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Michael Lebeau
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“A leader knows the way…  Goes the way…  And shows the way.”



"Enthusiasm is one of the most important engines of success.  When you do a thing, do it with all your might.  Put your whole soul into it.  Stamp it with your own personality.  Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective. Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm."



“Extraordinary leaders have an unwarranted and boundless sense of optimism.” 



“Vision does not ignite growth; passion does. Passion fuels vision and vision is the focus of the power of passion. Leaders who are passionate about their call create vision.”



 "A winner is sensitive to the atmosphere around him; a loser is sensitive only to his own feelings."





By Michael Lebeau / ALCA President 2004-05


Leaders have an obligation to display optimism and exhibit a positive attitude. To be effective, they know they must project an air of excitement and a genuine sense of enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm is contagious.  Leaders who communicate their excitement and enthusiasm to others are said to have a contagious or charismatic personality.  Charismatic leaders make a difference in situations, in organizations, in groups, and in the lives of other people.  They make a difference just by walking into a room.  Their optimism and positive attitude spread like wildfire.


Leaders do not have the luxury to be self-serving. The concerns of others must come before their own comfort and desires. More is expected from those who choose to be leaders.  As a leader, you are expected to display a greater sense of responsibility, courage, integrity and compassion than the average person.   As a general rule, people tend to expect more from leaders.  And effective leaders expect more from themselves.


As leaders, we have made a commitment to provide encouragement and motivation to others. We have an obligation to prevent others from falling. It is our duty to restore confidence and stimulate hope. We can be a positive influence and make a meaningful impact on the life of another person. We can be a source of inspiration, to evoke change, compel action, and foster growth. Good leaders, the ones we admire, keep smiling through adversity, maintain a positive attitude, and don’t let anything get them down. Why?   Because they know it’ll negatively impact those they are responsible for."




"The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism."


"When I first joined the organization, the leader made it very clear to me what he was going to do. He said that he knew that it would be a lot easier for me to do well, if I got crystal-clear feedback from him on how I was doing. He said he wanted me to succeed. He wanted me to be a big help to the organization, and to enjoy my work. He told me that he would try, therefore, to let me know in no uncertain terms when I was doing well, and when I was doing poorly. And then he cautioned me that it might not be very comfortable at first for either of us. Then he assured me that such feedback would be a big help to me."

-BLANCHARD & JOHNSON / One Minute Manager


"The majority of the reasons for nonperformance or poor performance appear to be the result of a communication problem -- lack of direction and lack of feedback."

-FERDINAND FOURNIES / Coaching for Improved Work Performance


"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."

-ELBERT HUBBARD / American Author




"What areas of knowledge do you feel that you need to know more about to do your job better? 1) We need to know what we are supposed to do.  2) We need to know how far we are expected to go in discharging our responsibilities and authorities.  3) We need to know how well we are expected to do our jobs.  4) We need to know how well we are doing our jobs."

-VIRGIL ROWLAND / Evaluating and Improving Managerial Performance

"A very important component of effective team communication is feedback. Feedback is a constant in life. A mirror gives us feedback every morning. And we get feedback from people daily, verbally and nonverbally. Most of us are not very skilled and giving or receiving feedback. Verbal feedback is often given in a way that hurts people instead of helping them. On the other hand, most of us are not very open to receiving feedback even when it is constructive and given in a caring manner."

-HARSHMAN & PHILLIPS / Team Training




Focus on the behavior of the individual or the group, not on the personality or character.

Make it specific (what, when, where).

Describe the person's behavior; do not judge it.

Direct it at the behavior that can be changed, not at permanent characteristics of an individual.

Make it timely, either at the moment the behavior is occurring or as soon afterward as possible.

Remember that people are uncomfortable receiving feedback, even if you are handling it the best way possible.

Whether the person agrees to continue or to change, express your appreciation for listening to your concern.


(HARSHMAN & PHILLIPS / Team Training)




"Here are some practical rules to follow in giving constructive criticism: 1) Separate performance from performer.  2) Criticize the performance, praise the performer.  3) Always reprimand performance in private."

-DENIS WAITLEY / Seeds of Greatness


"Here are some important questions about communication, criticism, and self-esteem: How do you handle criticism? Do you take it personally or do you seek to learn from criticism? Do you know how others see you? Are you willing to ask? Do others feel their best around you? What do you do to make them feel good? Do you listen more than you talk? Do you look for the good in others with an open mind?"

-DENIS WAITLEY / Seeds of Greatness



"We have a motto around here that says: Help people reach their full potential -- Catch them doing something right. In most organizations the leaders spend most of their time catching people doing something wrong. But, here we put the accent on the positive. And when the leader catches us doing something right, he praises us. The leader specifies exactly what we've done right. And he is sincere and consistent."

