Written Blog

The Role of Fear in Leadership: Is it Better to be Feared or Loved as a Leader?

Is it better to be feared or loved as a leader?
It’s an age-old question that seems to keep cropping up.  Authoratative writers talk about how leaders need to be open, transparent, empathetic, and willing to listen.  Yet like the Humble Leader Paradox, if that’s the way you act, great, but what’s to keep people from just doing whatever they want?  What is the role of fear in leadership?  Do we have to choose between fear and love?

Whether you seek to be loved or feared, each approach has limitations that can inhibit your effectiveness.  But I think there is something more worthy to shoot for that blends the best of both worlds.

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Sharpen Your Thinking: 25 Ways to Hone Your Thinking Skills

Leaders should be independant thinkers.
Whether you are trying to develop a vision statement, solve a problem at work, or influence the team, leaders have to think about where they are going and how they are going to get there.

The good news is that thinking is a skill, and it’s one that we can all get better at.  The better we get at thinking, the better our chances to succeed as leaders.

Today we’ll look at 25 techniques to sharpen your thinking that will help you level-up as a leader.

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Space to Think: 8 Ways to Find Quiet in a Noisy World

 How do you find the space to think in a noisy world?
We are bombarded all day long by messages telling us what to do, and what to think.  Someone else is always trying to put their thoughts into our heads.

Whether it’s friends, family, media, or the boss, all of them want our eyes, our time, and our compliance.  In such a noisy world it’s hard to find the space we need to think for ourselves.

But if we don’t, then we’re just going along for the ride.  And when the ride finally stops, we are sure to be in for disappointment.

Where did the time go?  How did I get here?  Was it worth it?

To be successful (however we choose to define that term) we have to think for ourselves, generate thoughts of our own, and decide the direction that’s best for us.  Doing that requires finding some space to think.  Here are eight ways to make that happen.

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Book Notes – Originals by Adam Grant

What does it take to question the status quo and produce something original?
That’s the question that author Adam Grant poses in his 2016 book Originals:  How Non-Conformists Move the World.  The answer he reaches might surprise you.

Grant takes us on a journey through recent history, into the psychology lab, and behind the doors of inventors and investors to get at the core of how originality happens.  Along the way, he dispells several myths that even he once held true.

Some key points from the book I think you might appreciate include how original work happens in the first place, and how as leaders we can establish an environment that encourages originality from all of us.

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By |December 14th, 2017|Learn Concepts, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on Book Notes – Originals by Adam Grant

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How to Stay Optimistic: 3 Questions to Ask Before You Give Up

How can you stay optimistic in the face of failure?
Failure is a natural part of doing business, of being human, and of attempting to do things you haven’t done before.  And when we fail, there’s a natural tendency to want to give up.  It’s hard to stay optimistic.

But before you pull the plug and succumb to a gloomy “it’ll never work” outlook, there are three questions you should ask yourself.  They could make the difference between giving up and achieving what you set out to accomplish.

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By |December 5th, 2017|Learn Concepts, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on How to Stay Optimistic: 3 Questions to Ask Before You Give Up

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Answering the Call of Leadership

When the call of leadership comes, what will you do?
Often what makes leaders stand out are not the great deeds but the small acts.  Many of these actions may even go unnoticed by most.  But cumulatively they demonstrate where the leader’s heart lies, and they build the kind of loyalty that makes teams strong and successful.

This is a story of one such simple act over 50 years ago that left a life-long impression.  The call of leadership came, and the way this leader handled it serves as a great model for us all.

Here’s what happened.

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By |November 29th, 2017|Learn Concepts, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on Answering the Call of Leadership

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Leading Volunteers: How to Keep Them Coming Back

How do you lead people who aren’t on your payroll?
Since moving to Minnesota, I’ve wanted to get engaged locally as a volunteer.  Last month I signed up to help at a local agency, and it was a great experience.

The way they worked with the volunteers made it fun, productive and has had me coming back weekly ever since.  Today I’ll share the many things that went right, so that if you find yourself in the business of leading volunteers you’ll have them coming back for more, too.

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By |November 22nd, 2017|Learn Concepts, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on Leading Volunteers: How to Keep Them Coming Back

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Leading Virtual Teams: 12 Powerful Ways to Lead a Team You Can’t See

How do you lead a team that’s not there?
It’s hard enough to be a good leader when your teammates are in the same room.  But what about when they aren’t even in the same time zone?

When you can’t look someone directly in the eye, things get much more challenging.  Yet leading virtual teams is the future.  Studies show that 25% of jobs involve teaming from distant locations.  That number is only going to grow.

If you are a leader, chances are good you may be leading some of them soon, if you aren’t already.  So today we’ll look at 12 things you can do to overcome the challenge of leading a team that’s somewhere else.

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By |November 14th, 2017|Communicate, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on Leading Virtual Teams: 12 Powerful Ways to Lead a Team You Can’t See

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Everyday Winners – How to Build Mental Toughness One Day at a Time

How do you win the daily struggle to get out the door?
Temperatures have been dropping lately.  Now it takes more effort to get out the door for my morning run.

Yesterday I  had to analyze the weather.  Contend with warm clothing decisions.  Wrestle them all on.  Shiver through the first mile until the blood started to flow.

Part of me did not want to fight with the layers of clothing, stumble through the darkness, or brace against the chill.  Wouldn’t it be nicer to stay inside where it’s warm?

We all face struggles like this if we are in the business of trying to accomplish something.  It can be tough to get yourself out the door.

How do you build mental toughness?  How do you get past the struggle?

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By |November 9th, 2017|Learn Concepts, Motivation, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on Everyday Winners – How to Build Mental Toughness One Day at a Time

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Building Influence – 6 Ways to Earn Respect

What’s the secret to building influence?
Becoming more influential is actually a pretty simple matter.  But simple doesn’t mean easy.  One evening not too long ago, someone gave me a brief demonstration of how to go about building influence, and showed that any of us can do it, if we are willing to make the effort.

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By |November 7th, 2017|Learn Concepts, RapidStart Leadership Blog, Written Blog|Comments Off on Building Influence – 6 Ways to Earn Respect

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