W E L C O M E T O
intentional L E A D E R
The Intentional Leader experience was created for
leaders like you – to give you...
intentional L E A D E R
Daily Leadership Growth for You and Your Team
intentional L E A D E R
4
© 2011 Giant Impact, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
syst...
V I S I O N
Month 1
V ision
I BELIEVE that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade
is out, of landing a man...
8
Perhaps no other name illustrates this more than Walt
Disney. Disney is a brand synonymous with innovation
and success. ...
9
INTENTIONALLEADER
others are doing. With each step in the direction of your
dream, you become a better version of yourse...
10
day
FOUR
day
FIVE
it, go back and condense what you’ve written into a single
paragraph. Once you have a concise paragra...
11
INTENTIONALLEADER
week TWO:
S E E I N G T H E B I GG E R P I C T U R E
these questions dictate the extent of a leader’s...
12
day
TWO
day
THREE
commitment to vision can start by knowing the history of
an organization and its values, committing t...
13
commitment to the organization’s vision? How can you
encourage greater buy-in to the vision? What would allow
others to...
14
constantly. With respect to vision, leaders ought to err on the
side of repetition - repeatedly speaking it, celebratin...
15
clearly communicate their vision to their employees. Answer
the following questions to assess the communication of the
...
16
day
FOUR
day
FIVE
organization or team. Implement the plan and evaluate it at
the end of the month, then make adjustmen...
17
from low-cost or superior comfort. Knight rewrote the rules,
making the game all about “cool.”
Leaders with an innovati...
18
day
TWO
day
THREE
areas where 1 = weak and 10 = strong.
Defining the vision: How well can you construct or define visio...
19
day
FOUR
day
FIVE
was good, and what did you hear that concerned you?
Would your work carry on because of the mark you ...
20
final WRAP UP:
Anyone who has driven in a downpour can attest to the
importance of vision. The rainfall may trouble pas...
R E L A T I O N S H I P S
Month 2
R E L A T I O N S H I P S
RELATIONSHIPS ARE the best indicators of a successful and satisfied life.
23
Relationships mold ...
24
precarious days in history.
Abraham Lincoln ascended to the presidency from Illinois
with relative inexperience on the ...
25
they would rate you in the following five areas. Encourage
them to be open and honest with you for your own growth.
Fiv...
Intentional Leader (25 PAGE PREVIEW)
Intentional Leader (25 PAGE PREVIEW)
Intentional Leader (25 PAGE PREVIEW)
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Intentional Leader (25 PAGE PREVIEW)

5,488 views
5,424 views

Published on

This is a 25 page sample of INTENTIONAL LEADER. Order at http://store.giantimpact.com/intentional-leader/

Published in: Business, Technology
1 Comment
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
5,488
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1,283
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
1
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Intentional Leader (25 PAGE PREVIEW)

  1. 1. W E L C O M E T O intentional L E A D E R The Intentional Leader experience was created for leaders like you – to give you an opportunity to grow at higher levels through daily experiences. Each day of this experience has been specifically designed to help you discover how you are doing in several foundational areas of leadership. Our desire is that by the end of this experience you would be drawn to a deeper commitment and greater impact in your leadership. Every month has a monthly theme, weekly directions, and daily activities. Each month’s guide contains four weeks’ worth of materials. Each week consists of five days of activities. Here are the daily components for each week: Day 1 – Weekly Direction: Introduction to the week’s theme Day 2 – What is True About You: Daily internal activity Day 3 – External Significance: Daily external activity Day 4 – Reflection: Summation of week’s theme Day 5 – Preparation: Being intentional with your weekend It is our desire that the process of completing this program will increase your confidence in yourself, your influence on others, and your ability to make a real and lasting difference as a leader.
  2. 2. intentional L E A D E R Daily Leadership Growth for You and Your Team intentional L E A D E R
  3. 3. 4 © 2011 Giant Impact, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without prior written permission.
