July 20, 2018

Why Does Generation Y Love Ron Paul?

Generation Y at a Ron Paul  RallyCongressman Ron Paul: 12 term Congressman from the state of Texas? Check!

Ron Paul: MD who graduated from Duke University who, as an OBGYN, delivered over 4,000 babies: Check!

Ron Paul: Served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s. Check!

Ron Paul:  A member of the Beatles who draws crowds of young people like a magnet…just like John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  Can’t check that one, because he was not a member of the Beatles.  BUT…he is drawing in the under 30 voters like flies to honey (Being a Southerner talking about a Texan…just had to throw that analogy in).  He is truly drawing the under 30 voters like a rockstar would!

This really has the media baffled, and quite frankly, Congressman Paul is somewhat baffled.  Here he is…a man born in 1934, and he is truly the political rockstar of the men and women born between about 1985-1994.  This is the age of men and women who are currently ages 18-28.  Generation Y spans the birth years of 1977-1997, but we are seeing young voters from ages 18-28 showing up in huge packs to cheer the elder leader on.  They are walking along major interstates with Ron Paul signs, and they are on waiting lists to work for the 76 year old Congressman.  The question is WHY?

Well, I am here today to tell you why.  No…I am not the most experienced demographer, but I did write a book on Generation Y about 6 years ago, and I have continued to study this demographic since that time.  And, I am writing this post from Hilton Head, SC, where I am speaking tomorrow morning to a group of business leaders on how to attract Gen Y and how to best work with them to get great results.  My answer?  Follow what Ron Paul stands for and how he is drawing in this demographic.

So, here we go on the major reasons why Generation Y is so attracted to Congressman Ron Paul:

Number 1:  People are drawn to others based on affinity.  This may be a shocker to some of you, but Ron Paul is a traditionalist, and Generation Y is most aligned with the values of the Traditionalist generations.  He was born in 1934, and generations have historically been repeated or reinvented every 4 generations.  When you consider the order of generations as the following…

  1. Traditionalists (Congressman Ron Paul)
  2. Baby Boomers (President Bill Clinton)
  3. Generation X (President Obama is on the cusp…he is a very young boomer and a wise Gen X)
  4. Generation Y (Mark Zuckerberg and is 300 million friends on Facebook.  I am sure I have the numbers wrong, but I am just doing my best to show you the lineup of generations).oy

you will see that Generation Y is the demographic that is going to repeat the values, world view and norms of the Traditionalist generation (if you believe that generations are repeated every 4th generation).  It makes total sense to me, and here is why:

1.  Ron Paul was born in 1934 in the middle of the Great Depression.  His parents lived during the roaring twenties who thought life would be great forever with wealth and great things passed on to the next generation.  But…two things happened:  World War I and II, and so, Pauls’ life was built on a foundation of national debt, fiscal responsibility, hard work and brutal honesty.   His parents thought they were “set for life”, the great depression hit, and then their kids were handed a tremendous amount of debt and work was hard to find.  If you are a parent of a Gen Y, I am sure this scenario sounds familiar.

2.  Through my interviews, the majority of the discussions I conducted (both with Generations Y, X and Boomers) revealed that Generation Y is sick and tired of the Baby Boomer mentality…of keeping up with the Joneses,  living above your ability using a plastic card and telling their kids that if you are educated, you will walk into the job of your dreams and be anything you want to be.  As a Baby Boomer, I want to personally apologize to Generation Y for filling your head with this unrealistic, blue sky thinking.  As parents, we thought we were doing a great job by trying to build your self esteem.  What we did not know was that we were moving in the direction of dumping trillions of dollars of debt on your shoulders (YES!  That’s Trillions with a capital T as Ron Paul says).  Ron Paul is very pragmatic about this situation…he is doing what he can to tell the public what is really going on with our deficit, and Generation Y finds this refreshing.  He is concerned about this generation, because his children and grandchildren are inheriting trillions of dollars of national debt, so YES..he has both a professional and personal interest in our current economical meltdown.

3.  The majority of Generation Y leaders that I interviewed told me that they are more interested in what their wise grandparents have to say to them than their parents who are drowning in debt, cars, boats, houses and gadgets. Makes sense to me.  Congressman Paul is the age of Generation Y’s grandparents, so his wisdom, pragmatism and loyalty to a cause is music to their ears.

Number 2:  Ron Paul is speaking to the values of Generation Y.  Look at this graphic of what most demographers will tell you about the top values of Generation Y:

I could talk about all of these in relationship to Congressman Ron Paul, but I want to specifically talk about freedom, integrity, authenticity and scrutiny:

Freedom: Congressman Ron Paul is a libertarian at heart.  Although he is running as a Republican for the GOP nomination, his big mission and movement are all about freedom, liberty and justice for all.  He is the biggest supporter of the Constitution we have in Congress at this time, and he has not wavered off that path for the last 25 years (probably even longer).

Integrity:  Congressman Ron Paul is a man of integrity.  If you have not noticed, he is the one person who no other political candidate has gone after over not walking his talk or for having character flaws.  He says what he means and walks his talk.  He NEVER tries to veer away from what he believes, and he has been speaking to the congregation about liberty and less government for over two decades.  Generation Y LOVES this!  They have had it with being sold a bill of goods from their parents and key political leaders about how to live life, only to find out that their own parents and leaders are hypocrites!  They have HAD IT!  Congressman Paul makes living in integrity a “cool thing to do”.  Thank you Dr. Paul.

