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  • feedwordpress 09:00:56 on 2019/03/07 Permalink
    Tags: , , King Of Scotland, , , Leadership Lesson, , , , Spider, , Teachable,   

    A Big Leadership Lesson from a Small Spider 


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    There’s a story about Robert the Bruce (Robert I), a 14th-century king of Scotland. As he was struggling to protect his kingdom against the English, he found himself driven from his castle and forced to flee to keep from being taken prisoner. Feeling completely defeated and at a loss about what to do next, he took refuge in a cave.

    Soon he spotted a small spider spinning its web. He watched as the spider would spin and then stop, spin and stop. Each time it didn’t make a move for a long while, he thought it had given up and failed in its task. But each time it eventually started again, moving with slow determination. And in time, after many stops and starts, it completed its web.

    The king reflected on the three characteristics that made the spider successful—patience, awareness, and determination—and set out to apply them to his own situation.

    To gain patience, he cleared and sat quietly until he found himself calming down and collecting his composure.

    To cultivate awareness, he thought about the situation he was in and what it would take for him to survive in the short term and continue ruling his country. This awareness not only calmed him down but also allowed him to see things in a new way, removing some of the darkness he’d been under.

    To embody determination, he thought about coming out of the cave ready to fight and do whatever it would take to regain his kingdom.

    The king left the cave with patience, awareness and determination. The fight was long and difficult, with its own starts and stops, but within a few years Scotland prevailed and gained its independence.

    That little spider, gone for centuries, changed the course of history. And we can still apply its lessons today.

    When you find yourself in a challenging situation, ask yourself how you can attain patience. It is patience—with yourself, with your circumstances, and with your thinking—that will give you the wisdom to find new solutions to old problems.

    When you feel everything is conspiring against you, ask yourself what awareness you need to cultivate. Awareness can help you understand that even when you cannot change a situation, you can always change yourself. Developing the ability to tolerate negative circumstances will make you rethink who you are as a leader.

    When you want to give up, ask yourself how you can dig a little bit deeper to find your determination. Great leadership comes from embodying grit, using your inner strength to persist, not allowing any setbacks to stop you from moving toward your mission.

    Leadership lessons are all around us. If a king can learn the most important lesson of his life from a spider, how much can we learn from the people, the things and the opportunities we experience every day if we stay open and pay attention?

    Lead from within: Some of your most valuable leadership lessons will come from unexpected sources. What will you take away?

     


    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

    Photo Credit: iStock Photo

    The post A Big Leadership Lesson from a Small Spider appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:25 on 2018/09/17 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Succcess, Teachable, ,   

    How to Think on Your Feet When You’re Speaking Under Pressure 


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    Anyone in any kind of leadership position needs to master the skill of adept thought and speech in stressful high-pressure circumstances. In my work as an executive leadership coach with clients that include top leaders around the world, it’s an area I’m asked about often.

    Here are some tips and tactics to help you think on your feet. The secret is to be prepared: learn and practice a set of skills you can rely on in situations that put you under pressure.

    Repeat what you just heard. One of the hardest parts of contributing to a conversation is answering a direct question, especially when you can’t honestly give the expected answer. Allow yourself to pause and think; don’t feel that you need to fill the space with words right away. A tentative or uncertain reply won’t help your case. To calm your nerves and buy yourself a little time, simply repeat the question that was asked. As an added benefit, you can double-check your understanding of the question.

    Always be thoroughly prepared. Plenty of highly intelligent people aren’t good at speaking spontaneously, but with enough preparation you can still be brilliant. Learn every fact and figure, every prominent person in your field and their perspective, the background of the issue. A prepared mind is a smart mind.

    Learn to organize your thoughts. Constantly ask yourself the following questions: What do I not understand which could be better clarified? What question could I ask that would advance the discussion? What perspective or insight do I have that’s shareable? Don’t worry about being the smartest—sometimes it’s best to be the most organized and effective.

    Ask for clarification. Asking for clarity will compel those who are speaking to be more specific. Don’t give cause for your query to be interpreted as a challenge, but keep it neutral: “When you say X, can you please clarify. . . .”

    Project confidence. Adept thinking in the moment boils down to self-confidence. Speak in a strong voice, make lots of eye contact, and keep your tone and body language positive. Remind yourself how much you know about your job, your organization and your industry, and how many people you work with successfully.

    Summarize and stop. Wrap up lengthy responses with a quick summary statement. After that, resist adding anything more.  Be silent. Pause and allow people to fill the silent spaces. They’re absorbing the information you just presented, and speaking during that time can cause confusion.

    Lead from within: When you have to think on your feet and you want to sound smart, make use of the tips to help alleviate the pressure.

     

    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post How to Think on Your Feet When You’re Speaking Under Pressure appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:04:39 on 2017/08/08 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Optimism, , Positivity, Teachable, ,   

    The One Time You Should NOT Express Positivity 


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    Optimism and positivity are beneficial to leadership in almost every circumstance. You won’t find many who would dispute that thought.

