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Posts Tagged ‘#Leadership’

What does it take to re-light your fire?

In Aha!, How To, leadership on January 24, 2017 at 6:51 pm
"Come on baby, light my fire." Okay, some of you may now have an 'ear bug' that'll pleasantly haunt you for the rest of the day. But seriously now ...

“Come on baby, light my fire.” Okay, some of you may now have an ‘ear bug’ that’ll pleasantly haunt you for the rest of the day. But seriously now …

Q: What does it take to re-light your fire?

A: Some may claim that “it only takes a spark.”

Others in the know may add the caveat: so long as the kindling is dry, you’re protected from the wind, you’ve a ready source of fuel handy, and/or you know how to create that spark in the first place.

As a certified professional facilitator and leadership coach, I have opportunities to meet and assist teams and leaders from many walks of life. Luckily, many still have had experience with starting a camp fire, lighting a wood stove, or burning a log in their fireplace. Sadly, too many rely on modern conveniences that today’s “glampers” enjoy or they just flip a switch and the natural gas flows into their family room or den.

I hope by know you’ve figured out that this blog article isn’t actually about your outdoorsy skills.

Yep, it’s a metaphor. So what does it take to re-light your personal or professional fire?

What fuels your passion for excellence?

What people do you enlist to bring you kindling or more fuel?

Who’s looking out for you organizationally speaking to “block the wind” or run interference from some unforeseen “storm.”

It may only take a spark, but it’s also a good time to take stock of your fuel supply and know how.

 ==========================
Remote associations include but are not limited to the following:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deB_u-to-IE ==> “Light My Fire” by The Doors
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J91ti_MpdHA ==> “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys

 

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The Wall Banger … Where’s Harvey?!

In Active Learning, Confidence Course Facilitator, leadership, Leave Your Comfort Zone on August 6, 2016 at 5:52 pm
And the OC says, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to 'The Wall Banger'." To which one participant replies, "Where's Harvey?"

And the OC says, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to ‘The Wall Banger’.” To which one participant replies, “Where’s Harvey?”

Recently I had the honor and privilege of serving as the “officer-in-charge” at the Thayer Leader Development Group’s “Leader Reaction Course.” While at West Point, two groups of corporate executives were put through their paces in team-building and executive decision-making.

So what makes experiential learning so effective? There are many reasons …

a) Leadership is best picked up in an experiential, hands-on setting. You can read about the HOW TOs and you can study how others may act in situations of high stress when faced by a challenge. But there’s nothing like being faced with a challenge — in the moment — with working with others and deciding what makes for the group’s next steps.

b) Reality trumps virtual reality 99 times out of 100. How do you gain experience? You make mistakes and learn from them. “Plan-Prepare-Execute-Learn” is the cycle that can only be appreciated when you’re doing and being versus just thinking about it.

c) When navigating through a challenge course, ropes course, or reaction course — you see the results of your thinking and decisions directly and in real time. Positive and negative results are revealed within minutes if not seconds of your decision. If you’re luck to have a trained “observer-controller” or OC / coach working with you during this experience, then they can help you see and understand the good, the bad, and the ugly consequences of your actions.

As for items d) … through z), these may be the topics for future posts here or on Linked In.

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John Lesko is a certified professional facilitator and leadership coach. He’s a graduate of the school of hard knocks and an adjunct faculty member of the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point. He also hangs with the staff at The EDGE at Mason. To learn more, comment here or send an e-mail to <John@JohnLesko.Biz>.

Random facts re: two Presidential retreats

In Appalachian Trail on August 17, 2015 at 6:36 pm
Camp Hoover was built at the headway of the Rapidan River.

Camp Hoover was built at the headway of the Rapidan River.

There are just a few buildings that remain standing at Rapidan Camp.

There are just a few buildings that remain standing at Rapidan Camp.

Before there was “Shangri-La,” there was Rapidan Camp.

Shangri-La  (a.k.a. Camp David) is not open to the public. The Catoctin Mountain Park service does not indicate the location of Camp David on park maps due to privacy and security concerns. Don’t be spoofed by A parody site of WhiteHouse.Gov

The Rapidan Camp, on the other hand, is open to all who may hike down Mill Prong Trail or the Rapidan Road in the Shenandoah National Park.

Shangri-La was constructed as a WPA project during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration in Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont, Maryland. Shangri-La employed dozens if not hundreds of construction workers, staff, and security paid for with federal funds. The number of staff currently assigned to Camp David is unknown.

A detail of Marines erected five tents on a concrete and wooden platform as the rest of Camp Hoover was being built.

A detail of Marines erected five tents on a concrete and wooden platform as the rest of Camp Hoover was being built.

Mr. Hare is a 73 year old park volunteer (left) with yours truly as we pose for a selfie on the back porch of the Brown House.

Mr. Hare is a 73 year old park volunteer (left) with yours truly as we pose for a selfie on the back porch of the Brown House.

