Sunday, June 26, 2011

Are You A Servant Leader Or A Leadership Warrior?

I have called upon the leaders of the world to start a LEADERSHIP REVOLUTION. In order to make my dream become a reality, we need to employ some proactive, aggressive action right away.

One of the most common terms used for good leadership these days is SERVANT LEADERSHIP. Although I am a proponent of that concept and completely accept that servant leadership is wonderful methodology, I am afraid that it may be lulling a lot of the world’s leaders into a reactive, rather than proactive state. Some leaders use the term SERVANT LEADERSHIP as a reason to reduce the amount of genuine leadership activities they perform. They allow their followers to take the lead and they shy away from assertive, hands-on leadership work. They serve but they do not lead.
"SERVANT LEADERSHIP is not about serving...it is about leading! Always remember that leaders must perform in outstanding ways in order to set the example for everyone watching."
If you want to bring your organization to higher level of performance, you need to start a LEADERSHIP REVOLUTION and become a LEADERSHIP WARRIOR right away. If there are any areas of your organization that are not performing to your preferred benchmark, you need to change your approach to leadership so that you can start building a brighter future. You need to start fighting for your right to be a great leader and build a leadership movement that will have your followers rallying around you.
We all know that one rotten apple can spoil the entire barrel.  If there is one person or one department in your organization that is operating in less than stellar fashion you need to go to them and boldly state that you have started a LEADERSHIP REVOLUTION and that you want unanimous support. Let them know that the personnel carrier you are driving into battle has room for everyone but it cannot afford any roadblocks or detours on the road to success.
As you travel across the battlefield of your LEADERSHIP REVOLUTION you will find casualties. In fact, you might even have to create some casualties in order to achieve the level of performance you require. Make no mistake though...the survivors will carry you forward and they will bring new recruits to fill the gaps left by those who fell along the way. And, don’t stop at leading the people you have now! You want to be known as the leader that virtually everyone wants to follow.
-As you are reading this, ask yourself the following question: “Is my organization the EMPLOYER OF CHOICE in its field?”
-And then ask yourself this: “Am I the BEST LEADER there is in my field?”
If you were forced to honestly answer NO to either of those questions, you have some work to do and you are probably not a LEADERSHIP WARRIOR yet! You might be a nice person and you might even be a servant leader but you are not a warrior and your revolution has probably not begun. Instead, you are just getting by...you are in survival mode!
 The danger in just getting by or simple survival is that your workers are watching you and they might decide to start their own revolution to overthrow you in your weakened state. In that event, even if your organization survives the battle, you might not. The other imminent threat is of course, that your competitors or your enemies are always looking for cracks in your armour that will allow them to do grievous harm to you and your followers.  Keep your armour clean and your weapons sharp by always leading with integrity!
Once you become a LEADERSHIP WARRIOR, your army will grow from within and you will be overrun with new recruits. You will be moving toward a reputation as a passionate, charismatic leader that the world will follow. Think about some of the great leaders of history...General Douglas MacArthur, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Jesus Christ, Mahatma Ghandi, Colin Powell. Every one of them was a warrior for their cause...and every one of them served their people boldly with no concern for themselves.
These terms are not mutually exclusive. The best leaders are servant leaders who fight for their cause. They are best of the best and they never rest until their revolution is won.
I look forward to seeing you on the battlefield!
All the Best
Wayne Kehl

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Every Revolution Needs A Cause

How to start a Leadership Revolution

Before we can begin to create a culture of effective and powerful leadership, we must have a cause that everyone can rally around. Throughout history, every revolution came about as a result of the failure of leaders to understand or empathize with what the people wanted. When it became clear that they were not listening, the people chose to take action against their leaders. Don’t let that happen to you!

During the French Revolution of the late 1700’s the unfair, unjust French Monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in only three years at the hands of the disgruntled citizenry. During the American Revolution, the British Government was driven from the shores of America by the settlers who wanted the right to freedom and self-government. In these, and in all other successful revolutions throughout history, unjust, unfair, uncommunicative, leadership groups were overthrown by their subjects. Their causes were fairness, equal opportunity, inclusion and civil rights.  Although the methods and the results were much more extreme than what we normally see in business, a revolution of any kind is never good for those in leadership positions.

I am proposing that clear-minded, progressive leaders everywhere start their own Leadership Revolutions now...before their employees start one of their own!

Before we can start our Leadership Revolution we must identify what we are fighting for. Our causes should be designed to maintain and develop the success, perpetuation, and growth of our businesses. In order to prevent our workers from revolting against us, thereby reducing our corporate effectiveness, we need to include them in our revolution in a real and tangible way.

I would recommend that right now, you start thinking about your revolution, identify your causes and write them down. Show your employees what you believe your causes should be and ask for their input.

Important: When you ask for input from your employees, listen to what they have to say and implement as many of their ideas as possible.

If you ask for input, disregard it, and simply do what you were planning to do in the first place, the employees will start a revolution of their own...one that you cannot win!

Once you have communicated with your people and developed a plan for the future, give it a name. Create a slogan that everyone can easily remember and rally around.

