Posts Tagged ‘Communication’

Here is a great book co-written by one of the late John Wooden’s former players, Andrew Hill, who went on to be a greater success off the court than he ever was on the court. He attributes much of his success to the 21 secrets he learned while playing for John Wooden at UCLA. Take a look at the list then pick up the book it is a great read. 

Be Quick-But Don’t Hurry

Andrew Hill & John Wooden

Secret #1: The Team With The Best Players Almost Always Wins

Secret #2: Be Quick-But Don’t Hurry

Secret #3: Focus On Effort, Not Winning

Secret #4: Keep It Simple

Secret #5: Make Your “Yes” Mean Yes

Secret #6: Balance Is Everything

Secret #7: A Good Leader is First & Foremost, A Teacher

Secret #8: Game Time Is When The Coach’s Job Is almost Over

Secret #9: A Great Leader Cannot Worry About Being Well Liked

Secret #10: Great Leaders Give Credit To Others, But Accept The Blame Themselves

Secret #11: Seek Consistency—Avoid Peaks & Valleys

Secret #12: Fairness Is Giving All People The Treatment They Earn & Deserve

Secret #13: The Team That Makes The Most Mistakes…Wins!

Secret #14: Surround Yourself With Strong, Opinionated People

Secret #15: Teamwork Is Not A Preference, It’s A Necessity

Secret #16: Rules Are Made To Be Followed, Not Broken

Secret #17: Concentrate On Your Team, Not The Opposition

Secret #18: Adjust To Your Players—Don’t Expect Them All To Adjust To You

Secret #19: Failing To Prepare is Preparing To Fail

Secret #20: Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect, Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Secret #21: Be Honest, Direct, & Willing To Risk It All For Your Beliefs


Leadership expert John Maxwell has recently launched a new website,,  to promote his new company, The John Maxwell Company. I encourage you to check out the many leadership resources and training opportunities that John is offering on his new site.

John is one of the foremost leadership trainers in the world having trained millions of leaders around the world through his books, DVDs, and in person training courses.

John does a tremendous job of making the complexity of leadership easy for all to understand and apply in their organizations and lives on a daily basis. If you have not been exposed to his material I would encourage you to check out his website and begin to experience some great leadership growth in your life and the lives of your team members.

Today I joined the GiANT Impact simulcast with Dr. Henry Cloud. Today’s content was pulled from his new book Necessary Endings.

Here are some of the highlights:

Today may be the biggest enemy of your tomorrow!

  • Who do I want to say goodbye to?
  • What do I want to end?
  • Better question, what do I need to end in order to move forward?
  • Let’s normalize something that occurs in business and life which we will call “Necessary Endings”
  • When we face the reality of delivering on our leadership objectives and applying all we have learned on leadership over the years “REALITY” shows up!
  • “REALITY” is what we discover when we try to take theories, best practices and leadership strategies into our day-to-day worlds and execute them in an effective manner and then run into walls, obstacles, people and distractions that divert us from our end goals and objectives.
  • It is in this reality that “our own issues” show up!
  • It is in this reality that the issues of our team members shows up!

Many times you will have 5 strategies or plans that will work, but in the end it is always about the person.

It is all about the Person!

It is about getting myself and the other team members to do what needs to be done, that is what leadership is all about!

Many times the role of leadership is to step up and end something!

  • Everything has a season or a life cycle to it! Many times we fail to see that this has or is occurring in our organization!
  • Today may be the biggest enemy of your tomorrow!

What is in your life today that will interfere with your success tomorrow?

We are going to try to normalize “season ending” because this does not feel normal even though it is a normal part of life and business. (Eccl. 3)

Question: Why did it take a bankruptcy  judge to shut down brands and factories that had not made money in decades? We all have attachments and emotional ties to things that prevent us from making the right decisions or blind us from making the right decisions.

Rose Bush Illustration: Uses pruning a rose-bush to illustrate the “necessary endings” in our businesses.

1. Produces more than can sustain: business is like this, create and build more than you can sustain. We end up with more than we can sustain. Must be willing to prune in our lives and businesses in order to maximize our effectiveness.

Man bought company and took it from 25 million to 750 million size business in short period of time. He was asked, How did you do that?

I gave away 80% of the company and it was all profitable.

The life of this company is in this 20% of the business, the other 80% was a distraction and a drain, it was taking up resources.

  • Doing this causes conflicts with people.
  • Do we have the stomach to pull this off?
  • Leadership requires that you do! You must or the organization will suffer!

2. Sick = Not Well

Have we addressed it, we know it is not well but do we have the stomach to address the issues and deal with them effectively, too often we ignore or put off doing the hard things we need to do in order for the organization to grow and prosper as it should.

You must examine 3 key components to see if they are healthy or not and then take the necessary steps to prune what is unhealthy.

  1. Strategies
  2. Plans
  3. People

3. Dead, been dead for long time and taking up space.

  • Many times dead stuff doesn’t make noise so we don’t pay attention to it.
  • Dealing with the dead, this is a part of normal thriving. That which is dead must be addressed so the health of the larger organization can be protected. If it is not dealt with effectively the life of the entire organization is eventually threatened (think of GM)

If you are going to thrive you are going to proactively prune.

Example: Jack Welch’s pruning standard

  1. If we are not #1 or #2 in market we will either fix it, sell it or close it. In others words we are going to “prune it”.
  2. He was always pruning bottom 10% of people who are not performing.
  3. He worked to reduce layers in organization.

