Learned Leadership

 

 

I’ve heard it said that leaders are born and I’ve heard it said that leadership is learned. It’s probably a little of both.

But whether it comes from your genetic make up or your environment, I owe whatever leadership qualities I have to my Dad.

Great leaders lead by example and here are a few things he’s showed me.

Listen and Learn

Leadership starts with conversations.  If you listen to the other person, and really hear what they are telling you – you can learn something about them and about yourself.  The more you know about each other – the more you can accomplish together. I’ve listened as he talks with people many times.  And he really talks WITH them.  Never at them. He listens to what they have to say and shares his ideas.

Embrace Challenges Calmly

Challenge your thinking and challenge yourself.  Be open to new ideas while staying true to your principles.  No life is always easy.  And I’m sure raising five kids who were six years apart in age was not always a piece of cake.  (I can not imagine a house with FIVE teenagers.  I have all I can handle with two.) But what ever challenges he faced, my Dad kept his cool and did what had to be done. And he still does to this day.

Live their principles

Talking about something is easy.  Doing something about it can be an entirely different story.  True leaders don’t just talk about something.  They get involved and take action.

My Dad does not stay on the sidelines.  Even though he is retired, he’s busier than ever.  Whether it is creating a neighborhood park, getting a road repaired, volunteering at church, or helping a neighbor, he walks his talk.

Sing Out

Dad’s not afraid to raise his voice and say what needs to be said,  He shares with his children and grandchildren the stories of the past and talks with them about the events of our day.  By his example he has taught us to be aware, be informed, and express our opinions… even when we don’t agree with him.  🙂

Don’t have to be famous to be effective.

My Dad didn’t have to be the President of the United States, the Chairman of the Board (OK, GM might have done better of he was) or a celebrity to make a lasting impact as a leader. He just needed to be who he is, do what he believes is right, and set a great example for his children.

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Thanks for stopping by…Stay Tuned.

Joan Koerber-Walker

 

A Few Key Maxims

Marie Gleason CarmichaelMarie G. Carmichael was a pretty wise lady. She lived to see 100 Christmases and 17 Presidents. She loved politics too. I wonder what she would say if she heard the news today?

It’s hard to find a space in the media today that is not filled with incumbents, candidates and presumptive candidates sharing their message with “the people.”

Perhaps, like many of us, you are tired of it all; the repetition, the name calling, the bickering and worse. I know I am.

There are a couple of things you can do.

Option #1 – Turn it off.

Turn off the TV and the radio, advise the newspaper you are on vacation so please suspend delivery until election day, and avoid opening email, accessing Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any other form of social media.

Option #2 – If you think Option #1 is a bit too extreme.

Each time you hear a politician, newscaster, or other pundit continue to behave in a way that creates dissension instead of creating solutions, send them the gift of these words that my Grandma shared with me:

“Have your facts in your head before opening your mouth. ”

“Don’t complain about a problem, without offering its solution.”

“Pointing fingers does not solve anything, you have a brain and two good hands, use them to fix it.”

“Always remember, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Perhaps if our current and hopeful politicians hear this a few million times, they will get the message.

We can only hope.

Otherwise we may just have to go back to seriously considering Option #1.

The Best Support is Bidirectional

As I go about my day, I wear a hat or two or three.  I’m a Mom, a wife, a non-profit executive, a CEO, a board member, an investor and a few other things.  Across them all, it it all ties back to one thing.  I need the help and support of others to get the job done.  This week, at one of my many meetings, a fellow board member shared a thought that has really stayed with me.  “We need to provide value BEFORE we ask for support.”   As I have continued through my week, that message kept coming back to me. Continue reading

What’s Your CorePurpose? How will you achieve it?

AZBio Member John Hoffman of QMR

This week, Tuesday in fact, I have my first BIG meeting as the President and CEO of AZBIO, the Arizona BioIndustry Association.  It’s probably the most important meeting we will have all year – the first phase of our strategic planning process.

There will be other important events and meetings through out the year, but this one lays the foundation for what we will do and who we will do it for.Continue reading

Responsibility, Leadership and Noblesse Oblige

iStock Photo via Microsoft.com

Leadership is a popular word these days. Consultants preach it, journalists either praise it or bemoan it, companies, boards investors and customers demand it.

