You show great leadership! Is your leadership unbiased?

Great leadership is as unbiased as possible. In order to demonstrate that, we need to recognize our own biases. I’m willing to bet you didn’t think you had any. I know I do. How do we manage that?

What do you mean I’m biased?!

I have yet to meet a leader without bias. That doesn’t mean they let bias get in their way or cause tension and harm for others.

social-media-550766_1280We all view the different world through different lenses. Your lens is a filter based on your individual life experience. Some examples may be, and these are only a few:

  • Birthplace
  • Culture
  • Socioeconomic
  • Faith
  • Education

The combination of your life experiences create personal bias. What we do with them makes a difference and we need to recognize how those biases change as we learn and grow. This directly affects our leadership whether it’s conscious or unconscious. Great leadership pays attention to the tension.

Birthplace

What does where you were born have to do with anything? Consider someone born in a very cold climate like northern Canada. When you live somewhere that it’s difficult to grow fruits and vegetables, it’s likely  your diet will contain a lot more fish and meat. Your body will likely need more food to assist with being in a more physical environment and help you stay warm. You will develop a bias to a higher protein diet. Move to Mexico and you’ll have a harder time finding meat. I suspect you will think they are crazy for some of the things they eat. That’s a bias.

Culture

With our global community today, we are exposed to many different cultures. Some are political based. Some may be more affected by faith and physical environment. For example, my experience in Greece and Italy many years ago, was they place much more value on home and family than business or work. Could this be related to a great disparity between rich and poor? When people come here from other countries, I believe we are perceived as greedy money worshipers. That’s a bias, and maybe one of my own.

Socioeconomic

Family fighting over assets.We are lucky in North America that we have a much larger much larger middle class but there are definitely multiple divisions here and I believe we underestimate how that affects bias. I was driving in the neighbourhood where I grew up when my son asked “Dad, is this the ghetto?”. When I was growing up there, I never saw it that way and actually had a few discussions with my wife about it not being a bad neighbourhood. Thinking back, there were multiple gangs, vandalism and times when most people wouldn’t even consider walking some of those streets late at night. Because of where he grew up, he would not likely consider that neighbourhood for his kids. He has a bias.

Where we raised our children is a very middle class neighbourhood. Their experience here means they expect a little more out of life. They see more opportunity. They don’t understand someone from a neighbourhood like where I grew up may not see the same opportunities because they believe they have more obstacles. That’s a bias.

Then there’s the rich. Some are born into wealth, others make their own. Each has a different perception of how the world works. Those born into wealth are less likely to relate to the difficulties that those in poorer families face in trying to change their life circumstances. People who create their own wealth have a harder time relating to someone who can’t see themselves becoming wealthier. Again, biases.

Faith

This is a tough topic and I hope I don’t offend anyone here. My observations are through my own filters and bias. Be kind with your words and help me learn so that I can change. Here it goes.

Catholic, Muslim, Protestant, Buddhist and Hindu are the only faiths that I have ever been exposed to and only in limited fashion. I personally am Roman Catholic and that definitely causes bias for me. I work to recognize that affect on my perceptions and decisions every day. My belief is that all have very similar core values and we are brothers and sisters in this life regardless of our recognized faith.

Faith is an oasis in the heart

I believe one of the greatest challenges is recognizing that not all people of any faith are perfect. If I were to accept all the stories I read, I wouldn’t trust anyone. I can’t accept that any faith but my own is bad. I heard a friend say one day that Christians should only associate with Christians. I was dumbfounded! How do we develop understanding and remove bias if we never expose ourselves to contradictory evidence? Wow, that was a bias!

Education

Have you ever noticed that someone with a university degree looks down on people with a college degree? A person with college education may look down on someone who never took post secondary education. The level of education of the people you meet can affect how you respond to them. Does your bias cause you to give less credence to the words of people you meet?

Is Your Leadership Unbiased?

We have natural instincts to protect ourselves. As people developers, that extends to protecting those who look to us for guidance. When faced with something we don’t understand, we default to past experience and use that to make a decision. The fault with that strategy is that every situation is unique. Before you let instinct take over, take a second to understand why you feel what you feel.

