<![CDATA[PLG Leadership - Blog]]>Tue, 16 Feb 2016 19:44:33 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[As an Old Football Coach...]]>Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:27:54 GMThttp://www.pennyroyalleadership.com/blog/as-an-old-football-coachMany of you probably watched Super Bowl 50 this past weekend.  According to the Nielsen Ratings, it was one of the top 5 Super Bowls ever viewed.  Some have asked why and most say one of two things:  Cam Newton, the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos. Newton was the brash newcomer who had led his team to a 16-1 record, and Manning was the almost 40-something often-injured veteran looking for one last victory.
You couldn't ask for more of a dichotomy when it came to players of the same position.  Let's focus on Manning, though, when it comes to leadership.  Leaders excel when they work within their talents.  Manning's talents are basically two-fold: One, he throws the football very hard and very accurately, and two, he is very smart and is able to make decisions on the field as well as any coach on the sidelines.  If a play needs to be changed, his strength is recognizing it and taking advantage of the situation given him.
If you're like me, you probably didn't find the game very interesting.  Fumbles, penalties, and in the Broncos' case, when it was third down and seven or eight yards to go, Manning handed the ball off to a running back for a four yard gain.  And then a punt.  And it happened again.  And again. And again.  And each time the Bronco's punter would bury the Panthers way back in their own territory and allow their defense to do their job, which they did magnificently.  And the Broncos won-which was the ultimate objective for the day.
I don't know Peyton Manning, but I'd say he has a pretty hefty ego.  Can you blame him?  He's the best at what he does and has been for quite awhile.  Manning has been injured the last couple of years and his play has suffered.  So, some of his strengths have, in fact, become weaknesses.  Fixing weaknesses leads to being average.  Manning didn't concentrate on fixing his weaknesses.  He realized that he could no longer make the throws he used to, so instead, he used his strengths as a coach on the field, a game manager, so to speak, to lead his team to victory.  He knew that his team's strength was their defense.  Once they had the lead, he relied on the team's defense, their strength, instead of trying to fix his weakness, which was poor throws. 
Remember, if you want to be an effective leader, recognize and work within your talents, and if you concentrate on fixing your weaknesses, you'll find average a lot sooner than you wanted to.  Take it from an old football coach.]]>
<![CDATA[January 06th, 2016]]>Wed, 06 Jan 2016 15:07:32 GMThttp://www.pennyroyalleadership.com/blog/january-06th-2016Key Components of Effective Leadership
Two key components of effective leadership are self-awareness and situational awareness. These two components are often overlooked by leaders and those who want to become leaders. Leadership is about behavior, and how that behavior impacts those being led determines the long term effectiveness of the leader.
Self-awareness speaks to who we are. Research has demonstrated that leaders are most effective when they are not trying to be someone else but rather more of who they really are. A widely used assessment to better understand who you are (self-awareness) is the Clifton StrengthFinder. This assessment is supported by over forty years of research by the Gallup Organization. Regardless of the instrument, the leader needs to invest time becoming more self-aware.
The second component is situational awareness. In other words, what is going on around me? If the leader is leading, but no one is following, then they are simply out for a walk. The question to ask when considering situational awareness is: "Who knows better the effectiveness of the leader than those being led?" An anonymous survey from those being led is the best way to gather actionable feedback by the leader for the purpose of his/her own leadership development and success.
PLG Leadership has the tools to address both self-awareness and situational awareness along with the expertise to coach individuals that improve leadership performance.

