Leadership Crash Nuggets Gleaned from EntreLeadership

I pride myself on being a life-long learner. I continuously seek out opportunities for growth, learning and leadership. With that, I typically attend conferences in-person. I have a tactical, hands-on leadership style and have traditionally enjoyed being in the room and participating in-person. When I had an opportunity to participate in EntreLeadership, a live-streaming conference, I must admit I was a bit skeptical. It was something I had never done before but with my mantra of life-long learning, I thought – you have to try something new to learn and grow. The day before the conference, I had an insightful discussion with a colleague about the loss of productivity associated with streaming online and how my day would end in frustration, particularly since I am not accustomed to sitting in front of screen all day – listening to others talk. I approached the day with optimistic caution.

As my day started, it became very clear, very quickly, this was going to be more than simply listening. It was immediately engaging – from the heart thumping intro music, to the social media buzz about EntreLeadership LIVE!, my day of streaming started with gleaning nugget after nugget of leadership wisdom and thoughts and comments. EntreLeadership is a 1 Day leadership event where “you’ll learn wisdom and tactics from top business leaders that will give you and your business the edge in a market that’s constantly being disrupted”. I was excited to continue my modernized learning journey with key tips and tactics to thrive in a marketplace that is constantly evolving.

At the end of the 1 Day event, I was glad I decided to stream my day away. Below I have captured the 3 confirming thoughts and concepts from EntreLeadership LIVE! That made streaming my day away good for me.

In Session One, New York Times best-selling author, speaker, and leadership consultant, Stephen Mansfield, spoke about the “Ten Signs of A Leadership Crash”, and wow, what an opening session. I share below some thoughts from the session and 3 of the 10 signs that resonated with me.

According to Mansfield, there are common features to any leadership crash. There are nearly always important warning signs which can be spotted and possibly avoided if you are aware of the signs. In fact, those near the leader usually see trouble coming well in advance and in almost every case of a leadership crash, people fail to act. Below are 3 of the 10 Signs discussed by Mansfield.

  • Being out of season – according to Mansfield’s research, this is almost always cited as the #1 thing leaders who crash point to when asked about the crash. I was “out of season”. There are invisible seasons that define our lives and ignoring these seasons leave us off-balance, vulnerable, and often ineffective. Mansfield says you must identify your seasons and respect their boundaries and commitments.

Take Action: Don’t overstay your season. Don’t linger. King David lingered on the balcony and we all know what happened. Recognize when you are out of season. It’s a feeling. It’s about knowing one’s self and not being out of sync with the best version of yourself. Recognize the signs and keep it pushing.

  • Brand Exaggeration – this is simply about overstating who you are and what you do and what you are about. Overbranding leads to behaviors created to keep up with the overstated brand. Mansfield says, when we brand ourselves truthfully, we pave the way for success, a good reputation, and prosperity. Over-branding leads to a leadership crash.

Take Action: Truth always. Even when it doesn’t look like it or you don’t think it will serve you well. Stay with the truth. Create and Embrace a culture of truth-telling. Create a routine of fact-checking yourself with your accountability partners.

  • Isolation – Leaders usually separate themselves from others when they are feeling guilt, hurt, embarrassment, or inappropriate pride. According to Mansfield, most leadership crashes are preceded by an unhealthy season of isolation. Leaders need others close by to help them be their best. In essense, isolation creates a barrier that insulates you from needed and healthy confrontation.

Take Action: Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable 2 right. Remember accountability requires truth and transparency. Important to note that without truth and transparency, accountability is ineffective. Surface/safe conversations with your accountability partners is nothing more than idle chit chat. However, remember also that There is the healthy isolation we all need for thought, for introspection, and to feed our spiritual lives. Unhealthy isolation leaves us exposed and alone. Leadership crashes often follow. Embrace a culture of healthy confrontation.

These are just 3 of the 10 signs of a leadership crash. As leaders we should all be aware of the signs and have mitigating actions in place to insure we don’t fall prey to the obvious signs. To read all 10 signs, check out a copy of Mansfield’s book, Ten Signs Of A Leadership Crash.

Leadership on the GO…..It’s O.N


– What I learned about self-reflection from my children –

They say, “If you’re searching for the one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror.” Recently, I was sitting in the living room when the kids came home from school. Within a matter of seconds, I could sense something was wrong. Maybe it was “father’s intuition,” but I knew something was up; they were uncharacteristically quiet and distant. As it turns out, one of my kids said some hurtful things to the other on the way home from school.

It may seem like par for the course. Siblings fight all the time, right? But what really struck home for me was a single moment of truth that followed, a true mirror moment for me: My daughter turned to me and said, “I hate to say it, but the reason why this happened—the words and the actions involved—is because that’s how you show up sometimes.” Wow. That hit me like a ton of bricks. That really hit home. That, right there, was my #mirrormoment. And it was not an easy pill to swallow.  What she was saying is “we learn from you”.

How was I going to respond to this? How could I possibly grow from this? There are two questions I have learned to ask myself when faced with a situation like this:

  1. What did I love? The courage and love demonstrated by my daughter in the moment. Her commitment to be a truth teller and to hold me accountable is something I am as grateful for as I am proud.
  2. What did I learn? Regardless of what may come, I have to summon the requisite courage from within and stand on what I know to be true. I must always be willing to stand face to face with my truth, looking straight into that mirror on the wall.

That mirror moment with my daughter led me to literally go look in the mirror, eyeball to eyeball (there is nowhere to hide!) and ask myself, “Were you listening?” Not “did you hear?” but “were you listening?” Listening is intentional. It requires effort and focus and commitment to the person on the other end of the conversation.

But why look in the mirror? What was I hoping to gain? The truth is, the mirror is the one where place you can’t hide from the truth. The mirror is always honest. You may not always like what you see, but you can guarantee that what you’re seeing is one hundred percent accurate one hundred percent of the time. What you see is what you get. During your mirror moment, you are likely to come face to face with three inevitable truths:

  • You may not always like what you see
  • You may think more about what YOU see/think than it’s worth. Remember, it’s not about you.
  • You may realize you are blind to the reality of your own reflection.

Your #mirrormoment is about self reflection. Looking in the mirror allows you to reflect on your past in order to grow and move forward.

Your #mirrormoment is also about self encouragement. Looking in the mirror allows you to pump up your “now” so you have what you need to keep moving forward.

And lastly, your #mirrormoment is about inspiration; it’s about self motivation. Looking in the mirror allows you to envision what the future could be to propel you forward.

It’s a powerful experience. And so I leave you with this: What do you do when you know your experience constitutes as your mirror moment?

  1. Wipe the mirror clean and look. Don’t shy away. Remember, there’s no where to hide!
  2. Look often. Consistency is key. Self awareness is so valuable.
  3. Accept the truth and work your way forward.

At the end of the day, I’m happy to report that my mirror moment afforded us the opportunity to have some really intimate dialogue with each other about the value of family and love and respect and care. It may not have been easy, but nothing worth while ever is. All is well, and I truly understand the value of a mirror moment. Because remember, the mirror never lies.

Take Action: When was the last time you had a mirror moment?

Leadership on the Go…..It’s O.N.


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