05 Dec Wrapping up…

This note is from a student at the conclusion of a course I teach at the University of Colorado. The quotes are from the reading, lectures and guest speakers…

Following is a list of “nuggets” – a compilation of phrases and quotes that touched me or spoke to me in some way throughout the course. Each one has been placed on an individual card, and I will keep a card posted next to my computer in my office, rotating them when I feel moved to do so. They will serve as concise reminders of what I learned in this course and of the leadership principles I wish to embrace. I plan to add to this list over time, as I continue to learn and grow in the realm of leadership.

  • Face your own hypocrisy.
  • My job is not to clean out my in-box.
  • You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
  • What would you like to accomplish to make a lasting impression for the future benefit of others long after you’re gone?
  • You ultimately control two things: Where you spend your time and how you respond to your environment.
  • There is only one success – living your life your way
  • There is only one negative stress – not feeling in control of your life
  • There is only one failure – when you quit trying to realize your dreams
  • Your present life is the result of the choices you have made in the past. The same will be true of your future. – Michael LeBoeuf
  • Look at yourself first.
  • You don’t always know ahead of time what is actually a big decision.
  • Have you earned the right in your organization to create change?
  • Where are my gaps?
  • I’m not any less a work in progress than I was 10 years ago.
  • Are you leading by example?
  • The way to demonstrate your values is where you spend your time.
  • A good test to determine if a contemplated action is ethical is to ask, “Would I want to see it in the headlines tomorrow morning?”
  • Admit your own mistakes openly and in good humor.
  • Rules are for everyone.
  • The organizational culture is the sum total of conversations in an organization. Change the conversations to change the culture.
  • A breakthrough is a series of well-managed breakdowns.
  • Failure is not an option.
  • Three universal questions: 1) C an I trust you? 2) Do you care about me as a person? 3) Are you committed to my success?
  • Listening is key.
  • Leaders have to be about serving others, or they will fail.
  • Performance management is not the same as leading.
  • YOU work for THEM. Never forget that.
  • Successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people are not.
  • Everybody knows when a leader is not listening to them.
  • Secure discretionary effort.
  • Empowering people means giving up some power.
  • Put yourself in places where you are in over your head.
  • Try to learn something big every day.
  • Create a learning culture.
  • What are the top three things you need to get done to be successful?
  • Be a connector.
  • The biggest de-motivator is having someone in your chain of command who doesn’t walk the talk.
  • Provide opportunities for others to solve their own problems.
  • Leaderships is an act of engagement. – Alexander Horniman
  • Lift up those you serve, those you serve with, and ultimately yourself.
  • How would you go about building a whole life, with a remarkable legacy at the end?
  • Develop a distinguishing personal art-form of service.
  • Find the compass that vectors your whole life.
  • Leadership is a process, not a position.
  • Your relationship is your most important natural resource.
  • Behaving as and becoming a leader is a secondary by-product of an intense commitment to a purpose.
  • Given your behavior toward the other person, would you be willing to trade places with them immediately?
  • How do you want to feel today?
  • Ready, Fire, Aim, Fire, Aim, Fire, Aim…
  • You’re the one empowered to make people better than they would be if you were not there.
  • If you are going to do one thing, figure out how to listen to your customers.
  • Effective leaders know how to overcome people’s natural aversion to change.
  • What is the worst-case scenario here?
  • What do you worry about when you go to sleep at night? What do you want to worry about?
  • It doesn’t matter how right you are if people aren’t doing what you want.
  • Leadership is about change, not status quo.
  • Change is hard because it creates more work.
  • Leadership is about managing energy, first in yourself and then in those around you.
  • If you worry more about what others think than what you think, you’ll likely never get anything done.
  • Leadership involves sensing, seeing, and appreciating what is taking place around us.
  • Power in organizations is the capacity generated by relationships.
  • Leadership is the ability and the willingness to influence others so that they respond voluntarily.
  • The foundation of leadership includes truth-telling, promise-keeping, fairness, and respect for the individual.
  • When you move into the realm of obligation, you actually create a drain on your own energy.
  • Excellence is a neurotic lifestyle.
  • Set unreasonable expectations.
  • As a result of that encounter, am I viewed as an adversary or an ally? If the answer is “adversary”, your influence declined; if the answer is “ally”, your influence increased.
  • The ability to learn is perhaps the only source of sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Every organization is perfectly designed to produce the results it’s producing.

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