<![CDATA[The Myth of Being a Well-Rounded Person]]>Mon, 28 Dec 2015 13:33:31 GMThttp://www.pennyroyalleadership.com/blog/the-myth-of-being-a-well-rounded-personHow many times have you been told, or for that matter, told someone that they needed to be a more “well-rounded” person?  The “well-rounded” concept starts early for nearly everyone.  It’s called “kindergarten”,  and the “well-roundedness” continues pretty much unabated for at least the next twelve years or so, until you’re handed a diploma and your public education is over.  Many will go on to four more years of “well-rounding”, while others move directly into the workforce.
    Public education makes a great argument for exposing children to various disciplines such as music, dance, art, sports, and of course, math, reading, science, and history.  The argument is, of course, that the children need to be given the opportunity to experience each of these, with the hope being maybe they’ll find something at which they excel.  However, most of us know, and our parents and teachers can tell, what one’s strengths are and aren’t. For example,  most of us have a passable knowledge of basic math...enough to understand how interest rates work or estimating a purchase.  But we bog down when it’s time for algebra, which is a weakness for many.   What do the administrators give the poor algebra student?  That’s right-more algebra!  That poor algebra student may be a terrific writer or golfer, so why don’t we allow this student to maximize their strengths with the pen or the five-iron and just simply manage the math weakness?
    What do we mean by “managing weakness”?  It’s simple.  Say you like to play golf but you’re a terrible golfer.  You spend countless hours on your game and now instead of shooting 105 for a round, you’ve improved to 98.  Do you feel more “well-rounded”?  Probably not.  Fixing weaknesses leads to being average or avoiding failure.  When you “manage” your weaknesses, you realize and accept what they are, and work within them so they don’t get in the way of your talents.  You can go out and play a round of golf, enjoy the exercise and fellowship of you fellow golfers, but realize you’re probably not going out on the pro tour any time soon.
So how does this translate to leadership in the business world?  Leaders excel when they work within their talents.  If a leader can identify his strengths and weaknesses, he can then assemble people around him who can cover his weaknesses while he covers theirs and have a more successful business.  The worst thing a leader can do is surround himself with people just like him.  Let’s suppose that a leader’s strength is coming up with ideas for a better widget, but his weakness is getting the widget from the drawing board into the factory for production.  Imagine this leader surrounding himself with others sharing the same strengths.  The business goes nowhere as the ideas pile up in the office while the factory workers sit idle.  Effective leaders have the ability of knowing their strengths and knowing the strengths of those they lead to reach a shared outcome or goal.  In this case, the development, production, and sales of a better widget.
Let’s revisit “well-roundedness” as it relates to our widget leader.  If he follows the traditional model of trying to improve his weakness instead of managing it, how long must he work on strengthening it before the widget business passes him by?  Wouldn’t it be more effective to find someone whose strength is implementing widget ideas?  Let’s focus more on soaring with our talents and managing our weaknesses.  Leaders have more hope, confidence, direction and are more productive when they tap into the wisdom of strengths.]]>
<![CDATA[Faulty Beliefs Do Harm]]>Mon, 30 Nov 2015 19:12:30 GMThttp://www.pennyroyalleadership.com/blog/faulty-beliefs-do-harm1Perhaps it is time us as educators to revisit some core beliefs. Often those beliefs determine how we treat children.
Let’s start with the one that has causes the most damage.
Educators over the last thirty years have bought into the modern doctrines that have taken us into directions that are not good for children. In fact they make it easy to think of children as lumps of putty to be shaped into whatever we want.
The core belief that all children can learn every subject at a high level is a product of this faulty thinking.
The research is overwhelming. It shows that we do not come into this world with a blank slate but rather with already established, unique talents, and needs. For this reason, educators should spend less time forcing children into that which is just not there and focus more on bringing out the strengths within them.
Look at the etymology of the word educate………….to bring out.
As Don Clifton, Former President of Gallup shared with a group of educators over dinner one night, “You know how hard it is to bring out that which is within a child much less trying to force in that which is not there.”
It’s time to stop changing how we assess children driven by a faulty belief system and focus on changing our belief system to focus on what is good for children... putty should be left in the art room.
<![CDATA[Engagement or Performance?]]>Mon, 23 Nov 2015 14:40:46 GMThttp://www.pennyroyalleadership.com/blog/engagement-or-performanceIs It Engagement or Performance?
It is time to put an end to the philosophical question of where managers should focus their time and energy. Should they choose between creating strong positive teams, or focusing on high performance and accountability? The latest research from Gallup demonstrates that effective managers don’t have to choose between creating positive teams or focusing on high performance...they need to be doing both!
The effective manager first knows and values their own strengths and works from these strengths, which are almost always developed from talents…a pattern of naturally recurring ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. The manager also knows the strengths of everyone on the team. They use a strengths-based approach in the growth and development of self and those on the team by focusing on strengths and not trying to fix weaknesses. They do not ignore weaknesses...they simply manage them, given that they know that real success is best reached by focusing on strengths and not fixing weaknesses.
Upon taking a strengths-based approach, an effective manager focuses on employee engagement. Research clearly demonstrates that an engaged workforce is not only more productive, but that the organization has less turnover. Given this data, focusing on workforce engagement needs to be at the forefront for all managers of high performing organizations. To address workforce engagement, managers need to concentrate on four things: 
1. Know them 
2. Grow them 
3. Involve them
4. Reward them
Performance is the foundation of a strength-based approach and research demonstrates that an engaged workforce is more productive. For this reason, the manager who is strength-based and focused on workforce engagement is naturally performance-oriented. 
The first step in being performance-oriented is the manager and team members setting measurable goals (expectations) together and each holding the other accountable. As a side note, expectations without consequences are simply suggestions and in a performance-oriented organization, key expectations are established. Suggestions are not. The manager holds the team members accountable for results and the team members hold the manager accountable for providing the needed resources and constructive feedback to help them reach the established goals.
It is easy to see that the manager cannot simply choose one or two of the four areas discussed to work on. Strengths-based, engagement-focused, and performance-oriented are interconnected, with each needing the other to accomplish the mission of the organization. PLG Leadership can help organizations develop strength-based, engagement-focused and performance-oriented managers that are essential in high performing organizations.

