New eBook – 4 Resolutions Every Leader Should Make – is now available!

Kevin Bowser’s latest eBook is now available for free download at his NoiseTrade site.  This book is a collection of the first series of articles that appeared on the website starting January 1, 2016. This series dealt with the importance of establishing and writing down 4 specific resolutions that every leaders should make this year.

Four Resolutions - Smaller

It is a very short book and will help you keep those first five articles in a handy format to reference throughout this year.  You can get the ebook for free at Kevin’s NoiseTrade Author Site and you can get it for FREE.

Just click the link below and go directly to the NoiseTrade site and download your copy in either Kindle or Nook format.

Thanks again to my editor, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, for her work and for helping correct the grammar errors that I seem to keep making over and over again!

Click Here to Download
4 Resolutions Every Leader Should Make.”

John LockeWhenever the power that is put in any hands for the government of the people, and the protection of our properties, is applied to other ends, and made use of to impoverish, harass or subdue them to the arbitrary and irregular commands of those that have it; there it presently becomes tyranny, whether those that thus use it are one or many.

John Locke
Second Treatise, Chapter 18

Leaders vs. Managers

Which one are you?

Leaders vs. Managers-2

Like most young people entering the workforce in the early 1980s, I had great aspirations. I aspired to be a big-time manager for a major corporation. I knew I was not CEO material. But, I wanted to be a manager. And over the next 15 years I achieved that. At one point, I had almost 100 people reporting to me.

Then, something inside of me began to change. I began to have other aspirations. I yearned to lead and not just manage.

I have nothing disparaging to say about managers and management. Many writers and practitioners of leadership development have very little that is positive to say about managers. Managers are vital to the overall success of an organization. We need managers. Well, we need good managers. But for purposes of today’s article, I want to draw some distinctions between leaders and managers.

Here Are Three Key Differences

The Importance of Vision

But, can you execute the vision?

The Importance of

We have already come to the end of the first month of the year 2016. I cannot believe how swiftly this year is progressing. Many of you made resolutions. Did you write them down? They are just ideas until you write them down. They only become real goals when you write them and commit them to paper.

May of you have a vision in your head about how 2016 would look by the time that 2017 would be knocking on the door. Having a clear vision of what or where you want to be is vitally important from a leadership perspective. But let me ask you this:

How will you make your vision a reality?

Are You Emotionally Elite?

The Latest EI “Buzzword”

Emotionally Elite

Emotional Intelligence coaching has played a very significant role in my overall leadership development process. I am always looking for new information and new research in this area. Often, I get introduced to new words and terminology. Yesterday, I came across a new phrase — emotionally elite.

There is much more to be learned about emotionally elite leaders. Unfortunately, the word “elite” has some negative connotations. For many of us, this goes against our nature. We are not comfortable referring to ourselves as elite. Nevertheless, consider the word “elite” devoid of the braggadocios or the conceited way that we often see it used.

So, what does it mean to be “emotionally elite”?

After doing some research online and in some academic circles, I can report to you that there is still not a lot of material available with keywords “emotional” and “elite” used in combination. And some of the links that I followed took me to a well disguised online dating site. (Unfortunately, now some 39-year-old woman from the Ukraine wants to be my “friend”.) So, I need to be a little more careful in my research!

What are some common characteristics of emotionally elite leaders? Consider these five characteristics of those who are emotionally elite.

Older and Wiser

I am one of these. Am I the other also?

Older & Wiser

I remember when my father-in-law was still alive. His name was John. But he was known to us as “Grandaddy”. He was a great man. He was a patient man. He was a successful man. And he was a smart man. No. Better yet, he was a wise man.

Only recently have I had the opportunity to live anywhere close to where my own actual father lives. And yet, we have lived close to my father-in- law for many years, so I have often gone to my father-in-law with questions that a young husband or a young father would normally take to his own father. John was older. John was wiser. — I think those two things just might go hand-in-hand.

And then this happened. I noticed several years ago that some younger men were starting to come to me for advice from time to time. Some of them just wanted to bounce their ideas off of someone. It sort of just began happening over time. I didn’t seek it out. It just started occurring. That was a bit of a troubling realization!
Then it hit me. They were looking to ME for advice. They were looking to ME for wisdom. How did that happen? I don’t feel qualified. And I don’t feel worthy. Am I getting old? Am I getting wiser?

Then, I had a thought. I wonder how Grandaddy must have felt when I used to go to him for advice?

What is the Leadership Lesson from this reminiscing?

Three Things I Learned in the Last 24 Hours

Leadership Lessons from the Hospital

The Last 24 Hours

It was 3:30 am and I finally came to the conclusion that I needed some medical attention. Why that realization came to me at that time of morning is simply because I could no longer ignore an issue. So, it was off to the hospital emergency room and all the fun that that little trip entails.

So, what is the Leadership Lesson in the last 24 hours?

I think that there are at least three things that I learned from this experience. And they are as simple as they are obvious. But they have direct implications to leadership. And here they are:

Build Another Follower in 2016

Step 4 for 2016

Resolution #4

Who knows if this pithy little saying is really attributable to any one person. The first time I came across it was many years ago and it was attributed as “an ancient Chinese proverb.” Maybe it is ancient, maybe it is not. But it is certainly true. And here it is:

“A man that thinks he leads, yet has no followers, is really only taking a walk.”

How many are there who think they are leaders when they are really just out for a walk?

Resolve This Year to Build Another Follower 

This is one of the true marks of your leadership abilities. Do you have followers? If you do, resolve this year to increase your number of followers. Let’s not build our number of followers for the sake of a big number. It is infinitely more important to build quality followers who are passionate about where you are leading. But it is unavoidable to consider the impact that we are having and the number of followers is one of the metrics that we would want to use to gauge our effectiveness and our reach.

Why do I need followers in the first place? 

Perhaps that is the wrong question. Perhaps the question is what do I do with the followers that we already have? I am not sure that a great leader goes out to amass followers. At least not a leader that I want to follow. I think the truly great leaders attract followers organically. We are drawn to these kinds of leaders through their charisma or their message. Following this line of thought reminds me of another saying that I find apropos. The one who would aspire to be the President of the United States is probably not worthy of the office. I know that is an overly simplistic statement. But, given the election cycle in which we find ourselves, the parallel is painfully obvious.

What should I do?

Build Another Leader in 2016

Step Three for 2016

Resolution #3

And here we are at part 3 of this quick 4 part series on resolutions that every leader should make as they start the new year. On Monday, I dealt with the importance of being a better leader. On Wednesday I discussed being a better follower.

Now it is time to consider the next step in the 4 part process.

Resolve This Year To Build Another Leader 

This is the oft-forgotten role of truly great leaders. These leaders are concerned about the legacy that they will leave behind. It has been said that one of the key responsibilities of a leader is to build more leaders rather than just building followers. Or, as someone else has put it — Good leaders build strong followers. Great leaders build more leaders.

Ralph Nader has been credited with saying it this way — “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” I am not now, nor have I ever been a big fan of Ralph Nader. However, if he is correct, and I believe he is, the question that it leaves for you and I is this. How do we go about the task of producing and then developing other leaders? Because producing new young leaders without having the plan to develop them is ludicrous and damaging to these young leaders.

So, resolve this year to pour yourself into the life of some young leader and help build their leadership skills. It is hard to release the reigns of leadership and allow others to lead. But as leaders, we must always be providing opportunities for new and younger leaders to gain valuable experience.

So, how do we build other leaders?