How the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy improved my leadership!


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Books, Leadership, quotes | Posted on 13-11-2013

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I recently recalled this quote from chapter 30 of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when talking about a situation at work:

“I’d far rather be happy than right any day.” ~Slartibartfast

See, I had openly criticized two fellow leaders about their performance. They had not done something and I had…and what better way to point that out, then to make a snide remark in a public setting?

I felt terrible because that’s exactly what I did…and while I may have been “right” (i.e. as fellow leaders they weren’t leading by example), I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy because in that moment I chose myself and my need to be right over the relationship with my peers and the team environment. Let me explain.

Choosing Relationships

“Your happiness can be measured by the quality of your relationships, not your prosperity or your progress. ~Andy Stanley

If life was just about tasks (in this case being right), we would be robots. We wouldn’t have been created or developed in to beings with feelings. We were made for relationships and community. Heck, even in the book Born to Run we learn from evolutionists and anthropologists that one of the primary reasons humans survived and rose to the top of the food chain is through teamwork. The only advantage a hairless biped without fangs had was superior intellect and working as a team. And so, for many reasons, I would rather be a person who chooses relationships over being right.

Healthy Team

The foundation for any relationship or team is trust(1). Without trust we are just a group of individuals. With trust, we are a team. By publicly criticizing my peers, I was not creating a healthy team environment. Why would anyone else on the team trust me with their mistakes, fears or failures? Why would anyone choose to be vulnerable, if I would use it as an opportunity to hurt them? And so I not only hurt two relationships with individuals, I fractured the team relationships with everyone else in that room.

So what do you do when the cat is out of the bag? I’ve decided to apologize to the two individuals to whom I directed my snide remark (they graciously forgave me) and am debating emailing the rest of the team to repair the environment I fractured. That’s just me. What do you think?

(1) I can’t take credit for this nugget of wisdom. I learned it from Patrick Lencioni in his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

Trust as Currency


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Leadership, quotes | Posted on 03-11-2013

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“Teams use trust as currency. If it is in short supply, then the team is poor. If trust abounds, the members of the team have purchase power with each other to access each others’ gifts, talents, energy, creativity, and love. The development of trust then becomes a significant leadership strategy. Trust creates the load limits on the relationship bridges among team members”
~Reggie McNeal

Downside of Visionary Leadership


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Books, Leadership, quotes | Posted on 07-09-2013

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One of the downsides of visionary leadership is that we can get our sights set on something that is so far out in the future that we miss what’s going on in our life as it exists right now. We are blind to the bush that is burning in our own backyard and the wisdom that is contained within it. We squander the gift of this day just as it is, these people just as they are, the uniqueness and sweetness (even the bittersweetness) of this particular place on the journey just as it is, the voice of God calling to us in our own wilderness places.

~Ruth Haley Barton, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership

The man in the arena


Posted by Wendy | Posted in quotes | Posted on 15-08-2013

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I usually use Twitter to post quotes to my blog…but this I couldn’t cheapen by getting it down to 140 characters. I love it too much.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

~Theodore Roosevelt

Own your mistakes!


Posted by Wendy | Posted in quotes | Posted on 02-12-2012

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“When people make a mistake…own it! And then you work on not doing it again. I’m not perfect. I make a mistake every day of my life but I own it every single time. It irritates the crap out of me (when people don’t own it)!”
~David Tutera, My Fair Wedding

Heart – Connect – Trust – Follow


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Books, quotes | Posted on 23-10-2012

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“Good leadership begins with authenticity. When you are yourself, people can connect with your heart. When they connect with you, they are able to trust you. And when they trust you, they will follow you. Let me say this in reverse so you get the full impact. People will not follow leaders they do not trust. People don’t trust leaders they can’t connect with, and people can’t connect with leaders if they can’t find their heart.”

~Dan Reiland, pgs. 15-16 in Amplified Leadership

Nehemiah was a leader


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Bible, Leadership | Posted on 26-07-2012

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“Nehemiah was able to accomplish a huge task against incredible odds because he learned that there is no success without risk of failure, no reward without hard work, no opportunity without criticism, and no true leadership without trust in God.”

~NASB study note from the book of Nehemiah

The Goal of Leadership


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Leadership, quotes | Posted on 03-01-2012

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Yesterday I posted a part of this quote. Upon reflection, I realized that it was better in its entirity.

“The goal of leadership is not to get things done. The goal of leadership is to get things done through other people and the ultimate goal of leadership is to get things done through other leaders, who get things done through other people”

-Andy Stanley, The Power of Apprenticing podcast