Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Seven Healthy Steps to Effective Leadership

LEADERSHIP is more than just a TITLE that people gives you when you get to top of something - it is and will always be a work in progress!

You work and progress or growth happens, not only to you but to all the people around you and the organization or community that you belong to.

Here are Seven Healthy Steps that you should take into consideration for you to become an effective leader - Always!

“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

Be aware of the fact that not everything is as simple as black and white - and that there are many shades of grey. Leaders must realize that each situation is not necessarily summed up as right or wrong, perhaps it’s just different than what they are used to.

So an effective leader is a master of empathy or the ability to understand other people's feelings, thoughts or needs. They are sensitive to it and are therefore his or her actions are guided by it.

"Listen Well"

To effectively communicate with others is a critical part of leadership development. Everyone is given two ears and only one mouth so they might listen twice as much as they speak! Listening effectively is the key to good communication and effective leadership - for leadership, first and foremost, is about being a good communicator.

"Work Together"

Working well with others is another highly important skill for leaders. Getting more accomplished as a team in less time is always better than simply doing it alone.

"Give and Take"

Through the process of working in teams, leaders learn the art of give and take. Compromising in certain areas to ensure that the task is completed, and with all parties pleased with the outcome.

Sometimes, the Give and Take process brings out a far more better solution than a compromise.  Something that is different from what everyone has proposed but have agreed to fully. This is one of the many magic of effective leadership.

"Step by Step"

A large task can be overwhelming. However, Breaking down a task into smaller, bite-sized pieces will build more self confidence and provide a clearer vision for success.

An effective leader is a combination of a great strategic planner and an awesome organizational manager.

"See and Dream"

A leader who can see their outcome clearly is more likely to achieve success. The first task of effective leadership is to see where the group is now and to concretely know where  to go next..

"Push Forward"

An effective leader knows that failures are indispensable requirements to success. Mistakes should not define a leader of a group - it should however serve as a learning tool and a motivation to move further and to push forward.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Five Secrets to Working Effectively

For those of you who thought that work is just a four-letter word, think again.

We study and try to learn in school for so many different reasons.

An old friend once told me a very interesting analogy between two different type of students studying here in the Philippines. 
A young chinoy (Filipino-Chinese), he said, is sent to good schools by his parents so that someday he will be capable of managing their family business or even manage his own business; while a young native-born Filipino is sent to good schools so that someday he will be able to find good work (usually in companies owned by Filipino-Chinese entrepreneurs) and bring home a good pay.
Although it is good to think that this analogy would lead many of our young natural-born Pinoys to realize that they too are given the same chance as the chinoys to be entrepreneurs someday, however, it does not mean that there is lesser honor in being an ordinary worker.

In fact, for one person to manage a business and a team of workers, that person must first understand the essence of work and he too must learn to become part of the team.

Here are five insights I've learned from writers, friends and from personal experiences that made me think of working in a totally different light:
There is more to working than earning a living.

You don’t work to bring home a salary. Try to ask yourself these questions:
  • Why am I working? or Why am I looking for work?
  • Why do I need this salary?
  • What keeps me working for this company?
The key is to keep asking yourself why and by the end of your self-inquiry you will have come face to face with your personal goal or an objective. If you are a working student, it might be because you wanted to finish college, practice law and manage your own law firm someday.  Or maybe because you want to get your own house, bring your kids to school and give them a better future. Whatever it is, you don’t work just to earn a living.

You don’t work for your boss.

You work for yourself and your job is to give your best and that’s the way you enjoy your work. Think of your application form as a registration paper to fight as a soldier for your country in times of war. When you got hired, you went out to war but not without proper guidance and training. Your commander-in-chief or your boss gives you instructions and directions. Now, if you signed up to fight for your commander-in-chief then by all means fight and die for your boss. But you signed -up for a different mission and when you go out there with your guns and bullets you fight for this mission, and you fight to stay alive.

You work for your goals and you work for yourself.

You are competing against people who love what they are doing.

Yes, work is a competition. Your opponents are your co-workers and so are the rest of the working population on this planet. But the game is not measured in skills and knowledge. We are measured by the amount of love and dedication we give to our work and our co-workers.
You always had a choice. Change your attitude or change your job.

How many times have I heard complaints about co-workers, bosses and organizational systems that doesn’t seem to jive with our expectations.

Andrew Matthews, well-loved speaker, cartoonist and author of “Follow your Heart,” said that our primary mission in life is not to change the world but to change ourselves. The key to this concept is to deeply understand a person and a situation and to try to see things in a different lens. With this unselfish act, you may be able to effect a change in yourself, in the way you see things around your work area and in the way you act at the same work situations that used to bother you and maybe, somehow cause a positive change to the other person or the situation.

