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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Calling All Women Leaders

Leading from the Front: No Excuse Leadership Tactics for Women shows women how to lead…it’s that simple and powerful. The authors are two former women Marine Corps Captains, Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch, both of whom have had successful corporate careers and since formed their own leadership company, Lead Star

As a former Marine Corps officer myself, I recognized some of their key points and loved their many specific and compelling stories—a nice mixture of Marine and corporate stories. I actually felt like I really got to know the character of the authors well…and they’re quality folks. Read the book and you’ll see. In fact I’m giving it to my two daughters, both professionals, as a great leadership course to help them as they lead in their fields. Here are the chapter titles…that really come alive when you read the stories that help you see their leadership principles in action:

1. Meet and exceed the standards you ask of others—lead from the front.
2. Make timely decisions—find the 80% solution.
3. Seek to take responsibility before you begin to place blame.
4. True leaders dedicate themselves to service—take care of those you lead.
5. Think before you act—especially before you overreact.
6. When faced with a crisis—aviate, navigate, and communicate.
7. Courage + Initiative + Perseverance + Integrity = Success.
8. Don’t cry over something that won’t cry over you.
9. Say you’re sorry only when you’re at fault.
10.Always lead as you are.

This book is really worth the read—if you or someone you care about wants to lead a family, a group, or a team—at home, as a volunteer, or at work.

Also, check out their Web site:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Witness to History and Leadership

Last night we all witnessed history. From the streets of Selma and Montgomery during the Civil Rights movement, to an African American president elect in 2008. One headline I read today said, “Change Has Come.” In fact, change goes on every day in every fiber or our bodies, our society and our world. The challenge now for us all is to support President Obama as he leads, something I’m confident he can and will do with this opportunity--mandate.

I can remember clearly when there were no African American quarterbacks in pro football. How that has changed, as has the face of football. So, whether you voted for Barack Obama or John McCain, the time to rally around Obama’s leadership for a common cause, the health and welfare of the United States, is the only option.

Tribes and Leadership

Seth Godin has written extensively on marketing in the past. In his new book, Tribes, he’s opened a new door to an old concept: Tribes. We all live in, work in, and play in tribes—though it’s not always obvious. As the French say, “Fish are the last one to find out about water.” Because tribes are all around us, we often take them for granted, like fish take water for granted.

A tribes he explains is any group of people who want to connect to an idea and a leader. Godin then spends much of the book talking about how people have connected and how leaders have stepped forward to say, “Ok, I’ll lead.” It’s not clear if this is a marketing book about leaders or a leadership book about marketing. But either way, he delivers the message that people want to get connected and be led. His challenge is that we (individually) have to step up to the challenge of leading and connecting.

The Internet and social networking devices like Twitter, Facebook, Linked-in and so many others allow us to step up, plant a flag and yell: Here I am with this idea, anyone else interested?

I’m reminded of what happened to me when I moved to Cleveland from Monterey, California. I was training for the Boston Marathon and wanted to connect with local runners in Cleveland, just as winter was rolling in. Every Saturday morning at 7:30AM, I went to a park that linked up with trails called the Emerald Necklace, which went for many miles around Cleveland. At first, I ran alone. But I invited every runner I could run up to and chat with (while running) to join me each Saturday. Three years later, we had a hundred or so people regularly on Saturday morning, and had we had started a running club that had many hundreds of members.

Seth Godin, as usual, has something to say that’s worth listening to.

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