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The Engaging Leader: Winning with Today’s Free Agent Workforce

“People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.  Skilled people want to work for winning leaders.  Grade A talent wants to work for Grade A leadership.  It won’t settle for less.”

In The Engaging Leader, Dr. Ed Gubman communicates how to draw out employees’ enthusiasm and commitment; how to retain and nurture companies’ most prized and priceless assets — employees:

  • Engaging leaders are drivers and buildersDrivers are decisive decision makers; putting results first, stress the bottom line, and crack the whip (maintaining pressure on accountability and come down hard when goals aren’t met).
  • Builders put people and process first.  Builders are relationship-oriented.  Builders let solutions emerge, take a long-term focus, stay behind the scenes more, and are more positive than critical. (They are, by no means, indecisive.  Builders possess goals and visions.  They rely on natural consequences vs. immediate consequences by an authority).

Engaging leaders know when to be drivers and when to be builders.

Furthermore, Dr. Gubman states, “Employees (talent) want freedom, control, accountability, and caring.” 

  • Freedom — the freedom of expression and the ability to be who you are, not someone you’re not.
  • Control — people enjoy their work when they know what their responsibilities are and have the autonomy to achieve them.  They don’t want to be micromanaged.  Even when what-to-do comes from above, talented employees expect to figure out how to do it themselves.
  • Accountability — giving someone an assignment and holding him or her responsible for delivering results.
  • Caring relationships increase people’s investments in your workplace.  Warm relationships help employees feel connected and will motivate them to work for you — to help you meet your goals.  Employees will confide in personal matters if they feel safe.  They also want some friends in the workplace.

Tough and tender, a loveable task master, realistic optimist … whatever you call it, the intersection of driving and building behaviors is what engages most people. 

Successful leaders learn this in their interactions with people.  They become more versatile, expanding their own styles by taking on some behaviors that are unnatural to them at first, but become second nature as followers reinforce them by responding favorably. 

The ability to incorporate parts of these seeming opposites, like the skill of reconciling group goals and individual needs, will make you an engaging leader and a long-time, big time winner.  (Full Story)

 

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April 11, 2010 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Freedom, Fun, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Marketing, Mind, Passion, Peace, Politics, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is self esteem anyway?

While it may be intangible, self-esteem is not invisible.  It’s easy to spot people who have high self-esteem by their behavior.  Chances are, the people you most like being with possess it in abundance.  These people are frequently described as “gracious” and “thoughtful,” which make them desirable as friends.  They love and care for themselves, but they are not arrogant.  They have compassion for others, which rise out of their compassion for themselves. 

Since a few of us accidentally arrive at a place of healthy self-esteem, these folks may be constantly aware of their own struggles to achieve and their ongoing effort to nurture it.  Their curiosity and interest in others lead them to be excellent listeners, another magnetic quality.  In addition, they have an elevated sense of personal responsibility; they rarely blame others for their problems or misfortunes.  They may have a passionate desire to contribute to society. 

Whether they say it or not, those with high self-esteem frequently have a sense of mission in their lives that others lack.  Knowing their own worth gives them a profound sense that they are here for some purpose, which, in turn, shows itself in reverence for life.  

Forward-thinking, they are aware that all past experiences in their lives have helped to mold their character.  Even when their lives have seemed difficult, you’ll hear them say, “I wouldn’t change a thing.”  They have a strong aura of integrity and truthfulness about them, but they are truly sensitive to the feelings of others.  People with high self-esteem don’t have the need to say everything that’s on their minds. 

The bonus you receive for hanging out with these folks is that in their presence you feel safe and accepted just as you are.  In fact, when you leave them you may find that you like yourself a bit more.  (Full Story)

April 3, 2010 Posted by | Attitude, Beauty, Book Review, Business, Compassion, Education, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Leadership, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Stress | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boundaries With Teens — When All Else Fails … (10/10)

A friend once said, “Teens may look and act like they don’t need parents any more but they need you now more than ever.” 

If that’s the case, I’ll be on my toes for the next ten years, trying to (barely) stay one step ahead of my kids.

What are my options when I’m at the end of my rope?

Dr. Townsend imparts his words of wisdom:

1.     Be the Grown Up

  • Keep teen’s future in mind — use current circumstances to equip and prepare your teen for adult life in the real world
  • Be loving but direct
  • Tolerate teen’s anger — As humanly possible, listen, contain your child’s feelings, understand what he is saying, and clarify whether you deserve his anger.
  • Don’t get hooked into fights. — “We’re finished talking about this for now.  I’ll bring this up at another time when you’re not so upset.”

2.    Make Connections

  • When in doubt, connect with your teen — don’t argue.  Make a connection.

