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Authentic Leadership

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In a world where so many people shape how they are perceived by altering online profiles through social media and carefully tweeting at opportune moments, authenticity can be overwhelmingly refreshing. Authentic leaders are the most impactful leaders and we can probably learn the most from them. But how does one go about being authentic, especially an authentic leader?

First, many leaders who show great authenticity have many advisors by their sides that can tell them when they are in the wrong. This may be a choice of the leader or something that just happens organically. However, it is important to recognize when someone else is right and to be able to admit a mistake. It shows true, authentic leadership. A good reason to surround yourself with people who can tell you when you are wrong is confirmation bias. This is the bias that allows you to choose answers or possible solutions that fit your original claim or commonly held perception rather than choosing the correct answer or solution. Advisors and peers can keep this bias in check. On that point, a true, authentic leader can admit when they are bias. In this way they can take steps to acknowledge and counteract their biases.

Great leaders also recognize that in order to be really great at something, they have to be bad as well. Instead of being mediocre at everything, a leader has to let some things go and become weak areas to ultimately excel in other areas. It’s okay to not be great at everything. Also, when things go wrong for a leader and they fall out of favor or out of their leadership position, they use their time at the bottom well. They usually refocus their goals, hone their skills and get ready to get back up again. The head of Emerging Markets at Oxford Economics, Rain Newton-Smith said if you use these moments to “use the difficult times in your life to dig deep and find new purpose or strength, the more resilient you will be. It is in these times that we learn the most, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.”

from Andrew Brunhart: Transforming Organizational Performance to Improve the Bottom-Line http://ift.tt/1ll0Mik
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Leading In University And Business

andrew brunhart univ

It is college graduation season again and it is the time of year most University Presidents and some business leaders stand in front of many bright-eyed graduates and let them know about adult life. The “real world” is scary for many of those with newly minted diplomas and it is the job of those speaking to give them some words of wisdom to live by. However, it seems that nowadays the College President and the all-star business CEO may not be the best to dispense advice because they need advice of their own. Although, these were formerly very stately positions, CEO turnover is at its highest and presiding over a college is now a high-risk occupation. These two jobs are both high profile, with a lot of privilege and responsibility that includes managing a lot of people. What kinds of tips do these leaders need to be successful?

One is to always think before you speak. Planning verbal direction, critique, or simple chitchat makes a big difference to how you are perceived by those you speak to. Speaking of talking, plan to talk less and listen more. Many new leaders try to impress with a lot of chatter, but always make sure you understand the environment that you’re walking into and what your employees need from you. Pay particular attention to your veteran employees and the knowledge they bring about your company or institution. Also, make sure you always show up. Simply being present speaks volumes about who you are and who matters to you so turn up for as many events as possible. In the same camp, make sure you answer as many messages as you can. Respond to emails, even if they are from freshman or someone who is new to your company. Your response matters with how you are perceived and shows that you do not find anyone irrelevant. Other suggestions include using your advisors like the board of trustees or directors, understand that community relations matter, don’t take things personally, and make sure that you are taking care of your own personal health so that you can serve those around you.

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Changing Face of Leadership

andrew brunhart globalization

There are some elements of great leadership that will never change. A leader must inspire, motivate, and encourage their teams to fulfill their common goal. However, even though those basic principles of leadership will never change, the environment in which leaders must lead is constantly evolving. Here are the biggest challenges for leaders.

First, a great leader today must keep up with rapidly evolving technology. This is especially true for business leaders. You must be able to embrace the latest tools of the job and use it to help your staff and your business gets ahead. If you, yourself, are unable to keep up with all the current trends, make sure that someone on your staff is and have them update you with how they are using technology to benefit your company.

Another thing that the current business leader has to stay ahead of is globalization and changing demographics. The Internet has opened up endless possibilities for taking your business global, don’t ignore that fact! Find opportunities in your field to access untapped markets and take advantage of our “shrinking” world. Pay attention to what goes on in business throughout the world because it will most likely affect you. Additionally, pay attention to the demographics of your consumers because they are probably changing. Demographics everywhere are shifting as people become more itinerant and migrate across the country and globe. This matters not only in who you are selling to, but in who you are hiring. Make sure your work force is diverse so that you can have as many perspectives as possible.

It is also important as a leader to understand the needs and motivations of your customer base. This is also changing as fast as technology and the world are changing so keep your eyes and ears open. The CEO of home fitness solutions company Nautilus, Bruce Cazenave says, “not only can business leaders get caught up in outdated policies and yesterday’s successes; they can also quickly lose sight of the emerging needs of their target audience…It’s imperative to understand the emotional and intellectual essentials of your customers better than anyone else, and then motivate your organization to deliever innovative, relevant products and solutions that meet [customers’] needs.”

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Bill Clinton On Leadership

andrew brunhart clintonFormer president Bill Clinton spoke to Fortune magazine about leadership for their April 7, 2014 issue. In it, Clinton detailed what leadership meant to him, the great attributes of a leader, and what you can do to become a leader yourself.

To Clinton, leadership means bringing people together for a common purpose. He sees the role of a leader as organizing those people to make a plan to achieve their goals and assisting them until they do. Sometimes leadership takes the place of a public position. In these cases you have clearly defined responsibilities to accept and handle problems as they come up. Overall, leadership is about articulating a vision, developing a plan, and taking that plan to its conclusion. Clinton states, “In the modern world, I believe lasting positive results are more likely to occur when leaders practice inclusion and cooperation rather than authoritarian unilateralism. Even those who lead the way don’t have all the answers.”

Clinton had similar things to say about attributes that great leaders share. They are committed to pursuing goals, have determinations, courage, and confidence to stick with their decisions. He also noted that great leaders have enough strength to admit when they are wrong or made a mistake.

Of Clinton’s own path to leadership he said that he learned when he “was very young to respect the human dignity of everyone I met, to observe them closely and listen to them carefully.” Clinton also learned that you are usually the only thing that holds your back and that it is better to try and fail than to not try at all. Of his childhood he said he grew up “in the civil rights years, then during Vietnam, I came to see politics as a way to help other people make their own life stories better.” He also pointed to other leaders like Yitzhak Rabin and Nelson Mandela who taught him what it means to lead people in a meaningful way.

Other leaders help inspire and remind what it means to be great. In addition to Rabin and Mandel, Clinton admires Helmut Kohl, Bill and Melinda Gates, Muhammad Yunus, Fazle Abed, and Aung San Suu Kyi.

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The First Curved Coin for the US

andrew brunhart curved coinCoin collecting is still going strong as a hobby and now there is a brand new coin for enthusiasts to add to their collections. The United States mint is issuing a curved coin as part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative coins. The coin’s curved side is decorated with seams to imitate a baseball, how clever!

This curved design has been used before by France in their year of commemorative International Year of Astronomy Coins (2009) as well as by the Royal Australian Mint for their Southern Cross curved coins. The United States Commemorative Coins were dictated by a law in 2012 that required them to be minted.

The coins will be minted in limited quantities and there are three different types. First they will mint 50,000 $5.00 gold coins, followed by 400,00 $1.00 silver coins, and 750,000 half-dollar coins made of copper and nickel. The surcharges of each of these coins are $35.00, $10.00, and $5.00, respectively. The surcharges are in addition to the actual price, which will depend on metal costs at the time of sale. These curved creations will make their debut on March 27, 2014.

On the concave side of the coin is a baseball mitt, imitating that of a mitt ready for a catch. The convex side, as stated above, is seamed like a baseball. These commemorative coins are being produced to recognize the 75th birthday of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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