Skill Assessment: What Is Your Hole #3?

We all have strengths and weaknesses. It is a defining part of the human experience. However, certain weaknesses impact our ability to positively lead others more than others. These weaknesses can become our "Hole #3".

I used to play golf all the time. Ten years ago it wouldn't be uncommon for me to play 50-60 rounds per season. The last few years I was lucky to get 5-6 rounds played per year. 2010 was one of those years.
In October I dusted off the clubs for a round with my great friend and speaking partner, Kelly Barnes. It was a magical round... except for hole #3. It was a great day on the links. All pars and bogeys (great for me), except for one double-bogey and a disaster on hole #3. I scored a 13 on that one hole! It was a train wreck. It was so bad Kelly and I were not even going to score it - hence the scratches. If I had even bogeyed that hole, I would have scored a 79 and achieved something I have only done twice in my golfing career - breaking 80. Needless to say, I ended an otherwise great day of golf very, very frustrated.
As leaders, we are expected to deliver results - i.e. birdies and pars. However, if we have even one glaring weakness or shortcoming (one Hole #3), it can diminish our effectiveness and make many of our strengths irrelevant.

Fortunately, leadership (unlike golf) is a team sport. The best leaders are surrounded with people who are strong where he or she is weak. Yet, a Hole #3 type weakness can still hold us back and block our leadership's full power, scope and range. The following grid shows how you can have 9 of the 10 vital components of great leadership and still fall short of your potential.

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The abbreviations are the PLI Leadership Essentials.

Examine your skills. Be honest with yourself. What is a weakness you possess that has a Hole #3 type meaningfulness? Find it and begin today working on growing, changing and improving. At the end of the day, a 79 might only be 7 strokes from an 86, but those 7 strokes might mean the difference between being a leader who is an "also played" and a leader who is a game-changer. One that is leaving a legacy of excellence, remarkable results and a life-changing score for those you serve.


Teaching PLI: The New Blog Label - Teaching PLI

When you have over 300 posts (which are essentially 300 additions to the PLI leadership curriculum), keeping everything organized is very important.  We have added another layer of organization for our PLI teachers and anyone else who reads our blog for the purpose of adding to their leadership teaching or learning!

We have a new label for our posts called Teaching PLI.  This label is applied to any post where the purpose is to give ideas, instruction, clarity of mission or tips/tricks on teaching leadership and specifically teaching the PLI leadership curriculum.  You can quickly access all of these posts by clicking on the Teaching PLI Posts link in the right-hand column. 



Fostering Relationships: Watering Dirt

Anyone who has ever tried to motivate someone has experienced this struggle...

"Are we just watering dirt?"

I.e. - can we really do anything, say anything, offer any incentive that will nurture growth in this person or are we just wasting valuable resources?

It is a difficult and frustrating situation to be in. One that causes you to second guess your abilities, your strategies and ultimately your decision to have that person on the team.

When you find yourself in this position, talk through the following points:

1. Everyone has a price. You probably need to change the currency you are using with that person. Is she motivated by money, position, prestige, responsibility, autonomy, appreciation, social status, etc.? Find what works for her that also aligns with what you can give and give it.

2. Everyone needs their best inspired out of them. Even the most cynical person responds to words and acts of encouragement, appreciation and thanks. Some will never tell you, but this doesn't change the fact that it works.

3. Everyone is self-motivated. At the end of the day, people must move on their own. They will also do it on their own timeline. You can mandate her actions, but you can not mandate her BEST actions. (BEST - Better Every Single Time - Source: Kelly Barnes)

4. Everyone needs someone to believe in them more than they do. Sometimes it's a race to see who will give up first. If you throw in the towel before she does, you might miss something special. Give her your best and see what happens.

5. Everyone needs honesty from their leaders. Once you do all you can, if she is still not showing progress or living up to clear expectations, it is time to let her go. This could be just what she needs to make a change. Wake-up calls happen in life and serve as opportunities to see how our actions are pulling us down instead of lifting us up. If you care about her, be honest. Don't pass the buck or let her ignore what everyone can see except for her.

When done correctly and with class and spirit, these concepts will show you it was more than dirt you were watering - an unseen seed was waiting for you to help it grow.


Goal Processing: Nine Daily Habits of Leaders

Following are nine daily habits leaders use to put action to the Student Impact Model...

1. Quiet time
2. Eat healthy food
3. Physical activity
4. Connect with friends
5. Read positive material
6. Create something
7. Encourage someone
8. Move one step closer to a goal or fixing a problem
9. Help family

Self-audit your life and check to see how many of these habits are evident in your daily routine. Increase your ability to impact others in a big way through these small acts of awesomeness.