31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 26 – Arrogance

CreamRises (2)

Pharmaceutical sales representatives are familiar with the customer referred to as the “Know-it-all doctor.” The connotation was not just a physician who knew everything, but an individual who was arrogant and spoke to people in a condescending manner. There was a feeling of superiority which made it difficult to deal with others. The air of arrogance made it hard to be effective as a leader. The person who knows everything and feels no one can teach them anything, is difficult to talk to and may not be open to receiving important information.

Many times, we use arrogance to cover-up for an insecurity. We don’t want people to recognize a deficiency in some aspect of our behavior and we do not wish to be challenged. On other occasions we do not wish to be questioned because we feel we are better than everyone. Humility is not a skill that makes them comfortable.

When you make the commitment to move beyond arrogance, it must be done with authenticity. Here is an example of what not to do. A manager received feedback that addressed his arrogance of feeling he was always right. It revealed that he did not listen to his direct reports, did not solicit their comments, but when they were given, he would not value or use them. It was described as follows.

He would adopt the stance of a good listener, someone concerned about his staff’s point of view. He would lean forward, establish direct eye contact and use transitional phrases such as, go on, is that so, I did not know that and tell me more. At the conclusion, he would thank them for their courage and valuable input. He would close by saying, he was glad to have the opportunity to know how they felt, but he would continue with his idea and the original plan. His subordinates were confused and wondered why ask for their opinions and bother going through such a pointless exercise. His actions curtailed their ideas and reduced trust. Why give comments if they did not matter?

Personalize your actions to prevent arrogant behavior by focusing on these areas.

  1. Beware of arrogant tendencies.

  2. Listen to others.

  3. Involve others in your decision making

  4. Include their ideas to show you value their suggestions

  5. Do not respond in a threatening manner when you don’t like what you hear

People do not wish to support the arrogant person. They may withhold information. They may watch someone go down the wrong path and remain silent. They will surely not give them their best effort. They will do just enough to keep their jobs. They will engage in OMDB (Over My Dead Body) behavior and thinking. Review the poem below and reflect on it and discuss with others.

Many of us may be blind to our arrogant ways. In order to change we must be open to critical remarks without taking them personally. Act as if people may feel you are arrogant, and request insight. A manager read the poem below and was offended, for it struck a nerve. He was offended by the content because he thought I was speaking to him. However, members of his staff contacted me and confirmed that it was an accurate depiction of his arrogant leadership style. Let’s act as if this might be the case. Remove personal anxiety and allow people the opportunity to give you comments that are good for everyone.

You Might Not Be A Leader

You may have been a superstar in sales;

An individual who never fails,

But, if you can’t ensure the group prevails,

You might not be a leader.

If vision is absent and no one cares,

If knowledge is power, you will not share;

If you look behind you and no one’s there;

You might not be a leader.

If you did not earn stripes or pay your dues;

If faced with decisions, you fail to choose;

If people ask for help and you refuse,

You might not be a leader.

A passive aggressive management style,

If your deficiencies are in denial;

Too selfish to journey the extra mile,

You might not be a leader.

When seen as a puppet of management,

To throw teammates under the bus is meant,

As a symbol of brewing discontent,

You might not be a leader.

If you lack trust and thought to be lying

And giving feedback is terrifying,

Here is a fact that’s not worth denying,

You might not be a leader.

You feel emotional intelligence

Are soft skills without any relevance,

And being vulnerable makes no sense,

You might not be a leader.

If given a job that’s over your head;

If you cannot reach them, the word will spread,

If you cannot teach them, it will be said,

You might not be a leader.

Copyright © 2019 Orlando Ceaser

Personal Reflections

  1. Do you solicit input from others?

  2. Do you use ideas presented by your staff?

  3. Do you speak down to others when they state their opinions?

  4. Do you involve others in your decision making?

  5. Review stanzas and lines that relate to arrogance in self and others.

  6. Do people come to you for advice on a frequent basis?

  7. How do you receive feedback on your impact?

  8. Does your impact match your intent?

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=orlando+ceaser    

 

 

31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 22 – Relapse

i believe-001

Developing new skills requires a change management mentality. New skills must be practiced and reinforced over time, with continuous application. The more powerful and experiential the training with total immersion in the new skills, will result in new behaviors that are sustainable.

