Leadership is a Verb…

John C. Maxwell, Author, Speaks to 4600 TN Con...

Image by Old Shoe Woman via Flickr

I love the magazine Success. One of my favorite features is a monthly motivational/educational CD they include in each issue. This very unique feature is something I look forward to listening to each month. Today I had the pleasure of listening to an interview with John Maxwell, one of my favorite motivational speakers. He provided me with today’s topic… Leadership is a Verb not a noun.

How often in your life have heard some one say I am the Leader of XXXX. Like it is a position of possession, they own it, you want it, but I am not giving it to you attitude.  John shared today that leadership is an action that people choose to follow it is not a noun or position to be looked at, and admired. Leaders often struggle with this I would imagine in todays corporate structure. See in the late 90’s Leadership in our country began to change from the traditional do as I say because I am the leader corporate structure to a structure where people decided internally which leader they wanted to follow based on actions and convictions of that individual.

Leaders over the last decade had to adapt and change, from ones that simply dictated direction to leaders which actually shared knowledge, know how and motivation to get it done from the front of the line. Think about it, how did we get out first Black President, Obama is a natural leader whose vision and actions inspired a mass of people to not only come along side his movement but also develop their own leadership style and direction and helped build his movement in to the largest nationwide campaign trail most of us had ever seen.

My wife is a former English teacher, yes she is very critical of my writing style as well, and I know that she would have just loved the thought of leadership being taught as a verb.  Here short tenure as a teacher was under the direction of a “leader” which was more about the Noun than the Verb if you know what I mean.

I recently left a career of 17 years in Newspapers for very similar reasons, here is an industry filled with Leadership that has little action. When I left I decide to start my own business and follow the only leader I knew I wanted to trust at the time, me. ( www.1to1valet.com ) For newspapers survival they will hopefully find Leadership with action in the near future.

I was thinking today at what drove me out of the sales field and into management in that industry, it was the people who I worked with. They were the reason I thought being a manager was going to  make me a great leader, but I wonder if at times I forgot why they made me feel that way in the first place. I was just a hot-shot sales person for the first five years of my career, but I started to realize that my knowledge base and willingness to help others in the paper was making me very popular. I started to believe that I could be a better leader than my boss and started to really step out of line to develop my own voice in leadership.

The Key that I think most leaders miss there even if they are a leader of action is knowledge base. The willingness to share knowledge and develop future leaders.

John Maxwell is right, Leadership is a verb, it is a symptom of action, but action without knowledge is not leadership, it is foolishness.

If you are a leader and you are wondering where all the followers are going, look around for the person which is displaying confidence in actions and knowledge in the work force and you will identify the leader of the group.

How do you develop more leaders:

1) Become a person of action and start to lead your company from the front lines.

2) Share your knowledge, and empower others to lead the way.

3) Encourage group dynamics in the organization and let leaders develop in the  group.

4) Help team discover leadership qualities and styles they already posses

5) Step back and become a follower of strong leaders in your own organization, when it is called for. Let others knowledge base that is superior to yours not stop you from growing and learning.

Superbowl Commercials – Winners and Losers

Ok, before I start I must let you know that I am a Superbowl Fanatic. I love to watch this game. I don’t like Superbowl parties because there is too much non-Superbowl chatter happening. 

BUT!  I do love the commercials.

So here are my best and worst of the Superbowl Commercials of 2011:

1) Doritos – Office dude licks the other guys fingers.  Commercial made me laugh out loud. Everyone has that one product that they hope they can lick the plate in the end. Sniffing the cheese on the guys pants just made this commercial unforgettable to me.  Great work Doritos.

2) Pepsi Max –  Girlfriend throws can at boyfriend who is looking at blonde jogger, He Ducks and the can blindsided the jogger.  Very Funny. I don’t remember any thing else on the commercial but the wandering eyes of this guy just causes all kinds of trouble for this unsuspecting jogger. Of course the best is that they both run off and leave the scene.  HAHA!

3) VolkswagenDarth Vader in training. Little boy is trying to conjure up the force and move objects. Dad hits the cars lights with a remote and freaks the kid out because he thinks he actually did it.  Ok I admit I am a star wars freak so it hit a soft spot with me. (They also scored in the end with me for the New Beetle commercial.  Very creative and well done.)

