Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Creativity and Clarity

Creativity expands possibilities. Clarity defines your boundaries. Great leaders know that you must have both.

There is a misconception that creativity has no boundaries. Maybe in some areas, but what great leaders know and put to use is that creativity has is most power when there are some constraints. When you have boundaries it gives you focus. When you have focus, you gain energy. When you gain energy, things get done.

So by all means develop your creativity. Just point it in a direction where you can get something done!


Monday, March 23, 2009

The Truth Will Always Bubble To The Top

Do you always tell the truth? Take your time with a question like that, because the answer is not always as clear as we may think. So many times we can bend the truth until it distorts and slips into an area we can't even see as untrue. If we're not careful we can even fool ourselves.

If we're not careful our attempts at hiding our frailties and issues becomes an inner marketing campaign of perpetual dimensions. It takes energy. It takes deception. And it can't last forever.

No matter how protected, guarded, shielded and practiced a lie may be, it can not survive forever. Eventually people find out whatever it is that your shielding. The truth will always bubble to the top.

High performance leaders make it a practice to tell the truth from the start. Even when it's difficult. Even when the facts may be open to interpretation. Dialogue requires a willingness to state your truth.

The truth takes courage. The truth requires clarity. When it is controversial or tough the truth takes compassion. But the truth will always emerge.

When would you like the people around you to discover the truth?


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Front Range Leadership Vision

What is your organization's vision?  

All of your strategic direction and clarity begins with an inspiring, articulate vision. It should be something worth striving for and something that prods you on even when times are difficult. Your vision should prevent you from wandering into endless distraction. It should focus and energize everyone who comes into contact with it.

High Performance Leadership is the official blog of Front Range Leadership, a metro Denver area leadership development company. Our vision:

Developing centered leadership with courage, creativity, compassion, and clarity.

From time to time I'll be writing more about that and what it means, not only to FRL but also to you as a leader. What does it mean, and what does it take to develop courage, creativity, compassion and clarity. Why are they so important to high performance leadership? And what exactly is centered leadership?

Stay tuned and drop by for the conversation. 

-- Douglas Brent Smith


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Leading Relationships

While looking for something else, l  found this quote:

"Appreciate you without judging. Join you without invading, Invite you
without demanding. Leave you without guilt."
-- 
Virginia Satir


It reminded me that part of a leader's role is in leading relationships. That's not the same as directing or controlling them. Leading relationships has more to do with taking personal responsibility for what you bring to a relationship -- whether that's at work, in the community, at home...anywhere. Relationships can not be taken for granted. To truly lead, we must remain attentive to the kinds of relationships we are co-creating.

Appreciate you without judging

We don't always have the answer, but we usually think that we do. Effective leaders listen with their whole being. We bring our soul to the game. We wait to be touched before reaching out to correct. We appreciate and allow for differences.  Courageous leaders correct dangerous situations, but hold back from judging when the risk is only to our own egos.

Join you without invading

To collaborate, to co-create, leaders must forge the kinds of relationships where we share space, energy, time, and consideration. We connect. But we allow that connecting to be mutually beneficial, mutually wanted, and mutually nurtured. It's not about us. It's about US.

Invite you without demanding

Leaders must become masters of influence without becoming masters of manipulation. Do you see the difference? Isn't the most effective influence more of an invitation than a command? People will naturally resist commands, creating a constant need for ever more stringent commands until revolution topples the authority. That's not best for leadership. High performance leaders create invitations that are irresistible because those invitations include the fingerprints of many people.

Leave you without guilt

I'm not sure what Dr. Satir meant by this (and if you are I'm interested in hearing from you) but it seems that it could be to create a relationship so full, so strong, so compassionate, so creative, and so clear that upon parting there is no remorse. Leaders should do no harm, especially in their relationships. While it may sadden me to part company from you, I hope to be able to do so knowing that our work and living and sharing together has been full, satisfying, and complete.

Relationships are not just the key to leadership success, they are the key to our very happiness.

How will you care for your relationships today?


-- Douglas Brent Smith