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Chris LoCurto

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June 27, 2012

Lead By Living It

This week I am teaching EntreLeadership Performance Series here in Tennessee, and will be finishing the week off with a couple of Formula races in Savannah. I’ve asked some of the incredibly talented commenters of this blog to share their wisdom. Here’s a great post by Laura Johnson. Check out her blog here. You can guest post as well! Read how to here.I’ve been a background person most of my life. And then, I learned to lead. And it is all because of running.

For two years, I was taught how to run from three people who had been excelling at the sport for 30 years. Getting tips from 90 years of experience ain’t bad!

I learned that stretching after is more important; to not lie down immediately after running because it can cause a heart attack; and being able to talk while running is a way to tell you’re not pushing yourself too hard.

I ran so often, the pointers became ingrained. I didn’t even have to think about them anymore. They became automatic.

Then, I started running with a few new runners. They noticed what I automatically did. It wasn’t long before they were asking my advice. How do I pick out a good shoe? What do I do when my body does this? How can I be sure to run the entire distance when I feel like walking?

And, it was easy for us to talk. Why?  I had immersed myself in the running world. I knew what I was talking about. I didn’t have to convince them, they could tell by my actions.

What if we submerged ourselves in the leadership world? What if we read leadership books or blogs (plug here for Chris!), listened to leadership tapes or podcasts, and spend time with leaders stronger than ourselves? Wouldn’t that cause us to grow as leaders?

If we focus more on becoming great leaders, we don’t have to worry as much about how we approach others. It will come naturally. It will affect our professionalism, confidence, integrity, attitude and those around us, too. Everyone will be better for it.

What have you done to become a better leader?

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  • JoelBoggess

    When you used the word “immersed”, you had my full attention. 
     
    Total immersion (in the running, leadership, or other worlds), is the quickest and most effective way to leverage yourself into new ways of thinking, being, and doing. It’s the game-changer that differentiates “world-class performers” from “also-rans”.
     
    While there is a mind-boggling amount of leadership and personal growth information available, we, like laser beams, stay focused on the blogs and podcasts (Entreleadership and your blog obviously included) which give us the tips, tools, and triggers we can use immediately.
     
     
     

  • http://LouiseThaxton.Net/ LouiseThaxton

    Laura – great post!   You are so spot on – it is about FOCUS on becoming a great leader.  And what have I done?  Read, read, read – books, blogs, articles and then lean on mentors advice.  Love it – subscribed to your blog!

  • http://www.woodtex.com/ Gary Mast

    You can always become a better leader by becoming a better listener.

  • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

    Great stuff, Laura!  Yes all of that does grow us as leaders! I think there’s something to be said for just recognizing you’re a leader and realizing that every day, let alone seeking out mentors, reading and so on.

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @JoelFortner I think a lot of times the true leaders are those that just looked up and realized one day people were following! Because their leadership is based on influence and example rather than some aspiration for title or power…

  • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

    I love this post, Laura.   It’s very hard to expect a positive atmosphere in the workplace when the leader is in a bad mood.  Having worked with a manager that came in “pissed off”  many mornings, we found that it put all of us on edge for the whole day.
     
    As  a coordinator of 15, I did my best to walk in the door with a smile and ask how everyone’s day was going.   This definitely set a positive tone.  
     
    Leading by example is one of the best ways to be a good leader.

    • http://www.cabinart.net/ cabinart

       @skottydog It’s rough when the dude over you is moody. Part of professionalism is not letting moods affect behavior (or is that part of maturity?) 
       
      I commend you for knowing that you could influence those on your team for the good, in spite of someone over you setting a bad tone.
       
      Now I want to figure out if there is a difference between professionalism and maturity. I bet @lilykreitinger could turn this subject into a great post!

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @cabinart @skottydog @lilykreitinger I think Lily could turn ANY subject into a great blog post…

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

           @Skropp  @cabinart  @skottydog  @lilykreitinger Awwww… stop it you guys LOL
           

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger @cabinart @skottydog Just the truth Lily!