3.    Model Respect and Responsibility

  • Deemphasize control — allow your teen to choose and experience consequences.  Allow your child to experience responsibility.
  • Normalize “No.” — Say “no” when it’s in the best interest of your teen.  Help your child get used to reality.
  • Be soft on preferences and style, and hard on disrespect and selfishness — give your teen room to dress differently but be strict about how he treats you and others.

4.    Seek Help and Support

  • HALT — when you’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, don’t threaten your teen with consequences.  Wait until you have the support, energy, or the resources you need.
  • Plug into safe people (friends and therapists) who understand — call for support and wisdom right before or after the problem occurs.  Relax.  We deserve it!

Can’t do this alone.  I’m all for mutual support!

Life — it’s a journey!  🙂

September 26, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Body, Book Review, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Purpose, Self Help, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boundaries With Teens — Parties, Peers, Phone, Runaways, Sex, Silence (9/10)

“Teens seem to appreciate and respond to adults who won’t judge them, who love them, but who are also willing to confront them.” (J. Townsend)

No wonder I’m glued to this book! 

A two year old can share his piece of mind.  Author and psychologist, Dr. John Townsend imparts his wisdom and expertise on how mature, understanding adults carry themselves:

  • Parties — with your teen, define the problem (alcohol, drugs, sex, troubled youths), set ground rules, and follow through on consequences.  Furthermore, contact the other parent.  Your child doesn’t go to parties until the parent is contacted.  Ask your child’s friend’s parent, “Can I help?”, “Are you going to be at the party the whole time?”, “Is X or Y coming?”  The more parents require teen parties be safe, the more likely they will be. 
  • Peers — we can’t be with our kids 24/7 but we want them to be safe.  So, what tools can we give them?  Here’s one example: “I’m not trying to control you.  I care about you.  You can spend time with X in a group but not alone.  I will restrict your privileges if you choose to do so.”
  • Phone — life comes first.  Ground Rules: Use the phone after finishing homework and chores, use the phone as an answering machine (except call from parents), limit phone time, limit the number of cell phone minutes used, require and role play phone etiquettes (e.g., “Hi, this is Julie.  May I speak to Pam?”)
  • Runaways — it’s a premature way to leave home.  Possible Causes:  Home problems, undeveloped coping skills, substance abuse, sense of entitlement.  Possible Solutions: Get your teen home, get to your teen’s heart, require responsibilities, follow through on consequences, give as much additional structure as necessary, and change whatever you need to change.

Whew!  Parenting — it’s definitely for grown ups!  We can only parent to the level of our maturity.

  • Sex — confront any sexual activity you know about.  Establish consequences — if necessary, take away your teen’s freedom to socialize.  Discuss masturbation (not physically harmful), consequences of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies.  Let your child know you love and accept her, and you want to help her find help, hope, and a new start (if she is in way over her head).  
  • Silence — Possible Causes: Withdrawal from an intrusive parent, limited ability to describe experiences and emotions, fear of emotion, depression, passive punishment.  Possible Solutions: Discuss with your teen his reason for silence, require dialogue (“You don’t have to tell me everything about your life but I do need you to talk to me — at least when I want to know what you’re doing.  If you choose not to talk to me, you’re telling me you don’t take your responsibilities for being in our relationship seriously, and there will be consequences.”)  

“Being responsible for adolescents tend to expose our weaknesses in ways few experiences do.  Parenting is all about character.  When you work on character issues, you are also working on parenting issues.  As you get healthy, so does your parenting.  So get in touch with people who are mature, loving, and truthful — and use what you learn.” (J. Townsend)

Yes sir! 🙂

September 18, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Change, Education, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Mind, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Stress, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boundaries With Teens — Ignoring Parents, Impulsive Behaviors, Internet, Money, Moodiness (8/10)

Adults have consequences, why shouldn’t teens?  Like it or not, the law of cause and effect will, sooner or later, override their “thought out” excuses.

If we don’t teach our kids the values of hard work and responsible actions, SOCIETY WILL. Job hopping, isolation, withdrawal — THAT is the HARD WAY to learn.

Dr. Townsend, you are right on!  Rescuing and enabling is not love.  I love my two sons WAY TOO MUCH to let society teach them life’s lessons. 

Allow your child to experience natural consequences (money, for example.  If teens overspend, let them work and pay back what they owe — better they learn this priceless lesson under our roofs than when on their own). 

“Set firm boundaries.  Find out what your teen needs, is invested in, lusts for, and take it away.”  Care enough to confront.

