A Mistake Most Leaders Make

A Mistake Most Leaders Make

 

Do you find the pace of life and your daily leadership responsibilities astronomical? Maybe you’re moving up in your organization, and you feel the need to learn and grow to stay sharp and bring outstanding value to your team or organization. But no one owes you a development plan; it’s up to you. The mistake most leaders make is not taking the initiative to learn and grow.

 

I read an article that said today’s culture has access to as much information in one day as our ancestors 100 years ago had in a lifetime. No wonder we’re overwhelmed. We’ve all felt the pressure of organizational expectations knowing we need to do, learn, and grow more, but how do you implement a consistent learning rhythm?

 

Let me give you a few insights into what I’m doing and how I’m taking responsibility for my growth and leadership development.

 

1. Read Every Day

 

It’s difficult to make space for reading, but I read ten to sixty minutes a day. Yes, it can be challenging, but ten minutes a day adds up to five hours per month. Let your daily habit build momentum. You could knock out four to six books a year.

 

Try to get up ten minutes earlier, and spent that time reading. Books come in different delivery methods. You could choose a physical book, digital books, or audiobook. Find what works for you. I usually read a passage of scripture that will spiritually inspire or challenge me, and I add pages from a business or leadership book. I also read biographies on the weekend that unlock a wealth of insights from leaders that have gone before us.

 

2. Take Time for Courses, Conferences, and Podcasts

 

When I’m on the treadmill, elliptical, or running (on warmer days) I am listening to a podcast. If you’ve never listened to a podcast, it’s like a 15-30-minute radio talk show that’s available 24/7. Podcasts are a great way to get insights and information from other thought leaders.

 

Courses and Conferences can be inspiring and life-giving. Ask yourself, how do I need to grow this year?  Consider the environment or the conference space that would fuel your goals and personal development.

 

3. Find Intentional Communities for Growth

 

You need two-way communication for growth and learning. When you find a connection through a coaching group or intensive where you’re getting interaction and you can talk about your recent insights, successes, and struggles it will provide awareness and accountability for growth.

 

I want to encourage you that connection is critical, and that’s what most of us miss. I joined my first coaching cohort about a dozen years ago, and I still meet and talk with most of those women. It was a valuable learning experience for me, and it’s one of the reasons why I’ve hosted online coaching groups.

 

What’s Your Learning Rhythm?

 

You can begin your learning rhythm, today. What book will you read? Which podcast will you listen to this week? Be intentional about finding a community for growth, and if you’re planning to schedule a conference this year, let me suggest the Women in Leadership Coaching Intensive. Ali Worthington is a dear friend and a brilliant leader who is co-hosting this event in Neenah, WI. You’ll find connection and women in similar stages and seasons of leadership who can share their perspectives.

 

In the meantime, let me know about your learning rhythm, and share the insights you’ve discovered but more importantly how have you applied these valuable insights. Let’s learn from each other.

 

We have access to so much information, but learning without application is just more noise in our lives.

 

Keep leading well.

 

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

           

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best! Schedule a free coaching call with Jenni. 

 

 

 


4 Tips for Using the Enneagram as an Effective Team Development Tool

4 Tips for Using the Enneagram as an Effective Team Development Tool

By: Jenni Catron

 

About 10 years ago my counselor introduced me to the Enneagram. It was one of the many tools that she used to help in discovering my motivations and convictions. We wrestled for months to accurately type me. Was I a “One” or a “Three”… maybe even a “Five”. She wasn’t in a hurry to determine my type although I was. To her, the process was a sacred discovery that would ultimately help us identify what some Enneagram scholars call the “automatic” self – the way I have learned to show up in the world to succeed.

 

Ultimately our discussions led us to conclude that my automatic self is a Type 3. Early on in life I learned to succeed by achieving. I internalized the belief that I was most valued when I performed well, whatever the role called for – teacher’s pet, straight “A” student, top of my class, star role in the musical, obedient child. Funny enough my nickname growing up was “Winners” although no one can remember exactly when or how that name was given.

