Posted by: Dr Churchill | December 9, 2016

Bleed to Lead

Here’s to the crazy ones…
Here’s to those that bleed for all of us.
Here’s to Jesus freaks and assorted Crusaders.
Here’s to you and Me.
Here’s the best thought on how to Grow from “Thought Leader” to Actually Leading people into battle.
My young grasshopper — please do know that there are many doors you’ll need to pass through — in order to at least know how to Lead Yourself.
Then you might have some hope on how to lead others.

Start by learning how to take responsibility for your own work:
1) Deliver what you say you will, make it clear when you can’t, be organized, etc.
2) Next pay attention to how your work affects others on your team.
3) Don’t throw work over the wall but learn how to collaborate well.
4) Learn to do things that yield a multiplier effect for the rest of your team. 5) Pay attention to net-net outcomes.
And that’s enough… to be a reasonably better leader or manager of people than 99% of the titled people out there.

But some of us are Samurai material and want to walk on to the real Bleeding Edge.

So if you want to go further with the human leadership stuff, here’s how to lead your people and your team to the point that they will win time and time again.

Here’s how you become a team lead, and learn how to communicate “up, down, and sideways” well.
1) Know how your team fits into the larger goals of your organization, and it’s your job to align your team to those goals.
2) Communicate to your organization the needs of your team, so you need to understand them well. Do this one-on-one.
3) You gotta be doing some production work as a leader that leads from the front, but do not allow yourself to be on the critical path, and always know the flow of Team and it’s outputs.
4) Gradually you gotta teach others your tech skills, and your production activities so you can systematize the knowledge that’s buried in your head for the benefit of the organization.
5) In cases where you can’t fully remove yourself from a process as an active developer, at least optimize things as much as possible.

Again — here is a fork on the road to Leadership, because at this point, you can stop if you want. The world needs plenty of in-the-trenches leader servants, since most of the toughest decisions happen right here.

But if you want to keep going farther down this road of Leadership and you feel you’ve got the stones to be the Lion of the pride — Go for it.

Continue reading, but most important start practicing these self evident Truths.

Here’s to those bold enough to Lead their Industry.
1) Abandon your tech specialization in day-to-day work.
2) As you go into a more pure leadership role, you will no longer be close enough to a single project to micromanage its implementation details.
3) This is a good thing, because in a higher level of leadership, treating any one project as if it’s the core focus is dangerous.
4) At this level, your job becomes: How do I max out our communication capabilities, speed up our learning cycles, reduce $$$ risks?
5) There is some high level purpose for which your organization exists. Figure it out, teach it, and design processes that sustain it.
6) If you do work in higher-level leadership effectively, it is still profoundly technical in various ways. Businesses are complex systems.

At this point, you hit the hard part of the road because you’ve reached a plateau.

Decision time again on giving up operational control of lots of small decisions, and time to learn how to properly delegate to get to really lead people…

So what defines a leader?

In the simplest terms, leaders have followers who believe that those leaders will take them to a better place. People respond to the energy, passion, and ideas that leaders bring to a team, even if those leaders are relatively junior. Ultimately, leaders mentor the next generation, teaching the skills that will one day enable their proteges to replace them.

In other words, good leaders have credibility.
Building credibility starts early, before you’re ever in a position of authority. It has less to do with your title, and more to do with how you perform.

Below, are methods which can be utilized immediately to start building solid credibility as a Leader amongst all your colleagues and inside your industry.

1) Start with Hard Data — Otherwise You’ll Be Ignored:
Until you have credibility, people are unlikely to perceive you as a leader or treat your ideas as valuable. It’s a natural tendency for many people to instantly want to share their opinions when taking on new roles, but it’s not always helpful long-term. Good credibility is earned. If you want to appear credible, speak with facts before opinions.
Facts give you an opportunity to contribute productively. By outlining relevant market data or detailing product capabilities, you’re sharing true, relevant information. Fact-speaking will solidify your contributions and give credence to your voice. This in turn will lend credibility to your opinions and analysis later on.
To achieve this, spend ample time researching information that is likely to be relevant in your meetings. Learn about the products or services your company provides. When the time comes to speak up, you’ll be able to contribute in a way that adds value, without claiming an authority you don’t yet command.

2) Make Your Plan Clear to Your Team:
Acting impulsively is risky and can damage your credibility.
This is not to be confused, however, with taking initiative. When you work in a team, it’s crucial that you engage with colleagues and solicit their feedback. Developing a plan and executing consistently generates credibility. Learn to communicate clearly and see any mistakes as opportunities for growth.
Creating a strategy before you ask breeds initiative and organized tactics. Share these strategies with your team members and stakeholders. Shared plans allow you to articulate expectations with key partners and solicit their feedback, inviting them to feel involved in the process. Additionally, constant communication with all team members, shareholders, etc., is important for stability. Ideally, you will be able to tell them that the project is delivering strong results, but even if you need to explain what’s not working, and make changes, you have far more credibility to do that when you develop a strong plan prior to taking action.

3) View Your Company As Your Partner — Not As Your Employer:
In the modern workplace, we all collaborate with others. Establishing strong relationships with people in your team is essential to building credibility.
Make an effort to understand and respect the perspectives and motivations of the people you work with, and to explore the history and values of your company. Think about what you can give to others, and the organization, as opposed to simply what you can get. In aiming to benefit your employer and not merely yourself — you build credibility for leadership, teamwork, and drive.

4) Prove Your Experience Is Relevant, Or Don’t Mention It:
As an example, in the early days of cloud technology, many companies like DropBox, Azzure from Microsoft and Amazon all had to find fresh faces to work on this new industry. And understandably the fresh college hires feared that they lacked the experience to be credible salespeople for cloud services, because they imagined that clients would take one look at them and think that they were too naïve or inexperienced to be in such a responsible position. These people were reminded, that they had unique experiences to contribute, and the ones that believed it — succeeded in selling more cloud services than anyone else…

The most successful among those hired understood the distinction between relevant and irrelevant experiences. By framing their knowledge as advantageous to the company as a whole, they instantly became credible. You may not have as much professional experience as older members of your team, yet whatever experience you have, however short or alien to the task at hand, is valid. Reflect upon this, and relating should be easier and the exercise will make you feel far more confident.

This applies whether you’re a new hire, a CEO, or anyone in between. Negative self-perception can set in at any stage, and blind you to the unique value you bring to your role. Take the time to reflect on your strengths and recognize how others can benefit from your insights.

Because no Matter How High You Rise, Credibility Is Key…

And in order to be seen as a leader, it’s important to take steps to build your credibility.

This is especially true when you’re in a new role, regardless of your career stage.

However brilliant your track record, people will be swayed by their experience of you. You must show them that you’re credible before they will accept you as a leader who is capable of taking them to a better place.

Yours,
Dr Churchill

PS:

This leadership imperative of honest results and data driven leadership — never fades, however senior you become.

Communication, Productivity, and Credibility are the basic part of the glue that holds your leadership together.

Without it, your ability to inspire followers will inevitably decline.

So just make sure you use daily all of the tactics described above.

Do this however tough your job might be and how challenged you are for time.

Do this instead of the more new age techniques like meditation and mindfulness or purpose searching and meaning harvesting that is for dummies.

Do this and not only You shall be recognized as a Leader but you can also expect to earn all the credibility you can eat.


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