You Don’t Need a Title to Have Influence

2 08 2009

We can make a difference in this world, changing it for the better without any delegated authority whatsoever.    I want to show you that people with titles are not the only ones that can get things done.  Actually, there are folks behind the scenes with no titles at all making the world go ’round.  These are the folks who are unafraid to challenge the status quo despite their rank and file.  For these folks attitude is everything.  Take for example, President Obama when he was a community organizer on the street.  “Community Organizer”…that’s not a title, that’s a description.  He wasn’t a boss, or manager, but a leader, an “influence leader”.  He used his art of persuasion to work with the city and the people to improve the conditions.  He couldn’t call for the money needed for improvement  just by demanding that it happen as one with delegated authority, but he had to facilitate town meetings, understand motivations, fears and craft persuasive arguments to affect change a little at a time.  That type of leadership reveals a quality in influence leaders that is paramount and that is patience.

Patience is a big virtue in influence leaders because influence leaders have to first negotiate with all parties involved to bring them to the same page without the safety net of making an autocratic call.  Negotiating requires time, give and take, back and forth.   Without the patience to work through negotiations, the leader will become frustrated, annoyed, disconnected and either give up or deliver a lose/lose or win/lose resolution instead of the win/win outcome that everyone desires.  Once  a leader is in that state of mind, he is no longer an effective influence leader which brings me to another important quality found in influence leaders, listening.

Listening is a common quality among influence leaders.  People want to work with other people who will listen to them.  They want folks in their lives who will hear their side of the story.  I’m a husband and father and I understand very well how important it is to just sit and listen.  I’ve dealt with many situations at home just by hearing it out.  I didn’t have to provide a particular solution or share my brilliant insight, I just had to listen.  That is all that was required.   It is no different outside the home, because when people know that they can trust you with what they say they will tell you things that they will not tell others.   It is a safe place for them and people would rather be safe than vulnerable.  This gives the influence leader inside knowledge to make better decisions to impact the change necessary be successful.

Leaders who pratice patience and good listening skills will find themselves ahead of the game with co-workers, managers, friends, family and others.  Leaders that practice these will find that they have what is needed to influence, changing hearts and minds,  without  the traditional authoritative role.


Momma Gotta Go

14 07 2009

I was talking to my wife this morning about her trip that she will be taking in a few days.  She will be gone 3 whole days…Ooooo Wee.  And she mentioned that she was happy that she has a husband that will not refuse to let her take trips for respite and relief from time to time.  Not that I could stop her, but I could complain and grumble if I wanted to, whichwould be just as bad.  She also said that there are many wives that don’t have such a liberty.  I want to challenge the husbands out there to do this for your wives.   Believe me, you want to do this.  It will reinvirogate her in more ways than one and you will get a chance to bond with the kids in ways you can’t do with Mom around.  If you have  kids ages 6 and above, heck, they will take care of you.  They know the house routine better than you do.

I’ve been married for 12 years and get-away time for mommy is one of the best keys to a happy marriage there is.  So, if you have a home like mine where you bust it everyday from 8-5 away from home and she works it everyday from 8-5 at home with 3 or so kids, you will want to incorporate this, give-mommy-some-time-to-herself principle.  It will keep your marriage healthy in intimacy, sex, love, joy, peace… and I could keep going and I’m not joking.    Have Your Say by leaving  your comments.

Seize Your Moment: Realize Your Dream

2 07 2009

And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed.Genesis 37:6 KJV

Read Genesis Chapters 37, 39 – 41

1. What a Dream. Joseph had to be shocked and devastated by the devious plot of his brothers to sell him into slavery.  As shocked and devastated as he must have been, after arriving at Potiphar’s, his new master in Egypt, he managed to get about the business of making the best of of his situation.  Joseph successfully rose to the top of every situation, no matter the predicament.  Whether he was a son, a slave, a prisoner, or a citizen, he always persevered to a position of favor and authority.  While in prison, Joseph’s time had come to realize his dream and he seized his moment in Gen 40:14 where he interprets the dream of the baker and the cup bearer.  Having used his gift, he was later summoned by a troubled Pharoah to interpret his dreams and soon found himself second in charge of all of Egypt where eventually his brothers and his father would be subject to him as in his dream.

Questions: (1) What are some of the character traits that Joseph portrayed throughout the scripture? (2) Through each very difficult circumstance, Joseph remained faithful to God.  How did he do it?

2. Practical Life Lessons.  As we look into the life of Joseph, we see that life is not always easy and that there will be seasons of fruitfulness and seasons of barrenness.   God shows us through Joseph, that we can  be ready for whatever comes our way.

Questions: (1) In Genesis 47 during the years of plenty, Joseph put away 20% of all the produce of the land;  Is this amount still relevant today?

3 Secrets To Excelling At Your Work

1 07 2009

Secret #1 – Decide

Make up your mind what you want to do when you grow up and then go tell your manager and have him get in agreement with it.  Speak to your management two levels above him.  Make sure that what you decide is in line with the direction of the company goals. 

Secret #2 – Execute

Execute well throughout the year on your tasks.  You’ll need to do great work on your task  and influencing others.  Keep your work visible… tell ’em what you are going to do, do it, and then tell ’em what you did.

Secret #3  – Deliver

You can make it, package it and ship it, but if the customer doesn’t get it, then no currency exchanges hands.  No matter how big or small your job and no matter your product or service,  you must become very aware of the necessity of following through.  You must deliver.

These secrets will enable you to be a success at work.

Lack of Communication – #1 Reason for Project Failure

10 06 2009
I told them just doesn’t make the grade when it comes to effective communication.  Communication is very dependent on the feedback loop.  It is important as the sender of a message to make sure that whoever you are talking to relays back to you what you said.  This point cannot be stressed enough.
Lets say you leave the water running in the bath tub while you are watching a game on TV and your wife reminds you to turn the water off and goes to bed.   You say, “OK Honey” only to find the bathroom and the next room flooded with water after you finish watching the game.   What could have taken a few seconds to address now will take hours of time and expense to fix.  This highlights the importance of making  sure the receiver gets the message.
Destructive unintended consequences analogous to the damaging effects of the water secretly seeps into our projects and lives daily when we don’t communicate effectively.

No More Cubes

9 06 2009

I’ve noticed in the last few years, that I really don’t need a cube.  Working from home or where ever else I choose is actually a better fit for me.   A good portion of the folks I work with daily are in other countries anyway, so there is definitely no benefit to  driving into work to call into a meeting with India or Malaysia.   I certainly don’t do that when I meet with them on their schedule which is in the middle of the night USA time.  I do see a need, however, to keep a building albeit smaller,  for a place to get face time and hold conferences.  With wireless connections blanketing cities all over the world, I don’t need to come to the office to get what I need anymore.  So, I say take the money being spent on my cube development and up-keep, give me a blackberry, save the rest.

Small Computers –> Big Future

30 04 2009

I’ll make this short and sweet, just like a tweet.  I read this article this morning about the PeeWee tablet Laptop.  It is specifically made for 3 to 10 year olds.  These machines are important for us to reach the next generation with life changing technology.  In poor rural areas, books are hard to come by, but with the spread of the internet via WIMAX and other broadband technologies, we can put technology like this in the hand of a child.  With this technology, they can have access to 100s of books and other info from around the world.  That would be hyper-growth.  Check out the article here, “PeeWee Tablet Laptop Is Resistant To Drops, Spills, Screaming Children”.

Thanks for reading.  If you are working to expand technology to low-income areas around the world, let me know and also leave a comment or tweet me at @dfresh411 .