 

Little about this process was humorous or entertaining. It was raw and many times painful but it was also incredibly beautiful. The Enneagram has been a tool of immense personal growth. It has stretched me and it has given me a framework for continued growth.

 

For the last decade, I have actively continued to study this tool both for my personal development but also for helping to serve the leaders I work with.

 

For many years when I would introduce the Enneagram, I would get strange looks and tentative questions “Ennea – what?” I’m pretty sure a few people thought I was drifting into some new age spirituality.

 

And so I have been mostly delighted with the rise of the Enneagram’s popularity. I’m thrilled that more people are aware of this tool and actively seeking to grow in their self-awareness.

 

As with any tool, knowing how to use the tool is important for it to be effective. A tool misused can be dangerous.

 

With a passion to help leaders use the tool well, I want to give you some thoughts on how to use the Enneagram effectively for you and your team.

  • Resist the desire to type someone. Sure, it’s kind of fun to try to peg someone based upon what you experience in their personality. But what we see on the surface is not always an indicator of underlying motivation. For example, I have perfectionist tendencies that can often be mistyped as a Type 1. With a closer look, you’ll discover that my pursuit of perfection is directly related to whom I’m trying to please. As a Type 3 I may shift my behavior according to whose approval I’m seeking. If you type someone too early, you may confuse them and yourselves and short circuit their discovery. When you allow someone to arrive at an understanding of their type, I promise you will learn much more about them.

 

  • Remember that the Enneagram is not designed to pigeon-hole someone into a type. While we all have a type that reflects our automatic self and this type will not change, the Enneagram is designed to help us become more integrated. Our automatic type will learn to be more fluid and balanced. As we grow and move to the healthiest version of our type, we will not be as extreme in our type or reflect the negative attributes of our type as strongly. I often hear individuals use their type as an excuse for behavior or I see team members box someone in with phrases like, “as an 8 you always have to be in charge” or “she’s a 4 that’s why she’s so moody”. We must resist the urge to limit people’s potential by seeing them as the stereotype of their number.

 

  • Use the Enneagram to spark understanding of one another. We naturally view the world through our own lens and as a result have difficulty understanding the motivations and behaviors of others. Healthy processing of the Enneagram equips your team to have a greater understanding of one another because you learn the automatic responses and motivations of each type. Using the Enneagram as a tool for learning more about one another can open up curiosity and lead to greater compassion for your team members.

 

  • As a leader, use the Enneagram to know how to coach and develop your team. You will build trust and influence with your team as you seek to understand them. Knowing your teams’ core motivations and fears give you powerful insight to know how to coach them, encourage them and provide feedback. For example, when you’re working with a Type 2 you can be sensitive to the fact that their desire to help everyone often leads them to overcommit and often feel taken advantage of. With this knowledge, you can be on the lookout for when they are overextending themselves and help coach them to be more clear with their boundaries. You can also keep an eye out for other staff who may take advantage of their tendency to rescue others.

 

Helping your staff be both self-aware and others-aware is a tremendous way to build trust and develop healthy teams. The Enneagram is just one of many tools that can be a powerful resource in creating healthy and thriving organizational culture.

 

What tools have been helpful for the health and development of your team?

Leadership Lesson’s I’m Thankful for….#4

BY: Brett Detken

Have you ever had a cringe worthy moment? You know, those leadership moments, that when you STILL think back on them, you get that sinking feeling down in your gut!

I remember a time when I believed (really….I really believed!) that my boss needed to hear my opinion about how bad his ideas were IN THE MIDDLE of staff meeting! UGH! Cringe!!

I mean somewhere down in my young, inexperienced brain, I believed that because I had been on staff for a whole year (yes, insert eyeroll here) that I had a right to be heard! Luckily, my boss was very gracious and instead of firing me, gave me a chance to learn one of the most important lessons of leadership. And here it is: In any organization, you may be given a job, but you always have to earn credibility.