  4. 4. V I S I O N Month 1
  5. 5. V ision I BELIEVE that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. - John F. Kennedy, May 25, 1961 7 INTENTIONALLEADER Withthosewords,PresidentKennedycastthevisionforperhaps the most spectacular feat ever undertaken by the United States of America. His ambitious vision captivated the imagination of Americans, and it motivated the nation’s brightest scientists and astronauts to pursue a seemingly impossible mission. No one, even a generation earlier, could have fathomed a man walking around on the moon. Consider that only fifty years before Kennedy’s speech, most Americans were traveling by horse and buggy! In those days, sending a man to the moon would have seemed just as ridiculous as traveling backward in time. Amazingly, NASA accomplished Kennedy’s daring vision when thecrewofApollo11landedonthemooninJulyof1969.Within a dozen years of JFK’s speech, twelve astronauts had walked on the surface of the moon. America had done the impossible, and the entire country took pride in the accomplishment.1 By developing a picture of what could be and inspiring others to inherit their vision, leaders set the agenda for the future. Through vision, a leader initiates progress and motivates others to achieve what they never imagined possible. The clarity of your vision, along with your ability to cast that vision, will determine what you’re able to accomplish in leadership. E X P L O R E : Take a few minutes to ponder these questions which will help you begin to examine this month’s theme. Do your daily activities align with your long-range vision? Does your organization’s vision inspire commitment from your team? How do you regularly communicate your vision to those you lead? Has your vision been adopted by your team?
  6. 6. 8 Perhaps no other name illustrates this more than Walt Disney. Disney is a brand synonymous with innovation and success. However, the theme park, television channel, film studio, cruise line, and retail juggernaut hasn’t always experienced the level of success we all see today. While Disney was well known since the late 1920s, as Hollywood’s leading independent studio head, he didn’t experience the same prosperity as other studios during World War II because of the time and labor-intensive work of creating animated films. He knew that he couldn’t keep going down the same road he had been on and expect different results. Armed with a vision that few others would have seen, Disney convinced the American Broadcast Company (ABC) to contribute half a million dollars toward the construction costs of a new amusement park he dreamed of opening in southern California. Within a year of the park’s opening in 1955, millions of fans flocked to the new ‘Disneyland’ and an empire was born. For the next 50+ years, Disney was a master of leveraging multiple mediums to carry forward his vision and left his mark on society like few others.2 As a leader, you’ll be most effective when your actions are aligned under the banner of a consuming vision. If you can’t see greatness in your mind’s eye, then you’ll never experience it in life. Envision yourself succeeding, and refuse to let failure deter your vision. A C T I O N P O I N T : TODAY, THINK about what may be preventing you from confidently believing in your personal vision. What is it? week ONE: P E R S O N A L V I S I O N Leading others well begins with leading yourself well. And without a strong personal vision driving your own leadership, even this task can prove difficult. day ONE
  7. 7. 9 INTENTIONALLEADER others are doing. With each step in the direction of your dream, you become a better version of yourself. Through this journey you become focused, refined, and experienced. If you cannot lead yourself in the pursuit of your personal vision, how do you expect to lead others in the pursuit of vision? WHAT IS your personal vision (not your business vision)? HOW DOES your personal vision affect your family or close relationships? Are you and they better for it? HOW DOES it impact your work? DOES YOUR WORK take you closer or farther from your vision? pursuit of your personal vision? Select one of the following areas of personal vision and block out time today to process this area with a trusted friend or co-worker. • Knowing your destination • Propelling yourself toward the goal each day • Learning from your mistakes With your confidant, discuss the following questions in relation to the area you selected above: 1. Do I have refined goals or guided principles for this area? 2. What am I willing to give up in order to achieve my personal vision? 3. How will others benefit from my pursuit (even in my mistakes)? 4. Am I pleased with my current progress in this area? 5. How can I improve in this area? WHAT AREA will you fine-tune? WHO WILL you ask today? Schedule your time today. Take your laptop or a journal and get away! day TWO day THREE W H A T I S T R U E A B O U T Y O U ? When you dream and have a vision for your life, you begin to set your journey apart from what E X T E R N A L S I G N I F I C A N C E Today, examine your personal vision journey. What area(s) do you need to fine-tune in the
