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Mark Bowser is the President/CEO of Empowering Enterprises,
Inc., which is a corporate training and development company helping
businesses, organizations, and individuals reach peak performance.
Bowser is one of the best motivational business speakers and corporate
training experts on the circuit today. With his positive attitude and
contagious personality, he makes the road to success smooth and
exciting through seminars such as Succeeding
with Empowered Customer Service, The Keys to Empowered Leadership, The
Sales Champion Within, The 3 Pillars of Success, and Unlocking the Champion Within.
Pillar One: LEADERSHIP
Pillar Two: SALES
Pillar Three: CUSTOMER SERVICE
always comes down to these three pillars. That three keys to
success. However, knowing the keys and knowing how to use them to
unlock the doors isn't the same thing. That is what this book is
all about. It will show you how you can unlock the doors to your
success and implement them for a more productive business, family, and
Buy the book now at:
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Part one of a three-part excerpt covering Leadership, Sales and Customer Service.
The Keys to Empowered Leadership
THE GOAL: LEADERSHIP
What is Leadership?
can be defined as motivating one or more people to move in a certain
direction. That move can be in the form of taking some action
and/or acquiring a new belief. So, by this definition, leadership
can also be defined as Influence and it also can be defined as
Sales. Both are fundamental elements in your success.
You may have never thought of it that way. Be honest, how many of
you thought becoming better at Leadership, Influence, and Sales would
help prosper your life? Probably not very many of you.
However, I am going to give it my best to “influence” you on the
absolute truth of that fact.
LEADERSHIP: The Art of Influencing Movement Toward a Vision
leadership is the most vital element to any organization. With it
and you can reach the stars. Without it and the murkiest swamp
will become your home. As John Maxwell says, “Everything rises
and falls on leadership.” So, what is effective leadership
and how do we become that kind of leader? I believe one of the
best definitions comes from author J. Oswald Sanders’ when he described
leadership as “Influence.” Sound familiar? We all influence
people everyday. It may be as simple as influencing your
co-workers on where to go eat lunch or as vital as influencing your
teenager not to use drugs.
The first thing I think we need to
understand is that there is a difference between an “Influential
Leader” and a “Positional Leader.” The Positional Leader
has the title. I am the President. I am the
Director. I am the King of the nation. Well, that is
great. But that doesn’t in and of itself make you
influential. The Influential Leader may be the peasant of the
kingdom or the entry level employee. Influence is about inspiring
and moving people into action in order to reach a desired goal. I
hope you have the position, but I also hope you have the trust,
respect, and heart of your people. Whatever your position
is at this time, I want to help you develop into the Influential Person
that you were born to be.
Before we can go any further, I
believe it is important that we dig a little deeper into the
explanations and actions of leadership. Let me ask you a
question. Is there a difference between a leader and a manager?
There is, isn’t there. Ok. What does a leader do?
What is the first action that they take? Right. They create
a vision. They may not create a vision for the entire
organization but they definitely do for their part of it.
Alright, what does a manager do? Right. They make it
happen. They implement the vision. The leader creates where
we are going and the manager breaks the vision into manageable parts
and assigns the tasks to the right people and assures that it
happens. Ok, let me throw another concept out there? What
does a coach do? A coach motivates, inspires, teaches, provides
resources, disciplines when necessary, etc…
Which are we?
A Leader, a Manager, or a Coach? That is right. We
are all three. I don’t think we can separate it anymore. We
have to be all three. We are a Leader/Manager/Coach. Now,
that makes our task a little more daunting but will make us much more
effective and successful in the long run. For sake of ease, in
most cases I am going to use the terms Leader and Leadership but I am
talking about all three rolled into one.
Before we get
into the nuts and bolts of leadership, let’s pause for a moment and
talk about three fundamental facts of leadership.
these three facts will help us jump start our development in becoming
more influential individuals. These facts are:
THREE FACTS OF LEADERSHIP
1. One person can make a difference
2. Start leading today
3. The office doesn’t make the person
Fact Number One: One Person Can Make a Difference
is probably not a new saying to you, but what pictures came to your
mind when you read that statement? If you are like many people,
it was pictures of Billy Graham, Martin Luther King, Jr, Mother
Theresa, Gandhi, and many others. However, do you see someone
missing from that list? I do. That someone is YOU!
Theresa didn’t go out to become a saint, she went out to save one
dieing person. She was walking down the street and saw a person
dieing in a gutter. She said to herself, “That is not
right. Everyone should die with dignity.” And the
rest they say is history. Great leaders, great physicians, sales
champions, and consultants figure out how their influence can touch a
life and by doing that their influence may touch hundreds, thousands,
and maybe even millions of lives.
