How’s your personal leadership effectiveness?

To lead others you must be able to lead yourself. That’s what personal leadership effectiveness is – so how’s your PLE?

You may have heard me say before that Leadership is not about title.  In essence leaders inspire, connect and serve others.  To do this leaders must develop their personal leadership effectiveness (PLE).  This means a leader must be able to govern themselves first!   One way of increasing your PLE is to be a leader who delivers results.

I realised that in this season  I’m  expectant; longing to see my God-given dreams fulfilled and so I decided I needed to prepare.  I need to do what I can to expand my capacity to steward well what God is entrusting to me.

Getting focused

Delivering results means getting focused, no more spinning plates!  So earlier this year I did a webinar on Time with Dr. Joseph Peck. His book”I was Busy now I’m not” is one of my on-going reads, as I’m actually trying to apply what I am learning.

An invaluable key from the book is:

Rest leads to reflection, which in turn leads to revelation, inspiration, and illumination. Together; rest, reflection and revelation form the tricord of leverage. Leverage is being able to accomplish more with less effort.

I’ve spent the past 4 months creating new habbits which include going to bed much earlier, so I can wake up earlier. This gives me more time not only to pray but to reflect with Papa God.  I have always journaled but now I have more time it’s truly a conversations as I am taking time to listen for his revelation.  It has certainly helped me become more focused and I added to that a planner.  I love it as it helps me to focus on the important things, another strategy I am learning.

Time Wasters

But this month I learned the biggest lesson of all!  That FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) is truly the biggest time waster of all!   This month was difficult month as I was waiting on others to make some key decisions for a project before I could decide what to do.   It potentially involved another move.  That was daunting as I’ve only been back in Barbados 14 months and I moved to a new house 2 months ago!  I found myself getting anxious about the uncertainty and frustrated that the decisions were taking so long.  It became so anxious that I was grinding my teeth (AKA Bruxism) and ended up with such bad muscle spasms that I could not function for a few days and had to take pain killers.

Despite this I am thankful.  I learned that fear, and that’s what was at the root of my anxiety, truly is a time waster.  After a few good nights of sleep I woke up one morning and as I was reflecting it became clear.  Papa God is the Alpha and Omega, so he knows the beginning from the end.  He knew I would get this project, that I would get it having moved and that I would have choices to make once others had made their decisions.  So there is no uncertainty for him.  So if I would simply ask him what is his plan, instead of stressing because I’m trying to work it out myself, he would ‘order my steps’.

I realised that as always fear comes from forgetting whose child you are, the child of a good good Father, and who has given us a wonderful counsellor  if we will just ‘lean not on our own understanding, in all our ways acknowledge him and he shall direct our paths”.

This revelation really restored my peace and thankfully I’m off the pain killers!

So what are you doing to increase your personal leadership effectiveness?  I’d love to hear from you either here or via email  felicia@purposed4leadership.com

 

Being a People of Transformation

Happy Easter

I haven’t posted for a while because we are working on an expanded vision and new site for Purposed4Leadership.   We are in a time of transformation, which is apt given it is Easter time!

I send Easter Blessings to all of you. Easter is a time to reflect on the transformation that happened when Jesus rose from the dead.  His resurrection brought hope for the world and we still have that hope today.  We are living in difficult times and we could all do with seeing that hope materialise.

Inviting God to Transform

As a Christ follower who works with Government’s I have been privileged to see the transformation God can do when we invite him into our areas of influence.  After all he is the God of the Mountains, not just the valleys!

So as we take this time to rest and remember the hope that we have in Jesus  may this short video encourage you to be a person of transformation as you invite the Lord into what you are doing.

3 Leadership Lessons from 2017

Leaders are learners, they continually strive to improve. As this year draws to a close I share 3 leadership lessons from 2017.

Happy New Year folks!

Wishing you a productive and purposeful 2018.

Many people like to make resolutions at this time of year.  For me I like to reflect on the year and think about the lessons I’ll take into the next year.  After all Leaders are learners!

This year I learnt 3 significant lessons:

  1. Speaking Truth to Power – This isn’t always easy but it’s part of the responsibility of leadership! Click here for more on this. 
  2. Integrating  all of Life – Leaders have busy lives. For years I have worked on getting the balance between work and life right. Then a friend shared he had cancer and I realised I’d not seen him in 15 years.  Whatever I’d been doing clearly wasn’t working.  I needed a new approach.  This year I learned that the only way to make time for what’s important was not to focus on one thing but to actually look at all the different categories of life. I evaluated my level of satisfaction in each and took deliberate steps to make change where I was dissatisfied.   I prioritised. It took effort but I’m so glad I did it.  Prioritising family and friends meant integrating my business and social travel schedule in the US, Caribbean and U.K.  It has enriched my life beyond measure and  reminded me how blessed I am.  This has enabled me to lead from a place of contentment deep within, and can I tell you it’s contagious!
  3. Authenticity is a continuous journey –  I’ve invested a lot of time and money over the years on my own development.  This helped me to see who I was created to be, rather than living according to the expectations of others.  This year I learned that my journey to authenticity is far from over. As I strive to be a leader of good character  I found my behaviours did not align with my values. That was hard to swallow.   I realised fear, lack of faith and even a lack of discipline in my personal life were the cause.  So I became deliberate about living my values. This is part of being authentic.