  8. 8. 10 day FOUR day FIVE it, go back and condense what you’ve written into a single paragraph. Once you have a concise paragraph, see if you can express your personal vision in a single sentence. if you were more intentional about rest, friendship, projects and rejuvenation? Being intentional with your weekends helps you to not be wasteful with your free time. Usually when we are not well prepared for the weekend, we wind up being not fully prepared for Monday. What do your weekend plans look like? ASK YOURSELF THESE questions to be more intentional with your time: • Picture others in your life… WHAT DO THEY NEED FROM YOU this weekend? • Think about your rest, needed tasks, and some fun… HOW WILL YOU GIVE TIME & attention to each this weekend? REST: NEEDED TASKS: FUN: • How do you want to feel on Monday? WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN this weekend in order for you to feel this way when the weekend is over? TAKE SOME TIME TODAY to think through big activities that you have coming up in the month ahead. Be sure everything is accounted for in your calendar/weekly planner. R E F L E C T I O N Today, refine your vision by writing it down. Be detailed about your dream. After you’ve captured Most people rush into the weekend needing rest, with a loose set of plans or projects to get done. What would happen if you looked at your weekend a bit differently? What would happen GIVE US CLEAR VISION that we may know where to stand and what to stand for—because unless we stand for something we shall fall for anything. - PETER MARSHALL
  9. 9. 11 INTENTIONALLEADER week TWO: S E E I N G T H E B I GG E R P I C T U R E these questions dictate the extent of a leader’s influence. The story of Sergey Brin and Larry Page illustrates the enormous power of connecting with a big vision. As students at Stanford, Page and Brin grappled with the challenge of linking the growing number of data collections on the Internet. As the two friends became engrossed in the project, they decided to suspend their education to chase after their colossal vision of making the World Wide Web’s information “universally accessible and useful.” Brin and Page began operating Google out of a garage in September of 1998. By September of 2008, only ten years later, Google was processing nearly five billion web searches per month. The search engine’s massive growth was certainly fueled by genius, but it relied just as much on the unyielding commitment of Brin and Page to a seemingly unattainable vision.3 “You have to be a little silly about the goals you are going to set,” advises Page. “There is a phrase I learned in college called, ‘Having a healthy disregard for the impossible.’ That is a really good phrase. You should try to do things that most people would not.” Whether attempting to digitize all of the world’s printed books or to solve the global energy crisis, Page and Brin continue to commit themselves to audacious goals, refusing to surrender their visions to the confines of possibility. A C T I O N P O I N T : TODAY, THINK about your team’s commitment to the organizational vision. Do they believe in its possibility? Do they share your passion for achieving it? AS MUCH AS ANYTHING, LEADERS ARE defined by the size and scope of their vision. How firmly are they convinced of their vision? How willing are they to commit to it? The answers to day ONE PEOPLE ONLY SEE what they are prepared to see. - RALPH WALDO EMERSON
  10. 10. 12 day TWO day THREE commitment to vision can start by knowing the history of an organization and its values, committing to its vision, and building upon the vision. Take a few minutes to evaluate the level of commitment you and your employees have to the vision of your organization. Examine and rate each of these areas where 1 = weak and 10 = strong. How well do you know the history and values of the organization? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG How well do the employees know the history and values of the organization? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG Is the vision of the organization compelling and easily communicated? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG Are you and the employees committed to the vision of the organization? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG Can you and the employees build upon the vision of the organization? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG WHEN YOU LOOK at these rankings, what do you see that can be leveraged to build a stronger commitment to the vision of the organization? organization. ASK the following questions of three to five people as you interact with them. 1. What are the key historical facts and values of the organization? 2. What is the vision of the organization? What about the vision is compelling to you? 3. Are you meeting your vision in the organization? 4. How does the organization ask you to build upon its vision? RECORD some of their responses. W H A T I S T R U E A B O U T Y O U ? Committing to an organizational vision begins with the organization’s leaders. A strong E X T E R N A L S I G N I F I C A N C E Today, take a quick assessment of your peers’ or employees’ commitment to the
