True Leaders Admit Mistakes

True Leaders Admit Mistakes

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               Mistakes are inevitable and are proof that you are working and trying. Show me a person who has not made mistakes and failed and I will show you a person who has not tried anything new! Mistakes are useful for growth if we learn from them and heed the lessons they teach us. However, before you can decipher the message from the mess you must first admit the mistake.

               Admitting mistakes is tough because it makes you vulnerable. Admitting mistakes also strengthens your leadership skills because it actually makes you more trustworthy and relatable.

                A couple of years ago I actually showed up for a business meeting an entire day late because I made the mistake of putting it on my calendar incorrectly! Talk about EMBARRASSING!!! Instead of making up some kind of lame excuse as to why I missed the meeting and showed up late, I admitted my mistake to the person I was meeting with. That colleague actually agreed to meet with me the day I was “late”, we had a good laugh about it and even had the meeting over a nice business lunch! This taught me an important lesson – be honest about mistakes you make. The outcome from admitting them may actually be better than the initial intended result!

What is a recent mistake you could have handled differently?? How do you plan to rectify the situation?

— Dr. April

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

               This post is part of a series on Leadership presented by Dr. Carmen April. She is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is currently a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements Entrepreneurship for college students and young professionals.

You don’t have to hold a position to be a leader

You don’t have to hold a position to be a leader

life coach, nashville life coach

          You don’t have to hold a position to be a leader. Many times, the work you do when you don’t have a leadership title or position is as genuine as it gets! When you are going above and beyond the call of duty in your work and it’s not because you “have” to, your due diligence probably won’t go unnoticed for long.

          I sit on the Board of Directors for a couple of non-profit organizations in Nashville and was approached for each of these positions because others admired the work I was doing in my career and community. Without a specific leadership title such as “Board of Director’s Member”, I was doing the work that those currently on these boards sought out. I was showing my leadership abilities without the official title and so can you. Find a career-related or community organization you have a passion for and work with them/volunteer because you have a genuine interest. Volunteer to participate on committees and for special events. Not only will you learn more about activities that interest you, you will probably start to discover your own “leadership style”!

— Dr. April

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

          This post is part of a series on Leadership presented by Dr. Carmen April. She is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is currently a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Entrepreneurship for college students and young professionals.

True Leaders Empower Others

True Leaders Empower Others

life coach, nashville coach

          I recently read a story on Inc. about Pal’s Sudden Service, a hotdog and burger drive-thru chain based in Kingsport, TN. There are 26 restaurants led by CEO Thomas Crosby. Every day, Mr. Crosby and every other company executive spends 10% of their time training employees on developing a new skill or aptitude. Pal’s Sudden Service was recognized with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, placing it in the ranks of Ritz-Carlton, Cadillac, and Federal Express.

          During every shift, a computer produces a list of 3-4 employees who need to be re-certified on a specific skill. Employees who have scored 100% on 4 skills tests can keep their certifications and are eligible to become coaches within the restaurants helping their colleagues stay on standard. Crosby says, “We are looking to get people to this mastery level.” They value empowering others to master the essential skills critical for daily operation.

          This is a great example of true leaders empowering others! No only are the store managers participating in critical employee training, but the CEO of all 26 restaurants is as well! Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.

– Dr. April

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

This post is part of a series on Leadership presented by Dr. Carmen April. She is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is currently a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Entrepreneurship for college students and young professionals.

Why I Hate Meetings After The Meeting

Why I Hate Meetings After The Meeting!

life coach, nashville life coach

            I’m going to be very transparent here and talk about my disappointment in how I handled a particular situation not too long ago. I HATE “meetings AFTER the meeting.” We are all familiar with these. A group, usually of disgruntled members, veer off on their own to talk about everything they hated about the meeting AFTER it happened. Instead of speaking up when they should have, showing more professionalism, or asking the right questions, they wait to talk about it when nothing they discuss can truly make a difference. I hate these type of “meetings” because nothing ever gets accomplished and it becomes a complaint-fest complete with insults, accusations and gossip.

                Not too long ago, I found myself in one of these. I should have stuck to my guns and never have taken the bait in the first place. However, I did and I’m disappointed in myself and the lack of leadership it showed. I’m honestly ashamed to admit how much time I actually spent involved in this “meeting after the meeting”. Just know that it was over an hour. That’s an hour+ that could have been spent doing something more productive. Once this “meeting” was over, I thought, “Why did I just waste my time with that?” “Was anything productive accomplished?”

               At any given moment, I could have suggested we end the conversation all together or at the very least, I could have removed myself from it. I did not present an attitude of Leadership. An attitude and act of positive LEADERSHIP would have been to say, “Hey everyone, I don’t do “meetings after the meeting” because nothing really gets accomplished. How about you bring up your concerns the next time we meet and let’s work it out from there?”