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @cabinart  @skottydog  @lilykreitinger Agreed on that! I’m sure Lily could tackle it well. But I would venture this opinion: professionalism is maturity. Maturity is professionalism.
         
        Maturity recognizes that feelings are not the boss of me. I am the boss of my feelings, and I am responsible to manage them so that they do not wreak havoc with my coworkers or family.
         
        That, to me, is also a sure sign of professionalism. If I am a mature professional, I will not allow my terrible fight with my wife, or the project that I failed on, or whatever negative thing – I will not allow those things to own me and influence my behavior.
         
        I can feel it. I must feel it. I could share my struggle with you, but I must work hard to never allow my pain to bleed over and affect the way I interact with you.
        My two cents.  

        • http://www.cabinart.net/ cabinart

           @Aaron Nelson  Circle the bases, Dude! You knocked it out of the park with that reply!   

  • http://www.ricardoequips.com RicardoEquips

    Amen to that!

  • Shelley_PartsofSpeech

    Excellent advice Laura! This goes for so many other things too…when we surround ourselves and become comfortable with what we do (or hope to do) it’s amazing how things fall into place. Validation in our interests and passions are key. Thanks for your post. –

  • http://www.cabinart.net/ cabinart

    Great post, Laura. I thought running either came naturally or it didn’t. So interesting to realize that it is a sport that can be both taught and learned. (90 years of experience to learn from is awesome!) The same can be said for leadership, and in my case, artistic ability. I tell my students all the time that drawing is a skill, not a talent. Some excel, some just slog along, but all are drawing. 
     
    I’m learning to be a better leader from Chris and the commenters here (but they sure are acting up today!!), and from chasing down other blog links, listening to podcasts, and continually asking God for guidance.

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @cabinart Jana, I may have to take a lion’s share of the blame for the acting up…I think I started it! Haha. Sorry

      • http://www.cabinart.net/ cabinart

         @Skropp  Actually, I really enjoyed the antics. I was just thinking that maybe @JoshPalcic might get scared off! I’m sorry for coming across like a cranky old woman.

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @cabinart @JoshPalcic Haha. I was mostly joking. I knew you really weren’t bothered by it. It did start early today though haha

    • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

      @cabinart I used to believe the same as you about running! And just like art, there are those with more natural ability than others. For example, I may not be fast but I heal quickly (sounds like I should be on some DC comics movie, huh?)
      Anyway, I think your last comment about asking God for guidance is the most important!
      (Ithink “acting up” commenters can be pretty entertaining ;)

  • http://www.BaptistEducation.org/ JoshuaWRivers

    Thanks, Laura! During the past couple months I have drastically increased the amount that I read about leadership. I have also started looking for more podcasts on leadership. I’m trying to be an influence where I can.

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @JoshuaWRivers That’s all any of us can do! I’m influencing where I can, you’re influencing where you can, Chris influences where he can…

  • joshlawsonwaco

    One of the best things I do as a leader is a 360 degree leader review. It’s humbling yet truly revealing. I ask those that are above me (managers & mentors), those beside me (friends and coworkers), and those I lead to give me honest feedback about my leadership. They can do it anonymous or tell me who they are.

    • http://www.BaptistEducation.org/ JoshuaWRivers

       @joshlawsonwaco That’s a great idea to do a 360 degree review.

    • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

       @joshlawsonwaco Nice Josh! I think it’s easy for leaders to become blind. Being the kind of leader who welcomes and invites feedback from all sides is a must. But how many really do? And how many people really feel comfortable GIVING this feedback. Fear and self preservation are big obstacles ‘leaders’ need to be breaking down. See this in many places where I work – workers living in fear of the boss. Terrible.

