CL021: Commander’s Intent

intentThe challenge of execution is not a new problem.  In fact it is probably one of the most documented and enduring problems that organizations face.

For decades Leaders & Managers have lamented that one of their most frustrating issue is the inability to successfully execute their most important initiatives.

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When we don’t reach our goals we usually attribute the failure to a lack of detailed planning.  As leaders we get “suckered” into thinking that if we created more detailed plans our vision would be clearly communicated.  To get the results we want, we erroneously exert more detail & control believing this is the only answer for not meeting our objectives.

What we miss, however, is that specifying too much detail actually shakes confidence and creates uncertainty if things do’t go as anticipated (which the most assuredly will).  The more detailed the instructions or plan, the less likely it will fit into a real situation.  And when this happens you actually create more friction.

So what we end doing is exerting even more control; more planning; more detail and begin taking charge of things at lower levels.  We begin taking over tasks that other people are supposed to be doing, more or less dispensing them of their efforts.  In return we multiply our own tasks to the point we can no longer carry them out.  It becomes a vicious cycle.

It is critical for us as leaders that we retain a clear big picture of what it is we want to accomplish; not if some particular thing is done this way or that.

In this podcast I talk about how to obtain & maintain a strategic mindset; a mindset that isn’t focused on developing a strategic detailed plan but instead is focused on developing a strategic “intent”.

HIghlights of this podcast:

  • Detail is not the same as Clarity…in fact it is the enemy.
  • The higher up the leadership chain we are, the more general our instructions should be.
  • A leaders guidance should be completely focused on what we want to accomplish & why.
  • Once we communicate what we want to achieve & why, we can introduce accountability into the mix by delegating the how to our subordinates.
  • Instead of focusing on creating detailed plans, we focus on clarity & alignment.
  • The more alignment you create, the more autonomy you can grant.
  • Instead of trying to manage chaos by controlling the “how” you instead exploit chaos by commanding the what & why.

The end result is an organization that isn’t dependent upon being led by a leadership genius; instead the entire organization becomes and “intelligent organization” with no dependency on exceptional individuals.


CL020: Explosive Leadership Growth

0001-4For years my focus on leadership development & growth was centered around the idea of attracting & influencing followers.  I think most leaders believe the pinnacle of successful leadership is having a dedicated and devoted team of followers who look to you for guidance.

But focusing your leadership ambitions on creating loyal followers is short-sighted; you can certainly grow and be an effective leader by leading followers.  But if you really want to maximize your leadership and catapult your life & organization to a completely different level, you need to dedicate your time & energy to developing other leaders.

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There is no other way to experience explosive growth.

In this podcast episode I talk about how becoming a leader who develops other leaders requires a completely different mindset and focus. I highlight the differences between leaders who attract followers & leaders who develop leaders as stated in John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership:

    • Leaders Who Attract Followers…Need to Be Needed ; Leaders Who Develop Leaders…Want to Be Succeed
    • Leaders Who Attract Followers….Develop the Bottom 20 Percent ; Leaders Who Develop Leaders Develop the Top 20 Percent
    • Leaders Who Attract Followers….Focus on Weakness ; Leaders Who Develop Leaders Focus on Strengths
    • Leaders Who Attract Followers….Treat Everyone the Same ; Leaders Who Develop Leaders Treat Individuals Differently
    • Leaders Who Attract Followers….Spend Time with Others ; Leaders Who Develop Leaders Invest Time in Others
    • Leaders Who Attract Followers….Grow by Addition; Leaders Who Develop Leaders Grow by Multiplication

It sounds so simple to focus on developing leaders instead of followers, but the reality is it is difficult.  It’s difficult because leaders are:

  • Hard to find.
  • Hard to gather.
  • Hard to keep.

It’s worth the effort because leaders who develop leaders experience an incredible multiplication effect that cannot be replicated any other way.


