Tag Archives: leadership

Some Things to Improve

19 May

Lately, I’ve been learning about leadership.  I always considered myself the ‘leadership type’, and I’ve found myself in leadership positions often.  I just don’t think my people skills are all that great.  Let’s face it – I can be a jerk without knowing it at the time.

So, people skills it is.  Did you know that having negative assumptions about people  cause you to treat those people negatively?  Having the right assumptions is a people skill!  Profound!  I almost always assume negative things about people, namely the students I teach (not all of them).  John C. Maxwell suggests a list of positive assumptions he has with people.  If you want the whole list you are just going to have to buy that book, Developing the Leader Within You.  Here’s two that struck a chord with me:

1.  Assume people want to feel worthwhile.

2.  Assume people need and respond to encouragement.

Now that’s slightly off the spectrum from my typical “assume they are idiots”.

I’ve noticed a change in myself, however, as far as the people in our Prepaid Legal business goes.  I don’t assume negative things about them.  I think we all have the same mission.  We are ‘in it to win it’.  I see us all, somewhere down the road, independently successful, and I smile.

I came across a second issue in my personal-development-quest that really cut to the core of who I used to be.  THE FOLLOWING QUESTION IS CONVICTING: “Am I building people, or am I building my dream and using people to do it?”  Did you know that Andrew Carnegie, at one time, employed forty-three millionaires?  Did you know that it was during a time when a millionaire was rare, and was comparable to having twenty-million dollars currently?    When a reporter asked how he hired so many millionaires Carnegie responded that they weren’t millionaires when he hired them, but became millionaires as a result.  Carnegie was building people, not just using them to build his dreams, and that’s how he was able to become the richest man in America during his time.

So, when I ask myself this question, I’m faced with a difficult thing!  There’s a fine line here!  Being successful in this company is going to require an attitude of selflessness.  Can you imagine that?  A businessman will have to be selfless, others-oriented, and sacrificial in order to be successful. If you’re like me, it’ll take a few moments to really wrap your mind around that statement.  I was raised to think successful businessmen were required to be self-centered, and quite literally evil in order to reap their worldly gain…

And for some, I’m sure they were able to find a way to get rich living that way.  As for me, I’m sold.  I know I’m going to have to be a better person, a selfless person, to make this work.  I am in the business of making dreams come true for others.  That’s my key to success.

Integrity

13 May

In John C. Maxwell’s book, Developing the Leader Within You, he states that one of the ‘pillars of leadership’ is integrity.

Integrity means that what you say lines up with who you are.  It means that what people see is what they get, and that there is nothing about you that needs to be kept hidden.

Having integrity means that the way people see you is the way you actually are.  Now that’s a novel idea.

I wonder if the man people see in me is the same as the man I actually am.  I know that this is an area I need to work on in my life.