AUTHENTIC SUCCESS TEXT WORD CLOUD CONCEPT

Action Step

As 2017 draws to a close what leadership and life lessons did you learn?

I’d love to hear your key learning points so leave me a comments below or connect with me on Social Media.

Enjoy ringing in the New Year!

 

Facebook:@Kitchcc

Twitter:@FNLinch

Instagram: @kitchcc

Leading with Confidence

I just got back from the U.K. after 5 weeks.  It’s been an interesting time especially watching  Prime minister, Mrs Theresa  May battle with her own party over Brexit.  Having finally secured the agreement to move to the next stage, which people had criticised her for taking so long, when she defended it in Parliament some felt she was ‘over-confident.  Yet in the next few days when her Brexit Bill was defeated she was said to ave been “humiliated in Parliament”.

Leaders have to make tough choices and finding the balance between confidence and seeming arrogance, or even Narcissism, as many label President Trump is never easy.  This short Facebook Live video focuses on the need for leaders to be confident, yet demonstrate humility.

 

 

A lesson from the Millenials

All too often Millennials is used negatively. Yet Millennials can teach us key Leadership lessons.

I’ve had a great week in Lincoln visiting family, despite the cold!  I also had the opportunity to spend time with those we now refer to as ‘Millenials’, a term many use in a negative context.

What struck me was that far from being this narsasitic generation they are portrayed to be, they are authentic. They will tell you their priorities, including putting themselves first!
Put on your oxygen mask

Many of us have learned to place others above ourselves. As a parent this is essential.  However, even as a parent if we are not well rested and looking after ourselves we cope less well with looking after our children.  

I often speak about Purposed leaders, those who have a sense of being called to achieve a goal  bigger than themselves to the benefit  of others.  However, even Servant leaders  must make time for themselves. Jesus often went off alone to pray (Luke 5:16). Being in the presence of the Lord, is like oxygen, it rejuvinates us. Even, if you don’t have faith in Jesus times of quiet reflection are restorative.

Millenials seem better able to set boundaries and say No to things encroaching on their priorities (obviously a generalisation). Many are able to prioritise themselves without feeling guilty. Whilst some may do this selfishly, and let’s be honest we can all be selfish, many are simply putting on their oxgen mask. It’s not that they think they’re more important. Afterall we’re told Millenials care deeply about causes.

Being authentic and bold
It takes being authentic to tell others you are making yourself a priority. Also a boldness to do it, even if you’ll be judged. I remember when my husband and Ivdecided to move abroad. It was a tough decision leaving our families behind, especially when we’re close and the children we’re write young. Some felt it was selfish of us but we knew we were supposed to move. It took us a while to make the decision because of this.
Millennials seem to be better at authenticity.  We joke about living in an age of TMI (Too Much Information), but I value this. When my step- daughter’s or my niece’s and nephews, who are Millenials, feel comfortable enough to tell me what they really think that’s a blessing.  Such real talk is the key to communication and relationship

A lesson to be learned

The ability to prioritise, including making ourselves a priority is a lesson we all need to learn.

How many times have you  agreed to something when you should have said No?When we are tired, have no conviction for a thing or simply feel a need to get off the treadmill and getaway we need to say No. Being able to prioritise and set boundaries is critical in leadership. 

So this week as you think about your schedule and prioritising your time. Make time for yourself, to re- charge and consider it a lesson from the Millenials!

Have a great weekend.

So much communication so little real talk.

Technology has given us so many ways of communicating , yet we have so little connection as we don’t engage in ‘real talk’!

I’m in the U.K. catching up with family. It’s always a blessing to connect with people we love. Share a laugh, share sorrows and re-connect.

What has struck me as I’ve been out and about is how technology is now centre stage in our lives. Contactless payments, where you just tap your card and the transaction is complete. I’d never experienced that before and the sales assistants looked at me like I’m from the dark ages! I can now scan a QR code and pay for parking,  restaurants with free Wi-Fi as standard etc. None of this is a bad thing. Technology sure makes life easier. However, are we cogniscant of the trade off we’re making.

Communication but little connection

Andrew, my hubby, and I have been out for dinner a few times. We saw so many couples, groups of friends (young and old) out for a meal together. Yet, there was little or no conversation as each person was on their phone. The meal comes and pictures are taken and the phones are finally put down temporarily to eat.

