2012 Vector Correctors

Vector Corrector 2012-1

This is the first Vector Corrector of 2012. Before we settle in and take off in the New Year planning is essential. Pilots visit the planning room to check available and trustworthy resources to plot their journey. Weather, winds and destination conditions are considered. To ensure your safety and anyone with you, do plan. This year, don’t take off without considering the variables.

Vector Corrector 2012-2

The leader who cares more about CHARACTER than convenience, comfort or cash is on the right tract. The bottomline is gauged by the influence we have on those around us at home and in the marketplace. We will be judged by the legacy we leave behind.

Vector Corrector 2012-3

Consequences! For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Remember that from school? The same is true in life as our actions do have consequences, either for good or for bad. We must be alert that we will be held accountable for the words, actions and influences emitting from us daily. So who holds us accountable? Family, bosses, the public, media, the community and ultimately, God. Reminds me there are no free lunches.

Vector Corrector 2012-4

When dealing with people, remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity,Dale Carnegie said, in Psychology Today. That is why I believe, “Leadership is ALL About People.” Because if it were not for people, leadership would be easy. Sounds simple enough, but many fail the test when the people side is neglected. Let’s strive to put others before self.

Vector Corrector 2012-5

We should never make the same mistake twice because the second time we do so, it is not a mistake, it is a choice. If we keep making the same mistakes and expect different results, shame on us. Maybe we are slow learners.

Vector Corrector 2012-6

We are well into the new year. Some say these are the dark ages. I would say it is the time to be courageous and shine. Three points apply:

  1. When we face a mountain of work—-BE ENERGIZED AND COURAGEOUS
  2. When we face a mountain of challenges—-BE ENCOURAGED AND COURAGEOUS
  3. When we face a mountain of disapproval—-BE ETHICAL AND COURAGEOUS

Get the idea? Courage counts.

Vector Corrector 2012-7

The one who cares more about their character than convenience, comfort or cash is probably having a solid influence when observed by peers, friends, family and others. It is called, “Leading by example.

Vector Corrector 2012-8

Value the person in everyone we meet. This is a wonderful principle because common folks are the ones that make things happen. Yet, so many feel of little value and unappreciated. We cannot express appreciation often enough. Do so today, to the janitor or the trash man and others who provide invaluable services.

Vector Corrector 2012-9

Louis Grestner, Chairman and CEO of IBM once said, “Corporate Culture is not one thing a CEO does — it is everything he does.” Thought to remember: the leader sets the course and his or her personality is reflected in the entire organization, team or family.

Vector Corrector 2012-10

It is said that the greatest leaders possess the rare quality of seeing what could be, not just what is. Such leaders are called visionaries. Thomas Edison said, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” I would add, “Vision without action is folly.” I see vision as an active verb, not a noun. How about you?

Vector Corrector 2012-11

Gary Kelly, Chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines wrote in his New Years Spirit Magazine column, “SWA has a passion for serving you, our valued customers.” Two words are reflective of what leaders should have as their focus.

1. Passion — the inner desire to do and be the best in one’s job.

2. Serving — the rock bed or cornerstone of our lives should be serving others whether in the home, job or as a good neighbor.

A good motive is to serve something greater than self.

Vector Corrector 2012-12

Too often we seem to be captured by the mundane routine of life. That is why visionary leaders are unique. They inspire people to action with many reaching new levels of productivity. Thomas Edison wrote, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” Planning, goal setting and action make up the fullness of the visionary leader.

Vector Corrector 2012-13

As a leader, personal decisions can impact others in our sphere of influence. Our attitude and example often speak louder than words. In both cases, they can make or break the environment in the home, workplace, church or community. Be positive whenever and wherever possible.

Vector Corrector 2012-14

In the book/movie, “Seven Days in Utopia,” writer/author David Cook tells the story of a young golfer who, after collapsing on the 18th hole and ready to quit, ends up in a tiny town west of San Antonio where he meets an older golfer who offers to coach him in golf and life. In both the book and movie there are leadership lessons presented that can help everyone. Seeing, get a picture of what can be. Feel, sense what other things can affect the outcome. Trust in God and in others as well as personal gifts and desires. Simple, yet profound.

Vector Corrector 2012-15

Thomas Paine, quoted in the Rochester Democrat said, “Character is much easier kept than recovered.” The book, “The DNA of Leadership, and the “Vector Corrector series specifically address the character of the leader and provide simple, fundamental points to assist everyone in knowing who they really are. And these books encourage readers to live a life that can make a difference.

