Taking Joy in Someone Else's Success - David DeWolf

Taking Joy in Someone Else’s Success

If you knew José, you would have been WOWed. José was one of my best employees! Brilliant. Creative. His skills were impeccable. He was consultative and polished. Clients loved to work with José.

Not only that, but José showed leadership ability. He was able to inspire others. He was able to paint a vision and get others excited and motivated around it. He was a little bit unpolished in his leadership techniques but he was rapidly learning them.

José also had vision. Lots of ideas! Tons of Ideas! The passion and commitment to make sure he pursued them.

Unfortunately, some of these ideas simply weren’t in alignment with our company. And while several of them were, it was obvious that José’s passion was pursuing these other ideas. He wouldn’t stop at anything before they were accomplished. It began to create a disturbance within the organization. In a couple of instances, instructions would be ignored as he passionately and almost blindly pursued these ideas.

I went to José, and after several months of trying to reign him back in, had a blunt conversation. “José, I think you need to be an entrepreneur. It’s time to leave. You can have the time you need. Let’s figure out a plan. Let’s transition. Let me help you start a business.”

And that’s exactly what he did. José is an incredibly successful entrepreneur. He’s built a fabulous company, one that I am super proud of.

I don’t talk with him much, almost never, but I stand back and admire what he’s done. And frankly, it’s one of my most proud moments.

In business, it’s easy to want to keep everything for yourself, to want to protect your talent. In the grand scheme of things, I helped the organization by getting rid of a distraction, while helping an employee at the same time become a successful entrepreneur who is totally fulfilled by pursuing his passion.

There are often times when employees or others I know will ask what I think about José’s success. Its almost tongue-in-cheek where people are expecting me to be sad or disappointed, upset that José is no longer with us. Quite frankly, many people don’t have a clue that I was the one who encouraged him to leave. They just see it as a failure on my part to retain talent. I smile and I share how proud I am of him.

It’s not disappointing to me that somebody else is successful. I take great pride in the fact that this individual was able to hopefully learn a few things while with us and that I was able to give him that little nudge and that little runway to to start a successful business of his own.

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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 to live an integrated life with humble confidence. Get it Now

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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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Do You Have Superman Syndrome? - David DeWolf

Do You Have Superman Syndrome?

This past week my daughter got into a bit of trouble. It was typical 13-year-old trouble, but still enough to throw Teresa and I through a bit of a loop. We quickly moved to action, knowing that catching issues at 13 is a lot easier than waiting until 17.

At least, I thought we moved to action quickly.

Several days in, I started to realize that my relationship with Teresa was strained. I initially thought that the stress of the situation was naturally putting stress on our relationship. I decided to call a good friend and talk through the situation. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t allow the stress to deepen and start to tear Teresa and I apart.

“Dude, I know you. You’re Superman. As soon as there’s a problem, you fix it. And you’re damn good at it. But a lot of the time, you plow people over in the process,” he said. “Are you sure that you’re both actually doing this together? Maybe you need to slow down and win the war, not the battle. Use this as an opportunity to strengthen your marriage, not just your relationship with your daughter.”

And you know what? He was right.

As entrepreneurial leaders, a lot of times we plow people over. When the fire blazes, we put it out. But, after the blaze is under control and no one’s life is in danger, it’s important that we step back and take stock of the situation. Do the simmering coals really need to be extinguished right away? Maybe it’s more important to double back and make sure no one on the team got hurt along the way. Sometimes we can do more damage in the aftermath than we saved in the moment.

This is the second time in a month that I’ve caught myself plowing forward to the demise of those around me. It’s part of who I am. When I take action, I go hard until the fire is totally out. I take charge, I lead, and I fix. I do it at work. I do it at home. Frankly, I do it in all areas of my life. Unfortunately, sometimes I fail to step back and take stock of the casualties along the way. My biggest strength can also be my biggest weakness.

As my friend reminded me, it’s all about winning the war, not the battle.

Question: Do you have Superman Syndrome? Do you plow people over in your attempt to save the day? How can you recognize your warning signs and know when to take a step back? Learn your trigger points and figure out who that person is that you can reach out to. I’d love to hear from you! You can leave a comment by clicking here. Learn to live an integrated life with humble confidence. Get it Now

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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 to live an integrated life with humble confidence. Get it Now

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