74I was given the book Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell. It was a small and unassuming book which is why I never expected it to impact my leadership and perspective in such a profound way. I finished it in just a few days. If you have not picked up this book, what are you waiting for? From start to finish, the leadership tips provided were all applicable tips that I could immediately begin applying to my personal leadership. There were so many valuable tips and techniques shared throughout the book, I wouldn’t do it just in a synopsis. I’ve challenged myself to provide you with two ideas that were impactful. These simple ideas are game-changers for any leader.

  1. Keep the Main Thing, The Main Thing – If you follow me on Twitter, you knew this tip would be in the top two. I’ve been talking and tweeting about it all week. What is your purpose or priority? This answer is so important but often as leaders, we take for granted that our people know our purpose and what we’re about. I began thinking about this and couldn’t get it off my mind. If I asked 2, 5, 10, or 20 different people about our main thing, what would they say? The larger and more important questions that stayed with me were, “If we don’t have a common answer to this question, then what are we all working towards and how does that mix-match of ideas impact our work and quality of work with students?” I couldn’t let it rest. In our next meeting, I made it a point to discuss our main thing. Communication is key; so, let’s not wait for other people’s ’ perception to match our expectations– to do so is a recipe for disappointment.
  1. Everyone has a Bucket and a Dipper – This idea may sound familiar, but it hit home with me. Everyone has a bucket of motivation. As the leader, we need to take the lead in filling people’s bucket. One way we do this is by identifying our main thing. This helps us guard against potential leaky bucket issues because we begin to eliminate confusion and frustration by being clear about our goals and direction. We also fill people’s bucket by giving timely and authentic feedback, by recognizing people who are doing a good job and by showing that we care. (There are several ideas for how to fill people’s buckets listed in this section of the book.)  The other side of this understanding is that people also have dippers. The dipper signifies negativity, stress, doubt, fear, and anxiety. When we allow other people to engage us and others in those types of conversations we allow them to subtract from our bucket or someone else’s. We have to challenge ourselves and others to stay positive and to encourage one another. This helps us to hold each other accountable for bucket-filling and discourages negative conversations that move us away from our main thing.

There are so many amazing take-aways. Here are a few, but I hope this inspires you to pick up your own copy.

”People quit people before they quit companies.”

“Never lower your standards just to fill a position. You will pay for it later.”

“A forceful enemy to your potential is your comfort zone.”