Daily Dose #16: Follow the Leader

Palm tree

Leaders, lead.  So, does placement in a leadership role automatically qualify a person as a leader?  What do most companies use as the basis for choosing someone for a leadership position? Is it based on experience, knowledge, skill, or potential?  Depending on the position, all of these traits could be required.

Many people in “head” positions see their primary role as managing people, but can you really manage a person? According to Steve Keating, CSE of Lead Today, the act of managing individuals is impossible. Then, how do we characterize a successful leader?

Great leaders:

  • ·        Inspire with their clear vision for the company,
  • ·        Build Rapport with transparency, respect and value of all employees          
  • ·        Motivate by delegating tasks and having faith in the outcome
  • ·        Coach others to succeed

Coaching is “the key.”  If you are looking for training that will greatly increase your leadership skills then find a coaching program and sign up.  Coaching is the act of mentoring individuals to “see what they may not see” and guiding them through collaboration, observation and feedback to set and achieve their goals. Through coaching, the goals become “their idea,” not the boss’s, which instantly shifts their motivation. Highly recommend reading: Better Conversations, by Jim Knight and What Successful People Know about Leadership, by John C. Maxwell.

“Your mission, should you choose to accept it…” to “become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position.” —Zig Ziglar and…Mr. Phelps. 

Daily Dose #15: Clarity of Vision

IMG_1320 fish·    Henry Ford’s vision was to have “a car in front of every house” and once established, his course was clear.

The leaders we regard as “inspiring,” have something that sets them apart from all the other managers in the world, a compelling, vision for their company.

Clarity of vision sets the course for success.  The vision is a “map to the stars” that aligns to the core values and core ideologies that the company holds true.  These unconditional “rocks” provide the base for the company as well as the attributes it is known for.  As in any relationship though, once the unwavering foundation is created, there needs to be room for growth, adjustments and change.  It is the leader who sets the course to meet the short term and long term goals of the vision by constantly checking in with all facets of the company, getting all employees and stakeholders in alignment and making solid decisions that move the company forward.

A great leader, like the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is not afraid to be unconventional and try something new.  Bezos bases his vision on “the customer’s experience” which drives the vision he has for the company and sets the course for everything he does. To create your vision, you must create the foundation, see the big picture, and decide what message you want your company to deliver. To avoid conflict, it’s imperative to effectively communicate the vision to all employees so that everyone is on board and feels appreciated for their important role in the process.

Today, Millennial Leaders, we challenge you to be bold!

Daily Dose # 14: The “Smooth Sailing Leadership”

IMG_1350 Leader-shipLoyalty is defined as,the state or quality of faithfulness to commitments or obligations.Why should millennials care about loyalty? According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, 44% of millennials surveyed stated they would like to leave their current company within the next 2 years.

So, what builds loyalty to a company and a connection so strong that a person commits to staying until retirement? The top two reasons for a person staying in a position are job satisfaction and work environment. Other factors come into play such as compensation, and alignment of personal and organizational values, but how a person feels about the job itself and the environment they work in, are the keys to employee retention.

Who decides the success of these two factors? Primarily, it’s the leadership.  Leadership can make or break a company. Not an earth-shattering statement, most people believe this to be true, but what is mind-boggling is how little we invest in “growing” great leaders. For millennials about to be placed into leadership positions or those aspiring to a management position one day, this week’s Daily Doses are for you!

·  Got style?  We’re not talking about fashion.  Anyone in or considering a management position should evaluate your personal leadership style. One way is to take an inventory test based on your personal attributes.  Next, reflect on your values and list the positive traits of leaders who have influenced you professionally. Think about the leader you want to be. The best leaders inspire, coach and lead others to greatness like the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schulz.  Shulz’s mission is to establish a company that treats people respectfully and with dignity. He sees his position as one of “service” and displays this with his daily inspirational emails to all employees and by creating programs that “give back,” such as the “Starbucks College Achievement Plan.” Leaders like Shulz, have a clear vision for the company and set the course to get there.  They believe in the value of others and understand that everyone who comes to the table has something to offer, regardless of the position they hold.  Leaders who see their employees as people who matter and provide opportunity for choice, voice and the sharing of innovative ideas, accomplish great things and grow in ways even they never considered. Not only do they celebrate in the accomplishments of individuals but see all failures as their own and use them as opportunities for change and growth.