Authenticity:  Congressman Ron Paul is not pandering to individual states OR to the media.  He is a truth teller, and he is super transparent!  Paul is not afraid to call out Congress or the media when they are trying to bend the truth or pretend to be something they are not.  Generation Y is drawn to this like a magnet, because thanks to sites like Facebook, Generation Y can write their autobiographies in real time.   Generation Y throws their inhibitions to the wind when they are online, so their stories are raw and real.  Dr. Paul is not going to bend just to get votes.  He is the real deal, and Generation Y can smell it 10 miles away.

Scrutiny: In closing, I do want to speak about Generation Y’s value of scrutiny.  Because of the internet and the 24/7 news cycle, Generation Y knows how to use the internet, news sites and social networks to dig deeper into a situation to find out the REAL truth.  Generation Y is of the first groups to break “news” that even the media does not know about.  If you don’t believe this, just go back and trace the steps of the protests in Egypt and the Arab Spring.  Gen Y is VERY drawn to Congressman Paul’s boldness in scrutinizing Congress and then clarifying what the truth really is.  I watched the Piers Morgan interview last night with Congressman Ron Paul, and it was blatantly apparent that Morgan was doing his best to draw Paul into the media view of what is going on in the world and in this race (their bias and some of the out of context quotes they throw at the public to keep things interesting), and Congressman Paul held his own.  Morgan interrupted Paul about 8 times and talked on top of him constantly to get his questions in…which is irritating.  I LOVE CNN!  I watch CNN from 5 -10 PM almost every night, but they have two people who need help!  (I personally think that Piers Morgan and Soledad O’Brien  should get into a one on one debate to see who can interrupt the other one the most OR who can talk on top of the other the most.  I am confident a great fight would break out.  I watch Piers Morgan frequently (and I like him), but his talking on top of people has gone way over the top.  He needs to take a few lessons from Anderson Cooper…the cool, listening, non-interruptive journalist or from John King…my hero, who just asks the very tough questions, waits for the answers and then allows people to talk without talking on top of them.  Both Cooper and King have an eloquent way of “politely interrupting” unlike Morgan and O’Brien who just start yapping on top of people.  Congressman Paul even asked Morgan to please not interrupt him last night.  You can watch all below.  So, since you are all CNN colleagues…Piers and Soledad…you can ask Anderson and John for a few pointers on how to come across as truly fair and balanced.  It would truly help your credibility.  Soledad…I know you think you scored this week by asking Romney about his comments, but you would not let him explain his comments…if you are fair and balanced, you would allow him the air space to explain his choice of words, but you just want people to believe the small snippet you thow out there to the public!)

Watch the entire video with Ron Paul on Piers Morgan (count the interruptions in just the first five minutes)

Number 3:  Generation Y is all about wanting a change…not a change just spoken but change that is implemented.  Believe it or not,Gen Y  respects and adores the Constitution because it begs for freedom and liberty, and they want liberty and freedom to live their lives as they choose.    They want true change, and they believe that Congressman Paul can deliver on the message he is speaking.  Generation Y wants constant feedback, and they know that they are responsible for their choices…good or not so great.  Congressman Ron Paul has opened the door to less government and more freedom, and they are loving that he is taking responsibility for driving forward the change we know we must implement if we are going to thrive as a nation.

If you want to know more about why I think Gen Y is so attracted to Congressman Paul, call me at 910.692.6118, as I do have more information.  But, this blog post has gone on long enough!  If you study Ron Paul over the next few months, you will quickly learn why our young (future leaders) are so drawn to him. It is very, very interetings!

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Gaining Loyal Customer By Building a Strong Leadership Brand

Cover of "Leadership Brand: Developing Cu...

Cover via Amazon

LEADERSHIP BRANDING:     When you read this term, do you really know what it means?  I really did not know until the year 2008, when I read the book Leadership Brand by Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood.  Because I had not heard of the term until then, it made me scratch my head and wonder if others found the term to be something they had not yet heard about.

So, I went out and polled a few business leaders, simply asked them to fill out a form based on what they knew, and many even admitted they did not know what the term really meant…but they took a stab at the questions I asked anyway.

We talk everyday about branding our “company” and making sure that our marketing collateral matches the “company brand”.  But what would be different if you branded your company through the eyes of your leadership brand?  My hunch is that it would be much tougher, and here is why:

When you build a brand based on true, enduring leadership, each person in the company not only speaks about the brand and and the promises you make to your customers in your marketing strategies, but each person in your company truly lives those promises every day in both their personal and professional lives, and that can be tough.   Because of the internet, blogging and social networking sites, every person and every company is now under a microscope and is scrutinized right and left for their actions on the inside not being consistent with the words they speak on television and in other advertising messages.  Leaders come and go everyday but strong, solid, committed and consistent leadership can help your company deliver strong bottom line results over and over again, making for happy, loyal customers.  When you ask for a commitment from everyone in your company to “live integrity 100%” or to “live innovation 100%” or to “give 110% to living customer service”, you are asking for a big commitment.  At the end of the day, it is better to ask everyone in your company to live it than to have your actions fighting against the words you speak to the world.