To ensure your leadership is unbiased, you  first need to recognize your own biases. How does this make you react to opposing views and values? Does this cause you to become either defensive or offensive? Why?

personal-885548_1280Now that you understand your own bias, do a check in with someone you trust. Seek their advice and ask about their bias. You may need multiple trusted advisors in your inner circle to accomplish this. Different backgrounds, faiths and even opposing values can lead you to better understanding of the issues facing you and how to take the next best step.

People are looking to you for unbiased leadership. I know you are a great leader. Do you?

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for diversity. I’m thankful for opportunities to grow. I’m thankful for my belief in people.

What are you thankful for today?


 

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CLICK HERE for an opportunity to learn and grow while protecting your family and maybe even making a little money.

How much justice can you afford?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/you-show-great-leadership/

Deficits And Work Life Balance

Deficits are often used to get us through challenging times. We run time deficits to achieve work and life balance. What does balance mean to you?

Deficits

  • Money
  • Energy
  • Time

There are never enough hours in the day. We steal time from family for work. We built bigger cities to achieve economy of scale. Now we pay higher taxes and many are traveling a couple of hours to get to work. Now instead of 9 or 10 hours for work, we spend 13-14 hours. 

Pixabay image of house and mortgageWhen we get home, there is little energy left to meet the needs of our family let alone friends or hobbies. We end up paying others to do the things we used to do like home maintenance. Yet another drain on the budget. Many start using credit as a bridge to pay day. Just like government, we are typically running a deficit.

We can make and lose money over and over but we just can’t recover or create more time. 

Balance

When it comes to work and life, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and our families if we insist that each always has equal time. Especially if you measure in small increments. For example, I’ll never let work interfere with my weekends or evenings. What if you need an afternoon to go somewhere with your partner or family? Can you do that if you never flex the other way?

There's no such thing as work life balance“Balance” is about being able to make adjustments on your terms. When you are growing a business, you may need to sacrifice precious family time in order to have more later. It’s much the same when you are in a healthy employment situation. Your employer recognizes you are building their dream and flexes in your favour once in a while so you won’t leave.

Work life balance is up to you to define, whether you work for someone else or you run your own business.

Make Work Fun

When your work isn’t aligned with your core values, dreams and goals, it stops being fun. Now you have a huge deficit in time and energy borrowed from other areas in your life.

Find what excites youFind what it is that excites you and make that your work. All of a sudden, work becomes a reward for you AND your family. Do good doing life and there is no longer a time deficit to make up for. Now the fruits of your efforts have produced a surplus. You might even start to lead others to the path you are on so they can have as much fun, time and money as you!

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for God in my life. I’m thankful for time. I’m thankful for opportunity.

What are you thankful today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/deficits-and-work-life-balance/

Human Developers and MLM

Human developers are people who constantly strive to help others achieve their personal potential. Multi Level Marketing (MLM) companies are built on the backs of the greatest human developers. Do you have it in you?

Human Developers

Who are human developers?

  • Parents
  • Teachers and Coaches
  • Leaders

Parents

These are our first exposure to human developers. Parents’ primary role is to meet our basic needs.

  • Shelter
  • Sustenance
  • Safety

Our parents initially provide: a safe place to live; food and water that is safe to eat and drink; a safe environment where we can learn and grow. These primary caregivers create a safe space where we can try things we have never tried before and trust that they will protect us from ourselves, to a degree. They also make decisions on when it’s safe to let us fail so that we can learn how to stretch and achieve our greatest potential. 

Parents with daughterPrimary caregivers have a responsibility to teach us to fail. Repeatedly. They give encouragement to get back up and try again until we succeed. Think about when you learned to ride a bike. Mom or Dad, Aunt or Uncle, someone held the back of the back until they could see that we had found balance. Then they let go. You probably did just fine until you looked back for assurance and discovered you were on your own, and then you fell. Your caregiver ran up, soothed your fears, and then insisted you get back on the bike again. This likely happened a number of times until you finally believed you could do it by yourself. I’ll bet you finally reached a point where you said “Let go, I can do it!”.

Thank God for our parents and caregivers, our first human developers.

Teachers and Coaches

Eventually, teachers and coaches step in and assist parents in helping even greater achievements. From the time we hit preschool to the time we finish post secondary education, our parents put us in the hands of others to help hone life skills in the hopes that we will some day achieve our greatest potential.

