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Colin Powell speaks in SpringfieldPosted Wednesday, October 28, 2009, at 8:34 AM
Colin Powell speaks at the "Get Motivated" conference at Hammond Hall in Springfield, Mo. on October 14, 2009. Powell was one of four speakers.
Presenting my sister Kathy:
Hi, there. Good to be with you. The "Get Motivated" conference was co-Founded by Peter and Tamara Lowe 25 years ago. Over 3 million people have attended their seminars. He was born in Lahore, Pakistan and grew up in India, the son of missionary parents. When he was a teenager, his parents left the mission field in India and moved to Canada. She is an American. They married and moved to the US in 1987.
Colin Powell's ideas:
-Promote Hopefulness: If you have a positive attitude, your team will achieve much more. If you're negative, your team will quickly become demoralized. Have a gung-ho attitude that says "we can change things here and make our business place (and the world) a better place. Communicate your vision to your team. Share exciting news. Always look for the bright side of a situation.
-Encourage Growth: effective leaders inspire and encourage their team members to learn new skills and grab new responsibilities. This avoids stagnation. Keep your team growing and thriving by encouraging cross-training, reading, seminars, education, brainstorming, and much more. The stronger and smarter your team is, the smarter and stronger you are as a leader.
- Leader vs. Manager: titles don't mean much in terms of real power, which is the capacity to influence and inspire. Just because you have the title doesn't mean you will obtain the respect of those around you. True leaders gather a following through vision, determination, wisdom, expertise, compassion and integrity. If you find that people don't respect you, take a close look at each of those attributes to see what you could be lacking.
- Ask questions: In the business world, if you don't ask for directions, you'll sink -- and bring the company down with you. If you see a possible problem, ask questions until you find the solution. If you don't know how to do something, ask someone on your team. Great leaders know that asking the right questions unearths problems and yields tremendous understanding. Encourage and reward others for finding errors and loopholes (and for preventing them).
- Never be afraid to make people mad: Sometimes you have to make tough decisions that not everyone will like. Prepare yourself for these moments by thinking through why you made the decision. Then, pinpoint precisely why your decision is best for your team. Realize that part of your job is to "sell" your decision. That's part of diplomacy. However, in the end, if others don't agree, don't be afraid to hold your ground. Exceptional leaders possess passion and tenacity.
My thanks to my sister for sharing these ideas with our readers. I'm sure that she has some other things she may want to add from her office in Springfield. Feel free, Kathy! I'm off today, but I'll check back in periodically.
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.