Daily Dose #13: “The Loan Ranger”

  • SunsetFees, what fees? Millennial Home-buyers, don’t forget to factor in all the additional expenses outside of the purchase price, or “closing costs,” to the amount you will pay at time of purchase. Fees for the inspection, loan, title and filing, appraisal, real estate agent, seller, and lawyer are just a few that must be included in the costs. Typically, closing costs range from 2-4% of the purchase price of the home. So, for a $300,000 house, closing costs could be from $3,000- $12,000, depending on the type of loan you qualify for.  There are hundreds of articles out there to explain what you will be paying and why and you can find online mortgage calculators that will also calculate your closing fees for you.
  • Need a loan? Once you are ready to buy and are looking for a mortgage lender, don’t be afraid to “Shop Around!”  A bank may not be the ideal fit for you.  Credit unions and virtual banks may offer a much better program and rate.  Obtaining a mortgage can be incredibly easy today.  Just by downloading an app, you could purchase a home digitally, without ever sitting in a mortgage company. Online mortgage platforms such as Rocket Mortgage, do speed the process along and eliminate the intimidation of providing information, face-to-face with the mortgage company. At some point in the process though, you will be speaking with the lender. Weigh your options, and do your research to find the mortgage loan that feels right, but first, evaluate your financial status, credit rating, income and debt. The perfect house may become the “perfect storm,” if you don’t do your research and evaluate your current standing.

Daily Dose #12: Stop…Renovate, Rejuvenate and Listen

  • IMG_1151 UpdatingFound the ideal home in the best neighborhood and are ready to sign? As the great Lee Corso says, “Not so fast my friend!” Have you considered home maintenance costs? Someday you may want to use the equity in this house to buy another. To ensure it is worth more when you sell it, it will need to be updated, in good repair and safe. Two formulas that can be used to determine the amount one should save for home maintenance are: “The One Percent Rule” which recommends saving 1% of the cost of the home annually to pay for home repairs, (So, for a $300,000 home, that means putting away $3,000 per year for upkeep costs.)  and “The $1/per Square Foot Rule” which encourages saving $1 for every square foot of your home, every year for repair costs.  Just like insurance, you may not spend the total amount every year, but it protects you from going under if a major pipe breaks or an appliance dies unexpectedly.  This money should be used for monthly and yearly minor repairs and replacements as well as the big ticket items such as repairing or replacing roofs, furnaces and air conditioners, updating counter tops and cabinets, painting inside and out and even changing air filters on a regular basis.  Best advice: Never let a minor repair go! A leaky faucet could lead to thousands of dollars of mold removal, replacing flooring and major repairs.  Articles like these on home maintenance , as well as budgeting can provide valuable insight!

Daily Dose #11: Timing is Everything!

  • Moss in treeWhen contemplating the purchase of a home, consider the factors of your life as well as your bank account. If you have been in your current position less than a year, you may not qualify for a loan or you may qualify for a less than favorable loan with a higher interest rate.  Also, if there is a chance that you may want to change jobs, a better decision may be to rent and focus on saving money for a down payment in a year or two. Other factors such as paying off debt, raising your credit score and building your financial portfolio may place you in a more favorable position for buying the house of your dreams. More than likely this won’t be the “end-all-be-all” house, but one of several on your journey to your “ultimate abode.” Purchasing a home that is reasonably priced in a very favorable area that does not require a lot of renovations, may be a smarter choice. Now that you have developed your financial plan and have decided how much you want to be worth at age 30, 40 and 50, it’s important to see this as the next power play on the game board of your life.  Will buying this house put you in position to meet your first financial goal or should you wait and keep plotting your course?

Daily Dose #10: Location, Location, Location?

  • IMG_0059 Boom in the sunWhat factors influence the hunt for the perfect home in the prime location?  Our “prime location” may be based on proximity to our job,  the school district it falls in, neighborhood noise or traffic and what the area has to offer as far as shopping, dining, exercising and entertainment. While these are all valid features to consider,  actual “prime location” is determined by current market trends. Do your research:  What do houses in the area look like? How many houses are for sale and have sold in the last 3 years? How long do houses in this area sit on the market before selling? This may not be important if you plan on living in one house forever, but chances are one day, you will be ready to relocate. This is where having a realtor may be more helpful than simply downloading an app when searching for your dream home.

Daily Dose #9: Welcome Home Millennials!


Given your current situation, the time may just be “right as rain,” for buying your first house.  Interest rates currently can be found between 3.3% and 5.0%, depending on the state you live in, the type of loan you qualify for and the amount of down payment you are able to apply.  If you have been spending upwards of $1500 a month on rent that you will never see again, this may sound like the perfect investment to make. Before you call a realtor or download that Redfin app on your phone, there are a few key items to consider. Buying a home could just be the biggest decision you have made this far and needs to be carefully investigated before diving in. 

This week’s daily doses will be focused on the things you may never have considered when making this big move!

  • How much can you actually afford? A mortgage app quotes you to qualify for a $300,000 home, but does it mean you should? Lenders want to qualify you for the highest amount possible, but being “house poor” is one factor that can lead to anxiety, relationship issues and bad credit if anything unexpected such as losing your job, should occur. First, weigh all of your options and determine your total monthly income.   List all living expenses, include the amount that you will be putting into your savings account each month. Discuss the pros and cons of renting vs. owning your own home. Also…
  •  Can you afford to make a mortgage, pay an HOA and cover all the maintenance costs of a home?
  • How much do you currently have saved? Do you have funds available for a down payment without wiping out your current savings?
  • Do you have an emergency fund for any unexpected costs?
  • Will buying a home derail your financial timeline?
  • Can you afford all the costs for turning on and off utilities, moving and any new purchases such as furniture or appliances?
  • What purchases are you willing to “give up” to afford this luxury?


Daily Dose #8: The Quality of Your Life’s Journey

Cancun June 2011 075Today’s D. Dose is the last of the series on Life’s Highway.  These two points are the last, but definitely THE MOST IMPORTANT!

  • Contemplate your health. How healthy do you want to be at 35, 45, 55, 60? It’s more than just setting goals for weight. Will you be running marathons, golfing 18 holes, swimming 5 miles a day, setting weightlifting records? Success in life depends 100% on “QUALITY of LIFE.”
  • Get in alignment: When choosing a partner for life, talk about your timelines? This is huge! Make sure you are with a person who is in alignment with your life, goals, dreams and who wants to be on this same path. Fighting about money can be a losing battle and best relationships are established by discussing where you both want your lives to go and supporting each other to reach incredible goals!

It is never too early to start envisioning your life’s journey!

Daily Dose #7: Set Your Course

Today’s Daily Dose is twofold…IMG_0700 road

  • Map out your career goals. Do you plan on being CEO of the company by age 40? Do you want to have your own business by 45 or several businesses by 50? Very few people intend to be doing the same job for the rest of their lives, so right now ask yourself….”What would I do if I could work anywhere or do anything and how will I get there?
  • Set a financial course: Think about money and set goals for how much you want to be worth when you reach those “landmark” years. How much do you want to have in “liquid cash,” investments, real estate, assets? What additional sources of income can you add to your portfolio?  How will you ensure that no matter what speedbump comes your way, you are always financially solid?

This is the way highly successful people plan out their lives, by looking all the way down the road and not just to the end of the street!