How are you leading yourself?  Recently I was challenged by this question by Henry Cloud in 'Boundaries for Leaders'. As leaders we often get busy being reactive to the urgent, emails, daily demands and the volume of work that we shoulder.  But Cloud emphasizes the importance of proactively surrounding ourselves with an independent support network.

We need to open ourselves to outside input that brings us energy and guidance.  As leaders we all need a support system.  No matter how capable we are, working in isolation is not healthy for our personal growth or effective leadership.

He suggests that leaders who are champions are bolstered with a strong support system.  This may include an advisory board, a coach, mentors and...

Trust is a constant theme throughout all the leadership and management books I have read recently. Henry Cloud (Boundaries for Leaders) talks about the need to understand what we mean by trust, the nature, elements and components that make up trust.  One of the key components he refers to is that of 'intent'.

What does he mean by 'intent'?  To truly trust someone we need to know that they are for us and their intent is to help us.  We need to know they are looking out for us (as well as for themselves) and thinking about how things will affect the team.  Cloud suggests that being for the 'whole' and for the 'other' as well as for yourself builds...

Henry Cloud's book Boundaries for Leaders continues to provide much food for thought.  A few quotes from the chapter 'Power Through Connection'.

Why does connection matter so much in performance?  And how can leaders create it and enhance it?

Our brains need positive relationship to grow and function well.

Creating an environment that allows for vulnerability and high levels of trust builds connection.

To connect with you, I need to be aware of you and what you are dealing with, and you with me.

When people feel like they are out of the loop, the seeds of disconnection are sown. 

Create a climate where problems and issues get shared and solved through the team's engagement with one another.

When people...