Weak Leaders – Part One

One of the most common characteristics of weak leaders is complaining about a lack of resources. Weak leaders frequently complain about a lack of resources no matter how many resources they have. That tends to make me think it’s more of an excuse rather than an actual issue. 

But even if they truly have a shortage of resources I still see it as more of an excuse than anything else. 

Weak leaders complain about too small a budget. They complain about too few people to get the job done. They complain about lack of time. 

The thing is, those complaints typically don’t limit a weak leader’s ability to complete a job or assignment, they prevent them from even starting. Strong Authentic Leaders do not allow the fact that they can’t do everything they would like to do prevent them from doing everything they can do. 

Authentic leaders who face limited resources prioritize what must get done. They separate the “nice to do” from the “must do” activities and then they develop a plan to get the “must do” things done. No excuses, no delays, no worries, no problem and no complaints.

I was on a call recently where in a 10 minute period of time someone in a leadership position complained at least a dozen times about what they couldn’t do because of a lack of resources. I couldn’t take it anymore so I asked them to please tell us what, if anything, they could do. 

They seem rather stumped. 

If you’re a leader who faces limited resources you simply must stop focusing on what you can’t do. Turn your attention to the things you can do. You must realize that there is a huge difference between no resources and limited resources. If you have people on your team, if you have dollars remaining in your budget then use those along with the 1440 minutes you definitely do have each day to accomplish as much as you possibly can. 

I realize you may not have the budget, people or time to do all that’s expected but you absolutely do have everything you need to do all that you can.

So do that!

One Small Step

Sometimes success begins by taking a mighty leap of faith. Sometimes, but not very often. Most often, success begins with one small step.

As small a step as it often is, many people just can’t make themselves take it. They might see success somewhere on the path they want to take but it appears to be a long way off. Between where they are standing and the success they seek are obstacles called risk, failure, effort, problems, lack of financing and other various unknowns.

Those obstacles cause many people to wait. To wait for the obstacles to magically disappear. To wait for someone or something to remove the obstacles for them. These people have a desire for success but their desire is small when compared to what they have told themselves are huge obstacles.

But here’s a funny thing about obstacles on the path to success…the closer you get to them the smaller they turn out to be.

But sadly, many people will not get to experience that because they never take that one small step that starts them down the path to success.

The journey of your success will always begin with the small step of taking a risk. Whether in business, in personal relationships, or in life, all success most often starts with that small step made with a hefty desire to be more. To be better. To make a difference. To leave behind a legacy that’s not soon forgotten.

Despite what you may have heard or hoped, success in NOT available to everyone who wants it. It is only available to those who are willing to work to achieve it. That work includes overcoming any and all obstacles. That work includes maintaining a “can do” attitude, even when you’re surrounded by a pack of “can’t do” people. That work includes making an effort every day, not only on the days you feel like it.

That work includes taking one small step on the path towards success. Sometimes that’s the hardest work of all. The question isn’t whether you want success, the real question is whether you’ll work hard enough to achieve it.

Well, will you?

Cry or Try, The Choice is Yours

This is a bit of a challenging post to write. It will also perhaps be a challenging post for some people to read. It is a challenge in both directions because without seeing my facial expressions and hearing my tone of voice some people will think this post is uncaring.

My intent however is the absolute opposite of uncaring.

I’m writing this specifically for people who feel like crying during difficult circumstances. Notice I didn’t say I am writing this TO you, I am writing this FOR you. This is a message you need to hear.

In every difficult circumstance there are two kinds of people. Those who cry over their circumstances and those who try to improve them. Even people who cry about their circumstances know that the people who try to improve their circumstances have a much better chance to succeed.

But they don’t believe they can do anything about their own circumstances. The crying group wears the mantle of victimhood like a $5000 suit or a custom made ball gown. It is a very comfortable fit.

Even with a life full of far more comfortable options they have convinced themselves that they have nothing else to wear.

The trying group on the other hand will wear anything. They don’t care if their plaid pants don’t go with their striped shirt. They will try anything. They know that no matter how poorly their attempt might turn out the only way they can truly fail is to not continue trying.

The trying group believes in themselves. They trust themselves. They know they have what it takes to succeed.

That belief and trust in themselves is all that is separating them from the crying group. The trying group does not have vastly greater skills than the crying group, they just make a choice to use whatever they have.

Trying is hard work. Crying is just hard. Trying gets you somewhere. Crying traps you right where you are. Trying creates hope. Crying creates more crying.

The good news is that the price for moving from the crying group into the trying group is low.

All you need to do is to make a choice. A choice that says I’d rather try and fail 1000 times than to sit here and cry with no chance to improve my situation.

A choice that says I may or may not have what it takes to succeed but I’m going to use everything I do have and see where it leads.

My mom used to tell me to not cry over spilt milk. Yet I spilt my milk all the time and would invariably cry over it. Until I decided that crying wasn’t going to solve my spilling problem. I decided on the solution right then and there…. I haven’t had a glass of milk since.

In any circumstance you can choose an attitude of “Woe is me” or you can chose an attitude of “Wow is me.” Which one you choose sets your life on either a path of success or a path with puddles of spilt milk.

Choose wisely.