I have printed the answers from 14 business leaders below about the questions surrounding leadership branding.  And, if you want to know more, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of the book Leadership Brand:  Developing Customer-Focused Leaders to Drive Performance and Build Lasting Value by Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood.

_____________________________________________________________

Name   Peg Donahue

Website   http://www.fengshuiconnections.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you?

For me this relates to one’s personal style and authenticity. Each of us leads based on our beliefs, experiences and perspective. I believe it is important to be genuine and lead from your heart. It is also important to “walk your talk” and be a good example for others.

If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  • Integrity

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above?

  • Bring integrity to all I do.
  • Regularly publish “thought leadership” articles and blog posts that demonstrate integrity.
  • Actively include integrity as a value in my consulting and teaching practices.

_____________________________________________________________

Name   Val Boyko

Website   http://www.motherwhisperers.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you?

The personal brand of a leader.  How someone is seen or perceived as a leader.

If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  • Understanding Others

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above

  • Using the word understanding in my message to people and reassuring my audience that they are not alone.
  • Sharing this message as part of my vision or mission statement
  • Telling stories that show my understanding of others
  • Using empathy in my conversations to show I understand the other person.
  • Embodying this value in how I relate to others. Making it a living practice. “Be the change I wish to see in the world”. Gandhi

_____________________________________________________________

Name   Jeannette Paladino

Website   http://writespeaksell.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you?

A brand is what an organization or individual wishes to be known for. Defining your brand establishes the direction, leadership, clarity of purpose and inspiration for the organization’s missi

If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  •  Strategic Thinking

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above?

In recent years I have re-branded myself as a business writer. But there is much more to writing than putting words on paper. It is understanding the client’s brand and taking a strategic look at what the company stands for and the key messages to be communicated to its target audiences. The specific steps would be to discuss how the company perceives itself, which is an inside-out-process: exploring what differentiates the individual or company from other companies offering similar services. I’ve just had conversations with two companies about this very topic and it is like unwrapping a present and discovering something wonderful inside — your brand essence. The branding and words flow from that.

_____________________________________________________________

Name   Sue Porter

Website   http://www.AccidentalLeader.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you?

“Leadership Branding” is the way in which you have distinguished yourself as a leader. It reveals specific positive aspects of one’s influence. When people hear a particular name, they know what that leader stands for. Conversely, branding can also uncover a poor leader, but I prefer to describe positive branding. With this in mind, a leadership brand evokes feelings and thoughts of confidence, vision and wisdom. More importantly it should elicit a “knowing” ; knowing specifically how you and others will be treated. To develop a strong leadership brand encompasses values-driven behavior that gives people a desire to take notice and follow. Think of Seth Godin and you think “marketing guru, preeminent “out of the box” thought leader”; Dr. John C. Maxwell is synonymous with developing leaders and level 5 leadership; and, Marshall Goldsmith incites th oughts of servant leadership and equipping materials relevant for companies coaches, corporations, leaders and entrepreneurs. I don’t think most people realize that all they say, do, and live as a leader brands them. They not only should, but ought to strategically develop their leadership brand, monitoring it regularly.

If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  •  Developing Others

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above

I would implement a training program, using both a SWOT and a needs analysis that would uncover their skills, abilities, personality, strengths, weaknesses, motivations and past training. Utilizing coaching, together we would then develop a strategic growth plan where they would set goals and make an action plan that would not only met their needs, but as much as possible be in alignment with our company mission and vision. I would then provide ongoing coaching, support, and motivation to individually assist them in reaching their goal.

_____________________________________________________________

Name   Dr. Jackie Black

Website   http://www.DrJackieBlack.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you

According to australian translation services, a brand is like a tattoo on the minds of my target market. When anyone in my target market thinks about me or my company I want them to instantly associate certain attributes or leadership skills or qualities to me, my business and the value/benefits they will receive from doing business with me

If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  • Approachability

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above?   I would insure that the photo I use for business purposes makes me look approachable, and if I decide to use a landscape I could use the best 360 camera 2017 for presenting a wider picture; that the language on my web sites, blogs, sales/splash/squeeze pages, ect, and in all collateral materials makes me sound approachable; and that from the first contact with the media and with prospective clients through every contact with the media and long-term clients I demonstrate with words, behavior and company policies and procedures how approachable I am. I would train all employees, direct reports and independent contractors alike, how to speak about me and on my behalf with the public and vendors in ways and with language that clearly demonstrate how approachable I am.

_____________________________________________________________

Name   Leah Grace

Website http://www.evolvesuccess.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you?

Leadership brand means to me understanding who you are as a leader. We all have strengths and gifts that are uniquely ours, when we know what they are and own them, this is when our leadership brand and success is born

If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  • Courage
  • Planning

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above?
A huge part of owning your leadership brand is getting real about who you are. For many leaders, showing up as the true-self will be one of the most scary yet powerful processes they will experience in their lifetime. Putting yourself out there in a powerful way, will take a large dose of courage. It is the tendency to skirt around what we really have to offer. Courage is a process. Like a muscle courage grows and strengthens all of the time and growing our courage muscles is not always comfortable. One of the biggest reasons people don’t reach their biggest dreams is because they do not set themselves up for success in this journey of development. This is where the planning comes in. Being a successful leader is not something we are born with, it is something that we stretch towards each and every day.

