Mike Krutza

Jan 022012
 

gage showing past crisisWhether we like it or not, crisis is a fact of life. Many leaders run into turbulent times and while many succumbed to the hardship, a number is lost and overwhelmed by its immense upshot. Handling crisis starts with the recognition that it’s a normal phenomenon. Everyday we are faced with crises of every kind. Some come unexpectedly; others are expected. Some crises are externally imposed; others are self induced. We live in the best of times, and also the worst of times. Everyone – may it be a leader, an employee, a mother, a student, an entrepreneur – must “stay alive”. In a world that’s in a constant state of flux, we have to accept that crisis is the “new normal”.

But crisis, no matter how negative its connotation is bring forth certain benefits to ones leadership. If we come to realize and make use of our trials, we’ll discover that it’s not that bad after all. Even the most challenging situation has its benefits too:

Increased personal strength
The most common benefit of crisis is a greater confidence arising from the discovery of one’s inner strengths. Crisis brings out the inner determination and will to live that lies within each of us. When pushed on the wall, the human spirit responds with amazing grace. We find ourselves surprised that we have surpassed certain trials we never thought we could overcome.

Deeper appreciation of life
Crisis can bring a newfound sense of gratitude and deeper appreciation of the value of life. You’ll notice that after a difficult crisis episode, you begin to appreciate life more than ever before. Crisis activates a sense of gratefulness for the gift of the present moment and enables you to put life in a better, clearer perspective.

More meaningful relationships
Crisis helps you discover who your true friends are or who the loyal employee is, the one who willed to stay with you no matter what happens. People who go through a personal crisis see the importance of a supportive environment and they begin to prioritize their relationships even more. Crisis brings people together and makes them realize that they need each other, especially in bad times.

To overcome and triumph amidst life’s inevitable crisis – personal, leadership crisis, financial, emotional – requires almost heroic qualities. In a sense, each one of us is called to be an “everyday hero” because living in today’s turbulent times is not for the weak and faint of heart.

About the Authors:
Jodi and Mike specialize in executive coaching with individuals and teams. http://lighthouse-leadership.com. By the way, do you want to learn more about leadership in your company? If so, download your FREE ebook here: Elegant Courage Leadership

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Dec 092011
 

drawing of leader motivating a groupWe recently explored the role of motivators and leadership and the role of the leader in facilitating the development of staff motivation. Self-motivation has been defined as “the ability to empower oneself to reach one’s goals”. Some people may consider that it is a self-help strategy and not a leadership strategy, but leaders who encourage and facilitate self-motivation as an important component of organizational culture, will potentially see an immediate increase in productivity, business expansion, and staff retention rates.

Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke quite directly about how one could never achieve anything substantial without putting the right amount of enthusiasm in it. For any person to feel self-motivated about anything, they must be enthused about it. In the workplace context, this requires that staff believe in that they are giving something of importance to the quality of life of their customers and clients, through the products and services they are selling.

This cannot happen if the staff does not see this attitude modeled by its leadership. Self-Motivation is not driven just by the requirement to be at work each day to pay the bills, but rather is driven by five essential steps:-

1. Development of a vision that is clear, achievable and personal.

2. Setting of realistic goals to achieve that vision.

3. The goals should be measurable, so that progress can be tracked

4. Progress should be clearly identified

5. Success should be rewarded.

Self-motivation occurs when there is a belief that the vision can be made a reality and that the result will be a benefit to self or others. There must also be a conviction that the vision can only become a reality directly through personal contribution.

You have to ensure that you know what your capabilities are. This has a reflection on the kind of strategies you make. Since you are confident about what you can achieve, you make your plans better. And, it helps you because you can set better goals… goals that are more realistic and that do not discourage your team so much that they do not achieve them. In short, when you know yourself, you are able to achieve a much better business progress than if you are unsure about yourself.

As the leader, you must first be self-motivated; by being enthused by the products and services, you are selling. Once you are enthused and convinced of the benefits they offer to customers, you are in a position to encourage and facilitate others to develop a mutual vision and self-motivation of their own.


About the Authors:

Jodi and Mike specialize in executive coaching with individuals and teams. http://lighthouse-leadership.com. By the way, do you want to learn more about leadership in your company? If so, download your FREE ebook here: Elegant Courage Leadership

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Nov 252011
 

young manWhen a new sibling is born to this world, there are some instances that people say “…that sibling is a new born leader…” Do you believe such things? Some of us may believe that we are born leaders; some may also believe that their skills of being a leader have been developed as years passed by. Some leaders did not plan of becoming a leader in the first place, but, became the leader of an organization, a group of individuals, or even a president of a country. As counterpart, scientists tell us that most leaders had carried some genetic mechanisms from their ancestors who were also leaders during their time.

