31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 23 – Spiritual Leadership

MADEfocus (2)

New leaders, in my day, were given 3 pieces of advice. These words were to guide us throughout our business careers. These words could also be a gauntlet for any leader. They have been known to demolish the morale in an organization and destroy someone’s reputation and career. We were told to never get involved in conversations regarding sex, politics and religion.

A new leader had many areas to grow and we did not need to be distracted by these very volatile topics. We can debate the relevance of this advice today, but I would like address one of the topics in a positive way.  We frequently hear about the desire for employees want to bring their entire selves to work.  We cannot deny that spirituality is important for many people.

Spirituality is a key part of our makeup that defines who we are. Organizations may not discuss religion in the workplace, however many of them will provide space for people to reflect, study and pray at work. Organizations should be sensitive and aware enough to encourage religious expression, outside of proselytizing (recruiting) and making others uncomfortable.

Spiritual Leadership in our 31 Day leadership gauntlet refers to the way our spirituality influences our decisions and our interaction with others. It also covers how we express personal values that align with corporate values. Creating a climate where morality, respect, responsibility, integrity, caring and forgiveness are practiced, is essential for a respectful workplace.

 

The Lord is My Leader

The Lord is my Leader I shall not lack

Direction for He is standing at my back;

While in front of me He makes decisions

To meet my needs with ample provisions.

I shall not want for his abundance fills

My cup with affluence and as it spills,

As water flowing from a mountain top,

His goodness and mercy will never stop.

He mends my brokenness

And I find rest,

As He restores my soul,

He refreshes my spirit,

Changes my countenance

And makes me whole.

  

He leads me where the waters are still;

He tutors me as I study His will;

He comforts me in righteousness;

Though I walk through the valley

Of difficult times;

Disease, disasters and immoral crimes

I fear no evil for He

Protects me from my enemies

And loves me though there is sin in me,

And promises me an eternity

Of matchless splendor and serenity.

(Adapted from Psalms 23)

Copyright © 2013 Orlando Ceaser

Practical Reflections

  1. How can we address spirituality in a way that allows people to be comfortable at work while practicing their faith?

  2. Can people gauge from your behavior, the spiritual foundation that influences your leadership style?

  3. Can people of different faiths practice prayer and Bible study in your workplace?

  4. What role does God play in your decision-making process?

  5. Which spiritual values do you illustrate at work?

  6. Do you believe in the second stanza to be true? How powerful is your faith?

  7. God is making you whole as you read this. Discuss the importance of these words. The Lord is your leader.

  8. How are you resting on His promises and finding comfort in His words?

  9. God as a leader has a vision for your life. Discuss your thoughts about his vision for you.

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 19 – Purpose

The opening quote in my book the Isle of knowledge states that “I feel pressure from my purpose to align my passion with my potential.” This sentence illustrates my internal struggle to find my purpose and ensure that it is connected to my passion, so that I realize my potential, and my desire to make a difference in the world.

What is your purpose? We wrestle with the realization that we are blessed and may have talent and opportunity that is not fully utilized. We tend to go with the crowd as it relates to our careers or to align ourselves with what is popular or the most financially rewarding. Information came out recently about the top 10 jobs for the future, which indicated technology was the dominant career choice. Are you a technologically driven person? How do you align technology with your purpose?

You may be in a job that is not rewarding or fulfilling, but it is a job that pays the bills. When you determine your purpose, can you provide space to pursue it and keep your day job? Pursuing your purpose may require you to develop a ‘HIT’ list (Hobbies, Interests, Talents). This may provide the vehicle for you to address and fulfill your purpose.

Your purpose can sometimes be recognized in the things they give you the most excitement or feeling of value. Oftentimes, purpose is not about you, but what you can do for others. Through purpose you may find your significance. During your leadership gauntlet you may encounter a variety of distractions that derail you from finding and fulfilling your purpose. But you may find that within your purpose is God’s plan for your life.

God’s Plan for Your Life

YouTube narration with music 

Once you desired to be,

Who you were wired to be,

But you satisfied friends instead.

Though blessed with talent and skill,

You lacked the courage and will

To follow the dreams in your head.

Your parents hinted at times,

Since they were reaching their prime,

You should let them plan your success.

Therefore, achievements were built

On a foundation of guilt,

Which was geared to their happiness.

You were not strong enough then

To use self-discipline when

You heard the voice of the divine.

In whispers to intervene

He said he placed in your genes

The elements of your design.

Once you conspired to be,

Who you were wired to be,

To match the image of your trade.

You sought the power and fame,

The money, title and name,

In service to the masquerade.

Unplanned events played a role,

You flowed away from your goal,

Imprisoned by the undertow.

You gave into their appeal,

Although the look and the feel,

Was not what you needed to grow.

Through the influence of peers

You alternated careers,

And thus, fulfillment was delayed.

You showed an absence of nerve

And therefore, did not deserve

To prosper from poor choices made.

Now you aspire to be,

Who you were wired to be,

To do all you can with your life.

Committed to seek His will

And use your talents and skill,

To embrace God’s Plan for your life.

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser

Personal Reflections

  1. What is your purpose?

  2. How did you determine your purpose?

  3. Are you working to fulfill your purpose?

  4. How are other people helping you with your purpose?

  5. What resources are you using, or have you used to clearly define and execute your purpose?

  6. How can you help others to find their purpose?

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 18 – Breakthrough

MADEbreak (2)

Imagine cruising along in your current reality knowing that life is good or at least predictable.  You have become complacent. Life appears to be working well for you. The challenges are manageable and under control. You reside in a comfort zone because difficulties and hardships do not exceed your ability to handle them. And you are not worried about the future for it promises more of the same.

