Commencement 2013: Living a Life of Transparency, Grace and Joy

The measure of your success will not be calculated solely by the degrees you obtain, the jobs that you land or, even your net worth. Rather, the true measure of your success will be how you …..and, for that matter, all of us, live our lives.

We are gathered here for:

A day that many thought would never come,

A day that many thought came too soon

And a day that all of us will not remember a thing this commencement speaker said!!!

Frankly, that is how it should be….for this day is about you…. your families, your accomplishments, and the contributions yet to come.

A Sea of Achievement

Despite the perilous nature of making an address that perhaps no one will remember, I relish the opportunity to be with you today.  Looking at you dressed in academic regalia, I see a vast sea of achievement.

Achievements in the past–which got you in to this university in the first place,

Achievement in the present—which is celebrated in your graduation today;

And, achievement in the future–with all the potential your education has given you.

I am supremely confident that each of you will be a success as you move from here today.  However, the measure of your success will not be calculated solely by the degrees you obtain, the jobs that you land or, even your net worth.   Rather, the true measure of your success will be how you …..and, for that matter, all of us, live our lives.

The Parable of the Lamp

As a person of faith, I turn to scripture for the orientation and compass of my life.  In Luke chapter 8, verses 16 and 17, we find the Parable of the Lamp where Jesus tells us there is a light that shines on all of us.  This light will ultimately show everything we do and what we are about as professionals, family members, and people — even those things we have tried to keep secret.

For in this great celebration of life today, with young children running around, the “seasoned” persons of a certain age join in wishing well the hope and dreams of the fresh faced graduates of 2013.  There is a reality that all of us must face–a reality that we should not fear; but a reality that the Parable of the Lamp is concerned with.  That reality is death. For when we die, the lamp shines brightest because our lives will be in full view where our triumphs can be celebrated, our stumbles can be reviewed, and our secrets will be revealed.

Living lives of Transparency, Grace and Joy

Again, I am confident that all of you in the class of 2013 will be successful.  The real question is how you will — or for that matter, how will all of us live those successful lives under the lamp?   A closer reading of the scripture in Luke, chapter 8, verses 16 and 17, provides Jesus’s blueprint for living our lives under the bright light of the lamp.

Jesus is calling for us to live:

Lives of Transparency,

Lives of Grace

And, lives of Joy.

Let’s take a few moments to examine these life affirming elements.

Transparency

The lamp light is intense as it shines in every nook and corner of our being.  When we are not transparent, we spend energy, time, and effort on the cover-up of the trivial at the expense of advancing the good.

The lamp light gives us the freedom to live life in the open, to peruse our dreams, confident that we are operating with honesty.  America is at its best when it is transparent.  For most of our existence as a nation, America was not transparent about the gap between our professed belief that “All Men Are Created Equal” and the actions of our government and some citizens.  So, in the name of all of us, our government legally made people of color and women second class citizens.

The lamp light exposing this lack of transparency took many forms:

The women suffrage movement of the 1920’s,

The civil rights moment of the 1960’s

The marriage equality movement of today

These critical flash points prove – to our citizens and to people around the world, the real genius and goodness of our nation.  That when the lamp light of transparency shines, America, often after great difficulty and struggle, will ultimately make the change needed to create a more transparent and perfect union……where all people are created equal.

Grace

Grace is that rare understanding that what affects some of us affects all of us.  And, that we are morally obligated to do something about it.  The idyllic setting of this campus belies the endemic of poverty, violence, and hopeless visited on the citizens of this town just a few short blocks away from this citadel.

The Great Recession, as cruel as it was and still is, has provided an opportunity for what I call “Resourceful Capitalism”.  The unleashed combination of social media, technology, and innovation makes it possible for each one of you to create jobs, not only for yourselves, but entire companies that can make money and employ people in ways never thought of before.  I urge you to be graceful and use “Resourceful Capitalism” to provide jobs and opportunities to those who need help just outside of our gates. I urge you, the non-capitalist in this class, to be graceful and use your talents to educate, heal, and sustain those who are down and out wherever they reside. – The lamp light requires and demands it, because scripture teaches us that for whom much is given — so much more is expected.

Joy

In a moment, you will be become alumni of this great school.  Looking back, many of your fellow alumni will tell you that the most fun time of their lives were the years spent in college.  Judging from the shenanigans that occurred when you marched in, the same is true for the class of 2013!

