Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Honest To Goodness Leadership Traits—Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is regarded by many as one of the greatest leaders of all time. What can leaders take away from what we know about Honest Abe that is relevant today? Here are just a few suggestions that leaders everywhere can learn from the sixteenth president.
  • Listen deeply to what people on all sides say. Lincoln was a northerner, but understood the plight of the southerners. He incorporated their feelings and struggles into his speeches and correspondence.
  • Acknowledge your errors and learn from your mistakes. That was something Lincoln was particularly good at, and it commanded respect from allies and opponents alike.
  • Be able to relax and replenish your energy. In Lincoln’s case, he went to the theater and told humorous stories before tough cabinet meetings. Roosevelt had cocktail hours during World War II. One rule: Attendees couldn’t talk about the war. Instead, they discussed books and other leisure activities.
  • Keep your anger in perspective. When Lincoln got angry with someone, he had a ritual of writing a letter that expressed all his emotions. But he then put it aside and never sent it.
  • Don’t be a success hog. Lincoln knew he would not be able to accomplish things without the help of his cabinet and staff. He shared credit for successes among his team.
  • If you have a weakness, choose someone who is strong in that area to counterbalance you. Lincoln brought his political adversaries into his cabinet. He did it with Edwin M. Stanton, who publicly belittled him. Lincoln later made him secretary of war because felt Stanton was the best person for the job.
  • Be visible during a crisis. Whenever something bad happened during the Civil War, Lincoln went out amidst the troops. For leaders, in tough times let yourself be seen. Setting an example is the most powerful thing of all.
  • Master timing. Lincoln would announce changes in policies after gauging public sentiment. After you’ve absorbed the feeling of your staff, make the right decision about the time to announce a change or new way of doing things.
  • When speaking publicly, get it right. Lincoln worked for days on speeches and letters and used the best examples he could. He used examples from everyday life. People were able to relate to them better.
  • Shoulder responsibility for the failures of your subordinates.Lincoln knew that he was the leader of a team and he was ultimately responsible for what everyone under him did.

--Adapted from Lincoln’s Leadership Lessons

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Try These Ideas When You Are Forced To Reprimand A Team Member

Here are some things to keep in mind when you need to reprimand a team member:
  • Let the team member know that the behavior is undesirable, not the person.
  • Let the person know that you care about him or her as a person, but that you expect more from them.
  • Do not punish anyone who is unable to perform a task. Take action on those who are able to perform the task but are unwilling or unmotivated to succeed.
  • A team member should be called on the carpet immediately after the undesirable behavior.
  • Do not humiliate a person in front of others.
  • Make sure that the person understands exactly what behavior led to the reprimand or punishment.
  • Do not hold a grudge. When it is over…it is over! Move on!
Reprimanding is never a fun task. However, by following these concepts you will reduce the number of repeat offenders on your team


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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Story About Accepting Your Role

A sea captain and a crusty engineer were talking and they began to argue about whose skill was most needed for the running the ship. They decided to trade jobs for a day. The engineer would be on the bridge, and the captain would go down to the engine room. A few hours into their shift, the captain emerged from below decks. “Chief” he yelled, “you need to get down here. I can’t get her to go.” “Of course you can’t, barked the chief, “She’s aground!”

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Simple Things Are Critical To Building Programs

Dave Serrano, former UC-Irvine’s baseball coach, as well as the 2007 Baseball America’s coach of the year holds his team to the highest standards even when cleaning up after practice. They are required to maintain their concentration even when setting up and clearing the field. UCI turned clearing the field into a competitive game, timing how fast they can take down the batting cage, screens, and tarps. They got so proficient at it, they could do it in 27 seconds. 

Serrano believes that focusing on these simple things was critical in building his successful program at UCI. Serrano is currently the head coach at California State University, Northridge.

—Adapted from Baseball America


A Season In Words by Dan Spainhour