Regardless of whether we are building leaders one-on-one or facilitating team practices, we always center our efforts on the pursuit of personal excellence. In other words, we believe that excellence must be built individually before it can spread organizationally.
Leadership is primarily about being, not doing. True leadership comes from the heart of the leader…from the CORE.
1. Build your CORE. Your Worldview, Identity, and Principles comprise your Character. Your Passion, Purpose, and Process represent your Competence. Together, your Character and Competence make up your Culture. Build your strong ‘six-pack’ — your strong CORE. This is the essential upon which all the other essentials are built.
2. Build your humility. The pursuit of excellence is a journey. Pride falsely tells us we have arrived and leads to mediocrity, arrogance, stagnation and, many times, to derailment.
3. Build your courage. Reaching your potential will require that you face your fears, overcome adversity, and fight for what you believe.
4. Build your discipline. Reaching your potential will not always be comfortable and convenient. Do not take up residency in ‘victimhood.’
5. Build your healthy, physical life. Remember how good it feels to “hit the sheets” when you were physically, not just mentally, tired?
6. Build your knowledge of self. Socrates said, “Know thyself,” but most of us don’t. Our modern world wants us to constantly speed up. You need to learn to slow down. We are our own worst enemy.
7. Build your optimism. Life is hard. A pessimistic attitude will stop you short of your best.
8. Build your commitment to learn. The road to excellence will require you to learn along the way. You can only do what you have learned to do. Experience is the greatest teacher…but only if you learn from it.
9. Build your emotional intelligence. IQ is only a threshold skill…it is how you are smart that matters most. Emotions give you power to connect or disconnect, at a deep level, with people.
10. Build your wisdom. We reach our potential by converting all that we hear, see, touch, feel, and know into productive action! Think about it…
11. Build your communication skills. Stop multi-tasking people…slow down, ask questions, ask more questions and stop ‘spinning’ your message. Listen intently and learn to ‘play you’ at your best.
12. Build your inter-dependent relationships. We are built for relationships. We reach our potential with the help of true friends. Together we improve.
It is impossible to lead others farther than we have led ourselves.
The 8 Essentials of Leading Teams focuses beyond leading oneself to leading others.
Committed followers cannot be bought. The one ‘big thought’ in this book is very simple: Leaders are believers. Great leaders believe in their calling and in themselves. Great leaders’ beliefs inspire, and this inspiration is the greatest gift a leader can give a team.
1. Build trust. Leadership is influence. Leaders cannot influence committed people without first earning their trust. Leaders trust first. Leaders are believers. Trust requires time, consistency, and our commitment to continual rebuilding. Building trust is the hardest job of the leader. Building trust is essential.
2. Build your pursuit of personal excellence. All are BUILT TO LEAD. We cannot lead others farther than we have led ourselves. Leaders understand that their toughest leadership challenge is leading themselves with excellence. Leaders apply the 12 Essentials of Personal Excellence. Leaders teach them to their teams.
3. Build your vision. We are inspired by passionate people who believe in their calling and can see forward with clarity. Building vision requires time in solitude, reflecting on our past, studying leaders we admire, and wallowing with our team. A shared vision provides the team energy that fuels growth and builds resilience over time and through adversity. You can only build as big as you can dream…dream BIG.
4. Build sustainable results. Leaders love producing results. Great leaders have great passion for their work and lives. They love to be out front. They love to compete and are willing to fight for their cause, their team and their calling. They have a strong will to win, both for themselves and their team. Leaders ‘get it.’ Leaders get results.We are drawn by these results.
5. Build your team. Leaders need followers. Recruiting, hiring, challenging and growing people requires a process and a passion. Leaders love producing results. The great ones love people even more. Leaders are constantly developing their people. Great leaders serve their followers. Leaders care enough about their team not to tolerate mediocrity. This tests your will. Leaders care enough to free their best, even when it means letting them leave. This tests your heart. Leaders do not motivate. Leaders do not seek conformity. Leaders are builders. Great builders inspire. Great builders build and inspire teams that are committed, not compliant.