Picture of coachesThe old saying is “It takes a village to raise a child.” speaks to parents recognizing that they can’t be everywhere at the same time. While Mom and Dad are amazing people and know an awful lot, they don’t know everything. This is where “the village” comes in. For example, I never played soccer in my life but three of my children played competitive sports. One of the kids is now a high school teacher. She needed a lot more than me to learn the skills necessary to do that. My daughter has become a human developer.

Leadership and MLM

“The teacher appears when the student is ready”! This is where the true leaders show up. Leaders aren’t necessarily people with technical authority but are people with “moral” authority. They have earned the privilege of being an influence in their community whether in business or in school. Are you a leader and human developer?

How much justice can you afford?MLM or Multi Level Marketing companies often produce great leaders. People join MLMs for many different reasons. Most begin because they are looking to change their financial circumstances. Good MLM companies understand the need for personal growth to achieve financial success. They have systems in place to achieve success in business but even more than that, great MLM companies have human development strategies and training in place to help people take advantage of those systems over time.

By working on the self, developing the person as a whole, great leaders develop and rise to the top. You may not be interested in MLM but they teach great lessons in leadership and human development. Oh, and you may actually make some extra money along the way!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for God in my life. I’m thankful for the wonderful teachers in my life. I’m thankful for great MLM companies.

What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/human-developers-and-mlm/

Be Quiet! Do you know what time it is?

Do you know what time your local by-laws say you have to be quiet? Most municipalities have by-laws that govern noise levels. What do you do if your neighbours complain?

Be Quiet!

We can all agree that we deserve the right to peace and quiet in our homes. There is a saying “Good fences make for good neighbours”. One of the challenges is understanding what your rights are on either side of the fence. 

rest-413103_1280When I was growing up, my neighbourhood didn’t have fences. We would create an ice rink in our back yard and join ours with the people next door to make a large skating surface. Families would come from all over the neighbourhood to skate together and many a game of hockey would be played. We eventually  had to put some time limits on the hockey so that the rest of us could skate. There was a general expectation that it was lights out about 11pm. Today, there is a chance that people would complain about the noise in the middle of the afternoon and you could receive a ticket for noise infractions. That’s if you didn’t receive a fine for building the rink without a permit in the first place!

Many noise by-laws today have few, if any, time of day allowances. In many cases, it’s a matter of interpretation. Do you know what your rights are?

Time and Space

Once upon a time, we built our homes with a little distance between houses. You could make a space in the back corner of the yard to sit around a small fire and share stories. One of the neighbours might even bring out a guitar and play some music that we could sing along to. Today, the back corner of our yard may be under our neighbour’s bedroom window.  Those neighbours may be in their 80’s and have a different perspective on time than our teenage children.

campfire-87377_1280When our kids were teenagers, the evening didn’t even start until 10pm. When as little as three of them gathered around a fire, their voices alone could be heard in the neighbours bedroom window if it was open. Add a radio or a guitar, even at low volumes, and there was the potential for disagreement. Lucky for us, that neighbour was reasonable. They commented that “we live in a city and there needs to be some understanding”. Although, my wife and I were sitting by that fire with two friends when the neighbours called out the window and asked if we could tone it down a little. That’s when we realized that we had been talking for hours and it was 2am! It was our turn to be understanding.

Space in the city is limited today. Smaller lots create more opportunity for municipal taxes. Surprise! We have much more crowded living today. Make sure you know your rights and then, be reasonable when you enforce them.

Municipal By-laws

hammer-802300_1280Every city and town has their own values as a community. By-laws are a reflection of those values. The problem is that they are usually created in reaction to a problem that may only affect a small portion and if it wasn’t your issue, you likely didn’t notice it happen. Keeping up to the changes is near impossible but ignorance of the law is no excuse. Have you ever had that experience where you call in to complain about an issue only to find that the law was changed and you have no legal leg to stand on? Conversely, someone complains about something you or one of your kids did and you had no idea you were breaking the law? 