THANK YOU, Dr. Townsend!  🙂

September 17, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, Finance, Freedom, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Mind, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boundaries With Teens — Deception, Defiance, Detachment, Driving, Deity (7/10)

Didn’t know there were so many connections between teens and “D” words!  Here are Dr. John Townsend’s 5 Ds:

  • Deception and LyingWhen deception begins, relationship ends.  Your teen may fear that truth will interfere with love.  Let him know, “I may not agree or like the things you say, but I’m on your side no matter what.”  Encourage your teen to take a risk and have him decide whether or not you walk the talk.  Follow through with logical consequences (e.g., When your teen is out with friends, he must call home often AND have an adult get on the line to verify the call).
  • Defiance — An argumentative teen tests parental boundaries while still respecting parents as their authority figure.  Defiant teens completely reject parental authority.  Solution?  Stand firm.  Provide structure, self-control, respect for authority, delayed gratification, and impulse control.  Give as much freedom as your teen earns.
  • Detachment — Teen withdraws emotionally, anti-family, or he’s spending too much time in the outside world.  Solution?  Validate teen’s emotions, ask why, and solve the problem.  Require respect.  Schedule and structure family time.  Teens aren’t adults.  They need mature, wise parents to model socially acceptable behaviors. 

There’s more:

  • Driving — What great leverage!  Give your teen a sense of gravity of car ownership.  Tell her she can drive as long as her attitude, conduct, and grades are acceptable.  In addition, she can lose the privilege anytime she chooes not to fulfill her obligations.  With privilege come responsibilities.
  • Deity (God and spirituality) — If you believe in higher power, you know God designed humans for relationships.  Let your teen know God cares more about relationship than about keeping score.  Get your teen involved in a healthy youth group.  Insist that your teen join your family in going to worship services.

Whew!  Three more days to go!  Twelve years to implement (for me)!  🙂

 

September 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boundaries With Teens — Empathize, Connect, Stay Firm, Follow Through — How? (6/10)

What do these have in common: Breaking agreements, chores, clothing, curfew violations, cutting and self-mutilation?  Teens — growing up, trying to make sense of their world — some, more troubled than others!

So what’s a parent to do?

Yesterday, we’ve looked at empathy, making connection, staying firm, and following through on consequences (the law of cause and effect) … We’re still on the same page; as a matter of fact, the saga continues until our teens leave us as responsible adults, making wise choices and wise decisions. 

I won’t bring up the same theme.  It’s what it is.  Instead, I’ll share Dr. Townsend’s insights on how to communicate; after all, one of the most challenging aspects of articulating our thoughts are not what we say but how we say it:

  • Clothing — Don’t moralize or over-identify.  Confront your adolescent’s inappropriate attires.  You want your teen to be responsible for what he wears and how it affects others, “If you insist on dressing this way, you’ll lose whatever social setting you want to wear them in.” 

How about keeping your word?

  • Breaking Agreements — Get the problem out in the open.  Give your teen a way to think before making an agreement.  “Maybe you could have told me you didn’t have time to sort your clothes because of finals.  I would have understood, and we could have scheduled a better time.”
  • Chores — Establish a clear structure.  “No phone until the kitchen is clean,” or “No going out on the weekend until the yard is done.”  Teens see how what they want is dependent on what they do.  A responsible young adult who knows how to work and how to take care of himself will experience less hardships and setbacks in life.
  • Curfew Violations — Adolescents need to learn how to disengage from what they love in order to meet their responsibilities.  Guide your teen to become a young adult who can leave a conversation or project, budget enough time to get to the next meeting, and arrive on time and ready (yes, stuff CEOs are made of).  “Have a great time.  I expect you home by 10:00 p.m.  If you choose to be late, next time, you won’t be able to go out with your friends.”

Some teens require additional attention and intervention:

  • Cutting and Self-Mutilation — Kids who cut themselves often feel nothing and do so because pain makes them feel alive.  Help your teen identify the underlying problem, “I think I understand that you cut yourself when you’re mad at me, feeling lonely, or scared.  Is that right?”  Work on your relationship and on openness.  Help your teen work on the underlying problem.  Tell him you’ll check on him.  If the behavior persists, consult a therapist.

When I acquire these communication skills (someday), I’ll be much more loving and understanding … I’ll be all grown up!  Yeah!  🙂

September 15, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, Freedom, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boundaries With Teens — Don’t Be A Pushover (5/10)

Parenting teens — disrespect, aggression, argumentative, academic problems, alcohol and drugs — there’s never a dull moment!

Most teens go through the above to a greater or lesser degree; after all, teens test authority, boundaries, and during that process learn who they are and how the world works.

So what’s a parent to do?