How would you consider yourself, a born leader or a developed leader? This can only be answered by you and you alone, you best know yourself than anybody else, so, when questions comes in your mind about you of being a leader, it is you who is the best solver of those questions.

There are some factors that may take us to believe that leaders are born and factors that would make as conclude that leaders are not born, but developed.

Inborn Leaders

  • The characteristics of the person since his/her childhood days, if he/she is a debater, a singer, a speaker, an honor student, and other inborn traits, would probably tell that he/she is a born leader.
  • When trained and taught of virtues of becoming a leader.
  • Genetic mechanisms that have been passed from generations to generations.

Developed Leaders

  • A person that came from a difficult status of life has dealt with crises, stress, and can handle so many burdens in past experiences, makes him a leader.
  • A responsible and sincere individual to his work and always uses his/her time wisely might have been a good leader.
  • A person who has the ability to disseminate tasks to his /her members is one good example of being a good leader that is developed and not inborn.

These reasons are just some of the things that would make you think on where you have gained the aspect of being a leader. Ideally, these reasons would guide you on knowing yourself more as you become a good leader to all.

Two different perceptions on how leaders became leaders on their time, but, either born or developed only examples of their experiences can say they are leaders. Remember always that, “Example is better than Perception”.


About the Authors:

Jodi and Mike specialize in executive coaching with individuals and teams. http://lighthouse-leadership.com. By the way, do you want to learn more about leadership in your company? If so, download your FREE ebook here: Elegant Courage Leadership

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Nov 112011
 

young business womanThere are different ways in which people approach leadership responsibilities, but evidently the best way to do that is when people take them up joyfully. It is within you to make your leadership journey interesting. And it has to be a constant effort. What can you do to make your leadership more exciting for yourself, and for your team? Here is a blueprint to create more joy in your career.

  1. What is it that can put a smile on your face? Think about your career. There can be various aspects about it that you look forward to. Maybe you look forward to those group discussion sessions or those team building games. Maybe you really enjoy creating strategies. Analyze and find out things that truly make you happy.
  2. What is it that is putting a dampener on your happiness? You have to sort that out first. What are the setbacks, constraints and limitations? Make a list of them.
  3. Make an effort to do at least one thing every day that makes you happy. This could be something as simple as taking a break in the midmorning or walking through your team’s cubicles. Do something that you like every day.
  4. Sit down and assess how the detrimental factors in your life are holding you back. Think of the impact they are making in your life.
  5. Which of the negative aspects in your life can you control? You will find out that some of them can be controlled by minor adjustments, while others will take some effort. Make short and long term plans as necessary. Then implement those plans.
  6. Was there something in the past that has held you back? Are the shadows still lingering? If that is happening, you just have to think how your future can be enhanced by letting go of those shadows. You need to break yourself free of those ghosts and look at the future.
  7. Maybe you need to share things with others. Most times, keeping issues within your heart can compound matters. If you have trusted people you can speak to, your burdens may be lightened.

Think about these points. If you want to reclaim joy in your career and make your leadership a more interesting journey, these are things that you should plan on and implement in your career.

About the Authors:
Jodi and Mike specialize in executive coaching with individuals and teams. http://lighthouse-leadership.com. By the way, do you want to learn more about leadership in your company? If so, download your free ebook here: Elegant Courage Leadership.

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Oct 282011
 

meeting with team membersBeing a leader means you are involved in team building each time you propose or commence a new project. Every project requires new dynamics, new resources, and different skills. Each team you work with will approach their project in a unique way.

Review Your Leadership Performance Regularly
Reviewing your own performance as a team leader is an important step in team building and if you want your teams to approach each new project with innovation and creativity, you are at least partially responsible for how well they do this.

It is essential that as a leader, you constantly review how well you allow your teams to be self-motivated and self-directed in their work. Many leaders, while having plenty of trust in the ability of the teams they lead to successfully complete the set tasks, either over direct the teams, or stifle creativity which leads to reduced job satisfaction, and ultimately, may even lead to poor staff retention.

Facilitate an Atmosphere of Creativity to the Team Dynamics
The leader who facilitates an atmosphere of creativity will add challenge to the team dynamic, Teams that are challenged and need to problem solve together, are often stronger than those who are never given that opportunity.

Creativity in team meetings for example, may be as simple as ensuring that mind mapping or brainstorming is a normal part of most meetings, thus validating everyone’s participation, no matter how little. Serious consideration of all ideas and solutions creates an environment where each member of the team feel their thoughts on a project or direction is encouraged, even if it is to simply resolve underlying in appropriate or unjustifiable concerns.

Feedback and Continuous Improvement
Providing opportunities for feedback after a project is an innovative way of including all staff in continuous improvement. Feedback is essential to creative thinking and team building as it rewards efforts and stimulates innovative thinking.