However, changing your attitude may not be as effective if you don’t really like what you are doing. Ask yourself if you love what you are doing right now, if not, then change your job and do something that you like or maybe just try to love what you are doing right now. Find out what interests you in your present job and always focus on your goal. A kitchen helper sings while he cooks because he knows that he’s going to be a singer someday. Meanwhile, he makes his job and his co-workers’ job more enjoyable by singing and performing for the rest of the kitchen staff during his shift.

The only ones among you who will be truly happy will be those who have sought and found how to serve.

Work requires commitment and commitment requires sacrifice. Sacrifice is offering oneself for something that you believe in.

When I was asked by a friend to give an example of real service in work, only one thing came to mind: teaching. 

I could have answered missionary work, priestly vocations, the armed forces but teachers have always amazed me. Especially those who never had the chance to marry because of their dedication to their work. Although sometimes you hear them say how much tired they are for doing the same things for years you’ll know that in their hearts they really love what they are doing and with that love comes a great sacrifice of service to educate and guide the future generations, and their real consolation is just to see this young and restless spirits grow to be productive members of the society.

Seven Ways To Gain Peace Of Mind

PEACE OF MIND is clinically described as the absence of mental stress or anxiety. On a grander scale, it may also be described as the state of mental, emotional and spiritual calmness, happiness and freedom, free from all kinds of worries.

It is a key ingredient to holistic health and wellness. And the lack of it would cause an imbalance that could be detrimental to a person's mind, body and soul.
Here are seven ways to gain a peaceful state of mind:  
  1. FORGIVE OTHERS with no sense of condemnation. Do not give forgiveness on an installment plan. A difficult habit to learn but one that is worth doing.
  2. FORGIVE YOURSELF for the mistakes you've made. Forget the errors of yesterday and live fully today. Learn from your blunders but do not dwell on it. To err may be a human failing but to forgive is a great human achievement. Forgive yourself and achieve your fulfillment as a human being.
  3. KEEP UP WITH YOURSELF and not with someone else. Trying to imitate others merely forces you to play second fiddle. You can't be someone else you can only be yourself - imitation is but an illusion. Every day you must try to be your own self and make your self-image grow. A mirror is a friend for those who are loss.
  4. SEE YOURSELF AT YOUR BEST and stop concentrating on your worst. You are your most wicked enemy when you torture yourself with feelings of frustration every day. Focus on your goals and your strengths. Remember that when your strength grows, your weaknesses lessens. Transform your weakness into strengths by concentrating on the what you can do.
  5. DO NOT RUSH. Plan your time wisely by focusing on the important things and do not hesitate to refuse to take on unimportant and burdensome tasks. Don't procrastinate on things that are urgent and important. Prioritize and learn to say no.
  6. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE FUTURE. Focus on what is at hand. Work on your present goals and the future will take care of itself.
  7. HAVE FAITH. Put your trust in God and forget all fears. "Cast your burdens upon Him those who are burdened, come to Him all of you who are tired of carrying heavy loads and He will give you rest."
Peace!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Respect At Work

Life is all about RESPECT, everything else is secondary!  

Sadly, it is also the one thing that our society is lacking of. Mainly because we all know the word but do not really fully understand what it means or its importance and power to change people and circumstances.
RESPECT is a wearable trait. But those who don't have it can't give it - and those who don't give it can't have it. So, let's start building RESPECT as a habit. Begin at home and then build it outside with friends and most especially in our place of work.   

Here are some tips.

You can demonstrate respect at work with these simple, yet powerful actions:
  1. Treat people always and at all circumstances with courtesy and kindness .
  2. Encourage everyone to express their opinions and ideas freely.
  3. Never insult people, call them names, talk behind their backs, put down people or their ideas.
  4. Treat people the same no matter their race, religion, gender, size, or age. Implement policies and procedures consistently so people feel that they are treated fairly and equally. Treating people differently can constitute harassment or a hostile work environment.
  5. Praise much more frequently than you criticize.
These 5 simple tips constitute a solid foundation for a respectful environment. Implemented consistently at work, these actions help ensure a considerate and professional work place.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Servant Leadership is to Know the True Meaning of Sacrifice

Leadership requires service and service requires sacrifice.

Sacrifice means that a leader must be willing to let go of things he or she holds dear.

Sacrifice means that a leader must be willing to lose ones security. It means coming out from our own comfort zones.

Like a salt that loses its own to add flavor to dishes a servant leader gives life to a group and its members and puts the interest of the people he or she leads over personal interest.

The life of a servant leader is full of sacrifices but this is what separates a true leader from the rest.

Jesus constantly reminds us through the bible that to follow Him is to follow a life of leadership and not just any kind of leadership but one that is driven with a life of genuine servitude.

We have a lot of brave and bold leaders who made a mark in the pages of history but a true servant leader is someone who made a mark in the hearts of the people they served.

Servant Leadership is to Understand That We Are All Equally Blessed

Like the story of the Vine and the Branches in John’s Gospel we are all connected to one another. What ever happens to one, directly or indirectly affects all. It is a natural law.

This connection makes us all equal even though we are unique.