_____________________________________________________________

Name   Frank Faeth

Website   http://www.faethconsulting.com 

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to

Several things: 1) Well-respected product/service of high quality, consistency, and dependability; 2) Creates a product/service worth considering, aside from price; 3) Provides a product/service not quite like any other — distinctive for what it is; and 4) A product/service I’m not embarrassed to say I purchase/useIf you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  • Business Acumen
  • Compassion
  • Customer Focus
  • Ethics and Values
  • Integrity

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above?

  1. Approach every project with the highest integrity and deliver an incomparable end product;
  2. Be honest and open with my clients and their stakeholders;
  3. Be someone others would unhesitatingly recommend; and
  4. Demonstrate that I know more about my subject area than my competitors through my words and actions.

___________________________________________________________

Name   Dolores Hagen

Website   http://www.sixtyandsensational.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you?

I’m not sure I know exactly what that means. I’d say that means the perception of how others see you.

 If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  •  Developing Others

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above?

At the end of each coaching session I would ask these questions:

1. In what way did our session today help you?
2. Would you be willing to send me comments on how today’s session helped you in writing through an email?

_____________________________________________________________

Name   Arlene Kahn

Website   http://www.arlenekahntherapy.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you

My first thought is that it means a style of leadership or a kind of leadership like a brand of spaghetti sauce that includes certain things.

If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  • Innovation

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above?

1. Learning about new ideas in the field, in this case the field of Psychology.

2. Combining important traditional approaches along with the new. For example:

  • Forming a support group based on traditional ideas of “Attachment” along with newer information about the brain in that area.
  • Using blogs, art, writing, and other creatuve and innovative approaches to mental health, of course physical health is also important, as a good weight and healthy joints with supplements from healthyusa, also a good skin so if you want to maintain a clean skin or just sweat less the iontophoresis machines are just perfect for it. Clinicians should be aware that there are many fluoride varnishes on the market. They may not be licensed for caries control, although they may have similar formulations, and this should be taken into consideration with respect to prescriber’s responsibilities buy you can buy colgate duraphat and other prescription drugs at https://www.ukmeds.co.uk/treatments/dental/colgate-duraphat-2800/ legally.
  • Instituting a Community Focusing Night, free of charge.
  • Creating a business structure that supports these efforts.

_____________________________________________________________

Name   Shoya Zichy

Website   http://www.ColorQPersonalities.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you?

Defining the unique qualities that differentiate you from other leaders

If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  • Action Oriented
  • Creativity
  • Developing Others
  • Humor
  • Listening
  • Understanding Other

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above?   Create marketing materials, presentations and intellectual property that demonstrate those qualities.

_____________________________________________________________

Name:   Laura Schlafly

Website:   http://www.careerchoiceswithlaura.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you?   I have never heard of this term before. If I had to take a stab at it I’d say that it means “how one has labelled themselves, or been labelled in terms of their leadership style”.

If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  • Approachability

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above?   company name would look/sound approachable:

  • My photos would elicit approach-ability
  • My contact information would be readily available
  • I would offer an easy, low cost or free way to get to know me before engaging formally
  • I would be out in the public eye, networking and volunteering

____________________________________________________________

Name:   Alice Dendinger

Websitehttp://www.gotoalice.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you?

Everyone has a personal brand – it is what others think of when they think of you. When I hear the term “leadership brand” – it means that it is a thought or perception assigned to someone based on how they “show up.” Does the individual speak about big picture, vision, systems impact, alignment of people and resources and getting results. Or are they worried about what is “in the weeds” and issues that are short sighted. People who are branded as a leader take a 30,000 foot view as opposed to ground level.

If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  • Action Oriented
  • Approachability
  • Command Skills
  • Composure
  • Courage
  • Delegation
  • Developing Others
  • Ethics and Values
  • Informing
  • Listening
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Understanding Others

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above?   I would take a look at what I must accomplish and focus on the more elevated level and outsource the weed work.

____________________________________________________________

Name   Deborah Frey

Website   http://freyworks.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you?

A “Leadership brand” is a compelling identifier designed to accurately describe and promote our distinguishing, valuable, unique talents and abilities to create a shared vision, to collaborate with, guide and empower others for success.

If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  • Developing Others

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked above?

  • Engage with the client to identify and describe their unique critical issues.
  • Collaborate with the client to design goal plans.
  • Provide tools to identify natural talents, interpersonal style, communication preferences, and clarify personal and professional values.
  • Provide a structured, pragmatic, open-ended development process that is aligned with the client’s unique attributes to ultimately fully engage their potential, and dramatically improve their odds for success.
  • Implement follow-up success platform tools and support for sustainable results.

____________________________________________________________

Name   Cheri Ruskus

Website   http://victorycircles.com

When you hear the term “leadership brand”, what does this mean to you?

Because leadership comes in many shapes and sizes my thought is that leadership brand means honing into your own particular leadership style. Insuring that as you put your leadership skills out there into the world that these particular attributes are shown consistently and accurately.

If you were to define a leadership brand for yourself or for your company, which leadership quality below would you use to build your leadership brand?