4)Doritos’s – Bringing back the dead.  Cleaver, bringing Grandpa Back from the ashes..   Sick maybe, but cleaver. 

5)Chrysler – Motor City – Built in America – I like the story telling in this commercial. Great timing in a country with little self-worth. Detroit needs it, and America needed to hear it. Well done.

Near Top five

Chevrolet transformers–  I almost missed this commercial and had to look it up online or probably gets a better result.

Five Misses –

1)Bud Light – Movie set.  Just missed to many way to make it funny. Looked desperate.

2)Go DaddyJoan Rivers – Wow what a disappointment from this creative company. By the way who in Hollywood is being paid off  to sell America and the world the idea that Joan Rivers is anything but old and needs to retire.

3)E-Trade – The old man and the E-trade Baby.  That was just too weird. Maybe the baby is just getting old.  ( Sneezing Cat one was good, made me laugh.)

4)Coke – Dragon Wars??? – Ok this commercial did have some cool effects but I felt like I needed another half hour of film in order to understand why this was relevant. I must not be Cokes Target Market.

5)Brisk Ice Tea with Emmen.  Probably just not the right target audience here again, but that seemed like a total waste of 3 million dollars.

So what are your favorites? 

Inventor of Social Marketing… Jesus Christ?

Ok so I am sitting in church today and the thought of Jesus walking among the people popped into my head. Not just walking among us but serving each of us, helping where we needed help most, providing information and guidance to all who asked. Yes he came to save us from our sins… let me not trivialize what the New Testament is meant for in our society, but have you ever stopped to think of the example he left for us in business and how we use social media.

We have been told that in Social Media and Social Marketing it is about what you give to a relationship that matters.  “Stop Selling” Bret L. Simmons says, social media is about giving information, giving assistance to those who need it, helping all that ask and are willing to communicate with you. It is about answering your critics with truth and knowledge. Imagine if Jesus would have had the internet 2000 years ago where we would be today with his message.

Is it that much of a stretch to think that Jesus Christ was the originator of what the makers of Facebook, My space and LinkedIn made so attractive to us all. The ability to communicate, listen, help and share to all that will listen and ask. 

This week as you twitter, Facebook, text, and link, remember the basic principles that we learn from Jesus:  Be truthful, be helpful, be a great listener, face your critics with integrity and truth and share all that you have in love.

Have a great week!

Targeted Global Marketing

I remember speaking with business owners in years past about why they believed they did not need the internet. You remember them, the business owners who had no need for the world to find them, they were a local business.

Then we switched gears and started promoting Hyper Local  Marketing, and that made sense to many and online ad revenues in local market’s started to climb. Well today as I am communicating with companies half way around the globe that either have interest in my services or are a company which can help me serve my local business community with more creative and unique solutions, I realized what social media has done is create a Targeted Global community.

A targeted global community, a community with Hyper (Local) interests, wich is to say that they are personal and intimate interests not held with in geographic boundaries.  A small business can now communicate with resources 24/7 from all corners of the globe. They can find new and innovative solutions, creative ideas, cost savings, product improvements and yes even business partners and customers.

So the is the first rule of Marketing  still true?  (Location, location, location)?

I don’t know as I write this I have the funniest feeling that I am late to the party and everyone has already figured this out, or have they. I still see thousands of business owners without a web site, without a social media connection, without a diversified supplier list. They look at social media as a giant waste of time because they know that if they just pick up the phone  and dial the next prospect or that old reliable service ( which doesn’t seem to be as good as it once was) that business will get done and sales will come.These are the battles that business owners must get through in a hurry.

Business Real estate is being taken right now. Taken by the few which have jumped in both feet and said I will not quit. They are determined to build relationships in a very targeted global community. With people who offer wisdom, service, solutions that they need to move to the next level of business.   They are securing real estate in places like Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Linkedin, WordPress, you tube, Manta etc…  A Global Mall-without-walls of business and consumer communication that is building new empires and new celebrities.

Targeted Global Marketing, sounds like an oxymoron, but on LinkedIn today I spoke with business people in three different countries in the matter of an hour on the same topic. Business was good.

Get on Get started and start your Global Targeting today.