Last week’s Wellness Wednesday focused on how someone else’s beliefs have a major impact on us and others. This week I became aware of several organizations (schools, health clinics, political groups, families, teams) where someone’s beliefs has had a major impact on the wellbeing and performance of that group. That awareness has led me to realize that someone’s beliefs are at the heart of leadership.

Our Top 20 team has enjoyed the opportunity to work with the staff and students at Lake Middle School in Woodbury, Minnesota. We have conducted trainings with the staff and retreats with students. The faculty has taught Top 20 strategies and principles to students for a number of years. Lake Middle School has just been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. This prestigious award is the result of Lake’s entire staff committing to developing the potential of its students and colleagues.

However, if you track the actions that resulted in this award back to their origins, you would discover a belief of Principal Molly Roeske. From the first time I met Molly, it was obvious that this leader believed that amazing things could happen for every student and staff member in her school. This was a leader with “self-smarts” and “people-smarts”.

In his book Leadership from the Inside Out, Kevin Cashman defines leadership as “authentic self-expression that creates value” for others. Top 20 leaders like Molly add something of value to the lives of other people.

The Star Qualities or Negative Mental Habits that we bring to our leadership role are contagious. Any coach or manager who is bold and innovative will soon have a bold and innovative team working with her. Any foreman or director who is sarcastic or negative will soon find the same characteristics prevalent in his crew.

Top 20 leaders with “self-smarts” and “people-smarts” are germinators. They think and communicate in ways that foster the growth and improvement of others. They plant those small seeds of positive energy, nurture them, and celebrate their development into deep-rooted, successful outcomes.

Leaders lacking “self-smarts” and “people-smarts” are terminators. They limit or suffocate the development of others. Whereas germinators help the group to flourish, terminators block potential and prevent what is possible in a group.

Think about the groups or teams of which you have been a member. How did the Star Qualities or Negative Mental Habits of the leader impact the group?

From our Top 20 team…Willow, Kevin, and Tom…germinators all.

Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training