Don’t Let Your Leadership Drift

“Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

When we go to the beach, I love to buy a cheap float, blow it up, and float in the ocean. Here is what I do, I go out in a straight line from where we are set up on the beach, this gives me a point of reference. After a while, all I end up doing is floating, riding the waves. Over time, I will be nowhere with regards to my point of reference. All I am is a weight, floating on top of the water. I go with the flow with the waves of the ocean, going wherever it takes me. I do one thing and one thing only, I drift.


Have you ever considered leadership with regards to drifting? Think of it this way; leadership is often like a piece of driftwood, sitting there on the water, drifting. No purpose, no fixed point, no anchor, no nothing. Just worthless driftwood.



Here are a few things that we should consider with leadership that drifts:

1. It requires no effort.

The moment we decide not to lead, we drift. It requires no effort not to do anything.

2. It is unconscious.

We drift unaware of what is around, against, and under us.

3. We never drift against the waves.

The waves push us, and the wind blows us where it wants. We become no more than a pushover.

4. Once leadership starts going downhill, it goes fast.

Think of it this way, when we hear and see the waterfall; it is usually too late to change the course. One thing is certain; you are about to drop.

5. It loses focus.

If we lose sight of our point of reference, we could end up anywhere other than where we need to be.

6. It will become dangerous and crash into something.

Only a few things can happen. It can rot, crash into something else, go over the waterfall, or collect so much baggage that it sinks.


When thinking about these points, we must remind ourselves that our leadership is our own. It should have a fixed purpose and must have a presence that is stable and shows consistency to others.

Does your leadership ever have moments of drifting? If it is, what are you doing to correct it? We must answer both of those questions. You and others around will appreciate it.

Remember… #thinkleadership

©2017 J Clay Norton

Follow me on Twitter at TheBookChamber

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Is Your Leadership…C.A.L.M.?

“In calm waters, many captains are able. It is in the tempest when true leadership emerges.” – Thomas Kohntopp

How many times have we been on the side of telling someone to stay calm and relax or not overreact? And most of all… breath (I have been, at many times this person.  You can ask my parents).

Everyone is capable of being a leader when the waters of your environment are peaceful and still.  But… when the wind starts blowing your hair, the waves start turning your stomach and the storm breaks your sails, you better have an idea of what to do.




Here are some thoughts for being able to stay C.A.L.M. in your day to day leadership…

Consistency with Confidence

Are you staying consistent with your decisions?  Are they true to form with your past behaviors?  Or… Do you waffle and flip-flop and show a lack of consistency with a lack of confidence? Be a pillar of hope for others that will stand and is sure.

Authentic with Availability

Bottom line… Are you real?  Leadership must have authenticity. No one wants to work with a fake leader.  Also, having authenticity enables you to be available. Think about this… Does someone have to ask what type of mood you are in before they come to you with a question or problem?

Loyalty with Lightheartedness

If you want loyalty from others, you better be loyal to them.  Loyalty is a two-way street.  A lot of characteristics are available to show your loyalty.  Do you care about, invest, help develop, and most of all believe in others.  While being loyal, consider being a little less wound tight.  They say laughing is healthy… Having a spirit of lightheartedness will go along way with everyone around you. Others will not act like they are walking on pins and needles.

Meaningful with Mercy

Do others find your leadership meaningful? Does it have a purpose or does it go as the wind blows? People want leaders with value.  Let what you do and what you say mean something.  Also, every so often, things will not always go as planned… mistakes happen. People by nature do not mess up on purpose.  Now, there might be that time when disagreements arise, but… mercy should be a quality of all leaders.  It is unfortunate that mercy is not a word that is often associated with leadership. I figure too many people view it as a weakness.

Who do you know that exhibits C.A.L.M. leadership? Do you have C.A.L.M. leadership? Those who are around us the most know the truth.

