Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Listening Intelligently

I have had a very long day at work today fellow leader. Completely draining. The sound track to todays post would have to be everything gonna be alright by al green, because it during times like these that you need to keep your face to the sunshine... because that damn shadow is looming. I have done a great deal of listening today, whether it has looked like I was tuning in I was. During all this listening I have discovered a great deal, some of it good and some of it not very pleasant.

The point I want to make today though is not about the importance of listening but what to do with whatever information you gather. Lets imagine for a moment that everything that your professors, peers, mentors, coworkers and/or boss says to you is meant for your benefit... now imagine you actually are actively listening to all this feedback... you do not nor should you take all of this input to heart. Some advice intended well, and may have plenty of merit but there is no need to take all of this and run with it. Process through it all, see what sticks and what trying applies. Listen intelligently. Be a skeptic. You will have healthier relationships for it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rules are meant to be broken

Hello Fellow Leaders,

Its been a while since I have posted and alot has been going on. Between school, work and *other I have been moving and shaking things up around here. This summer I stayed at my university as the station manager to the university radio station, keeping things running smoothly and making plans for the upcoming school year. When it comes down to it thought, this is not the focus of todays blog.

Today is all about breaking the rules

When I started school I had a very solid 5 year plan, and even in my blogs I have talked about the importance of a plan. But, i admit sometimes the rules are meant to be broken. Even those golden and ever so strict rules we make for ourselves. This is a part of the flexibility that every leader must possess. I start school a business student, hell bent on IMC. Now i'm a Mass Media major concentrating in corporate comm and broadcast while making moves with the university radio station and SIFE team on the fast track to early grad but taking it slow and keeping an eye open for emerging possibilities. While I am not an avid gamer this video was a perfect illustration of what Im saying in todays post.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What you gain through losing

Hello Fellow leader, 

The sound track to today post is a little somber, and the accompanying musical selection is 'I'd do it all again' by Corinne Bailey Rae on her album The Sea. 

This post is hard to write because it painful to think about, but all of you out there I will make the effort. I am a member and officer of a business club called SIFE at my university. It is a national organization devoted to the building the business skills of students, as well as encouraging community service and professionalism in students. I have been a devoted member of this global organization for about two years and an next in line or vice presidency during the next academic year. Every year there are competitions around the world between SIFE teams in a format similar to the olympics.

This year our team practiced 10+ hours for 3 months and 14+ hours for the first part of april in preparation for regional competition in Atlanta, GA. We were confident, and prepared, and excited. Everyone we practiced for told us we were doing great and were sure to place, and we had no doubts in our mind that we would come home victorious. We spent 2 days in a hotel for 26 min of glory on stage, with the ultimate goal of winning  and being advanced to nationals.

Long (sobbing) story short... we lost. Hence, this post. 

Our team received very last place in our league and were not advanced. After all that hard work, it is safe to say our entire team was disappointed, but more than anything I think we were a little angry. We had lost the year before and had come back improved and still lost...
But lets think for a moment, what did our team gain from losing?

We gained humility. A healthy dose of humility is healthy for all future leaders, for through it we are brought to a clearer reality and a better place to lead through service. In the words of Lt. General Hal Moore of  the American Veteran organization "Humility is the portion of a person who receives fame or accolade, based on the blood of his subordinates and the sacrifices of his friends, and so shall it is and so shall it b for me" View him giving the speech here.

I would do it all again. 

Successful leaders take good care

Hello Future leader, 

Is sorry that my post was late, but I will make up for it by keeping it short sweet and to the point. The sound track to todays post is five star chick  (clean) by yo gotti.  

