The Lost Art of the Handshake

And why it really matters.

The Lost Art of the Handshake

You wouldn’t think this sort of article would be necessary, would you?  Unfortunately, it is.  It seems that men shaking hands is a bit of a lost art.

Consider the handshake.  Historical customs indicate that the handshake is commonly done upon meeting, greeting, parting, offering congratulations, expressing gratitude, or completing an agreement. In sports or other competitive activities, it is also done as a sign of good sportsmanship. Its purpose is to convey trust, balance, and equality.

Let’s Start With the Basics

Handshake 1This is a handshake.

Handshake 2This is not.

Handshake 3Neither is this.

Handshake 5I don’t even know what this is!

Why does a handshake matter?

The importance of a good, strong, firm handshake cannot be overstated. When you shake hands with a leader you figure out pretty quickly what kind of person that you’re dealing with. If you are dealing with a confident person, a serious person, and a person not to be “trifled” with you will receive a solid, firm and strong handshake and you will receive direct eye-contact. If you experience something other than that, you may have doubts about the person you are greeting.

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Going 1-on-1

Leadership Development

going-1-on-1

There are a lot of concepts and skills that can be communicated in group settings. Seminars and conferences are great forums for idea and information exchange. But, if you want transformation and not just information when it comes to leadership development, then you may want to consider going “1-on-1.”

I am incredibly blessed with a small cadre of leaders that I go 1-on-1 with on a regular basis. The frequency is not as often with some of them as I would like. However, the key is that I am talking or meeting with them in a focused 1-on-1 setting. It may be over the phone, but it is 1-on-1 and there are no other voices distracting us from our reason for being together.

Why 1-on-1?

The main reason for going 1-on-1 is that it forms an intimate and a private conversation between the two participants. It is in those moments that real dialog can occur. You can offer and receive significant feedback that would just not be appropriate in a group setting. And you can forge a relationship that will be sustained and strengthened by committing that time together.

What would we talk about?

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Full Contact Leadership

Are You Ready For Some Football?

full-contact-leadership

We are in the beginnings of football season. The college season started two weeks ago and the pro season started last week. But, teams have been practicing for quite a while.

I played football many years ago in high school. To be honest, I wasn’t that good at it. But I remember it well. And I was thinking about those experiences recently.

If you ever played football in an organized fashion you will remember that there were multiple kinds of practices. In the summer, there were “2-a-Days”. Those were a morning session of practice followed by lunch followed by another practice followed by complete exhaustion. There were “Walk-Throughs”. Those were usually conducted in very light athletic gear. That meant that we wore no pads and sometimes even wore no helmet since no one was going to get hit. They usually were more strategic and educational. The coach taught us new plays and showed us our blocking and routes.

Full Contact Leadership

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Simple Leadership

The Importance of Basics and Fundamentals

Simple Leadership

I love it when an article strikes a chord in someones brain and creates a strong enough wave that they publicly comment on it. Such was the case in last week’s article about my haircut experiences over time.

One commenter (whom I have excerpted and edited) said the following:

I don’t disagree with the thought that simplicity in life and leadership is a worthwhile pursuit. When I gained most of my experience we had the philosophy, “KISS”, Keep It Simple, Stupid. But I wonder after reading your post, if our issue is that everyone wants to be different — to be separated from the pack.

Do you think the value proposition here is “Chair Cut” on the inside, “House Cut” on the outside? I don’t want to be like everyone else. I guess I see where the relief stems from — less to worry about, relieve some stress.

Simple may be better, but I think I want my leader to be a Chair Cut.

Wow! That has some profound implications. And in retrospect, I was looking at the impact of simplification solely from my perspective and not from the perspective of those around who follow me.

So, let’s consider the impact of being a Simple Leader.

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Sincere

Sincerely Wrong

Sincere

I have become a huge baseball fan over the past few years. I won’t go into why or how I became a baseball fan so late in life. But, trust me. It’s a good story.

I saw this quote one night a few years ago while skimming the sports news. Apparently, Yadier Molina, the catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals was thrown out for arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire Paul Schreiber on that particular night. Now according to the rules of baseball (both the written AND the unwritten ones) you can maybe mutter something under your breath to the umpire. But everyone knows you are going to get tossed out of the game if you argue balls and strikes. And both Molina and his manager Tony La Russa got tossed out of the game that night for doing just that.

But that is not the point of this post. What really struck me was the comments by his manager, Tony La Russa. La Russa knows Yadier Molina well and Molina has a reputation for being competitive, but good to work with from the home plate umpire’s perspective. Here is what La Russa said to the media following the game.

“You try to coach emotion in players, and that’s what competition is about,” La Russa said. “That’s not his style, so evidently he was sincere. And if he’s sincere, what can you say about it?”

Well, I can say a whole lot about it Mr. La Russa!

But what is the Leadership Lesson?

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