-JOHNSON & BLANCHARD / One Minute Manager




"How open are you? As a individuals in a working relationship become closer, the feelings of threat tend to increase. People in a relationship might hold back because they anticipate rejection or disapproval. By holding back, they miss out on a lot. Self-disclosure builds relationships. It clarifies and enlivens. Without a healthy and appropriate amount of self-disclosure, you are isolated in your private experience."

-McKAY, DAVIS, & FANNING / How To Communicate


"Self-disclosure initiates, builds, and maintains healthy relationships. To build a good relationship you must be both open with (disclosing yourself) and open to (listening to disclosures in an accepting way) other people. Self-disclosure allows you and other individuals to identify common goals and overlapping needs, interests, and values. Self disclosure can also help you manage stress and adversity. By discussing your fear, you lessen it. By sharing your anxiety, you find ways to deal with it. By describing a problem, you see ways to solve it."

-DAVID JOHNSON / Reaching Out




"Self-disclosure allows you to validate your perception of reality. We tend to compare our perceptions and reactions with the perceptions and reactions of others. Self-disclosure increases your self-awareness and self-understanding through gaining a more objective perspective on your experiences through inviting feedback from others."

-DAVID JOHNSON / Reaching Out


We can improve our self knowledge, and have a more informed opinion of ourselves, by being open to feedback from others. We are constantly receiving information from others about the appropriateness of our behavior.  Other individuals let us know either verbally or nonverbally how our behavior appears to them, and we thus learn how others are affected by it.  Feedback helps us identify blindspots (information we ordinarily fail to see or hear).  Self-awareness and an enhanced understanding of others are potential results of appropriate feedback.





"To better identify your true being or true self, consider these descriptions of the four dimensions of self-knowledge: 1) The open self contains conscious actions and statements.  2) The blind self is comprised of things others can find out about you that you are unaware of, like habits, mannerisms, and defense mechanisms.  3) The hidden self includes your secrets, everything you keep to yourself and don't reveal to others.  4) The unknown self is represented by your unconscious, subconscious, or dream state."

-McKAY, DAVIS, & FANNING / How To Communicate


ARENA  -  Open Self  -  Known to Yourself / Known to Others


BLINDSPOT  -  Hidden Self  -  Known to Yourself / Unknown to Others


FACADE  -  Blind Self  -  Unknown to Yourself / Known to Others


POTENTIAL  -  Unknown Self  -  Unknown to Yourself / Unknown to Others


"There are certain things you know about yourself and certain things you do not know about yourself. And there are certain things other people know about you and certain things they do not know. As a relationship grows and develops, your open self will become larger and your blind self and hidden self will become smaller. As you become more self-disclosing, you reduce the hidden self. As you encourage others to give you feedback, your blind self is reduced. Through reducing your hidden self you give other people information to react to, thus enabling them to give more informed and precise feedback, which further reduces your blind self. Through reducing your blind self, you increase your self-awareness."

-DAVID JOHNSON / Reaching Out




"Feedback from people you trust can confirm your view of yourself or reveal to you aspects of yourself and consequences of your behavior that you never knew. Feedback from other people can increase your self-awareness. The purpose of feedback is to provide constructive information to help you become aware of how your behavior affects others and is perceived by others. You then know whether you are off course with respect to accomplishing your desired objectives. Receiving feedback that tells you that your behavior is less effective than you want it to be helps you to modify your actions so that you are more productive."

-DAVID JOHNSON / Reaching Out


"Giving and receiving constructive feedback improves morale, enhances performance, increases productivity, builds empowered teams, and delivers quality output. It is the responsibility of team members at all levels to provide constructive feedback and to be receptive to constructive feedback. A culture based on feedback, candid dialogue, and continuous learning is a culture characterized by growth and vitality."



"When you give another person feedback, you should try to give it in a way that is nonthreatening. If you make the other person defensive, the feedback will be unhelpful because the person will tend not to hear and understand it correctly. You should also let the person receiving the feedback decide whether or not his or her behavior is to be continued or changed."

-DAVID JOHNSON / Reaching Out


"Feedback and self-disclosure are two very important components of relationship building. Developing and maintaining a healthy working relationship based on mutual trust requires the willingness to self-disclose and the receptivity to feedback. Both feedback and self-disclosure require courage, boldness, and interpersonal risk-taking."



"In this age of empowerment and self-directed teams, we are all accountable. We all need to take responsibility for communicating clearly."

