Innovative Leadership Traits

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If you’re looking to be the best leader possible, this list of 6 leadership traits is a great place to start.

Innovative Leaders:

  • Create a climate of reciprocal trust. Innovation often requires some level of risk. Not all innovative ideas are successful. Highly innovative leaders initiate warm, collaborative relationships with the innovators who work for them. They make themselves highly accessible. Colleagues know that their leader will cover their backs and not throw them under the bus if something goes wrong.
  • Display fearless loyalty to doing what’s right for the organization and customer. Pleasing the boss or some other higher level executive always takes a back seat to doing the right thing for the project or the company.
  • Put their faith in a culture that magnifies upward communication. These leaders believe that the best and most innovative ideas bubble up from underneath. They strived to create a culture that uncorks good ideas from the first level of the organization. They are often described as projecting optimism, full of energy, and always receptive to new ideas.
  • Are persuasive. These individuals are highly effective in getting others to accept good ideas. They do not push or force their ideas onto their teams. Instead, they present ideas with enthusiasm and conviction, and the team willingly follows.
  • Excel at setting stretch goals. These goals require people to go far beyond just working harder. These goals require that they find new ways to achieve a high goal.
  • Are candid in their communication. These leaders are described as providing honest, and at times even sometimes blunt, feedback. Subordinates feel they can always count on straight answers from their leader.

This post is adapted from a recent HBR article. Interested in reading the full article? Click Here

Posted by Andrew Pino

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Not Another Resolution

AA017935Ah, New Years. It’s that lovely time of year where well intentioned resolutions, die a slow (or truthfully, fast) death as life rolls on. Can you relate?

I wish I could tell you that as I look back over the many years, I see nothing but completed objectives and fulfilled dreams. I wish I could say that every time I set my mind to it, I was able to change this habit or that behavior. Unfortunately, I know all too well the regret of leaving something incomplete.

What starts as a truly motivating desire to see improvement in a relationship, a project, a personal goal…ends in a “oh well, maybe next year” or worse “I wish I had stuck with it“.

Have I depressed you? I think I just depressed myself!

So, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to let 2017 be another year of the same old thing? Or, are we going to take this annual “reset” and be greater than our 2016 self?

If you’re reading this post and thinking, “I never keep the resolutions I set“, then let me throwout some ideas so you can tell your subconscious “it wasn’t my idea“…”I’m just doing what someone else suggested“. (Note: if that sounds ridiculous, then you haven’t ever had the internal dialogues that plague so many of us when it comes to motivating ourselves. I can motivate others, but sometimes motivating me to exercise or read a book or whatever, is like coaxing a donkey to climb up the Himalayas)

Alright, here are some suggestions that may help you on your way to becoming a better you in this new year:

  • Exercise 3-5 times per week. Everything stems from your health. If you are in better shape, you will think better, relate with people better, sleep better, etc etc.
  • Read 1 book every month. Might be easy for some, but for many it’s a daunting thought. Reading is a fantastic way to increase your mental capabilities, vocabulary, stimulate creativity, etc. (extra credit: read the bible weekly, if not daily. no other book can encourage you and challenge you all at the same time. the time spent in this activity is invaluable.)
  • Spend more time with good people. I mean the people that “give” life, not suck it out of you. Don’t surround yourself with gossips, negative thinkers, etc. Place yourself in an environment that lifts you up and gets the most out of you.
  • Speak life. In every situation, you have the opportunity to change the atmosphere. Speaking life into other people’s lives will encourage them (and you).
  • Give away money. Yeah, that’s what I said. Tithe at your church, give to missions organizations, donate to folks trying to adopt, etc. Giving away a portion of what you worked hard to earn is a transforming exercise in seeing the world beyond your small part of it.
  • Be a better leader. Whether you are a boss or an employee, you have the opportunity to be a leader. Start this year by being intentional with what you say, how you act, etc in the workplace.
  • Remember to breathe. Working hard is great, it’s awesome to accomplish a ton of stuff. However, that is not all that life is about. Take time (on a very regular basis) to chill out. Go for a walk, take a nap, go to the movies, roll around on the floor with your kids, take your spouse on a date…breathe.

Certainly not an exhaustive list, but hopefully one or a few of them have sparked something in you. (I know they have in me)

I wish you luck as you begin this year, desiring to live intentional. May the grace and peace of God be with you everyday.

Written by Andrew Pino

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6 Patterns of Great Leaders

Today’s post is an excerpt from an article I read some time ago. If you’d like to read the entire original article, there’s a link at the bottom.

Up Close and Personal1. They Change Their Minds

One of the most courageous things a leader can do is admit when he or she is wrong, and admit it often.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said that the late Apple founder Steve Jobs was a notorious, but deliberate, flip-flopper. “I saw it daily,” Cook said in an interview with AllThingsD. “This is a gift, because things do change, and it takes courage to change. It takes courage to say, ‘I was wrong.’”

On the flip side, poor leaders dig in their heels when they’re wrong. They’d rather assert authority than admit a mistake. But owning up to one’s faults is a greater sign of strength than the ability to stand one’s ground.

2. They Absorb Shock

Historically, leaders were given special status and privilege because they were the first to face danger, the first to battle; they shielded the group from harm. Great leaders today still do that. They absorb risk unto themselves, so others can do their best work.

As John Maxwell says, “A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.”

3. They Overcommunicate

The best leaders confide in their followers. Whereas they shield people from danger, they also aren’t afraid to trust people with all the information. In general, people are more afraid of the unknown than they are of big scary problems.

“One of the best things a leader can do is learn to be vulnerable,” says Charlie Kim. “It’s what actually inspires other people, because they say, ‘This person has the same problems I have, and even worse. They had all these issues and despite all that they were able to survive, succeed.’ It drives you to do more.”

4. They Search For The Right Path; Not The Easy One

Bad leaders take the easy way out. They don’t tend to lead very long. Great leaders seek to do what’s right first, then figure out how to deal with the repercussions, rather than seeking to minimize pain and twisting their morals to suit.

This sounds like the obvious thing to do, and it is. But where a lot of great leaders differ from mediocre leaders with good intentions is in the ability to do the right thing when that thing stings someone else. Letting go of an employee who needs to go—even though you like them personally—takes courage. Delivering bad news to someone, correcting their actions or attitudes, can be uncomfortable, and it’s tempting as a leader to let things slide in the name of goodwill. But like a mom or dad who lets his or her kids run wild without parental correction, leaders who take the emotionally easy route often create environments that in the long run come back to bite them and their kids.

5. They Have Sacred Time For Themselves

The best leaders know that they need time for self-improvement and balance in order to be sustainably useful to their tribes. Rather than becoming martyrs for their teams, they draw firm lines around sacred alone time.

6. But They’re In It For Others

Though the most effective leaders carve out sacred time for themselves, the best of the best do so because they are motivated by the desire to help other people. Indeed, the greatest leaders are the ones everyone wants to follow, and those are the ones who care about others more than self, who lead with a higher purpose.

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it,” said Andrew Carnegie.

Interested in reading the full article? Click Here

Posted by Andrew Pino

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