Cam Newton Provides Valuable Leadership Lesson

Let me be clear about my intentions. I will not bash Cam Newton for his behavior on the field or during his interview after the Super Bowl. If I am honest with myself, I too have behaved poorly when my performance was not up to par.

Cam Newton

My purpose is to share with you a leadership lesson I was reminded of while reflecting on the situation.

Don’t allow emotions to hijack your ability to lead yourself appropriately.

During the game, the pressure from the Bronco’s defense impacted Cam’s performance. Several times he threw the football out of bounds to prevent a sack or overthrew his receivers. Cam shared that he hated losing and sacrificed so much for the game not to go as planned. He admitted his emotions took over which led to his behavior (Associate Press, 2016).

When you become emotionally hijacked, the blood leaves your brain, and either renders you helpless or causes you to lash out if not managed. When I first became a leader, this was true of me. I remember making mistakes and verbally criticizing myself. Those I was responsible for leading would scatter. They did not want to be around me because I was acting like a helpless child. On other occasions when under pressure I would become demanding and would not listen to the ideas of others. Again, the people I was responsible for leading would leave the work area. Why, because I was acting like a critical parent and treating them like children. In both cases, my ability to influence others to achieve results was severely reduced.

To prevent emotional hijacks, you must understand how your thinking about a given situation creates emotions that influence your behavior. Cam’s behavior was influenced because he hates to lose; my behavior was affected because I needed to be perfect or get immediate results. Therefore, you can manage your emotions by changing the way we think about a given situation.

In my case, I changed my thinking by accepting my imperfections and realizing people will fully invest their talents when they are allowed to share their ideas about how to achieve the best results.

I do believe Cam will learn to better manage his emotions and achieve his goal of leading the Caroling Panthers to a Super Bowl victory.

Question: How has your thinking created emotions that influence poor behavior?

Leadership Development Quote 002

The best leaders are attentive to their own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. By doing so they:

– Remain calm when situations get heated,
– Maintain a safe environment so others willingly speak up,
– Find the common ground within the differences between people and
– Build effective working relationships that maximize business outcomes.

Aristotle Leadership Development Quote

Leadership Development Quote 001

Leadership requires human interaction and human interaction is all about behaviors. Leaders who behave their way to success…
– Build powerful teams,
– Leverage their strengths and
– Achieve results while adapting to changing conditions.
Leadership Behaviors

Life Consists of a Series of Problem Solving Activities

Just this week I came to the realization that life is nothing more than a series of problem solving activities. This led me to list the problems life has presented me. As you might imagine some I caused by poor choices and others fell into my lap by the choices of others. Next, I identified the lessons learned from overcoming the problems. Last but certainly not least, I reflected on how the problems equipped me to achieve success.

As the quote below shares, embrace, overcome and learn from each problem life presents.

QUESTION: How did the problems life presented you help you live a successful life?

Leadership Team Development Quote #2

Leadership Team Development Quote – General Patton

I saw a cartoon earlier this week of a leader sharing the following with his employees: “I want you to critically think and continuously innovate as long as you do things my way.”

Thankfully, leaders like General George S. Patton know that micromanagement will not sustain success.General Patton Quote

Why Leaders Must Delegate

While barking orders from busy managers may come to mind as your perception of delegation, there is much more to be understood about why it is such an essential skill of successful leadership. From small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, delegation is a fundamental process that makes everything fluid, creating a streamlined environment that works.

Business man pointing to transparent board with text: Delegate

Early on in my leadership journey I did not understand or appreciate the importance of delegation. As a result, I found myself trying to do everything and became exhausted. Fortunately, a mentor noticed my frustration. Based on her comments listed in the quote that follows I changed my view of delegation.

When leaders delegate they have more time to focus on the key tasks required of their position. The key is for leaders to delegate the tasks they should not be doing to those that are capable of accomplishing the work. ~Melissa Bellinger

During my time as a leader, I have discovered five additional benefits derived from delegating tasks to others.

  1. Multiply yourself: Ever wish you had more than two hands? Or “two of you?” Delegate by training certain people to perform duties that meet your expectations.
  2. Create a motivated team: Giving others small tasks make people feel part of a team. The team environment becomes a tight-knit unit that can perform duties to maximize time, enhance customer service and streamline workflow processes.
  3. Develop followers: Becoming known as a people developer means that you are giving employees valuable knowledge, skills and information that will empower them to be able to become self-sufficient.
  4. Master stress & time management: Those who try to take on too much often feel burned out and spend less time with their families or relaxing. If all you do is work, work, work… it may be time to seek help.
  5. Create opportunities for yourself and others: Why hoard all of your talents and knowledge? By investing your time and relinquishing skills to subordinates, you can develop them and grow the organization, as well.