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @Aaron Nelson @joshlawsonwaco Totally agree Aaron! If my manager asked me for feedback I highly doubt I’d be honest with him…because I’m not sure he would take it without being defensive and/or retaliating against me. Luckily those kind of people aren’t asking for feedback anyways :)

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @joshlawsonwaco That’s awesome josh! I admire your willingness to receive feedback!

    • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

      @joshlawsonwaco That is an awesome idea!

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

    Great job!!! Love this post!!! Lead by your actions and not by your words is one of the biggest challenges I face.  Thanks for the reminder, it will help me be a better leader.

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @lilykreitinger What’s this future tense stuff?? You’re already a great leader! You’re the Leader-en-absentee of the blog when chris is gone. Didn’t we tell you? We voted and amended the blog by laws to read “..in the event of the absence of afore mentioned blog owner/operator/figurehead/mascot (Chris LoCurto) Lily shall become temporary Leader of the Blog (not to be confused with the leader of the band, Mickey Mouse) in all things commenting and otherwise…” Article 14 section something or other…. Haha

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

         @Skropp  @lilykreitinger  I think I’ll need a raise. I have my people contact you.

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

         @Skropp  @lilykreitinger I think I need a raise. My people will contact your people.

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger Ok, talk to Jon, he handles all negotiations involving gum balls…haha

        • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

           @Skropp  @lilykreitinger I charge a 95% mediation fee, and I’m pretty sure Chris takes the other 5% since the conversation is on his blog.

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Jon Henry @lilykreitinger plus paying your people….So basically what my representative is saying is, you’d be better off taking the post at the current rate of pay :) the price of doing business ;)

      • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

        @Skropp Haha!! So Chris is now a mascot too!?

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Laura Johnson Well, I figured his picture’s on the blog, kinda makes him the mascot….can’t think of a better mascot for the Chris LoCurto blog than…Chris LoCurto! Haha

      • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

         @Skropp  @lilykreitinger Like I said on Monday, Johnny Carson had Joan Rivers, Chris LoCurto has you!
         
        …minus the facelifts!   

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

           @skottydog Now, that’s better, but I think we can find a better analogy
           

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @skottydog @lilykreitinger You did say that…I don’t remember the “minus the facelifts” part though…haha

    • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

      @lilykreitinger You know I didn’t really “get it” until I found out I was leading, and wasn’t even trying! I love how natural it can become :)

  • http://www.t60productions.com T60Productions

    Nicely done Laura.  Really simple concept… but you know what… the best ones usually are.
     
    –Tony Gnau

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @T60Productions Great point Tony! It reminds me of what Dave said in EntreLeadership: “you could be so smart that you miss the opportunity to be wise.”

    • http://www.BaptistEducation.org/ JoshuaWRivers

       @T60Productions Some of us need things to be simple :)

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @JoshuaWRivers  @T60Productions I’m a simple learner. Simple is beautiful. 

  • CabinetDoork

    Thank you, Laura.  “Submersion Leadership!”  And, how true that we just can’t convince people.  They can tell by our actions.  “Your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear what you’re saying.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

       @CabinetDoork Great thought: ‘Submersion Leadership.”  and the Emerson quote is spot on too. I will strive to make my actions speak louder than my words. 

  • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

    I loved this Laura! What a great invitation to become immersed in the world of leadership to become a better leader. I’m in! 
     
    What am I doing to be a better leader: Surrounding myself with leaders. I see you all here. (Sadly, I haven’t seen too many face to face yet, but I’m looking.) 
     
    I’m also listening to and reading everything I can get my hands on about leadership.
     
    But most importantly: like you, I’m getting out there and trying to do what I’m hearing and reading and seeing. 
     
     

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @Aaron Nelson I’m learning that that’s the key! You can only learn so much about leadership intellectually. It’s more of a lab course than classroom!

      I was just thinking last night during my prayers how blessed and thankful for the amazing talent that has befriended me here!!! Being here is like doing a cannonball off the high dive into the pool of leadership expertise! (how’s THAT for imagery?!!?) haha

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @Skropp  @Aaron Cannonball eh? Hmm, my approach was a bellyflop. Hehehehe. 

