Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Personal Connections

It sometimes amazes me to realize how much we need to know in order to be in business. Whether you are in marketing, general management, IT, or an entrepreneur wearing all hats there are constant changes in our world that have business implications that we need to keep up with.

As a fairly new entrepreneur, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all today and decided to go out for a run to clear my head. Technology and the internet are changing our lives more than we can even fathom at the moment. Fortunately the foundation for leading people are still fairly straight-forward, but the complexities of what technology brings can often complicate it. You know how that email ticks you off because you can't really understand the tone. Or how the telecommuting limits face-to-face time or hallway time where informal communications happen. With our focus on learning and adapting to all the changes, time is short. It is easy to gloss over the connections that matter when we opt not to make that phone call and instead we shoot off an email. I do it too. It is easy.

In leadership, as in sales, the personal connection is key. When in doubt get face to face or atleast pick up the phone. It is amazing how quickly we can put something back on track by making that personal connection.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How do you define Leadership?

Maybe the word leadership or leader conjures up old images of command and control, antiquated and stodgy ways of being. When I speak to businesses (small and large)and associations about leadership, I invariably get a few people saying: "I don't want to be a leader, it's not my deal"...or they say it in their way in so many words.

The reality is that it is a bad word. I think people think of leadership as a role and if they aren't in one with that word attached to it, well then it isn't for them. I think of leadership as a way to get what you want in life. Authentic leadership enables people to enlist others to assist and help them achieve their goals. No one can be as successful alone as they can with the help of others. I am searching for another word that captures it better and has a lot less baggage.