-DAN JACKSON / Talk Isn't Cheap




by Jim Cathcart


Here are eight words, which conveniently all start with a "t", to use as a checklist for determining how to empower or motivate someone. Simply identify the person you would like to empower and then ask the eight questions to determine what kind of empowerment would be the most effective.


TARGET   -   Does he or she understand and accept the purpose or goal?


TOOLS   -   Does he or she have the tools, or information needed to do the job?


TRAINING   -   Has there been enough training in how to use the tools well?


TIME   -   Have they had enough time for the training to take effect?


TRUTH   -   Does he or she know how all of this fits together?


TRACKING   -   Am I providing the feedback needed for them to stay on track?


TOUCH   -   Is there enough support and encouragement? (the human touch)


TRUST   -   Do I trust them appropriately for their skill and mastery level?




"I think that we may safely trust a good deal more than we do."



"Trust is confidence in the integrity, ability, character, and truth of a person. One in which confidence is placed. Something committed into the care, charge, or custody of another. The decision to commit oneself to another. The condition and resulting obligation of having confidence placed in one. Reliance or dependence on, or faith in, intention and ability. To expect with assurance. A feeling that a person will not fail in performance."



"You can bring your credibility down in a second. It takes a million acts to build it up, but one act can bring it down. We try very hard not to do things that will create distrust."

-HOWARD SPERLICH / Chrysler President




"Choosing to trust another person involves the perception that the choice can lead to gains or losses, that whether you gain or lose depends upon the behavior of the other person, that the loss will be greater than the gain, and that the other person will behave in such a way that you will gain rather than lose. Trust is when you lend your car to a friend. You can gain his appreciation or lose your car; which one happens depends on him. You will suffer more if your car is wrecked than you will gain by his appreciation, yet you really expect him to take care of your car."

-DAVID JOHNSON / Reaching Out




"It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust."

-SAMUEL JOHNSON / English Writer


"Undertake not what you cannot perform, but be careful to keep your promises."



"Think nothing profitable to you which compels you to break a promise, to lose your self-respect, to hate any person, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything that needs walls and curtains about it."

-MARCUS AURELIUS / Roman Emperor




"Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him and to let him know that you trust him."



"Where there is no respect, there is no trust. Members of a group learn to trust each other only when genuine respect is extended. Individuals must feel they are valued, supported, and accepted. They must be regarded as worthwhile and capable."



 "The level of trust within a relationship is constantly changing according to individuals' ability and willingness to be trusting and trustworthy. You trust when you take risks and make yourself vulnerable. You are trusting when you are open to and accepting and supportive of others. To trust is to share and give of yourself. You are trustworthy when you express acceptance of, support for, and cooperativeness towards the other person's openness. Acceptance is the communication of high regard for another person. Support is the communication to another person that you recognize he or she has the strengths and capabilities needed to manage productively the situation he or she is in. Cooperative intention is the expression that you want to work together to achieve a mutual goal."

-DAVID JOHNSON / Reaching Out




"Interpersonal trust is built through risk and confirmation. Without risk there is no trust, and the relationship cannot move forward. The steps in building trust are: 1) Person A takes a risk by sharing his thoughts, information, conclusions, feelings, and reactions to the immediate situation to Person B.  2) Person B responds with acceptance, support, and cooperativeness, and reciprocates Person A's openness by sharing his own thoughts, information, conclusions, feelings, and reactions to the immediate situation to Person A."

-DAVID JOHNSON / Reaching Out


"You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough."



"To build trust it is essential to have clearly and consistently administered goals which contain input from all team members. Team members must perceive each other as open, fair, honest, supportive, and willing to listen. Trust is built in a work group by promoting open communications and providing fair leadership. Establishing trust in a work group requires sensitivity, acceptance, sharing a common goal, and respecting the opinions of others. Trust is necessary to have a productive working environment. Trust promotes cooperation, loyalty, and commitment."

-ROBERT MADDUX / Team Building




"Trust is synonymous with faith. When you trust people, you have faith in them and their abilities. You believe in them, you have confidence in them. You hold high expectations of them. You have the utmost respect and regard for them. You take them at their word, knowing they will always make good on their promises. You delegate in good faith, knowing they will always complete the task. You support their ongoing progress, knowing they will always realize their potential."



"Vital to the concept of trusting others is the idea of letting go. You have to allow yourself to trust others enough to let go of your need to control every detail of an operation. You have to have trust in the competency of your team members. You have to overcome feelings of insecurity and allow yourself to share power and authority with the other members of the team. You have to be able to delegate. To delegate is to let go, to entrust responsibility, authority, and power to someone else. Delegation of tasks within an organization is vital to the life of the organization, and it cannot take place without trust."