  • Action Oriented
  • Approachability
  • Business Acumen
  • Compassion
  • Courage
  • Creativity
  • Customer Focus
  • Developing Others
  • Ethics and Values
  • Humor
  • Innovation
  • Listening
  • Perseverance
  • Planning
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Understanding Others

 

Based on the leadership skill you chose above, what steps would you implement so that your customers would actually describe you in a way that aligns with the leadership skill you checked abov

  • As you can see I found it impossible to pick just one – there are just too many important ones to not use them all.
  • To be cognizant  that these skills are filtered throughout the work we do.
  • Develop programs that insure these elements continuously get implemented with our team members and clients.

All are great answers.  If you believe that you or your company can benefit from starting the process of designing a strong leadership brand, contact me today to schedule a time to brainstorm for a few minutes.  While using this approach can take a bit of time, the best time to begin is now!

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The Leadership Strengths of the 5 Remaining GOP Candidates

Oh My!  So much mud!  So many ads!  So many debates!  So many exaggerations!  What do we do when we go to the polls to elect the GOP nominee?

The majority of the time, you hear the media talk issues, voting records, skeletons in the closet and an entire host of other things.  But I just don’t hear a great deal about the leadership strengths the GOP candidates would bring to the White House.

After having observed each of the candidates, I want to give you my two cents on what leadership traits they do bring to the table.  And, as a leadership coach, I do believe that these skills should be considered when you walk into the ballot box.

GOP Candiates

From Left to Right: Governor Rick Perry, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Senator Rick Santorum, Congressman Ron Paul and Governor Mitt Romney

The Candidates Listed in Alphabetical Order by Last Name:

Newt Gingrich:  Strong presentation skills, decades of political experience, knows where the political landmines are, uses storytelling effectively to let people know where we have been and where we are going.  He is tough and makes no apologies about being straightforward.

Rick Perry:  Charisma and that swagger that we often see come from Texas.  He knows what his followers want, and he knows how to speak to what his supporters want to hear.   When he is “on”, he is infectious (in a positive way).  He does not try to be something is isn’t and is strong with using self depricating humor.

Ron Paul Authentic, trustworthy, steady, consistent, patient and willing to go against the grain.  Paul is on a mission, and that mission is not to win a popularity contest but to inspire people with a compelling message of liberty, freedom and justice for all. He inspires people to follow him into unconventional territory using a vision that he has been speaking about for 20 years. He does not give up!

Mitt Romney Strong business acumen, strong executive presence, pragmatic, turn-around experience and driven by details and facts.  Romney strikes me as a results-oriented leader who is always looking at the bottom line so that he can execute a plan to improve it.

Rick Santorum Principled, strong family values and a track record of political experience.  He seems to have a deep passion and a purpose, and this does mean something in the world of leadership.  He is not a pushover and knows how to take a stand when attacked.

If you are voting in any of the upcoming Republican primaries, just keep these in mind as you vote.  You are not just voting based on issues.  You are voting for a leader!

Myth Squashing Time! There’s No Need To Vote If You Can’t Seek The Truth

2012-ABC-New-Hampshire-GOP-DebateSo, here we are again…in the middle of one of the most highly contested Republican primary seasons I can remember, and I have had the right to vote now for 34 years.

Over the last few days, a few things have been taken out of context, and it’s time to give the media, the candidates and the voters a wake up call, and here it is:

1.  To the media and the candidates:  If you claim to be fair, why do you report things out of context?  Yesterday, Governor Mitt Romney delivered a speech about “firing people or companies who don’t provide great service”.  He was discussing the state of affairs with health insurance companies and that as consumers, we should have the right to “fire” an insurance company that is not providing us what we need and hire a new insurance company who can provide the services we seek” (paraphrase).  But, as always, Romney’s opponents and the media simply clipped out the section when Romney said “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me” and then started flying down the tracks with that statement in their hands claiming that during one of the worst economic eras since the great depression, Romney wants to fire people.  If that is what you are going to listen to and buy into, then don’t vote.  I am 100% for voting, unless you are a voter who does not take the time to get the full story.  Just watch this video of Romney speaking yesterday and pay close attention to how the phrase was actually used:

While he may now regret his phrasing…he is absolutely right!  If you have an employee, vendor or board member who is not doing his or her job and are hurting your business or life, then they should be asked to move on and find other work or other customers.  Every day I work with leaders in the business and non-profit sector who KNOW they have a bad apple on their team or a vendor who is slack, but they are soooooo afraid to fire anyone.  Maybe we need someone with the guts to say “Hey…you are not doing your job for the American people.  Move on!”

I am not writing this to back Mitt Romney.  I am writing it, because as a leadership coach, I cannot take things out of context and then use them, and as a leader, you cannot take things out of context or take a thin slice of a full statement and then slam a person with it.  So, I urge you to look at the full picture.

2.  To the media, candidates and the American people:  Stop calling our visionary leaders crazy, cranks and odd.  That is just again not fair.  Dr. Ron Paul has been called crazy, a crank and odd.  In 2002, he was really called crazy when he delivered this speech to congress in 2012:

So, was he crazy?  I don’t think so.  This speech is very sobering indeed.

