Build Your Leaders

Postcard from Asheville

May 2015

Postcard from Asheville, NC

Benjamin Disraeli once wrote, "Change is inevitable. Change is constant." For more than fifteen years, I've written a newsletter in one form or another. It's time for a change. This is my last BuildYourLeaders eNewsletter. Let's stay connected through Facebook and LinkedIn. (Be sure to click "Follow" when connecting on Facebook.) And check out my new website:

May you continue to "Stand In Your Power!"

Warmly, Randy

Looking in the Rearview Mirror:
Twenty Rules for the Road

Sometimes, I catch myself imagining what it would be like to go back to corporate life. Sure, it would be nice to have a company car again, and that end-of-the-year bonus was always appreciated, but what really gets my juices going is thinking about applying what I know now to the corporate world. I would be a much better manager today.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to coach a young superstar who had just been awarded his first managerial position. In preparation for our first meeting, I composed a list of things I wish I had known when I was named general manager of Fleishman-Hillard's Atlanta office at age thirty-four.

Here's that list:

  1. Know what you stand for. Get a vision, mission, purpose, and philosophy.
  2. Find your passion, and you will find your power. Power does not come from outside sources, it comes from within.
  3. Seek or create an environment in which your personhood can thrive. Find work that reflects who you are and what you stand for. Find work that meets most of your needs, and then get the other things you need from community work or play.
  4. Identify role models, but develop your own style.
  5. Examine your intentions before embarking on any major task. Always seek the higher ground. Noble intentions result in noble actions.
  6. Be aware that sometimes more is accomplished through surrender, trust, and patience than by sheer force of will.
  7. Know yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and know which weaknesses you are willing to change (and be patient with that change).
  8. Shine light on your shadows. When you react strongly to something or someone chances are you have encountered your shadow. Ask yourself what underdeveloped part of yourself the situation or person represents, and then own it. Remember, we are all made of shadows and of light.
  9. Don't be hard on yourself. We learn far more from our mistakes than from our successes. Don't take yourself too seriously. Laugh at yourself. Admit your mistakes. Who wants to be on a pedestal? It's just that much farther to fall.
  10. Brand yourself. Be known for something that makes you unique.
  11. Take time to listen to your soul's whisperings. Go on retreat, by yourself and for yourself. Your best ideas will come to you then.
  12. Know your needs and freely express them. An unmet need often results in anger or resentment.
  13. Listen to your body. It is quite often the best barometer for how you are really doing.
  14. Find support. Find a coach, therapist, mentor, physical trainer, spiritual guide, or all the above. Being at the top can be a lonely place. Find some company.
  15. Follow the principles of Servant/Leadership and put your people first. Your job is not to do the job, but to see that it gets done. By helping your people meet their needs, you will meet, if not exceed, your goals.
  16. Negotiate with the other party's needs in mind. Don't negotiate to win. Negotiate to win-win.
  17. Don't take what others say about you personally. Most of the time, it has nothing to do with you anyway.
  18. Remember the two rules of stress management: 1. Don't sweat the small stuff. 2. It's all small stuff.
  19. Understand how your parents influenced your life and seek to understand how others are influenced by theirs. Many of our beliefs and actions are determined by parental influence. (This is also true for those who we manage.)
  20. Let people see you for who you are. The more aware you are of who you are and the more willing you are to share that knowledge, the more successful you will be not only as a businessperson but as a human being.

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