Vector Corrector 2012-16

John Grant, a former Florida State Senator wrote, “It is amazing what we can do when people take the time to be a source of encouragement in our lives. Encouragement of others is a powerful leadership tool and deals with basic communication skills. The most effective way to encourage others is to show genuine interest and acknowledge what is important to them. When we show interest, we affirm and validate.” Are we encouragers today and every day?

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Listen to everyone. Talk to not only those closest to you, but also your seniors, peers, subordinates and family. Effective leaders gather information from every interaction and are able to store what may be pertinent later. It is wise to be a good learning listener.

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We should show respect to everyone. Remember we are all different, coming from varied backgrounds and environments and possibly having different values and morals. Show respect even if not in agreement. Respecting and loving persons where they are can have a profound impact on their lives and enriches ours, too.

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It is said that real character is best seen when crisis is present. When life is easy and trouble seems far away, leading a life of character, values and integrity is easy. Actress Dolly Parton said, “The way I see it, if you want a rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

Vector Corrector 2012-20

What is your passion?  Put another way, what drives you or what zeal or fires burn in your spirit that keeps you going each day?  Looking to the corporate world, I find that Gary Kelly’s, CEO of Southwest Airlines, passion is intriguing. He said, “My top priority is protecting the job security of our employees — in turn they have a passion for serving you, our valued Customers and delivering world-class Customer Service on a daily basis.” His passion drives the company to success. What is your passion?

Vector Corrector 2012-21

Most of us have heard the cliché “walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk.” Strong leaders know what they believe and live what they believe. Their lives are like a megaphone blasting out their character.

Vector Corrector 2012-22

Some leaders get hung up on titles, office location, publicity, money, even saved parking places.   These are all trappings that can consume the leader. Leadership is a character quality not a position description. A good reminder for all: It is not about us, but about those we serve.

Vector Corrector 2012-23

Larry Brown, NBA Hall of Fame coach, said, “Talent is a gift, character is a choice.” How true. Question: What is your choice? Remember, with every choice there is a consequence — good or bad.

Vector Corrector 2012-24

Have you ever thought about your LEGACY, what you leave behind when you die? In a recent discussion, several of us came to realize that our most significant influence and impact is most real on the people that cross our path each day. Are we having a positive influence? Do others sense a compassionate, sensitive, loving spirit and that they are special and important?   Remember, leadership is ALL about people.

Vector Corrector 2012-25

Recently I heard a quote that was on target for all of us today. “Bad company corrupts good character.” These words should make us realize how important our example is to those around us, and also that we need to protect ourselves. Young people often fall into this pit, but all of us are vulnerable. My counsel is to be alert and flee from bad company.

Vector Corrector 2012-26

On a recent SWA flight I read in their in-flight Spirit Magazine a quote that I believe is applicable. “Dating today is an interesting paradox: We’re more connected than ever through social media and online networking, yet we’re also more disconnected than ever. Today’s technology makes communication faster, but I’m not sure it’s better. You can’t make a genuine connection with someone by texting, emailing or Facebooking, etc.”  This is a word of caution for all of us.

Vector Corrector 2012-27

In a devotional, I read, “We are at our best when we are serving others.” Every day, I’m more convinced that servant leaders are critically needed today. Put pride, position, money, etc., aside and focus on serving and respecting people. You and I can make a difference by investing in lives.

Vector Corrector 2012-28

A well-chosen word can speak volumes. That is good advice in this world of rapid communication. The best leaders I have met are good listeners. They also speak with a megaphone when they display sound character and integrity. How are you doing?

Vector Corrector 2012-29

Chuck Swindoll recently wrote a thought-provoking and wise statement, “The longer I live, the more I’m convinced we are addressing the wrong question. What we want to do is not nearly as important as who we want to be. Doing is about the tangible — salaries, prestige, achievements.   Being is about the intangible — character, integrity, identity. It’s about the kind of people we are.” Who are you REALLY?

Vector Corrector 2012-30

We are at our best as leaders while we are serving others. It is a consistent theme that should never be overtaken by the trappings of the world. This could mean changing a tire, providing food for someone who is house bound, or listening to a peer who is challenged. A servant leader is sensitive to people’s personal needs not just bottomline statistics.

Vector Corrector 2012-31

Correction does much, but encouragement does more. These words of wisdom come from a morning reading I use most days to keep me on-track. Encouragement, compassion, sensitivity and love go a long way in leadership. Being a servant leader with convictions, integrity and good communication skills are all part of a successful lifestyle for a leader people want to follow.

Vector Corrector 2012-32

It” is a matter of the heart. The “It” is leadership, providing inspired influence to the people around you with a passion to ensure their success. The heart of a leader should be a beacon drawing others to themselves, making a difference and providing confidence and peace to the individual being led.

