Posts Tagged ‘Mike Myatt’

In one of Mike Myatt’s latest articles for Forbes online, entitled “9 Reasons to Lead in a No-Spin Zone,” this quote caught my attention because it describes quintessential leaders: “The reality is the best leaders are also absolutists when it comes to truth – they view truth as a non-negotiable.” And the first of Myatt’s reasons for this absoluteness is that telling the truth is a habit.

This trait of unwavering, habitual truthfulness is one of the components I identify as being a trust-builder and being viewed as worthy of trust in my book, Building Trust and Being Trustworthy, but what does it mean and what does it look like? (more…)

All of us are part of many teams during our lifetimes: family, schools, social organizations, religious organizations, and business organizations are the major teams we are a part of throughout our lives. And, while we as individuals, are striving to become quintessential leaders, we often find that we are the only or one of a handful of team members on the various teams we are a part of that are.

So today’s post asks each of us to assess the teams we are a part of and determine whether the teams practice quintessential leadership or unquintessential leadership.

If they practice quintessential leadership, then we should encourage and grow that by becoming more quintessential in our personal leadership (modeling and mentoring quintessential leadership).

However, if one or many or all the teams we’re a part of practice unquintessential leadership, then today’s question for each of you to answer – please share your comments here because we who a part of this blog are a team and we can learn from each other – is what do you and I do personally to work to change that?

In Mike Myatt’s article, “30 Outdated Leadership Practices Holding Your Company Back,” he has a chart that, in general, shows unquintessential leadership practices (left column) and quintessential leadership practices (right column):unquintessential leader and quintessential leader practices 2013

Which column, in general, describes each team you’re a part of? And to answer this honestly and accurately, each of us must first ask which column, in general, describes us individually as people and as leaders?

In this earlier post, I discussed how quintessential leaders look into mirrors while unquintessential leaders look through windows. Take a moment and go back to review that post. Because today’s post gives us another opportunity, as quintessential leaders, to look into a mirror. 

The question, then, is will I? Will you?

The quintessential leadership articles being recommended this week are not tightly related, but I think as you read through them you will see some common threads and connections.

Four Pillars of LeadershipIn Mike Myatt’s article, “Four Pillars of Stable Leadership,” he discusses the four elements of the quintessential leadership trait of stability. Stable leadership is critical to building trust and being trustworthy.

I think this paragraph summarizes very well the benefit of stable leadership: “Few things positively impact an organization like a stable tone from the top. A humble and resolute confidence, a sure hand, and a steady calm inspire belief in a leader’s competence and capability.  Stable leaders not only know where they stand, but they also leave no doubt in the minds of others as to what matters, and what will and won’t be tolerated.”

Unfortunately, stable leadership is a rare commodity in most organizational structures today. This includes our personal lives, our work lives, our social lives, and our religious lives. As quintessential leaders, though, we must be the exceptions to the rule in society where it seems now that ego, the big “I,” and situational ethics and relativity predominate the top-tier positions in most organizational constructs.

We must always be the ones to hold fast to humility, to absolute right and wrong, to consistency, to fairness, and to remember that each of us is part of a bigger “we” and not the solo big “I.” 

Why Leadership Training Doesn’t Work,” by Erika Anderson, is a thought-provoking article about the way quintessential leaders build future quintessential leaders versus the way most organizations approach leadership.

Her point is that true leadership building is involved, interactive modeling and mentoring in the course of work, not sitting in a classroom and telling the same old hackneyed stuff – that, by the way, has never worked and still doesn’t work because it has nothing to do with the real world – and expecting people to know how to be leaders.

Mentoring and modeling is the best way to train and learn in the area of leadership. I’ve learned what quintessential leadership is and isn’t by experiencing it and doing it and helping build future quintessential leaders in the process in the real world. And those lessons could have never been taught  – or learned – in a classroom.

Dan Rockwell’s article, “How to Be Humble Without Being a Loser,” contrasts the characteristics of haughty (unquintessential) leadership and humble (quintessential) leadership. The traits of a humble leader include many of the same traits that build trust and make us trustworthy. The humble leader traits list is simply who we, as quintessential leaders, are striving to be and become.

