Remarkable Leadership with Kevin

Kevin Eikenberry
Chief Potential Officer
The Kevin Eikenberry Group

Kevin Eikenberry is a world renowned leadership expert, a two-time bestselling author, speaker, consultant, trainer, coach, leader, learner, husband and father (not necessarily in that order). He is the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a leadership and learning consulting company that has been helping organizations, teams and individuals reach their potential since 1993. Kevin’s specialties include leadership, teams and teamwork, organizational culture, facilitating change, organizational learning and more. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, small firms, universities, government agencies, hospitals, and more. His client list includes the American Red Cross, A & W Canada, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, John Deere, Purdue University, Sears Canada, Shell, Southwest Airlines, the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Mint, Verizon and many more.

Kevin writes two email-based publications: Unleashing Your Remarkable Potential, a weekly publication read by more than 22,000 worldwide, to assist organizations and individuals in turning their potential into desired results; and Leadership Updates, sent several times each week. In addition, his Leadership and Learning Blog has been recognized on several occasions as one of the best leadership blogs in the world.

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I’m writing this on December 19th, and I believe the only way to prepare for your most successful next year starts now. Don’t worry — the lessons I’m suggesting will apply at any time; my point is you can’t expect a few minutes spent before the ball drops in Times Square (or you leave the office for the year) to set the start for your best year ever.

Perhaps the most viral video on YouTube this week is a Santa Surprise put together by WestJet, a Canadian airline. I’d like to highlight a deeper and more lasting leadership lesson the video provides.

I don’t often (OK, basically never) write about politics or the political system, except to look for lessons we can learn from what our leaders are doing (or not doing). That’s where this piece will end, but first, a bit of a rant. Why can’t our Congress and our president get along? I mean, we have serious issues facing us as a nation and they just keep kicking issues further out on the calendar like a little boy kicks a dented can down the sidewalk.

Last week, I wrote about a dialogue disaster, and this week I want to talk more about dialogue because it is such an important way to communicate with others.

It happens everywhere I go — and it does to you too — if you notice (and aren’t doing it yourself) … Last winter I was at my daughter’s first middle school swim meet, and I was appalled. Not by the contestants, actually I was inspired by their performances, support for each other and more, but that is for another time. I was appalled by the spectators.

This is a blog about leadership, so I want to use recent events to help us see some truths about leadership, not take a political side or further an agenda. I see three specific and immediate things for us to learn as leaders from the launch and failures of the website.
Because you are reading these words, I am confident you are a believer in ongoing learning and development for yourself and those you lead. Precisely because this is your bias, you may find it hard to understand why your team members aren’t anxiously looking forward to attending the training you offer them or that is in some way made available to them.

Let me get personal and direct and maybe even get in your face a bit. If you want change to happen in your organization, you’ve got to be willing to change too. More than willing; you must change.

Perhaps the oldest conundrum of all is — which came first, the chicken or the egg? Perhaps the oldest in the minds of savvy leaders is what is more important, my Customers or my Employees?

As we plan for the annual goal-setting process (if yours isn’t upon you yet, it will be soon), this is an important question for both your team and for you personally. I’m going to address it for you here because I believe if you want your team to set goals, you should be setting them too.