Don’t misunderstand me. I love technology but it’s no substitute for connection.  Connection isn’t built on inspirational quotes, or great pics on Instagram. Connection is about relationship. That means getting involved with people, it means real talk.  I love the old red telephone booths, they represent an era of real talk.

Real talk means being vulnerable, not pretending our lives are like some movie or that we have it all together. Real talk helps us remember reality 

Lifes not perfect nor are people but there’s joy in the ups and the downs.

We all let people down at some time in our lives, or anger them or hurt them. But when we are in relationship, we can have real talk that allows us to move past the hurts. Allows us to forgive, be tolerant, love. This is connection.

Leaders connect
Connection isn’t just important in our personal lives. It’s important wherever we have to engage another human being. That means at home, at work at school… everywhere.

A great leader is a Purposed leader who connects with others in an authentic way, building strong relationships of trust.

 Are you connecting with those you have the privilege be to influence?  Are you having real talk? Here’s 3 questions to ask yourself:

1. Do I know what those I work with are passionate about?

2. Do I know whether my team members have families and what they may be struggling to with?

3. Do those I lead know the above things about me?

We go to work to work, and leaders are not counsellors. But people excel when they can bring their whole self to work, when they don’t feel they have to be perfect, or always happy. They can only do that where relationships of trust exist. Where there’s real talk!

 

 

What’s inside you?

What’s inside of you determines your character and your greatness. We can all be heroes if we’re willing to find out and work on what’s on the inside of us.

I write alot about charachter-based leadership.  The good news is Character competencies can be developed. So we can change who we are on the inside.  

‘Heroes have character 

I love this blog post by Lolly Dask. She tells of a heroic act by a veteran that saved the life of another, not on the battlefield, but the subway!  

Heroism is not about special powers, special people or special circumstances. It’s about the stuff on the inside of us.

Finding the hero in you

Heroes pay a price.  They live out their values and are disciplined in transforming their inner life, as much as their outer life, e.g. via exercise.  Inner transformation is hard. It reqiuires being honest with ourselves. The good news is we don’t do it alone. That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in. Holy Spirit transforms us as the Spirit brings to life God’s renewing word. 

Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind

This doesn’t mean if you’re not a person of faith all hope is lost. We can all develop our character.
Take action

So as we approach 2018 what actions will you take to renew your inner man, to develop your character?

If you want help assessing your character and developing it contact me today:

via email: felicia@purposed4leadership.com or

±44 0208 8133 1903

Skype: KITCHLTD

I’m offering a special US $95 package to help you develop your character. It includes an assessment and a 30 min coaching session with me.

Even if you don’t want to take up the package, feel free to make contact. I’d be happy to give you hints and tips or to pray with you .

2 keys to connecting and building trust

Many leaders have learnt that leadership means ‘telling others’ what to do or being the expert. There is certainly a place for that. But, Purposed Leaders inspire, connect and serve. Connecting builds trust and means empowering.

Many of us as leaders have learnt that leadership means ‘telling others’ what to do or being the expert?  Whilst there is certainly a place for that Purposed Leaders inspire, connect and serve.  In short this is what successful leadership looks like!

Connecting with people

I have witten quite a bit lately on what it means to serve so this week i had some thoughts about connection.  Connecting with those we lead is about building relationships of trust. It’s also about empowering others.

People trust Leaders not because of what we can do but because of who we are

It’s a character issue.  That is why Character-bsed Leadership is so powerful.

To connect with those you lead means taking time to get to know them, and allowing them to know you.  This means being authentic. There are 2 key practices that are hallmarks of authenticity and facilitate connection.

2 key Practices to connect

Yet there are 2 practices that build trust instantly.  The first is being vulnerable.  A leader who knows how to be vulnerable will admit and share their mistakes so others can learn from them, will admit when they don’t know something (but take time to find out about it) and will ask other for help and advice, especially members of their team.

The second thing is become a coach by listening and asking powerful questions.  Many leaders have type A characteristics, or D (Dominant) Behaviour traits.  This enables them to drive projects to completion and deliver results.  However, these character traits favor control and  often a fast pace. When stressed these traits can become overplayed strengths, i.e. they become more controlling and stop listening. 

Becoming a coach is all about listening, asking powerful questions and facilitating others to find their own solutions. This  may not come naturally to persons, like me, with type A or D character traits.  Or indeed the other character traits, as even they tend to operate in the same way. This is because our culture promotes telling and advising as hallmarks of effective leadership. Taking the lead and telling or advising may be necessary in some cases. However, it’s likely that the majority of the time listening and asking questions will be more effective.  

Developing the practices

I encourage you to take the plunge and start developing these practices.  It takes time but persevere and you will see the rewards of empowerment and strong connections of trust with those you influence.