The days when leaders were anointed at birth, except in a very few cases, are long gone. Today’s leaders may have great power… or none depending on the authority they wield.  But whatever level that may be, with leadership comes a corresponding measure of responsibility.

“For of those to whom much is given, much is required”

Bible (Luke 12:48)

Through the ages it has been written that leadership and responsibility go hand in hand.  Today, leadership takes many forms. We lead people in organizations. We lead with thoughts, ideas, and experience.  We lead in the development of processes and products.  As leaders, however and where ever we may lead, it is important to remember, leadership is not something that is merely handed to us, it is a privilege that must be continually earned.  For when our leadership falters, others cease to follow. If others choose not to follow, we are not leading, we are simply walking alone.Continue reading

Success Tip: Lead–Grow–Volunteer

Often when I am speaking with an audience or sharing ideas with leaders and  entrepreneurs, I hear a question that starts like this: “How did you get people to give you a chance to …”

It’s a recurring theme.  We want to lead. We want to grow. We want to make a a difference.  So, how do we get people to give us a chance to do it?  In 2010, I had the opportunity to  share ideas with the Society of Women Engineers.  We we focused on the 5  C’s that build success. One of those C’s is Community.  Here is what happens when you get involved in your community and volunteer.

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zxy2zn2_G4A&w=448&h=252&hd=1]
Keynote–Society of Women Engineers–2010–Joan Koerber-Walker, Chairman of CorePurpose, Inc.

Lead – Grow – Volunteer

We don’t need to be labeled “a leader” to lead.  Just as we don’t need someone else’s permission to develop our skills and grow.  What we do need are opportunities to showcase our leadership ability and talents.  Although are not many fairy godmothers out there who can wave a magic wand and make an opportunity materialize before our very eyes, there is something we can do that works like magic and makes us feel great too.  One simple word.  Volunteer.

Over the years, through a number of volunteer activities,  I have had the opportunity to share ideas on network television, land radio interviews, be profiled in newspapers and magazines and connect with key decision makers, customers and partners who I might otherwise have never met. By volunteering to do what I could do, I got the chance to do it.  People noticed and more opportunities followed.  Those opportunities created more opportunities.  Pretty soon, I was not just leading, I was doing it officially as “the leader.”   It all came about because of volunteer work done in my community or where I worked.  If it can work for me, it can work for you.  Just follow these two simple steps.

Establish yourself as a leader.

A leader is someone who stands out above the rest.  We all have talents that we can share that help us to stand out.  Perhaps your talent is organization, team building, networking, writing, or simply listening.  Maybe your gift is mentoring, speaking, or a special set of technical or business skills Think of ways that sharing these talents and gifts can help a nonprofit organization that you believe in.  Step up, stand out and lead in whatever role you are given.

Roll up your sleeves and show ’em what you can do.

In today’s economy, nonprofit budgets are stretched to the limit.  There is almost nothing they do not need.  Does your business have great consumer products or services?  Donate them to gift baskets, silent auctions or raffles.  Do you provide business services? Donate them to the nonprofit itself to help in reducing overhead costs. In each case you are getting yourself and your products or services in front of others who may want to work with  you in the future.  Often this is the supporters, board members, donors, or sponsors of the organization.  The nonprofit may not have the resources to pay for your donations and services, but these people do.  When you do a great job or deliver a great product, people notice and even better… they tell their friends.

Volunteering is not only a philanthropic activity.  In our workplace, there are lots of opportunities to step forward and volunteer.  Perhaps it is on a committee, in a new project that looks a little risky, or even to give a customer a hand on a project that they are not able to pay you for.  Sometimes when we take on one more project, we feel we keep giving and giving and nothing is happening.  But that is NOT the case.  

Here comes the magic…

While you are giving you are also growing both in experience and influence. The more you give, the more you get.

While you are sharing what you have of value, you are getting value too…

New skills you learn while working with others in your community or workplace.

Connections to other leaders who share the same passions and values that you do.

Recognition for your efforts and the value you contribute to the cause or project.

Visibility for yourself and your business

The opportunity to represent the organization in your community

The chance you thought someone needed to give you.  You did not need someone  to give it to you after all. You gave it to yourself. 

