Today I spoke with Carla Cobb Davis, my radio guest for the week. Carla is a colleague of mine, but I can’t really say that I know her well. I have always sensed the abundance leadership qualities within her, but I never knew her power and gifts until today. She spoke such wisdom and truths, that it was as if she knew Marshall Goldsmith’s book (“What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”) by heart. Some of her pearls (greatly condensed):
A Leader is someone who influences others to follow. This is done by having a clear & powerful vision that is communicated, looking for solutions, not problems, then unleashing your people to use their talents to develop a solution. It means letting go of the need to be in charge of the outcome, and growing your people, letting them own their ideas and solutions…and not let yourself be caught up in having to get the credit. It means listening (times 3!), watching, touching and feeling in order to understand what your people need, then doing it. It means being a “servant Leader”, by showing that your role is all about them…the employees.
So, it’s all about setting an example and not letting your ego get in the way.
When I asked her how leadership fits into the lives/behavior of women & men who aren’t managers/CEO’s, her response was: “Wear your integrity”. Integrity is a hallmark of a great leader that we can all display.
The last two interviews I’ve done on my Abundance Leadership shows have been, as my producer said, “Marvelous”! Two powerhouses: Sandra Yancey and Marshall Goldsmith. What’s remarkable as I work with leaders, read about real leadership, speak with inspiring leaders, and interview experts who work with leaders is that it comes down to some very basic things:
1. Those who lead others must first lead themselves. We bring all of who we are into what we do, so if you’re not getting the results you want, or if people aren’t following you…look in the mirror to find the reason why.
2. Leadership starts with inspiration. Are you inspired by who you are and where you’re going? If you are (and if you can articulate it!), then others will want to be part of who are are and where you’re going. I love the line that John C. Maxwell quotes that states. “If a person says he’s leading, but has no followers, then he is just taking a walk”. When we bring inspiration to ourselves and to others, with it we bring a passion that pays off with overall organizational effectiveness and profits.
3. As Stephen MR Covey says in his latest book, The Speed of Trust, great leaders are those individuals whom others can trust. How do you build trust? By caring, by serving others, by have integrity, by having courage, and by being authentic.
As Marshall Goldsmith told me, today’s organizations are comprised of “information workers”, who demand more, know what’s “out there” in the rest of the world, and who understand, at some level, that they are meant to be respected. It takes a special kind of leader to lead in this 21st Century environment.
If you missed these shows, listen here: go to www.modavox.com/voiceamericabusiness and listen or download from the archives.
Abundance Leadership…what does this mean? It’s the title of my 2008 “live-talk” radio interview series on voiceamerica.com… a title that my producer, Stephan Jacob, and I created. But it’s more than a title, it’s a way of being as a leader. Its outgrowth is a culture of leadership that honors the human-ness of each person, and has as its hallmark the commitment to the growth and excellence each individual. Its symptoms are servanthood, self respect, respect of others, authenticity, courage, integrity, communication, caring, and effectiveness.
If this sounds like fantasy, I’m happy to report that it’s not. Numerous organizations are embracing the values and behavior of Abundance Leadership, and are reaping the benefits. What benefits? How about improved efficiency and productivity, lower employee turnover, higher customer retention, higher revenue and profits?
I kicked off my 13-week radio show on August 26th, 2008, with an overview of Abundance Leadership, armed with research, writings and experience of some incredible consultants, coaches, CEO’s and authors. Since then, I have interviewed Marshall Goldsmith about the mistakes that leaders make which limit their effectiveness and growth (professional AND personal growth). I’ll write more about this entertaining and interesting conversation with Marshall in a later post. Stay tuned!