Teaching PLI: Leadership Truths Are PLI Essentials (Part 2)

Post by Ryan Underwood

We wholeheartedly recommend Truths About Leadership as a companion to your PLI curriculum. You will be affirmed in knowing that the curriculum you are training and teaching is backed by phenomenal research and findings by Jim and Barry. To help you connect the dots, we’ve outlined below Jim and Barry’s 10 Leadership Truths with the PLI Essentials.

Leadership Truth 6: Trust Rules

PLI Essential: Integrity

When you follow the rules you showcase your character. This strength of character serves as a powerful force in influencing others because rules bring certainty, stability, order, and organization. When you follow the rules, you are more likely to attract people who will follow the rules you establish.

Leadership Truth 7: Challenge is the Crucible of Greatness
PLI Essential: Innovativeness

Expert leaders have challenges. In fact they have more challenges than most because leaders are great at solving problems. When you develop your innovativeness you become known as a solution-oriented person. People are greatly inspired by leaders who concentrate on what can be done and who know how to make it happen.

Leadership Truth 8: You Either Lead by Example or You Don’t Lead At All
PLI Essential: Integrity, Goal Processing, Emotional Maturity

Life happens. Ups and downs, rights and wrongs come to us all. Leaders command their personal behavior in all situations. They understand when they don’t do this, they simply cannot be in a position to lead. When leaders use their values to leverage feelings and emotions they make decisions to maximize the success of the whole. They set a clear example for how others can effectively follow and positively process whatever life may bring.

Leadership Truth 9: The Best Leaders Are the Best Learners
PLI Essential: Skill Assessment

Expert leaders are self-aware. They are thirsty for personal and professional growth. They understand that they will only be able to lead that which they are prepared, have the skill, and capacity to lead. This commitment to learning inspires followers to become learners, expand their ability, and become masters of their own talent.

Leadership Truth 10: Leadership is an Affair of the Heart
PLI Essential: Vision

People are greatly inspired by passionate people with a purpose. When you love what you do, who you do it with, and what you do it for your actions are authentic. You will attract others with a similar heart. When these passions combine, you now have a leadership force that can truly improve the world around you.


Teaching PLI: Leadership Truths Are PLI Essentials (Part 1)

Post by Ryan Underwood

What are the essentials of leadership?

This is the question that started the Personal Leadership Insight curriculum project nearly five years ago,  Our goal was to truly understand the qualities all leaders need to master in order to confidently say, “I am a leader.”

Our journey to discover the essentials led us to hundreds of interviews and thousands of responses to surveys from leaders from all walks of life throughout America. White House Fellows, West Point Graduates, professional athletes, executives, elected officials, teachers and some of the best student leaders in the country all weighed in. Once we assembled all the data, what emerged was ten clear leadership attributes that became known as the PLI Leadership Essentials.

World renowned leadership experts Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner recently led a webinar sharing the “Truths About Leadership” based on their recent book of the same name by Wiley & Sons Publishing. After 30 years of detailed study on leadership, Jim and Barry’s research has concluded ten universal truths of leadership that, as the subtitle to their book reads are, “No-Fads, Heart-of-the-Matter, Facts You Need to Know.” Jim and Barry’s findings on leadership truths align perfectly with what we presented through the PLI Leadership Essentials curriculum project.

We wholeheartedly recommend Truths About Leadership as a companion to your PLI curriculum. You will be affirmed in knowing that the curriculum you are training and teaching is backed by phenomenal research and findings by Jim and Barry. To help you connect the dots, we’ve outlined below Jim and Barry’s 10 Leadership Truths with the PLI Essentials.

Leadership Truth 1: You Make a Difference
PLI Essential: Skill Assessment

When you realize you are a person of influence and have assessed your skills and are ready to do what you were meant to do, your next step is to make the difference you were born on this earth to make.

Leadership Truth 2: Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership
PLI Essential: Integrity

You may have all the talent in the world, but integrity and credibility are the ticket to the leadership game. Without it, you can’t play.

Leadership Truth 3: Values Drive Commitment
PLI Essential: Vision, Wise Judgement

Expert leaders are driven by their core beliefs. This forms the vision for the world they create and the decisions they make. When values are clear, the commitment, enthusiasm, discipline, and work necessary to achieve become easier.

