It’s Not About You! – Part Two: Leadership Principles to Live By

Two weeks ago I began the series “It’s Not About You! – Leadership Principles to Live By”.  This week I want to focus on a new podcast I was introduced to by one of my team members, James Kanka (James, thank you for this amazing tool in my life.) 

Forgive me for a moment; I have to tell you about James. James is a passionate learner & explorer. His ability to look at things from a different point of view is truly fascinating. James pushes our leadership team to think out of the box and focus on what is best for the human beings we serve.

Now Back To The Show!

The podcast name is 5 Leadership Questions  and is hosted by Todd Adkins & Barnabas Piper, presented by Lifeway Leadership . In every podcast they ask their guests to answer the same five questions that are intended to inspire leaders, share insights and learning from other great leaders. Here are those five questions:

  1. Who are you learning from?
  2. What is the main point of emphasis for your leadership team (or self) right now?
  3. What obstacles are you currently facing in leadership, either in your organization or personally?
  4. What does leadership in your home look like?
  5. What would you tell your 20-year-old self about preparing to lead?

So Here We Go!

Who Are You Learning From?

Right now in my life, I am focused on two things. First, my well-being and health. Over the past couple weeks, I have gotten back to exercising three times a week and eating better. I started reading the book, Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog” by Grant Peterseservices_leadership_development.pngn. Now I know this book is not for all, and some will hate the diet, but it works for me and for my lifestyle. Second, I have focused on my ability to not only lead, but on the what’s next? for me. I had a dear friend this week tell me about a book, Pivot by Jenny Blake. Already the booked has challenged me to not only think a bit differently but to also focus on me and what I want as a person.

What is the main point of emphasis for your leadership team (or self) right now?

Over the past weeks, I have had several conversations around, what’s next for me? What is the next step in my career? Most importantly, I want my work to make me happy. So the main point of emphasis for my leadership team and for myself is not to get into the weeds with our teams but to stay in front and lead. It is also to keep the leadership focus on them. Remember, it’s not about me, but about them. Spend time with your team members, listen to them and help guide them on the path that is best for them.

What obstacles are you currently facing in leadership, either in your organization or personally?

WOW! This is getting really personal – but I am up for the challenge. So, let me talk we-rise-by-lifting-others-quoteabout my biggest obstacle personally. My organization is going through a significant change at this time. We are dedicated to effectively communicating with our teams and driving our strategy. Yet personally, I still feel that as a leader, I could do more. Transparency is key in times of change – and I do my best – but at times it does feel like it is an obstacle.

The one thing I try to do is at least once or twice a month meet with colleagues and have a “fireside chat.” They are free to ask me whatever they want, and I either answer the question or if I am not able to answer, I explain why.

What does leadership in your home look like?

I believe leadership in my home looks like strength, protector, provider, friend, parent and lover. What does this mean? Not everyone who reads this blog is spiritual or religious, but I have to go back to the heart of leadership for me. God called us as men to be the covering for our families. He called me to be the protector, strength, provider, friend, parent and lover. Now, by no means do I always get this right. You can ask my wife. But, I try every day to do this. I try to be the man I am called to be. The friend I am to be. The husband I am to be. The father I am to be.  The leader I am to be. 

What would you tell your 20-year-old self about preparing to lead?

I would tell my 20-year-old self to run! No, not really. I would tell that young man always to stay true to who you are. Do not become something or someone that others want you to be. Just Be You! 

The second most important piece of advice I would give is always to put others first. Remember, you would not be a leader and where you are if it were not for others.

Always listen! Always be there for them! Always be true to yourself!


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