31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 28 – Courage

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Courage is not the absence of fear but proceeding in its presence. Courage is not necessarily acts of bravery against a life-threatening adversary. Courage can be defined as a situation where you are prompted to rise, step forward and risk something, to benefit yourself or others. You must be willing to go to the front of the line to demonstrate bravery. Therefore, Courage is not always about us. It is performed as a practice, a template, a role model to benefit others.

There are instances during a day or a season when you are being watched by your family, group, team, peers and community. How will you respond in difficult situations? When a fear generating dilemma appears, there is a courage stimulating response that is required. How will you respond? Will you be brave?

When an intimidating moment appears in the leadership gauntlet, it is a perfect opportunity to stand up, show courage and be on the front line and take the lead with your people. What does courage look like? It varies with the demand and the scale of the crisis. Courage could mean standing up for them when they are bullied by peers, strangers or management. It could be when unfair assaults on their skills, reputation and performance occurs during a meeting or performance review. Courage could occur during periods of uncertainty when patience and guidance are needed to help someone make it through a frightening predicament.

Courage could also manifest itself in the ability to show weakness, vulnerability, empathy and compassion. Courage provides the opportunity to let down your guard and connect with people. Look for opportunities to show people that you are on their side, that you can identify with them and fight with them. You can roll up your sleeves, join the fight and work with them.

Front-line Leadership

https://youtu.be/bhB6r02clVk

 

When in the clenches or against the ropes

Or in the trenches where it’s hard to cope;

When in the battle to succeed,

On the front line is where you lead.

To make decisions cowards fear to broach,

You’re on the field as player and coach;

To give followers what they need,

On the front line is where you lead.

You are the traction on a slippery slope.

Your plans and action are symbols of hope.

Momentum grows by word and deed,

On the front line is where you lead.

So, by example you show them the way.

You’ve rolled up your sleeves and joined in the fray.

For in the battle to succeed,

On the front line is where you lead.

Reprinted with permission from Teach the Children to Dance

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser

Personal Reflections

  1. How have you taken the lead to show someone that you are on their side?

  2. How can you demonstrate to someone that you have them back?

  3. Describe a situation when you weren’t there when someone needed you?

  4. Where do you need to show courage more consistently?

  5. Describe a time when you went to bat for someone.

  6. What situations are more difficult for you to show courage?

  7. What is the worst thing that can happen in most situations?

  8. Does the worst thing that can happen, consistently happen?

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 27 – Fatigue

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You must be aware that fatigue it is one of the obstacles you will encounter going through the leadership gauntlet. Self-health will strengthen your mental physical and spiritual well-being. When we are fatigued, we cannot do our best work. We are not able to think clearly or created. I’ll run down feeling of low energy also reduces our productivity. A key component of is the amount of rest we receive. The sleep foundation says that “While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more. And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, most older people still need at least 7 hours of sleep.” Are you getting enough sleep every night?

Secondly, we are surrounded by date to increase our awareness of nutritional foods and those products that may be good for us. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NHLBI suggests that we have a healthy eating plan.  “A healthy eating plan: Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Limits saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars.”

In my book, the Isle of Knowledge I focus on the mantra that I use every day. I want to get my REPS in as a part of my normal routine. R stands for reflection. I begin each day thinking about the day and the activities that lie before me. E is for exercise. It may be simple calisthenics stretching or going to the club for more rigorous activity, such as lifting weights, running or participating in a spinning class. P is for prayer to ensure that I am spiritually centered. S is for study, which requires light reading to establish continuous learning. The study may be at the beginning of the day, during the day or at night before I go to bed.

You would agree with me that you do your best work when you are rested. Your ability to last and avoid fatigue is influenced by your eating habits, exercise routine and the amount of sleep you receive.

I’m Better When I’m Rested

I’m better when I’m rested

And have strength when I’m tested;

Experience in life has made me wise.

My mind is far from fragile,

For mentally I’m agile;

When judgment’s muscle gets exercise.

I’m better when I’m at peace;

In solitude I release

The worries and factors that lead to stress.

My problems have solutions,

My plans have executions,

That raise the likelihood of success.

I’m better when I’m rested.

My mind is not congested;

Thoughts across the synapse accelerate;

For sleep enriches, fortifies;

Ideas that I synthesize

As I, subconsciously create.

I’m better when I’m rested;

Resolved when I’m contested;

To conquer waiting enemies with zeal.

I’ve come to the conclusion

That sleep prevents confusion;

Performance mirrors the way I feel.

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from Teach the Children to Dance

By Orlando Ceaser

Personal Reflection

 

  1. How much sleep do you consistently receive?

  2. Do you feel sluggish or fatigued?

  3. Do you have a sensible diet?

  4. When was the last time you had a physical checkup?

  5. What do you do for relaxation?

  6. What hobbies, interests or talents do you have?

  7. Do you have a consistent exercise regimen?

  8. What is the number one health related issue that you need to address?

  9. Who will be your accountability partner to reach your health goals?

  10. When will you start?

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 26 – Arrogance

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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

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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 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:

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31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 17 – Ego

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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 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