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Aaron Nelson @Aaron I didn’t want participation in this blog to come across as a painful experience…haha. But I guess it could be breath-taking too…

    • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

      @Aaron Nelson We’re all going to have to meet up at an Entreleadership event or something…

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @Laura Johnson  @Aaron I think they should organize a special Entreleadership even in Nashville for THE Blog. ;) Hmmmmmmmmmm

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Aaron Nelson @Laura Johnson I like how you think!! I wonder who from the CHRIS LOCURTO blog we could get to teach it….hmmmmm. Maybe we’ll have to ask CHRIS LOCURTO if he can think of anyone….haha

  • JoshPalcic

    Great post. I have been reading leadership and business books to grow my knowledge of how to lead. Reading Chris’ blog has been great and thought provoking to implement the concepts. I had been trying to find some leaders to connect with in my area, but not much success yet. Any thought on how to go about that? I am just getting the confidence to finally contribute with posts to a few blogs. (stepping out of my box… hopefully that means growth is coming!)

    • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

       @JoshPalcic Hey, feel your pain! It’s hard to find people close to me to follow too, but I’m still looking. In the meantime, why not connect with the people you see here?
       
      I for one have found a wonderful group of folks in here who are friendly, and very hungry to grow their leadership – best of all are happy to welcome more runners to the race.
       
      *sticking my hand out for a shake.* 

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @Aaron Nelson @JoshPalcic I’m not friendly Aaron! Haha. Just kidding!

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

           @Skropp  @Aaron  @JoshPalcic I can confirm that. He’s not. :- )

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger @Aaron @JoshPalcic Ouch, dagger to the heart, (envision Hollywood-esque staggering, falling, ad slow death…)

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @Skropp  @lilykreitinger  @Aaron  @JoshPalcic “Skropp! Skropp! Speak to me! Skroooooooopppppppppppppp!” – dramatic man scream. (Important to specify that since we’re going all drama.)

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

           @Aaron Nelson  @Skropp  @Aaron  @JoshPalcic Ha ha ha ha Dramatic Man Scream LOVE IT!

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Aaron Nelson @lilykreitinger @Aaron @JoshPalcic (gasp) take…….care……of the……(goes limp) The End haha

        • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

          @lilykreitinger @Skropp @Aaron @JoshPalcic Ha! Skropp is more like an enthusiastic golden retriever ;)

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Laura Johnson Hmmm I’m not sure if I should feel complemented or insulted by that laura! Haha

      • JoshPalcic

        @Aaron Nelson @JoshPalcic

      • JoshPalcic

        @Aaron Nelson Hand accepted and shook. Thanks for the encouragement. I have loved and learned from listening to all of you. That crazy perfectionist part of my personality waiting to post when I know enough. I usually get over it eventually!

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @JoshPalcic  @Aaron Hear ya. I was a lurker on here for a bit until I gathered up the courage to wade in. Hmm. I’m often like that in real life, but there you go.

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

           @JoshPalcic  @Aaron  We would never post anything here if we waited for that Josh :-)

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

           @Aaron Nelson  @JoshPalcic  @Aaron And now you have the confidence to do it in real life. There you go.

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger @Aaron Nelson @JoshPalcic @Aaron See! She solves problems!

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @Skropp  @lilykreitinger  @Aaron  @JoshPalcic  @Aaron LOL – she sure does!

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @JoshPalcic Don’t be shy about commenting Josh! We don’t bite! Seriously, you wanna connect with leaders, this is a great place. I’d also recommend twitter. You can follow a TON of world class leaders and you’ll learn a ton! As far as connecting where you live, find a mentor. I’ve sat down with a couple business owners in my area and asked all sorts of questions and all I had to do was ask! They were more than willing.
      I know @lily_kreitinger is involved in some different groups in her area, she can probably point you in the right direction too!