However, you must deal with inertia, which is resistance to change. Secondly you must contend with the temptation to resort to previous behaviors in the face of difficulty. Observation and experience reveal that in a crisis, if the new skills are not firmly embedded in the subconscious, we revert to previous behavior. We retreat to what is known, comfortable and firmly established. We may discard the new information, new practices for the comfortable behaviors of the past.

If change is not fully incorporated into your rote memory or natural rhythms, you may easily relapse. Therefore, it is important to have powerful implementation procedures that are rapidly reinforced repetition to replace the memorized subconscious behaviors.

Additionally, you must firmly believe in your people and adhere to your leadership pledge to their success. In the heat of battle, turmoil or a crisis, remember that your long-term effectiveness as a leader may hinge upon the following. Your ability to be steady, call while refusing to relapse and abandoning new programs and practices for the old way of doing things.

 

Leadership Pledge

To value and respect you

For your accomplishments each year;

Reward your focus on the bottom line,

Elicit feedback and design

Improvements to work conditions

And ways to fight the competition.

To give clear goals, not good intentions;

Form tactics that defy convention

And set a course for the clients needs,

Sometimes at warp or breakneck speeds;

But always mindful as we advance

To keep egos intact and skills enhanced.

To value and respect you

For loyalty and candor,

For personal leadership modeled

When understaffed and at full throttle,

To praise you when change is prominent,

Receptive when stress is dominant;

And listen actively to your voice,

For you have freedoms,

You’re here by choice.

Copyright © 2013 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from Leadership Above the Rim

Personal Reflections

  1. How do you demonstrate to others that you believe and trust them?

  2. What new programs have you put in place to improve the climate in your workplace?

  3. Think of behavior changes successfully implemented and what you did to make them work.

  4. Give examples of old habits that you have successfully replaced.

  5. What do you do to prevent yourself from relapsing into old habits? Give an example, personal or professional.

  6. Review information on change management to strengthen the intellectual and logical justification for your new practices.

  7. The element of surprise is a strong reason for reflex behavior. When you are caught off guard you may tend to relapse into old ways of thinking.

  8. Anticipation will help you stay with your new skills and let the old habits stay in the past.

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=orlando+ceaser    

31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 21 – Acting Authentically

Acting Classes

We appreciate those who perform for us, especially actors and actresses. In a world where authenticity and transparency are encouraged, we honor those, who make a living, assuming another identity and playing different roles. William Shakespeare wrote, in the play As you like it,

“All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,”

There are instances, where we assume certain traits and behaviors that initially feel awkward. They are not a natural part of who we are. We may be in the early stages of development. Therefore, we must fake it until we make it or act as if we have the skills, until they become a part of us.

When someone consistently plays a role, we can anticipate their actions and this predictability draws us into their character. This reminds me of us. We are vulnerable and share our personalities, so others can anticipate our actions. This predictability builds comfort, awareness and trust.

I was a part of a drama team at church, where we were trained by degreed professionals and practitioners, in the art of the theater. My manager questioned my hobby. I remember thinking, “you are asking me to act day at work, and least I can get some training to do it better.”

We are asked to act and play a role or different roles every day. We should at least play them with authenticity and transparency, until they are natural, realistic and believable.

In our role as leaders, there instances where we must act as a leader, until we put on the full mantle of the mindset and the role.

Act as A Leader

You Tube Narration: https://youtu.be/eLzlbmTPhCA

 

Act as a leader,

Roll up your sleeves and get involved;

Create the vision and the culture

Where people are consulted,

Before issues are resolved.

Act as a leader,

Form strategies on how to compete,

Discuss when to advance and retreat,

Review the options selected,

And plan for the unexpected.

Act as a leader,

Be prudent in talent selection,

Precise giving directions

And when they share your vision,

Their passion will seek perfection

And their results will pass inspection.