  11. 11. 13 commitment to the organization’s vision? How can you encourage greater buy-in to the vision? What would allow others to see the vision of the organization more clearly? What would give them a desire to make it their own? Now, think about the vision you have for your team. How much have they bought into your vision for them? R E F L E C T I O N This week did you see any discrepancies in your answers or in others’ answers concerning day FOUR day FIVE if you were more intentional about rest, friendship, projects and rejuvenation? Being intentional with your weekends helps you to not be wasteful with your free time. Usually when we are not well prepared for the weekend, we wind up being not fully prepared for Monday. What do your weekend plans look like? ASK YOURSELF THESE questions to be more intentional with your time: • Picture others in your life… WHAT DO THEY NEED FROM YOU this weekend? • Think about your rest, needed tasks, and some fun… HOW WILL YOU GIVE TIME & attention to each this weekend? REST: NEEDED TASKS: FUN: • How do you want to feel on Monday? WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN this weekend in order for you to feel this way when the weekend is over? Most people rush into the weekend needing rest, with a loose set of plans or projects to get done. What would happen if you looked at your weekend a bit differently? What would happen INTENTIONALLEADER
  12. 12. 14 constantly. With respect to vision, leaders ought to err on the side of repetition - repeatedly speaking it, celebrating it, and linking it to action. Pat Woertz has consistently ranked as one of the most powerful women in the world according to Fortune magazine. The President and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland didn’t end up on elite leadership lists by accident. She has a crystal-clear vision of what she wants, and she knows how to get there. Pat Woertz credits her powerful vision as a key factor in her rise to the pinnacle of corporate leadership. “You have to create a succinct and common vision, while carefully articulating exactly where you want people to go.” She explains, “We live in a complicated world, where messages are so easily misunderstood. Clarity is essential.” Woertz walks her talk. She regularly gathers ADM directors and top managers together in order to cast vision. Her concrete benchmarks have given the organization an unmistakable sense of its mission, and her scorecards have made plain ADM’s measures of success. When it comes to vision, Woertz spares no amount of time or energy to ensure that all her prominent leaders are seeing the same picture.4 A C T I O N P O I N T : TODAY, CONSIDER the ways you’ve historically reinforced vision to your team or organization. What has worked the best? VISION GETS LOST IN TRANSLATION unless it is communicated simply, clearly, and consistently. In the words of Andy Stanley, “Vision leaks,” and as such, must be replenished week THREE: T R U M P E T I N G T H E V I S I O N day ONE IF I HAVE SEEN farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. - ISAAC NEWTON
  13. 13. 15 clearly communicate their vision to their employees. Answer the following questions to assess the communication of the vision within your organization or team. WHAT ARE the methods by which vision is communicated? Are they effective? WHAT BENCHMARKS are associated with the organization’s vision or your team’s vision? Do any of these benchmarks need to be modified? DO YOU and the organization reward or celebrate activity that is linked to the vision? How? If not, why not? HOW DO YOU implement the vision of the organization and link it to action? include the following items and any other key components. • A simple and clear vision statement • The “why” behind the vision statement • Clear benchmarks or goals of the vision • Celebration markers or rewards for accomplishing parts of the vision • The communication strategy to key leaders or team members • Clear action items to consistently reinforce so the vision continues to be shared After you develop an initial draft of your plan, seek out the opinion of a trusted advisor or confidant to get feedback. START your draft here: W H A T I S T R U E A B O U T Y O U ? With so many changes in the world every year, it is more vital than ever before that organizations E X T E R N A L S I G N I F I C A N C E Today, develop a plan to communicate vision to your organization or your team. In your plan, day TWO day THREE INTENTIONALLEADER
