I’m Black and I’m Proud – the musical lyrics of a song well known by most African Americans. Today I honor Black History Month by affirming that I am black and I’m proud of my heritage and culture.
Negative and divisive politics have divided the nation and pitted Americans against each other based on our national origin, skin color, sexual preferences, and many other differences. I urge all of us to honor and respect our differences. America is great because of diversity.
Let’s all be proud Americans. Let’s acknowledge that we have differences and that our preferences and beliefs do not mean that we are BETTER than another – it just means that we are DIFFERENT and different means DIVERSE.
Let’s work together to ensure that America remains a melting pot of cultures, beliefs, religions, races, and people supporting equality for all!
Now Is the Time
Now is the time to take stock of who you are.
Now is the time to care for your neighbors who are in need.
Now is the time to rise above political division.
Now is the time to be thankful for life and liberty.
Now is the time to stand for the ideals and values of a free country.
We can’t recapture lost time. Start today on a purposeful path.
Now is the time.
I recently created a training on Authentic Leadership for a group of women business leaders and was struck by how much of the theory is based on the rules of conduct that my parents taught me as a child and that I still use in my business and personal relationships today.
The premise of authentic leadership is based on a Greek theory “to know thyself” and is translated to modern times to mean be yourself and treat others in an upfront and truthful manner (George, 2004). The foundational concepts of authentic leadership require leaders to:
- Be self-aware – know who you are and in what you believe!
- Be genuine – be truthful and transparent!
- Be fair-minded – get different perspectives and diverse opinions!
- Be ethical – do the right thing!
Authentic leaders (George, 2004):
- Understand their purpose
- Practice solid values
- Lead with the heart
- Establish connected relationships
- Demonstrate self-discipline
If you are wondering why is it important to be authentic and to act with integrity, consider this proposition from Bill George, who is considered the father of authentic leadership:
“Integrity is the one value that is required in every authentic leader. Integrity is not just the absence of lying, but telling the whole truth, as painful as it may be. If you don’t exercise complete integrity in your interactions, no one can trust you. If they cannot trust you, why would they ever follow you?” (George, 2004).
Leaders are accountable to those who follow them to lead in a responsible and truthful way. This will not always be easy; it will require courage, consistency, and focus. As a result, authentic leaders can make a significant impact on their followers and accomplishment of organizational objectives.
George, Bill. (2004). Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the secrets to creating lasting value. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
As I pondered what insights to share in my monthly blog, the lyrics sang by the famous Tim McGraw (written by Lori McKenna) came to my mind:
Hold the door, say “please”, say “thank you”
Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie
I know you got mountains to climb
But always stay humble and kind
When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride
But always stay humble and kind
These words are true for entrepreneurs as well as established corporations. We must establish a corporate culture that respects employees as well as customers. When we achieve our goals – whether it’s revenue, number of followers, winning a large contract, or growing our customer base – we can celebrate and take pride in what we have accomplished but we should hold tightly to what got us there: being humble and kind. Finally as Tim sings, we should mentor and help those following in our footsteps.
When you get where you’re going don’t forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind
“Humble And Kind”
(written by Lori McKenna)
As summer gets into full swing, we generally start working on our fitness, wanting to put our best self forward. Now is a good time to work on updating your professional fitness as well! Set aside time to refresh your leadership skills and update your professional goals.
3W Consulting Group LLC can help you develop your professional objectives to tighten up and tone your internal and external career aspirations. Our executive coaching and eLearning courses can help you to outshine and outperform the competition.
Look great and think great this summer. Contact us today!
As an executive coach, I frequently start coaching sessions with the same question, “What do we need to accomplish in this session to make this hour the best hour of your week”? Asking this question immediately helps me to hone into what is top of mind and a priority for my client. From there, our conversation becomes a series of powerful questions (from me as the coach) and answers (from my client) to provide insight into problems or issues the client is trying to solve.
The formal name of this strategy is appreciative inquiry. Appreciative inquiry at its core is the use of open-ended probing questions that helps to establish a rapport between those seeking to communicate and/or understand each other.
Imagine the power of a question in a setting where some members of the team are looking confused or shaking their heads in disagreement about a topic. Rather than challenging the presenter by saying that something won’t work, the team member could ask open-ended questions to seek clarity regarding the presenter’s information. For example, instead of saying “I don’t think your approach to scheduling clients will work”. The statement can be reframed to a question – “What steps will we need to take to make the new scheduling process successful”? The key is to avoid closed questions that lead to a yes or no response. Also avoid “why” questions. Although why is an open-ended question, the word can imply criticism or non-acceptance.
Here are a few starter questions you can practice using:
- What ideas do you have to…
- How can I help you to….
- Tell me about…. (and follow with open-ended question)
- Where we can make changes…
- How does this fit with our overall revenue strategy…
Take your communications to the next level by practicing appreciative inquiry in every verbal interaction. You will be astonished at how much the conversation will open up and invite participation! Need help applying this concept? Consider booking a free executive coaching consultation on our website.