Effective Leaders Pause and Listen
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“What don’t I know I don’t know?”

Putting the needs of others first, and acting in support of your organization are key elements of servant leadership. That’s basic. But there can be an arrogance there, too; you can assume that you know what is needed – because you’re the leader, and you ought to know. This is what Peter Block refers to as a paternalistic view of leadership — “taking care” of people who “don’t know better” as opposed to a true commitment to learning what is needed. … Read More

Leaders Model the Behavior they Expect
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What would it be like if the managers modeled the behavior that ought to be expected?

Ever seen a train? Ever seen the cars pass the engine? Never. If you’re a leader, and you do things at level 10, your followers will likely do them at an “8”. If you have a rough day, and your effort is a “7”, expect your followers to be at a “5”.

To paraphrase Kouzes and Posner:

Leaders model the way by setting the example for others in ways that are consistent with their values. This promotes consistent progress and building of commitment. … Read More

Leaders increase effectiveness by changing things up
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What can you do to avoid getting bored yourself, with your own routine?
What’s comfortable and automatic for you? Consider ditching it.

Keep moving, keep challenging yourself to do new things, and keep using new words to catch the attention of others. Bonus points if you make them smile… … Read More

Breath Support to the End of the Phrase is a Key Deliverable
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But what if teachers in general (and band/choir/orchestra directors specifically) studied best practices in business – both management from an organizational standpoint, and from a team-building/customer service/human relations standpoint?

And what if business leaders approached their businesses, and especially their people, as though they were volunteers (like band students) who could – and would – walk away from things if they didn’t think their time and energy were well-spent? … Read More

Things successful leaders avoid saying (Part 1)
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Successful leaders consistently find ways to avoid “me, myself, and I” in their communications; this keeps the focus on others. A nice exception; the use of personal failures to make points. Self-deprecation is… … Read More

Leadership Problem: Grace vs. Enabling
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Cut people some slack. Really, you never know what kind of a day they’re having, how bad their insomnia is, whether they’ve suffered a major loss, or whatever other darkness they carry.
Because grace is something everyone needs to learn, and leaders sometimes act out of fear – “I’ll look weak!” we think. Pick some moments to cut people some slack.

At least, you’ll inspire loyalty because you’ve shown compassion, and at best, you’ll teach grace. And that can change the world. … Read More

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