Act as a leader,

Develop and nourish your group,

For everyone’s expedient,

Each roles a key ingredient,

To add their texture to the soup.

Act as a leader,

Reward and recognize your team,

Spotlight talent, feed their esteem,

Through public and private ovations,

Show that you value their motivation.

Act as a leader,

As a mandate, model fairness,

Distribute justice when you speak,

Grow your skills and self-awareness

By being open to critique.

Act as a leader,

And the growth will be exponential.

Act as a leader,

And they will reach their potential.

As a leader;

Take individual seeds

And cultivate a team

That challenges you to lead.

Copyright © 2000 Orlando Ceaser

Personal Reflections

  1. Through the practice of mental rehearsal, visualize an upcoming important conversation. Anticipate the worst possible outcome and how you will handle it.

  2. Repeat step one several time to become comfortable with a range of response.

  3. Role-play your goals with someone and give them permission to ask questions.

  4. Conduct a mock interview and take turns being the applicant and the interviewer.

  5. Read Michael Shurtleff’s book Audition to learn how actors prepare.

  6. Read information on storytelling, public speaking and acting principles to improve your speaking and conversational skills.

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.   

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=orlando+ceaser  

 

31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 20 – Adaptation

Crystal Ball C

Survival is our strongest need, according to many philosophers. Abraham Maslow lists it among our basic needs, which we must fulfill before we move on to satisfying other needs on our list of priorities. Survival is dependent upon making the necessary adjustments to changes in our environment. We must include these adjustments, as a part of our evolving skills.

The quality of survival is linked to our adaptation ability, therefore our success in making adjustment to competitors in the marketplace or whatever environment surrounds us.  Our objective is to aim higher , rather than barely making it. We do not want to do just enough to get by. We want to thrive and prosper. A standard of living above the baseline of existence is a desirable goal. But to achieve this enhanced quality of life, we must make continuous adjustments to our behavior.

The poem Adaptation addresses the adjustments we need to make educationally, relationally and professionally to improve our prospects for higher earning power and fulfillment of purpose. Charles Darwin wrote about the survival of the fittest and that holds true in the development of species and in developing a personal profile competitive enough to make it in the business world. Adaptation encourages the survival of the fit; those who take the time and make the effort to anticipate challenges and respond to change. Only progress is satisfactory. Movement is essential to momentum.

Adaptation

 

This is what the world has come to,

If you’re lost, you’re left behind.

So, you need something they can’t

Take from you,

A treasure stored within your mind.

Survival has a new battle cry,

“Learn to adapt or learn to die.”

The work is becoming more difficult;

Best practices rapidly obsolete;

The business that focuses on results

Lacks tolerance for those who can’t compete.

You try to fail if you fail to try,

“Learn to adapt or learn to die.”

Distractions are greater, and times are hard,

And there are numerous reasons to quit.

Your peers may entice you to disregard

Being versatile and mentally fit.

I caution you to look them in the eye

And say learn to adapt or die.

Innovation is a survival tool;

Flexibility a requirement.

Those who survive and ultimately rule

Always adjust to their environment.

Industries and species that don’t comply,

“Learn to adapt or learn to die.”

 

There are many reasons to not achieve

But you owe it to yourself to attempt

To climb the mountain, but you must believe

The goal that was not captured was not dreamt.

Distinction or extinction will apply,

“Learn to adapt or learn to die.”

Copyright © 2011 Orlando Ceaser

 Personal Reflections

  1. How have you changed in the last year?

  2. If someone has not seen you in several years, what change would they notice?

  3. How has your business environment changed?

  4. What adjustments have you made or must make to keep up with new demands in your profession?

  5. How have you adapted to the technological demands of your profession?

  6. How do you stay on top of matters that require your attention?

  7. Alvin Toffler mentioned that technology has accelerated in this world of high tech, but we have not changed that much socially, in something he calls high touch. How are you socially keeping up with the times?