However, I urge you not to confuse fun with joy.  Fun should be a big part of our lives.  We should seek fun and embrace it whenever we can… But, fun is fleeting.   It lasts for just the moments that we are in it.  However, joy lasts a lifetime…. And, God built us for joy.  The ultimate joy is when we are living our lives following God’s instructions; doing what He intended for us to do.   Psalm 40:8 is my guidepost for joy: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”

The lamp light shines brightly when we are following the joyful instructions of our Lord:

-The joy of satisfaction for a job well done

– The joy of parenting children

– The joy of living a life under the lamp light of transparency, grace and joy.

The lamp light of joy gives us the ability to have joy – even in difficult times.

I have a news flash for you….As you leave the safe cocoon of this school, the fun quotient of your life may decrease a wee bit

As you are stymied in a job search,

Frustrated with the long line at Starbucks

And terrified with your student loan bill!

However, true joy is when you can face the things in life that are not fun:

A career setback

A bitter divorce

The loss of a love one

With the knowledge, confidence and determination that God is going to make a way

Despite the setback

Despite the hardship

Despite the bad Frappuccino!

We can simply look to the headlines of the past year to find people who maintained joy when the lamp light of unthinkable trauma found them.

The lamp light found people with joy in Newtown

The lamp light found joy in our wounded heroes coming home to an uncertain future

And now, the lamp light is finding joy in the people amidst the rubble of Moore, Oklahoma

The truth about life is this:

The lamp light of heartache, sorrow and disappointment will come….however, we will triumph through these difficulties when we face them with joy.

What’s In Your Hand?   

In the movie, The 10 Commandments, God had a question for Moses….The question repeated over and over again to Moses was, “What’s In Your Hand?  And what was in his hand was a staff.  And for Moses that staff represented 3 things:

His Profession – After all, Moses was a Shepherd.

His Income – Moses lived before the days of the 401K or American Express.  All of his money was tied up in his sheep.

His Talents – As a Shepherd, Moses used the staff deftly to control his sheep.

With the lamp light shining, God enabled Moses to use that staff to do some magical things.

——Remember that little feat called parting the seas.

Class of 2013, in a few moments a diploma will be in your hand.  And, with the lamp light of your post college career shining, the question will be:

———————What will you do with the diploma in your hand?

Will your lamp light shine with the Transparency of – Griffin Bell, a graduate of this university’s law school who used his diploma to serve with distinction as a federal judge and Attorney General of the United States.

Will your lamp light shine with the Grace of – Anita Ross, a graduate of the school of liberal arts with a degree in biology; who used her diploma as a scientist devoting 31 years to the education of high school students in this area.

Will your lamp light shine with the Joy of – Dr. James Oglesby, a medical school graduate who has used his diploma to prove at 75 that is never too late to go for the gold, as he is setting state, national, and even world records as a track and field athlete.

Class of 2013, what will you do with the diploma in your hand?

I know it will be for good,

I know it will be significant

And I know it will be great

With the lamp light now shining on you, Class of 2013, go forth and accomplish all that and so much more, living lives of

Transparency,

Grace,

And Joy

May God’s riches, blessings, and His lamp light of Transparence, Grace and Joy shine on you and those that your love —- for all the days of your life.

7 Fantastic Health Benefits from Smiling

Researchers have found that smiling produces a ton of great benefits, like slowing down the heart, reducing stress, and relieving pain in addition to making us look better and feeling happier.

Girl with Glasses SmilingWhat if I told you that there is a way to improve your overall physical and mental health without taking a pill, changing your diet or even going to the doctor?   And what if I told you that you have the power to access this medical miracle right now at no cost?   Would you try it?  — Well all you have to do is – Smile.  That’s right smile.

 

The Benefits of Smiling

Smiling BoyResearchers have found that smiling produces a ton of great benefits, like slowing down the heart, reducing stress, and relieving pain in addition to making us look better and feeling happier.   How is this so?  When we smile chemicals are released from the brain.  These chemicals known as endorphins can help elevate our mood and give us a sense of wellbeing. This is why you feel so good when you smile. Our smiling feelings of wellbeing can be transferred to others when they see us smile.  It is the endorphins from our smiling that helps us reduce a harmful chemical called cortisol.  The less cortisol in our bodies the less stress and pain we feel.

Healthy, Genuine, Smiles

Offer JohnAll smiles are not alike; experts have found that only a genuine, full smile can produce the health benefits described earlier.  This healthy genuine smile called a “Duchenne Smile”, named for Guillaume Duchenne the pioneering 9th century French neurologist; involves using all the major muscles around the mouth and the eyes.   Simply put the more of those muscles we use in producing a genuine smile the more health benefits we get.