Barbara is the wife of Mr. Hare. Both are volunteers who take care of the Brown House at Rapidan Camp.

Barbara is the wife of Mr. Hare. Both are volunteers who take care of the Brown House at Rapidan Camp.

Hikers can cross a foot bridge which spans a lovely trout stream. President Hoover and his wife seem a bit over dressed by today's standards.

Hikers can cross a foot bridge which spans a lovely trout stream. President Hoover and his wife seem a bit over dressed by today’s standards.

The Rapidan Camp was constructed on land purchased by Herbert Hoover. Materials used to build Camp Hoover came from his private funds. US Marines were given a ‘mission’ to build the camp. The first structures at the Rapidan Camp consisted of no more than Five Tents erected on a concrete and wooden floor. Today, volunteers care for the camp and give tours of the facilities.

And for those who’ve read this blog post to this point … Consider and please comment on the following questions:

  1.  How important is it for leaders to take a vacation and get away from their normal place or work or residence?
  2.  How often do you take a vacation or go on an ‘executive retreat’?
  3.  Where is your favorite get away?
  4.  Are you a beach person or do you like to escape to the mountains?
  5.  Do you seek out places where others vacation or do you enjoy solitude when vacationing?

Toastmasters Leadership Institute Elective: “The Natural Life Cycle of Clubs: Tips for Successful Club Mentors and Club Coaches

In Active Learning, Aha!, Coaching, leadership, Leave Your Comfort Zone, Mentoring, Toastmasters on July 26, 2015 at 9:20 pm
All clubs progress along a natural growth pattern where there are opportunities for both club mentors and club coaches to assist others in achieving their goals.

All clubs progress along a natural growth pattern where there are opportunities for both club mentors and club coaches to assist others in achieving their goals.

Key concepts from this TLI elective were captured here by graphic facilitator John Lesko.

Key concepts from this TLI elective were captured here by graphic facilitator John Lesko.

Copies of the instructor’s notes and handouts follow in PDF format.

218G New Club Mentoring Matters

218F First Class Club Coach

The Coach Is In … It’s Official. And Here’s the Certificate to Prove It.

In Active Learning, Active Listening, Cartooning, Coaching, leadership, sharpen the saw on July 31, 2014 at 6:35 pm
Inspired by the artistry of Charles M. Schulz and his running gag where Lucy van Pelt offers psychiatric help for a nickel, I promise to not take myself too seriously while serving my clients as a leadership coach.

Inspired by the artistry of Charles M. Schulz and his running gag where Lucy van Pelt offers psychiatric help for a nickel, I promise to not take myself too seriously while serving my clients as a leadership coach.

It's official and here's the certificate to prove it.

It’s official and here’s the certificate to prove it.

Now I’m not saying where I placed in GMU’s Cohort #7. But I’m reminded of a couple of jokes:

Joke/Question #1: “What do you call the last man or woman who graduates from medical school?”
Answer: “Doctor.”

Joke/Question #2: (The patient can be seen scratching his head as he reads the doctor’s many certificates hanging on the wall.) “So tell me doctor, why do they call this a practice?”

Leadership Development Series

In Active Learning, Cartooning, leadership, Tips re: Professional Development, Toastmasters on February 26, 2013 at 10:18 pm

The well-balanced, intelligent speaker is the natural leader in any group of which he is a part.
— Ralph Smedley, 1876 – 1965, Founder, Toastmasters International

Here are four images — four graphic agendas — from the Leadership Development Series of workshops hosted by District 27’s leadership team. The vision for this educational series came from Distinguished Toastmaster and District Governor, Dianne LaVanway. Dianne then assembled a team of volunteers who handled everything from advertising, to managing an on-line registration system, to supplying food & drink, to facilities clean up.

Dr. Ralph Smedley also said that “we learn best during moments of enjoyment.”  From the peek I had at the workshop evaluations it seems that a good time was had by all who attended these educational sessions.  A few folks even commented that these at-a-glance agendas helped meter the progress and contributed to the interactive, blended-learning approach used by all four instructional teams.

Workshop #1: EQ & Leadership

Workshop #1: Emotional Intelligence (EQ) & Leadership … Mini-lecture, avoid the lizard brain, understand and apply the EQ model.

Presenters: Cynthia Miller of Purposeful Solutions, LLC, and John Lesko of JohnLesko.Biz, LLC

Workshop #2: Team Building

Workshop #2: Leadership & Effective Teams … Groups participated in the US Coast Guard Life Boat Exercise and compared results.

Presenter: Viki Kinsman, International Director, Region 7

Workshop #3: Resolving Conflict Creatively

Workshop #3: Managing Conflict Creatively … Small group discussions and interactive learning based upon this 5 stage model.

Presenter: Dr. Jeff Lenn, George Washington University

Workshop #4: Servant Leadership Beyond the Club

Workshop #4: Servant-Leadership Beyond the Club … Growing as a servant-leader both in Toastmasters and Beyond.

