Time to Get Vulnerable

When you hear the term leader, most likely an array of adjectives come to mind. Some may include courageous, strong, powerful, assertive, and so on.

Rarely would you think of vulnerability as a trait equating with leadership. Those within leadership positions in a company may even believe that displaying signs of vulnerability to your team is a sign of weakness. But I’m here to tell you that view is wrong. And they couldn’t be more mistaken.

In reality, vulnerability is a strength.
All great leaders have vulnerability.
So, in order to help you grow into a more powerful and courageous leader, I want you to be vulnerable.

In my interview with Patrick Lencioni in the February issue of SUCCESS, he said, “Start by coming to terms with your own vulnerability as a leader and then translate that to your team and then the rest of the organization.”

This reminds me of something Waldo Waldmen, a good friend of mine, said... CONTINUE TO POST

Let’s journey to success everyday, first thing in the morning:

Building Great Teams (3 of 3)

(If you missed them, here are posts #1 and #2)

We've learned that great teams beat great players, leaders and competitors every time. We found that the most sabotaging influence to team cohesion and performance is ego and "headwind hogging." Now let me identify the two most important ingredients for building high-performing teams.


As Patrick Lencioni wrote in his excellent book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, the No. 1 dysfunction is an absence of trust. Interestingly, you don't even need to like each other, but you do have to trust each other to form the cohesion and solidarity needed for high performance.

So what do you do to build more trust?

I'm a believer in always giving what you want first. If you want trust from your team, give trust first. Things that foster trust are transparency, honesty, vulnerability and complete integrity.

Brainstorm five ways you can demonstrate trust to your team.

Thought starters:

Open the Kimono: Open up your books. Share the good, the bad and the ugly of your financial statements. Become far more transparent with how information is shared and communicated.

Marionette No More: Drop the puppet strings. Give others more responsibility and decision-making power without micromanagement and approvals. Train, but then trust them. Let them lead.

Expose Your Chest: As my friend Waldo Waldman teaches about leadership, "expose your chest to daggers," meaning, show your vulnerability first. Be more open and honest in the disclosure of your own fears, failures and shortcomings.

Remember, people relate and connect more with your struggles than your successes. What do you fear? When do you feel scared? When have you tried and failed? When does your confidence waver? Share that with your team and you will...Click Here to Continue Reading this Post... Plus free video on how to get a sneaky headstart on your competition in 2012.

Building Great Teams (2 of 3)

(If you missed it, here's post #1)

The Single Most Sabotaging Force of Team Performance
When a duck falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone. Left out of formation for too long it will eventually tire out and drop out completely.

We see this happen on sports teams when one player tries to showboat and carry the game. Eventually the headwind of trying to fly alone will wear him down and the opposition will prevail.

You saw Mark Cuban on our November cover of SUCCESS. His Dallas Mavericks faced the Miami Heat for the 2011 NBA Championship. The Heat demonstrated a prime example of this sabotaging force. Many argued that never had more individual talent been assembled (and paid for) on a single team in the history of the NBA as was on the 2011 Miami Heat. They had the "three kings," or whatever they called themselves (that had to be a clue).

Meanwhile the Dallas Mavericks, while they obviously had good players, didn't have nearly the individual superstar/celebrity talent the Heat had. The championship should have been a blowout. And it was. Teamwork blew out talent 4 games to 2.

While the Miami Heat had more 'eagles,' let's say, the Dallas Mavericks played as a unified flock, or team, and beat the Heat decisively. That is the power of teamwork and that is the detriment individual egos can be, sabotaging the greatness of a team.

The important team lesson here: No one member of your team can or should be taking the headwind all the time. Just like a duck, he or she has to have the humility and the ego strength to rotate to the back of the formation so another duck can take the lead position to keep the flock moving at top speed.

I have shared the keynote presentation I did for the EXPERTS Industry Association.
You can watch it here.
Contents of the presentation include:
> How I developed my message - key ideas on how to develop yours.
> Conclusion to a several month study I commissioned to DECODE the marketing magic of Steve Jobs and Apple: 6 specific strategies responsible for them becoming the most valuable brand in the world.
> And the specific process and sequence I use for skill development - something you can use for yourself and in developing your team.
I suggest watching it when you are relaxed (not working) and can view it all the way through.

Think about it. How often, as leaders, do we not recognize how many other leaders we have behind us? Others who want to also be leaders and share in our burdens? Leaders that, if given the opportunity, may be able to take your group to a higher level not yet obtained?

Sometimes, true leadership is...Click Here to Continue Reading this Post...

Building Great Teams (1 of 3)

Nature Gives Us Clues
If you were going to pick a model from nature for how to create and operate as a great team, which animal would you pick?

How about lions, tigers, hippos or bears?
Those species are known to eat their young, or the new guy or gal on the team, in our analogy. That doesn’t make for good team building!

How about wolves or hyenas?
These animals are known to constantly have ego fights for dominance—definitely not good for trust and the morale of a team.

How about salmon?
Certainly their long struggle to swim upstream in dedication to duplicate (procreate) the team has to be a good role model. Yeah, well, the only problem is, once they have finally done the quiver (seriously, that’s what they do—they align themselves next to each other and quiver while they each do their part of the act), they die. That can’t be good if every time new people are brought into your team the leaders die. So salmon are out.

I know what you are thinking… eagles, right?
Eagles are good role models for soaring to individual heights, but they are poor team players. They are known to be territorial, pretty hostile toward one another and constantly stealing prey from one another.

Get this… momma eagle usually lays two eggs and most often the bigger of the two siblings (which is usually the female, as they come out bigger) kills the other sibling while mom looking on (harsh, right?). No, you don’t want the new recruits killing each other or the leaders stealing sales and clients from each other. Eagles, team players? Not so much.

No, the animal species you want to learn from and emulate in working together as a team are… Click Here to Continue Reading this Post...