Remember… #thinkleadership

©2017 J Clay Norton

Follow me on Twitter at TheBookChamber

Subscribe via email to my blog at the top of the page.









Let’s Talk About Me… No, Let’s Don’t

Let’s start this week with some lyrics of Toby Keith’s song, “Let’s Talk About Me.”

But every once in awhile

I want to talk about me

Want to talk about I

Want to talk about number one

Oh my me my

What I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see

I like talking about you, you, you, you usually, but occasionally

I want to talk about me

I want to talk about me



While this is a comical song with some hidden truths… There is a great message of leadership within it.


Let’s Talk About Me…


Well, do you know leaders like this? (I can imagine you counting them now.) All a “me leader” wants to talk about is themselves…  How I do this or that… What I have accomplished… What I mean to the organization… What I etc…

You might not agree with this but… there are a lot of selfish leaders out there.  After all, isn’t leadership actually about the leader? Here is what the selfish leader is saying, “Feed me, feed my ego.”

Well, let’s punt all the above and not talk about the “me leader.” Let’s talk about others. Let’s take everything you want recognition for and give it to others.

But you might be thinking, “I do not get to talk about me?” NO! and I am glad you finally figured it out… Let’s turn the conversations around.

Here is the deal… No one wants “you” to be the topic of the conversation when you are the one speaking. If all you have or want to talk about is you, you are sending a powerful message to everyone around. It is a message that is loud and clear.

The hard part of leadership is making it about others. It is not natural for some. True servant-leaders see people as an end instead of a means to an end. It should be what you strive for every day in your leadership.

At the end of the day, it is about other people receiving the glory. Take the spotlight off of you and place it on others. How ironic it is… When you decide to do this, you will end up receiving the recognition you deserve. Let it happen on its own.

We need leaders who are intentional for the right reasons of leadership. One of the right reasons is putting others first and losing the “Let’s Talk About Me” attitude.

Remember… #thinkleadership


©2017 J Clay Norton

Follow me on Twitter at TheBookChamber

Subscribe via email to my blog at the top of the page.


That Ugly Word… Conflict​

“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” – William James


Hiding head in sand

Conflict… It is a disease and it is contagious. Run for your lives…

And that is what many leaders do, they run.

Have you ever been around that leader who would not deal with conflict? Or, if they did deal with it, they made the matter worse. Why is this? What is it that they do not understand? As we often say… “The handwriting is on the wall…”

Bottom line… Many leaders avoid conflict. Like it or not, conflict is out there and we have to deal with it. Sometimes sooner rather than later. Either leaders do not like it or they do not want to deal with it. It may be that they want everyone to like them and hope that everyone can just get along. Which begs the question, “Why are some people in a leadership position anyway?”

So what happens when conflict is staring them in the face? Something has to happen, right? Well, here are some thoughts…


Bury It – Put this away somewhere and hope it gets lost and never found. Hope no one remembers where it is. If things go right, they will not even remember where they put it.

Deny It – There is no conflict. What are you talking about?

Diminish It – It is not that big of a deal. You are making way too much out of this.

Drown It – Busy themselves with so much other stuff and not have time to deal with it.

Redirect It – Put the situation on someone else and make it their problem.

In each of these thoughts, the conflict is still there. We live in a fantasy world when we believe the situation will take care of itself. That’s the problem… Someone will dig it back up, refuse to let you be in denial, save it, or direct it back.

A leader’s job is to lead. How we handle conflict shows our leadership. Issues will arise and sometimes conflict hitches a ride. Not dealing with conflict or letting it go unresolved traps and backs us into a corner.

When leaders avoid conflict, they put everyone and everything at risk. They even put themselves at risk. Avoiding conflict causes a ripple effect that turns into tidal waves.

Be a leader who knows how to handle conflict. Everyone around you will appreciate it and you.

Remember… #thinkleadership

©2017 J Clay Norton

Follow me on Twitter at TheBookChamber

Subscribe via email to my blog at the top of the page.