    We know the best kind of leadership requires seeing the glass as half full. We know that even in the most challenging times and difficult circumstances, it’s important to concentrate on what we have rather than what we lack. We understand the importance of gratitude—not just as a response when things are going especially well but as a daily practice. It’s not that happy people are thankful, it’s that thankful people are happy.

    We know positive thinking and an optimistic attitude can actually change our reality for the better. In the words of the old adage, “Think good, and it will be good.”

    A daily practice of gratitude and positivity can benefit you even when things get so bad that you can’t see a good outcome or any seed of hope. You can assure yourself that even if you can’t currently comprehend it, there’s a lesson or a stubborn thread of grace in there somewhere.

    There’s one situation, however, when positivity and gratitude don’t work—when, in fact, they can actually be destructive.

    That’s when you try to apply them to others.

    It’s understandable, the urge to apply something so helpful to someone who’s hurting. But however well intended, it simply doesn’t work.

    A distraught or grieving colleague or client doesn’t want to hear “There must be something good in your life to be grateful for.” Or “It must have been meant to be.” Or “I know you’re disappointed but things work out for the best.”

    When someone is suffering, it’s cruel to suggest that it’s all a lesson designed to make them a better person. And it’s downright arrogant for us to tell them this is good for them, or that it’s the way it’s meant to be.

    Our job is not to philosophize about another’s pain, but to alleviate, relieve and lessen it.

    True leaders know that when they see someone suffering, there’s only one acceptable response. They roll up their sleeves and ask, ‘What can I do to help?

    Here are some ways you can be of service to someone who’s hurting:

    Listen. One of the most important traits in leadership is the ability to listen. The best leaders, the skillful ones, know the importance of listening more than they speak. It’s especially important to listen to people who are trying to make sense of difficult events.

    Show support. If someone’s going through a tough time, the most meaningful thing you can say is I’m here for you. Simple words, but when they’re backed up with action they share a burden—and they reassure the person that they’re not alone.

    Convey empathy. Adopting a human approach to your leadership sets an example that helps you build an entire culture of empathetic leaders. People will admire your approach and work harder for you knowing that you respect their personal needs.

    Connect with caring. Gone are the days when people expect leaders to sit behind a closed office door and dictate from power. The best leaders today get to know their people on a personal level as well as professionally. They care, and they show that caring by connecting, communicating and demonstrating compassion.

     Lead from within: A positive is not the best answer for every situation. As a leader, you need to let each situation involving one of your people bring forth the best of what you have to offer in the terms of how you listen, how you support, how you care and how you connect.


    Learn more about the gaps that exist in positivity in my National Bestseller book:
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     



    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post The One Time You Should NOT Express Positivity appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:18:06 on 2016/10/18 Permalink
    Tags: , Every Day Rituals, , , , Smart Leadership, Teachable   

    How to Tell You’re Dumbing Down Your Leadership 


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    screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-7-06-22-amIt’s important to realize that just because someone holds a position of leadership, doesn’t necessarily mean they should lead.

    Leadership is complex.

    For some leaders see it principally as the power to direct other people; for others, it’s about inspiring people so they feel they can do the impossible; and for some it’s centered on being a visionary.

    But there are some leaders, that don’t try, don’t care, don’t see and don’t lead.

    The dumbest thing you can do as a leader is to take your position for granted.

    However you approach your leadership, recognize its complexity and resist the temptation to dumb it down

    We must always remember, leadership is a privilege.

    Here are six ways to keep your leadership smart and to stop dumbing it down.

    Read every day. Don’t allow your leadership to become empty-minded or fall into a rut. Make a habit of daily reading that challenges you and has an impact on how you think, both creatively and logically.

    Learn something new. There’s always something new to learn if you’re paying attention. Get to know the people around you and give yourself the benefit of their expertise.

    Keep developing new skills. No matter how talented you are, your talent will fail you if you’re not skilled. Skill is achievement practiced, so work hard, and dedicate time for yourself to improve every single day.

    Cultivate being a better listener. Everything around you holds answers if you learn to listen. When you speak you are only repeating what you already know, but if you listen you can learn something new.

    Track your objectivity. Work to recognize and neutralize any bias you might have. We all have something we have to fight in this area, and it isn’t an easy task. But the reward is a level of credibility and respect that makes it a fight worth waging.

    Work on developing foresight. If you want to see the future, look at the past. It will give you the insight you need to create the foresight for the future. Be a student of history—of the world, of your country and state, of your field, of your organization and your competitors.

    Learn how to manage conflict. One study found that 10 percent of most conflicts are due to difference in opinion and 90 percent are due to someone using the wrong tone of voice. If you want to be an effective leader, conflict management is essential.

    You can either play dumb or be smart. Fight to be wiser, smarter, better.

    Lead From Within: Leadership is an opportunity to truly make an impact—not to dumb things down but to bring things up.

    Additional Reading:

    For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact us.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

     

     

     

    The post How to Tell You’re Dumbing Down Your Leadership appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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