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Category: Leadership

Untarnished Super Bowl Rings

In 2020 and 2021 veteran running back LeSean Mckoy won back to back Super Bowl championships with 2 different teams: The Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers respectively.

Several media pundits were quick to point out that he never played a single minute in each game. Those same individuals wouldn’t be as quick to tell you that despite not playing in the big game McKoy achieved his 8th straight year of 1000 yards or more from scrimmage.

If you’re not familiar with that football term, just know it’s not something the majority of NFL players today can say they’ve accomplished. Also being a veteran player there were other leadership intangibles Mckoy brought to the team that could have easily gone unnoticed by the causal fan or media ‘expert’.

And that’s okay, because Mckoy will always be known as a Super Bowl Champion and it can never be taken away from him. He made the conscious decision to agree to his role in the team. And executed it when called upon.

When we sign up to do anything we must ask ourselves are we genuinely interested in experiencing success that will be personally and corporately satisfying? Or are we just interested in social notoriety? Long term, significant success tends to be the result of the former than the latter.

Success is still success even when the masses have no idea of it ever happening.

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The Pursuit of Happiness

My father is happiest 66 year old alive because 3 times a week he gets to help people in need.

He could be telling me about his life as an entrepreneur, which he was been for well over 30 years. But he chooses to share with me all the interesting people and their stores he comes across while giving out food working for a charity on the side.

He never forgets to tell me it’s hard work. Picking up food from major donors, unloading trucks, packing and preparing food for those in need. But he knows it’s also purposeful work. And purposeful work is the most fulfilling work.

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Leadership: Creating a Culture of Play

One of the best organizations I’ve worked for was a privately owned company where the owners made it their mission to create an employee first culture.

They would create company sponsored events for each holiday that would include department competitions for prizes, catered bbqs, fun interactive games and more.

But the most memorable events during my time there were the employee field trips. One of the owners (let’s call him Dan) would take about 15 employees from different departments on a full day excursion he called ‘Dan’s Day Out’.

It was a paid day away from the office to have fun doing a number of creative and fun activities around our city. With lunch included! Having a culture of play remained a priority for the owners. That ultimately lead to revenue growth year over year from increased employee productivity.

The world is in a different place when it’s comes to creating and maintaining healthy and effective company cultures, but it’s more in need now than ever before. The dynamic of remote work shouldn’t minimize how leaders engage in a culture of play with their teams.

With work from home mental health issues on the rise, companies will need to work with their managers to keep engagement levels high with employees and be creative when developing remote connection points that trigger feelings of positivity and fun.

Establishing a remote company culture of fun and human interaction isn’t just about separating managers and their team from daily work. It’s an investment in cultivating a happy and healthy work environment that ultimately will have a positive impact on the company’s success.

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Who’s Your Successor?

When you take a bite out of a Snickers chocolate bar do you realize you’re eating a product manufactured by a brand that launched over 100 years ago?

In 1911 Frank C. Mars started selling butter cream candy from his kitchen in Tacoma WA. From there he eventually grew that small start up in to what we know today as Mars Inc. Home of iconic confection brands like Twix, Snickers, M&Ms and of course the Mars bar.

But Frank C. Mars wasn’t there to see the entire journey. Sadly Frank passed away in 1934. But as we can see from the success of the Mars company today his vision didn’t go with him.

To this very day his descendants, the Mars family, oversees the privately owned global organization that employs 80,000 plus associates in over 180 countries.

In the process of building we can’t forget that succession planning may be the only way our dreams and visions actually come to fruition. Not naming a successor will consequently lead to our blueprints being buried with us.

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The New Emotional Intelligence

The Emotional Intelligence methodology has been rampant in recent years since 1996 especially when it comes to leadership in the workplace. Now more than ever it will be needed at the forefront in combating the effects of anti-black racism in places of employment.

Let’s take a quick step back and understand the term clearly. Mindtools.com defines Emotional Intelligence or (EI) as follows below:

Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people.

For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. After all, who is more likely to succeed – a leader who shouts at his team when he’s under stress, or a leader who stays in control, and calmly assesses the situation?

According to Daniel Goleman , an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are five key elements to it:

1. Self-awareness, 2. Self-regulation, 3. Motivation. 4. Empathy, 5. Social skills.

There’s no doubt in my mind that (EI) training for managers and executive leadership will need to increase as we walk through such a delicate time in history in North America.

But also as individuals we need to begin to unravel what information and issues are affecting us emotionally enough to have an adverse impact on how we make important decisions.

Skills to master Emotional Intelligence should be introduced or re-introduced in company policies and handbooks. There’s no reason (EI) shouldn’t be a foundational guiding principle in every organization as we move towards a more inclusive future.

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Your True Circle Of Influence

Social media provides a platform for us to extend our circle of influence to people we’ve never met in countries we’ve never been to or sometimes even heard about.

But are we really extending some that hasn’t been perfected at it core?

What’s your relationship like with those in your household and how does your life affect them positively? What about close friends? Daily acquaintances? how do you impact their lives?

Do you give freely? Love freely? Help without expectation of something in return? How well do you know your neighbour(s)? Do you even know your their name?

Your true circle of influence starts at your core. Ground zero. Those closest to you. Social media and other alike tools are an extension of who we already are. It was never intended to be a starting point.

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Leaders of the New School

Over 5-6 years ago my wife and I decided to home school our 4 kids. it was an amazing experience, but one that wasn’t without hard work.

Due to my wife’s business exploding (she was doing most of the schooling and running her business at the same time) we decided to send them back in to public shooling.

Today all of North America is homeschooling their kids. Parents everywhere are challenged with keeping their kids up to date with the school assignments sent remotely by teachers.

But what I loved about home school is it opens up a whole new way of viewing education for our kids. We have the opportunity with our children today to blend the textbook work with practical life work. Teaching them how to be resourceful and learn topics like budgeting, car maintenance, Home repairs, produce gardening, cooking and even mindfulness. All of which hold significant value to their daily lives.

The days of quarantine have shown us life could possibly never be the same again even after this pandemic is over. North American school boards may need to rethink how they conduct the academic year going forward. If they are unwilling to be innovative in how they are teaching our children after this crisis, the percentage of homeschooled kids could rise exponentially over the next decade.

We parents need to start seeing ourselves as the leaders to our children’s educational future and not leave it in the hands of government appointed officials if we ever expect them to be creative free thinkers.

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My 3 Pillars of Leadership

My leadership style is broken down into 3 pillars: Clarity, Mentorship, and Trust

Clarity: I need to provide clear instructions on how the team will be successful in achieving the mission set before them.

Mentorship: It’s my responsibility to correctly train them in the function I assign them to. Additionally I need to make myself available to assist, encourage and direct them at the applicable time.

Trust: When trained correctly, the best thing I could ever do for an associate is trust them enough to give them ownership over their work. 99% of the time this results in a higher level of productivity.

I’ve practiced all 3 pillars in the last 6 management roles I’ve held and I’ll continue to take the same approach. Because true leadership is about developing people. The same people who will ultimately carry out your vision.

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Know When to Give a Little Ground.

If you’re a manager, you know there are times when cross-team integration will eventually happen. Working with other department managers and their teams can be challenging at times. Everyone, including yourself, has their own point of view on subjects and how they should be executed.

Standing firm on your position could cause delayed deadlines, wasted man-hours and a potentially irate customer. Knowing when to give ground to your combatant’s ideas is the easiest way to productivity and success. If his or her idea works, then it was the right one to go with. If not, then your idea probably can’t be any worse.

The point is team success is easier to come by when you’re willing to work with those who don’t initially agree with you.

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