#037: 8 Leadership Lessons from Martin Luther King, Jr. [Podcast]

On the third Monday of each January in the U.S., we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. As you know, he was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

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Dr. King was an eloquent preacher and gave a famous speech, “I Have a Dream,” that defined the aspirations of that movement, not only for his generation but for generations to come.

I think it is particularly appropriate, in view of the upcoming holiday, to devote a podcast episode to the this speech. I urge you to take time to watch this speech and experience what Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is all about.

While the speech is a masterpiece of rhetoric—one of the top ten best speeches ever given, in my opinion—I believe it also provides eight key insights into what it takes to be a truly great leader.

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Courage Is Not the Absence of Fear

I don’t like conflict. In fact, sometimes I think I am conflictaphobic. (I just made that word up.) I will do almost anything to avoid it.

Why Courage Is Not the Absence of Fear

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As a result, especially early in my career, I would keep my real opinions to myself. I didn’t want to get in trouble. I thought that if I just complied with the system and kept my mouth shut, I would get ahead.

6 Ways to Transform Conflict

Lawrence W. Wilson is a thinker, author, and senior pastor from Fishers, Indiana. He writes about the challenge of Christian leadership in a postmodern world. You can connect with him through his blog, Suburban Pastor, or on Twitter.

Conflict is an almost daily event in organizational life. Wherever two or three are gathered, one is likely to disagree!

6 Ways to Transform Conflict

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Most people choose one of two classic ways of handling conflict: management or resolution:

#035: The Importance of the Leader’s Heart [Podcast]

We live in a very externally-focused culture. However, there is an internal issue which is largely ignored: the condition of your heart.

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The corporate world is increasingly aware of the fact that you can’t improve productivity without increasing engagement. In other words, people have to show up at work with more than their education, experience, and skills. They have to come with their heart.

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Why Courage Requires Fear

This is a guest post by Jared Latigo. He is a designer, father, husband, writer, and aspiring speaker. You can read his blog or follow him on Twitter.

I’ve recently come in contact with a lot of information regarding courage. It’s a particularly interesting subject to me in many aspects of life.

Why Courage Requires Fear - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/thinair28, Image #15843759

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/thinair28

Being a father, husband, entrepreneur—and generally living in a crazy world—the opportunity to exercise courage seems to present itself on a daily basis. If we’re to be leaders on top of all that, we better understand how this thing works.

Michael Hyatt has said,

4 Ways to Keep Inspiration Alive

We’ve all experienced it: the large bureaucracy where the employees seem to be just punching the clock.

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Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/ZoneCreative

A while back I had to get my drivers license renewed. This meant a trip to the Department of Safety’s Driver Service Center. While the process was quicker and more efficient than I expected, the people working the counter seemed lifeless.

#031: My Advice to Beginning Bloggers [Podcast]

As a result of my book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, and my speaking, I get a lot of e-mail about blogging. People want to know what I advise about getting started. In this episode of the podcast, I answer this question.

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Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Petegar

In my book, I share a social media framework. It consists of three parts:

  1. Home base. This is a place in cyberspace that you own and control. For most people, this will be a blog. It could also be a podcast or a video podcast. It is a place where you have 100 percent control of the design and the content—in other words, the branding and the message.
  2. Embassies. These are places in cyberspace you don’t own and control, but where you have a presence. Examples would include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc. Don’t confuse these with a home base. You don’t want to use these as the primary means of delivering your content to the marketplace.
  3. Outposts. These are places in cyberspace you monitor using a tool like Google Alerts.

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8 Leadership Lessons from a Symphony Conductor

A while back, Gail and I went to the Nashville Symphony with our daughter, Mary, and her husband, Chris. Mary had bought tickets for Gail’s birthday. It was a magnificent evening.

The Hands of a Symphony Conductor - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/StudioThreeDots, Image #18995017

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/StudioThreeDots

The orchestra was conducted by the renowned Hugh Wolff. He and the orchestra performed Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4 in G major for Piano and Orchestra. Horacio Guitiérrez played the piano. After the intermission, the orchestra performed Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, Op. 45.

I Am Not a Leader (or So I Thought)

This is a guest post by Tammy Helfrich. She is a wife, mom, and writer. She currently works for a Fortune 500 company and helps customers implement new processes. You can read her blog or follow her on Twitter.

“I don’t have a leader title.”

“I don’t have anyone who reports to me.”

“I don’t have experience leading people.”

Light Bulb Illustrating Leadership - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/shulz, Image #7320959

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/shulz

I used to say these things, as an excuse. I used to say I am not a leader. I used to believe I was not a leader.

#030: 9 Rules for Leading More Productive Meetings [Podcast]

I have attended hundreds of meetings—maybe a few thousand—and led a few hundred, too. Often, meetings seem like a waste of time.

Group of People in a Serious Meeting from Above - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/francisblack, Image #7198789

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/francisblack

There have been some notable exceptions, and in this episode I talk about what made these meetings different.

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#029: 7 Rules for More Effective Slide Presentations [Podcast]

Whether you are a professional speaker or someone who only makes the occasional presentation, you could be more effective with better slides. In this podcast, I share my seven rules for better presentations.

Presentation With LCD Projector - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Arand, Image #7610474

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Arand

I have sat through hundreds of slide presentations, maybe thousands. Some of them were stunning; most of them mind-numbing. I will also share with you from my experience as a professional speaker, who doesn’t have it all figured out but who is committed to never-ending improvement.

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