23
Jan
12

What is it about these Wake Ups?

I’ve been writing the Monday Morning Wake Up (MMWU) for more than three years. My mission is to have every MMWU tap into the thinking and behavior at the core of a true no-compromise leader. While other leadership experts write about the “what to do,” I write, teach and coach about the thinking and behavior that must exist in order for each “what to do” to work. What’s the sense of implementing a new system, structure or approach if the leader’s wiring (his or her current thinking and behavior) is contaminated with procrastination, inconsistent accountability, lack of follow-through, inflated ego, time-management issues, poor communication and listening skills, and self-entitlement?


The survival rate of any change initiative
is slim to none when the leader’s own thinking and behavior is getting in the way. This means that all change initiatives must begin with the leader’s commitment to change first. And in many situations, it’s the leader who created the issues the change initiative is supposed to fix. The byproduct is frustration and disillusionment. The good news is that all leaders possess the power to rise to the challenge and change their thinking and behavior.

I have never considered myself a “motivational” writer or speaker. Yet, after 40 years of doing this work, I’m proud that I have motivated many to become better leaders. So every Monday, I give you another bite-sized piece of what it takes to become a no-compromise leader. The question is: Are you using these to upgrade your leadership thinking and behavior?

Here are some no-compromise leadership strategies to getting the most out of every MMWU:

  • See yourself: It’s clear from the blog comments that each MMWU resonates with leaders at a deeper level. The comment I see most reads something like, “Wow, this is just what I needed today.” Put your shields down and read every MMWU as though you’re looking in a mirror at your own thinking and behavior. Even if you see just a sliver of you, take it in and process it. We are leaders and we are not perfect, but we can get better. In fact, it’s our job to get better just as much as it’s our job to coach and mentor others to get better. If you’re not willing to change first, nothing will change.
  • Collaborate: Share every MMWU with your leadership team. And while you’re at it, share it with your entire team. (If you want to put your whole staff on the MMWU e-mail list, let me know and we’ll make it happen.) Make each MMWU a topic for weekly leadership team meetings. Define the gap between the MMWU topic and what really exists in your company. The intent is to get the tough stuff on the table for discussion. Every MMWU is an opportunity to acknowledge that an issue exists and give it some attention to get better.
  • Innovate: Because I write MMWUs on an array of leadership and business issues, they present an opportunity to innovate new strategies to lift your company. For example, I wrote a MMWU called: “Compete on value – not price.” Too many companies have shifted to an “our price is better” tactic rather then the more powerful and higher margin that comes from competing on value. That one MMWU presented an opportunity to innovate new strategies while creating fierce customer loyalty. It will be the innovators who win in today’s economy and in the future.
  • Delegate: When a MMWU topic resonates with you, it presents an opportunity to delegate the topic to an individual or team to build a program around. The MMWU states the mission and jump-starts the process with specific strategies. More importantly, it allows you to manage what’s on your plate by delegating projects to others – and give others a chance to shine by seeing a project through to completion.
  • Ownership: When you read a MMWU that addresses shortcomings in your personal leadership thinking and behavior, own it. Confront it. Deal with it. Don’t say, “Yeah, Neil was writing about me,” and move on with your day. Print out that MMWU to read and process again. Review specific action steps that you can take. Discuss the MMWU with a trusted advisor. Or, give me a call to see about some no-compromise leadership coaching. Take ownership. Take action.
  • Authenticity: Great leaders know how to own their shortcomings. More importantly, they know how to ask for help from their team. All it takes is a simple statement like, “Hey, I know this topic is one I have challenges with; please let me know when that behavior surfaces.” Very often, working at getting better needs the ongoing support of those you lead.
  • Excuses: Excuses never fix a problem – they simply justify why the problem occurred in the first place. The same goes for blaming others. If you find yourself dishing out excuses in volume, you’re not using my MMWUs. No compromise.

– – – – – – – – –

Please share your thoughts with me about today’s Monday Morning Wake-Up. Click above to comment.

Neil Ducoff, Founder & CEO of Strategies and author of No-Compromise Leadership

Pass this e-mail on to your business colleagues, managers and friends. They’ll appreciate it.

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