How to Avoid a Crash Through Modernizing Life-Long Learning

by Onyeka Nchege on May 4, 2018

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

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A recent finalist for the 2017 ORBIE CIO of the Year award, Onyeka brings more than 20 years of experience leading teams, developing strategies and building technology solutions. He has also led the creation and integration of technology solutions for a network of retail store franchises and distributors across North and Central America. Onyeka contributes to CIO Review magazine and shares his insights and experience with peers and colleagues via his own blog, Before joining Interstate Batteries in 2015, Onyeka led teams at Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, where he modernized technology practices and powered business processes for daily, on-the-street use. He is a graduate of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University and currently serves on the EVANTA Dallas CIO Governing Body. If Onyeka were not at Interstate, he’d find another way to combine his three biggest passions: his faith, helping others, and, of course, information technology. Because ultimately, as he puts it, “we can’t help everyone, but everyone can always help someone.”

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