Inertia, that natural resistance to change is keeping the necessary objects of your world in orbit. The results are predictable, as you act consistently to match your values and beliefs. It is fortunate to be insulated, protected and feeling no pain.

Eventually, you might become frustrated with the status quo. You are surrounded by sameness and mediocrity in a mundane and environment. You may want a fresh perspective, adventure and excitement. You may want a breakthrough before life/work breaks you.

Your current state, sometimes referred to as normal, “the way it is”, “business as usual,” and the status quo will remain stationary until something bad happens to negatively rock your world. Sir Isaac Newton said that an object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. When the outside force strikes it may throw you headlong into a crisis. Therefore, it is wise to land a breakthrough before it becomes mandatory or too late. 

Theodore Levitt, the esteemed marketing guru, spoke of planned obsolescence. He said if you don’t make your product or service obsolete, somebody else will. To paraphrase, if you don’t plan to achieve a breakthrough, someone else may achieve a breakthrough that puts you out of business or leaves you behind the competition. Today is the day you began to make steps toward your breakthrough. If you look within the word, you may find that the word “rough” which may be an accurate depiction of the journey, but it will be worth the effort.

 

I Need a Breakthrough

I need a breakthrough,

A radical departure

From my current plateau,

To an area where endorphins flow,

In proportion to the challenges

I encounter.

I need a breakthrough,

Not incremental steps

To emancipation of thought;

But a bold new mindset to evoke

True innovation.

I need a breakthrough,

Ascending spiral staircases

To adventure;

To a domain where the air

Is different;

An elevation where

I must train vigorously

To sustain excellence

Of another kind.

I need to breakthrough

The stifling strait jacket

Of my staid routine;

To acquiesce to the audacity

To explore and find

The alternative sides

Of my capacity.

I need a breakthrough

To penetrate the glass ceilings,

To disintegrate the feelings

That the past and present

Are the best I can do.

I need a breakthrough

To build the images my mind

Has shared with me,

So that I can do

What is required to be

The type of person

I have been privileged to see.

Copyright © 2002 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from Leadership Above the Rim

by Orlando Ceaser

 

Personal Reflections

  1. Where is a breakthrough needed in your life?

  2. Where are you subject to experience your next breakthrough?

  3. Talk to family members about their need for a breakthrough and listen and help.

  4. Who can help you achieve your breakthrough?

  5. Are you bold enough to take the necessary risks?

  6. What kind of training and resources are required to achieve the next level?

  7. Enter the breakthrough in your journal, tablet, computer or cell phone.

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 16 – Time Wasters


Temple

One challenge on your Leadership Gauntlet will affect you personally, as well as those whom you serve. They are time wasters.

Time is a treasure and a resource. There are 24 hours in each day and 168 hours in a week. How you use the time given to you is your choice. How you manage your time will contribute or take away from your ability to be successful. We are individuals who craft time to our benefit or detriment. We are time crafters and consumers of time consumers. We vary in the total distribution of this amazing gift over our lifetime, but each day, our allotment is the same.

The way we manage time can influence the amount we have, but there are factors that are beyond our control. However, if you take a class in time management, they will discuss time wasters. These are elements that absorb the time you have for meaningful activities and shift them to meaningless tasks. Time wasters are as empty calories. You consume them, but they have no intrinsic value. They are people or activities that distract you from doing something that has a higher priority. A time waster for one person may not be for another. They can be individualized.

Identify the time wasters in your life; the things that divert or take your time from more import tasks and minimize and eliminate them. Alan Larkin, the noted Time Management expert says the following about time. “Time is life. It is both irreversible and irreplaceable, to waste your time is to waste your life, but to master time is to master your life and to then make the most of it.”

The Temple of Wasted Time

Where is the pomp and circumstance,

Of cymbals and choirs and chimes;

As the minutes and the hours dance

To the Temple of Wasted Time?

Who will record these great events;

Ubiquitous as mortal crime,

As people from each continent

Pay homage to the Wasted Time?

Through rituals of sacrifice

Complacent and unorganized,

We pay commission and the price;

Efficiency is compromised.

We covet goals, yet wed to chance

With families in disarray,

We laugh at systems to enhance

The quantity of work and play.

The hours we procrastinate

Is taking money from the purse.

The bottomless collection plate

Should be immortalized in verse.

Who will disclose the compass zone;

Where mental pilgrimages start;

A temple not of steel or stone

Nor chambers of a person’s heart?

A monument, fictitious shrine

To glorify misuse of time.

As our health and work declines

We should despise abuse of time.

And yet, we spurn the accolades

Of opportunities lost and burned,

Through sanctioned daily masquerades;

And schedules that were overturned.

And so, we waste this prime resource

Throwing priorities away.

We celebrate this chosen course

With a book on the unplanned day.

Where is the pomp and circumstance,

Of cymbals and choirs and chimes;

As the minutes and the hours dance

To the Temple of Wasted Time?

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted with permission from Teach the Children to Dance

Personal Reflections

  1. What are your most important priorities?

  2. Who and what are your greatest distractions from getting things done?

  3. How will you notify them that you are busy?

  4. What habits do you have that are working against you?

  5. Who and what are sending you to the Temple of Wasted Time?

  6. How will you reschedule your day to focus on your priorities?

  7. What is the time of day when you are the most fruitful?

  8. You may contemplate the cost of time wasters as they relate to relationships, resources and results at home and at work.

  9. List your top 10 Time Wasters and post them for all to see. (be careful posting names)

  10. Managing time wasters may call for you to be more disciplined and diplomatic.

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

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