If It’s Lonely at the Top, You Aren’t Doing it Right

David DeFord here again.

If you commented on my questions from before, thank you.

From your comments and e-mails I’ve decided to create an opportunity for emerging and experienced leaders to collaborate together. The purpose will be to create an environment where leaders can help each other strengthen their effectiveness, job satisfaction, and credibility.

We’ll do it through a weekly group phone conversation (a guided mastermind group). We’ll each read a couple of chapters from a best selling leadership book, then on the call we’ll discuss the principles and help in applying them to our challenges.

We’ll also enjoy networking with like-minded leadership professionals.

Who Am I?
As a leadership professional in the workplace and in volunteer organizations, I’ve experienced many of the “hard knocks” of leadership. I’ve also studied leadership intensely for nearly a half century.

I’ve addressed more than a thousand audiences, helping them overcome the challenges in their leadership and positioning them to thrive in their tough roles.

I’ve authored 13 books on a variety of subjects, including goal achievement, leadership, and business networking.

I’m a certified trainer by Park University and Fred Pryor Seminars, and I’ve been accepted as a member of the John Maxwell Team.

In April I received this Toledo audience member comment, “The best leadership course I’ve taken in 41 years.”

If It’s Lonely at the Top, You’re Not Doing Something Right
John Maxwell says that if it’s lonely at the top, you’re not doing something right. I agree. Old-timey leaders keep their distance. They lead with a frown, and control their humble subjects. Most of their communication is one-directional—from the leader to underling. They grow their productivity by pushing and scolding. They convey, “I’m up here. You’re down there.”

Enlightened and effective leaders grow productivity by growing their team members. They lead their people to the top. Taking personal interest in their teams, they create a climate of greater initiative and self-starting. They communicate, “Let’s go to the top together.”

Titles don’t make leaders. Influence does. You can influence your team to WANT to improve, to grow, and to perform.

Do you regularly walk slowly through the halls observing, and making yourself available? If you do you make yourself accessible. You can see who is challenged, under-challenged, or over-challenged. You can see who helps whom. You can reduce the frustrating drop-in visits at the wrong time. Your team members know that you’ll be around, so they’ll take care of most of their business with you during your little trips around the workplace.

Do you have people with leadership potential? Do you groom, grow, train, and give leadership opportunities to them? If you do, they get motivated. They may rise to the occasion and join you in influencing the others. You can even attend training, conferences, and meetings without receiving phone calls and text messages every few minutes, because your leader trainees can handle many of the issues that arise in your absence.

If you are leading rather than managing, you’re not lonely at all.

This is one of the many leadership principles we’ll be discussing in our guided mastermind group.

But what if
Imagine spending one hour a week collaborating with other leaders helping each other grow.

But what if you feel you don’t have an hour to spend on growth each week?

We grow as leaders intentionally, or through the “School of Hard Knocks.” The hard knocks approach takes decades to develop competency and credibility. The intentional approach accelerates your growth. You can learn from the world’s best leaders and from your mastermind colleagues.

But what if my boss won’t pay for the opportunity?
I guess it all comes down to who owns your career–you or your organization. Successful leaders always seek out growth opportunities.

Watch for another e-mail from me on Tuesday. In it I’ll give you insights in how experience isn’t the best teacher.

I’d love to hear your comments.

If you have experience with mastermind groups, please comment.

Also, if you know an emerging leader who could use some help, please forward this to them.

Talk to you on Wednesday.

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