Volume 4, Issue 11

November 2015

Blue Ridge Conference

Save the Date:

October 5 - 7, 2016

Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership

Black Mountain, NC

The Ball is in Your Hands!

It’s now been several weeks since the 2015 Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership. A few of you have taken the learning from the conference and applied it to your role as a leader but for many the conference is almost a distant memory and with the holidays coming, it is in danger of being forgotten.

I want to encourage all of you to take out your notes from the conference and reflect on what you learned and pick one thing to focus on that will make you a better leader. It doesn’t have to be complex – in most cases what we need to do to improve is a simple behavior – like becoming a fantastic listener who focuses on the other person.

Once you’ve picked your focus area take it to the next level and make real progress with the following steps

  1. Make it an aspirational goal. Don’t just say, “I want to be a better leader” make in visionary and aspirational. Using our listening example: “I see myself as an exceptional listener who refrains from formulating responses when others are talking in order to understand the message.”  Visualize yourself as a leader in this future state.
  2. Develop a plan to get there:
    1. Learn your skill. Become a student of the skill or behavior you want to change – read books and articles, watch podcasts, follow thought leaders in that area on social media.
    2. Develop a written plan on how you will approve – include dates and milestones.
    3. Practice, practice, practice the new skill or behavior – every day and every opportunity.
    4. Acknowledge setbacks. They will happen but keep your eye on the long-term vision you have set
    5. Get a coach or mentor – somebody who is really good at what you are trying to improve that will hold you accountable.
    6. Create feedback loops with others – establish “spotters” that can give you honest feedback regularly.
    7. Create a feedback loop for yourself. Create and spend time regularly to reflect on how you are doing. Rate yourself daily. Keep a journal.

If you can do these, you will see improvement over time and the new behavior will be a new positive habit.

Don’t let the 2015 conference be just a fond memory, make it something moves you to a higher level as a leader. The balls in your hands – are you going to run with it?

-John Bruce


The contributor for November's newsletter is John W. Bruce

Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership Board Member

President and Chief Operating Officer, Performex, LLC


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