Leadership B.L.I.S.S.™ (Bold Leadership Is Street Smart)

When we think of bliss, we think of joy and happiness. Bliss is a feeling, a positive state of mind; a pinnacle of emotion. Bliss may be invigorating and satisfying. In this article, we will use bliss, as an acronym. B.L.I.S.S. will evoke a sense of power and boldness when it is linked to leadership.

  1. Bold Leadership Is Street Smart.
  2. Bold Leadership Is Servant Strong.
  3. Bold Leadership Instills Survival Skills
  4. Bold Leadership Is Situation Specific

Street Smart

Bold Leadership is Street Smart. It cultivates workplace wisdom and marketplace moxie. Bold Leadership appreciates diversity, equity, and inclusion and treats people with dignity and respect. Respect is the currency that influences the cooperation and coordination necessary to avoid danger and anticipate business downturns.

The Oxford Language Dictionary defines street smarts as “the experience and knowledge necessary to deal with the potential difficulties of life in an urban environment.” The practical application of this is being savvy enough to make the tough decision. A person demonstrating street smarts knows how to operate calmly under tough circumstances. They know how to conduct themselves in a crisis. They may have the expertise and instincts to avoid a crisis. Street smart individuals can navigate a hostile environment.

A person who is street smart has developed a heightened sense of awareness of their environment. They know diverse people and their tendencies.  They recognize cues and clues and respond in the appropriate manner through their words, body language, and actions. They are confident, but not too confident and move as if they belong in the area. They do not display an air of timidity. Their strength is just enough, not to seem confrontational. They know what to say and what not to say, where to go and where not to go; they flow as if they belong.

Bold Leadership is Street Smart. Certain aspects of street smarts can be taught and presented in a framework to help people increase their awareness. Through the powers of observation and simulations, we instruct our customer-facing employees to be friendly, and professional and to understand their surroundings. They dressed appropriately and did not bring too much attention to themselves. They cultivated relationships.  People befriended them and had their backs. They would not take unnecessary risks and be constantly following Principle Number 3 from my book Unlock Your Leadership Greatness. Principle Number 3 is becoming A Student of the Game, which means continuously learning information about their field and related areas, which includes learning about diverse clients and various circumstances.

Bold Leadership is street smart when it hires and develops toughness, resilience, and street credibility. It knows how to relate to people and pays its due to learn and understand people, backgrounds, and motivations.

Servant Strong

Bold Leadership Is Servant Strong; for it realizes its purpose is to serve others. Bold Leaders see employees holistically. Each person is an individual. I feel that “The leader must know the coordinates of each subordinate, so they can meet them where they are.” They want employees to bring their entire selves to work, engaged and participating fully. Being servant strong means empathy is an important element for engagement.

Servant Leadership is a term popularized by Robert K Greenleaf in his essay, The Servant as Leader. This concept focuses on the individual. The leader concentrates on meeting the needs of their followers. The leader’s mindset is, that if we serve or take care of the people, the people will take care of the business. Traditional leadership models are leader-focused. They were hierarchical and everyone in the organization worked for the people on top. In servant leadership, the leader works for everyone. This causes a different mindset and a shift in behavior. The Bold Leader asks questions, such as What can I do for you? Is there anything else that you need? And What else is required for you to be successful?

Survival Skills

Bold Leadership Instills Survival Skills; for it is developmental by nature. There are sets of skills and abilities that must be mastered if someone is to be successful. There are minimum standards that must be learned and graduate-level on-the-job training experiences that ensure long-term success.

Bold Leadership Instills Survival Skills; by ensuring that people are fundamentally sound and by setting high standards. Feedback is provided routinely to chart their progress. By setting high expectations, people develop into confident, courageous, and competent performers.

The survival skills make them feel safe and place them in a protective frame of mind. Unlock the Secrets of Ozone Leadership® is a book utilizing the protective attribute of the ozone layer to strengthen survival skills. Bold Leadership ensures safety is a key component of their lives.

Situation Specific

Bold Leadership Is Situation Specific; refers to its ability to shift to a higher gear when more is expected. Regardless of the situation, bold leadership can adjust to a crisis and deliver what is required for their people to develop. Paul Hershey and Ken Blanchard developed and described the concept of Situational Leadership. The idea was to work smarter and not harder and to provide leadership based on the employee’s development level. Less development required more direction; more development required less direction. There was a constant delivery of support and direction based on the changing development level of the individual. Work smarter and not harder. I would add the phrase, “because you don’t want to be a martyr.