7 Fantastic Health Benefits

Wall Street Journal columnist Sumathi Reddy has uncovered 7 great benefits from smiling.  I present them mixed with my own commentary to underscore further the many easily attainable benefits from smiling.

1. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System

Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed.  That is why I advise my patients to smile as a way to prevent colds and flu.

2. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure

Physician specializing in treating patients with high blood pressure have use this technique to demonstrate how smiling can cause a measurable reduction in blood pressure.  If you have a blood pressure monitor at home sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?  Give it a try.

3.  Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger

Forget a facelift to look younger try smiling. When we use the Duchenne Smile, engaging all the major muscles around the mouth and the eyes can actually makes us look younger and feel better.

4. Smiling Changes Our Mood

Felling down try smiling!  The next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There’s a good chance you mood will change for the better. Why?  Smiling can actually trick the body into thinking that you are feeling better than you actually are.  Helping you change your mood.

5. Smiling Can Help Us Live Longer

Researchers have found that the helpful benefits of smiling can prolong our lives.  According to one study people who smile live up to 7 years longer.

6.  Can Help Increase our Attention Span

When we are stressed our perceptions and attention span narrows.  Smiling counteracts this and widens our attention again, opening us back up to multitasking and insights that come from the fringes of our perception and our subconscious.

7. Smiling Can Lower the Heart Rate

Studies have found people who smile and laugh often are less likely to develop heart disease. Why? Because smiling slows the heart and relaxes the body allowing the heart to work without overworking.

The Bottom Line: Just Smile

Cheryl Harris2The body has an amazing ability to keep itself healthy with the simplest things. The take home message here is for better health we need more genuine smiles.  So take the advice in the classic song “Smile” written by Charlie Chapman……. “You’ll find that life is still worthwhile… If you’ll just Smile”

 

Marben Bland is a Writer, Speaker and Strategist focused on working with emerging biotech and high tech companies.  Comment on this post at marben@marbenband.com

How to be a LinkedIn Ninja: Go to the Redbox

Your picture is the most important element of your LinkedIn profile. The human eye recognizes faces over text so no matter how great the summary and other parts of your profile are; your picture will be the determinate factor in how people will view you.

Your picture is the most important element of your LinkedIn profile.  The human eye recognizes faces over text so no matter how great the summary and other parts of your profile are; your picture will be the determinate factor in how people will view you.

Marben Profile

Standout

In an earlier post entitled Your Profile Picture I discussed the importance of having a professional profile picture.  Assuming that your picture is in line with the guidelines outlined in my post; how can you really standout from the sea of professionalism on display in LinkedIn?

Standout with Red

Social scientists have found that we are much more likely to notice the color red more that any other color in the spectrum.

Jamal Nichols a user experience consultant quoted in the 60 Second Marketer blog says that our brains have been conditioned to notice red because we associate it with very bad things.  (e.g., blood, lava, etc.)

Taking notice of our attraction to red; advertisers have splashed red in every conceivable way to sell products and draw attention.   Web designers have joined in the act using red as a color for button on websites.  And all that red works!  Research indicates that the more red is used the more sales go up.  Plus the click-through rate on red buttons is much higher than the click-through rate on any other color button.

Your LinkedIn Redbox

So how can our attraction to red help us with LinkedIn? 

Jamie Turner founder of The 60 Second Marketer and co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” has found a surprisingly simple technique to use red with your professional LinkedIn picture.   This technique will help differentiate yourself from the millions of other profile pictures.

I call it a Redbox others call it a Turner Box whatever it’s called the graphic below will to help you understand what it is, how insanely simple it will be to use, and how it will enhance all of your social media profile pictures.

Redbox

Follow these 6 easy steps to add a Redbox to your LinkedIn Profile Picture

  1. Launch PowerPoint, Keynote, Photoshop or any other graphics program.
  2. Create a file that’s 100 x 100 pixels and another that’s 250 x 250 pixels. (That way, you’ll have both a small and a mid-sized version.)
  3. Import your photo so it takes up the entire height and width of your file.
  4. Add a red border around it.
  5. Export it as a jpg.
  6. Upload it to your LinkedIn profile.  (You can use the same steps to create profile pictures for Facebook, Google+, Twitter and other social media platforms.)