Walt Disney was called crazy, and look at the joy and happiness his “craziness” has brought into our lives.   Steve Jobs was called “crazy” when he introduced the iPod, and our world has been forever changed because of his vision.   Dr. Paul has been trying to warn Congress and the American people since the late 1990s that we were headed for some big trouble on both foreign and domestic fronts, but everyone just said “Oh…crazy Ron…there he goes again, saying that we are going to pour money into the Gaza and Afghanastan and that we are headed for an economic meltdown.”  Paul was not crazy…he was right.  He is a smart man who closely follows and studies foreign relations and economics, and he understands that history repeats itself, moves in repeating patterns and cycles around and around the same issues:  money, religion and resources.  He has always been looking into the future, and some people just don’t have the vision to be able to really see down the road.  So, the only response is “Well…that person is crazy”…that again is just not fair, and it is not accurate.  It is hurtful.

So, I encourage you today to embrace our visionary leaders and to seek the truth…not just a sliver of truth but the full truth.  If you listen to the media and to the bits and pieces being slung around like wet mud enough, you will never get the full story.  Do your own research, get the facts straight and become fully informed before heading to the polls in November.

 

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5 Warning Signs that Your Arrogance is Tearing Your Team Apart

ArroganceArrogance is something that we often discuss in the world of leadership.  A little bit of arrogance can go a long way in the direction of success, but when overused, arrogance can tear your team apart.  The main reason?  As a leader, if arrogance is your leadership skill of choice, your team is more than likely feeling devalued, rejected and angry.  When I speak in private to team members about their arrogant leaders, they usually shrug and say “It is a waste of my oxygen to mention anything or bring new ideas to the table.  He always thinks he has the right and only answer”.

If you are an arrogant leader, these behaviors will be seen by others:

1. You think you have the only answer.

2. You always think you are right and that the rest of the world is wrong. And, your team hears this constantly.

3. You dismiss the ideas of others on your team.

4. You appear aloof and that you don’t really like other people.

5. You pull rank constantly and try to overpower other people.

6. You rarely share credit with others.

7. You don’t take feedback from others as an opportunity to learn or grow.  You think you are already masterful at everything.

Here are the signs that your arrogance is tearing your team apart:

1.  Team members don’t speak up during meetings or one on one discussions.  Why should they?  You know it all!

2.  Team members work in a robotic fashion.  They would never want to come up with an innovative idea, because you will more than likely squash any new ideas.

3.  When speaking with team members, they stumble through their words, get flushed and anxious, and they will always back down from their opinion.

4.  Team members quit, because they are living in fear.  They are afraid they will say the wrong thing, and you would rather be right than keep your top talent in place.

5.  Team members are talking about you behind your back.  You may not know it, but trust me…they are talking about you behind your back.  When a team is not aligned with their leader, and the team is talking about you behind your back, get ready for your productivity, teamwork and bottom line results to fall into a very dark hole.

If you are a leader who is living with arrogance, there are some steps you can take:

1.  Most people living with arrogance don’t know it, but you need to hear it if you are.  I highly recommend that you commit yourself to getting feedback from your team on an annual basis.  I suggest that you bring in a 3rd party who knows nothing about your company to ask about 10 questions of your team and the people who know you.  Then, it’s time to sit down and hear what your team has to say about you.

2.  Work on opening up your body.  This sounds odd, but most arrogant people have facial expressions that send the message they are not open to others.  They will look away, turn their back or pretend they are not listening.  Sit down with your team members, remove anything that is blocking you from your team, and really listen without all of the sighs and looks that you may usually send.

3.  Disclose your shortcomings to your team.  Most leaders believe that this will make them appear weak and incompetent to their team members.  The opposite is true.  When you open up to your team about your shortcomings, your world will change overnight.  You don’t have to drag every bone out of the closet, yet it is important to tell your team about some of the feedback you have received and your plan of action.  Then, you must act on your plan.  Your actions will speak so much more loudly than words.

4. Be a coach…not a know it all.  In today’s business world, true leaders are becoming great coaches.  With coaching, you will be collaborating with your team on a way to “win”.  (Dave Buck’s Coach to Win and Play to Win methods are really great for this purpose).  With coaching, you are not telling people what to do…you are pulling their strengths to the surface and then coaching them on how to leverage those strengths so that they become stronger and better at what they do.

5.  Drop the cocky attitude and listen.  People who are over the top on arrogance are cocky.  This intimidates others.  You can be confident and come across as approachable, but not if your goal is to be cocky.  There is a very fine line between being confident and being arrogant.  If you are arrogant, you are probably very smart and talented, and you don’t need to throw that all over people.  Just observe yourself for one week in listening and curiosity mode and do your best to bite your tongue.  Watch the responses as you open up, listen and become more curious.  Your team will shift if you practice listening and being curious.  It just works!

 

The 5 Things Leaders Hate to Do that Stop them From Being Great

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last decade, you probably have heard all about the book Good to Great by Jim Collins.  In the book, Collins discusses the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great, and much of this process has to do with the leadership skills of the people at the top.

I have had the honor of coaching over 1000 business leaders in the last ten years, and while I do agree with Collins on the points he makes about great leaders and great companies, I have learned through the years that there are five things that most leaders hate to do.  As a result, they push these five to the back burner, and allow the simmering process to burn the team and/or company down…a slow and painful death for everyone, including the leader.  I am writing this post today, because I don’t want you to become one of those leaders who becomes a “has been” in the next 1-3 years and has a California wrongful death case in the process.