It is imperative to add B.L.I.S.S. to our leadership. This will enable us to become street smart, strong servants, instilled with survival skills, and leadership that is specific to the situation. Inherent in any leadership philosophy and methodology is a list of do’s and don’ts that we pass along to others for safety, protection, productivity, and growth. When we obtain Leadership B.L.I.S.S.™, we must train it and envelop and develop it as a competency. Leadership B.L.I.S.S.™ (Bold Leadership Is Street Smart) is a critical leadership state with many success factors to benefit our constituents.

Copyright © 2022 Orlando Ceaser

Do you have a leadership bias? Part 1

I confess. I have a leadership bias. This bias may be related to my leadership addiction. After many years of reflecting, soul-searching and validation, I can announce it to the world. I have an affinity for people who have gone through the crucible of similar experiences. They are comrades in arms, battle tested warriors from the same platoon; people who sacrificed and defended each other. In situations of doubt, where a decision has to be made, I defer to those in power, believing we share a common bond in the leadership struggle.

Recently, I sat in a restaurant and was asked about my vocation. I mentioned my years of leadership experience in the pharmaceutical industry. This initiated a spirited conversation about big corporations and big government. One patron believed that pharmaceutical companies were only out to make a quick dollar and were withholding the cures to cancers because we made more money on maintenance medicines. He felt that corporations and government were ruled by the profit motif and did not care about the average citizen.

I was mobilized into action. I went into full defense mode. I gave him data on drug discovery and limited patented coverage, generic drugs and the cost to bring a drug to market. I almost implied that he should feel guilty attacking the humanity of noble scientists who chose science to save lives and eradicate diseases. He reluctantly conceded to my argument with the caveat that my company may be different. As I reflected on my actions on the way home, I realized, I had firmly displayed a leadership bias.

I instinctively grant leaders the edge, the benefit of the doubt and presume their motives are admirable, even if I do not know them. It is important for me to learn about my leadership bias, its symptoms, consequences and potential complications and methods of treatment. These characteristics may be relevant in other areas of my life, as I live and breathe and interact with people.

Acquisition

I acquired a leadership bias as a side effect of years of exposure to good leadership. I have learned from phenomenal leaders. I was enthralled by their positive performances and magnanimous motives. This exposure left me predisposed to siding with leadership in many instances.

Additionally, I have been a manager for many years. There were numerous books, movies, training programs and on the job experiences. My leadership immersion conditioned me to the value of a vision, making fair decisions, developing people and leading a team. This exposure fine tuned my expertise and made me speak, dress and act as a leader. I felt a part of an association of leaders because we shared similar experiences. Subconsciously, I was filled with the desire to defend leadership, when challenged.  I am not naive. I have been in the presence of leaders who were not very good and were hostile to anyone who disputed or challenged their authority and I knew the difference. You can also identify your propensity to have a leadership bias based on your background.

Symptoms

You can easily identify the leadership bias, by our tendency to defend those in positions of power. This reminds me of episodes of the television show Colombo where the guilty party usually tried to explain the position of the criminal. They would find themselves going overboard defending a suspected criminal, while implicating themselves. This would eventually lead to their capture. Similar to these actors, people with the leadership bias, consistently give leaders the benefit of the doubt and ask for patience and understanding on their behalf.

A local news station was canvassing the city for people to interview during a heat spell. Commonwealth Edison the local electric supplier had instituted a policy of rolling black outs to manage their supply of electricity. My brother asked me to give the interview. I told the reporter that if the management of the electric company thought this was the best way to manage the power, we should defer to their expertise. I immediately took management’s position. I knew that in most situations leaders had access to more information. They could make better decisions because of this abundance of information. The reporter thanked me and told us to look for the interview on the 6 o’clock and 10 o’clock news.

The topic of Commonwealth Edison and energy shortage was the lead story. The station ran my comments about yielding to management’s assessment of using rolling blackouts to manage the supply of energy. My comments were followed by the mayor giving the opposite view blasting the energy company. I realized that I had been defending leadership for years.

As a middle manager I was challenged by my people about the decisions of upper management. I knew more about the decision-making process and some of the variables which led to the decision. But, I was often sworn to withhold some of the data because it was either sensitive to the stock market or we felt the competition would find out. I told my people that if they had more information they would understand the decision better. I would say the following, “Right now you have questions about the decision that was made. Trust me, if you knew more about the variable considered, we would look a lot more intelligent to you.” They would laugh and we would move on. Examine your past behavior for symptoms.  You may have displayed this tendency without realizing it.

Copyright © 2013 Orlando Ceaser

Do you have a leadership bias? – Part 2 is scheduled for Monday, February 4, 2013