The reality is that if you do the statistics all good companies are doing this.

You should never have to fire anyone, your standards should do that for you.

  • If you do this well people will self-select. They will come to understand the standards and realize they can’t meet them and will leave on their own.
  • When will we raise the white flag and say enough is enough and finally take action to fix it, address it.

If you have a mental map that will not allow you to execute the plan to reality because your brain will tell you that it is an error. Must change our mental maps in order to meet the demands of reality.

Here is a summary of my notes from Dave Ramsey speaking at “The Forum: When God calls you to Lead” as part of Southern University’s Leadership Forum. If you were unable to watch you can pick up DVD or CD here: The Forum

1. Poor Communication shows itself in many ways, when right hand does not know what left hand is doing strife will eventually set in.

  • Hold very intentional meetings with a clear purpose and outcome to keep everyone on the same page and prevent confusion and strife.

2. Gossip is degrading & will eventually destroy your organization.

  • The successful leader develops & maintains a culture where negatives are handed up & positives are handed down. (Dave will fire you for participating in gossip at his company)
  • The definition of gossip is when a negative is discussed with anyone who can’t help solve the problem.

3. Unresolved disagreements will occur when the leader is not aware of them or when the leader avoids dealing/confronting them.

  • A little confrontation heals the wound allowing those involved to move on in spirit of unity.
  • As a leader when you become aware of hurt feelings &/or disagreements act quickly & decisively.
  • Avoidance of these issues will eventually lead to disunity in your team.
  • Weak leadership around this issue divides the teams attention and loyalties destroying any hope of sustaining a unified team.

4. The lacked of as shared purpose/vision is caused by a leader not restating the goal, vision & mission early & often.

  • Team members must know goals, mission and vision of organization in order to unify behind it effectively.
  • Without vision people perish.
  • Unclear vision=disunity
  • Organizations can’t share and unify behind something they don’t know or understand.
  • Communicate early and often your goals, mission and vision in order to build unity into your team.

5. Sanctioned Incompetence: This is when a leader either fails to recognize or ignores incompetence in one or more of his team members and fails to deal with it resulting in a divided demoralized team.

  • Sanctioned incompetence demoralizes an organization.
  • Team members will eventually become demotivated when someone else on the team can’t or won’t do their job and a leader will not take action.
  • In these cases the leader loses respect of his team members and this begins to undermine his effectiveness.

Key Take Aways:

  • For the sake of unity of the entire organization the leader must go to battle early and often with any of these enemies of unity.
  • When unity is valued in a culture the entire team will also act to keep these enemies from the gate of the organization.
  • When people are led well they unify, pull together making organization much stronger and much more effective.
  • If you help enough people you don’t have to worry about money.

John C Maxwell
Leadership expert and best-selling author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Connecting with People

  • Would you like to influence your boss?
  • If you could gain influence with people it would increase your leadership abilities.

Leadership=Influence, nothing more nothing less!

  • Many people talk to people, but don’t connect with people.
  • If you think you are leading but look behind yourself to see if anyone is following you. If not, you are just taking a walk.

Connecting=ability to identify with and relate to people in such a way that it increases our influence with them!

  • How do you connect with others?

1. Connecting is all about others: if we are going to connect effectively with others we must realize it is not about us, it is all about others.

  • If you help other people get what they want, they will help you get you what you want. Zig Ziglar
  • Early on I was trying to get people to help me, I had it backwards, I had to turn it around, and begin to help others first then my success rate started to change.

Put others first!

  • If you are at the top all alone, you are not a leader, you have no followers.
  • Connect with people where they are.
  • Get off mountain and go to where people are and then take them up the mountain with you. Then you have accomplished something as a leader.

Leaders never cross finish line first because they are bringing others along with them, it is a little slower, but that is what leadership is all about.

  • When you are younger your are immature, you are more selfish, think of self first, like a little child. This should not still be the case in adulthood, but it is still the case for many aspiring leaders and it is a road block to their success as a leader.

It’s Not About You!

  • True connectors understand this statement.
  • It is all about others.
  • Must committed to always think of others first.

When you become leader you give up your rights to think of yourself first!

2. Connecting requires energy: we must work hard at it, if you are good at connecting you must spend effort and energy to accomplish connecting with others.

  • You must do it intentionally.
  • You must exert an effort to connect.
  • It takes more energy and effort with some people than others.
  • As soon as you get married you have a powered outage, prior to marriage expend lots of energy connecting, after wedding vows are said you quit working at it in many cases.
  • Connectors understand that if they are going to connect they will have to give it a lot of effort, give it a lot of energy.

Who do you have to expend a lot of extra effort and extra energy with in order to really connect with them?

Connectors find common ground

  • Connectors are constantly looking for common ground.
  • Connection is based on similarity, not difference.
  • If we ate lunch together, I would ask questions looking for common ground and then camp out there because that is how I connect with people. Find common ground and build from there.
  • I find common ground then I take them to higher ground over time.
  • Once you find common ground you can elevate them to higher ground by connecting with them where they are currently.
  • Walk slowly through crowd in order to connect with people, notice people, take time to recognize them and appreciate them. These are some keys to connecting with people.
  • Care for people!
  • Be open.
  • Strive to be open with our lives.

We can make a choice not to be open, we can stiff arm people and keep them at a distance. This method will keep people from hurting you, but they won’t help you either.

Go out and increase your influence with others!