CL019: Curiosity

0001-2Leadership demands an inquisitive mindset; we must be curious if we are going to be leaders.  Leadership growth is stimulated by asking “Why?”.

Many people will never ask why enough in their lifetime; they feel that it is not their place or obligation.  I believe that we are all born to be naturally curious, but somewhere along the way we are taught not ask too many questions.

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This is a shame because asking why is often the catalyst to transformational growth and change.

I also believe that all of us can “learn” to become curious again; as leaders we are required to pursue & cultivate our curiosity.  So how do we do it?

In this podcast episode I talk about:

  • Believing that we can be curious; curiosity comes from a desire to learn – so desire to learn!
  • Having a beginner’s mindset; this stokes the fire in your heart for leadership growth.
  • Making WHY your favorite word; “why” gets to the core reason, intent, & purpose
  • Surrounding yourself with other curious people; this will stimulate your own curiosity.
  • Having the discipline to learn something new everyday.
  • Partaking in the fruit of failure; failed experiences allow us to “learn” not “lose”.
  • Stop looking for THE right answer; leaders don’t assume there is ONLY one right direction.
  • Getting over ourselves; trying new things may mean we will look foolish.

Curiosity is the key to leadership growth.  While we can be happy with answers, accomplishments, & milestones, we must never stop asking questions.  Curiosity can make up for so many natural weaknesses in our own lives.

We owe it to ourselves as leaders to put no limits on our own curiosity.


CL018: The Myth of Time Management

Time ManagementTime management is a true oxymoron; none of us can truly manage time.  Time continues whether we attempt to manage it or not.

Time comes at us in the same exact increments no matter how fast you think, act, or plan.

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But as Henry David Thoreau said: “It is not enough to be busy.  The question is, ‘What are we busy about?’”

Being busy does NOT mean you’re achieving; instead we need to ask ourselves the question: “What are we accomplishing?”   It’s not about what we are doing.

Instead of a “To-Do” list we need to shift our focus to setting priorities.  Prioritizing requires that leaders continually look ahead and see how everything relates to the overall vision.

True prioritization forces us to do things that are the least comfortable for us; sometimes they are quite painful.

But that is the power of prioritization; it puts life in it’s proper perspective.

It shifts our mindset away from being busy with “To-Do” tasks and away from attempting to manage time.  Setting life priorities allow us to begin the productive process of managing your life.


Dose of Leadership on ITunes

doseofleadershipV2.1 144x144The Dose of Leadership Podcast is the ultimate resource of inspiring & educational interviews with relevant and motivating leaders; real-life leadership & influence experts who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of the truth, common sense, & courageous leadership. The podcast interviews leaders from all aspects of life; business leaders, entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, military heroes, faith based leaders – all are highlighted on the Dose of Leadership Podcast.

Make sure you check this out, Subscribe, and  leave a rating & review!

CL017: Decision Making – The 75% Solution

Decision photo 2The best way to crush mediocrity in our personal & professional lives is having the ability & courage to make sound and timely decisions.

To make sound decisions you certainly know your mission, what you’re capable of doing to accomplish it, & what possible traps or obstacles that could get in your way.

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I would argue that timeliness, however, is more important that soundness.  It is much more beneficial to make a timely, less than perfect, decision than it is to make a theoretically correct/perfect decision that is too late.

In this podcast I talk about the importance and benefits of increasing your intuitive ability & tactical judgment so that you are capable of making rapid decisions under stressful circumstances.

There is great power in our intuitive abilities yet we often ignore this natural instinct in favor of a more formal & analytical approach.  Though seemingly legitimate, analytical decision making is often time-consuming & cumbersome; a luxury we don’t often have in modern day leadership positions.

By improving your intuitive decision making abilities you will gain confidence to make more rapid decisions with partial information.  A good rule of thumb is using the 75% test for all of your decision making; once you have obtained 75% of all of the information necessary to make a decision, use your intuition, experience, & expertise to fill in the remaining 25%.