Presenter: Joe Jarzombek, Past International Director, Past Regional Advisor for Regions 7 & 9

NOTE: It was a pleasure serving as an assistant and/or graphic recorder to all four workshop presenters. You supplied quite a few moments of enjoyment and enhanced the leadership skills development for our members and future volunteer leaders. Thanks.

Is EQ > IQ in the age of social media? (Part 1)

In Active Learning, Cartooning, Communication, leadership on January 11, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Okay … Work with me here … I’ve recently participated in 2 seemingly unrelated events but some how, some way in my mind they’re connected.  My understanding isn’t completely clear.  Think of this as a near complete jigsaw puzzle or mosaic.  Please read on …

Situation #1 … Annual trips to the doctors’ and dentist’s offices for regular check ups and normal “maintenance.”

Doctor: How’s it going?  How’s work?  How’s the diet & exercise coming along?

Me: Okay … I’m out there hustling and trying to grow my practice while also launching a new training company.  Oh yeah, I’ve been exercising pretty regularly but the holiday season is filled with treats.

Doctor: How are you marketing your practice?  I’ve been to a few networking events and it seems that these are events — are filled with folks rushing about, handing out business cards, and saying, “Hire me, hire me.”

Me: Yes there is a lot of self-promotion out there.  It tough to avoid this trap.  I think you’ve got to pay-it-forward and then hope for the best.

Repeat this situation / scenario at the dentist’s office but imagine me trying to reply to his questions with sharp objects scraping my teeth.

Situations #2 … A few days ago I was co-facilitating a workshop for a roomful of aspiring leaders who are also members of Toastmasters International.  The title of the workshop was “Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Leadership.”  The district governor graceously introduced my presentation partner, Cynthia Miller, and I.  We had prepped the room.  We had informally walked about the room asking folks to post a sticky dot on the wall to assess their familiarity with the topic.  We also collected audience expectations using post-it notes.  The workshop was a success and the district governor not only thanked us but presented a crystal clear trophy to the both of us as a thank you.  (See the images below for a visual overview of our agenda.)

Okay, so what’s the connection?  How are these two situations related?

My premise or hunch … Today we have oh-so-many avenues to use to market and/or advertise our services.  Traditional TV & radio are costly but there’s also public access and web-based production options.  Keeping up with social media can quickly overwhelm you if you’re a small business owner and/or a seeker of goods and services.  Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., etc., etc.  All these outlets for folks to post to and/or follow.

This may explain why oh-so-many discussion topics and/or on-line groups seem to be filled with one post after the other asking the audience to check out my blog, or go to my webpage, or visit me at ______, or “friend” me on _____, “connect” with me on _____.  You get the idea.

So what would the Emotionally Intelligent thing to do be?

Here’s where I’m going to pause and simply ask you for your thoughts.  I’ve got a hunch or two about this.  Instead, I’m sharing the images below.  Think of these images and this post as a multidimensional puzzle.  Think of this as a test of BOTH your IQ and your EQ.

 

The agenda was prepared in a continuous roll or cartoon strip format.

The agenda was prepared in a continuous roll or cartoon strip format.

Visual Agenda: Panel 1

Visual Agenda: Panel 1

Panel 2

Panel 2

Panel 3

Panel 3

Panel 4

Panel 4

Panel 5 (The End)

Panel 5 (The End)

7

Secrets to Humorous Speaking

In Active Listening, Cartooning, Cool Ideas, leadership, sharpen the saw, Tips re: Professional Development, Toastmasters on June 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm

“We learn best during moments of enjoyment.”
– Dr. Ralph Smedley (1878 – 1965)
Founder of Toastmasters International

Whether you’re a trainer, coach, facilitator, program manager, corporate executive, or just someone who’d like to be listened to just a little more often than perhaps you’re listened to currently; it may be time for you to visit and join a Toastmasters club.

And if you’re already a Toastmasters or can claim, “I’ve been there.  I’ve done that.  And I do have a polo shirt that’s embroidered with the Toastmasters logo,” then consider joining an advanced club soon.

What organizations do you belong to that add to your skills in communication and/or leadership?

Where might you receive feedback from mutually supportive friends who are genuinely interested in your personal and professional progress?

Would you like  to become more effective at home, at the office, in your community, or in your place of worship?

Do you think on your feet and respond as well as you’d like to impromptu questions from your clients, your boss, your neighbors, or even strangers with whom you’d like to meet or become better acquainted?

Some say that the fear of public speaking can be more frightening than death.  Which according to the comedian Jerry Seinfeld suggests that there are some at a funeral or wake who’d rather be in the casket rather than asked to give the eulogy.

So what are you waiting for?  Invest in your self development as a communicator and leader — regardless your calling or professional bent.  Click HERE to find a club near you.  I guarantee you’ll learn something and may even enjoy it.

LOL