I would bet that noise infractions are one of the highest complaints. Be quiet lest you disturb your neighbours. We all assume that running saws and jack hammers after 11PM is a no no. Did you realize that in many cases you may have to get an exemption to make that kind of noise at 3PM? We have become less tolerant over the years and most municipal by-laws reflect that.

Use your #LegalSavingsPlan and know where you stand

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for my provider law firm. I’m thankful for the opportunity to improve access to justice and the legal system. I’m thankful for every new day.

What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/be-quiet-do-you-know-what-time-it-is/

MLM (Multi Level Marketing) Credibility

MLM teamwork and collaboration.MLM (Multi Level Marketing) companies today have more credibility than most “legitimate” businesses. Compared to when I started working, loyalty of “legitimate business” to employees is rare and full time employment with a living wage is almost non-existent. The problem is that MLM associates allow themselves to go on the defensive and feed the myth that having a MLM business is less respectable. 

MLM

MLM is a business model, a method of marketing services and products. This method directly rewards the efforts of a professional sales team for their sales production. Like the insurance, real-estate and similar industries, there are rewards for expanding a team and training them.

Sales team in profit mode.Multi Level Marketing companies allow an individual to develop their own book of business with much lower overhead than most “legitimate” businesses. The opportunity is there to develop a team and leverage the efforts of many to increase profitability. You are your own business owner and make the decisions on how you want to grow. Yes, like any franchise, there are guidelines like not being involved with competing companies.

Some MLM companies have a one time fee to start the business and require the participation in a service with monthly fees, others may (or may not) have a fee but require the maintenance of inventory. You need to find one that fits you. The beauty is that you can try different businesses to find the one that fits without destroying your bank account.

In my opinion, MLM is the fairest and most democratic business model. This type of business is driven from the “bottom” up. The sales team is more likely to effect change when needed because the underlying corporation respects and understands that the sales team makes business happen and saves the company huge amounts of marketing dollars. 

MLM Credibility

“Legitimate” companies will have you believe that Multi Level Marketing is a pyramid scheme. Companies work very hard to ensure the myth is perpetuated. 

Let’s work toward building MLM credibility. Recruit responsibly. Under promise and over deliver. Building your business is rarely easy. You will have to work hard, mostly on yourself, if you are to be successful in sales of any kind. People who are successful in building a business will go through a lot of trial and error before finding what works for them. Make sure your prospects understand that there will be many sleepless nights, a lot of learning and many mistakes along the path to success. There is no success without “failure”. 

Take A Look At Yourself

Wealth pyramidYou likely came across this blog because you are frustrated with a MLM opportunity. You were told that there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and that anyone can get their own pot of gold. Whether you have a job or a business, the reality is that your success is dependent on your willingness to fail your way to the top. The person who gets frustrated and stops is guaranteed failure with no hope of success. On the other hand, if you are that person who takes the time to get back up and figure out what needs to be changed in order to move forward again, you will succeed.

Are you willing to fail your way to the top? 

Just Decide

Whether that “pot of gold” is financial independence or just the ability to take control of your life, it’s up to you to decide what you want, what you are willing to do and who you want to take with you. It all starts with a decision. 

What will you decide?

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for coffee. I’m thankful for my job. I’m thankful for opportunity to improve.

What are you thankful for today?

How much justice can you afford?

 

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/mlm-multi-level-marketing-credibility/

Algonquin Trails Camping Resort: My Experience August 2015

Algonquin Trails Camping Resort is a little misleading as a name. I would remove the word camping and replace it with RV/Trailer. It’s actually only for Recreational Vehicle (RV) and trailer camping. I don’t recommend this place for family camping. Especially if you plan on having visitors. They may as well pay for their own site if there is more than one person.

My Impression of Algonquin Trails

 

Grounds

Physically, the campgrounds are acceptable, not amazing. Sites are a good size and have electric and water service. Reasonable privacy but a little open.

Some of the amenities are a little run down. There is what appears to have been a basketball court that is overgrown and the backboard has holes in it. Not really functional. The volleyball court could use some freshening up of sand. The one good feature is the swimming pool. Very clean and well kept, the pool us under a greenhouse like protective shelter.

All in all, I would rate the grounds 2.5 out of 5.

Welcome

My brother-in-law had moved here because the previous place was too busy and noisy. The plus at Algonquin Trails is that there is certainly peace and quiet, I did appreciate that. 

