Personal Note from the “Captain of the Ship”
Help Wanted: Optimistic Leadership Need Only Apply
Fear and anxiety dominate the workplace. People are feeling depressed and scared. Those who have jobs are waiting anxiously for the other shoe to fall. Millions of people feel victimized by the economy. Others have given up hope. The effect is lowering motivation and job productivity the world over.
Well–it is a good thing I don’t feel that way! I refuse to be a pessimist.
Whether you are the President of the United States or the President of the local PTA, you have a tremendous opportunity to make difference in the lives of others through the words you use and the attitude you choose.
If you are a leader, you have a higher calling – a responsibility to set a positive example for others to follow. Now more than ever, this world, this country, and your business need optimistic leadership. The people you influence are looking for hopefulness and a positive direction to follow. This is what good leaders do.
In my own experiences I have learned time and time again—with the right leadership, people can do amazing things. Let’s pledge here and now to be more optimistic. If we do, we will snap out of this recession much quicker.
A Hero Lies in Each of Us
The heroic actions demonstrated by Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and his magnificent crew on US Airways Flight 1549 is worthy of admiration. It is no surprise why so many people were galvanized with this incident.
First came the actual incident — a perfectly executed crash landing in the Hudson River resulting in no loss of life. But the incident is not as significant as the psychological affect.
As we dissect this event, each of us appreciates something different. There is not enough space or time for me to list every detail, but here are a couple that stand out most in my mind.
Others came first. Once the plane was in the water “Sully” was the last to abandon ship. He did not get off until everyone was outside the plane. Captain Sullenberger has become an international celebrity, but you still sense his humility –he is not a man selfishly seeking glory.
I believe Joel Barker’s definition of a leader best describes Captain Sullenberger. Barker says, “A leader is someone who takes you to a destination you will not go to by yourself.” That is certainly true in this incident.
We have grown callous by all the negative images we see in the media. We are bombarded in our daily news with fallen titans motivated by corruption and greed. Whether it concerns peanut butter, private jets, or golden parachutes, we have grown skeptical and have less trust for those in authority.
We tend to forget there are far more good people in this world than bad. Sullenberger and his crew made us hopeful and proud again. That is a good thing.
If you would like to view the 60 Minutes interview with Captain Sullenberger, please go to my Blog.
CEO and “Captain of the Ship”
Have You Lost Your Way?
As part of the preparation when I am hired to speak, I visit several of the businesses in that association. I recently visited one of those companies in my hometown. I asked the business owner what he is doing differently as a result of this economy. I was astounded to hear these words, “Well, nothing. We are just hoping things will get better.” I was astounded! This business needed help.
Tig Gilliam is the CEO of Adecco. He recently said, “Those leaders who best adapt to shifts in priorities, and successfully execute against them by rallying their talent in new and oftentimes uncharted territory, are leaders who are successful in times of growth and times of uncertainty.”
Here are six things you need to focus on now.
1. Assess your talent.
2. Work on employee engagement.
3. Build closer relationships with customers.
4. Evaluate your company culture.
5. Build trust among the management staff.
6. Retain your superstars.
If you are looking for a tool to assess the talents and skills of your talent, I encourage you to look at the Personal Talent Skills Indicator. It measures 32 competencies against a database of 40,000 other individuals.
Greg’s Upcoming Speaking/Engagement Schedule
Iowa Nursery & Landscape Association, “Leading Your Workforce During an Economic Crisis” – Iowa State University
American Rental Association, “Building an Emotional Connection with Your Customers” – Atlanta
Pizza Expo, “Gladiator Leadership” and “Loyal for Life”– Las Vegas
On assignment, Ireland
SHRM Staffing Conference, “Proven Ways to Retain, Engage and Motivate Your Workforce” – Las Vegas
International Association of Operative Millers, “Transforming Workers to Winners”-Grand Rapids
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Copyright 2009 by Chart Your Course International–reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From “Chart Your Course International,” by Gregory P. Smith, copyright 2009. (770) 860-9464 (800) 821-2487