The 5 Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace and What You Can Do About It” by Cy Wakeman may, on the surface, seem like an odd choice in this list of articles, but quintessential leadership is dependent on what he discusses here. In fact, these rules that Wakeman identifies apply equally to life, so they’re important for everyone to know. 

In my post, “The Quintessential Leadership Balance Between Facts and Feelings,” I talked about how quintessential leaders do not allow emotions be the engines of their decision-making. Wakeman comes at this same conclusion from a different angle: emotional expensiveness and how it affects a person’s overall value to an organization (he lists some of the traits of being “emotionally expensive”). 

And although I’ve never thought about the formula he uses in concrete terms, it is the exact formula I tend to use in hiring new team members and giving more responsibility to existing team members.

The formula is: YOUR VALUE = Current Performance + Future Potential – (3 x Emotional Expensiveness). Look at how heavily emotional expensiveness affects the result of this equation. As quintessential leaders, we cannot afford to be emotionally expensive nor we can we afford to have team members who are emotionally expensive.

In Umair Haque’s article, “How and Why to be a Leader – Not a Wannabe,” he contrasts the characteristics that separate quintessential leaders from everyone else (the wannabes). While I don’t agree with some of the words he chose to show the contrasts, the information contained here is solid.

I hope we as quintessential leaders are constantly and consistently questioning and transforming every step of the way, as well as having values, truth, architecture (quintessential leaders build; wannabes hit numbers and quotas targets), and enjoyment/passion.

I hope you’ve all had a productive week and the quintessential leadership journey has been forward-moving. Thank you, as always, for sharing some of your time with me and allowing me to share some of mine with you.

Please take some some time to read the Quintessential Leadership article recommendations for the week of May 10, 2013 that are listed below.

In Josh Bersin’s article, he asks the valid and relevant question of whether the traditional – and unproductive and archaic – annual performance appraisal system that most organizations still use should be replaced with a different system. The traditional performance appraisal system is tied to monetary raises and is a once-a-year-event where team members hear – or read – what their supervisor liked and didn’t like about their past year’s job performances. Usually, the only outcome of this system is frustration because this is the first time team members are hearing about things they did that didn’t work, needed to change, or needed to improve. 

Lack of communication, which I believe is an intrinsic problem in all organizations, is inherent in this “hammer-over-the-head” method of evaluating team members. It does not produce positive results and often leads to attrition among the most gifted and talented team members an organization has. In my eBook, Building Teams for Performance, I give a detailed “what-it-looks-like-in-practice” guide to using performance evaluation systems the way that Josh Bersin correctly concludes they should be used.

Quintessential Leader Articles Review 5-10-13Todd Smith gives a quintessential leadership trait in “Making Your Weaknesses Relevant,” by challenging all of us, as quintessential leaders, not to make excuses for our weaknesses – which we all have – but to face them and change them.

Does it ever seem like you’re in over your head? As quintessential leaders, we will have times that we are in over our heads, but Mike Myatt gives some very practical advice about how to be in over our heads without drowning.

In my post, “Quintessential Leadership News for Week Ending 3-15-13,” I challenged each of us, as quintessential leaders, to look into mirrors, not through windows as we examine ourselves and our path as quintessential leaders to make sure there’s a total match-up between what we say and what we do and are. John Baldoni offers an excellent followup to that post with this article.

In Michael McKinney’s article, Better Decision Making, he discusses the quintessential leadership balance between facts and feelings as being a key determinant in the quality of our decision-making. Feelings and emotions have their place, but they should never be the engine that drives us because they are transient and unreliable. Decisions made using feelings and emotions as the primary driving force often leave us in a worse position than if we had done nothing at all.

The Quintessential Leader blog routinely looks at why unquintessential leadership makes organizations dysfunctional. John Bossong rejoins this discussion with his article that looks at how we can identify unquintessential leadership through the signs of an unhealthy organizational culture.