If you are looking for a place where you want to entertain family and guests, this is NOT the place I would choose.

He had talked to the owner before inviting us to visit, to ensure that it was OK to have us overnight and that we would be putting our tent beside his trailer. Apparently, there some miscommunication. The first thing we saw when we got there is that tents were not welcome and to turn around before entering the park. Hmmm…

We went to register at the office, it was about 6pm and no one was available. There was a sign to press a button that would summon someone in 5 minutes. I don’t have that patience and decided to go to my brother-in-law’s site and unload before returning to the office to register. When I returned to the office, I was greeted with “you need to slow down, the limit here is 10km and you were definitely going over that”. He was referring to when I sped up a little to get out of the way of another vehicle entering the park and I was turning into my parking space. Hmmm…

IMG_20150801_220842We had a wonderful evening with our brother-in-law at a fireworks display in Dwight, just down the road from the park. Next day, we went for a long walk back into Dwight and visited some of the local shops with interesting crafts etc. We got back to the site just around 2. I went to retrieve the car and load up for home when I ran into the owner. We had a nice chat but he made it clear that he didn’t realize we had a tent and it would not be welcome next time.

The end result is that we didn’t feel welcome at all.

Recommendation

I don’t like negativity and apologize for the tone of this blog.

I would not recommend this park to very many people but for some, it may be exactly what they need.

Be very sure before you stay at Algonquin Trails Camping Resort that you understand what their definition of camping is. NO TENTS. PERIOD! In my opinion, if you are looking for solitude, don’t expect any guests and own or rent an RV, it’s acceptable.

I feel that this place is NOT truly camper friendly. I would suggest checking into Algonquin Park and other private campgrounds. Ask clear and specific questions to ensure your choice will meet your needs.

Make it a great day!

Barry

What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for differing opinions. I’m thankful for family. I’m thankful for nature.

What are you thankful for today?

 

 

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/algonquin-trails-camping-resort-experience/

Making Wine Can Be A Family Affair

Having a glass of wine with dinner is just so civilized. Buying retail can get a little expensive and it seems that it’s never in the house just when you want a bottle to take to a social gathering. Making your own wine is definitely more economical and you can make it a family affair. Now there is wine in the cellar when I want it. I don’t know why we didn’t do this years ago!

5 Reasons For Making Wine

  • May save money. (Not if you start drinking more wine.)
  • More likely to have wine on hand when you want/need it. (Unless you start drinking more wine!)
  • Great joint activity to share with someone special. (Then you can share the wine.)
  • Product can be used as thank you gifts for clients and prospects.
  • Product can be used as a promotional tool.

Our New Wine Making Place

Vin de GarageIn the old days, you had to get grapes and make the juice yourself before making wine. Now, you can buy the juice and go to a self service place like Vin de Garage in Barrie, Ontario where you can leave the juice to ferment and go back when it’s ready for bottling. All in all, a couple hours of your time and effort. We met Doug and Deborah and they were so helpful that the process was a lot of fun.

During the process, we decided that this would be a great team building and promotional opportunity. You can design a label for your wine to use for gifts to clients and prospects with your contact information. The wine becomes a conversation piece and puts you and your business front and centre.

Make It A Family Affair

Corking bottles.We are at that stage in our lives that all of our children are adult. My son asked us a couple of months ago how we would feel about him paying to make wine. He came with us for the bottling process as a “bonding” experience. In the end, he actually enjoyed spending time with Mom and Dad. This was a gift for birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s day. He’s a great kid! No doubt he knows he will benefit as well.

Corking bottles 2My wife Denise enjoyed this the most. You know how mothers are about spending time with their children, especially if they come voluntarily! Our children are spread across the country, literally. We have to accept whatever time they are willing to give. I’m really thankful our son felt we deserved his time.

In Summary

Whether you are looking for a way to save money, promote your business or just a different way to spend quality time with someone, I highly recommend a visit to your local wine making supply depot to start making your own wine! I thank my son for introducing us to Vin de Garage in Barrie. They are located at 55 Collier St. in Barrie, Ontario. They are hidden down the alley behind the sushi place! Contact them at 705.730.0160 or E deborah@vindegarage.com

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for grapes from Chile. I’m thankful for Scott Clermont. I’m thankful for any time with any of my children.