The Bottom Line: The Power of the Redbox

In the 3 weeks that I have been using the Redbox, I have seen my profile views, request for connections, likes and shares increase.  Is this all due to the Redbox? Who knows?  However, if you do this and the other LinkedIn Ninja actions taught in this space your LinkedIn experience regardless of your intent for being on LinkedIn will improve.   Let me know how your LinkedIn experience has improved with the LinkedIn Ninja tips, drop me a line at marben@marbenbland.com

MDBRedBox Marben Bland is The LinkedIn Ninja; he trains corporations, job seekers and sales professionals on cutting edge ways to use LinkedIn more effectively.  He writes the weekly How to be a LinkedIn Ninja blog and he is a popular speaker at trade shows and events.  Call Marben today at 608.358.1309 to have him train your company or speak at your next event.

In Memorial 3,717 Days

Less than 1 percent of all Americans served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However for the 2.5 million who fought; new battles await at home as they navigate the VA, seek mental health care or try to find a job.

American Flag

Since the United States invasion of Bagdad on March 20, 2003, our nation has been at war for 3,717 consecutive days.

3,717 days of our finest men and women in harm’s way 

3,717 days of battles in Iraq and Afghanistan

3,717 days of family separations 

While most of us have known nothing but war for 3,717 days — the vast majority of us know nothing about the war because:

The war is normally not in the news.

The war is normally not discussed by our leaders.

The war is normally not fought by Americans

Less than 1 percent of the U.S. population has served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For the less than 1 percent, the fighting does not stop when they come home as they face major challenges:

Navigating the VA

Seeking mental health care

Trying to find a job

These have become the new battles for nearly 2.5 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

So on this Memorial Day, as we take a well-earned rest from work, please take a moment to reflect on:

3,717 consecutive days of war

50,000 wounded troops

5,200 casualties

And on behalf of a grateful 99 percent, our sincere thanks for your service.

This post is in memory of my uncle William Bland who died of wounds suffered in WWII.

New Changes at LinkedIn:The LinkedIn Innovation Monster At Work

LinkedIn LogoThe innovation monsters at LinkedIn have been hard at work announcing new features and services at a dizzying pace.  Let’s catch our breath for a moment to recap the changes before the innovations monster strikes again.

 

 

Introducing LinkedIn Channels

LinkedIn Today, the section of the social network that pulls in relevant news articles and original content from LinkedIn contributors, got a major redesign with the introduction of a new tool called LinkedIn Channels. The new Channels feature is designed to make it easier for LinkedIn users to access content that’s most relevant to them. Instead of simply being shown a collection of articles based on your particular industry, you will now be able to subscribe to specific topics and receive updates right in your homepage feed.

LinkedIn users will also notice that in addition to articles, SlideShare content will also have a more prominent role in the newly designed LinkedIn Today.

Summary: In addition to being a valuable network to help small business and nonprofit professionals build relationships and attract new customers, clients, donors, and volunteers, LinkedIn has also become a powerful tool for accessing the information that’s most important to you online.

LinkedIn Goes To College

LinkedIn says that more than 30 million of its 225 million members are students and recent graduates. They now represent the site’s fastest growing demographic group building profiles. With that kind of growth LinkedIn now is trying to bring its nonstop efficiency to the chaos of campus job fairs.

If you’ve ever been to one of those giant, messy gatherings of recruiters and freshly scrubbed students, you know the current system needs fixing. There’s plenty of good intention on both sides. There might even be good opportunities to get careers rolling. But there’s too long a bucket-brigade between the onsite recruiters and the people who actually do the hiring — and too little follow-up.

The innovation monsters have just announced CheckIn, a new service that makes it much easier for companies and candidates to connect in a simple, durable way. When students come to a job fair, they stop by a recruiter’s both and enter their names, emails and phone numbers. Presto! The company gains access to their LinkedIn profile.

Summary: As a veteran recruiter at these cattle calls pretending to be career fairs this innovation radically simplifies how recruiters collect and manage candidate information.  And I predict if Checklin proves successful on campus look for the tool to start taming non campus cattle calls.

LinkedIn: The Place For Must Read Content

Visit your LinkedIn home page these days, and you’ll be in for a fresh surprise every week or two. The social network’s somber old layout is gone. Instead, LinkedIn is popping forth with, links to click, updates about how many of your business contacts clicked “Like” for your latest status update and articles to read.

Many of those articles are written by people like me; business people establishing themselves as thought leaders to create word of mouth and click forward buzz for their efforts.  However, the real game changer is the arrival of 150 influencers on LinkedIn, who write essays about business strategy, the path to success and other topics.  LinkedIn members can chose to read the musing of luminaires like Richard Branson, CEO Virgin Group; Daniel Goldberg, author of the bestselling book Emotional Inelegance and President Obama.  The post which you can read in about the time it takes to wait in a typical Starbucks line during the morning are both timely and eternal.

Summary: LinkedIn is fast become more than a profile site. It has quickly morphed into true a hub for compelling intellectual content making an essay on  LinkedIn a must read, must like and must share event.  (P.S.  Please share and like of my posts with your friends and colleagues.)

The Bottom Line

While the innovations at LinkedIn continue sometimes at a dizzying pace the basic purpose of the site remains a hub for networking.   Don’t worry about incorporating the changes at the expense of being of service to others because before you know it the LinkedIn Innovation Monster will be at it again. 

How to bring Zeal to Your Life

Zeal, the enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal is an often overlooked trait that can make the difference in being an effective leader. Leaders bring energy, cause, purpose and passion to the things that that they are charged with. However, leaders with zeal work much like the queen bee, inspiring other bees to go out and pollenate the flower of the enterprise to bloom in ways they never thought possible.

Earlier this week I wrote about the 5 Traits of Effective Leaders that I have observed and embraced during my nearly three decades of military and business experience.  This  post takes a closer look at what it takes to add zeal to your life in the tireless and diligent pursuit of your goals.

ZealZeal, the enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal is an often overlooked trait that can make the difference in being an effective leader.   Leaders bring energy, cause, purpose and passion to the things that that they are charged with.  However, leaders with zeal work much like the queen bee, inspiring other bees to go out and pollenate the flower of the enterprise to bloom in ways they never thought possible.

How do leaders obtain zeal?  Like leadership itself, I don’t think people are born with zeal.  However, can it be developed?   The Reverend PJ Smyth has examined the quest for nurturing and maintaining red-hot zeal for God.  I have adopted Pastor Smyth’s ideas in this secular view of developing zeal.

1. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Baby Walking Up StairsLeaders have to spend time in the day to day trenches of getting things done.  Despite the all-consuming nature of the battle, the leader with zeal finds time to think about what do when the troops are out of the foxhole.  Thinking about tomorrow is the ultimate stoker of zeal and, in fact, without it, leaders run the risk of developing zeal only for the current battle without a vision to win or even better avoid the next battle.

2. Embrace Risky Business

Abraham LincolnLeadership presupposes forward motion, not just managing the status quo. Here’s the math: no risk taking, no forward motion.  The zeal that we unleash to achieve the risk taken can bring goodness in a whole new way for our business, our causes, and ourselves.  The movie Lincoln portrayed the leadership zeal the President displayed in the risks he took to save the Union.   His courageous risks in conducting the Civil War and freeing the slaves paved the way for a more united United States of America.

3. Learn from the agony of defeat

KW Leading BreakRelentless zeal is produced through tough times. Kevin Ware the University of Louisville basketball player suffered a horrific injury witnessed by millions on national television.  In unbearable pain, as he was wheeled off the court on a stretcher, Kevin could be heard saying to his teammates, “Win the game! … Win the game! … Win the game!”  His zeal for victory during his personal “agony of defeat” inspired the nation and powered the zeal of his Louisville Cardinals teammates to win the Division I Men’s Basketball crown.

The Bottom Line:  The zeal of your lovely light

Light of the WorldMy candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends It gives a lovely light.” Edna St. Vincent Millay   The zeal that we bring to our endowers will make up for the misguided effort to burn the candle at both ends.  Leaders with zeal can spread the lovely light of their devotion for the cause; which can make all the difference in the sometimes difficult world of making things happen.

 

5 Traits of Effective Leaders

Leadership is not a one size fits all endeavor; leaders bring their own style, expertise, and belief systems to the task at hand. During three decades of work in the military, corporate, and small business worlds, I have been privileged to watch and to learn from some of the best leaders and, I am sad to say, some of the worst leaders in the world. Those experiences have shaped my own belief system into an operating manual if you will, that guides how I lead. Today, I humbly share my observations about leadership to influence your belief system as we all navigate this most intriguing and, I believe, most central factor in our interactions as humans.

Woman LeadingLeadership is the x-factor, the secret brew, the clear and unquestionable element that can bring clarity to dysfunction, understanding to confusion, and achievement when there is a challenge. 

 

 

I believe that true leaders are made not born; the effort, the commitment; the dedication to develop into a leadLeadershiper is a lifetime endeavor.    Becoming a leader, studying how the best ones operate to influence change and make things happen is one of the 8 passions of my life

 

Leadership Styles

Happy WorkerI also believe that leadership is not a one size fits all endeavor; leaders bring their own style, expertise, and belief systems to the task at hand.  During three decades of work in the military, corporate, and small business worlds, I have been privileged to watch and to learn from some of the best leaders and, I am sad to say, some of the worst leaders in the world. Those experiences have shaped my own belief system into an operating manual if you will, that guides how I lead.  Today, I humbly share my observations about leadership to influence your belief system as we all navigate this most intriguing and, I believe, most central factor in our interactions as humans.  

5 Traits of Effective Leaders

1. Visionary    

Steve JobsVisionary leaders are the builders of a new dawn, working with imagination, insight, and boldness. They present a challenge that calls forth the best in people and brings them together around a shared sense of purpose. They work with the power of intentionality and alignment with a higher purpose. Their eyes are on the horizon, not just on the near at hand. They are social innovators and change agents, able to see the big picture and think strategically.

Writing in the Journal of Leadership, Corinne McLaughlin, the executive director of the Center for Visionary Leadership says this about visionary leaders:  “What is it that makes a visionary become a visionary leader? A visionary may dream wonderful visions of the future and articulate them with great inspiration.  A visionary is good with words. But a visionary leader is good with actions as well as words, and so can bring his/her vision into being in the world, thus transforming it in some way. More than words are needed for a vision to take form in today’s world. It requires leadership and heartfelt commitment.”

2. Likable

like logoBob Summers writing in his Likable Guy Blog says that leaders can be effective and likable. “Study after study shows that people will work harder for the leader they like than for the leader they don’t like. The problem is this, many leaders are confused they believe that if they like and are liked by their employees they will be seen by their employees as weak.  Or someone that employees may want to have a beer with. They believe that showing the slightest degree of sympathy or compassion or even sharing a laugh with an employee is a sign of being soft. News Alert!  It’s not.  If anything, likability and respect go hand in hand.”

Dave Kerpen, author of the New York Times bestsellers, Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business, in his wonderful post 11 Simple Concepts to Become a Better Leader demonstrates the traits that will allow a leader to be both likeable and strong.

3. Credible

People TalkingEffective leadership is all about establishing personal relationships; credibility is the bread and butter of those relationships.  Credibility is the quality of being believable, dependable, and worthy of people’s trust and confidence.

The credible leader is one whom followers perceive as effective. The followers’ perception of the leader’s effectiveness bears directly on the leader’s credibility, the followers’ willingness to follow and the leader’s ability to lead. For people to follow on a sustained basis, they must perceive the leader as effective. However, by itself, a perception of effective leadership is not sufficient to lead.  Therefore to be truly effective a leader must be credible.

4. Storytelling

StorytellerDaniel Goleman, The internationally known psychologist and author of the 1995 blockbuster best seller Emotional Intelligence says “Good storytelling is a hallmark of effective leadership. It’s a medium that allows leaders to move others. It also lets others know who the leader is. How the leader thinks and feels.”

Presentation Zen, author Garr Reynolds, advocates leaders to break out the old outdated mode of PowerPoint presentations filled with bullet-points, charts, and smart art and become story tellers.  “Storytelling is the key to communication in leadership in business and in life.  Forget PowerPoint and statistics, to involve people at the deepest level you need to tell stories.”

5. Zeal

ZealZeal: The Enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal; the tireless and diligent pursuit of achievement.   Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Leaders bring energy, cause, purpose and passion to the things that that they are charged with.  However, leaders with zeal work much like the queen bee, inspiring other bees to go out and pollenate the flower of the enterprise to bloom in ways they never thought possible.

The Bottom Line: Effective Leaders Embrace Leadership

JFKLeadership and learning are indispensable to each other. John F. Kennedy

Leadership is not for the faint of heart… wimps need not apply.  Effective leaders embrace leadership they learn from other leaders, good and bad so that that they can become better.  They lead because the times, the business and the cause demand it.   Go forth and Lead!

 

Marben BlandMarben Bland is an award winning speaker, writer and executive coach. He has worked with some of the best companies in the world including; Sara Lee, Advanced Micro Devices, Eaton, PPG and Fiskars Brands.   To comment on this post email Marben: marben@marbenbland.com

 

 

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