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Volume 5 Issue 5 ; Leadership Insight
2021 Leadership News
Leadership Insight from Chief Les Stephens, San Marcos (TX)
Leadership Perspectives
My Thoughts on Leadership

We've all heard it, "that's some bad Karma"
Kyle McAfee, CFM, EFO,CFE, BS
Fire Chief / Fire Marshal
Selma Fire Department (TX)

As a Firefighter, Company Officer, and Fire Chief responding to emergencies for over 30 years, I’ve even said it. Many of us associate Karma with negative outcomes; though in reality, Karma is not intended to be a punishment, but a set of “laws” which we should consider in our efforts to be good at whatever we do.

The Law of Humility is Karma’s third rule—One must accept something in order to change it. This can be applied to leadership, supporting the practice of regular reflection of our actions. In the book, The Coaching Manager (2011), authors James Hunt and Joseph Weintraub make a great point when they say, “Most of us have a tendency to believe our skills are superior. Many of us learn, painfully, that not all of our skills are so superior.” The fact of the matter is, if a person is to become not only a better leader and manager, but a better person, they need to do some intense reflection and make a conscious effort to improve. Just like the third law, we must understand (accept) what we see before we can begin to improve.

We must be willing and able to see where and how we are contributing to a given situation. I once had a colleague approach me and ask what he needed to do to place himself in the best position to compete for an upcoming promotion. I advised him the best thing he could do is to really take a hard and critical look at himself, know and understand the influence his actions have on situations. This applies not just to his views and beliefs, but he needed to have a clear picture of how others viewed him and the influence those views could potentially have as he stepped into a senior leadership role. Throughout the process he stumbled simply because he had not expanded his beliefs to include what others thought of him. Simply put, he had a blind spot, and the bad thing about blind spots is we can’t see them; this also means we are unaware they need attention or improvement.

We should remember Karma’s third Law of Humility and be willing to accept what we find as we look critically at ourselves, for we cannot improve unless we accept what we find is real and legitimate.

Leadership in the News

The Modern Leadership Style: Being, Not Doing
— Joyce Wilson-Sanford

The old patterns for organizations and work need refreshment. Modern leaders will have to lead differently. 

I worked with over 25 CEOs as a colleague and as formal support for their leadership development in my role of an organizational development executive. I experienced many strengths and styles of leadership as well as blind spots of power as these CEOs led large companies. 

These leaders evolved from the previous generation with new leadership approaches, but the modern leader must skip a generation of leadership learning and leap into modern leading, learning while they are in mid-air.

Read more about Modern Leadership

Leadership Techniques for Working with High-Conflict People
— Marlene Chism

At some point on your leadership journey, you’ll work with someone who’s difficult to get along with for various reasons.

They interrupt you at meetings and hijack conversations. They seem overly disagreeable -- for example, if you say the cabinet is brown, they say, “it’s actually mahogany.” You say the restaurant is about a half mile down the road, they say, “it’s a café, not a restaurant."

You’ll meet complainers,  blamers, the overly sensitive, the inflexible and the abrasive. Every leader works with people considered to be "high conflict." Here are some ways to make working with a high-conflict person an opportunity to grow instead of an opportunity to avoid conflict.

Read More about High Conflict People
Quote of the Month
Attitude is a choice. What you think you can do, whether positive or negative, confident or scared, will most likely happen. - Pat Summitt
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