What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/making-wine-can-be-a-family-affair/

3 Things I Learned At Rock Lake, Algonquin Park

Rock Lake is in God’s country in Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada. The 3 things I learned were not what I expected to learn there.

3 Things I Learned At Rock Lake

  1. Plan to be disconnected.
  2. Keep an open mind about your neighbours.
  3. Think twice about taking an Audi camping!

When you go to a place like Rock Lake in Algonquin Park, you can expect to learn about nature and be awed by the wonders of God’s creations. It is certainly amazing listening to the wolves, loons and owls throughout the night. I never expected to learn about cars, people and to be completely disconnected from the outside world.

Disconnected

The campground at Rock Lake is about 40km into the park from the west gate. That’s the side coming from Huntsville. It’s about 20km in from the east gate, the Ottawa side.  Once you leave Highway 60 and begin the journey 8km down a gravel road through the forest, there is no cell phone or data service. Nothing! You can’t call the office. You can’t check eMail. Even the GPS function on your smart phone doesn’t work any more. You’re in God’s hands now and the earth commands all of your attention. It’s time to reconnect with nature and appreciate the gift we have been given.

No cell phones or data

Keep An Open Mind About Your Neighbours

We arrived to peace and quiet on Friday afternoon. I had taken the day off to arrive early and enjoy the day. Then they arrived. A group of about 24 young Chinese people from Toronto. When a group that large arrives, you just know peace is out the window. But, do you? 

These young people had never been camping before. A little obvious by all the brand new matching tents! We were able to provide a hammer for the tent pegs and some guidance on getting a camp fire started. Yes, they were a little loud the first night. The park rangers were very polite and efficient in teaching them the importance of keeping the noise down.

Then came Sunday morning. It turns out they were a group from a church in Toronto. As I sat by my fire cooking pancakes for my granddaughter, I recognized “How Great Thou Art” and then realized they were singing in Chinese. A beautiful song in any language. I was surprised to find tears welling up.

When I thought about why this was bringing tears, I realized it was because this song brought back memories of my mother. Then I realized that they were doing something I used to do as Akela with my son who had also passed away. We used to do something similar with our cubs in the  forest when we were away at camp. Although those memories are bitter sweet, I’m thankful God brought this group of young Christians to our camp this weekend.

Audi

Think twice before you take an Audi camping! The young couple on the site next to us were driving an Audi SUV that was about 2 years old. They locked their key in the back of the car and the only spare was back home in Toronto. 

They called a lock smith who couldn’t get them in. CAA couldn’t do any better and it would cost up to $800 to tow them home. Denise (my wife) to the rescue! We drove them to the Visitor Centre where we could get cell service and called Audi. After Audi insisted that CAA should have been able to gain access to the car, Denise convinced Audi that they needed to do something to solve the problem. They agreed to have the car towed to an Audi dealer in Vaughan. Score 1 for Audi! 

The young couple rode back to Vaughan with the driver and their friend was bringing the spare keys to the dealer.

Recommendation

I highly recommend a visit to Rock Lake in Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada. Leave your technology in the glove box. Buy your firewood and rent canoes at Opeongo Outfitters just outside the east gate of the park. Take a non-electric campsite and enjoy connecting with God’s country!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful that Church in Toronto that brought new friends. I’m thankful for Ontario Parks maintaining Algonquin Park. I’m thankful for all of God’s creations. What are you thankful for today?

 

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/3-things-i-learned-at-rock-lake-algonquin-park/

Leader or Manager? What Is The Difference?

Leadership can make or break an organization. A manager is not necessarily the leader. Leaders aren’t always good managers. Every now and then, they are the same person. Are you a manager, leader or both?

Manager

When I use the title of manager, I refer to that person who is in an official capacity with the authority to give direction. They may be President, Director etc. 

bossManaging is difficult. There needs to be an understanding of operational needs like cash flow and human resources. You may need to understand logistics, the movement of people and product to make sure you are able to deliver a service or product cost effectively and on time. Good managers have to be able to analyze their world and organize everything around them so that everything connects. It’s like being really good at putting puzzles together. You have to be able to see the big picture, identify how all the pieces fit and then be able to figure out how to get the pieces to come together.