Your feedback needs to be meaningful and directed to the activity in question. When you are providing feedback, always refer to the task that merited the feedback. This makes it sound more creditable and it is taken positively.

These are the various points that can help you bring about a positive work environment that is peppered with creative thought and a talent for innovativeness. This might seem to be an uphill task to most leaders, but provide the right environment and you will see things settling into their rightful place.

About the Authors:
Jodi and Mike specialize in executive coaching with individuals and teams.  By the way, do you want to learn more about leadership in your company? If so, download your FREE ebook here: Elegant Courage Leadership.

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Oct 142011
 

a man with his hand cupped to his earAn old proverb said that “God gave us two ears but only one mouth because listening is twice as hard as talking. ” Listening actively to one person is an attitude, a measure of both your self-centeredness and other centeredness. If most of the time you find yourself cutting a person of in a middle of a conversation, not giving any feedback and just passively look to whom you are talking to, most probably, you are ‘self-centered’. However, if you are focused on what the other is talking, listening intently and is trying to connect the dots and the hidden meanings within the conversation, then you are an ‘other centered’ listener.

To better understand what active listening is, let’s look into the people in the 1st level of listening and the people in the 4th level of listening skills. People in the 1st level of listening are termed as the “non-listeners”, these people do not hear what the other person is telling and do not make any effort to hear what the other is saying. This person primarily likes to do all the talking, rarely interested in the points of others and constantly interrupt the person who is talking. This person is disliked and tolerated by people. On the other hand, there are people who do belong in the 4th level of listening. They are collectively known as the “active listeners”. These people see things from the other person’s point of view. They do not only focus on the content but on the underlying message as well. Also, they are skillful questioners but they never interrupt to ask a question.

With this difference, one might be curious on how to move into becoming an active listener from being a non-listener? Below are some techniques:

· Paraphrasing – This involves restating in your own words what the other person has just said. This is a test of understanding and a manifestation that we really paid attention.

· Reflection – showing the person you are speaking with, that you feel what they are feeling.

· Clarifying – Asking for clarifications or questions regarding what was said.

· Summarization – involves combining the person’s statement and putting it into one concise statement.

As a leader, one should become an active listener because only when listening that we learn and grow. We can’t learn when our mouth is flapping and we could not picture ourselves in the viewpoint of others if we don’t allow ourselves to be in their positions. Also, it is through listening that we show others that we care for them, as pointed out by J. Richard Clarke, “One who cares is one who listens.”

 

About the Authors:
Jodi and Mike specialize in executive coaching with individuals and teams. http://lighthouse-leadership.com. By the way, do you want to learn more about leadership in your company? If so, download your FREE ebook here: Elegant Courage Leadership.

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Sep 302011
 

woman with motherCreating clarity in times of chaos is tough. Sometimes we can learn much by reflecting on real life examples of people we know and respect. Each of us has personal heroes which may be perfect role models…. maybe it’s our parents, professors, friends, or somebody that performs outstanding volunteer work in the society that had made impact in the development and success in life.

Being a role model is often hard to define… because it might be different to everyone. Typically, a role model is brave, smart, thoughtful, and kind… they are those who are working to improve himself or herself… someone who is trying to stop violence and make peace through the process of negotiation.

Following are 5 techniques to help you create clarity by learning lessons from your heroes, as follows:

1. Create your own personal list of heroes… because it is an option to easily comprehend and identify from those list who to follow. The role models in your list depend as much on you… the person you admire. Often, it may be someone you would like to be or someone whom you find very diligent on his/her works. Try sorting out your list and choose among those listed the best.

2. Assess how they lived honestly… reviewing the background of those icons in your list may help you distinguished who to follow… you might get something valuable from them. Honesty is the fore factor of trust… if you find yourself honest in what you say and do… trust follows.

3. Determine their respect toward others… respect is something that we expect… it acknowledges that someone has value. Respect can be done in different approach… it could be making eye to eye contact when speaking to others… but, do not be day dreaming… Be fair towards the other person and be sensitive to their thoughts and feelings.

4. Examine your heroes’ curiosity… because as a leader you must be curious enough to learn something new every now and then… for the improvement of the organization. If you are a leader who aims for the success of the organization… be curious.

5. Reflect on your heroes’ courage and what moments did they live their courage… learning from the experience of others may broaden your capacity to lead a team or an organization… it requires your courage. As a leader, courage is important… learning on how your role model face unwanted situations may help you find alternative solutions when problems come.

If you are facing a tough time sorting through the noise and are searching for clarity, try again these tips reflecting on your personal heroes… someday, it could be you listed by others as their role model.

About the Authors:
Jodi and Mike specialize in executive coaching with individuals and teams. http://lighthouse-leadership.com. By the way, do you want to learn more about leadership in your company? If so, download your FREE ebook here: Guide to Elegant Courage Leadership.

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