Friday, May 31, 2013

Need to change? Get FRED

As an OD and career transition consultant, I work with organizations and individuals who are surfing the transitions of change. Because of this, and because I have had a life-long obsession with the nature of change, I am attuned to change stories. Luckily such stories abound if you are ready for them.

A friend of mine has been leading a change effort since last year. He and a small group of others have been creating a brand new non-profit organization. Their efforts were born out of a disaster I won't go into here. Suffice to say, they were angered enough by what happened, that they decided to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the debacle they experienced. They made the decision to start working on it a year ago and have been striving toward this goal with determination.

The most adept transitionists I know, like my friend, seem to have FRED. FRED stands for focus, resilience, energy, and drive.

Focus - Focus is the fixation on goals that matter, that are meaningful, and that, if achieved, will improve lives.

Resilience - Resilience is the ability to come back from adversity, to bounce back, and to rise up stronger than before.

Energy - Energy is the strength and vitality needed to keep going, even in the face of obstacles, pushing through toward your goals.

Drive - Drive is the inner engine of "fire in the belly," the hunger and motivation to stay alive and thrive.

Back in 2007, a colleague and I did something similar when we started a new outreach ministry at our church. The idea was to provide resources to help people who were out of work. The resources would be provided by a core team of volunteers who offered their time and talent as coaches. When the Great Recession hit in 2008, we were there. The ministry has been in operation ever since, helping many people.

FRED helped us to build that ministry from nothing. And through the ministry, we have been teaching the FRED principles to hundreds.

Posted by Terrence Seamon on May 31, 2013

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Leaders, Can you RELATE?

I started teaching a series on leadership today for one of my client companies. Thanks to synchronicity, there was recently an article about relational skills for leaders in Forbes.

Called "Leadership Is A Relational Skill," the author made some very good points about what leaders must do to connect with their teams.

The article, and today's class discussion, has inspired me to create this acronym for leaders, using the word "relate:"

RELATE for Leaders:

Respect - Effective leaders have a deep respect for their followers. They show it by asking for input, by listening, by speaking the truth, by keeping promises, and by building trust.

Engage - Effective leaders practice lively engagement with their people, seeking their involvement in change initiatives, seeking their ideas and opinions on improvements, having frequent two-way conversations, and making them feel like they are part of the very heart of the business.

Listen - Effective leaders are great listeners, opening up to everyone's perspectives, even making sure that dissenting voices are heard.

Acknowledge - Effective leaders notice each member of the team as an individual human being, recognizing each one's talents, strengths, issues, and goals.

Teach - Effective leaders know that they lead by their example (i.e., 'everything they do teaches') and they coach on a regular basis, always on the lookout for potential that can be evoked and developed.

Empower - Effective leaders do everything in their power to support their people so that they can be successful. In a nutshell, the best leaders em-power their people. By giving the team the tools, the training, the equipment, the information, and the authority, plus whatever else is needed to get the job done, the leader has set the team free.

As the Forbes author says, The best way to find out how effective a leader is, is to ask the led. The followers know best how well their leader is doing.

Do you have the courage to ask them?

Posted on Tuesday May 7, 2013 by Terrence Seamon.