A really good manager will recognize their own strengths and weaknesses. Then they find the right people to support them. Sometimes, this means hiring someone with great leadership skills to help get everyone on board and make things happen. 

(I recommend reading John C. Maxwell’s “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”. He does a great job of breaking down the difference between management and leadership.)

Leader

This is the person that a group believes sets the standard of behaviour. They may have little to no official authority but command respect and demonstrate how things should be done through their consistent behaviour.

Great Leaders - webHave you ever worked somewhere that when you needed a decision from management, there was that special person that was able to get management to make a change? Look around your workplace and see if you can find them. These are the people that others seem to go to for help with problems, not necessarily always work related. These are the people with the most influence.You know that if anything is to change, you need to get their attention and buy in.  People seem to naturally follow them. These are the true leaders. 

(I recommend reading Robin Sharma’s “The Leader Who Had No Title”. He does a great job breaking down the attributes of real leaders.)

Leadership

Great leadership is what happens with managers learn to lead. This may mean knowing when to follow!

You need to earn the respect of people under your direction. I remember when I first started making the move to management, my manager said “Always remember the three F’s. Fair, Firm and Friendly. In that order! He was a store manager in a large grocery chain who had declined the opportunity to move to higher corporate levels of management. God knows, corporate tried to promote him because that manager always had the ability to take the worst operating store and make it the most successful in the company. He shifted the focus from product to people and then the people made things happen.

Will you be a manager, a leader or both? The choice is yours to make. Find a great leader to follow and model in order to become the leader you want to be!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for opportunities to grow. I’m thankful for great leaders willing to teach. I’m thankful for God in my life.

What are you thankful for today?

 

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Is It Better To Control Or Be Controlled?

Are you in control or are you being controlled? Some feel it is better to be in total control in order to prevent being controlled. Trying to dominate every situation and the people around you can result in losing people.

Before I get into this, understand that this blog is about me organizing thoughts in my head and is not meant to be advice. I am no psychologist and have absolutely no expertise other than my 54 years of life experience. This is pure speculation on my part.

Controlled

Some people allow themselves to be controlled because it’s the path of least resistance. Letting others take control means that they don’t have to get into confrontation and avoids stressful conversations.

For example:

  • holding handsYou meet and fall in love with someone who seems to be independent and have great strength of character. Over time, you discover that it’s actually their own insecurity that makes them seem so strong. There are times you don’t agree with them but it’s easier to let them have their own way because if you don’t, they will bully you until you do. You are controlled by your desire to make your partner happy.
  • Someone asks you to become involved in their MLM. When you bring it up with family, they tell you all about a person they knew who tried a business and never sold anything. You believe strongly in the product and opportunity and yet, the crabs get to you and pull you back down their level. Rather than make the effort to achieve your own success, you walk away from opportunity. You decided to let your friends and family control you because you are not willing to cut your own path to success. You are controlled by the opinions of others.

If you don’t want to be controlled by these bullies, you need to be prepared to accept responsibility for yourself and your right to your own opinions. The trick is not to become that controlling person in order to feel that you aren’t being controlled.

Controlling

Have you met anyone who always needs to be the centre of attention? Controlling people tend to dominate their space. By controlling their environment, that includes you if you are in it, they feel safe. It’s part of our basic makeup. We respond to threats in one of two ways: fight or flight. Controllers tend to fight.

Controlling womanWhen controllers are constantly dominating their world, others start to feel they need to limit their exposure in order to protect themselves. The controller becomes that toxic person in the lives of those around them. The toxic person becomes like a cancer and needs to be removed before they destroy others. Don’t become that cancer. The controlling person often ends up becoming what they fear the most. Alone.

I believe most of us flip back and forth between the two, being in control and letting ourselves be controlled. That ends up in balance. The problem is when we get stuck in one or the other. Try not to get stuck!

I apologize for rambling. This is a confusing topic. Thanks for listening.

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for the venue GVO gives me to think out loud. I’m thankful I found a wonderful woman to share my life with. I’m thankful I was blessed with a great family.

What are you thankful for today?

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