  14. 14. 16 day FOUR day FIVE organization or team. Implement the plan and evaluate it at the end of the month, then make adjustments to it. Schedule all action items on your calendar. Record several creative ways that you can communicate and reinforce the vision. if you were more intentional about rest, friendship, projects and rejuvenation? Being intentional with your weekends helps you to not be wasteful with your free time. Usually when we are not well prepared for the weekend, we wind up being not fully prepared for Monday. What do your weekend plans look like? ASK YOURSELF THESE questions to be more intentional with your time: • Picture others in your life… WHAT DO THEY NEED FROM YOU this weekend? • Think about your rest, needed tasks, and some fun… HOW WILL YOU GIVE TIME & attention to each this weekend? REST: NEEDED TASKS: FUN: • How do you want to feel on Monday? WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN this weekend in order for you to feel this way when the weekend is over? R E F L E C T I O N Today, develop an action plan for the month for the continued communication of the vision to your Most people rush into the weekend needing rest, with a loose set of plans or projects to get done. What would happen if you looked at your weekend a bit differently? What would happen GOOD BUSINESS LEADERS create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion. - JACK WELCH
  15. 15. 17 from low-cost or superior comfort. Knight rewrote the rules, making the game all about “cool.” Leaders with an innovative vision buck the usual trends and blaze a new trail. Like a compass, their vision provides guidance, pointing the way forward and preventing the organization from veering off course. Even after leaders have departed, their visions endure, lending strategic direction to those they once led. Phil Knight’s vision gave Nike an unbeatable edge in advertising by marketing the brand’s image rather than the specifics of its shoes. By building its brand around the personalities of celebrity athletes such as John McEnroe and Michael Jordan, Nike sold its trademark swoosh as a status symbol. Thanks to Knight’s advertising vision, Nike shoes transcended the market of serious athletes and entered the fashion mainstream. Although Phil Knight is no longer at the helm of Nike, his vision still steers the ship. The company continues to pay princely sums to secure famous athletes as spokespeople, and its ad agency crafts slogans that give Nike shoes a unique identity. Following in the footsteps of its founder, Nike advertising rarely features its shoes, but rather the attitude projected by the brand.5 A C T I O N P O I N T : TODAY, THINK of a leader whom you have seen finish well. What did that leader leave behind? How did the organization continue in the vision after the leader’s departure? PHIL KNIGHT’S VISION for marketing athletic shoes reoriented an entire industry. Prior to Nike’s arrival on the scene, competitors had grappled with one another to gain an edge day ONE week FOUR: A GU I D I N G V I S I O N PEOPLE ARE MORE INCLINED to be drawn in if their leader has a compelling vision. Great leaders help people get in touch with their own aspirations and then will help them forge those aspirations into a personal vision. - JOHN KOTTER INTENTIONALLEADER
  16. 16. 18 day TWO day THREE areas where 1 = weak and 10 = strong. Defining the vision: How well can you construct or define vision? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG Communicating vision: How well can you explain the vision to individuals and groups? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG Continual communication of the vision: How well do you continue to broadcast the vision? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG Strategy around the vision: How well do you link goals and strategy to vision? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG Investment into employees: To what extent do your employees feel your commitment to them? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG AFTER TAKING THIS BRIEF ASSESSMENT, what areas of vision do you need to grow in? What resources can you use to grow in each of these areas (i.e. books, discussion with experts, intentional practice, etc.)? IF YOU DON’T IMPROVE WITH RESPECT TO VISION, how could that affect your organization or team? Ask them to hypothesize with you for a moment so you can have some honest feedback. If you were to leave the organization, how would that impact the vision of your organization or team? Would the organization or your team be able to continue successfully without you? Are they ready to proceed without you? BEFORE YOU SEEK out those three people today, what would you say about yourself? If you left the organization, what impact would that have on the organization or the team? Are others equipped to proceed without you? W H A T I S T R U E A B O U T Y O U ? How good are you at the different components of vision? Examine and rate yourself in each of these E X T E R N A L S I G N I F I C A N C E Today, talk to three people you work closely with and who are familiar with your work.