Ultimately, effective delegation positively impacts the customer, employees and your organization. First, frustrations along with being exhausted is minimized because you no longer believe everything is your responsibility. Second, as your team becomes more self-reliant they strive for optimum performance by fully investing their talents to achieve organizational goals. Third, the customers experience quality products and services leading to more profits.

The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

In my next post I will share with you the seven steps for effectively delegation.

Question: What benefits have you gained from effectively delegating tasks to others?


3 Leadership Team Development Articles for the Week of Jan 16, 2015

Every week I read a number of leadership team development articles from several online resources. Here are my top three choices for this week. I have added my comment about each article and would like to hear what you think too.

1. How Do You Motivate Your Team After an Unexpected Setback? – by The Young Entrepreneurial Council – Motivation matters after your company stumbles, and 15 young entrepreneurs offer their advice on keeping morale up. One option: Counter bad news with more positive surprises, such as a group outing. “Not only will this lift their spirits, it will give you all a low-stress environment to regroup and respond to whatever the problem is,” says Brian Honigman.

My Comment: 15 entrepreneurs provided a different method to overcome team setbacks. I encourage you to share the article with your team and facilitate a discussion by asking the following questions:

  • Which methods have we applied that helped us overcome setbacks?
  • How should we use these methods to overcome future setbacks?

The response to these questions helps your team learn that setbacks are going to occur. More importantly, they now know there is a mechanism for learning from the setbacks to improve performance and profitability.

2. 7 Tips for Developing a Leadership Mindset – by Jane Perdue – Professor and author Michael D. Watkins offers seven topics for leaders to take into account as they assess their leadership practices. These methods require maintaining equilibrium between analytical thinking and conceptual mindsets—a fundamental necessity for leading as well as managing effectively. If your career growth and influence are stalled out, reflect on your answers to these seven questions.

My Comment: The #1 problem, new leaders face, is learning how to transition from performing the day-to-day tasks and stepping into the role of getting results through others. The article provides you with a roadmap for embracing new ways of thinking that includes influencing followers to achieve collective results.

3. 5 Ways to Make Meetings Work for You and Your Team – by David M. Dye – Good leaders make sure that every meeting is the most productive possible use of time for everyone who attends, writes David M. Dye. Start by having clarity on what is being decided and who will decide. “If people could be doing something else to advance the mission better, why on earth would you take them away from that and into a meeting?” Dye asks.

My Comment: At least once a month I am asked how do you ensure meetings are productive? I respond by asking the following: Approximately how many people attend the meeting and what is the average hourly rate for those in at the meeting? How long do the meetings normally last? You are probably thinking, why do you ask these questions? The answer, in most cases the people attending the meetings is unaware of how much money they are wasting in unproductive meetings. I also recommend posting in plain view the cost of the meeting, so everyone is more apt to focus on the key activities for a successfully meeting. With the right mindset, you can apply the five ways to make meetings work because those in attendance now understand the real cost of unproductive meetings.


John Bentley speaks, trains, and writes about leadership team development. He is a contributing author of the book ‘Speaking of Success’ along with Ken Blanchard, Jack Canfield and Stephen Covey. You may download John’s chapter ‘The 5 Enablers of Success’ at To learn more or ask John a question email Follow on Twitter: @power2transform 

Leadership Team Development – Healthy View of Others

As a leader, you make one of two assumptions about the people you are responsible for influencing to get results. One assumption is people are lazy and only think about what’s best for them and must be told what to do, or nothing will get done. With this view, you probably spend most of your leadership time by controlling and monitoring employee behavior trying to achieve organizational goals. Additionally, you probably do not see the value in team development.

The other assumption is you see people as wanting to learn and grow, assume more responsibility and make a difference for the team and organization. Furthermore, you invest time in the development of employees to improve team trust and increase productivity. You understand that people desire more responsibility and want to use their talents to the fullest.

I encourage you to read and follow Robert Conklin’s quote to maintain a healthy view of others. When you do, your employees willingly invest their talents to achieve the highest levels of performance for your organization!

Conklin Leadership Team Development

Leadership Team Development Thought – October 21

Leaders often ask me why people do not achieve the results they want. My response, they are unaware of the beliefs causing them to remain stuck. So here’s something to think about…

Something to Think About













The stories we tell ourselves come from the beliefs we developed over time. Here’s some stories people tell that limit their ability to achieve the results they want:

  • I am not smart enough
  • I do not deserve success
  • My family is overweight
  • Why try, I will fail anyway
  • I must do everything myself

What stories are you telling yourself? How are the stories preventing you from achieving success?

Call me (256.612.0015) for a FREE 30 minute strategy session to discuss how you can change your stories, to renew your thinking and transform your life!