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Think, Feel and Act Like a Leader

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Here are your latest articles, links, hints and tips on being a better leader.

Think Like a Leader

Striving is one of those powerful and emotive words that can often seem to have a double meaning. We all know that leadership demands hard work, over a long period, through good times and bad, so we know what it is to strive hard. Yet within the word there is also a slight hint of the frantic, almost desperate need to keep at something. So a leader who strives to do his best is to be commended, but one that also needs to stop and think about how measured their work is.

Feel Like a Leader

The dictionary says that to 'strive' means to make great efforts to achieve or obtain something. It means to struggle or fight vigorously; to battle or compete. If you’re not just working hard but striving it means you are stirring up a lot of feelings! Getting that balance right means taking the time for self-reflection.

Act Like a Leader

All of us have times where we feel we are working too hard, not making the progress that we want and might be losing direction and control. Your colleagues may see that you are on the hamster wheel, long before you do!  No one respects a leader who doesn’t work hard. But your colleagues also want to see one who works smart – not activity for the sake of activity.
As a leader you know how difficult it can be to lead an unmotivated team, and how fulfilling it can be to lead a passionate team. It may well represent the difference between relentless striving and productive effort. So, how do you motivate the people you lead to create powerful, positive impact?

In this episode John Maxwell teaches about motivation and the 4 P’s that inspire effort in your team. After John’s lesson, Mark Cole and Traci Morrow will dive into John’s lesson and offer practical, intentional ways you can apply these principles to your life.
Leaders Listen!
In this article by Professor Graham Jones, he describes how to make your leadership striving as productive as possible.  He highlights how the last couple of years have brought an intriguing quandary for senior leaders, and one that is probably here to stay.

These are times when leaders have the option of keeping their heads down, staying out of the firing line, and playing it safe. The other option is to contribute to the current and future health of the organisation by stepping up to be real leaders. 

He concludes that “being a real leader will be stimulating, energising, and, perhaps most important, enjoyable. And when you get it right, being a real leader will also provide you with an enormous sense of satisfaction and achievement. It really is something worth striving for.”  Read the full article at:

Leaders Read!
A different take on striving to be a leader – a poem. Read by Graham Wilson.
Leaders Watch!

The Leader's View

This statue is located in a quiet country road between Bridge of Allan and Doune and commemorates the founder of the SAS,  Sir Archibald David Stirling, DSO, OBE.

This is a man who strived to build the SAS, based on his belief formed during World War Two, that a small team of highly trained soldiers with the advantage of surprise could attack several targets from the desert in a single night. 

The whole story seems like something out of a comic book adventure – a great read on Wikipedia.


Longer Read

From Strength to Strength Finding Success, Happiness and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life is written by Arthur C Brooks and published by Green Tree in March this year.

Arthur Brooks is one of my favourite columnists who brings a closer eye to what lies behind us all – what makes us tick, and what makes us want to tick. He studies human happiness. He is the William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School, the bestselling author of twelve books, an acclaimed public speaker, and creator of the popular How to Build a Life column for The Atlantic magazine.

In this easy-to-read book, packed with insight, Brooks talks about the negative side of striving – the sense of being on a treadmill, of constant work without peace of mind.

In the first half of life, ambitious strivers embrace a simple formula for success in work and life: focus single-mindedly, work tirelessly, sacrifice personally, and climb the ladder relentlessly.  It works. Until it doesn't.” 

He reveals a path to beating the “striver's curse". And what exactly is that? Brooks defines it as a curse affecting those who strive to be excellent at what they do (nothing wrong with that), but often wind up “finding their inevitable decline terrifying, their successes unsatisfying, and their relationships lacking.”

Drawing on science, classical philosophy, theology, and history, he shares counterintuitive strategies for releasing old habits and forming new life practices.  So although it says it is aimed at those in the second half of life, reading it in the first half might save some major grief later!


This Week's Blog

Caution!  Slow learner ahead! #96

Latest Blog

...and finally

...without a little reflection, there is no Insight Added.
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”   
Albert Einstein
Lead well
Graham and Lesley
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