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Chris LoCurto

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February 18, 2013

How Is Our President Doing?

February 18, 2013 | By | 77 Comments">77 Comments

President’s Day has never really meant a lot to me…except that we got out of school. I don’t know if it means a ton to you either.

White House

Unless you’re a government worker, then you’re probably happy because you’re not working today either.

But since it’s President’s Day I thought I would ask the question:

How is our President doing?

However, that’s really a rhetorical question. You see, I want you to answer that, but mainly in your own mind.

How do YOU think he’s doing? After you have that question answered, I want you to ask another question:

What is the President’s job?

For me, it comes down to one word; lead! It’s our President’s job to lead this country. To lead our people. To lead our elected officials. His job is to lead. Now that you have that in mind, how is he doing?

Once again, not looking for you to answer below. Instead, I want you to now ask the question of the closest leader to you. By the way, that should be YOU. How are you doing as a leader?

If I asked all of those around you, what would they say? Would they support you? Would they fight for you? Would they proudly tell others of how you’ve blessed them? How you know their kids names? How you have made them a better person?

If not, you have to ask another question:

Why?

What is it that you’re doing, or NOT doing, that keeps your team from supporting you? You’ve heard me say it over and over – as a leader, it’s YOUR job to make your team successful, not the other way around. Click here cuz you know you wanna Tweet that!

So today, I want to know, if we called you your team’s president, how are you doing?

Question: What areas do you need to work on as a leader to get the support of your team? 

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  • cj

    I think he’s doing pretty well all things considered. His vision for the US is different than mine. But I believe he is able to communicate his positions to those who want to listen, lead those who want to be open to being led and managed to pull off a re-election that I thought could never be done. As for leading congress, if you can’t fire those who oppose you, then you won’t win. And most of those who oppose him were hired by their constituents to oppose him.

  • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

    Rhetorical or not, it’s interesting that, whether I agree with the president’s ideology or not (I don’t), he is doing a terrific job providing for his family and influencing others to sacrifice their careers to do as he would have them do.

    My commitment to myself this year, and beyond, is to end the silence that equals safety in my workplace. Because I am a good leader who need to get a lot better, poor leadership rubs me the wrong way. REALLY rubs me the wrong way. Although I don’t equate leadership with influence (everyone influences, not everyone is a leader), I can still positively influence my coworkers and my boss by simply saying and/or doing what needs to be said or done.

    Did this a couple of days ago and got ripped. The cool thing about it is that the holy spirit gave me a completely guilt-free conscience and peace of mind. Voila! I may get fired, but that open door is around here someplace.

    • Jaselyn

      Good luck with your new-found confidence to speak your mind!

      Question, though: John Maxwell says that leadership IS influence, since the only way to lead someone is to influence them, and the only way to influence someone is to influence (or lead) them toward (or away from) something. While not everyone may be leading people in a good direction, and not everyone may have the title of leadership, I think this makes sense. So when you say that you don’t equate the two, how do you define leadership, then?

  • Jaselyn

    I would say my biggest area for growth in my leadership is being a 24/7 leader. I have a tendency when I go home to turn off the leadership and become a bit more selfish, which is challenging since my roommate is someone I work with who I’m supposed to be coaching and mentoring. So at the end of the day, she’ll have questions or just want to talk and I just want to tune it out and make dinner! Also, it means I sometimes forget to call up some of the people I lead that I don’t see on a daily basis and check on how they are doing and what I can do to help.

    • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

      I admire you, but where do you go when you need to refresh and recharge, if you have this responsibility at home?

      • Jaselyn

        I call my manager, who lives two states away. Or I just head out to the archery range or the local tea shop. Also, she’s involved in a lot of things, so she isn’t home all the time. I look at it as practice for when I have a family: kids won’t care how hard I worked during the day; they’ll just care that I give them what they need when work is done. If I can learn to do that now, it’ll make me that much better of a wife and mom, if I end up going that route in my life.

  • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

    I think one of the more fascinating things about the Presidency in the United States is the number of years that power has transitioned from one leader to the next in a relatively peaceful manner. Of course the consequences of poor leadership transitions are evident too: the delay in appointments due to the legal battle between Gore and Bush in 2000 meant that there was a lengthy delay in key intelligence-position nominations. The delay created knowledge gaps which directly contributed to September 11.

    I say this because one of the areas I need to work on is confidence that I can pull of a halfway decent leadership transition, as I have intentions to leave my marketing team and focus more on running my own business. Part of that confidence involves overcoming the feeling of guilt that I’m leaving my team behind and letting them down. So “leading” as I’m literally walking out the door is going to be an interesting challenge, to say the least.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      It seems to be that more people here are leaving the employee ranks to join the entreleader ranks. You have the wisdom and courage to succeed and your team will not think you’re letting them down because you’re pursuing your dream; you’re teaching them that it is possible. Go Jon!

      • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

        Encouragement is such a powerful thing, Lily, even if it’s for someone else. Thank you!

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      I agree and understand! I’m going from one industry to another, but still making a similar transition.

    • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

      Have hope, Jon, that your departure will give other “entreleaders” the chance to step forward and shine. They can’t do this if you’re still there. As Lily says, “Go!” And go with a clean heart. You’re needed.

    • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

      Wow, hope you aren’t leading so well that you team just follows you out the door!

  • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

    When I was handed the leadership keys for my Air Force team, we were in a pretty bad place in my view. Morale was low. Camaraderie was there but largely fueled by everyone’s collective perception that their job kind of sucked. And there’s more. So I dug in big time and with my new deputy, and we kept, as I’ve been saying at work, “tapping the line of the status quo” using entreleadership principles and the ship has now turned. From love to attitude to accountability to standards to opening communication to recognition, we tapped and tapped and tapped. One of my more ranking Airman told me last week he now “loves coming to work.” And my newest Airman told me she loves being here. Of course she doesn’t know the team’s history so that was huge for me to here. Last week was a proud one.

    Why am I sharing this on this post? Because I’ve been so deep in the trenches for month and months now, I’m not 100% clear how I’m doing right now and what’s next. So, in the next few weeks I’ll be holding feedback sessions with my team for them to tell me how I can lead them better. I’m confident that will result in more tapping.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      I love this Joel! i’m sure they will tell you that you are doing great Thanks for being an entreleader willing to change things around.

    • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

      What an accomplishment, Joel! Sounds like it would make an interesting book.

    • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      Thats totally awesome Joel! Huge testament to your stellar leadership :)

      • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

        Thanks man.

    • Laura Johnson

      I would love it if you shared with the CLoTribe how you feedback sessions go!

      • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

        I sure will.

    • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

      Woot! Woot!

    • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

      Yes, will you share, please? I want to know how you set up the meeting, what you ask, and how you make the environment comfortable and safe for everyone to contribute. What a super opportunity. BooYAH, Joel!

      • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

        I sure will!

  • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

    I need to be more bold. I’m working on that. Saying the hard things. Asking the hard questions. Not being afraid of feelings or push back. I think that takes a LOT of self-confidence and it’s something I’m working hard to develop.
    It’s easy to sit back and think your questions or views aren’t important, or that someone else will bring them up, but if you don’t stand up for your viewpoint, how can you be a leader??
    So that’s what I need to work on, being bold. Stating my opinion unapologetically. And being confident enough to do so.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      I had to read again. I thought you said “I need to be more bald”… There’s a few guys here than can help you with that.

      • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

        ahahaha. I think I’m doing just fine at being more bald…as a matter of fact, in a month or two, I’m going to be completely bald, because I’m tired of going bald :) razor here I come :)

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

          You’ll save a lot on shampoo :0)

          • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

            very true!

          • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

            But spend more on sunscreen and hats. And everyone knows it when you hit your head.

            • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

              I wear hats all the time already ;)

    • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

      I’ve found that the more rapport I have with team members, the more bold I can be.

      • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

        tru dat!

    • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

      “We’re not called to be comfortable; we’re called to be effective.” Chris Hogan

      Your boldness is desperately needed.

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    As it has been thoroughly and publicly assessed in this blog, my blog, Matt’s blog an I think Mark’s too, I intend to work on listening better. When I don’t listen, I am communicating lack of trust and superiority and that is certainly not the type of leader I’d like to be.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I’m sorry, what did you say?

      • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

        Ha. Ha. Ha. Very funny.

    • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      I would have to say, you’ve done great at accepting advice lately ;)

      • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

        I agree! Lily there’s no doubt in my mind your next performance review is going to reflect how you’ve improved listening. It’s something EVERYONE can do better.

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

          I’m sure I’ll get feedback from my husband before I get to my next performance review ;0)

          • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

            …and isnt that the most important feedback?

    • Laura Johnson

      You have been getting a lot of advice lately!
      Is that what instigated your post for today? ;)

      • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

        I love great and wise advice. I hate pointless and unwanted advice. My post for today is more of a rant.

  • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

    I need to work on praising my team members better. I also need to help motivate them to learn to cross-train because it’s an important part of how we work. The cross-training will be needed in case of people getting sick or going on vacation. Plus, (at least in our industry) people do a better job when they know some of the other positions and how the two are connected.

    I was just recently “promoted” to Leadman (a step under supervisor on our machine), but I’m also hoping to leave my job as I transition into my web design business. I’m hoping to have such a smooth transition when I leave that they don’t skip a beat. This is another part of my job as a leader I’m working on.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Now that’s a sign of a true leader!

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      Best wishes on a smooth transition for you and your team Josh!

    • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      Leading well from where you are will lead you to where you want to be!

    • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

      Selfless act on your part. Way to be.

      • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

        Can’t say it’s easy. There’s always been a side of me that would love to look back and see them struggling because they can’t make it without me. But this group has changed my thinking a lot!