  17. 17. 19 day FOUR day FIVE was good, and what did you hear that concerned you? Would your work carry on because of the mark you left? As a leader, we have to face the truth and learn. What have you learned about yourself as you have focused on vision this month? Where do you come up short? Where are you strong? What changes will you make in your leadership as a result of what you have learned? R E F L E C T I O N Today, consider the responses from those you talked with yesterday. What did you hear that if you were more intentional about rest, friendship, projects and rejuvenation? Being intentional with your weekends helps you to not be wasteful with your free time. Usually when we are not well prepared for the weekend, we wind up being not fully prepared for Monday. What do your weekend plans look like? ASK YOURSELF THESE questions to be more intentional with your time: • Picture others in your life… WHAT DO THEY NEED FROM YOU this weekend? • Think about your rest, needed tasks, and some fun… HOW WILL YOU GIVE TIME & attention to each this weekend? REST: NEEDED TASKS: FUN: • How do you want to feel on Monday? WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN this weekend in order for you to feel this way when the weekend is over? SPEND SOME TIME TODAY with someone who can help you improve being intentional with your weekends. Review your ideas and plans from the past month. Ask them for ideas on how you can improve. Most people rush into the weekend needing rest, with a loose set of plans or projects to get done. What would happen if you looked at your weekend a bit differently? What would happen INTENTIONALLEADER
  18. 18. 20 final WRAP UP: Anyone who has driven in a downpour can attest to the importance of vision. The rainfall may trouble passengers in the car, but they’re not the ones behind the wheel. For the safety of all, it’s up to the driver to be alert and attentive. Passengers depend on the driver to keep an eye on the road, avoid accidents, and make the proper turns. Like a car’s driver, a leader has the responsibility to see the way forward. Leaders have to anticipate the future and be aware of their organizations’ desired destinations. If they do not, they’re not only lazy, but they’re reckless with the resources at their command. Vision correlates to a bold imagination. Leaders should be able to articulate a compelling vision that invites others to enlist in a cause greater than their own self-interest. Knowing where you’re going is essential, but inspiring others to join the voyage carries equal weight. Visionary leaders are dreamers. Not fanciful idlers, but women and men who marry passionate action to their notions of an ideal future. As T.E. Lawrence said, ALL MEN DREAM: BUT NOT EQUALLY. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible. As you’ve grappled with vision this month, your spirit has perhaps been stirred with longing. What excites you about the future? What are you hoping to see happen? What’s your vision? Whatever your dream may be, make sure to grab it tightly and wring out its energy to fuel your leadership. 1 Stenger, Richard. “Man on the moon: Kennedy speech ignited the dream.” http:// archives.cnn.com. 2001. CNN Online. 6 February 2009. <http://archives.cnn.com/2001/ TECH/space/05/25/kennedy.moon/>. 2 Weisblat, Tinky. “Walt Disney: U.S. Animator/Producer/Media Executive.” The Museum of Broadcast Communications. 2011. <http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection. php?entrycode=disneywalt>. 3 Malseed, Mark and Vise, David. “A Healthy Disregard for the Impossible: Part 1.” www.enotalone.com. 2009. enotalone Online. 28 May 2009. <http://www.enotalone. com/article/18937.html>. 4 “Among Most Powerful Women in the World Accounting Graduate Ranks.” www. smeal.psu.edu. 2001. Smeal College of Business. 6 February 2009. <http://www.smeal. psu.edu/news/latest-news/oct01/actggrad.html>. 5 Krentzman, Jackie. “The Force Behind Nike.” www.stanfordalumni.org. 1997. Stanford Magazine. 6 February 2009. <http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/1997/ janfeb/articles/knight.html>.
