Being and Developing Mentor Leaders

I just finished reading “The Mentor Leader” by Tony Dungy. I have listed some of my takeaways in this post.

If you are interested in finding out more about the book or reading a sample, you can do so on the Amazon web site by clicking on the book cover on the left.

The Colts placed character at the forefront of the player-selection process. They eliminated players—even talented “difference-makers”—from consideration in the draft if they possessed questionable character flaws.

The team is committed to purposeful, effective communication.

Dungy rarely displays a visible reaction to uncomfortable situations.

Assistant Jim Caldwell asked him whether he was inclined to demonstrate a show of force in response to a discipline incident. Dungy’s reply – “It is not about me” – Caldwell stated that Dungy’s response “Resonated with my spirit, and it is one of the most profound lessons I learned from him.”

Tony was more interested in what was most important for the team and the franchise than himself.

  • According to Caldwell The Level 5 leadership concept from Jim Collins Book “Good to Great” sums up Dungy’s DNA as a leader: The qualities of a level 5 leaders are: Embody a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will, Display a compelling modesty, are self-effacing and understated. Attribute success to factors other than themselves., Display a workmanlike diligence—more plow horse than show horse. Set up their successors for even greater success.
  • Dungy was an active participant in the development of the players and assistant coaches, He checked his ego at the door each day.
  • Coach Dungy nurtured and cultivated both players and coaches, molding without pressing, nudging without pushing, and leading without dragging.
  • Don’t be fearful of empowering those around you.
  • “If all you’re about is winning, it’s really not worth it. I’m after things that last.” – Keli McGregor
  • It isn’t a structured program that makes the difference. The difference is made moment by moment by leaders who care for others,
  • Positive, life-changing leadership is an acquired trait, learned from interaction with others who know how to lead and lead well.
  • Leadership is not an innate, mystical gift; rather, it’s a learned ability to influence the attitudes and behavior of others.
  • Mentor leaders seek to have a direct, intentional, and positive impact on those they lead. Mentoring is about building character into the lives of others, modeling and teaching attitudes and behaviors, and creating a constructive legacy to be passed along to future generations of leaders.,
  • Its not possible to be an accidental mentor.
  • The primary focus of mentor leadership is to shape the lives of people right in front of them, as they lead, guide, inspire, and encourage those people.
  • Coaches often model the behavior of successful coaches—sometimes with detrimental results.
  • Mentor leadership focuses on developing the strengths of individuals.
  • People are watching us and learning from us whether we’re aware of it or not.
  • Mentor leadership is about shaping, nurturing, empowering, growing, relationships, integrity, and perpetual learning. Success is measured in changed lives, strong character, and eternal values rather than in material gain, temporal achievement, or status.
  • It is primarily concerned with building and adding value to the lives of people in the process.
  • Unity of purpose and a desire to make other people better must start at the top if these goals are going to ripple through an entire organization.
  • After a while, people see through the talk when it doesn’t line up with the walk.
  • Shortsighted leadership focuses primarily on the bottom line.
  • Influence, involvement, improvement, and impact are core principles of mentor leadership.
  • Simply stated, leadership is influence. By influencing another person, we lead that person.
  • When it comes to effective leadership, it’s not about you and what makes you comfortable or helps you get ahead. It’s about other people.
  • Mentor leaders look beyond themselves, focusing on the people they lead and where they should be going together.
  • Keep the vision out front. Don’t let your team – wherever it is – quit early.
  • Craft a mission to the best of your ability, encapsulating the items that make your family or team unique, and then run with it.
  • Values tell us and others what is important to us – as leaders, as an organization, and as individuals.
  • Truly serving others requires putting ourselves and our desires aside while looking for ways and opportunities to do what is best for others.
  • Mentor leaders desire to help those they are privileged to lead to be better in whatever roles and responsibilities they have.
  • Servant leadership flips the world’s model upside down: leaders who serve – not just when it’s convenient, neat, and acceptable, but when it’s timely, needed, and right.
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