Tag Archives: leadership


Leaders: Are They Born or Made?

Here’s How You Can Tell If Someone is an Emerging Leader—and What You Should Be Doing to Help Him or Her Develop Into a Great One.


You face tough customers and fierce competition. That, of course, goes with the territory of being an equipment manufacturer or dealer.

However, you also face complex organizational challenges—challenges that can only be addressed on the strength of dynamic leadership. Not just leadership at the top, but leadership in every department.

More so, these challenges demand that you also look to the development of leaders for the future, because the challenges of today will continue into tomorrow and be joined by new challenges still to come.

Finding and cultivating these future leaders is thus imperative. How will you go about it?


Where to Put Your Focus


The starting point is to take note of individuals who exhibit high potential for leadership. Unimportant is whether these individuals are performing highly in whatever role they happen now to occupy.

The reason it is a mistake to prize performance over potential is that some people who are exceptionally competent at their jobs lack what it takes to be a great leader. By elevating those who aren’t cut out to be leaders, you risk the creation of department or companywide morale problems—and those can easily bring about a loss of productivity.

Consider this example. On the payroll of an average-sized company is a technician. Because he is the company’s best technician, it’s decided to promote him to the position of manager of the service department with the expectation that his excellent technical skills will translate into excellent leadership skills.

He eagerly and appreciatively accepts the new responsibility. However, in practically no time at all, it becomes evident that he is incapable of inspiring subordinates to act as a cohesive, functional, efficiency-driven, cost-conscious, innovation-minded team.

After a period of wishful waiting to give him a chance to “grow” into the role, top management finally realizes that pushing this technician to take on an assignment outside his area of expertise was a mistake. Now, someone in the company is going to have to play the “bad-guy” and remove an otherwise outstanding employee from his or her leadership post.

The job will go to someone else, but whoever gets it will be nervous about stepping into the shoes of a coworker who vacated not due to promotion but, rather, to demotion.

Additionally, the tech who lost the position will almost certainly be disgruntled, having suffered the indignity of being branded a failure. How much contagious bitterness he will spread throughout the company in the weeks and months ahead is difficult to predict. But spread it will, and almost surely to the detriment of the company—perhaps even to the extent of unsettling a number of loyal customers and reliable suppliers.

The corollary of this example is the employee who excels in his job but has no desire to be a leader. He’s promoted to that position regardless. A born follower at heart, he has no clue what to do with the leadership mantle thrust upon him. Things quickly unravel and, again, someone must act as the bad guy who brings news of demotion. Hard feelings surface and, once more, the company is in trouble.

Moral of these two stories: it is vitally important that you identify the right people for leadership roles—individuals who demonstrate the actual potential to serve in that capacity.


Finding Employees with Leadership Potential 


Here is a list of questions you should be asking yourself as you scout for individuals with the makings to become an outstanding leader. Does this person:


  • Demonstrate initiative beyond the current job position?
  • Proactively offer ideas and potential solutions to problems (thereby showing he or she is invested in the company’s success)?
  • Demonstrate accountability?
  • Possess interpersonal skills and work well with others?
  • “Make things happen” by being proactive instead of reactive?
  • Bend over backward to help customers and team members?
  • Exhibit unflinching reliability?
  • Think the same way you do when it comes to decision-making?
  • Motivate and influence others?
  • Appear capable of evolving into a strategic leader?
  • Express interest in developing or improving upon leadership and management skills?
  • Seem eager to take on more responsibility?
  • (Most importantly) Communicate clearly and concisely?


Your goal in asking these questions is to select as candidates for leadership development those individuals most likely to deliver results.

In the course of conducting your talent search, keep in mind that no rule requires you to only consider employees under the age of 40.  You’ll find great potential leaders among the ranks of your Millennial employees, yes. But you’ll also find worthy candidates among the gray-haired set. Always remember that the older employee who is intimately familiar with your processes, procedures, structure, culture, and perhaps even your customers may turn out to be an ideal individual to train for a leadership role.

Also, do not overlook the significance of America being a multicultural, multiethnic society—a fact duly acknowledged by federal and state Equal Opportunity laws which encourage you to strive for the most diverse workforce possible. So be sure to give female and minority employees careful consideration as potential leaders. They bring unique qualities and perspectives to the leadership table and, as well, enhance your ability to attract, hire, and retain top talent at all levels.