"When it comes to trust, it should be understood that the development of it is a process by which individuals learn about each other. You can't simply ask or demand that someone trust you. You must demonstrate by your behavior that you can be trusted. You have to earn the right to be trusted. As others see that you are receptive to them and respectful of them, you will earn the right to be trusted. As others observe that you make good on your promises, you will earn the right to be trusted. As others sense your care and concern for them, you will earn the right to be trusted."



"Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care."






To be trusting is to be open. To express ideas, thoughts, feelings, and opinions. To share with others. To contribute to the group.  To take risks.  A lack of trusting results in being more cautious, closed, and nonsharing.



To be trustworthy is to express affirmation, acceptance, support, and cooperative intentions.  To respect others.  To be nonjudgmental.  A lack of trustworthiness results in expressions of judgment, rejection, nonsupport, and competitive intentions.


(DAVID JOHNSON / Reaching Out)




"If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail."



"When we have mutual goals we are in a cooperative relationship; when our goals are opposed we are in a competitive relationship. Our interests are the potential benefits to be gained by achieving our goals. Sometimes your interests and the interests of others are congruent and other times they are in conflict. A conflict of interests exists when the actions of one person attempting to reach his or her goals prevent, block, or interfere with the actions of another person attempting to reach his or her goals."

-DAVID JOHNSON / Reaching Out


"People are trying to either shun conflict or crush it. Neither strategy is working. Avoidance and force only raise the level of conflict...  They have become parts of the problem rather than the solution."



"A house divided against itself cannot stand."

-ST. MARK / New Testament




"Conflict occurs when two sets of demands, goals, or motives are incompatible. Such differences often lead to a hostile or antagonistic relationship between people. A conflict can also be considered a dispute, feud, or controversy."

-ANDREW DuBRIN / Human Relations for Career & Personal Success


"To be human is to experience conflict. Though I am frequently surprised by the amount of conflict in my life and in our society, my experience should have led me to anticipate it.  After all, differences in opinions, values, desires, needs, and habits are the stuff of daily living.  It is impossible to rise completely above selfishness, betrayals, misrepresentations, anger, and other factors that strain and even break relationships."

-ROBERT BOLTON / People Skills


"Conflict is inevitable in most aspects of life. Among the reasons for the widespread presence of conflict are: 1) competition for limited resources, 2) personal differences among people, 3) dependency on other people, 4) differences in goals, 5) different methods proposed to reach a common goal, 6) unclear boundaries and tasks, 7) conflict-prone jobs."

-ANDREW DuBRIN / Human Relations for Career & Personal Success


"Since the goals of the parties are to some extent incompatible, it is inevitable that there will be structurally based conflict."



"You must accept conflicts as a natural part of life that must be faced and resolved in constructive ways. You might as well try to stop the earth from turning on its axis as to try to eliminate conflicts from your life. Conflicts arise no matter what you do. Conflicts are especially frequent whenever you have goals you care about and are involved in relationships you value."

-DAVID JOHNSON / Reaching Out


"I hate conflict. I wish I could find a healthy way to avoid it or transcend it. But there is no such path. I detest conflict because at best it is disruptive, and at its worst it is destructive. Once it erupts, conflict is difficult to control. But, conflict is a dangerous opportunity. On the emotional level at least, many of us are more aware of its perils than of its possibilities. Is it not without important benefits, however. Research has shown that it is healthy that group members have honest conflict and less suppression of feelings. Closeness and conflict are inseparable. Sometimes failure to achieve closeness is blamed on the inability to engage in controversy and useful combat. Expressing open dissent and disagreement can raise self-esteem. Conflict can prevent stagnation, stimulate interest and curiosity, and foster creativity.  So, conflict can bring important benefits when handled skillfully."

-ROBERT BOLTON / People Skills


"Conflict has both beneficial and detrimental consequences. Among the benefits are the emergence of talents and abilities, constructive innovation and change, and increased unity after the conflict is settled."

-ANDREW DuBRIN / Human Relations for Career & Personal Success




"Your attitude toward conflict will determine your success at negotiation. Conflict is inevitable no matter how you try to avoid it. The smart way to think about conflict is to see it as a positive opportunity for change. By skillful negotiating you can make the change a favorable one for you."

-McKAY, DAVIS, & FANNING / How To Communicate


"I never let the sun set on a disagreement with anybody who means a lot to me."



"Strategies for resolving conflicts with others include: 1) compromise - each side gives a little, 2) gentle confrontation - lay out the problem accurately but tactfully, 3) allow the other person to simmer down, 4) disarm the opposition - agree with the criticizer, 5) appeal to a third party, 6) do not overemphasize winning."

