Biblical Leader Series - Moses

Biblical Leader Series - Moses

Moses was seen as the patient leader of a people with little faith. His church was a murmuring people. They complained and whined at every inconvenience and displayed little to no thankfulness. This disgusted Moses, and his patience had worn thin. He had had enough.

Petty criticism wears on the leader. The wise leader will work hard at blinding his or her eyes to the pettiness of team members' criticism. If that doesn't work, it might be time to put your foot down and call these people out for their grumbling. But like Moses, have the resilience to see things through. Nobody said leadership would be easy.

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Biblical Leader Series - Elijah

Biblical Leader Series - Elijah

Today's nomenclature calls it tough love. Some call it a tough mind and a tender heart. Elijah had both. He loved God. He had the courage to speak to the evils of his day. Where is your God, he asked. "Perhaps he's sleeping and will wake up!" (1 Kings 18:27).

His sarcasm showed his disdain for those who had forsaken God. In every effective leader's life, there is a time for love, but also a time for courage. It may not come quickly. It will, however, come eventually. If the leader becomes too passive can lacks the courage to act, he will lose his leadership role. Effective leaders have the courage to speak even when it is unpopular to speak because they speak the truth with love.

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Building Trust

Building Trust

Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. - Stephen R. Covey

Whether you're leading others or following others lead, to be successful at your job, one learn to communicate effectively.  And at the foundation of effective communication is trust.  Here are a few thoughts on how to build trust as it relates to communication:

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The Secret Sauce

The Secret Sauce

Yesterday I attended my monthly client meeting at Paseo with Dustin, Leo, and three members of their Landscaping committee. During the hour long debrief, we were complimented for the following:

- Hand trimming a ladies hibiscus
- A recent installation project
- Our recent round of rejuvenation pruning application
- How courteous our worker are when residents are walking around the community

Each compliment was surrounded by a personal story. There were no complaints during this meeting, and the community of over 700+ residences looked great. At the conclusion of our meeting, I quickly wrote down the following list of things that lead us to doing such outstanding work. I'd like to highlight these for you so we never forget what makes Crawford Landscaping different - our secret sauce!

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Do What You Say You're Going to Do

Do What You Say You're Going to Do

Everyone's heard it said: "quality, service, and a commitment to honoring our word." That's our Credo (well, it's been refined to: Quality, Service, Integrity, and Stewardship).  Consistently doing what you say you will do is at the bedrock of our foundation as a  business.  If someone wants to know what it takes to succeed at Crawford, its simple - do what you say you're going to do.  This is a must.  Skip Prichard published a newsletter entitled Leadership Insights, and he says this:

"Consistently doing what you say you will do is the foundation of integrity" - Skip Prichard

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Accomplishment is a Journey

Accomplishment is a Journey

"Accomplishment will prove to be a journey, not a destination." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Often times we sell ourselves short in thinking that once we accomplish (fill in the blank) we've achieved success; or we've reached our destination. It's been said, you're either growing or your dying.  Those that have a long-term approach to life, who view life as a journey not a destination, will have balance and peace (hopefully).  

But a big part of thinking this way involves purpose.  I guarantee you someone who lives for a purpose greater than themselves will live a more fulfilled life, and will be more apt to view life as a journey, not a destination. What's your purpose?  How does that purpose shape your life?  Does it?

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Root Cause

Root Cause

In the manufacturing world, I learned a very important technique to reach the root cause of any problem.  It's called the 5 why's. The 5 Whys is a question asking technique used to determine the root cause of a problem. The 5 in the title suggests it should take no more than 5 questions to get to the root cause of the problem. Developed by the founder of Toyota Sakichi Toyoda, the 5 Whys Technique is used in problem solving, trouble shooting and improving processes. Here’s how to use the 5 Whys Technique.

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Leadership 101: Converting Leadership into Reality

Leadership 101: Converting Leadership into Reality

The majority reading this are in some form of leadership capacity - even those who don't lead people!  That's right, leadership doesn't necessarily mean you have to be the boss of another.  Let's say you're a mechanic, and all you do all day is fix small engine equipment.  You have no direct reports; it's just you and the small engine equipment.  You're the small engine whisperer.  You can still lead as you take ownership (CORE VALUE) of all small engine equipment and lead the charge in all things small engine: preventive maintenance, repairs, registering new equipment, etc.  You become the guru of small engine world.  When something thinks small engine, they think of you.  You own that dimension of what we do.  That's leadership.

