What Are the Most Important Decisions You Make as a Leader - David DeWolf

What Are the Most Important Decisions You Make as a Leader?

What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?

As a leader, there is no doubt what your number one priority is: it is to build a high performing team. Teams accomplish things that individuals simply cannot by themselves. As a leader, who you hire, the way you facilitate interactions, the way you tear down silos in politics, and how you build trust within the organization matter more than anything else.

To this end, it is the personnel decisions, the team orchestration decisions, that make the most impact on your organization. Flawless execution will beat brilliant strategy all day long. But high performing teams will overcome challenges in strategy, in execution, and in all parts of the business.

Your number one priority as a leader is to build your team. Do not abdicate your responsibility in putting that team together. The most important decision you make as a leader is that which impacts the team and the people within the team.

Question: What’s the most important decisions you make as a leader in your organization? I’d love to hear from you! You can leave a comment by clicking here.

 

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Why I took my online presence to the next level - David DeWolf

Why I Took My Online Presence to the Next Level [Graphic]

In late 2013, I made the commitment to taking my online presence to the next level. This was a deliberate decision and one that I didn’t take lightly.

Investing in building a platform requires a commitment of personal capital and time.  It also requires an emotional investment and a willingness to put yourself out there.

So why did I do it?  Because to be an effective leader in today’s business world, it’s required. Here are some of the reasons why I remain convinced that developing a strong online presence was and is the right thing for my business — and I’ll bet most of them apply to you as well.

People follow people. People want to know you. You can’t lead if you’re absent. People want to learn from you. You have to be in the conversation.

To read more about this, you’ll want to be sure to read my earlier post about why I took my online presence to the next level.

Question: Do you need to build a stronger online presence through your blog, social media, or some combination? I’d love to hear from you! You can leave a comment by clicking here. Learn My Secret to Living an Integrated Life Get it Now Join the Discussion

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The Dichotomy of Leadership - David DeWolf

The Dichotomy of Leadership

I often get criticized within my own company for making too many changes. I can’t stop tinkering with our strategy, the organization, or our tactics. I can’t stop tweaking our business model. I just see things that need to be fixed, refined, or evolved and I push them forward as new ideas. I can always find a way to make things better. Nothing is ever perfect and I’m resolved to keep making things better.

Leaders, by their very nature, are all about change. Managers manage the status quo; they keep the engines running. Leaders push things forward, ensure progress, inspire towards a vision, and get people to move in that direction.

In other words, where leaders prompt change, managers provide stability.

Until recently, I never considered the ramifications of this reality. By and large, people don’t like change. Change tends to disrupt people. It makes them anxious. It can be uncomfortable.

As a leader, it’s essential that we continue to push things forward and build momentum. It is upon us to ensure that our organizations and are moving forward. Yet it’s just as important that we have strong management skills or surround ourselves with strong managers who are helping to create the stability necessary for others to feel safe.

Leaders must be managers. Managers are not always leaders.

Leaders must prompt change. They must build momentum and disrupt the status quo. But good leaders also must create the stability necessary for others to perform at peak levels.

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Which is most important to your organization - David DeWolf

Which Is Most Important to Your Organization: Mission, Core Values, or Vision?

Which is most important to your organization: mission, core values, or vision?

I’m struck over and over and over again how many organizations lack a strong core ideology. By core ideology I mean mission, values, and vision or as some people say purpose, values, and vision.

The most powerful of these is mission. In his book, Start with Why, Simon Sinek describes how the best inspirational leaders start with the question, Why? People identify with purpose.

Now, unfortunately, while this is the most important building block, a mission or a purpose is very difficult to put into action without a crisp vision. Vision is what propels you forward. It’s essential that you depict a clear picture through descriptive means of what it looks like when you arrive at what you are pursuing.

Mission is the building block and vision is the fuel that drives you forward. Your core values are what keep you on track. Without adhering to a set of values, an organization runs the risk of falling apart.

BUT it is the mission that fuels the machine and it is the vision that leaves the tracks and points it in the right direction. It’s the vision that allows the entire organization to run the same direction and accomplish the mission or the purpose.

No organization can get by without all three. But start things with a purpose and building crisp vision will be a great first step.

Question: Which of these do you find to be most important to your organization? I’d love to hear from you! You can leave a comment by clicking here. Learn My Secret to Living an Integrated Life Get it Now Join the Discussion

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How to Love Public Speaking - David DeWolf

How to Love Public Speaking [Graphic]

Confession: I love public speaking.

Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years that may help you to love it, too:

Speak from your heart. Focus on the message, not the words. Tell stories. Be confident and be yourself. Don’t overprepare.

To read more of my thoughts, be sure to see my earlier post about my love of public speaking.

Question: Do you speak in public?  If so, what rules of thumb do you live by?  If not, why not? I’d love to hear from you! You can leave a comment by clicking here. Learn My Secret to Living an Integrated Life Get it Now Join the Discussion

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How Do You Encourage Creative Thinking in Your Organization - David DeWolf

How Do You Encourage Creative Thinking in Your Organization?

How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization?

Last week I sat through a demo that one of our employees at 3Pillar was giving, showing off our new 3D printer. That’s right, we have invested in and acquired a three dimensional printer.

Now, if you know anything about our business you may be asking why? What does 3D printing have to do with being in the software development space? You build products! You innovate software products! Printing? 3D printing?

Well if you’re guessing that it’s just a cool toy, you’re kind of right.The reality is that we acquired this 3D printer to fuel creative thought. To fuel innovative thinking.

One of the staples of our business, and quite frankly all businesses, is creative thinking and innovative thought. Employees who are mechanical, who just get things done, and who don’t experiment are employees who aren’t leading and aren’t propelling the business forward.

We invested in a 3D printer because we wanted to fuel this type of creative, forward thinking. We want people to think about things differently and to explore how can they use a 3D printer to take our business to the next level.

I don’t have high expectations that we will trip over something that can be core of our business model. But I do have high expectations that by giving our employees that opportunity to play with something that’s a little bit leading edge and that’s a little bit cool will not only increase the excitement and the moral of the organization, but also the creativity, innovative thought, and out-of-the-box thinking that leads to the next generation of companies. Then that mindset will be further embedded within our culture.

That is more than worth the small investment we’ve made in a 3D printer.

Question: How do you encourage creative thinking at your organization? What’s an example of something you’ve done lately? I’d love to hear from you! You can leave a comment by clicking here. Learn My Secret to Living an Integrated Life Get it Now Join the Discussion

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