Our uniqueness makes as individuals, but our uniqueness also compliments the uniqueness of others and these makes us all inter-connected and inter-dependent.
“We can’t all be artists for we will starve to death – some would love to be farmers and paint the land green with abundance.”
We are all equally blessed as God’s Children and a servant leader respects this truth.

A servant leader is not above or below but is equal to the people he or she serves.

A servant leader does not rely on power or authority but with the strength and contributions of the people he leads. He understands that all has the capacity for greatness and his role as a leader is to help them enhance that individual capacity to achieve not only the goal of the group or the mission he embarks but also the individual goals of his members.

A servant leader must be a fountain of blessing for others – his followers must see and feel that they are truly blessed with good things and this must be imparted or communicated to them well.

A true servant leader uplifts his members. He does not degrade or undermine their individual capabilities.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Servant Leadership is a Calling

Like the rich young man (Luke 18:18-30) in one of the story in the Gospel, a SERVANT LEADER always ask how to follow Jesus - because he or she believes in His leadership.

You’re reading this article right now because you want to know how you can become a good leader like Jesus was.

His answer to all of us is: “Leave everything behind – give to those who are in need – and follow me.”

This is the most straightforward and most complete description of what it is to be a servant leader. But of course, this deal was anything but easy – that is why the rich young man turned away. Because he was so rich and all that wealth is very hard to give up.
The point here is not about the money or material wealth – it is about our willingness to give up everything for the sake of others who are in need.

Being a Servant leader would require a lot of your time (are you willing to give up your favorite afternoon soap opera for a group project?)

Being a servant leader would require you to share your talent (are you willing to offer your money-making talent for free for the benefit of the group? Will you be willing to explore and learn other things for the sake of the group?)

Being a servant leader would require you to share even your hard-earned savings (are you willing to make your group activities a part of your personal expenses? Are you willing to sacrifice money for your recreational activities for the transportation and food requirements of group meetings and activities?)

If you can answer yes to these questions then that’s the first step to becoming a servant leader.

But you have to say yes - without IFs and BUTs.

What is Servant Leadership?

When I was asked to write an article about servant leadership, there is no way I could begin without asking that question.

Just like with the word LEADERSHIP – servant leadership has become a household term for all organizations today but do we truly understand its true meaning?

First and foremost, Leadership is and will always be Service. So the term ‘servant leadership’ would be like a redundancy. However, to emphasize the need for leaders who possess genuine care and concern for the welfare of the organization and its members or the general public – the word ‘servant’ was added.

SERVANT LEADERSHIP is also known as the ‘Jesus’ type of Leadership. It is leadership based on His principles and His teachings, and how He led his disciples.

There are many things we could pick-up from this type of leadership but you’ll need to be reminded only of the three most important and basic principles of Servant Leadership. With these three in mind and in heart, a leader will be able to follow Christ’s footsteps and lead his people well.
  1. Servant Leadership is a Calling
  2. Servant Leadership is to understand that we are all equally blessed
  3. Servant Leadership is to know the true meaning of sacrifice

Sunday, August 9, 2015

What To Do When You Have Just Lost Your Job

Being laid-off or losing your job can be the worse thing that could ever happen to a loyal employee.

There are so many reasons why job loss occurs in a company. Streamlining, mergers, reorganization, closures and other company cost-effectiveness measures due to global economic slowdown, political and economic situation, shrinking markets and even natural calamities.

For people who have lost their jobs to any of the following reasons above and not because of poor performance and any other reasons, here are some things that you can do to survive.

ACCEPTANCE

The first thing a laid-off employee needs to do to survive this is to bring themselves out of the situation and recognize that it is really out of their control. Accepting that the situation is beyond personal reasons will keep you more objective and in control of the situation.

NEGOTIATE

If you're a regular, you'll be offered with some sort of a severance package and with you in control of your emotions and the whole situation you will be most likely able to negotiate the terms of your package.

REFERRALS

If you have been laid-off in good standing, you are also entitled for a letter of reference from the company and any job leads that they can provide. Maintain good relations always.

MANAGE TIME

Usually, employees are given a one month or two weeks notice before you go to the unemployment list. Manage your time wisely and use the opportunity to finish all your  work tasks and at the same time re-assessing your skills and priorities and looking for a new job.

BE PROFESSIONAL

Lastly, be professional. Help yourself manage your emotions and remain objective. Remember that it is best to leave an old workplace with a positive image because this will resonate to your future job opportunities.

Actually, all these things are easier said than done so it is best to have a career transition expert at your side during this trying times.  Some companies here in the Philippines hire an outplacement agency to help employees cope with Job Loss and Company Changes.

Industry pioneer like LEE HECHT HARRISON PHILIPPINES have already worked with over 100 companies and has helped over 5,000 employees successfully move on and move forward with their careers.

MORE STORY AT: Lee Hecht Harrison Philippines | Career Transition Services for All Filipino Workers