6. Build a high-performance culture. Leaders understand that most top performers do not leave their jobs because of money or management. They leave their jobs because the work lacks challenge and meaning. Leaders create an environment that inspires challenging work, clear goals, immediate feedback, and personal growth for all team members. Leaders focus on their own performance first, then on their teams. Great leaders create a culture of performance that is contagious. Leaders’ cultures are caught by their consistent words AND actions. They do not spread without both.
7. Build leaders. Leaders reproduce. Leaders understand that if you build trust, pursue personal excellence, build your vision, build your focus on producing results, build your team, and cultivate a culture of optimal performance, that GROWTH will result. A team of leaders is not optional. Leaders reproduce purposely.
8. Build a legacy. Leaders love to build. Leaders are creative, innovative, driven and passionate. Great leaders feel called to their work. They inspire and develop teams that share their passion and desire to make a difference. Together, they produce results that do just that. They create teams that are built to last, not to flip. They care about leaving the world a better place, not just leaving the world a bigger estate. The goal of being the best in the world is not big enough. World class leaders also want to be the best for the world. Great leaders are great builders!
When organizations experience individual excellence and organizational excellence, they grow. Growth is good. Growth itself, however, is not a guarantee of sustained or sustainable high performance. In fact, unmanaged growth can cause problems for any organization.
The 4 Essentials of Leading Leaders provides a systematic framework for the development of leaders to enable manageable growth. Nothing is more invigorating than a group of inspired leaders who are journeying toward personal excellence, leading a team toward excellence and developing the next generation of leaders at the same time.
1. Build your commitment to personal excellence. Leaders understand that their toughest leadership challenge is leading themselves with excellence. Leaders apply the 12 Essentials of Personal Excellence. Leaders teach them to their teams.
2. Build your commitment to team excellence. Leaders apply the 8 Essentials of Leading Teams.
3. Build your focus on the right people. Leaders cannot focus on forty priorities. There is not enough time or energy. Leaders cannot effectively develop countless people either. Leaders must choose wisely whom they pour themselves into. The greatest leaders in history have a track record for developing their own people. There are very few examples of great leaders hired from ‘the outside’ that lead the team from mediocrity to excellence. Excellence is most often built from ‘inside’ the organization. Are you developing your next generation of leaders? Are you pouring yourself into the right people? Are you making the mistake of treating all your leaders the same? Leading leaders requires your time and focus. Leading leaders is accomplished one-on-one or, at most, one-on-a-few. Leading leaders is required for sustained greatness. Trust your ‘gut’ when choosing where you pour you!
4. Build your own leadership development program. When leaders commit to personal and team excellence, growth occurs. Excellence attracts excellence just as mediocrity begets mediocrity. Countless organizations fail to plan for this seemingly obvious outcome. Do not let that be said of you. Great leaders realize that sustained greatness will require a systematic, programmatic approach to developing both their current and next generation of leaders. Your leadership program builds company vision, strategic direction, operational excellence, fiscal responsibility, real team building and associate development. BUILT TO LEAD partners with our clients to develop and facilitate these programs.
“Together we improve” is more than just a tagline. It’s what we demand from ourselves and expect from our clients. Our mission is to help our clients reach their dreams. In doing so, we reach ours.
We believe all leaders are both born and built to lead. We believe individual excellence, team excellence and leadership excellence are all required for sustained, organizational excellence. None are optional.
We desire to partner with leaders and organizations that desire excellence AND are committed to the journey. On our journey together we will study, learn, and apply…not to get smarter, but instead to build each other stronger. We will learn how to fight…not to prove a point, but instead to improve performance. This journey will be REAL, HARD WORK. We will struggle together. We will learn what it means not to settle for less than our best.
All that we require of you is that you come into every practice ready to hit and be hit. Come prepared to work. Bring an open mind, an open mouth, open ears, open eyes, and an open, receptive heart. You will never be the same. You will become a builder. You will become BUILT TO LEAD.
BUILT TO LEAD and YOU…together we improve.