<![CDATA[New Blog Post...]]>Thu, 19 Nov 2015 14:03:28 GMThttp://www.pennyroyalleadership.com/blog/new-blog-postWill be coming soon, focusing on managing weaknesses while at the same time developing strengths.  Stay tuned...]]><![CDATA[Leaders as Artists]]>Wed, 11 Nov 2015 23:07:38 GMThttp://www.pennyroyalleadership.com/blog/leaders-as-artistsLeaders as Artists
Often, leaders spend way too much of their time being a technician when they should be spending time as an artist. It is called "the art of leadership" for a reason. The leader, like the artist, needs to know who he is. This is called self-awareness, which is a key attribute of effective leaders. Effective leaders spend time reflecting on their talents, skills, and knowledge. 
The foundation of self-awareness is the ability to discover your talents (natural recurring thoughts, feelings, and behavior) and then developing them into strengths (the ability for a near perfect performance). As in most activities, an individual needs a tool to help discover his talents. Gallup’s StrengthFinder is supported by over fifty years of research and is a great way to discover your talents. For more information about this great tool, contact Pennyroyal Leadership Group at 270-799-1256/phil.eason@gmail.com
<![CDATA[Primary Role of a Leader]]>Mon, 13 Oct 2014 17:01:20 GMThttp://www.pennyroyalleadership.com/blog/primary-role-of-a-leaderPicture
The leader’s primary role is to create and foster a culture of continuous improvement. This is something that the leader cannot delegate to anyone. 

A culture is a function of six components. They are:
  1. core goals and values 
  2. work processes
  3. a system
  4. people and skills
  5. structure; 
  6. strategy 
These components determine the culture of any organization. Core goals and values comprise the direction (goals) and the standards of behavior (core values) set by the leadership system.

Work processes are the means by which the organization’s activities and tasks are linked to complete all work. Every organization works within a system. People and skills are the key to producing results. Structure determines the reporting relations, communication channels, and serves as the foundation for establishing responsibility and accountability. And, last but not least, strategy represents the blueprint for achieving success.  The six components are interrelated with each other and depend upon each other.  

PLG Leadership is ready to help leaders of all organizations create a culture of continuous improvement by developing leaders who are Strength-Based, Engagement –Focused, and Performance-Oriented.

<![CDATA[Strengths’ Theory: Three Levels]]>Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:27:21 GMThttp://www.pennyroyalleadership.com/blog/strengths-theory-three-levelsPicture
The revolutionary approach for growth and development at the personal, leadership, and team positions, applies at three different levels. This theory is supported by over 40 years of research.

The three levels that apply to this revolutionary approach to growth and development are the philosophical, strategic and systems.


At the philosophical level, it is a guide to personal and professional life. When an individual is focusing on their strengths they have more direction, hope and confidence. They understand that by focusing on their strengths and managing their weaknesses, they have the best opportunity for excellence.


Strategic is the second level of the strengths’ theory. At this level it is about decision making. People make better decisions when they rely on their talents. Talents are a natural pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving.


The last level is the systems level. At this level people use the strengths’ theory to develop those around them to strive toward excellence. High performing organizations know it is about the quality of the human resource. And, the best way to have an engaged workforce is to focus on their strengths.

Organizations that utilize this theory will be the leaders, regardless of the type of organization it is. Those that invest in the Strengths’ Theory will outperform others at the personal, team, and organizational level.

                    Let PLG Leadership help your organization develop this approach.

<![CDATA[Results: Who Gets Them?]]>Mon, 22 Sep 2014 16:58:33 GMThttp://www.pennyroyalleadership.com/blog/results-who-gets-themPicture
The key to long term organizational success is outstanding leadership; however, leaders do not produce results. Results are achieved by an engaged workforce using well-defined processes.

So why is leadership the key? It is pretty simple in that only leaders can work “on” the process everyone else has to work “within” the process. It is Important to remember that all outcomes are a result of a process. An engaged workforce is the by-product of leaders focusing on the needs and expectations of the workforce. If you want to improve your results, focus on engaging the workforce and developing and implementing well-defined processes