Leadership... The Power Of Caring

After a leader decides their job is to serve people, the greatest power they possess is caring for the people they serve. Make no  mistake. Caring is a choice leaders have to make. They may not always like all the people they serve but they have to choose to care about them or they are not a leader, just a manager doomed to produce average results.

No one will trust or follow someone they think cares more about money, things or results than they do about them. People accept direction, guidance and teaching from a person they believe cares about them, wants the best for them and is willing to hold them accountable to a higher standard than they hold for themselves. They develop loyalty and a willingness to follow someone who demonstrates their concern for them and wants what's best for them. They instinctively know that someone who cares about them believes in them.

Leaders also understand that people don't always like their leader when they are holding them accountable. In fact, I believe the phrase micro-mangement was created by followers to try and get leaders to stop paying attention to what they were doing, leave them alone and let them be average.

Leaders don't accept average behavior or people who accept being average. They understand that not everyone wants to be exceptional...If you are in a leadership position and you believe your responsibility is to help everyone become exceptional, then you're fighting a losing battle. Not all people want to be exceptional and you don't need them to be for your organization, company or team to be extraordinary.

You only need your people to be above average by executing your plan with enthusiasm, commitment and concern for each other, to create an extraordinary company or organization. When this happens, and only when this happens, do they become a true team. Until then, they're a group of individuals working for you and it's the leaders job to serve them until they become a team.

When you care about people you are committed to making them the best they are willing to be. This gives you the courage to challenge them, hold them accountable and accept that they will not always like you but they will respect you and eventually call you a mentor.

In this position you will be teaching continually. That's what leaders do. They are tireless teachers committed to helping the people they serve to learn, grow and improve. To do this, leaders have to develop the habit or ritual of continual learning.

When the choice to care is made, leaders stop wanting all their people to think alike, or think like them. They become less defensive of their position, open up and begin to embrace the differences, strengths and weaknesses of the people they serve. They are better able to evaluate people's talents, skills and self-discipline so they can put them together to produce the best results.

After all, no winning organization is ever made up of all 'milk drinkers', people who all think and act the same. It takes a diverse group of people with different skills to win and it takes a leader who cares about them to bring them together. The best way to make this happen, is to choose to care more about the  people you serve rather than your plans or results. When you do, they will follow you and become a team who cares about each other and your plans.

They will be a team on a mission with a 'people first' leader who cares about and serves them. This is the best way to get a group of mostly average people to rise above mediocrity and produce extraordinary results.

By Mike Moore

No One Sets Out To Be Average

How can you prepare to be more cheerful, happy and prepare to handle the hassles of a normal day? How can you assure yourself of not being average? 

When people wake up in the morning they have an expectation or intention for their day. It's a choice that separates average for extraordinary. What are your intentions or expectations for the day ahead?  I've asked individuals and groups, large and small, this question over the past two decades and the overwhelming number one answer is, “I want to have a good day”.  When I ask people to define a good day, the definition is, “A day with little to no problems or hassles”.   When I ask them how many days a year this intention or expectation is met, they usually answer, “None”.  Yet, they wake up each day and repeat this behavior without changing their expectation or intention. The vast majority of people start each day with an unrealistic expectation or intention, that when not fulfilled, makes them frustrated, upset and unhappy. When we set expectations that aren't met, we are usually disappointed.

Managing your own intentions and expectations drives your daily emotions and state-of-mind. Average people focus on their circumstances and not their solutions. This makes their circumstances the driver of their emotions. This will make their emotions or state-of-mind a roller coaster ride of peaks and valleys that sabotage their ability to create the results or life they want. 

First, let’s look at why people set an intention or expectation of no problems, no hassles and no worries, and defined this as a good day.  When we wake up each day we have a choice to make, “Better or Comfortable”.  Our human nature seeks comfort before improvement and is satisfied to be comfortable. We don't want to be average but have to choose to do things we don't want to do if we want to be above average. We don’t wake up each day driven to be better human beings or to make things in our life better.  So, the challenge is how to overcome our human nature and stop sabotaging our own lives. 

When we define a good day as no problems, no hassles and no adversity and then meet the first problem of the day, how do we react? If you said, “Frustrated” you'd be right.  Your expectation or intention has set you up to be frustrated. Not the best state-of–mind to handle life or work problems. This pattern of behavior begins a downward spiral of poor emotions. These emotions make you less capable of handling the next problem. Maintaining this emotional cycle may even make you avoid, withdraw or quit trying to overcome the obstacles in your day. The end result of this is average, at best.

How can you change your expectations or intentions to change your results? Remember, "Everyday the choices you make, makes you".  When you start your day, change your expectation or intention by changing your definition of a good day.  Let’s revisit the idea or definition of a good day. If your choice is comfort you define it as “no problems”. Think about when you feel best about yourself. Your self-worth or self-esteem is best when you overcome adversity, solve problems and help others.  So to change your results, to develop the emotional state-of-mind to make a difference in your life, you need a new definition of a good day.

This new definition can help you make a better first choice as you wake up each day. Define a good day as one where you find, meet and overcome problems and adversity. Yes, you need to wake each day looking for problems.  Problems to solve that will help people.  Just a note...You shouldn't be looking to make problems...that won't make for a better life. You need to look for and find existing problems, and then help solve them.  If you are part of a problem, stop complaining and start finding solutions. This definition will help you to stop avoiding conflict and endure difficulties with the proper emotional state-of-mind.  Armed with this new definition, when you find problems, you will be eager to meet them head-on and won't become frustrated.  You'll become an overcomer and not a victim of your circumstances.

Adversity and problems are the obstacles that stand between where you are and the results or life you want.  The first step to overcoming adversity and problems is to develop an attitude or emotional state-of-mind that can overcome the obstacles. Our attitudes are most affected by our intentions and expectations that create our daily choices and allow us to choose to be better rather than comfortable. This thinking will even start to help you embrace change and stop fighting to hold on to a status quo that may be keeping you average as well. 

Redefine a good day, expect problems and hassles. Become an overcomer, a solution finder, and then you'll begin to experience a, 'Good Day'...everyday. This cycle of behavior will make your life is a journey of solutions that serve others and rewards you with the results and life you want.

A final thought for leaders...You are responsible to teach, prepare and help people set expectations that will allow them to live and work towards a better life. Helping people understand how their expectations and intentions are empowering them or sabotaging them is a good first step.

Change your expectations to prepare for the hassles of life to increase your happiness and improve your results. Expect more of yourself and less of others...These is one of the top traits of leaders and peak performers.

By Mike Moore