That’s the great thing about magic.  It makes anything possible.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Special Announcement: 

Please join me with Lolly Daskal and the gang on the #LeadFromWithin Tweet Chat this Tuesday (February 15, 2011) at 8 PM EST. 

This is my chance to volunteer and help lead the discussion with a group of wonderful people from around the Twitterverse on how to #LeadFromWithin.  Lolly and I talked about it and decided that exchanging ideas on what happens to us as leaders when we volunteer was a perfect topic for the day after Valentine’s day.  I hope you will volunteer to join us, roll up your sleeves and show us what YOU can do by adding your ideas to the tweet chat discussion.  It’s easy to do and free of charge.  Just sign in with your Twitter ID at www.TweetChat.com at 8PM EST on 2/27/2011.  Put in the #LeadFromWithin hashtag at the top and when I post a question – share an answer.  See you then.

 

Joan Koerber-Walker is a two time Stevie Award National Finalist and Chairman of the Board of CorePurpose, Inc. and the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation.  She also serves as Executive in Residence for Callaman Ventures and on the boards of for profit and nonprofit organizations.  As the former CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association and a past member of the Board of Trustees of the National Small Business Association she has worked with hundreds of small businesses and on behalf of thousands.  Chat with her on Twitter as @joankw, @JKWgrowth, @JKWinnovation, @JKWleadership and@CorePurpose or at her blog at www.JoanKoerber-Walker.com.

Making the Journey From BUD TO BOSS

The day you have been dreaming of is here… you have just become the boss.  NOW WHAT DO YOU DO?

If this is your dream, the answer is a very important one.  If you are already a “boss” you know it is not a simple one.  Making the transition from “bud” to “boss” can  be a tricky one and sooner or later, as entrepreneurs and as leaders, it is a lesson we all must learn.

Experienced leaders will tell you this is an ongoing learning process.  For first time supervisors, managers and leaders, knowing how to do it right is a key stepping stone on the road to success.

That’s why this new book: Bud to Boss by Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris (Jossey-Bass, February 15, 2011) is one you probably want  to have in your library. In the video below, co-author Kevin Eikenberry shares some highlights of what’s inside and why it is important.

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnOMzCRYMVE&w=448&h=252&hd=1]
BUD TO BOSS co author Kevin Eikenberry shares insights into why now is the right time for a book like BUD TO BOSS and who can benefit from its message.

Watch the original video by Kevin Eikenberry at the Bud To Boss website

In the video, Kevin shared the 6 main points you will find in Bud to Boss.  So I thought you might enjoy seven great quotes I found inside when I read it.

On  the impact you make as a leader:

…like a boat, you can tell a great deal about leaders,
even if you have never met them, by looking at their wake—their impact on the organization.

The two sides of a leader’s wake are
1. The tasks or results he accomplishes
2. The people or relationships he impacts

On Control and Empowerment

You can’t tell another person that he or she is empowered.
That person will not act empowered until he or she feels
that way.

On Change:

As a leader, how others experience change is as
important as how you experience it.

On Communication:

Communication style models are good guides for
understanding other people. They are not rules that
define other people.

On Coaching:

Coaching is more about ‘‘we’’ than ‘‘me,’’ more about
conversation and discovery than advice.

On Collaboration and Teams

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime. —Babe Ruth, Baseball player

On Goals and Commitment

Goals help you look beyond the activity and get clear on what you really want to accomplish. In other words, though time management is great, goals put the focus on accomplishment.

So that’s my sneak peek into Bud to Boss by Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris.  It’s a great book with lots of good information and tools, plus easy to follow guides and examples. If you know someone who is making the transition from Bud to Boss for the first time or the just the next time, you may want to pass this review along…or buy them the book.  I’m certainly appreciative that someone shared it with me.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

About the Joan:

Koerber-Walker-056 An entrepreneur, author, speaker and corporate advisor, Joan Koerber-Walker’s journey has spanned from corporate America to entrepreneurship and non-profits as well as to community leadership and into the halls of Washington D.C.    To learn more about how CorePurpose and the CoreAlliance can help you grow your business in 2011, you can contact her by clicking here.

CorePurpose  is a registered trademark of CorePurpose, Inc.  CoreAlliance is a  service mark of CorePurpose Inc.  All rights reserved