Beginning the Process of Leadership Development


Now that you have identified potential and emerging leaders among your employees, it is time to prepare them for positions at the top.

The process of developing a leader involves 10 steps. Happily, these steps are simple.


  1. Bring your emerging leaders together so that they can learn from one another. Invite them to jointly explore new ways of doing business, innovate better ways of conducting existing operations, cultivate stronger management/employee relationships, and strive to deliver highest quality service to customers, to the other members of the team, and to you. Challenge them to come up with approaches that can be adopted companywide to better support your sales team.


  1. Provide ongoing, repetitious training. The “one and done” approach to leadership training won’t cut it. The most effective way to provide training that continuously covers familiar ground (in order to hammer home the business concepts every effective leader must possess) is to offer instruction that has practical application to your leadership trainees’ day-to-day activities. The result of this training should be competency in each of these areas:


  • Strategic thinking
  • Effective decision-making
  • Managing and motivating employees
  • Change Management
  • Accountability
  • Culture transformation
  • Customer-service excellence
  • Conflict management
  • Execution
  • Communication Skills
  • Any additional training relevant to your company


  1. Send your leadership trainees to leadership events of your trade association.


  1. Send female leaders and emerging leaders to a “Women’s Leadership Event” or training program. You could also follow the example of smart companies that have benefitted greatly by implementing in-house women’s leadership development programs or, put together one of your own.


  1. Designate a seat at your executive meetings to be filled by an emerging leader. If you have more than one emerging leader in your stable, allow them to sit in on a rotating basis—welcome a different emerging leader each time the top executives meet.


  1. Request that each emerging leader’s supervisor monitors his or her progress, and update you on it at regular intervals. Make the same request to your HR department.


  1. Instruct your emerging leaders to communicate with one another often in order to share their challenges and be able to help each other.


  1. Assign to your emerging leader’s responsibility for devising viable solutions to one or more of the company’s most pressing problems. When you do, you will be amazed at the results.


  1. Set up shadowing. Have your emerging leaders spend a full day tagging along with an executive to see up close exactly what he or she does to contribute to company success. Have them shadow as well your sales manager, parts manager, and one of the sales associates.


  1. Welcome your emerging leaders into your meetings. Solicit their thoughts about the hits, runs, and misses of the previous week. Encourage them to offer their views about what they might have done differently during those last five business days to achieve greater success.


One final point. If your company is family owned and you’ll one day be passing the baton to a son, daughter, grandchild, or another relative, be sure to have in place a succession plan that includes the 10 leadership development steps listed above. Your heir apparent needs to be fully ready, willing, and able to step into your shoes and carry your legacy forward. Leadership development of family members is a matter you cannot ignore.

It has been argued that great leaders are born, not made. But that is incorrect. Because even natural-born leaders must be trained before they can successfully occupy the big office or be in front of a counter.  You owe it to your company—and to yourself—to properly and completely train individuals who are legitimately suited to become leaders. Otherwise, you may be doing nothing more than courting disaster.


© 2018, Christine Corelli & Associates, Inc. Christine Corelli has had a distinguished 25-year career as an international keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, and business columnist. She has authored six books, including the best-selling, Wake Up and Smell the Competition – now in its fifth edition.  Corelli’s clients are characterized by Fortune 500 companies, major trade associations, and an abundance of mid-size and small companies. To learn more visit https://www.christinespeaks.com – To contact her for an upcoming meeting or event, call (847) 477-7376.



The 7 Characteristics of Principle-Centered Motivation & Leadership

Are you a leader that practices principle-centered leadership? Principle-centered leadership leads to long-lasting partnerships rooted in integrity between you and your staff. Through a principle-centered framework of leadership, employees will be self-motivated, teachable, and creative. Principled-centered leaders improve morale and the productivity of their staff. What makes a leader worth following? More importantly, what is Principle-Centered leadership?


True motives, effective communication, and relationships often fail when a leader lacks a deep sense of integrity and strength of personality. There are sometimes leaders who have the ability to manipulate their workers through a false sense of charisma. This method of leadership is coercive because it makes someone do what we want and utilizes power through absolute control. It breeds a working climate that could result in high employee turnover, low morale, and an environment of fear.