  8. How are you adapting to find time for the ones you love?

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

 

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=orlando+ceaser    

31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 17 – Ego

C&R0004

Ego as defined by Webster’s New Riverside University Dictionary is the personality component that is conscious, most directly control behavior, and is most in touch with external reality is also referred to as self-love, self-confidence and self-esteem. Ego is also referred to as the part of us that feels threatened when we feel insecure, arrogant and caught up in ourselves. Ego also serves as another barrier in the gauntlet that we must face as individuals and as leaders.

There is a cycle of response that people use to protect their self-image or their ego. I watched people lash out to guard their ego when they sense danger is present. They want desperately for their ego to succeed and flourish. The ego has;

  • An image – a face, which must be saved

  • An identity

  • Feelings

  • A reputation

The ego is a repository of who we are.

The ego requires

  • Nourishment

  • Encouragement

  • Praise

  • Challenge

  • Support

When feeling threatened, attacked or ridiculed, a force field is activated that launches a counter response to protect the person.

President Harry S Truman said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” This quote reflects directly on the ego. Another quotation comes from Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander in their book, The Art of Possibility, where they write about Rule #6.  People tend to get so caught up in their ego and in themselves that they must periodically be reminded of rule number six. There are no rules one through five, a rule number six simply don’t take yourself too seriously. They use slightly more colorful language, but this is the essence of the rule.

During your workday, think of individuals and situations where you are inclined to evoke your ego. Visualize the individuals and the situations, and mentally rehearse how you will interact with them.

Ego

I had a bout with ego.

Its symptoms were blurred vision,

Inability to make a selfless decision;

A sense of self that was overblown,

Chronically centric, with pride overgrown.

I had a bout with ego.

It was too late to screen for the vaccine,

I did not note the antidote

And so susceptible to the fever

I became a blind believer

In a despicable deception

That affected my depth perception.

One day everything was in the “I” refrain

And I became a wall not a membrane

That let others in;

I was not a swinging gate

That let others infiltrate.

I had a bout of ego

I needed a vaccine

An antidote to let me know

I had to intervene

And open myself to others

To hope to find a cure.

I had a bout with ego

That I must win for sure.

Copyright © 2003 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from Leadership Above the Rim

By Orlando Ceaser

Personal Reflections

  1. How do people usually bruise your ego?

  2. How can you protect your ego?

  3. Rule number six states that “you must not take yourself too seriously.” In other words, it is not always about you, so reduce the tendency to take things personally.

  4. Look for situations where you can let other people’s ideas come forth and received the credit.

  5. There are situations where you must protect your reputation and your ideas. Think carefully and act wisely.

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=orlando+ceaser

 

31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 15 – Look for the Blessing

Look for the blessingPhoto (2)

We are conditioned to complain when things do not go according to plan. We fall into a woe is me or calamity consciousness, only focusing on the bad. This forms a weight around our necks and makes it difficult to swim upstream. We lose our objectivity and dwell on the reasons for our dissatisfaction. Imagine a radical approach. What if we had a shift in perspective and searched for tangible benefits from our disappointments?

Looking for the blessings is counter intuitive and awkward the first few times you do it. It is helpful to ask yourself a series of questions. What value can I get from this mishap? How can this ordeal make me stronger? Where is the silver lining? Is God trying to get my attention and teach me something? Is this a chance to model behavior that could help someone else through a difficult season?

Looking for the blessing will open you to the possibilities of coping better, seizing opportunities, influencing others and personal growth. How will you use this mindset to enrich your day?

Look for the Blessing

In life’s adventures and catastrophes,
When bad things happened magnetically,
I spent considerable energy
In anger, unhappy, impatiently
Driven, then it occurred to me
That it could help me
Become stress free,
If I just looked for the blessing.

When leaving my house late
And the traffic was delayed,
Once frustrated, I never displayed
A sense of reverence,
I never prayed
Or took the time,
To look for the blessing.

I’ve learned there is a purpose in events.
I may have been spared pain and accidents
Or met new challenges that God presents
When He wants me to look for the blessing.

Things happen for His reason
According to God’s plan.
We are too busy to seize them
And take the time to scan
Our surroundings to handle
What we can
Or in essence,
To look for the blessing.