So, the question is where can
your leadership grow to make a bigger difference then you are
today? You are probably making a difference, but how can your
leadership grow? You make a difference and people need you!
Fact Number Two: Start Leading Today
times, young leaders for example will say, “I’m not ready to
lead. I will wait till I read that leadership book, or go to that
seminar, or learn that skill, etc….” Now, those are all
important things and I encourage them but the truth of the matter is
that your organization and your team can’t wait. You need to
start leading today…and learn as you lead. None of us will
ever know all there is to leadership. It is a continual growing
process. We can’t wait till we know all there is to leadership or
we will do absolutely nothing. We must become influential today
and grow throughout our leadership journey.
Fact Number Three: The Office doesn’t make the Person
is not about the corner office. Have you ever worked for someone
who thought it was? They were more concerned with their
promotion, their prestige, and there accolades. In the process,
they lost their team (and many times their customers) as a
Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I have
no problem with comfortable offices and a comfortable work
environment. In fact, I am actually for it. But we must not
put the cart before the horse. Today, my family’s
company, the Bright Corp. has a comfortable work environment and the
executives have nice offices. But it wasn’t always that
way. My dad and my uncle made sure the horse came before the cart
and now the company has the resources to support that type of
environment. They were more concerned with helping their team
succeed and serving their customers then they were about having a cushy
sofa and a picture window in their office. As a result of this
wise decision, they don’t have a revolving door for their team or worst
yet for their customers. Their team has tremendous loyalty.
They have team members that have worked for the Bright Corp. for over
twenty years. They have customers that also go that far
back. How rare is that? Very!!! Focus on
your team and focus on your customers and the rest will take care of
The Styles of Leadership
are three basic styles of leadership. All of us use these three
styles. Now, let me pause here for a minute and say that I am not
suggesting you change your style. What I am suggesting is that
you become flexible with the styles. Would you agree with me that
your style works some of the time and fails miserably some of the
time? Why is that? Because one style doesn’t fit every
situation. What I am suggesting is that you use a more flexible
situational leadership when it comes to the Leadership Styles.
Use the style that best fits the situation and the people involved.
Having said that, what are the three Leadership Styles? The styles are:
3. Free Rein
Let me explain what each style is and when to use it.
Autocratic Leader is more like a general. The commander of an
army. They are quick decision makers and they tell others what to
do. We saw this style a great deal in the corporate world in the
1950’s through the 1980’s. We still see it today but not quite as
much as those earlier decades. Why did we see it so much in the
past? Well, where did the CEOs and Presidents of organizations
get their training? Many of them came out of the
military. Is autocratic leadership a good style for the
military? Absolutely. Particularly in wartime. Why?
Because we are in crisis or emergency mode. Decisions had to be
made and made quickly or people would die. Autocratic leaders
took action and won wars.
After the war, these leaders came back
and took their place in the corporate world. They discovered that
their civilian counterparts didn’t take to orders like their military
counterparts. This caused them some challenges. The
leaders discovered that their style didn’t work in every
situation. They learned that they had to be flexible in their
leadership styles. There is still a place for autocratic
leadership in the corporate world because we have emergencies and other
situations that require quick decisions and quick actions. But
what we have to do in order to maximize our effectiveness is not get
stuck in one style. Use the style that best fits the situation.
second style of leadership is the Democratic style. This is the
leadership style of teamwork. It is run by democracy. We
put things to a vote to make decisions and the majority rules.
This is great for building team loyalty and participation but let me
ask you a question. Should every decision at your office be put
to a vote? Of course not. So, when is this a good
leadership style to use? When you need to get buy in (by having
open discussions where you can answer questions and sell your vision)
and when the decisions aren’t a major importance. Use this style
to create rapport and teamwork.
Free Rein: In
this style of leadership, we get out of the way and let our team do
their thing. It is a style where there is definitely no micro
management. That is good. The challenge is that your team
members have to be excellent, well trained, and go getters for it
to succeed. If you have a lot of entry level workers or workers
who are new to the job, this is not the best style to be in.
Those workers will need more of your input and guidance for at least
the short term.
Well, there we have it. Three styles of
leadership: autocratic, democratic, and free rein. They all
have their pluses and they all have their minuses. Use the style
that best fits the situation and the team members involved and you will
find yourself succeeding in all leadership situations.