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Avoid Low-Hanging Fruit

Avoid Low-Hanging Fruit

Today's quote is inspired by events from late 2014 and early 2015.  During that time frame, we lost a lot of maintenance business.  And what was so hard about losing this business was that the reason we lost it had nothing to do with our company or our work - it was due to only 1 thing - PRICE.  It was very frustrating and left me with a feeling of helplessness.  It also called into question everything I believed about who we are.  Today's quote highlights my struggle at the time as I faced this crisis of belief.  The quote is by Richard A. Davis is found in his book The Intangibles of Leadership.  The intangible he is discussing in the chapter where this quote is found is entitled "Will."

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Captain Obvious

Captain Obvious

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night." - Steve Martin

Stating the obvious is painful if you’re on the receiving end. However, the deeper rooted issue in playing Captain Obvious is that there is a disconnect between what you expect people to know and what they actually do. In other words, a gap in knowledge sharing exists. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have had to put on the captain’s hat.

Application: Share what you know with others such that your people are on the same page as you. Doing so will free up your time because they won’t have to be told anything -- they’ll just do.

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Weakness

Weakness

Very similar to the difference between the old school authoritarian leadership model and the servant leadership model is living a life pleasing to God by embracing our weaknesses so He can shine differs radically from today's culture of self-sufficiency and pride.  Check out what Paul said in 2 Corinthians about his weaknesses.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." - 2 Corinthians 12:9

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Invest in Yourself

Invest in Yourself

Personal change might begin with coming up with a good idea. But good ideas aren’t enough!

You have a 10% chance of making change if you say, “That’s a good idea.”
You have a 25% chance of making change if you say, “”I’ll do it.”
You have a 40% chance of making change if you set a time to do it.
You have a 50% chance of making change if you plan HOW to do it.
You have a 60% chance of making change if you make a commitment.
You have a 95% chance of making change if you set a specific time to share your progress with someone. ( Create a Level 6 appointment.)

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5 Habits That Make Great Leaders

5 Habits That Make Great Leaders

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” –Aristotle
 
The difference between good leaders and great leaders is the habits they master. Here are some behaviors you can develop to become a better leader:

Habit #1: Manage your time.
The Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness (CMOE) found that leaders spend an average of over five hours a day on email and phone calls alone. Along with daily interruptions, it can be extremely hard to make progress on critical projects. In her book Finding Your Balance, Joan Gurvis recommends that instead of multitasking, you try a technique called “channel changing.” Instead of doing several things at once, give each person or activity your full attention and commitment; when you have completed that, change to another “channel,” again giving it full attention. Working in focused chunks of time is more effective than allowing today’s to-do list to manage you.

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The King and his seeds

The King and his seeds

Once there lived a great king renowned for being wise and intelligent. As the thought of retiring came to the king’s mind, he spread the word across his kingdom that he was soon to appoint a new successor for his throne.

The news of the search for a new successor caused a great stirring across the land. The king was considered to be the wisest to have come to the power. His clever policies had helped to build a just and content nation over the course of his ruling. Very few were surprised to know that he was to eschew the traditional route of the family for the search of the one worthy of the throne.

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Hot Head and Cold Heart

Hot Head and Cold Heart

“Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything.” - Billy Graham

In other words, don't lose your temper and have a heart!  Have you ever noticed that people who easily lose their temper also happen to be very insecure.  Not always the case, but the majority of times people who lose their temper and are easily set off because they can't stand looking bad.  Or, they're so incredibly selfish they have to have things their way or have things falling in their favor at all times.  In any event, having a temper flies in the face of servant leadership as the individual is almost always at the center of their decisions and actions.  

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Servant Leadership

Servant Leadership

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” – Max De Pree

According to Ann McGee-Cooper and Duane Trammell in there paper entitled The Essentials of Servant Leadership: Principles in Practice, servant leaders exhibit five basic practices:

  • Listening without judgment
  • Being authentic, open and accountable
  • Building community and showing appreciation
  • Sharing power
  • Developing people
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The Three Strands of Hair

The Three Strands of Hair

At Crawford, we stress the importance of Servant Leadership, which must be rooted in genuine care and concern for others.  This is the result of actually knowing others and their struggles, both personal and work related.  

One might say, "why should I be concerned about what an employee does or experiences when they're not at work?"  To which I would answer, "do you care what goes on in your friends life outside of work?"  

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