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Know Yourself: How to Develop a Keen Leadership Presence

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The concept appears either elusive or vague. What exactly, is leadership presence? I’ve seen definitions and attempts to explain, but much less on how to develop your leadership presence.

In the industry and culture I knew, there are four areas to place your focus. By understanding this context, I believe it will help you follow the correct behavior for your environment.

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More Leadership Qualities I Learned in ROTC, Mr. Trump

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Last week, I posted this blog on leadership qualities after I listened to a recent Republican Presidential Debate.

This past week, I read a couple of articles listing bad boss behaviors, and the one defined as the worst, erratic behavior, reminded me of the story of the emperor and his regent.

In light of recent politics and some continual switching of position, I want to share the light-hearted message from this story.

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Qualities of Leadership: Consistency, Mr. Trump, Consistency

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Last week, I posted this blog, “Leadership Development is a Choice”; that night, I listened to the Republican Presidential Debate.

When Brett Baier broached the possibility of the U.S. military refusing to follow an illegal order, I listened to Donald Trump’s response with dismay.

He had to be aware of how neither the military nor our society would ever tolerate, “I was just following orders.” This response has been an unacceptable since the Geneva Conventions in 1949.

Sadly, our nation revisited that message in the 1970s. Why Mr. Trump was not aware that we would never follow an unlawful order and had reversed course within 24 hours; this is not what “leadership is all about.”

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How to Delegate Authority with Confidence

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Early in my Army aviation career I had a revelation: delegate authority as much as possible.

I discovered that I enjoyed something more than flying helicopters, which I didn’t think was possible. After a year in my first command assignment, I was still without an officer filling. Finally, I received an officer right out of flight school.

Like you, my job as the leader was to accomplish our mission.  But, I could only be in one place at a time; I had an important decision to make: delegate authority.

The following story became a transformational experience for me, one that highlights the importance of delegation.

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Why the After Action Review is Important to You

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The After Action Review is a dynamic process integral to the Army culture, a key to driving positive change.

  • Unfortunately, many organizations hold an after action review after the end of a failed project, only to use it as a tool to assign blame.
  • Equally ineffective is when companies request after action reports, only to  let these documents end up in a dusty binder on a shelf.

Unless project performance feedback is reviewed openly, most of the valuable input is lost. Here’s the contrast between the two styles: (more…)

How to Improve Your Team Building Skills

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In today’s competitive workplace, you need a strong team to succeed. Strong teams require team players, but there are times when employee conflict undermines your effort. Leaders must develop the team building skills to overcome these challenges and build a strong team anyway.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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3 Tips from a “Gunny” on the Importance of Team Building

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You can witness the importance of team building by observing Clint Eastwood’s character in the movie Heartbreak Ridge. Whether your goal is to improve your team’s experience, achieve better results, or both, team building is a critical skill for any leader.

Everyone wants to be a part of something greater, so it’s important that as the team leader you leverage everyone’s efforts, which starts by uniting others toward a common cause.

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Employee Recognition Starts with How You Treat Your Unsung Heroes

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Employee recognition is the formal or informal acknowledgement of a person or team’s behavior that serves two key purposes:

  1. To show genuine appreciation for the contribution
  2. To communicate that the person or team’s effort is valued

We’re going to walk through why employee recognition is so important, read a practical scenario involving your unsung heroes, and learn why showing your appreciation is essential to any team leader’s success.

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Team Building Activities Can Be Very Simple: Think Food

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Adding team building activities into your normal work routine can be simpler than you think.

They can range from a short exercise at the end of an event to scheduled activities for an entire day. Or, they can be as simple sharing a meal together.

In every case, when team members get to know one another on a deeper level, they connect and perform better when they return to work.  (more…)

Team Building Ideas from the Clouds

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I realized three team building ideas from almost flying in the clouds.

When we practiced a formation flight breakup at the end of one of our helicopter missions, seeing the procedure work proved to be one of our better team building ideas.  It’s one thing to trust your colleagues, quite another to see your procedure work so well.

Seeing was believing, transforming my trust into faith and confidence. This was one of the best team building ideas that I have ever witnessed.

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How to Get the Value of the Army’s After Action Review

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Quite often, I see others comment on the value of the Army’s After Action Review (AAR), so I wanted to take a moment and share how we conducted an AAR.

Most important, is establishing an environment where everyone is encouraged to share, get beyond egos, and act on constructive criticism.

This way, you can get the same value we did from our AARs by applying this concept effectively to your projects or events.

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How to Make Progress with Your Professional Development Goals

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2016 Winter Storm Jonas reminded me of our professional development goals.  As someone who grew up in Western New York, I wondered why all of the fuss.

Surely, the Buffalo Blizzard of 1977 was more impacting than Jonas, but because Jonas affected a larger area and population than perhaps any other storm, it received so much attention.

The affect that the Blizzard of 1977 had on me reminded me that achieving our professional development goals is a sustained effort over time.

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Odd Team Building Exercise to Develop Your Team

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A good team building exercise will help each participant realize the challenges of leading and get the team to discover how to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles… together.

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Leadership Commitment: Living Your Values

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From day one upon being exposed to the Army values as an ROTC cadet, we learned the four Cs of leadership. I was tested on my leadership commitment within three months after arriving at my first assignment.

My message: For a leader to succeed, you must be committed to your organization’s culture and live its values.

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Discovering the Four Communication Styles

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Discovering and applying the four communication styles will help project managers improve leadership skills by communicating more effectively.

Good communication skills continue to rank among the most desired. They include verbal and non-verbal, as well as written and listening skills.

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How to Improve Company Culture with Your Values and Beliefs

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Living your values and beliefs is what drives your company culture and promotes employee engagement.

When you uphold your company values and beliefs, you give employees a place where they can align their personal and professional values.  You’ll attract, and retain, the right people for your organization.

Your company culture is critical to their happiness, and essential to your success.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Importance of Communication

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The Importance of Communication Skills

The importance of communication is critical in today’s competitive world.

Leaders must communicate to create new or better awareness and achieve common understanding!

While there are many different communication concepts, perhaps less known is the idea of intent.  The commander’s intent is a concept practiced by all military commanders, which highlights the importance of communication.

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