The last article recommendation this week, written by Kristina Lacida, highlights, as “The Mysteries of Quintessential Leadership Revealed” discusses in detail, the differences between being a “boss” and being a “leader.” 

I hope all of us have had productive, forward-looking and forward-moving quintessential leadership weeks. I’m sure we’ve had our challenges, our missteps, and our failures. But each of those give us an opportunity to learn and to grow.

And, when it’s all said and done, we get back up and we recommit to our goal, our purpose, one step, one choice, one decision at a time. This, my friends, is a marathon, not a sprint.

May the distance we cover between now and the next time we get together be better in every way than the distance we’ve covered already.

As is the case with all quintessential leaders, I read a lot and I read widely. I read very little fiction, but when I do, I’m very selective, looking for substance and relevant rather than fluff and popularity. 

As an aside, I am one of those rare, it seems, people who eschews the idea of escapism and “feel good” when I am investing my time, energy, and effort into something.

If I don’t learn something or there are not some deep and meaningful principles I can come away with to think about and apply, then I’m simply not going to spend my time with it.

Because I am human, there’s a limit on time for me. I certainly don’t want to come to the end of my quota to discover that I wasted the majority of it.  

In pursuit of my commitment to quintessential leadership and my desire to be, at all times, in all ways, a quintessential leader, I am constantly reading articles on leadership and thinking about how and if they fit the quintessential leadership criteria.

Here is a summary of some articles I’ve read recently that certainly point to the quintessential leadership model in some way. I’d like to share those with you and encourage you to read them.

This article on 8 ways leaders undermine themselves from Forbe’s is a good overview of the subject I discuss in-depth in Building Trust and Being Trustworthy.

In conjunction, part of building trust and being trustworthy includes the ability to admit we are wrong when we are and taking responsibility for fixing what we’ve broken quickly, without blame, without excuses. This article by Amy Rees Anderson on this quintessential leader trait is excellent.

Mike Myatt’s article on why organizations suffer from leadership dysfunction offers a very good tie-in to the subject of organizational dysfunction, which I elaborate on in the Quintessential Leader blog post, “Organization Dysfunction – A Total Absence of Quintessential Leadership at the Top.” I encourage everyone to read both articles because, as Myatt correctly observes, we’re seeing leadership dysfunction become the organizational norm, instead of the exception.

Another must-read article from Mike Myatt demands that each of us examine our commitment to be quintessential leaders. Why? Because he discusses the 10 things every leader should challenge. These 10 things must be on our minds continually and the challenges to them must be continual.

This separates quintessential leaders from everyone else. As I ask myself constantly, I urge you to ask yourself: am I a quintessential leader or am I everyone else?

As I discuss in “Quintessential Leaders and Investment, Action, and Authenticity,” what you and I do and are reveals how great our investment in quintessential leadership is and how authentically we are living and being quintessential leaders.

A thought-provoking article by Manie Bosman on how unquintessential leadership traits – bullying and micromanaging among others, which I cover comprehensively in “Unquintessential Leadership” – affect us neurologically and lead to measurable negative outcomes, and if not changed or eliminated, will eventually lead to catastrophic and total failure.

An atmosphere of fear, intimidation, threats, and power plays is not something a quintessential leader will either create or tolerate. This is all around us in every part of our lives to one degree or another. What do you and I, as quintessential leaders, do about it?

The last article, by Dan McCarthy, is entitled “Is it Time to Create Your Own Succession Plan?” As quintessential leaders, this must be an integral part of our team-building process. For a framework of what this looks like in practice, I recommend “Building Teams for Performance.”

Each time I acquire a new team to build and lead, this is one of the first things on my to-do list: to identify the person or people who have the qualities that, combined with my coaching and leadership, will enable them to replace me.

No one is irreplaceable. And nothing is certain in life but death and taxes.

Therefore, a quintessential leader who wants to ensure that the legacy and foundation he or she is laying continues after he or she is out of the picture, must identify, coach, and grow his or her potential successor(s). To do anything else is unquintessential leadership. 

This post gives some good resources for quintessential leaders. I hope they will provide benefits, insights, and growth as we continue on the path of quintessential leadership.