Principle-centered leadership motivates others by focusing on developing integrity through sound character. It is practiced by an individual’s ability to uphold their values honorably and being committed to the growth of your team. You are only as strong as your weakest link. A principle-centered leader will motivate others around him by working to transform his or her behavior first. If you want to be a principle-centered leader and motivate others around you effectively and honorably, then here are 7 characteristics of principle-centered leadership to keep in mind:


1.Never Stop Learninggirl-at-library

The place to begin is by strengthening your own sense of character. Greatness starts with yourself and spreads out to those you lead. Knowledge comes from understanding that you don’t know everything and that there will always be room for improvement. Continue to sharpen your tools by working to educate yourself and expanding your realm of experience. Read, seek training, take sales coaching classes, and listen to others with the intent of learning with both your ears and your eyes.


2. Seek to Improve the Lives of Others

Operating under the principle-centered leadership mentality means that you must be intentional and clear with your workers that you sincerely care about their professional growth and well-being. As a leader, you must learn to take responsibility for your team and build strong lines of communication crucial to sound leadership.

You can accomplish this by developing a rapport of trust and empathy through bonding. Ask how they are doing, make efforts to understand their passions and goals in life by being observant and asking meaningful questions. Praise them for the things they do well and communicate the value of their strengths.



3. Radiate a Positive Mental Attitude

quote-on-attitudePositivity begins from within and radiates outwards. Your team will appreciate your cheerfulness and pleasant attitude when you are approachable and happy. A positive mental attitude can help ground you during stressful moments. Think of your optimism and positivity as a shining beacon of light under trying times for your team when they need guidance. People gravitate towards positivity. Strive to be a peacemaker and diffuser of negative energy.  A positive mental attitude is crucial to being a principle-centered leader and an effective management tool.


Related Reading: 8 Powerful Habits To Help You Develop A Positive Mental Attitude.



4. Believe in Others

quote-on-believingPrinciple-centered leadership means having the ability to recognize the strengths of others and learning how to operate from these strengths. Principle-centered leaders are keen at recognizing the strengths of others and rather than keeping individuals from exercising the strengths within areas of weaknesses, principle-centered leaders will focus on celebrating those strengths and seek out changes to assist them in improving. Believing in the unseen potential of others creates a climate of growth and opportunity. This fosters cooperation and consistency.


stones-balancing5. Lead a Life of Balance

A principle-centered leader will understand the value of letting the pendulum swing both ways. They practice self-control and are masters of their emotions by learning to take praise without ego-tripping and accepting blame without losing one’s sense of proportion. They have a mastery of their own reactions. Principle-centered leaders understand that true failure is not learning from experiences. A true leader leads a life of balance so that he can lead effectively in any situation.


Infographic – 9 Areas of Focus to Improve Motivation Levels


6. Believe In Synergysynergy

Principle-centered leadership is grounded in strengthening the development of all members of the team. When the whole is greater than the sum of its parts you are operating synergistically. Teams will operate cohesively and more effectively when they understand why they are doing what they are doing. A principle-centered leader motivates by capitalizing on team endeavors. They are much more adept at delegating when they believe in the strengths and abilities of others.






7. Live A Life of Self Renewal

Goodness flows from the spirit we cultivate within ourselves. Principle-centered leaders understand the importance of rejuvenating and sharpening their physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being because they understand how crucial it is to the success of their personal and professional life. Stay healthy through some sort of cardiovascular activity. Exercise your mind through reading and writing. Strengthen your emotional capacity by being patient and listening to others with genuine empathy. Cultivate spirituality by focusing on meditation, prayer, and study. A principle-centered leader understands how to keep the mind and body sharp because it is crucial to operate and fire on all cylinders.



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Principle Centered Leadership – Motivating Employee’s

A manipulative leader may have the ability to coerce their workers into doing what they want but the leader who genuinely cares about the welfare of his workers will have individuals who’ll go the distance to make sure a leader’s vision becomes a reality. The below points are about principle centered leadership and how it improves the lives of everyone you work with from your employees, your boss, yourself and your customers!


what-is-your-why?Share and Know Why You Do What You Do

A leader who views one of his workers hurting because of a recent tragic situation might be alerted to the negative effect their absence might have on a project. They might be more motivated by the desire to provide that individual time away to recover. That is an example of extrinsic motivation caused by someone else. However, a leader who’s motivated by the need to see a project finished will demand their worker’s participation no matter what’s going on in their personal life. On the other hand, a leader who is motivated by the inner drive of accomplishing a goal and achieving success may be better suited to drive the project.