      • JoshPalcic

        @Skropp I have been reading Platform by Michael Hyatt and seeing Twitter as being a valuable tool. I will try to touch base with Lily. Thanks for the encouragement.

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @JoshPalcic Platform is an awesome book! Jeremy (cabinetdoork) actually just wrote a blog post about it on his site! Good stuff.
          When you get on twitter look me up @Skropp2. You can also search for the hashtag #CLoBlog and find a lot of us that comment on here.
          I’m sure Lily will read through the comments and reply to this thread to give you ideas. She’s awesome at helping people!
          As far as twitter, I wrote it off as dumb for a couple years…but now it is one of my greatest sources of encouragement and learning!

    • CabinetDoork

       @JoshPalcic
       Growth has come!  Stepping out is growth, and it’s the hardest part of it.  Connection with like minded and encouraging people will bring more of that growth, whether it be in person or through communities such as this one.  I learn from and share with these good folks as much as I ever have in person.  AS FOR ENCOURAGING… Just follow this conversation & see how this community encourages one another.  Welcome, Josh.

      • JoshPalcic

        @CabinetDoork Agreed. These are great folks! Have learned a lot and ready to share:)

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @CabinetDoork @JoshPalcic Jeremy’s modest, he is one of the encouragers! He’s taught and encouraged me for sure!

        • CabinetDoork

           @Skropp    @JoshPalcic
          Very kind, Mark. …and encouraging.  Josh, I searched for you on Twitter and couldn’t find you.  #What’sYourTwitName?

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

       @JoshPalcic Welcome to The Blog Josh!  We specialize in helping people step out of the box, step on top of your box and claim your role as a leader… Oh the places you’ll go!

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @lilykreitinger @JoshPalcic LILY!!! I think you just found your tag line for your blog, “step out the box, step on top of your box and claim your spot as a leader!” (cue Dave’s ‘freedom track’) I LOOOOVE IT!!!

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          *role as a leader, sorry

      • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

        @lilykreitinger @JoshPalcic Sorry, Lily, but you remind me of a dr. Seuss book :)

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

           @Laura Johnson  @lilykreitinger  @JoshPalcic Oh I forgot to add too that
           
          You’ll be on your way up!  You’ll be seeing great sights!  You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.
          You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.  You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
          “Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. 
          Wherever you go,you will top all the rest.”

    • http://www.BaptistEducation.org/ JoshuaWRivers

       @JoshPalcic Welcome to the tribe! I’m fairly new as well. Thanks for joining in the conversation.

  • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

    Awesome post Laura!! I love the example! Its so true, if you immerse yourself in something one day you’ll look up and realize that somewhere along the way people started following YOU!! I don’t think you get people to follow you by trying to lead them; you get people to follow you by following someone ahead of you and constantly learning and growing!!
    Thanks for the great info! Chris would probably insert PREACH IT GIRL!! At this point!

    • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

       @Skropp BAH!  ;) Here here my friend! I love that – focus on being someone worthy to be followed….not in trying to get people following you. Nice. Have a great one!

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @Aaron Nelson Haha. I love your “here here’s”! They just seem so cheerful. I picture a medical bar with valiant knights holding up their mugs, a toast being given and some yelling “here, here!” and others “Bah!” haha

        • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

          @Skropp Ha! Let’s see Lily do a picture of that!! :)

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

           @Laura Johnson  @Skropp  is that a challenge?

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

           @Skropp  @Aaron  Did you iPhone change medieval to medical??? Or did you really mean a medical bar?

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

           @Laura Johnson  @Skropp  Consider it done :-)

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger @Laura Johnson Oh man!! NEVER challenge the photoshopping ability of Lily!! And yes, my stupid iPhone changed it. It WAS suppose to be medival…

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @Skropp  @lilykreitinger  @Laura Mystery solved! I was trying to figure out what a ‘medical bar’ was all day. Now I can sleep in peace. ;) LOOVED the pic Lily! You rock!