Future leaders take care of themselves. Much like the rest of the post I have done up to  this point, this is sorta obvious. Still, it begs to be brought to attention. Generally I work hard and I play hard. I don't like to spend too much time priming and getting all jazzed, but I have to admit that I do look in the mirror once... twice... three times just to be sure I'm getting the right message across. When you feel good on the outside you generally feel good on the inside. So take the time to do regular maintenance while your out saving the world. Im def. gearing this to the ladies, let's be the triple threat. "Walk, like you talk, like you know the ish lol" 

If you take the time to view my video I'm sure you will enjoy... 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The cruel reality of leadership revealed

Hello Fellow Aspiring Leader, 

So this may sound perilously close to a rant…. but bear with me. The song for this post is most definitely 'I hate you so much right now' by Kelis

I like to think of myself as an aspiring leader, you know, walking the walk and talking the talk. When I first started college, as recommended by my advisor, I came up with a four-year plan. I figured if was going to be building an empire I had to think big picture and come up with checkpoints along the way. This list had to be flexible to allow me to seize new opportunities that presented themselves, challenging to keep it fun, but above all realistic. This is exactly what I did, and so far, it has been going very well… possibly even better than I imagined. But this not the focus of my post ...

What I wasn’t warned about ad instructed to prepare for as I worked up the ranks was that sometime or another I would have to work beneath poor leadership. Imagine that?! There are actually people that achieve leadership positions within clubs and organizations that are not very good leaders. People that let their ego get ahead of legacy and vision. People that operate in self-interest instead of the interest of the organization. People that do not play teambuilding games during the staff retreat! I really hate these people, plants hate these people, even kittens hate these people, because honestly... whats to like!?
 Sigh--These people actually become leaders, and alot of times are oblivious that they are doing anything wrong… but then I come along…

Please enjoy the rest of this blog in the video below. Then take the survey to the right… the life you save may be your own.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Leadership is all about Attitude

Hello Fellow Leader,

--The soundtrack to todays post is 'keep your head up', Chaka Khan from Tyler Perry's Series--

Leadership is all about the attitude. I don't mean hip swiveling, twisted up lips and rolling eyes type of attitude either. I mean the your overall disposition toward your perceived life. Your attitude is something that is intensely personal, but often times its very public. 

Its like this - everyday may not be a good day, and that is all about you, but if you come into work angry and stomping your feet and slamming doors, it becomes about everyone else. So, if your aspiring to be a leader in your business, class, or organization don't underestimate yourself! You are a powerful person in that your attitude alone can make a meeting absolutely wonderful for all those in attendance or make it a pretty miserable experience for everyone-- including yourself. When it all comes down to it your attitude determines your altitude.
 Please enjoy my supplementary video below. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Leadership Takes Courage

Hello fellow leader, 

The sound track to this post is ‘We’re not gonna take It’ by Twisted Sister on the Album Big Hits and Nasty Cuts

Last time I posted I talked about Hillary Clinton’s travels to several Latin American Countries. I believe that her efforts to build relationships with foreign powers highlighted her efforts to be developing her leadership skills through relationship building. In following her travels, I found that she also went to Chile despite the chaos surrounding the recent tragic earthquakes there.  During this visit in the wake of the Chile crisis, Clinton not only offered U.S. solidarity to the countries leaders but also brought with her much needed supplies.  I believe Mrs. Has done really well to build a positive relationship with Chile’s political leaders.

This week’s post is about leading courageously. Successful leaders oft make bold yet still reasonable decisions, taking risks and simultaneously using restraint as well as vigor. Through courage, all other things are possible. A courageous leader continues to try, lends trust to others, and speaks up and out. I found a great example of this kind of courage in the news this Tuesday in reports of a seven-year-old boy that saved his entire family from gun wielding home invaders. During the armed home invasion, the little boy quickly took his younger sister, hid in the bathroom with a cordless phone, and called 911 Emergency. Once on the phone with dispatchers he explained his situation and requested rescue, at one point demanding dispatchers “bring soldiers too”. In the released dispatchers audio one can hear the terrifying moments when the gunmen breakdown the bathroom door, and demand to know who the young boy was calling. When the boy replied 911, the gunmen fled- no shots were fired and no one was hurt. At just seven year old this young boy has exemplified the strength of courage found in successful leadership. Listen to the 911 Recording HERE.

Courage is the resistance of fear, the mastery of fear – not the absence of fear. – Mark Twain