Great resources for asking powerful questions  are: Coaching Questions: A coaching guide to powerful asking skills by  Tony Stolzfuz and The Coaching Hanit: say less, Ask more, Change the Way you Lead forever by Michael Bungay Stainer

A great book on vulnerability is Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown.

Have a great weekend and let me know how your practice goes.

Moving from fear to faith

This week I’ve been relecting on whether my vision is too small. A God sized vision requires God sized faith. Is it lack of faith that holds us back?

This week I’ve been reflecting on whether my vision is too small. A God sized vision requires God sized faith. Is it lack of faith that holds us back?

How’s my attitude?

Last week I was a speaker at an event and my key take away was that Great Leaders have a growth mindset.

The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. It says ‘I am what I am and I cannot change’.  Many of us have adopted this attitude. Perhaps because we tried and failed, or we’re not quite like everyone else or others told us we couldn’t. Whatever it is it’s a lie!  We must be assured that by the work of the Holy Spirit as we dwell in truth Jesus transforms us, see Romans 12:2

Whatever lie we’ve adopted we to change our mindset and seek God’s perspective on it.

From Fear to faith 

My Pastor Don Cousins spoke last week on fear he said:

Fear is the opposite of faith, not unbelief

Ultimately, we don’t get out of the boat because we don’t have trust that God will catch us. We just don’t trust God’s love for us enough.  If we did then our lives would reflect the reality that  His ‘Perfect love casts out fear‘.

So what do we do with fear?

What’s holding me back?

We need to be specific about our fears.

I challenge you to reflect on what fears are holding you back from being the leader God purposed you to be and to walk out that God sized vision?  I encourage you to:

  • Set aside time to consider what your fears are – we all have them!
  • Ask Holy Spirit to help  you see the root of  your fear- is it fear of failure? Is it fear of leaving the comfortable for the unknown? Is it past experiences that ended badly?
  • Ask God to help you have the proper perspective on the issue and give you faith to trust him with it
  • Be gentle on yourself this kind of inner work doesn’t yield fruit overnight.

It’s time to step out in faith – we can do this:

Knowing you’re loved by the God of the Universe and knowing what He’s placed inside of you is key to fulfilling your purpose.

I leave you with this video – Be inspired…

Servant Leadership: A Long Way to Go!

Servant Leadership is good for society and community. It’s also good for delivering results. Yet we still have a long way to go for universal acceptance.

If you follow my blog you know that I believe that we are all purposed for something.  If  purposed for leadership this requires you to serve others. Servant Leadership is more than a great philosophy for communities and society.  It’s great for delivering results. Yet we still have a long way to go for universal acceptance.

Taking a Servant Leadership approach

I was speaking with one of my Government clients.   A representative from one of their key International Development Partners  recently visited the country.  It was anticipated that there would be some tough conversations as this was a senior leader.  What happened was unexpected.  The leader had not taken time to familiarise themselves with the context, nor the facts.  O.K. That can happen.  Did they try and resolve this by listening?  Seeking to get an understanding of what was happening on the ground? NO!

This leader, focused on his agenda.  As Stephen Covey said in the 7 Habits- Seek first to understand and then to be understood.

Had this leader operated from a servant leaders perspective things would have gone much differently.

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Firstly, the Greenleaf centre states that:

A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.

As an International Development Partner (DP), you could not ask for a better description of the role of a DP , i.e. focus on the ‘well-being of the people and communities to which they belong or serve’.

When we as leaders focus on our own agenda it’s typically because we have to deliver results. Servant Leadership actually helps deliver meaningful results.

Servant leadership Practices (SLP)

SLP includes:

Caring for others – being truly concerned for the overall well-being of others, providing support, encouragement and accountability.

Helping others succeed – putting the success of others before your own success.  Drawing out and developing their greatness, and  being excited for their wins;

Forgiveness – being able to put aside perceived wrongs and differences and still help the person, letting go of anger quickly and not allowing resentment to build;

Humility – putting ego aside, not needing to be right and not needing to be center of attention, or the one who gets the accolades, while giving praise to another where praise is due;

Trustworthiness – being a person of integrity by meaning what you say and saying it honestly, doing to others what you would have them do to you, and operating from right motives (using things not people).

Gallop identified 12 dimensions of great work groups.  Those that consistently perform; they included:

  • My Supervisor Cares About Me
  • Someone Encourages My Development
  • Recognition or Praise
  • My Opinions Seem to Count
  • I Have a Best Friend at Work (relationships of trust)

These practices are essential to delivering results.

These 12 dimensions align well with the Servant Leadership practices described above.  So Servant Leadership practices contribute to high performance work groups.   Despite this we are still a long way from this philosophy being seen as a universal leadership philosophy.  “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”