                  I could have better influenced the attitude of the conversation by being brave enough to suggest alternatives and walk away. Lesson learned – Attitude reflects Leadership!

What does your Leadership attitude say about you??

— Dr. April

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

This post is part of a series on Leadership presented by Dr. Carmen April. She is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is currently a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Entrepreneurship for college students and young professionals.

What a Morning Walk in the Park Taught Me About Leadership in Action

What a Morning Walk in the Park Taught Me About

Leadership in Action

life coach, nashville life coach

           I recently ventured out to the park a little earlier than usual to jog. By the time I typically make it out to the park, there are already plenty of other walkers and joggers out there. This day, as the first jogger on site that morning, I got to decide which direction I wanted to start walking – clockwise or counter-clockwise around the trail.

               Most of the time I fall in line with the direction everyone else is going because I am essentially following the direction that was set by the first couple of walkers that day. This made me think about how LEADERSHIP requires us to show up ahead of the game and set the tone for our teams on a daily basis! Everyone who came to the park that day followed the direction I set earlier that morning. Leaders take action that sets the tone for how the team will function and the results they produce.

What direction will your LEADERSHIP  in action take you??

— Dr. April

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

This post is part of a series on Leadership presented by Dr. Carmen April. She is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is currently a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Entrepreneurship for college students and young professionals.

True Leaders Create More Leaders

True Leaders Create More Leaders

               If you are successfully leading by direction and example, you should be creating an environment for others to lead as well. You should lead your team so well that they can stand in and cover for you in your absence!

life coach, nashville life coach

— Dr. April

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

This post is part of a series on Leadership presented by Dr. Carmen April. She is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is currently a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Entrepreneurship for college students and young professionals.

Leadership Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Leadership Actions Speak Louder Than Words

life coach, nashville life coach

          ” Being a leader is like being a lady. If you have to go around telling people you are one, you probably aren’t”

   I love this statement! Not only is it funny, (I love some great humor every now and then) but it is true! I was recently talking with a colleague about a leadership role he had been assigned to. He didn’t ask for the role or even volunteer for it. His team recognized that he was already doing a great job of taking initiative and leading the group in the right direction and appointed him the leader! (P.S. – I am on this team and was the one who nominated him for this role!)

                When you work diligently in your career, at work, in community organizations and ‘act’ as a leader should, you are essentially being a leader whether you have a title or not. LEADERSHIP is a verb, not a noun!! Again, LEADERSHIP is a verb, not a noun. It requires action! If your actions don’t signal LEADERSHIP, you may want to consider your effectiveness. Like my wise mother has always told me, “Actions Speak Louder than Words”. Quality LEADERSHIP speaks for itself!

Question of the day – Are you backing up your LEADERSHIP title with action??

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

This post is part of a series on Leadership presented by Dr. Carmen April. She is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is currently a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Entrepreneurship for college students and young professionals.

The Power of Ideas

The Power of Ideas

ideas

               We all have ideas. Everyone can dream. However, the sign of an effective leader is being able to take those ideas and put them into action! Try. Experiment. Yes, you will fail every now and then and that’s fine. Failure is an opportunity to begin again with more insight and direction!

             In 1985, when Steve Jobs was just 30 years old, he was fired from the company he co-founded – Apple! He had revolutionized personal computing and had built the company into a billion dollar empire! Jobs didn’t let that set-back stop him. He came back from that defeat with ideas that have completely changed the way we use computers, smart phones, music devices and TV! The process of Steve Jobs taking a tiny idea and putting it into action has changed the way the world operates!

What ideas do you have today that should be acted upon to produce change?

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

This post is part of a series on Leadership presented by Dr. Carmen April. She is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is currently a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Entrepreneurship for college students and young professionals.

More Than Average Leadership

More Than Average Leadership

ideas

                 When I think of Oprah Winfrey I think of Leadership. When Oprah started the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, she created something absolutely groundbreaking. Oprah emphatically believes that when you educate girls and women all across the world, immeasurable change happens! She says, “When you change a girl’s life, it’s not just that life. You start to affect a family, a community, a nation. I’m telling you, women are going to change the face of Africa!” Years ago, I remember watching the television special featuring Oprah interviewing the young African girls, mostly all of them from severely disadvantaged homes in South Africa, for acceptance into her school. I had tears in my eyes the entire time because I was so inspired by the courage and vision Oprah had to carry out such a great mission.

                  While watching this special, I remember thinking about how average actions lead to average results. but how extraordinary actions produce extraordinary results! We can’t expect extraordinary results in our lives and in Leadership when we do just enough to get by or by doing what everyone else does. Be bold, be daring, challenge the status quo and refuse to set limits on what’s possible!

                 Seek more, be more and do more than average!

Taking a look at THESE PICTURES from the opening day of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy of Girls still makes me tear up……..

— Dr. April

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

This post is part of a series on Leadership presented by Dr. Carmen April. She is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is currently a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Entrepreneurship for college students and young professionals.