Take a page out of the Hewlett Packard handbook and broadcast your leadership philosophy to the world. HP is known to be one of the most successful technology firms in the world and their success was not by accident. Early in their history, the leaders of Hewlett Packard developed a leadership system that they coined, “Management by walking around” or MBWA. It is a plan for humble leadership based on employee inclusion and communication. To simplify and personalize the 12 guidelines for MBWA, they dubbed their leadership style “The HP Way.” Not only did MBWA become the mantra of Hewlett Packard, it has been emulated and followed by thousands of successful firms all over the world. HP started a revolution and enlisted their employees before their employees felt the need to start their own. Over 70 years since its incorporation, HP is still one of the most successful and respected firms in the world.

Does your firm have a cause? Do your employees know what it is?

Of course, developing a cause is just the genesis of the revolution. All revolutions take time and all begin with small steps. The important thing is that the revolutionary army, (your staff) has a strong leader to guide the process and make sure that morale is continuously and consistently kept at a high level. The leader must have the integrity, dedication and like all battlefield commanders, the courage to carry on the fight until the war is won or until it is time to retire his or her command.

Are you that leader?

If the French Monarchy had listened to its people and worked alongside them for improvement in 1789, many lives could have been saved. If the British Government had worked with the American settlers in 1775 rather than sending troops in to crush them, things would be much different today. It could easily be argued that the American Revolution was the best thing that could have happened to the United States of America, but as you can imagine the British Government of the day did not feel the same way. Their loss was tremendous...and permanent. Don’t let that happen to you!

Start your Leadership Revolution now!

All the Best

Wayne Kehl

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Let's Start a Leadership Revolution!

I have dedicated the last decade of my life to the proposition that there are no bad employees...just bad leaders. Because my words have fallen on a number of deaf ears in the world of executive boardrooms, I have decided to start a Leadership Revolution.

The old, Traditional, Boomer ways of leading will not work anymore. The Great Depression is long forgotten and the Second World War will never be repeated. The world is on a path of technological and commercial growth that is unequalled and unstoppable. Computerization and other amazing new ways of doing things have cleared the way for a future that was only the stuff of science fiction novels and comic books just a few short decades ago. But...how many companies are poised and ready for the New Industrial Revolution? Is yours?

If you want to be a peak-performing manager and run a successful, growing company in the new millennium, you need to stop thinking like a manager from the fifties. You need to stop being a boss, and you need to stop treating employees like employees. Generation “Y” and future young workers will no longer accept an autocratic demanding management style.

Young people will no longer work for bosses who treat them like second class citizens or worse. In tomorrow’s world, successful companies will be run by teams of like-minded individuals who follow leaders that are inclusive, respectful, and examples of great industriousness. Leaders will only be allowed to continue leading if they understand what workers want and how to get the best from them. Those who cling to older, Boomer, managements styles will be left by the wayside or put out to pasture.


1. Right Person-Right Job...Everyone must be able to utilize their natural talents at work.

2. Boss is a team member...Leaders lead with charisma, managers manage by authority.

3. No two people are the same...Leaders must respect the varying skill levels of each person.

4. Ego is not part of leadership...Leaders are not better than their workers. They must accept and acknowledge that fact. Leaders must leader with humility and ask for help when they need it.

5. Communication is the key...Leaders must keep workers in the loop. Give them a lot of information to do their jobs and communicate victories and challenges universally.

6. Accountability must be maintained...Leaders and workers must understand that when a goal is agreed upon, it must be completed and if not, an alternate plan must be followed.

7. Leaders must be fair...Every employee brings a unique and valuable contribution to the workplace. Leaders must never play favourites and must recognize the contribution of every worker.

8. Servant-leadership...Leaders only exist to help their workers get their jobs done. Leaders must set an example by learning the jobs of their workers and by rolling up their sleeves to assist.

9. Mutual respect...Workers and leaders must treat each other with respect and kindness without question. There is no room in successful organizations for strife, strikes, or negative behaviour.

10. Mutual goals...Workers and leaders must be chasing the same dream. Leaders must involve their workers in the planning and direction of the company and allow them to share in the success.


I will not stop promoting this concept until I lose the ability to talk, walk, and write. I believe that any organization can be successful if only they have the courage to admit that they have challenges that need to be addressed and that improvements must be made. Please open up your minds and listen.


If you believe you are doing everything right, I guarantee that you are not! If your numbers are going south and you are still blaming your workers, you are deluded. If you have high turnover and a disengaged workforce, you are not leading...you are not even managing. If your business is struggling and you don’t know why, you need help. If you are willing to admit that you are ultimately and completely responsible and accountable for the success of your company, division or work unit, you must look at how you are doing things and think about the ten points I have listed above.

The New Industrial Revolution is real and old time management methods will not work. Accept it and start managing for the new millennium.

Only enlightened, engaged, charismatic leaders will survive and only companies that embrace the Leadership Revolution will grow and prosper into the depths of the twenty first century!

All The Best!

Wayne Kehl