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I’m on the second floor in my home office searching for my wireless headphones. I’ve looked everywhere and was positive I left them on my desk charging. I did this so that I wouldn’t forget them when it was time for my workout. I’m already 10 minutes late for the gym, and I hate being late. “Quiana!” I scream downstairs. “Have you seen my headphones?” “Ask your sons!” My wife yells back. My response is directed at my twin teenage sons, “Boys! Have you seen my headphones?” One of my sons responds, “What headphones?” This response, of course, is my first indication that he not only knows where the headphones are but likely has them. After a couple of questions back and forth, one of my sons produces the headphones from their bedroom. “Oh, I forgot, I had them on while cutting grass.” My son responds. After a stern reminder…

Journaling is one of those tools that I wish I had known about early in my leadership journey. As a young man, the idea of journaling conjured images of teenagers with diaries hidden under their beds. Later I began to associate the act of journaling as a practice used by mental health therapists. Though both are probably accurate, I recently started to understand the benefit of journaling for leaders, specifically those looking to increase their self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Table of Contents What is journalingThe benefit of journaling How to get started journalingJournaling FAQaTop leadership journalsMy top journaling tips for leadersFinal Thoughts What is Journaling? Though I don’t think about the teenager with the diary hidden under the bed anymore, the concept of journaling isn’t that different. The act of journaling allows a person to transfer their thoughts, feelings, and experiences onto paper. Journaling is a great way to keep…

I often discuss the importance of leaders utilizing all tools at their disposal to increase their effectiveness. In my recent blog, I discuss holistic health and the benefits of adding a holistic approach to the leader’s lifestyle. I want to provide another hidden gem for leaders, business owners, entrepreneurs, etc., leader mindfulness for this article. What is leader mindfulness? The term “mindfulness” refers to the practice of being completely aware and in the moment. A mindful person pays attention to what is happening around them both mentally and physically in a nonjudgmental way. Now apply this concept to your role as a leader; you will be more effective if you can focus your mind and slow down the million and one things going on around you to genuinely see and understand what is happening around you. When I envision mastering mindfulness, I envision Neo when he was finally able to…

Are you ready for our 2022 Leadership Book Challenge? If you follow Unlit Leadership, you know that I am all about leader self-development. A key to self-development is increasing your knowledge. What better way to enhance and expand our expertise than to commit to reading and learning more during 2022?  Why is reading so important to leader self-development? Great leaders know that they are seldom the most intelligent person in the room. If they are, then that leader lacks the experience to recognize the importance of surrounding themselves with brilliant individuals. We understand that we should always look for ways to better ourselves, whether through surrounding ourselves with those that challenge us, taking on tasks that place us out of our comfort zone, or taking time to improve on our own. Reading is one of the secret weapons of the leader striving to self-develop. Reading makes it easier for your…

An emotional intelligent leader is critical to the success of any organization. Therefore, an emotional intelligent leader must continue to sharpen their emotional intelligence or EQ through lifelong learning and application. Emotional intelligence plays a huge part in our personal emotional growth but is also vital in leading teams effectively. There are various ways to increase your emotional intelligence. I list some of those methods in my blog article, “4 Tips to Increase your Emotional Intelligence Skills”. However, for most of us, the easiest way is to learn from books. As an emotional intelligent leader, you should think out of the box, especially when it comes to your intelligence applied to many situations such as home life, relationships, parenting, work-life balance, and so much more. Therefore, I’ve listed 8 “Must Reads” for the emotional intelligent leader. 8 Books for the emotional intelligent leader As an experienced leader, there is a…

Great leaders are usually moved up the promotion ladder rather quickly. With these promotions come the expectation that the now experienced leader is responsible for choosing their replacement. There’s only one you, and unfortunately, we can’t make copies of ourselves. Therefore we have to work with the options available and make the right choice for the organization. Here are a few tips to ensure you choose the next great leaders for the team. I’m a Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army. In most military services, warrant officers are highly respected due to their ability to strike a balance between technical expertise and leadership. As you can imagine, they make up a tiny population of our military. In the active-duty U.S. Army, we make up less than 3% of the entire service. As a result, we have an unspoken responsibility to mentor, recruit actively, and eventually choose our replacements and progress…

For those leaders who have teenage kids or big kids themselves, you probably remember the 2005 cartoon series, “The Avatar: The Last Airbender.” The cartoon’s main character was a young boy named Aang, who was destined to be the Avatar. The Avatar was to maintain harmony among the four nations and act as a mediator between humans and spirits. However, to succeed in this mission, he had first to master the ability to bend the elements from each of the four nations; fire, water, air, and earth. Like the Avatar, leaders must learn to master multiple leadership styles to effectively lead a diverse team of individuals. Diverse groups are not limited to race, gender, age, etc., but also personality types, education level, beliefs, and values. Therefore, successful leaders require a mastery of different leadership styles to maximize the workforce’s skills and potential toward accomplishing organizational goals. “Diversity: the art of…

Leadership transparency – should leaders ever avoid it? We as leaders understand that open and honest communication leads to better relationships within the workplace. This type of communication, of course, leads to a more efficient and productive workplace. However, there are times when openness and transparency can be a detriment to the working environment. Introduction As experienced leaders, we understand that communication is one of the essential traits a leader should possess. In his article, 10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders, Mr. Mike Myatt states that it is simply impossible to become a great leader without being a great communicator. I wholeheartedly agree with the statement. Leadership transparency and the ability to communicate across the organization, both up and down, are essential to a great leader’s success. There are several traits or skills that leaders need to communicate with subordinates properly. Among the most important of these traits is being…

Personal consistency vs. leadership consistency Many leaders would consider consistency to be a baseline requirement for a successful leader. Most leaders have earned their leadership status from developing, maintaining, and adjusting successful habits over time. However, this consistency level is usually personal consistency, i.e., leaders become more self-aware over time. As a result, leaders learn to avoid and overcome challenges that threaten their consistency. In a recent article, I mentioned that I pack an extra gym bag to reduce the number of excuses for missing the gym. This preparation is just one example of how I’ve learned how to overcome some roadblocks in my personal life to remain consistent. Leadership consistency can be a bit more challenging, especially when dealing with a diverse workforce. Even experienced leaders who are consistent in their personal life may struggle to manage and lead an organization or team. So how can the experienced leader learn…

What is Emotional Intelligence? The concept of emotional intelligence has been around since the 1970s. However, the American Psychologist Daniel Goleman brought the idea to life for the everyday leader in the 1990s. As a result, today’s experienced leaders are conscious of the importance of understanding, recognizing, and managing their emotions. However, awareness does not always translate into action when controlling and managing a leader’s emotions. Hence why emotional intelligence (EQ) and self-awareness are kindred spirits. In a recent article, I ascertain that self-awareness is a critical attribute for a successful leader. This idea extends to the concept of emotional intelligence. Mastering emotional intelligence skills I’ve never had a problem controlling my emotions regarding reacting to stress or losing my temper. In essence, I have always been able to self-regulate. The majority of my previous leaders, including my current leader, have commented on my ability to remain level-headed in stressful…

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