Hello Leadership Challenge Fans,
I am just back from a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona where I took time to play some golf and recharge my battery. During those three rounds of golf, I was reminded of three lessons about leadership that might fit your life as a leader. Please realize that our crew plays “old man golf” which is a unique version of the classic game – refined to bring more joy and less frustration to everyone.
1. Mulligan – an extra stroke allowed after a poor shot, not counted on the scorecard. This is now a required element for me for having fun on the golf course. Taking a mulligan just means that you did not get it right the first time and you deserve a second chance. Leaders, at all levels, will do better when they give their followers a bit of grace and allow them the opportunity to get it right a second time.
2. Scramble Format – my buddies and I find golf to be most enjoyable when we play together in a scramble format. This means that our team of three players each hits a drive, then we select the best one of those drives and play from there. This format is fun because it is collaborative and because it minimizes your mistakes. Consider the power of collaboration in the workplace. Small teams of 2-4 people have more energy, and more creativity and often get better results than people working alone. Look for ways to bring synergy to your team – and a bit of fun.
3. Keep it light – The inventors of the game of golf created 18 holes of golf because there literally are 18 shots of whisky in each bottle. So, it follows that if you take a shot of whiskey on each hole, you would be in a good mood when you finish your round. I am not suggesting that you have a bottle of whiskey under your desk at work, what I am suggesting is that you keep things light. Celebrate the great shots, the near misses, and the balls that skip across the water onto the fairway on the other side. Add in something fun to your team meetings – a virtual puzzle, a riddle, an “Olympic” sport as seen on Instagram (#officeolympics). Look for ways to keep things light to make work more enjoyable.
Hoping that these insights make you curious about how you can tap into your inner golfer to bring your workplace to life in the coming weeks and months.
Hit ’em long and straight between now and then!
PS – Yes, I am smiling in this photo because I nearly knocked this pitch shot from 118 yards into the cup. One of only a very few impressive shots I hit during the trip – but the fellowship was great!
The Lighter Side of AI
The promise is impressive, post a query and within seconds you have a 500-word newsletter article or blog post using artificial intelligence. But, will it be well written, clean, and maybe even humorous? I thought I would start my experiment with a simple request, 10 humorous quotes from The Leadership Challenge 7th Edition®.
No luck. CHATBOT AI reminded me that The Leadership Challenge (TLC) was a serious work of research on Leadership. Humor, apparently, was not part of the “secret sauce” that makes TLC7 so successful.
A request for five humorous quotes gave me the results I needed. Within seconds I had my quotes with associated page numbers. One or two more queries and I would have the rest of the day to kayak on the lake.
Only two of the quotes were humorous. Apparently, the code needs a little work on the human aspect of “funny.” More importantly, when I researched the first quote it was nonexistent. Not on page 70, nowhere in the 7th Edition. Not in the 6th Edition, and not even in the 5th Edition. When I used the artificial intelligence of Google, it attributed the quote to Adrian Rodgers. “We’ve seen some leaders who could light up a room just by leaving it.” It’s a good quote, just not from TLC 7. In fact, none of the 5 quotes produced were from The Leadership Challenge, 7th Edition despite having associated page numbers listed.
Looking for innovative ways to get our work done is the hallmark of a good leader. There’s nothing wrong with being an early adopter of new technology or being creative in how we use it to accomplish our purpose in life. However, my motto going forward…trust but verify.
So back to the old way of writing: write a draft, edit, and edit some more. An hour on the lake this evening will have to do. Chatbot AI will be a game changer in the future. But it is not something I’m fully ready to trust today.
Michael Curtis is the Senior Director for Advanced Facilitator’s Training at iLead Consulting and Training. When not at his computer, he can be found on the lake with his wife Patty, volunteering as a Marriage Coach at his local church, or flying drones in the hills of Lindale Texas.
Quick Tip: Eight Ways to Inspire New Ideas
Have you ever been stuck doing the same old same old things? Have you or your team ever been stuck in a rut? If inspiration and innovation are at a low point, it is time to shake things up. Creativity and innovation are born from new ways of thinking. New ways of thinking are often given birth during new and dynamic experiences.
During this year’s Advanced Facilitator Training, our participants were given the opportunity to learn some “new things” from an expert. Lynn Floyd is a Certified Master of The Leadership Challenge and the Executive Director of Fostering Hope in Austin, Texas. Fostering Hope is a nonprofit organization committed to building stronger foster and adoptive families. Led by Lynn, they are continually looking for new ideas to meet the needs of those they serve.
During his presentation, Lynn provided three ways to generate new ideas. We were so inspired by Lynn’s wisdom and insight, we expanded his list and this month’s quick tips is a list of 8 fun activities focusing on sparking new ideas.
Take Action Yourself
- Take a class on something you know little about.
- Remember great leaders are great learners!
- Try a new sport or activity.
- Stretch your body and challenge your brain to try something new!
- Have a conversation with someone from a completely different background from yours.
- Great way to practice behavior #9 and challenge yourself to learn something new.
- Commit to listening to a podcast for 30 days from a group or organization that you know thinks differently than you do.
- Afterward, ask yourself how your stand on topics differs from theirs and why?
- Seek out the opportunity for reverse mentoring.
- Find a mentor that is at least 10 years younger than you and ask them to mentor you. They provide mentorship; you provide lunch!
Things to Do With Your Team
- Create a shared “Favorite Book” list.
- Challenge your team to read a new book each month for 6 months. Plan some discussion time.
- Organize a day of service at a local non-profit organization.
- Debrief afterward by asking about what team members learned from the activity.
- Leave the building…really!
- Take yourself or your staff outdoors and have your next meeting in another space. Different environments often cultivate other thoughts.
The great thing about inspirational activities is that they also happen to be a lot of fun and are great ways to stretch ourselves and make teams feel more connected. We hope these “out of the box” activities inspired you to try some yourself or with your team to create new ideas.
If you have some activities that spark creativity and innovation, we would love to hear them!
Tawnya Mitchell is the Senior Director of Training at iLead Consulting and Training. When Tawnya is not coaching a client, facilitating a workshop, or playing catchup on related tasks, she can be found planning to travel or actually traveling to new places with her husband Clint and their furry travel companion, Ollie. She can be reached at Tawnyamitchell@ileadusa.com