Great Leaders Aren’t Fair At Work

As a leader, are you fair with your those on your team? Many leaders would say “Yes!” or at least “I try to be!” What distinguishes average leaders from great leaders is not if they’re fair or not, I think everyone tries to be. What’s different is their definition of fairness.

We live in a time where a premium is put on political correctness and it carries over into how we lead our people. Leaders think that to be fair they must spend and invest equal amounts of time and energy in each person on their team.

How would you define fairness?

The common answer is: Fairness = treating everybody the same. That is not fairness. As U.S. Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter said, “It is a wise man who said that there is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals.

Video: Celebrating Your Spouse

We have a crisis of celebration in our culture. Employee surveys consistently show that one of the top two employee complaints is that they aren’t recognized or acknowledged for their work. This carries over into personal relationships. Think about the last time you received a heart-felt note of appreciation? We don’t even send birthday cards anymore. Our celebration has been reduced to Likes on Facebook and shoutouts on Twitter. This past Sunday at Life Church I looked at the crisis of celebration in marriage. Check out the entire message below.

Character Growth Through Crisis

The Crucible of Crisis

Life can be hard. It’s full of mountain tops and valleys, victories and defeats, celebration and mourning. The valleys, defeats, and times of mourning are difficult but can be beneficial in your growth and maturity. Specifically, character growth seems to happen quickest and most frequently in times of crisis. I call these times the crucible of crisis.

There are three types of crisis that we face:

Emotions At Work

Traditional approaches to improving your performance at work put an emphasis on changing behavior. They teach that if someone tries hard enough that they can alter their actions.  All the emphasis is on evaluating past actions, planning for future actions, and correcting wrong actions. We know from experience that simply “trying harder” is not sufficient. Think about the last time you tried a diet, to develop a new productivity habit, or start a new routine at work. How did it go?

Often times we realize that we “know” the right thing to do but we still make the wrong choice. Focusing on the “action” and trying harder is not sufficient. Emotions matter. Emotions influence our actions.

What’s your motivation? [video]

What motivates you to obey God?

In our faith, it’s easy to fall into the trap of conditional obedience. We follow God’s plans and desires for our life as long as they’re convenient, not too difficult, and produce the results we want. However, this is the wrong reason. It points to a deeper issue of our heart. Check out this message I did this week at Life Church that is sure to challenge you in your faith.

trueU App: Leadership Lessons

Download it today!

Have you downloaded the trueU app yet? I partnered with trueU and released eight Leadership Lessons that are rolling out over the next several weeks. This week we released “Finding Your Sweet Spot.” It’s a great, short video to consider what you’ll focus on going into the new year.
– Search for trueU in the iOS App Store or Google Play Store and check them out!


The First 30 Days At Your New Job

I’m a month into my role as a Leadership Coach with Dulead. It’s been a great start and has reminded me how important it is to get off to a good start. If you spend your first 30 days well it will propel you into the future. A slow or negative start can take months to recover from. What is important to do in your first 30 days at a new job?

  1. Learn your boss’s style. Make getting to know your boss one of your top priorities. Get to know them personally, but even more importantly understand their leadership style. Are they a big picture guy or do they like to dig into the details? Do they want daily updates, multiple updates per day, or will a weekly update suffice? Do they prefer email, phone calls, or to talk in person? Do they care more about when you punch-in and out the clock or that you just get your job done? What is the dress code they expect? These are just a few of the details you want to figure out about your boss as soon as possible. Many of these you get from observing your boss and how they interact with your coworkers, not peppering him/her with questions.
  2. Clarify your responsibilities. Shortly into your job, you’ll discover expectations and demands on you that may not fit with your original understanding of the role. These aren’t necessarily good or bad, but they need to be clarified. Are they your responsibility? Should you devote time to them? Or will they distract you from activities that your boss thinks are more important?
  3. Discover your boss’s priorities and pressures. Put yourself in your boss’s shoes. What is most important to your boss? What pressures are they facing? What are they being measured on? The more quickly you can discover these and help with them the better. If you make your boss’s priorities your priorities, then you will help them succeed. If you help your boss succeed, you will succeed. It’s a win-win!
  4. Build relationships with others. Get to know your team. I’ve made it a personal goal to have lunch or an in-depth 1:1 conversation with a different co-worker each week for the first two months. You never know the connections you’ll form, friends you’ll discover, or common interests you’ll have. This makes work more enjoyable and your team more effective.
  5. Ask for feedback. I asked Eric, my new boss, for feedback after two weeks and plan to again at six weeks. While I think I’m doing a good job, I want to make sure he thinks that. Is there anything I’m missing? Any disappointments or points of frustration? Anything else he’d like to see? I always want to be learning and growing. Feedback is a great way to make that happen!
  6. Pray for your work. As followers of Jesus, we should always be praying for those around us. However, sometimes we forget to pray for our work, especially if things are difficult or frustrating. Pray for your boss, coworkers, and the organization. Pray for why God has you there. Pray for yourself and opportunities to grow, develop, and make meaningful contributions.

Starting a new job can be overwhelming. Adjusting to a new culture, team, organization, and schedule can be a lot. However, it’s not good enough to just survive the first month, you want to thrive. By doing the above five things you’ll set yourself up for long-term success!

Question: As you’ve started new jobs, what have you learned is most important to do in the first month? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


The Art of Listening

As a culture, we have forgotten how to listen well. With all the noise, interruptions, and activity the art of listening is being lost. To lead well we must listen well. Listening creates connection and understanding which is necessary to lead others.

This post is being written from personal experience. I have found myself guilty of poor listening more often then I’d like to admit. See if you can relate to one of the following situations that have happened to me: