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Leadership and Management

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Are we mentally prepared to be a leader? What are the ingredients necessary? What can we add into our thought process to become more effective leaders? Leadership strength develops continually - on a daily basis - for those that seek to be stronger, better and more influential. The first person we lead though, is ourselves. What impression, guidance and legacy are we leaving behind in our family, community and organization right now?

Gallup has studied performance at hundreds of organizations and measured the engagement of 27 million employees and more than 2.5 million work units over the past two decades. In two large-scale studies in 2012, Gallup reported that only 30% of U.S. employees are engaged at work, and management is a key contributor. Gallup also found that companies fail to choose the management candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time. Few managers have the talent to achieve excellence!

Our nation is clamoring for more leaders, better leaders, effective leaders in government, educational, religious and commercial enterprises. These leaders represent a broad spectrum of diverse people and views with enormous intellectual capital resources. Unfortunately, many of the people placed in a position of power think that once they are bestowed with the "position" as described by Maxwell below they are automatically a leader where "do as I say" mentality is the end all. True leadership however, is the ability to understand, empathize, tap, visualize, inspire, motivate and lead an organization to greater heights. Be a quintessential leader! You will find condensed - easy to remember - leading guidance below:

  1. Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
  2. Body Language
  3. Change Management
  4. Firing Employees
  5. International Leadership styles
  6. Interviewing is a 2-Way Street
  7. Leading vs. Managing
  8. 5 Levels of Leadership
  9. National Management Association (NMA)
  10. Management and Leadership Skills Summary
  11. Situational Leadership
  12. "Washer" Leadership
  13. Vacations and Time Off Merits

Articles of Interest

Management and Leadership

Leadership is a means of inspiring, motivating and directing a team of individuals in a cohesive and coherent way towards a visionary position that has yet to be reached, formulated or created. It draws energy, willpower, insight and commitment to achieve uncommon feats. A leader attracts, retains, motivates, inspires and develops relationships with employees based on trust and mutual respect.

Vistar Corporation provides the following generic perspectives on how different cultures approach leadership.

Leaders embody a strong belief system, high values, superb ethics, original character, enviable knowledge, tested skills and above all, an appreciation for people with all of the complementary respect, compassion, drive and persistence required.

Researchers spanned the world examining inter-relationships between societal culture, organizational culture, and organizational leadership. The Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness found leadership attributes that are universally liked across the world and others that are disliked proving that leadership in its purest form applies equally no matter where you are, or with whom you interact.

Managing is about coping with complexity, while leading is about coping with change
John Kotter
internationally known expert on Leadership and Transformation

Leadership appeals to basic but untapped human needs, values and emotions to keep people moving in the right direction, despite obstacles to change. In a team environment, one of the most rewarding things about leadership is watching great ideas cross-fertilize.

Characteristics of a Team Environment
  • Empathy for others is common
  • Stereotypes are absent
  • Knowledge of others exists on both a business and an appropriate personal level
  • Awareness of everyone's capabilities
  • Everyone is utilized according to their capabilities
  • Respect is given to each individual
  • Flexibility is used appropriately to meet individual needs

Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

Emotional Intelligence plays a big role in Leadership; Daniel Goleman offers Six Emotional Intelligence Leadership Styles

  • The Visionary Leader
  • The Coaching Leader
  • The Affiliative Leader
  • The Democratic Leader
  • The Pace-setting Leader
  • The Commanding Leader

Body Language

93% of what we communicate comes from our body and approach rather than the words we speak.

Change Management


Are you a Change Leader?
Do you have the leadership skills to effect change? Jim Canterucci developed levels of change leadership competency on a behavioral scale starting with the most basic level of skill and moving to the most complex level.

Level I - Accepts Need for Change: At this level the change leader can publicly describe a change and persuasively defend the need for the change within the organization. The individual is able to tolerate ambiguity and create an open and receptive environment.

Level II - Defines/Initiates Change: This change leader can define a specific area where change is needed and can identify the leverage points for change in processes and work habits.

Level III - Manages Change: This change leader is able to define an explicit vision for change based on broad organizational visions. They will make the effort to deliver the message or refine a vision for change to everyone affected. This change leader is able to redirect individual or team approaches in the face of new opportunities and involve people in the change.

Level IV - Manages Complex Change: This change leader understands the cultural dynamics of the current state of an organization, including the hidden assumptions and the differences between the stated values and the values in practice. At this level the change leader is able to create a strategic practical course, balancing the current reality with the need for rapid adoption of the desired future reality.

Level V - Champions Change: At this most strategic level, the change leader publicly challenges the status quo by comparing it to an ideal or a vision of change. This may cause a sense of crisis or imbalance. They support dramatic actions to implement the change effort. This change leader is responsive to and responsible for planning evolution, causing change, and transforming the organization.

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
Henry Ford
Industrialist, Founder of Ford Motor Company


Carolyn Aiken and Scott Keller co-authored the McKinsey Report in 2009 entitled The Irrational Side of Change Management in which they cover the challenges and opportunities for effective change management. When only 30% of change programs succeed the investment, means and results must involve a mix of several key ingredients to ensure success. The key elements noted are:

Creating a Compelling Story
1. What motivates you doesn't motivate your employees
  • impact on society?
  • impact on the customer?
  • impact on the company and its shareholders?
  • impact on the working team?
  • impact on "me" personally?
2. You're better off letting them write their own story.
3. It takes a story with both + and - to create real energy
Is your messaging deficit based balanced?
Is you message constructionist based balanced?
  • Discovery
  • Dreaming
  • Designing
  • Destiny
Role Modeling
4. Leaders believe mistakenly that they already "are the change"
5. "Influence " aren't a panacea for making change happen
Reinforcing Mechanisms
6. Money is the most expensive way to motivate people
Capability Building
8. Employees are what they think, feel, and believe in
9. Good intentions aren't enough.

Firing Employees

The 5 Worst Ways to Fire Someone
9 Things That Make Good Employees Quit

Interviewing is a 2-Way Street

In our quest to hire, and be hired, their is a 2-way street of communication necessary to extract the most out of an interview for a win-win outcome. Beginning with a strong Resume will help get your foot in the door. See Thoughts on Resumes to sell your qualifications upfront.

Once you get the interview opportunity, the following provides a sampling of some of the subject matter from both the interviewer, and interviewee. point of view that you should be prepared to covered:

  1. Preparedness. Identifying ALL competencies and attributes upfront.
  2. Generations. How do expectations change by generation (Boomer, X, Y, Millennial)?
  3. Competency Realities. What you're looking for versus what is presented.
  4. Intangibles. How do you extract and measure such intangible competencies such as hardworking, risk-taker, enthusiastic and adaptable?
  5. Cultures. How do different cultures react in an interview? What is a high-context culture and a low-context culture?
  6. Leading versus Open-Ended Questions. Driving for the truth.
  7. Behavior Based Interviewing. Is it effective for predicting the future?
  8. Panel Interviews. Weighting of Factors, consistency and interpretation.
  9. Process of Discovery. Seeking authenticity in the midst of preparedness.
  10. Body Language. Importance of interviewer and interviewee body language.
  11. Social Network Verification (i.e.- LinkedIn).
  12. Credentials. Misnomer of relying on credentials to predict future performance.
  13. Personality. Importance of personality versus qualifications and impact on company culture.
  1. Body Language. Do your actions mirror what you say?
  2. Preparedness. What value will you offer in the new position, or new organization?
  3. Resume. Quality, Content, Punch and Accuracy. Do you Say What you Do and Do What You Say?
  4. Dress and Punctuality. What character traits will you bring into the new organization?
  5. Adaptability. Can you step out of your comfort zone?
  6. Eye Contact. A window into trust.
  7. Succinct Answers. Are your answers complete, direct and accurate?
  8. Emotional Intelligence. How well can you interact with a team?
  9. Initiative. How can you highlight your personal moments of glory?
  10. Responsibility. Listing the "book" on Resume versus real work and accountability.
  11. Planning. What are your plans? Where do you want to go? What are you doing to get there?
  12. Communication. What are the metadata signals your are sending?
  13. Benefit Centered and Future-Focused. Does your Resume and attitude convey what you can do downstream?

Leading vs. Managing

Warren Bennis, in his book On Becoming a Leader offers the following:

  • The manager administers; the leader innovates
  • The manager is a copy; the leader is an original
  • The manager maintains; the leader develops
  • The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people
  • The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust
  • The manager accepts reality; the leader investigates it
  • The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective
  • The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why
  • The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader has his or her eye on the horizon
  • The manager imitates; the leader originates
  • The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it
  • The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person
  • The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing
  • Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
  • Managers cannot motivate people because people motivate themselves
  • A manager is responsible for the application and performance of knowledge.
  • Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.
  • Business, that's easily defined - it's other people's money.
  • The purpose of a business is to create a customer.
  • The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.
Peter Drucker
Management Guru

5 Levels of Leadership

John Maxwell in his book Leadership 101 notes that each of us influences at least 10,000 other people in our lifetime! Wow! The old paradigm of "knowledge is power" no longer applies, today it is "knowledge empowers." One of the Keys to successful leadership is applying the concepts that have made other leaders strong.

  • Follow your vision and bring others with you
  • Produce a lasting legacy
  • Grow the loyalty of your followers
  • Make continual investments in the quality of your leadership
  • Increase your ability to influence others
  • Determine your leadership "lid". If the leadership is strong, the lid is high. If it is not, the organization is limited. In times of trouble, organizations naturally look for new leadership.
  • Empower others through mentoring
  • Create a foundation of trust
  • Use self-discipline to improve your character - and your results
Maxwell summarizes leadership into the following Five Levels of Leadership

NMA Model

The National Management Organization (NMA) offers the following 5 tenets of effective leadership that every person should embody. In today's marketplace having effective leadership skills means survival skills.

Mobilize Individual Commitment for Change
  • Stress open and honest communications
  • Energize, excite and motivate others
  • Lead by example with high expectations
  • Convey purpose and mission to motivate others
  • Celebrate successes and learn from disappointments
  • Implement continuous improvement
  • Build teams to maximize success
  • Inspire in ways consistent with organizational values
Set Direction
  • Maintain internal and external customer focus
  • Translate strategy into actionable objectives and plans
  • Share vision, values and accountability at all levels
  • Maintain direction and consistency
  • Create a win-win atmosphere
  • Create an environment where all can take risks, create, contribute and learn
  • Seize changes as opportunities
Engender Organizational Capability
  • Take advantage of diversity
  • Provide effective controls/metrics
  • Mentor and coach for growth and success
  • Maintain an effective customer network to spot issues
  • Demonstrate strong operational skills
  • Use complexity as leverage
  • Ensure operational performance
  • Capitalize on unanticipated opportunities
Demonstrate Personal Character
  • Model organizational values
  • Earn trust and respect
  • Promote integrity and ethical behavior
  • Meet your commitments
  • Be accountable for your actions and decisions
  • Keep promises under pressure
  • Marshall all leadership attributes


What skills do you need? Here is a succint list.

Management Skills

  • Problem solving, Judgment - day-to-day short-term effective judgment and solid problem solving.
  • Administrative Skills/Detail - ability to manage detail, to keep an organized function on target.
  • Action Orientation/Follow Through - ability to take action quickly and make sure that things get done in a timely manner.
  • Performance Results Management - managing to achieve results that reflect good performance in a department.
  • Profit Motivation - this refers specifically to people in sales situations, being aggressive in pursuing sales, and in all other situations, having a tough cost-conscious nature.
  • Willingness to Make Decisions - what people do when they are facing day-to-day problems. Are they willing to call the shot and stand behind their decisions?
  • Social Skills - friendliness, warmth, openness, and the ability to get along with people.
  • Delegation - ability to effectively delegate work. Low scores might indicate a lack of delegation or an overabundance of delegation.
  • Communication - for the most part, this refers to verbal communication, i.e., clarity of communication, timeliness of communication, knowing who to communicate to.
  • Listening - active and patient listening skills.
  • Ability to Coach and Develop People - from a managerial point of view this has to do with encouraging people to grow, providing opportunities, and coaching people on strengths and shortcomings.
  • Willingness to Take Negative Action - facing up to subordinates who cannot perform, i.e., either dismissing people, giving negative feedback, or in some cases demoting people.
  • Management by Respect - a management style where the manager shows people respect by giving them what they want and what they need from a job. It demands in return a high level of performance and a high level of expectations.

Leadership Skills

  • Strategic, Big Picture Thinking Ability - ability to see the broad scope and to plan ahead. It also includes having a vision.
  • Passion, Romance - passionate and concerned about your work. It has to do with being a dreamer so that new ideas do not get stifled.
  • Intellectual Curiosity - person’s ability to continually be interested in new areas of learning and development for this helps expand not only business but also business relationships.
  • Analytical Skills & Business Acumen - solid business educational foundation which then leads to sharp business thinking in complex situations.
  • Decisiveness - ability to know when to take risks and when to be cautious and to be able to anticipate long-term events.
  • Self-Confidence, Courage - self-confidence means the willingness to take action even in the face of doubt. Courage refers to the ability to stand up to difficult situations when there appears to be no way out.
  • Drive & Ambition - person’s aggressiveness and desire to take on more responsibility and to be willing to make certain sacrifices to get ahead.
  • Profit Motivation - ability to make decisions today that lead to longer-term growth in an organization. The opposite is short-term thinking that may have long-term negative consequences.
  • Energy Level - willingness to give one hundred percent effort to the job, i.e., to put in the time, the hours, and the commitment to be successful.
  • Ability to Handle Pressure - ability to take difficult situations in stride, to not get too disturbed by the amount of pressure that tends to go with higher level jobs.
  • Magnetism, Charisma - ability to influence people and to get people to follow an individual.
  • Social Sophistication - higher level of social ability so that the person can interact with higher level and sophisticated executives both inside and outside the organization.
  • Desire to Win - centers on the willingness to attack problems aggressively, to not back away from situations, and to face conflict with the desire to make sure you come out ahead.
  • Ability to Exercise Power - ability to get people to perform by giving them enough freedom to operate yet not abusing your power. It also has to do with the willingness to exercise power effectively when necessary.
  • Political Wisdom - this has to do with not doing or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
  • Team Orientation - ability to work within teams to help make a team greater than the sum of its parts.


  • Customer Involvement - 1) is there any customer involvement at all, 2) at what level is the current or past customer involvement, and 3) has the individual had customer involvement alone or with others?
  • Track Record - any record that says a person has been successful based upon some performance and achievement of results, hopefully, dollars and cents.
  • P&L Responsibility - whether or not a person has had experience in running a profit and loss situation and what size money is involved.
  • Managerial Experience - scope of managerial responsibility, basically the number of people managed and the level of subordinate experience.
  • Breadth of Experience - experience beyond a single function, a single company, or a single program.
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Situational Leadership

The model of situational leadership was created by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard in the late 1960s. The situational approach to leadership is based on the assumption that each instance of leadership is different and therefore requires a unique combination of leaders, followers, and leadership situations.

This interaction is commonly expressed in formula form:


where SL is Successful Leadership; f stands for function of L (Leadership), F (Follower), and S (Situation). In other words, this formula says that successful leadership is a function of a leader, follower, and situation that are appropriate for one another.

Your leadership style is how you behave when you are trying to influence the performance of others. It is the way you supervise or work with someone. There are four leadership styles (but there is no one best leadership style) as shown below:

1. Directing Style is for people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed. They need direction and supervision to get started.

2. Coaching Style is for people who have some competence but lack commitment. They need direction and supervision because they are still relatively inexperienced. They also need support and praise to build their self-esteem, and involvement in decision-making to restore their commitment.

3. Supporting Style is for people who have competence, but lack confidence of motivation. They do not need much direction because of their skills, but support is necessary to bolster their confidence and motivation.

4. Delegating Style is for people who have both competence and commitment. They are able and willing to work on a project by themselves with little supervision or support.

Depending on your team's competences in their task areas and commitment to them, your leadership style may vary from one person to another. You may also lead the same person one way sometimes and another way at other times. Use a variety of leadership styles in directing and supporting the work of others. Make them "second nature" to you in your roles as a manager, leader or as a parent.

"Washer" Leadership

Genuine heartfelt leadership has the power to transform our character, our careers and our relationships. Where is our internal compass pointing? How bad do we really want to make a difference? Can life's struggles be used to our benefit? Are we Wisher's, Wishy-Washy's or are we doers, WASHERS?


  • Forge
  • Create
  • Shape
  • Adapt
  • Give
  • Persist
  • Nourish
Learn how to build your character and make a difference!

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Find my articles on:

Mensa Magazine,, Society for Diversity, CNN, Management World, National Management Association Breaktime and other publications

Your leadership and drive are clearly evident in these outstanding scores. I have never seen the VA give such high scores out of the shoot - unprecedented... thanks again for all you do.
Sean Murphy, T-Rex Corporation COO
(February 2016)

What an amazing conference! And thank you for your contributions in the form of your outstanding presentation. Our side-bar discussions were both enjoyable and enlightening too. Any discussion of diversity has the potential of being very controversial. Your discussion of diversity, however, put the topic in a very positive light without sugar-coating. It was believable and in so being it was highly beneficial. Your discussion of your personal past and your perspectives as your career developed was the quid essential piece that made your presentation both engaging and believable and thus provided the conduit to be impactful.
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WWW Testimonials here


The eyes believe themselves; the ears other people.
German Proverb

We judge ourselves by our motives and others by their actions.
Dwight Morrow, American businessman, ambassador and senator

If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President

Though all society is founded on intolerance, all improvement is founded on tolerance.
George Bernard Shaw, Irish Playwright

In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words; people, product and profits. People come first.
Lee Iaccoca, American businessman

The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted.
Mother Teresa, Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic Missionary

Everyone believes very easily whatever he fears or desires.
Jean de la Fontaine, French poet

The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that ain't so.
Mark Twain, American author and humorist

If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking.
General George Patton Jr, World War II US Army Commander

I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me.
Dudley Field Malone, American statesman and lawyer

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy, Russian writer and pacifist

I can live for two months on a good compliment.
Mark Twain, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, American author and humorist

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President

No one has been barred on account of his race from fighting or dying for America - there are no "white" or "colored" signs on the foxholes or graveyards of battle.
John F. Kennedy, 35th US President

I pay the schoolmaster, but 'tis the schoolboys that educate my son.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American philospher

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.
Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish satirist and essayist

In every man there is something wherein I may learn of him, and in that I am his pupil.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American philosopher

When you talk, you repeat what you already know; when you listen you often learn something.
Jaren Sparks

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold onto two opposed ideas at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer

Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright

Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.
Mahatma Gandhi, Indian pacifist and leader

I am more of a sponge than an inventor. I absorb ideas from every source. My principal business is giving commercial value to brilliant but misdirected ideas of others.
Thomas Edison, American inventor and businessman

If we always view it from the same perspective, we will tend to notice the same things.
Frans Johansson, Author and businessman

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian physiologist

One can resist the invasion of armies; one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.
Victor Hugo, French playwright and activist

Every new opinion, at its starting, is precisely in a minority of one.
Thomas Carlyle, Scottish writer and historian

No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President

You do not lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th US President

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.
Benjamin Disraeli, British statesman

The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing.
Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist

The rich would have to eat money, but luckily the poor provide food.
Russian Proverb

Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American philosopher

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
Elbert Hubbard, American writer and philosopher

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