Hello Everyone! Welcome to ROI Wisdom.  I can’t believe our last issue was in June!  The summer flew by and it was great. Hope yours was too. The Purpose of the ROI Wisdom Newsletter is to share what we learn when we attend different conferences and workshops to continually improve our performance and to make sure that the information we provide to our colleagues is relevant and helpful.  We believe investing in people pays off and we walk our talk by investing at least 20% of our revenues in our own professional development.  This newsletter will highlight key learnings from hearing Ken Blanchard speak.  Ken has authored numerous inspirational performance enhancement books, such as “The One Minute Manager” and one of my favorites “Gung Ho,” which speaks to the importance of being passionate about what you do and the doors of opportunity that passion will open.

In the photo above (Left to Right): John Maxwell, Art Barter, Dana Riker Jackson and Ken Blanchard.

Simple Truths of Effective Leadership
by Dana Riker Jackson

The biggest obstacle to being an effective Leader is ego. Why?  Because it keeps us from being vulnerable.  Why would a Leader want to be vulnerable?  Because the people you’re leading want to know that you are real and authentic and that you care. People judge how much you care by your willingness to admit that you may not have all the answers or that you made a mistake and need their help; that’s what builds more trust and loyalty than trying to cover something up or blaming someone else.  When you as a Leader invite others to hold you accountable for commitments made, it models the behavior you desire to see from others, builds trust and inspires people to be more accountable.

In order to have Peer to Peer accountability, which is the most powerful and influential form of accountability, you need to invest in the relationship by building trust with the other person and making it safe to give and receive feedback.  The challenge with this approach is it takes time and most Leaders live in a “Rat Race.”  The problem with a “Rat Race,” to quote Ken Blanchard, “is even if you win, you are still a Rat!”  The Leaders he coaches that are falling short of their desired success have these things in common:

  1. They are skimming on their relationships

  2. They are skimming on their physical health

  3. They are skimming on their spiritual development

  4. They overindulge and say yes too much

  5. They blame others for their situation

  6. They are not comfortable being served

Ken Blanchard said that “Leaders, who want to be most helpful, need to first be helpable.  If people feel like they can help you, then they will allow you to help them.”  This reminds me of a story about my sister.  She was leading a program that provided for spiritual instruction at a local Elementary School as an outreach of our church.  In the process of implementing this program, which was very successful, she did not ask for any help and when people offered, she said she was fine.  When she was ready to pass the baton to a successor, no one felt they could do it as well as her and as a result, no one carried on with the program and it died.  If she had allowed someone to come alongside her and help deliver the program, then that person would have had the confidence to carry on and who knows how many more children’s lives would have been touched.

The trap many leaders fall into is that it is easier and maybe even faster to just do it themselves, but then it may becomes unsustainable.  Serving others is reciprocal.  “Nothing good happens by accident.”  Peter Drucker

What Ken Blanchard says is the Secret Sauce to being an Effective Leader is to have one on one meetings with every person you are leading every 2 weeks and let the person you are meeting with set the agenda.  If you are saying as you read this that you don’t have time to do this then you either have too many people to effectively lead and need to let something go and/or restructure, or you are trying to control too much of what needs to get done.  As an Effective Leader, the question you need to keep asking yourself is “What am I doing to help people get an “A.”  In other words, what am I doing to bring out the best in my people; equipping and empowering them to be successful?

Ken says that the biggest challenge in the next five years is that training within organizations needs to be a way of life.  The reason why is because the #2 Need to keep employees engaged and at their best and passionate about their work and the company is they need to be constantly learning and growing.  Part of what they need to learn in many cases is the discipline of following-up and following through and how that can be a huge differentiator in gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.  There is also tons of evidence supporting the fact that when you raise the emotional intelligence of everyone in the workplace, you also raise the intellect, get things done faster, and make more profit.  Plus the workplace becomes a much more pleasant place to be.

Ken also says that top management needs to be first to engage in training and development and where they need to learn and grow is in the process of making sure their Vision is current, relevant and clear, along with the Values the company represents and operates by, as well as polishing up on their communication skills and understanding their impact on the company culture.  They need to learn to treasure the culture of their organization and understand it is key to meeting and exceeding business objectives and financial performance.

“Culture eats Strategy for Lunch.”  Peter Drucker

The other reason training and development needs to start with top management is because of the “Rat Race” life they may be leading, they need to spend some time re-firing their spirit, emotions, relationships, intellect, and physical health in order to lead most effectively.  When the people being led see Leaders setting the example and working with them as a side by side partnership, the best will definitely be ahead!

In Trust,

Dana Riker Jackson, CEO
Riker Opportunity Institute, Inc. 



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