Posts Tagged ‘leadership skills’

How to Generate Buy-In

February 22, 2008

Michael K. McFadden




It’s an election year here in the United States and as a registered democrat, it is exciting to watch history in the making as we select what seems plausibly the first African American or female democratic President of the United States of America.

As the party’s candidates compete for nomination, they are faced with a challenge that all leaders face – generating buy-in. I am fascinated by the man some call the new J.F.K. – Senator Barak Obama. Senator Obama’s campaign is a great example in my opinion of how buy-in is generated.

While his talent appears to be so natural that one could consider it an innate gift, it is really an excellent compilation of skills that can be identified, developed, and honed. What is it about Senator Obama that has whites and blacks, males and females, and every race and culture in between, uniting and embracing the hope of change?

I have discovered that there are four components necessary to generate buy-in:

  1. An initiative that benefits the whole instead of the individual (especially the individual initiator).
  2. Pure motives. Genuineness.
  3. Communication. The ability to cause people to connect with the virtues of the initiative, not only intellectually but emotionally.
  4. Contagious passion. Charisma. When a person goes beyond having a message but to the point that the message has them.

A leader may possess wonderful ideas, but a leader who generates buy-in is more than an idea generator, he is an executor. In order to be an executor, a leader must have the support of his followers which is the result of buy-in.

Michael McFadden is a leadership & performance expert, speaker, and author of the newly released book How to Maximize Your Potential: Your Roadmap to Success in Business and Life.

Visit and sign-up for the FREE Leadership Coaching 7 Day e-course titled, “How to Inspire Your Employees to Reach Their Potential.”


5 Strategies for How to Balance Work and Home

January 17, 2008

Michael K. McFadden




It has been said, “You are what you eat.” But in the American culture, you are what you do. In other words, that is to say what you do for a living.

Consider the opening dialogue during the introduction between two people just meeting. After the exchange of names and pleasantries, usually the next question will be; “What do you do for a living?”

In the American culture, we are obsessed with status and material possessions. Even though work is a means to an end, it is easy to misplace our values and become overly focused on work and wealth in a desperate pursuit of the “American dream.”

While blindly sacrificing meaningful relationships, many people have worked diligently to achieve their dreams only to awaken surprisingly to the nightmare of a reality of loneliness and despair.

What is the American dream, which people work so hard for, really about? Is it marriage, children, homes, cars, boats, vacations? No. Sometimes people think they want money, or a husband, or children; but the American dream is really a euphemism for happiness.

What people really want is happiness.

Happiness is derived from self-fulfillment expressed through the service of others. Therefore, work must be balance with time spent relating to others and serving their needs.

Here are five strategies for how to balance work and home:

  1. Make serving others the number one priority.
  2. If your home life is a deterrent, improve it. Make the necessary changes for the better.
  3. Be honest. Do not use work as an alternative to having an open and honest conversation with your significant other.
  4. Get out of your comfort zone and develop new interest.
  5. Do not bring work home. There is a time and season for all things.

A person’s home life is the roots to their existence. Work is a means to an end that should water the roots not replace them.

Michael McFadden is a leadership & performance expert, speaker, and author.

Visit and sign-up for the FREE Leadership Coaching 7 Day e-course titled, “How to Inspire Your Employees to Reach Their Potential.”

How To Think Like A Leader

November 20, 2007

Michael K. McFadden


The apostle Paul once said, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Paul’s reflection clearly reveals how the process of a person’s thinking can evolve.

As your responsibilities evolve from following to leading, from technician to manager, your thoughts should evolve as well. It is a good practice when advancing to a new level of responsibility to ask yourself, “What type of thinking should I be employing on this new level?” A good leader is constantly striving to put off outdated and inappropriate ideas replacing them with fresh and progressive ones.

Exactly how does a leader think? Here are just five principles that guide the thoughts of many leaders:

  1. Leaders think with laser focus but global perspective.
  2. Leaders think in the “now” for long-term results.
  3. Leaders think without the constraint of boundaries.
  4. Leaders think primarily for the benefit and welfare of others.
  5. Leaders think retrospectively about the results and effects of past thoughts in order to formulate more effective thoughts.

In the words of the old proverb, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

 Michael McFadden is a leadership & performance expert, speaker and author. 

Visit and sign-up for the FREE Leadership Coaching 7 Day e-course titled, “How to Inspire Your Employees to Reach their Potential.”


7 Strategies for Resolving a Mess Without the Stress

October 8, 2007

Michael K. McFadden 


October 08, 2007 


An article published in the USA Today stated that most employees today are opting to maintain a frontline position and forgo the opportunity for middle management. One reason cited was to avoid the stress. A common misnomer amongst employees today is that being a leader is synonymous with being riddled with stress. However, to the contrary, good leadership focuses on properly managing the variables in a problem and averting the stress.

The adrenaline rush accompanied with any intense situation is useful; but any associated stress is a counter productive by-product of misappropriated emotions. More potential leaders should experience the unparalleled joy of helping another person maximize their potential by learning how to tackle issues without being deterred by the perceived stress. It is possible to be a leader or manager without overdosing on antacids.

Here are seven strategies for how to resolve an intense situation without taking away unwanted stress:

  1. Work the problem and not a personality.
  2. Don’t take criticism or failure personally.
  3. Don’t wear your emotions on your sleeve. Problems often need more thought and less emotion.
  4. Delegate tasks to responsible and competent parties only.
  5. Listen and communicate carefully; and always clarify.
  6. Only set and accept realistic timelines and expectations.
  7. Resolve that it is ok to personally do whatever is required to get the job done.

Leadership should be a natural fit; and, therefore, enjoyable with the normal fatigue associated with any exertion. Stress is a signal that something (usually emotion) is out of alignment and that adjustments should be considered.

Michael McFadden is a leadership & performance expert, speaker, and author.

Visit and sign-up for the FREE Leadership Coaching 7 Day e-course titled, “How to Inspire Your Employees to Reach Their Potential.”


How to Identify Leaders

October 1, 2007

Michael K. McFadden




Success on any level by any definition is largely the result of good leadership. It is safe to say without good leadership, whether individualized or corporate, success remains elusive. Therefore, finding good leaders is paramount in order to further any good and worth while endeavor. But how do you find good leaders? Even more important, what are the indicators of potential leaders?

The evidence of good leadership is when a person can inspire followers to accomplish the common goal through maximizing their individual potential. Therefore, in order to identify a leader, you must search for the indicators in a person that suggest they can inspire their followers to maximize their potential and to use that potential toward the common goal. In order for a person to accomplish this task of a leader, they must be a problem solver.

In order to find a problem solver and hence your potential future leader, there are five characteristics you will want to identify. A potential leader is:

  1. Not a complainer.
  2. Looking for solutions.
  3. Teachable and open to suggestions.
  4. Always taking action.
  5. Demonstrating his propensity to lead through his excellence in following.

Finding leaders is like finding a pair of shoes; if you don’t get the right characteristics (size, style, comfort of fit) the results can be crippling.

Michael McFadden is a leadership & performance expert, speaker, and author.

Visit and sign-up for the FREE Leadership Coaching 7 Day e-course titled, “How to Inspire Your Employees to Reach Their Potential.”