Be the Best You

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Michael Phelps has been quoted as saying, “I simply want to be the best Michael Phelps.”

While you may not be the most-decorated Olympic athlete of all time, you do have unique strengths and gifts. Ask yourself, “How can I be the best ME there is?”

The Really Great

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“Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

No one is ever too young or too old to need or be a mentor.  Who can you mentor today?  Who is someone great that inspires you?

Principles of Mentoring

Are you mentoring someone?  Thinking about mentoring someone?  Are you being mentored?  The importance of mentoring is regularly discussed, but often, there is little practical advice about how to go about it.  Here are some key principles to keep in mind during a mentoring relationship.  

(The video below contains highlights of keynote address delivered by Kathy Coder and Valerie Faust to the PA Federation of Republican Women on May 19, 2012.)

President’s Day

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In honor of President’s Day, we’ve put together our top ten favorite presidential quotes about leadership:

  1. “A man who has never lost himself in a cause bigger than himself has missed one of life’s mountaintop experiences.  Only in losing himself does he find himself.”               – Richard Nixon
  2. “You ain’t learnin’ nothin’ when you’re talkin’.” – Lyndon B. Johnson
  3. “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  4. “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” – Abraham Lincoln
  5. “Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your reputation, for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company.” – George Washington
  6. “Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly.”    – Thomas Jefferson
  7. “I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.” – Woodrow Wilson
  8. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln
  9. “Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error.”        – Andrew Jackson
  10. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

And because we just couldn’t keep it to ten, here’s a Bonus:

11.  “The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the
greatness is already there.” – James Buchanan

StrengthsFinder 2.0

As we discussed in our, “What is My Calling?” leadership lesson, becoming a leader requires the courage to look inside oneself, identify one’s strengths and talents, and explore how to offer those strengths and talents to others.  However, recognizing one’s own calling is only the first step, truly great leaders are able to recognize the potential in those they serve and help them discover the leader they are meant to be as well.

This begs the question, “How do I identify my strengths and talents–let alone others’?”

StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a great resource to help you do just that.  In 2001,Gallup introduced StrengthsFinder as part of the management book “Now, Discover Your Strengths.”  The book ignited a global conversation, and StrengthsFinder helped millions discover their top five talents.  In StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version of its popular online assessment which identifies an individual’s top 5 strengths out of 34 strength themes.

Why Does Leadership Development Matter?

Times are tough.  We are in the middle of a recession.  That’s the truth and there’s no getting around it.  As an executive you may think, “Yes, I believe leadership training and organizational development work is important, but I just can’t afford it right now.”  Well, think again.

According to the world-renown research institute, the Gallup Organization, businesses that have optimized employee engagement have 2.6 times the earnings per share (EPS) growth rate compared to organizations with lower engagement in their same industry.  On the flip side, within the U.S. workforce, Gallup estimates the cost of disengaged employees to be more than $300 billion in lost productivity.  Ask yourself a question—can you afford that?

What makes an employee “engaged?”  Engaged employees sense alignment between an organization’s vision, values, and everyday practices.  And most importantly, engaged employees have the opportunity to do what they do best everyday—they work from their strengths.  In fact, Gallup reports that employees who have the opportunity to “focus on their strengths every day” are six times more likely to be engaged in their jobs.

Inta-Great will come along side you and help your organization create alignment around a clear vision, mission, and values.  We also have programs designed to help your employees become more self-aware, understand what their strengths really are, and learn how to communicate those strengths to you and their peers.  But it can’t stop there—for real change to take place you need to know what to do with that information.  That is why Inta-Great offers services to help you achieve organizational transformation.

The last thing very successful companies have in common is great leadership.  Credited leadership expert Jim Collins has found that great leaders—“Level 5 Leaders”—garnered stock returns at least three times the market’s for 15 years after a transition period So while it important for your employees to be engaged and working out of their strengths—it is important for you as well.  Organizational culture is created from the top down; therefore, Inta-Great offers many services and programs for C-level leaders.

There is one important caveat—this is not a “quick fix.”  Transformation is a process not an event Real change takes time and commitment.  It is not easy, but our team at Inta-Great promises to support you and provide you with all the tools you will need as you grow yourself and your organization to greatness.