Leadership Truth 4: Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart
PLI Essential: VisionGoal Processing

People are greatly inspired by leaders with a purpose who know where they are going and why. This lifestyle (and yes, it is a lifestyle) is a powerful force because your accomplishments and purpose-filled behavior set you apart and influence others to follow your lead.

Leadership Truth 5: You Can’t Do It Alone
PLI Essential: Service Mindedness, Fostering Relationships

Expert leaders invest their energy and time in using their skills, talents, and abilities to serve and help others. When you are others-centered you greatly expand your ability to attract others to help you.

Check back tomorrow for the final five.


Innovativeness: Time to Explore

Have you created space in your life for exploring?  New travel destinations.  New people.  New ideas.  New web sites.  New books.  Etc.  You are expected to lead, guide and direct others.  This is a daunting and time consuming task.  It is important you carve out time for sheer wonder to remain strong in your life.  Tunnel vision and constant repetitive thoughts/sights/motion will create an intellectual and emotional vacuum in your life that hampers your ability to see, find and create new ideas. 

A few simple ways to keeping exploring:

  • When you are traveling, try new restaurants, shops, attractions, etc.
  • http://www.stumbleupon.com/
  • http://www.flickr.com/
  • Stop into a Borders, Barnes & Noble or, better yet, a library or locally-owned bookstore and pick up a new book.
  • Start a blog that demands you research new ideas to share with your readers.
  • Call a friend, co-worker, industry peer, etc. and ask them to lunch.
  • Pick somewhere different for a meeting.
  • Change your routine.
  • Make a new connection with a new peer, client, friend and create a new product, service, idea, etc.


General: Out of the Blocks Review

My good friend and highly-successful professional, Sean Kouplen, has written a book that should be devoured by any success-driven student - high school or college. Check it out on Amazon at tinyurl.com/outoftheblocks. Learn more about Sean and his speaking services at www.outoftheblocks.net.

Sean is one of those guys who you just wonder how he gets it all done. He has excelled at every level in life - school, leadership, family and business. This book contains insights on Sean's secrets. Out of the Blocks is written in story form and contains a truck load of valuable and concrete advice for students to get started right in school, business and life. Get your copy today. It will be worth it.

- Posted from the road using BlogPress and Rhett's iPhone4.


Fostering Relationships: Two Simple Observations

Two simple observations from this photo:

1. The thank you note is not dead. We received these from audience members this summer.

2. As long as student leadership organizations continue to get funded and supported, we have a bright future. 95% of these letters are from members of student leadership organizations. Writing a thank you note is an act of respect, character and great relationship skills.

- Posted from the road using BlogPress and Rhett's iPhone4.


Masterful Communication: Listen. To. Me!

Addison is our three year-old. She is at the age where she absolutely knows when daddy is listening to her or not. Although her mother and I believe her to be an angel, Addison is a standard-built little human and communicates her frustration with daddy by a good dose of crying, screaming and stomping. She doesn't like it when she feels like daddy isn't giving her the attention she needs and deserves.

This exchange happens every day in households across the world. However, they also happen in companies and organizations every day. They don't always end in crying and foot pounding (at least not in public), but team members get ignored daily by their bosses and it dramatically impacts their job satisfaction, productivity and overall quality of life.

Patrick Lencioni, the business leadership author, calls this anonymity in his Three Signs of a Miserable Job. (It's one of the three signs, also.) He frames it as the feeling that no one is paying attention to you. Your voice isn't heard. Your boss doesn't care. No one is listening.

This Labor Day think about your work as a leader as an opportunity to help your team love their work. A big part of this is having their needs and desires met and even exceeded. And from the age of three your team has desired to have others listen to them - especially the people closest to them at work and at home. They may not cry or throw a tantrum, but they are telling you they want your attention. You just need to listen.

A few ideas:

- Have regular one-on-ones.
- Give your full attention to them.
- Practice active listening every chance you get.
- Remember little and big things about each individual.
- Do things that show you listen to them.
- Ask their opinion.
- Involve them in decisions. Especially when you don't have to.
- Don't make assumptions.

- Posted using BlogPress from Rhett's iPhone 4.