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Leadership is Action, Not Position

By Bigg Success Staff
04-15-08

Timeless Principles

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This great quote comes from Donald H. McGannon, who ran the Westinghouse Broadcasting Corporation and served as President of the National Urban League.

No one can declare you the “leader”; you have to earn it. No position will make you a leader; you have to have followers.

People follow people, not positions. They respect people whom they trust. They tag along with people in whom they believe. They follow people who have demonstrated they deserve to be followed.

That requires action, which doesn’t require any certain “position”. You have to take action that inspires people to follow you. Nobody follows anybody who doesn’t do anything; people follow people who do something of significance.

You can’t just talk about it; you have to do it. When people see you accomplishing something worthwhile, they will follow.

Yes, leadership is action, not position. Anyone can be a leader. You just have to do things that make people want to follow you.

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4 Pointers for Praising Your People

By Bigg Success Staff
04-02-03

Leadership skills

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Research shows that employees are attracted to, and stay with, leaders who recognize them for good performance. Everybody loves to be part of a winning team. That’s why great leaders willingly share the glory. It’s one of the greatest motivational tools at your disposal.

As you lead your troops to success, one of the most fulfilling parts of your work should be recognizing people who have made the most significant contributions. Yet many leaders fail to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Here are four pointers for praising your people:

Timely
Let’s be clear – recognizing an employee for good performance at any time is better than not recognizing them at all. However, if you want the greatest impact, you should acknowledge the performance as soon after it happens, or gets reported, as possible. You’ll get an immediate boost from these people (and others), so why wait?

Publicly
You should praise your employees publicly. Tell anyone and everyone you can about the wonderful things they’ve done. Make it as public as possible in every way possible. When you recognize people publicly like this, others will notice. Some will get jealous. Your best troops will be challenged to step up so they can get the same attention.

Fairly

You should recognize people for contributing to the goals you’ve defined. Period. Don’t play favorites in praising your people. You’ll discourage your other troops who are making honest efforts to contribute. If praise gets political, it will cease to be effective. That’s one of the worst things that could happen to you as a leader.

Generously
Great leaders dish out too much credit. You shouldn’t recognize people for things they don’t do; that won’t accomplish anything. However, when in doubt, spread it out – spread the praise so as many people as possible feel like they’re part of the progress.

You’ll find that keeping credit to yourself doesn’t accomplish much in the end. Recognizing your troops generously will!

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10 Laws of Survival and Success

By Bigg Success Staff
03-17-08

Bigg Book Review 

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It all started as a speech. The speech was received so well that Mark Amtower wrote a book from it – Why Epiphanies Never Occur to Couch Potatoes.

Mark, a noted consultant, speaker, radio host, and author, thinks that everyone experiences epiphanies that help us understand reality. However, not everyone recognizes them for what they are – nuggets of wisdom that will make a difference in your life.

We highly recommend this book to you, especially if you’re the leader of an organization. However, it is a great read for anyone who wants to take the high road through life.

At its essence, this book is about adopting an ethical standard for living. That standard, which leads to survival and success, springs from these ten laws: 

#10 – The Law of Tithing
The more successful you are, the more you must contribute to your community.

#9 – The Law of the Food Chain

You must accurately define your market position to maintain momentum.

#8 – The Law of Communication
Simply and truthfully state who you are and what you do.

#7 – The Law of Fidelity

Be loyal to people with influence in your personal and professional life or you may be viewed as unstable and untrustworthy.

#6 – The Law of Divine Right to Attention
You will receive the amount of attention you deserve, base on the value you deliver.

#5 – The Law of Spontaneous Generation
You gain both mindshare and market share incrementally, not instantly.

#4 – The Law of Market Ownership

Market share is rented, not owned. Remain humble and continue to learn.

#3 – The Law of Creation

Epiphanies are worthless without action. Action creates more epiphanies.

#2 – The Law of Leverage
If you live in accordance with the previous eight laws, you’ll be hard to move.

#1 – The Law of Gravitational Pull
If you’re in harmony with the previous nine laws, people will be pulled to you and your chosen niche.

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Your Leading Role: Define The Roles Of Your Troops

By Bigg Success Staff
03-05-08

Leadership Skills

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We recently wrote an article, 248]. Just like a general leading soldiers into battle, you guide your troops through their daily challenges.

As the leader, your role is to define the roles of your troops. You’ve already communicated your vision of victory to them. Now, your troops need to understand how what they do fits into that vision.

