again demonstrated by a internal passion, joy or thirst for what they do or accomplish. Yet others are not so much driven as they are lead by the impact (positive or negative) on them of the actions of others, or what our culture typically defines as inspiration. None of these are mindless followers; they are all just driven by different forces. Read more

Back from Vacation

So back from vacation and feeling refreshed and ready for anything!  Working on a post to finish up the subject of motivation, which should be up tomorrow.  Also working on some new posts to discuss some details about personality type and leadership over the next week or two.  So look for those to start hitting the selves next Monday.

Summer is almost over, but there are still a few more fun days left before we start looking toward fall. Go out an enjoy them!

Leadership and Motivation: How Are You Motivated

Still working through thoughts on leadership and motivation.   As you think about motivation what comes to your mind? What does motivation look like?  Does motivation look different to you in your role as a parent, a student, an employee, a leader, a coach, a son/daughter, a brother/sister? Does motivation mean different things to you when discussing personal motivation versus motivation of someone you lead or mentor?  Does it mean different things to you when you compare your work life to your home life?

Simply put motivation is defined as:

The psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior. – developed by Princeton University.

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Leadership and Motivation: Eye on the Prize

Leadership and motivation often go hand in hand.  Over the last couple of weeks this topic has been in front of me every time I turn around it seems, so much so that I decided I needed to write a couple of articles on this just to unclutter my thoughts.  This post is the first in a series of discussions on leadership, motivation, and what drives people.

Some time ago I came across a book by author Anthony De Mello called  Awareness.  In his book Mr. De Mello recounts a story from the Chinese philosopher Tranxu:

“When the archer shoots for no particular prize, he has all his skills; when he shoots to win a brass buckle, he is already nervous; when he shoots for a gold prize, he goes blind, sees two targets, and is out of his mind. His skill has not changed, but the prize divides him. He cares! He thinks more of winning than of shooting, and the need to win drains him of power”.

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It has been a long week.  Many of the aspects of my life have been challenged this week.  Through all of that however came an interesting learning opportunity on leadership.  In past posts and in content from other authors it has been said that if you look back and no one is following you then you aren’t leading.  The question is where are we leading people to?

Most successful discussions about leadership and goal accomplishment talk about success in context of moving up.  We climb the ladder, reach the summit, and hit our peak.  This would seem to mean that leadership is about moving people not only forward but up.  Leaders have planted a goal and now must use their skills and gifts to lead their followers to that goal with success. Read more

Grace in a Leader

What would leadership look like if it was forever connected to grace?  For those unfamiliar with the real meaning of grace it is defined as:

freely given, unmerited favor (something done or granted out of goodwill, rather than from justice or for remuneration) or goodwill (friendly disposition; benevolence; kindness) ~~

The key word in this definition is “freely“.  This means that as a leader you should show favor and good will without conditions.  Now this is not to be confused with the idea that “respect has to be earned” and “trust is earned not freely given”.  Where respect and trust may come with conditions in leadership, grace should be given without the need for justification.

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Empowerment Through Leadership

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.  ~~ John Quincy Adams  1767-1848

Leadership is different from management in one key area.  In management you are focused on overseeing the accomplishment of tasks.  However, as a leader you are responsible for the development and guidance of the individual.  This may seem like the same thing, but it is actually two entirely different concepts. Read more

Scarceness of Leadership – Part 2

The second part of the presentation I gave on leadership.  In the first part of the presentation I worked on defining leadership.  In this conclusion of the presentation I provide recommendations on tools that can be used in your journey of discovery about yourself and those you are trying to lead.  The biggest question here is if you don’t understand yourself and those you lead can you be an effective leader? Read more

Scarceness of Leadership – Part 1

A few weeks ago I presented a session on the scarceness of leadership. This presentation took a look at the way leadership is defined and what the components or characteristics where of a leader. After that the session provided some recommended options for tools to help the group understand and learn about their own strengths related to those characteristics.

I have been working with a new tool call Prezi so I decided I would use this tool to provide a virtual presentation of this session. Now missing from this is of course all of the rest of my dialogue on the subject, but the general premise on the topic is still intact. Read more