Regularly Encourage

encouraging-factors-for-employeesIf you are going to be a leader who is people centered, you must be intentional about allowing your workers to know that you sincerely care about their professional growth and well-being. Don’t just get to work right when you get together with your employees. Try bonding with them, have small talk and be open and honest. This will build your employees sense of trust and will help build lines of communication that are so crucial to sound leadership. Be relentlessly observant of those things your people do well then praise them for it. A people-centered leader does not merely offer compliments to motivate individuals. Instead, they’ll offer compliments because they actually care about their worker’s strengths. Encouraging leaders seek out ways to offer opportunities for their workers to continue developing their strengths.

A great leader also argues with his employees (sounds strange but very true). By arguing with your employees, you are putting them in a position to think critically and you are opening the doors to creative solutions. In order to argue effectively, you must build a strong bond with your employees. Otherwise, the employee is likely to just agree with you rather than arguing back.


Related Article: Motivational Leadership 3.0 – How To Be A Motivational Leader


Operate From All of Your Strengths

strengths-weakness-signAgenda-centered leaders have an advantage over those who do not set an agenda. Setting an agenda for your subordinates saves time, energy and helps you align your goals to complete a project in an organized and timely fashion. A leader should do everything possible to motivate and encourage individuals to use and leverage their strengths. In such a leadership culture, everyone wins. People-centered leaders aren’t bothered by the areas of leaderships in which some of their workers are more gifted. They’ll recognize the areas in which they’re gifted, and operate from these strengths. Rather than keeping individuals from exercising strengths within areas in which they’re weak, they’ll celebrate the strengths of their workers and seek chances to assist them in developing their strengths even more. This type of culture fosters cooperation, natural advancements, and consistency.


Win-Win-Win-WinImprove Everyone’s Life

People-centered leaders are focused on the strength development of all members of the team, and they’re more likely to witness substantial success because their workers know why they are doing what they are doing. They trust the leader enough to perform the things needed to be done to improve everyone’s situation with excellence. Everyone wins, the employee’s, the leader and the customers. Start developing the leadership ability of your workers so that you create an environment and culture that fosters excellence, innovation, and consistent improvements.


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Motivational Leadership 3.0 – How To Be A Motivational Leader

Motivational Leadership 3.0


There are a lot of expectations placed on business leaders today. It can seem overwhelming to try to keep up with all of the tasks, demands, and routines of a corporate leadership job. With so many tasks and activities on your plate, it can be easy to forget the most important role that any leader has to for an organization, and this is the role of providing inspiration and motivation.


There is more to being a motivational leader is more than just checking off a list of boxes on the “good boss” checklist. It is a way of thinking and of approaching the people that are the face and the voice of the company and the brand. Being a great motivational leader means you instill in others a sense of pride and accomplishment rather than just tell them to do this or that. This type of leader builds a team that is trusting and positions them for success. Motivational leaders inspire employees to strive for the best rather than help employees just barely get by.





Click to Watch the Video: Top 5 Winston Churchill Quotes 

Create a Vision

As a leader, create a vision of what a motivated and inspired workplace would look like. Would it be people working in collaborative teams with each person contributing based on their personal strengths and talents? Or maybe your team of people should make suggestions and perform problem-solving tasks to do things better, more effectively and more efficiently?


Related Article: How To Brainstorm With A Group


Once you create a vision, you can strategize and re-engineer the steps to get there. Do employees need training, motivational speakers, a voice at the table or do they need to be recognized for their skills and talents?


Related Article: How To Execute Against Your Strategy Without Killing It


Not Money

A very important factor in motivational leadership is to understand the limited power of money to motivate people. This is why rewards and incentives purely in monetary form are typically earned by the same small number of people over and over. These are the people that are motivated by a bonus or an additional check, they are eternally motivated.


Other people may be motivated by recognition, by promotions, by opportunities or by flexibility in their job. Learning what motivates each employee and structuring programs that capture this personal motivation is always the most effective option.


Related Article: 9 Areas of Focus To Improve Motivation

To be a great motivated leader you have to be passionate and inspired by what you do. Motivated leaders continue to learn, grow and to develop the skills that continue to inspire those they surround themselves with.


Related Article: How Motivated People Grow


Becoming a motivational leader starts with learning how to tap into your personal motivation and the motivation of others. To learn more about how to be a motivational leader visit www.DougDvorak.com.


Related Article: 5 Tips & Strategies For Continuous Motivation

Related Article & Video: Top 5 Motivational Quotes By Ronald Reagan