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World War II hero, Admiral Chester Nimitz, understood his role as an operational commander He said, “Leadership consists of picking good men and helping them do their best for you. The attributes of loyalty, discipline and devotion to duty on the part of subordinates must be matched by patience, tolerance and understanding on the part of superiors.”   Wise counsel for all of us.

Vector Corrector 2012-34

Following are a few good points when providing influence at home and in your marketplace:

1. Demonstrate, teach, model and discipline.

2. Teach a strong work ethic.

3. Teach the value of a balanced life.

4. Never give up on those you lead.

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Today, suicide is too common in the military as well as society. There is no quick fix, though much research has been done.  A common thread is the loss of HOPE. Hope springs eternal and hope can be ignited by a spark of encouragement.  Listen always and be alert for the sound of one losing hope and be sure you are a master encourager including connecting the person to professional help.

Vector Corrector 2012-36

A sign under a stuffed mounted fish in a Field and Stream shop read, “If I had kept my mouth shut, I wouldn’t be here.” As a leader, listening is more important than opening your mouth and swallowing the hook. You could end up on the wall, too!

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The general manager of an Atlanta restaurant said, “If you are not willing to give help or ask for help, you are pulling everybody down. That does not work for us.” This is an example of the need for teamwork. None of us can do everything. We need help and need to be willing to assist others for the good of the organization. Humbly serve and seek help whenever you are in need.

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Ron Howard, actor/producer, commented on his relationship with Andy Griffith. “Respect. At every turn he [Griffith] demonstrated his honest respect for people and he never seemed to expect theirs in return, but wanted to earn it. He taught me a great deal through the examples he set. Howard’s words should apply to and challenge all of us.

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The man who becomes a great leader usually has respect for his followers that is as deep and real as their respect is for him,” says Rich DeVos, founder of Amway.  Those words remind me that respect is earned, not just through a title.  Remember healthy respect is mutual.

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Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”  Meaningful words from President Abraham Lincoln who is known for speaking the truth.  Successful leaders are good listeners and know how and when to bridle the tongue.

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When Admiral John C. Harvey was retiring he said, “We’re not going to give way on our standards. Holding the trust of the people and the trust of the force.” Trust, integrity, conviction and courage blend together in one’s character and encourages the team to excellence. Is that what you and I emulate?

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The new book, “Vector Corrector”, includes a conclusion that focuses on LEGACY. Sounds simple enough, however when we examine the subject, it is more than just the family we leave behind. Our legacy is every life we touch every day. Legacy is not one’s estate, money or even stuff we leave to the heirs. It is our influence on their hearts that counts.

Vector Corrector 2012-43

When Tom Landry was coaching the Dallas Cowboys the following was over the entry door to the locker room, “COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE”. I have never forgotten those words.  More importantly I observed Coach Landry live it out.  Tom was an example to his family, the Cowboys, the community and to everyone he met.

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Correction, not criticism was the watch word for Coach John Wooden when he was coaching the UCLA Bruins. Coach was a strong leader who lead a disciplined team to more National Championships than any other Division 1 leader. His hallmark was to bring the best out of each player both on and off the court. His corrections were designed to refine each player into an All-American. Check the records and you will learn of his success.

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Great leaders surround themselves with a leadership team of dedicated, confident, experienced people who in many cases are stronger than the leader who empowers them to do and be their best. Does your leadership team possess the same strong character, integrity and values you exhibit? This is a key to success.

Vector Corrector 2012-46

Olympic Gold Medalist, Madeline Manning-Mims said, “Leading as a servant inspires others to serve.”  Three points: lead by example; it is not about the leader, but those he/she serves; because serving is the cornerstone of the strongest leaders.  Are we filling the bill as servant leaders?

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Danny Wuerffel, Heisman Trophy Winner, was on the mark when he wrote, “Leading with authenticity takes disciplined selflessness.”  You and I cannot be authentic if we don’t know what we stand for and selflessness should dominate over self-centeredness.

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Kurt Warner, Super Bowl Quarterback and MVP, said, “Leading is less difficult when you love what you do.” I would add that love is an attribute for the successful leader because loving is leading and leading is ALL about people.

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Don’t worry about doing something great. Be great by doing what you can where God has placed you.” [P. Robinson]. Another saying is, “Bloom where you are planted.” Our challenge is to do our best in all things, in all ways to serve others. Remember, our focus is on serving.

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A key principle of leadership is delegation. General/President Eisenhower said it well, “Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” The buzz word today is EMPOWERING  — giving others opportunities to excel.

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Love and respect do not automatically accompany a position of leadership. They must be earned by our example and performance to those we lead.

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President Abraham Lincoln said, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”  A strong reminder not to avoid or deny problems, but to identify them.