Randy Conley – Leading begins with trust!

Randy Conley – Leading begins with trust!

Dear fellow leaders,

It has come to my attention that we are our own worst enemies. The lack of our effectiveness and success is primarily due to our own stupidity and failure to get out of our own way. We tend to get wrapped up in our own little worlds and forget that our primary goal is to influence others to higher levels of performance. We forget that the energy we bring to our team through our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual presence is what sets the tone for their morale, productivity, and well-being.

It’s time to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves. Here are three key checkups I suggest you perform:

Check your attitude — If you come to work acting like Mr./Ms. Grumpypants, how do you expect your team members to act? They’re going to act just like you. Remember, when you’re in a leadership position, you’re always under the microscope. Does it get tiring? Yes. Is it reality? Yes. It doesn’t cost anything to be nice, so try putting a smile on your face, remember to say please and thank you, catch your people doing something right, and spread a little sunshine to your team. You’ll find that it’s contagious.

Check your ego — Get over yourself. You’re really not that big of deal (everyone else already knows it so you might as well admit it). Our oversized egos are often the primary culprits of our undoing. A little bit of power can be intoxicating, and if you don’t manage it properly, you’ll find your head growing bigger than the rest of your body. Make sure you have some “truth-tellers” in your life that will keep you down to earth by speaking the honest, hard truth about your performance even if everyone else thinks you walk on water (they really don’t think you can walk on water, they just flatter you by pretending they do).

Check your motives — Why did you sign up for this leadership gig anyway? Was it to make more money? Was it the only way to move up in the organization? Do you like toboss people around? Or were you interested in helping people learn, grow, and achieve their goals? While you’re checking your motives, you might want to examine your core values as well. Whatever values you hold dear are probably the driving force behind your motives and behaviors. Get your values and behavior in alignment and you’ll be a leadership dynamo.

Being a leader is a tough job and it’s not for the weary or faint of heart. Don’t make it harder by acting stupid. Use your brain. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Thank you.

Randy Conley

Leadership Character

Leadership character: A six-part series by West Point’s Col. Eric Kail
By Col. Eric Kail
This piece is the introduction to a six-part series on leadership character.


Picture the faces of the two most influential people in your life, the leaders who had the greatest impact on you. What made them so large in your eyes—was it what they did or who they were? That is, was it their skills and abilities that left such an impression or their character?

Now think back to the last time a senior leader cost your organization valuable assets, from stock value to human capital. Chances are good that it was a character failure on their part, not a matter of their technical or managerial abilities.

While most leadership discussions center on what leaders do, this short series is intended to generate a dialogue on leadership character. Some might say that leaders’ character, who they are, in factdetermines what they do. I say, then all the more reason to focus our leadership literature and dialogue on character development. And when I say “character,” I don’t mean “personality.” Yes, there is a growing volume of empirical evidence regarding the role of personality in leadership effectiveness, but personality has been determined to be relatively stable over time. We are pretty much stuck with the personality we have by the time we begin grade school; our character, on the other hand, is definitely subject to development.

The following six blog installments will roll out over the course of 2011 and will each focus on the importance of a particular facet of leadership character: courage, integrity, selflessness, empathy, collaboration andreflection.

In the first installment, on courage , I’ll examine both the moral and physical elements of the trait. It turns out we are not as courageous as might think we are.

Second, I’ll make an argument for integrity that goes beyond the old adage that integrity means doing what’s right when no one else is looking. I’ll take a slightly different approach than the glass ball, or “pure until sullied” perspective on integrity.

Third, I’ll discuss the role of selflessness , and how being a selfless leader is actually the opposite of being a weak or soft leader.

Fourth, I’ll provide some thoughts on why we think we are so much more empathetic than we really are. Leaders probably understandempathy and its importance better than followers, and yet they tend to practice—if at all.

These first four facets of character are where most current thought on character stops, but I believe leadership character goes beyond just these four. The operational environment I first started leading in during the 1980s no longer exists. Back then, I was taught to use formal authority to impose my will upon others; that was leadership. Formal authority still has a place in my leadership lexicon, but the need lead more collaboratively is greater than ever.

So in the fifth installment, I’ll present two components of collaboration: peer support and seeing the big picture. Both are critical in translating leadership performance into leadership potential.

Finally, in number six, I’ll introduce the concept of reflection . The inclination for leaders to reflect is a critical character component for growth, self awareness and authenticity.

The idea behind this series isn’t just to identify and define these components of character, it’s also to help you assess how much you have them—and even more importantly, to introduce ideas for developing them in ourselves and in other leaders. I’ll look forward to your comments, challenges and opinions along the way. Stay tuned.

Col. Eric Kail is an Army field artillery officer who has commanded at the company and battalion levels. He is the course director of military leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He holds a PhD in organizational psychology.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

Why Membership Matters?


In these economic times I know that there might be a few of you, who are questioning why you belong, and is it worth it? 

Please can I try and assist by re-highlighting the Willow Creek association’s Purpose, Vision and Mission.

Our Purpose: To stir up, call out and equip leaders in churches around the world.


Our Vision : That each local church should realize its full redemptive potential.


Our Mission : To inspire and equip Christian leaders to lead transformation minded churches

This is what your WCA membership supports! YOU allow US, to not only serve you, but also

to serve churches across South Africa plus churches in 10 countries north of us. We consider

ourselves to be your missionaries as we work to achieve our Mission!

Member benefits have been improved, and I hope that you agree that they offer good value

for money, but as covered above, the kingdom impact of your membership far outweighs

any monetary benefits!

Can I also, at this time, invite you to make full use of your membership. We are here to serve

You!  Providing the GLS, live speakers books and curriculums are just part of how we would

like to serve you. E-mail us your challenges, and let us see if we can help. If we don’t know

the answer, we’ll ask our “veteran” WCA members both here in SA and internationally.

We truly value our partnership with you, and look forward to serving you through 2012! Thank

you again for your support! Without it we would not exist!

His servant

Gerry Couchman

Please visit this link to get the full details about the new 2012 membership options & offers.