So, here we go:  The 5 Things Leaders Hate to Do that Stop them From Being Great:

1.  Being open to coaching, hiring a coach and working with a coach.  I don’t care how great you are, if you are a human being, you need a coach.  I am not saying that you need me (yet that would be great if we are a good fit), but if you are a leader at the top of your game, a great coach can help you go even further, stretch even more, build a more effective team and hire the best talent in the world.  For some reason, leaders think hiring a coach means they must be problematic or broken.  It is truly just the opposite.  As a leader, if you are a big thinker, you will understand quickly that an objective opinion and support from someone outside of your company can offer you new perspectives, new insights into your role as a leader.  A coach can also help you leverage your strengths, identify your weaknesses and learn how to leverage both to create new opportunities for yourself and your team.

2.  Addressing conflict.  Many leaders believe if they just ignore a conflict, it will magically go away or die on the vine.  Conflict breeds contempt, and if you are a strong leader, you will find yourself addressing some type of conflict on a weekly basis.  The goal is to strike while the iron is hot and to learn how to address conflict effectively.  I highly recommend the book Crucial Confrontations for this purpose.  It is hard to speak to others about a conflict or to “confront” others.  Rather than using the word “confront”, I recommend using the term “Critical Conversation”.   By using this language, the conversation becomes “mission critical”, and you are compelled to address the problem right upfront.

3.  Taking personal responsibility for company problems.  The issues with Enron, 9/11, bad loans and Bernie Madoff marked the end of leaders being above the law and the beginning of personal responsibility.  At the end of the day, as a leader, your company and team is not about you.  It is about your employees and customers.  It is absolutely critical that you take personal responsibility for failures in your company and that you speak about them to the public.  While there may be others who fell short of their responsibilities, at the end of the day, as the top person in the company, there is something you did that helped contribute to the problem.  You have have:

  • Hired the wrong person
  • Withdrawn yourself from over the top communication
  • Micromanaged too much OR isolated yourself too much

Each time a problem happens in your company, it is important to sit quietly and figure out what role you played in the process.  If you dig deep enough, you will find it.  Once you find it, it is then time to speak to your employees and customers about the issue, where you went wrong and what you are going to do about it.

4.  Dedicating yourself to ongoing learning and development.  This goes a bit back to the first point about hiring a coach.  You may be the top dog, but everyone has something new to learn.  Leaders often send their employees to training and development events, but they never put learning and development on their own calendar.  If you want to be great, you will be dedicated to lifelong learning and always looking at new ways to expand your depth and breadth of knowledge.  Learning and development opportunities are always available in your own industry, but I would like to stretch you to think about learning opportunities outside of your own industry.  This could be in the area of technology, social networking or the arts.  Finding creative ways to use information outside of your own industry is a characteristic of someone who is willing to think way out there on the bleeding edge, and we need this in our leaders of today.

5.  Speaking less…leaving a few things unsaid.  Many leaders talk way too much.  They think they know all the answers, and leave very little opportunities for their teams to come up with answers and find their own way.  Deep listening is a critical skill all leaders need in their toolkit, and just as important is the ability to empower others to speak and act.  While you may have all of the answers, your team will step up and bring your answers to the table, but only if you empower them to do it.  While it may take a bit more time for your team to figure out the best solution to problems or to find their way through a maze, they will exercise their strategic thinking and problem solving skills, but only if you back off.

If you are a leader, congratulations and thank you for all that you do for your followers, companies, cities, schools and government.  If I can be of support in any way by offering you a bit of leadership coaching to help you move from being a good leader to a great one, contact me at 910.692.6118.

 

Should the President of the United States Be Held to Higher Standards than the General Population?

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

Over the past few months, we have all been hearing stories of sexual harassment, adultery and lying by a few of the Republican Candidates for President of the United States.  This all brings up the question:  Should the President of the United Stated be held to higher standards than the general population?

My feeling is an absolute YES!  While the President is a human being, he or she has powers that the general population does not have.  Our President can send troops into battle, can make the call to push a button to send a nuclear bomb and can veto any bill that lands on his desk.

The latest allegations regarding Herman Cain reportedly having a 13 year affair with a woman has everyone asking this question.  Cain’s lawyer a experienced divorce attorney suggested that the personal life of a Presidential candidate should not have an impact on electability.  The situation is this:  If Herman Cain is guilty of the allegations of sexual harassment and having an extramarital affair are true, then he told a bold face lie to the public. 

If someone will lie during a campaign, he will lie as our President.   I am not saying that Cain lied or that the allegations are true, but I do know this:  More often than not, when there’s smoke, there’s fire, so something odd is going on here.  And, with the Drug Charges Defense Lawyer in Las Vegas, the truth will come out.

I have adult children who are of the age that they could be drafted into war if required, and as the President of the United States, this position also gives the person at the helm the title of Commander in Chief.  When elected, I want our President to be able to be trusted, and if my children are drafted, I want to know that this decision came from someone who is capable of being trusted…I want to feel secure in that decision.  While the public these days is very forgiving, we never forget, and if trust is an issue, it will be very difficult for a man or woman to lead our people…into war, out of a horrible economy and into diplomatic relationships with other countries.

For Herman Cain’s sake and the sake of his family, I do hope these allegations are false.  Having said that, I do feel that we are at a critical turning point in history, and the person we elect needs a record that is as close to squeaky clean as possible.  We need someone who is rock solid, has a strong business and economic background, who knows foreign policy and who can make tough calls when they need to.