-ANDREW DuBRIN / Human Relations for Career & Personal Success


"Whenever conflicts occur, constructive outcomes can result and constructive agreement can be reached. This happens when the agreement maximizes joint benefits and everyone goes away satisfied and pleased; when those in conflict are better able to work together cooperatively and have more respect, trust, and liking for each other; and when all parties are better able to resolve future conflicts constrictively."

-DAVID JOHNSON / Reaching Out


"There ain't no good guys. There ain't no bad guys. There's only you and me. And we just disagree."





There are two major concerns in a conflict: 1) Achieving your personal goals through some degree of assertiveness, and 2) Maintaining a good relationship with the other person through some degree of cooperativeness.  Handling conflict among group members requires a delicate balance between your personal goals and your personal relationships.  How important are your personal goals?  How important is the relationship?  These two very important factors greatly affect how you are likely to act in a conflict.


The Goal

The first major concern in a conflict:  Achieving your personal goals.  Assertive behavior can be expressed in terms of the extent to which an individual attempts to satisfy his or her own concerns.  You are in conflict because you have a goal that conflicts with or is incompatible with another person's goal.  Your goal may be highly important to you, or it may be of little importance.


The Relationship

The second major concern in a conflict:  Maintaining a good relationship with the other person.  Cooperative behavior can be expressed in terms of the extent to which an individual attempts to satisfy the other person's concerns.  You need to be able to work effectively with the person in the future.  The relationship may be very important to you, or it may be of little importance.




Notice how your conflict resolution style is based on your orientation to your goal (or task) and your relationship with the people you are dealing (working, interacting) with.


1 / AVOIDING STYLE                    

Assertiveness:             Very Low Task/Goal Orientation

Cooperativeness:         Very High Relationship Orientation



Assertiveness:             Low Task/Goal Orientation

Cooperativeness:         High Relationship Orientation



Assertiveness:             Healthy Task/Goal Orientation

Cooperativeness:         Healthy Relationship Orientation



Assertiveness:             High Task/Goal Orientation

Cooperativeness:         Low Relationship Orientation


5 / COMPETITIVE                           

Assertiveness:             Very High Task/Goal Orientation

Cooperativeness:         Very Low Relationship Orientation


(DW JOHNSON & FP JOHNSON / Joining Together)





Your effectiveness as a team member may sometimes lie in your ability to resolve conflicts in a constructive manner. A good team player should be aware of his or her particular approach to interacting with group members.  Conflict resolution styles vary and different people have different approaches to handling discord.  When we are aware of our natural tendency in a conflict situation, we can change it as needed by learning new and more effective ways of handling conflicts.  Or we can adjust our style to meet the current situation. The proper approach to dealing with conflict may depend on a particular set of circumstances at the time. Do you know how to describe your personal conflict resolution style?


1 / Avoiding

Avoiders tend to withdraw from conflicts.  They are very cooperative.  They are likely to be very accepting of other people's decisions.  They place very little value on performing the task, and place very little importance on achieving the goal. They are very laid-back in conflict situations, and are apt to avoid confrontation by withdrawing or remaining neutral.


2 / Accommodating

Accommodators are obliging and adaptive.  They place high importance on the relationship, while their own goals tend to be of little importance. They want to be liked and accepted by other people.  They favor harmony among group members and are concerned that no one gets their feelings hurt.  In conflicts, they try to smooth things over in a warm and friendly manner.


3 / Collaborating

Collaborators are cooperative and assertive.  They are effective negotiators. They place a high value on their goals and their relationships, and achieve balance in the attainment of their goals and in the maintenance of their relationships.  They seek equilibrium between their orientation to tasks and to people.  They view conflicts as problems to be solved and opportunities for growth and learning.  They seek solutions that achieve both their own goals and the goals of the other person.  They see conflicts as a way of improving a relationship by reducing tension.  They seek a win-win resolution to all conflicts through understanding.


4 / Compromising

Compromisers make concessions.  They concede, they give and take, they meet halfway.  They place only moderate importance on both their goals and their relationships.  They seek compromise, agreement and common ground.  In conflicts, they are willing to sacrifice part of the goal and part of the relationship so that both sides gain something.


5 / Competitive

Competitors are aggressive.  They are very assertive and forceful in conflict situations, and are apt to become very involved in the confrontation.  Their personal goals are very important to them.  They tend to be independent and confident, and are likely not to be concerned with what other people think of them.  Winning gives them a sense of pride and achievement.


(DW JOHNSON & FP JOHNSON / Joining Together )