The result is positive energy & forward momentum that is desperately needed to break the mediocre cycle plaguing our personal & professional lives.


CL016: Be a Teacher, Not a Boss

Quote 16In 1920 there was a major change of attitude in the officer Corps with the U.S. Marines.

General John Lejeune, the Commandant of the Marine Corps at the time, wrote the following on the heels of World War I:

The World War wrought a great change in the relations between officers & enlisted men in the military services.  A spirit of comradeship & brotherhood in arms came into being in the training camps and on the battlefields.  This spirit is too fine a thing to be allowed to die.  It must be fostered & kept alive and made the move force in all Marine Corps organizations.  (Fleet Marine Force Manual 1-0)

I love how General Lejeune recognized that there was great power & potential in the enlisted ranks of the time.  This leadership philosophy was institutionalized within the Marine Corps and has been a direct contributor to the massive success the Marine Corps has experienced.

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In this podcast episode I talk about how, as leaders, we need to adopt this “Teacher-Scholar” relationship with our subordinates.  Some of the highlights are:

  • The leadership responsibility has to be spread throughout all levels.
  • The mission demands that anyone should be able to carry-on if the leaders is taken out of the “fight”.
  • Teach your people to take your job; this creates depth & sustainability.
  • Take the ambitions & dreams of your people seriously.
  • It is in the Leader’s best interest to become a teacher.
  • If you don’t teach your personnel, somebody else will, for better or worse.

Dose of Leadership Mastermind Starting Jan 18th!

photoI wanted to remind you that today I held a Webinar where I discussed dealing with loss, setbacks, & pain; a topic that I will be focusing on in my next 8-Week Coaching Mastermind which starts in a few weeks. (Jan 18th)

You can watch a replay of the Webinar & get all the details about the Mastermind by clicking on the link: Webinar Replay & Mastermind Details

I held the Webinar to give folks a sense of my teaching & coaching style, and to discuss the benefits of participating in a Mastermind.

This is a great opportunity to see if my Leadership Masterminds are for you & a good fit for your leadership growth plan in 2014.


Sometimes You WinjpgIn January 2014 I will be launching three brand new 8-week Masterminds focusing on John Maxwell’s latest book, “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn”.

If you’ve ever wanted to be a part of a Leadership Growth Mastermind you can get a preview of my leadership style, beliefs, & the type of content you can expect from me by signing up for my free webinar on December 30th.

This is a great opportunity to see if my Leadership Masterminds are for you & a good fit for your leadership growth plan.

Date: December 30, 2013
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Event: Overcoming Mediocrity Series: "Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn"
Topic: Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

CL015: Dealing With Pain & Loss

CL15 QuotePain & loss are inevitable facts of life; how you choose to deal with them is what can turn your failures into your greatest successes.

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The encouraging reality of dealing with pain & loss is that good management of bad experiences leads to great growth.

I love the quote from John McDonnell where he said, “Every problem introduces a person to himself.”  Pain can stop us dead in our tracks; or it can cause us to make decisions towards transformation and growth.  Pain prompts us to face who we are and where we are.  What we do with our painful experiences defines who we become.

In the Podcast episode I discuss the “Truths About Bad Experiences“:

  1. Everyone has them
  2. Bad experiences are not unique to anyone.
  3. No one likes them.
  4. Few Make Bad Experiences Positive Experiences.

and & “How to Turn Pain Into Gain“:

  1. We can choose how to respond to every experience.
  2. Do you start with an expectation that you can people are good, or that experiences can be dealt with?
  3. With a positive life stance, good will become better and bad will not be as bad.
  4. A positive life stance WILL find positive lessons in every experience.

It may seem hard, maybe even cruel or callous, but no matter what happens, our attitude toward a negative experience (Positive and hopeful, or negative and defeated) will put us on a CHOSEN path.

Here is a solid truth about being accountable and responsible for one’s life: “Very few are.”