Would love to hear you weigh in on this question:

Should the President of the United Stated be held to higher standards than the general population?

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NEW VIDEOS: Is The Media Ignoring Ron Paul? Piers Morgan and Jon Stewart Weigh In

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...

Image via Wikipedia

I have to admit that I am a bit biased on the subject of Congressman Ron Paul, as my daughter Ann is working on his Presidential campaign. I honestly did not know much about Paul until this past year, and the more I listen to him, the more sense he seems to make. He believes in getting back to what our founding fathers wanted in the first place…liberty and freedom.

But, I just have to put this out on my blog today, as it has been so blatantly apparent that the media is just totally ignoring Ron Paul in this campaign. He almost tied Michelle Bachmann in the Iowa Caucus, yet everyone is just ignoring this…as if Dr. Paul does not exist. There is all sorts of talk about Bachmann and Perry and a lot of coverage on Pawlenty pulling out of the race, yet very few people are saying much about Ron Paul. It makes me wonder (based on the below interview) if the media might be afraid to bring Paul into the spotlight, because gosh…he might just be the person who could help turn our situation around. Last night, Piers Morgan interviewed Paul and was quite direct in asking the long term Congressman why no one is talking about him? Watch this video of the interview:

And, here you have the outcome of the Iowa Caucus:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now…watch how Jon Stewart sums all up. Really right on point and very funny!~

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3 Strategies to Make Sure Your Leadership Coaching Really Works

I will be the first to admit that I am not a guru when it comes to leadership coaching, but I have been around the block a few times. I have been coaching since the year 2,000, and through the school of hard knocks and trial and error, I have finally come to the conclusion that there are 3 strategies that I must use if I want the leaders I coach to be successful. Today, I would like to share those three strategies with you.

1. Design your coaching strategy around what the followers want to see change or improve…not necessarily around what the client thinks she needs. Leadership coaching is so very different from life coaching or coaching a solo business owner for this one reason: The leaders you coach have people who are following them, and as a leader, you must be willing to shift your leadership style, communication style or even the way you walk based on what your followers say they most need and want. Below, I will go into detail about the one month needs assessment, and I just want to caution you about this: Simply because a leader calls you and tells you she wants to work on her time management or organizing her office does not mean this is what her followers want to see. The most successful leaders understand their followers needs and desires and they will do anything to get the majority of their followers’ needs met. As a leader, if your client does not care what the followers think, then she is simply not a leader…enough said!

2. Begin your actual coaching only after one solid month of assessment. Assessing a leader in a company is a great deal like a physician trying to diagnose a patient’s illness. A doctor would never walk in and just start writing prescriptions without asking multiple questions of you (and maybe of your family members) to find out what is really going on. During the first month of leadership coaching, I invest my time conducting a very thorough needs assessment which includes the following:

  • An oral 360 degree feedback review. With my approach, I interview at least 12 people who are around the leader. The list of people I interview include direct reports, bosses, peers and even family members. While I am certified to run the online 360 degree assessments with the Center for Creative Leadership, I have found that by asking 12 simple questions of 12 different people, I get much better responses. I not only hear the answers, but I hear the sighs, the laughs, the “ughs” and I can see eyes rolling, deep thinking and smiles or frowns on faces.
  • The DiSC Assessment. Most leadership coaches have their favorite tools to use. Mine is by far the DiSC assessment. The tool has been used for over 30 years by over 40 million users and is one of the most trusted learning assessments in the personal and professional development industry. With the DiSC, you will quickly learn if the leader you are coaching is a strong-willed, bottom line risk taker or a leader who loves to entertain and motivate others. The communication style of your leader is critical to her approach with her followers, and this tool will help you bring out the best in your clients.
  • The Strengths Finder Profile. I truly believe that using a leader’s key strengths to help shore up weaknesses is one of the best ways to approach your clients. It is critical to know upfront what your leader’s strong suits are, and this assessment can help you refine your coaching and hone in on those strengths from the first coaching session to the end of the coaching engagement.
  • A two hour relaxed “get to know you” meeting with your new client. I always invest at least two hours in the early stages of the needs assessment with my new clients to find out what makes them tick and what ticks them off. I want to know about the music they listen to, their favorite foods and colors and a bit about their personal life. This relaxed conversation builds trust and also helps fill in some of the gaps that will more than likely be missing with the formal assessments.

3. Once you have completed the needs assessment, pick one goal ONLY to work with your client on for at least six months. I have observed coaches who pile goals on top of goals on top of more goals and “things to do”. This is a big mistake (in my opinion). I have learned that when coaching a leader, we have to agree to work on the one leadership skill that needs the most work, and work a system so that improvement starts to happen as quickly as possible. Improvement in one area will often help in other areas of leadership, so I just want to encourage you to keep hammering home points around that one critical skill that needs work. Doing a little bit of work on a long list of leadership skills will get your client to move an inch. Working on one goal and seeing a leadership skill turn 180 degrees is much easier for your client to swallow and others will notice improvement quickly if you are really targeting one area that is of greatest concern for the people who are trying to follow the leader.

If you or someone you know is interested in discussing leadership coaching, please feel free to contact me, Bea Fields, at 910-692-6118. I am happy to spend some time discussing your leadership needs.

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