Whereas, character is about who you are, credibility really does come from what you do. Credibility is how you establish your reputation and it is how you build trust in an organization. And honestly, this is something leaders often forget to do. We often forget we need to earn credibility in order to be influential in any organization. Credibility, or the right to be heard, is always earned, and never just given.

So how can we as leaders earn credibility?

● BY DOING WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO: It’s so simple, but the first way to earn credibility is simply by being faithful to what you are already doing. Leaders who are clear, consistent, and who follow through on their commitments, earn the right to be heard.  And more than that, leaders who do what they say they will do with the right attitude, earn more than credibility…they earn favor. So, if you want to influence your organization, be consistent in what you are doing RIGHT now. Do it well, do it faithfully, and soon your influence will grow.

● BY DOING WHAT’S RIGHT EVEN WHEN HARD: The second way to earn credibility is to choose to do what’s right even when it’s difficult. Finding the courage to make changes when unpopular, enter into conflict when uncomfortable, and take risks even when unfamiliar, is what creates a lasting legacy and earns leaders the right to be heard in the future.

● BY PURSUING UNITY: Finally, a key to earning credibility in your organization as a leader, is by relentlessly pursuing unity. Meaning you will do whatever it takes to root out a critical, toxic or divisive spirit, and instead choose to lift up those above you, beside you, and below in your organization.

Building trust, respect, and credibility is one of the most important things any leader can do in their organization. It will take time, but as your credibility grows so will your influence.

So here’s a question:

Out of these three things above, what is one step you can take to earn credibility?

 

 Brett Detken is a leadership expert and the Director of Marketing for The 4Sight Group. She has led in the local church for the past 20 years, and is a Professor of Business and Leadership. 

Leadership Lessons I’m Thankful for….#3

As I’ve pondered the leadership lessons I’m thankful for, I think of the times where I was the most uncomfortable in my leadership. The times when others gave me difficult feedback or the seasons where I lacked skills I needed for the role. These were the moments that shaped me the most because they forced change. It’s funny how some of the toughest moments of our lives become the ones we are most thankful for. “People don’t like change” is a phrase we often hear, but when I really step back and think about it, I am not sure I necessarily agree. My experience is that we like change that we can control, but we don’t like change that is forced upon us.

So when someone gives us tough feedback that requires change, we resist.
When circumstances force change, we resist. 
When decisions are made that we don’t agree with, we resist.

I once heard Seth Godin say that we don’t like change because it pushes us to a place of incompetence. We don’t want to feel incompetent so we resist change. To feel incompetent triggers fear, insecurity, doubt, and uncertainty – all the emotions we want to avoid.
And yet, change is where growth takes place. We don’t grow without change!

We don’t grow without change.

So today, it’s not necessarily a specific lesson I’m thankful for, but rather I’m thankful for those uncomfortable moments in my leadership that have forced change and therefore produced growth.

So the question today for all of us is, “Where are you resisting change?” And more specifically, “What might be on the other side of that change, that might be exactly what you are looking for?

 

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best!

 

Jenni Catron 4Sight Group Leadership Podcast

JCLP Featuring Jo Saxton

This girl is one of my favorites!

Jo Saxton is an author, speaker, leadership coach, church planter and visionary, who empowers women, challenges societal stereotypes and helps people discover who they truly are, by seeing themselves the way God sees them.

I might have let my love of all things British detour our conversation at the beginning but that didn’t keep Jo’s passion for healthy identity to emerge.

Jo’s most recent book is called The Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live the Life You Were Made For

Highlights from our conversation:

  • Who were you before anyone told you who you are supposed to be?
  • What have been defining relationships in your life?
  • It’s harder to take risks when you are a people pleaser.
  • Where do you go to fall apart?

Listen to this episode via Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Play, or your favorite podcast app!

Connect with Jo:

Get the book!

Check out her website

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