Stay proactive, informed, and involved.  That’s what Dr. John Townsend would say.  His additional insights include:

  • Model and Empathize — teens feel more secure in managing their own emotions and expressing them as words when they see parents appropriately articulating range of emotions
  • Clarify Expectations — the less ability your teen has to self-monitor and self-correct, the more external structure/routine he needs from the outside, until he has internalized that structure for himself.
  • Enforce Consequences — consistently implement consequences (which matter to the teen) that fit the “crime.”  After all, that’s how the real-world works; the world of cause and effect (e.g., disrespect resulting in loss of privilege to hang out with friends for one evening).
  • Seek Professional Help — professional help and rehabilitation centers remain the final options.

Bottom line, don’t be a pushover.  Adults are not teens’ friends.  Our job and privilege is to “love and help our children live within the parameters of reasonable realities” — yes, equip and empower our kiddos for the challenges of adulthood.

Whew!  Parenting — it’s the hardest, most rewarding job in the world!  🙂

September 14, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Body, Book Review, Change, Compassion, Education, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Love, Mind, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Set Boundaries With Your Teen (4/10)

My facebook friend recently shared how her fifth grader had become SO defiant, she was tearing her hair out!  “Grounding isn’t working anymore!  Help!”

I hear ya!  Thankfully, my fifth grader still alternates between rebellion and compliance; nevertheless, I sure can relate to her cry!

I think the best school in the world — life — is trying to tell us something:  Set firm, realistic boundaries with your teens.  AND empathize and love your child!  (I’m going to need multiple personalities to pull this one off.)

‘Guess it’s time for tough (and soft) love. 

Psychologist Dr. Townsend advises:

  • Dig beneath your teen’s problems — ask why your teen is feeling a certain way.  Empathize with his struggles.  If necessary, see a doctor.  Your teen may need medical and psychiatric help.
  • Love — tell your teen you love him but that his behavior is unacceptable; with privileges come responsibilities.  Love helps the teen begin to see that his behavior is the problem, not him.
  • Empathize (Contain your teen’s reaction) — the adult allows himself to experience the teen’s wrath, fury, and disappointment in you.  Containing involves maintaining eye contact, being warm, and not being overwhelmed, defensive, or disrupted by your teen’s emotion.
  • Communicate specific rules and requirements — natural or externally imposed (by an adult), consequences are a fact of life.  Good behavior brings good results.  Bad behavior brings uncomfortable results.  Be consistent.  Always follow through.
  • Let consequences fit the crime — Best consequences are those which matter to the teen.  Give the most lenient one first.  Turn up the heat as necessary.
  • Consequence Listsocial access (ground your teen, restrict phone, uninstall instant messaging, restrict driving), media (restrict access to TV, music, computer, and video games), tasks (assign extra chores, additional homework, community service) 

I take comfort in knowing I am not alone.  🙂

September 11, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Change, Compassion, Education, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Mind, Passion, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boundaries With Teens — Understand the Teenage World (3/10)

I guess knowing who and what I’m dealing with would help me become a better parent to my preteen son.

Knowledge is power, I hope.  So here goes Dr. Townsend’s insights:

  • Teens are divided people — dependence vs. independence, goodness vs. badness, reason vs. emotion, internal vs. social realities, family vs. friends
  • Teens think differently — teens are still developing their ability to control emotions and use their higher thought processes.  Adolescents go with their guts and often react without thinking.
  • Stay connected — bring up drugs, sex violence, and ethics at the dinner table.  Your teen needs you to be explicit, clear, and direct about your view on these matters, even in differences.  Example, “I may not agree about who is drinking but I want to know whatever you’ll let me know.”
  • Children are supposed to leave home and separate from their parentsaccept that your teen is being drawn toward something rather than away from you, and help her be as content as possible at home so she’ll want to leave for the right reasons, not just to escape. … Example, “How about inviting a couple of friends over for Friday night.  I’ll grill steaks for you and you can rent a movie.”

Dr. Townsend also states seven qualities for parent to place in their teen’s Toolbox of Resources (which we’ll look at in detail tomorrow):

  • Relational, not alienated
  • Responsible, not immature
  • Self-controlled, not impulsive
  • Values-based, not peer-driven
  • Autonomous, not dependent
  • Focused, not lost
  • Spiritual, not separated from God (or higher power)

A friend and a teen parent once shared, “Remember, to your child, social life is becoming more important than his family.  Find out what they are and don’t moralize … Use the carpool time to learn what’s going on.  In a few minutes kids will forget you’re in the car.  You can find out all sorts of things you need to know.”

Thanks to all the friends and wise folks who’ve come before me.  I just may be able to survive, hopefully enjoy, parenting teens!  🙂

September 10, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, Health and Wellness, Heart, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment