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Day 62 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Show People What Good Performance Looks Like!

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

My publisher, Wiley, contacted me yesterday to solicit ideas for, How to Lead by THE BOOK’s cover. The cover design is VERY important to the success of the book! The work Wiley has done on my past books has been excellent. They will normally submit 2-3 designs to choose from, and from there the fun and debate begins!

When they designed How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK they hit a home run, so we want to keep some of the concepts the same with the new book, without making it too similar. For instance, we will retain THE BOOK with the same all caps distinctive look. In fact, since I will continue to write books in the “by THE BOOK” series, branding those two words will be essential. I should have some designs to look at within a couple of weeks. Now, let’s get on with today’s lesson.

In Matthew 10, Jesus commissions his disciples to go out in pairs and begin to preach, heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead in His name. He gave them His authority to execute all these things, which brings me to the leadership lesson I want to convey in this posting. Jesus didn’t send his team out to do these things until He had first done all of these and more in the prior nine chapters. In other words, Jesus didn’t tell His team what to do before He had showed them how to do it!

Unfortunately, this is where many managers today miss the mark. They are addicted to “should be’s”. “You should be doing this or that”, etc. However, it doesn’t take much leadership to sit in a chair and bark out what people should do. Effective leaders get in the trenches, roll up their sleeves, and show people what good performance looks like. They lead with deeds, not just with words.  This is because followers would rather see a sermon than hear one.  This being said, how much time do you and your managers spend actually showing people what to do? For instance, consider the following:

1. Do you tell them they should be closing more deals, or do you show them how to close them, in front of the customer with the employee at your side?

2. Do you criticize them for not setting enough appointments, or do you take the phone and show them how to do it?

3. Do you admonish them to get more referrals, or do you demonstrate the proper way to ask for a referral? This list of questions could go on for a while, but you get the point.

Recommit to following the example set by Jesus. Don’t just give pep talks and empower your team to do their job until you’ve first shown them how it should be done.

Day 36 How to Lead by THE BOOK: The Key to Beating Stress!

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Though it may sound strange, one of an author’s biggest concerns is whether or not anyone will actually read their book! Just because a book is published is no guarantee that anyone will buy it, and the fact that someone buys it is no assurance that they will read it. Some authors have been known to buy thousands of copies of their own book, just to place it on a best-sellers list! While this may gratify the author’s ego, it misses the entire point of writing a book: to help those that read it! These facts have triggered my gratitude for three events that have happened in just the past few days:

1. A university in Lithuania is using lessons from, How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK in their curricula to prepare students to run their businesses by ethical standards.

2. A South Korean businessman who read, How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK is working with my publisher to secure Korean translations rights so that he can distribute the book throughout South Korean churches and businesses.

3. The CEO of EQUIP will teach a course, How to Lead Through Crisis, in Poland next month that sources the principles in my past books as strategies for leaders to apply.

In addition to the recent international impact, a day rarely goes by when I don’t hear from a reader in this country who was positively impacted by one of my books. This sense of gratitude brings me to the point of today’s posting:

Gratitude is an antidote for stress! In my upcoming book, How to Lead by THE BOOK, I will provide strategies for beating workplace stress. One of the simplest is gratitude. In fact, when you’re feeling stressed out, it’s normally an indication that you’ve lost your perspective on how blessed you really are, and on how awesome your life is at the moment–despite its challenges. As a result of your temporarily lost sense of gratitude, stress levels skyrocket! However, when you begin to re-count your blessings and take an inventory of all the good in your life and business, you’ll find that stress evaporates. In fact, I’ve found that it is practically impossible to be grateful and stressful simultaneously!

Feeling stressed today? Then quit whining and count your blessings!