Leaders Ought To Know® Blog

Intentional Leaders Steer Where They Stare

Several years ago, I took a motorcycle safety class. During the course, the instructor made a statement that applies not only to successfully riding a bike but also to successfully leading. The instructor said, “When you get on the bike, remember this: you will steer where you stare.” The same is true for intentional leaders. […]

Several years ago, I took a motorcycle safety class. During the course, the instructor made a statement that applies not only to successfully riding a bike but also to successfully leading. The instructor said, “When you get on the bike, remember this: you will steer where you stare.” The same is true for intentional leaders. What you focus on will either keep you and your team on course or take you and everyone you lead into potentially dangerous territory. As a leader, do you have an intentional mindset? It's critical, let's talk about why. (more…)

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Empowering People: How Far is Too Far?

I get this question a lot… So Phil, when you talk about empowering people, aren’t you really suggesting we’re giving them free rein? The short answer is “no,” — I’m not saying that at all. In fact, I don’t think most organizations ever have to worry about going too far when empowering people. Early in […]

I get this question a lot... So Phil, when you talk about empowering people, aren't you really suggesting we're giving them free rein? The short answer is "no," -- I’m not saying that at all. In fact, I don’t think most organizations ever have to worry about going too far when empowering people. Early in my career, I lived through a situation that showed me empowered employees can lead much further than we imagine -- if and only if -- we give them the chance. Let me explain. (more…)

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The Most Important Question a Leader Can Ask

Leadership credibility is hard enough to come by. And an indifferent attitude toward employees can be the kiss of death. So how can leaders counteract indifference? Here’s an example to illustrate what I believe is the most important question a leader can ask to combat indifference and build employee engagement.

Leadership credibility is hard enough to come by. And an indifferent attitude toward employees can be the kiss of death. So how can leaders counteract indifference? Here's an example to illustrate what I believe is the most important question a leader can ask to combat indifference and build employee engagement. (more…)

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Two Viewpoints to Consider Leadership

To be the best, leaders shouldn’t think they’ve arrived. Instead, they should evaluate their leadership effectiveness from where their people want them to be. Let’s consider leadership from two different viewpoints.

To be the best, leaders shouldn't think they've arrived. Instead, they should evaluate their leadership effectiveness from where their people want them to be. Let's consider leadership from two different viewpoints. (more…)

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3 Leadership Skills to Bring Out the Best

Leaders in most every industry want to know what they can do to bring out the best in their people. Here are three distinct leadership skills to help any leader, at any time create an environment where people and performance flourish.

Leaders in most every industry want to know what they can do to bring out the best in their people. Here are three distinct leadership skills to help any leader, at any time create an environment where people and performance flourish. (more…)

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Managing the Leadership Struggle

I don’t know about you, but I’m missing the pre-pandemic days. Lately, so many of us seem to be struggling. We’re worried about health and safety, job security, childcare, homeschooling, family issues and work-life balance. And those among us managing other people may also be in the middle of a very real leadership struggle. Here […]

I don't know about you, but I'm missing the pre-pandemic days. Lately, so many of us seem to be struggling. We're worried about health and safety, job security, childcare, homeschooling, family issues and work-life balance. And those among us managing other people may also be in the middle of a very real leadership struggle. Here are a few thoughts on how to manage when it all seems uphill. (more…)

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Not Training Leaders? Here’s The Risk

Some people — okay, most people — are pitched into the leadership fray without really knowing how to perform. Some have the potential to lead and have demonstrated great technical expertise. But few naturally possess the leadership skillset to be successful right out of the chute. And unfortunately, studies show most organizations don’t provide much […]

Some people — okay, most people — are pitched into the leadership fray without really knowing how to perform. Some have the potential to lead and have demonstrated great technical expertise. But few naturally possess the leadership skillset to be successful right out of the chute. And unfortunately, studies show most organizations don’t provide much help in the way of training leaders. So before you decide if not training leaders is reasonable, it's good to know the risks. (more…)

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Walk the Talk: How’s Your Leadership Credibility?

During the leadership development training I conduct, people often share the clearest perspective on great leadership. They also come up with some of the biggest problems leaders create for themselves. One person brought up the critical issue of leadership credibility. In short, why is it important for leaders to walk the talk? And what happens […]

During the leadership development training I conduct, people often share the clearest perspective on great leadership. They also come up with some of the biggest problems leaders create for themselves. One person brought up the critical issue of leadership credibility. In short, why is it important for leaders to walk the talk? And what happens when they do? (more…)

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Strategic Plans Beat Hope

There’s a note written on a map hanging above my desk. The familiar quote reads: “Hope is NOT a strategy.” The note hangs there, prominently displayed. And serves as my constant reminder that as a leader, I can’t afford to simply “wait” and “hope” good things happen. It is the responsibility of any proactive leader […]

There’s a note written on a map hanging above my desk. The familiar quote reads: “Hope is NOT a strategy.” The note hangs there, prominently displayed. And serves as my constant reminder that as a leader, I can’t afford to simply "wait" and "hope" good things happen. It is the responsibility of any proactive leader to "plan" and "work" to make sure good things happen. So let's explore the importance of strategic plans for leadership effectiveness. (more…)

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