Lord what must I do in this pain?
You want more of me than to complain.
I know in the circumstances
A blessing is contained,
And I should look for the blessing.

There have been setbacks
But I have found,
That if I take the focus off of me
And look around,
There’s a message in a bottle,
Directions to higher ground
If I look for the blessing.

I should seek the opportunity to grow
To render kindness or to bestow
A gift to a stranger,
Or meet someone I need to know
As I look for the blessing.

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from the book “Look for the Blessing” by Orlando Ceaser

Personal Reflections

  1. Tell yourself that you will go through the day searching for opportunities to re-frame your thinking to gain benefits from your calamities.

  2. What challenges have you faced, that help you cope with your current situation?

  3. How can you taken the focus off you, to help others?

  4. Who will you target as individuals you can help with your advice?

  5. Who was able to share their wisdom with you, as they considered the blessings in their lives?

  6. What Scripture has been helpful to keep you focused on God’s goodness?

  7. Practice changing your thinking to look for the gift in the moment.

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

YouTube:

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31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 14 – Storytelling

storytelling-word-cloud (2)

Field training is a process where someone works in the field (ride a long) with a Sales representatives during a typical workday. They would spend the entire day in the car and in offices evaluating the salesperson’s performance. The Field Trainer or Manager would provide feedback on sales planning and execution, business skills and customer service. Consequently, there is a lot of time in the car driving between sales calls. Field training also provides opportunities to share war stories or sales stories with the sales representative.

My District manager was a master storyteller. He would tell detailed stories about people and the company. An analysis of his possible motives for telling stories in those teachable scenarios led me to surmise the following about him:

  1. Enjoyed telling stories to impress us with his expertise

  2. Wanted to increase our knowledge by sharing his experiences

  3. Distributed selling techniques and information from our peers

  4. Shared company history to give us a sense of belonging and healing

  5. Provided examples of consequences of what happened to people who violated company policies (a policy reinforcement strategy)

  6. A model of behavior, we could use if we were promoted

  7. A model to use in developing our own stories

  8. Provided an environment to improve our storytelling by sharing stories with him

  9. Encouraged us to use stories with our client

When we became managers, the art of storytelling was found to be pervasive throughout the leadership culture. It was used at manager meetings to entertain, build relationships, pass along company and leadership information and help develop the younger managers. I swore that when I became a manager, I would never use stories. But I have passed on this time-honored tradition with many more stories of my own.

Whenever we gather, we influence the world through our stories.

Stories

YouTube Narration Set to Music

https://youtu.be/JI0q9QUvWjE

At corporate campfires

And watering holes,
The people gather.

Their hearts are stirred

By the leaders,

The keepers of the scrolls,
Whose words

Speak the curriculum

Of what occurred.

The leaders through language
Interpret and present:
Through parables and scenarios
Values are infused;
And in a lighter forum
They package events
So people are instructed,

Encouraged and amused.

At family gatherings
Enrichment of the soul
Occurs when the elders,
The keepers of the scrolls,
Assemble the generations
And dispense discipline
Through stories sprinkled

With wisdom and wit,

In moderation.

The elders portray

Passion and progress,
Pride and principles

And honor in the family name.

They tell tales of obstacles

And human failings,

Of being human,

And being sensible,

For invincibility

Is not a trait we can claim.

The stories form a bond
That is not bondage.
They chronicle ambition,
Growth and attrition
And forge connections
Of substance and relevance
That add alignment
And purpose to our lives

And gives us the strength

To continue the expedition.

At work and in families,
The keepers of the scrolls,
Through stories give us context
And texture.
For within these tales,
We identify with the roles
And through this revelation
We take our places
And become storytellers,
And add our voices
To the conversations.

Copyright © 2003 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from Leadership above the rim by Orlando Ceaser

www.watchwellinc.com

Personal Reflections

  1. How are you using stories in your day-to-day operations?

  2. Develop the art of telling to use strategically and family, social and work situations.

  3. Where can you find your best stories?

  4. How can you develop your story telling technique?

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=orlando+ceaser