Novice leaders often relegate duties willy-nilly. Established leaders delegate responsibility, and accountability, for achieving clearly established goals.

6 things your troops need to understand about their roles

Duties
Every person in your command needs to understand exactly what they are expected to do and by when they need to do it. Break their tasks down so they clearly know their responsibilities.

Procedures
You have developed proven ways to accomplish each task efficiently. Outline that procedure for your troops so they don’t have to learn it on their own. Of course, you will always be testing new ways to do things even better, but you have to give them a launching point.

Resources
Let your troops know where they can get help when they have questions. Depending on the nature of the question, it may be general help or something specific to their job. You may develop a page of frequently asked questions or have a page that shows who to contact for questions on a variety of subjects.

Expected results
Your troops also need to understand the exact outcome you expect. Just providing them with a list of duties won’t inspire them to action – agreeing to specific accomplishments with target dates will, if you have the right person in the job.

Evaluation
Let each of your troops know when their performance will be assessed and the standards upon which they will be judged.

Show them upfront any forms you may use to appraise their performance. Help them understand how you will measure results. Your troops will appreciate this forthrightness and objectivity.

Rewards
You can’t motivate your troops; that has to come from within. But you can inspire them by giving them a valued prize for success. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be financial.

Some of your troops may prefer something else – like an extra day off. If you can customize the reward without being unfair to the rest of your troops, do it! You’ll reap the rewards!

With these things done, you can put together a Position Manual for every position in your charge. We’ve detailed it here for entry level positions. As you move up in the organization, your Position Manuals should focus more on results, and less on methods.

By clearly delineating roles, you’ll show your troops you trust them to achieve your vision. Of course, you’ll check up on them from time to time. But the hard work is done – everyone in your organization knows what they need to accomplish!

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Women Can’t Win

According to Catalyst, an organization that studies women in the workplace, gender stereotypes still play a major role in how women are judged. If they act consistently with female stereotypes, their competence is questioned. But if their behavior is consistent with that of the stereotypical male, they’re viewed as being too tough.

Catalyst has done these studies all around the world. They’ve found that the characteristics of a good leader vary from region to region. But whatever is considered ideal, women fall short.

So it would seem that women can’t win.

We understand that you can’t change people’s perceptions. To be more direct, you can’t change bias that’s based on stereotypes. You can’t control anyone else.

So why worry about it? Focus on what you CAN control – how you conduct yourself and your business. You are the CEO of the most important organization in the world – YOU, Inc.

So today we’ll offer 3 tips to overcome stereotypes, gender-based or otherwise.

Tip #1 – Be yourself.
You can’t change opinions that can’t be changed. But if people like you, or at least respect you, you’ll succeed. So if you’re a nurturing person, nurture. If you’re assertive, be assertive.

Don’t try to please everybody. Don’t second guess who you are. Don’t try to become what someone else wants you to be. And don’t ever apologize for who you are.

Tip #2 – Promote yourself.

Make sure you’re 132 getting the credit that you deserve]. Don’t be so humble. Make sure you keep document what you’ve done. Make your boss aware of it. Then you’ll be in demand – with your current company or a new one.

Tip #3 – If all else fails, find a different workplace.
If your boss or your company isn’t supporting you, move on to a company that will. If you’re not completely ready, start making preparations. And that doesn’t have anything to do with preparation H! This isn’t an easy solution, but you have to go for what you want in life.

Tip #3B – Start your own business.
Create a workplace where you’d like to work. That’s the motivation for a lot of women starting a business. And women are starting businesses today at three times the rate of men.

Turning stereotypes upside down
Here’s something that we found very interesting – traits that are often viewed as negatives in the corporate world are being turned into advantages in the entrepreneurial world.

Margaret Heffernan wrote a great book, How She Does It: How Women Entrepreneurs Are Changing the Rules of Business. She says that female entrepreneurs emphasize values and relationships. They create a culture that includes employees, customers, and the community at large.

The result – they are building companies that last AND make a contribution. Doesn’t that sound like good leadership?

How have you beat stereotypes, gender or otherwise?
Share it with us by leaving a Comment below!

Our bigg quote is by Anonymous.

“Some leaders are born women.”

But no one is born a leader. You have to take action, but you can do it! After all, you’ve come a long way, baby!

Next time, we’ll sit down at the negotiating table for some delicious tips to negotiate your next deal. The women are having steak … the men are having quiche … how’s that for beating stereotypes?

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!