  • Laura Johnson

    It’s encouraging to read the comments that have already been contributed, and to have an idea what some of the regulars will say :)
    It seems like there are a number of business leaders who think if an employee needs to receive encouragement/praise, explanation, any kind of interest in them personally, they are “high-maintanence”
    What those leaders don’t realize is, if they take the time to care to invest in those under them, they’re really investing in their business: when an employee feels cared about, they care about their work. When they feel taken care of, someone has their back, they put in the extra effort to make the business and their leader look good. When they feel like they have value, they take the time to grow so they can make an even greater contribution to the company. A loyalty has been developed.
    The people are the company’s greatest investment. And for the best results, they need to be taken care of. It’s not just about numbers.
    The end :)

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      hahaha…spoken like a true leader who doesn’t realize she’s a leader. :-)

      • Laura Johnson

        Well thanks, Chris…
        I’ll take that as my encouraging word for the day :)

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      Are we that predictable?

      • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

        yes, we are….

      • Laura Johnson

        After “virtually” conversing for a year…yeah :)

      • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

        Just waiting for Matt to chime in about something breaking and whose fault it is…

        • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

          may I predict whom he will blame for any sort of break down???

    • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      And if you aren’t careful in the hiring process, people are a company’s greatest liability as well :)

      • Laura Johnson

        So true, Mark!
        That’s why I said people are an “investment” instead of asset ;)
        There are good investments and poor investments. A side benefit for the leader taking time for those “under” them…they will soon be able to tell which kind of investment it was! And act accordingly :)

        • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

          Thats right!!

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    I need to spend more time one-on-one with my team members – listening to them, getting to know them, and working together to solve their problems. To that end, I am meeting with each of my team members this week as I kick off regular one-on-one meetings. I’m utilizing an outline/plan that Matt McWilliams had posted several months ago on his blog. I’m excited to see how this improves my team (and how it improves my performance as a leader).

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I can tell you that a lack of communication is one of the biggest issues I see when I go into companies. Great job discovering that you need the one-on-ones!

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe
      • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

        My new boss sits within spitting distance, literally, and prefers keeping his headphones on and sending me emails. As Tevye says, “Crazy, no?”

    • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      I had lunch with a business owner last week and he was telling me that he takes each of his team members to breakfast once a month. What a breath of fresh air that was!! It was like walking through a crown, seeing only strangers and suddenly seeing a good friend! It’s so nice to see good leadership, because it’s, sadly, too rare

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        This is something I would like to do over the next year or so. I’ve been trying to determine the right way to do this though with boundaries. 3 of my 12 direct reports are women, and my wife and I have committed to never going out with any members of the opposite sex alone. One-on-one meetings in the office are the best avenue for making sure we are still meeting together. Have you (or anyone else in the tribe) experienced this? What is your experience?

        • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

          I give you huge props on that Jon! That is something my wife and I have agreed to as well. The sticky part is explaining to them why the difference. If you have good rapport with them, it should be fairly easy.

          If they don’t understand, I’d have to say, oh well, do what you can. Your values and the agreements you’ve made to your spouse trump anything that happens at work…in my opinion.

          The other option is just always ordering lunch in–with all direct reports. That way you do the same with all of them, and aren’t breaking that commitment.

          Again, a lot of respect for you taking that stand!

          • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

            Great thoughts, Mark.

        • Laura Johnson

          When my boss takes me out to a lunch meeting, his wife comes too. This is relatively easy though because she is co-owner of the business.
          What if you take two at a time, whether it includes a female or not. You said you have twelve people. That would be each “group” getting breakfast or lunch once every six weeks, if you want to do it that often. If you want to change it up a bit, you could rotate who meets together. In other words, mix them up so each group doesn’t consist if the same people for the whole year. Of course, this would only work if you are not meeting about issues that need to be discussed with just the one person.

          • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

            That’s pretty interesting. This won’t work with my situation as my wife works, but I like the idea.

        • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

          My suggestion is to meet it head-on, Jon. Explain to the women as a group of three that because you treasure your wife, and your commitment, you must make special accommodation for them as leaders who are women.

          They will love you for it. AND, if you ask, they might have some great suggestions about how you might actually do it.

          I’d love to hear what they say and how it works out.

          • Jaselyn

            That sounds like a great idea. Open, honest communication leads to the opportunity to get some of the best ideas. Not always easy to do, of course, but definitely the best option in the long run.

          • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

            Great suggestion, Kathy. I’ll let you know how it goes.

      • http://twitter.com/2ndLeicester Kathy Leicester

        You said it, Mark. Leadership of any kind, much less quality leadership, is something those of us with the passion for it will have to pursue, ’cause like you said, it’s not a rewarded commodity most places.

  • http://twitter.com/steelegoing J. Steele

    I have the propensity to put all of my efforts into getting the work in the door, completed, and out the door again, which generally means I’m not actively engaged in other aspects of the workplace. As a result, I’m seeing a trend of co-workers not engaging as well, instead opting to be the “grey man” in the process. I’m going to have to step back and not be so purely focused on the end result.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Wow! Great observation!

    • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

      That’s an awesome observation. Are these co-workers you lead?

      • http://twitter.com/steelegoing J. Steele

        We tend to work in teams for projects, and I’m generally facilitating those teams in some fashion. It’s leadership without the fancy title.

    • cj

      Isn’t there a role for “grey men”? People who just get it done. Nothing more. Nothing less? Minimally tolerate what they do or even enjoy it? Can too much leadership/input fall under the too many cooks parable?