  19. 19. R E L A T I O N S H I P S Month 2
  20. 20. R E L A T I O N S H I P S RELATIONSHIPS ARE the best indicators of a successful and satisfied life. 23 Relationships mold us, and we shape others through them. We cannot help but be impacted by the lives of those closest to us. For this reason relationships, not riches, are the best indicators of a successful and satisfied life. Ithasbeensaid,“practicemakesperfect,”but,moreimportantly, relationships eliminate the fear of imperfection. Regardless of personal brilliance, every leader has weaknesses and blind spots that can only be overcome by relationships. If we desire to be effective influencers, we cannot live in isolation. Rather, we must work together to cover our flaws and sharpen our strengths. The scientific principle of synergy is a prime example of how we are at our best when we’re in relationships with others. It is commonly supposed that 2 + 2 = 4. However, in the case of synergy, the combined effort of two or more forces is greater than the sum of their individual forces. In essence, 2 + 2 = 5. Consider an example from a county fair horse-pulling contest. At the end of the competition, the winning horse pulled 5,000 pounds, while the second place horse pulled 4,000 pounds. Event organizers decided to yoke the horses together, expecting them to pull 9,000 pounds. Much to their surprise, the horses towed 12,000 pounds! They had just experienced synergy in action.1 What is true in physical science holds true in human relations: we’re greater together than by ourselves. E X P L O R E : Take a few minutes to ponder these questions which will help you begin to examine this month’s theme. HOW DO YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES show up in your relationships? HOW HAVE THE RELATIONSHIPS IN YOUR LIFE helped you grow as a leader? WHEN HAVE YOU PUT ASIDE relational differences to pursue a shared goal? IN WHAT WAYS have you made sacrifices for the sake of a relationship? INTENTIONALLEADER
  21. 21. 24 precarious days in history. Abraham Lincoln ascended to the presidency from Illinois with relative inexperience on the national scene. A self-aware leader, Lincoln realized he needed to add more seasoned statesmen to his cabinet. With the country divided, he saw the value of unifying the Republican Party before he attempted to reconcile the nation. For these reasons, Lincoln appointed his foremost political rivals to prominent positions within his cabinet. The move was considered a bizarre tactic at a time when presidents normally stacked the cabinet with loyal supporters. However, Lincoln trusted his ability to manage the egos of his former rivals, and he knew their input would be invaluable. Drawing upon the talents of his rivals-turned-advisers, Lincoln successfully steered the nation through the Civil War.2 When you understand your own strengths and weaknesses, you gain a greater appreciation of others as you see them with strengths and weaknesses as well. As a leader, you begin to know and value others as much as you value yourself, and you see what you can accomplish together. A C T I O N P O I N T : TODAY, TAKE AN INvENTORY of your strengths and weaknesses in the area of relationships. Which relational skills do you feel are your strengths? WHICH RELATIONAL SKILLS do you feel are your weaknesses? week ONE: L O O K I N B E F O R E R E A C H I N G O U T ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S GRASP of his personal strengths and weaknesses enabled him to form relationships with bitter rivals in order to steer the United States through some of its most day ONE YOU CAN DO what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things. - MOTHER TERESA
  22. 22. 25 they would rate you in the following five areas. Encourage them to be open and honest with you for your own growth. Five Underpinnings to Building Great Relationships: HONESTY: When you speak with others, do you avoid sharing details that you know might reflect poorly on you? Do you easily admit when you don’t know something, or do you try to cover it up? RELIABILITY: Can others count on you to follow through and do what you say you will do? Do you make a lot of small promises yet don’t follow through? RELATING: When you interact with others, do you seek to understand and listen attentively, or do you tend to try to be understood? Empathy: Do you demonstrate your concern by doing what you can to help? Support can take many forms, from standing up for someone, to giving him or her an extra measure of kindness during tough times. TIME: Do you continually invest time and energy into your most important relationships? Are you mutually contributing to these relationships, or are you taking and not giving? day TWO day THREE E X T E R N A L S I G N I F I C A N C E Share with a close friend or co-worker your assignment from Day 2. Ask the person how 1 = Weak and 10 = Strong. HONESTY: When you speak with others, do you avoid sharing details that you know might reflect poorly on you? Do you easily admit when you don’t know something, or do you try to cover it up? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG RELIABILITY: Can others count on you to follow through and do what you say you will do? Do you make a lot of small promises yet don’t follow through? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG RELATING: When you interact with others, do you seek to understand and listen attentively, or do you tend to try to be understood? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG EMPATHY: Do you demonstrate your concern by doing what you can to help? Support can take many forms, from standing up for someone, to giving him or her an extra measure of kindness during tough times. WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG TIME: Do you continually invest time and energy into your most important relationships? Are you mutually contributing to these relationships, or are you taking and not giving? WEAK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 STRONG AFTER RATING YOURSELF, summarize your thoughts and takeaways on how well you build relationships. Are your relationships mutually beneficial to both parties? W H A T I S T R U E A B O U T Y O U ? Here are five underpinnings in building great relationships. Rate yourself in each of these areas: INTENTIONALLEADER

×