Category Archives: Leadership

What Does Servant Leadership Mean To You?

I have learned  some  very important dimensions of leadership  over the years from a lot people  and in these times I think we look to leaders that believe in servant leadership.

What is servant leadership?

I asked a good friend of mine and Pastor  , who gave me one of Ken Blanchard ‘s newsletter’s  on leadership explained to me. It was developed  in an effort to help leaders come to realize that teams are more powerful than the sum of the individuals and to recognize their people as appreciating assets.

I  like the following definition for “Servant Leadership” :

“Servant Leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. In that essay, he said:

The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants

to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.

The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?

No doubt in my mind that author Ken Blanchard  and others has done an effective job explaining the meaning of servant leadership to many leaders world and I am glad that we have the opportunity to work with him.

I know  at Prosper Inc.,  I have witnessed Servant Leadership and Servant follow-ship through our company’s culture.   Being able to help  serve people  changed my family’s life, my family and love  serving others through leadership or through fellowship , truly reflecting on how the Lord has put me in a place I’m thankful for.

It is my humble hope  and prayer that I will continue  to keep the integrity and confidence necessary to persevere, the habit of being a servant leader and servant follower, and keep the vision of which service God would value most–l go forth and serve well

Devin Willis

Resources-

What is Servant Leadership? The Robert K. Greenleaf Center, Inc.

Servant Leadership by Ken Blanchard The Blanchard Management Report-

Servant leadership -From Wikipedia

What Leaders Do to Lead Well Diagram (pdf)-Lead Well

Ignite!the online newsletter from The Ken Blanchard Companies.

Change how you deal with peopledavid.weeProject:Senso

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Filed under Leadership, Uncategorized

“The One Minute Entrepreneur” + Leadership+ Student Care = Successful Plan For Everyone

I read an interesting article in the The New York Times that talked about “The One Minute Entrepreneur” (Doubleday, 2008), the latest in the “One Minute” written by Ken Blanchard, and Ethan Willis. The article talked about many interesting things but discussed the following important areas from the book for success:

•Revenue needs to exceed expenses

•. Collect your bills. Don’t let your customers use you to increase their cash flow.

•Take care of your customers. “You work for them.”

•. Take care of your people.

And in the USA Today article added the following important points from “The One Minute Entrepreneur”:

“…A simple tale. But, as always, it never hurts to be reminded of the pitfalls on the path to success, or to reach a new generation with a message of hope. Here are some of their insights. (No wincing, please.):

•Don’t ever underestimate the importance of whom you choose to be with.

•You can get everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.

•There are vast opportunities in selling when you’re selling something you believe in.

•Visualize your desired outcome ahead of time.

•Identify what you are passionate about doing. Look to do more of it. If nobody will pay you to do what you love, you have a hobby, not a career.

•If you don’t do what you love, you’ll never work hard enough to be the best.

•Never let your expenses outstrip your revenue.

•Profit is the applause you get for taking care of your customers and creating a motivating environment for your people.

•Work to balance your business life with the rest of your life.

•Continually seek the wisdom of your mentors.

•Pass on the prosperity from your passion. You’ll never be successful unless you help others. Helping others does not just involve financial gains from prosperity, but also includes sharing your time and talent.”

We know our students Learn through a team focused ideas, concrete frameworks, and practical strategies. Below are a few principles that we have found can have a life changing effect on people who need help in changing their lives Prosper, that each of us are lucky to be a part — our customers/students learn how to:

1) Recognizing opportunities, -Talking to our team of sales professionals, who  finds the right program for you and your needs.

2) Taking risks and innovation — the programs are an investment in you can lead to a more fulfilling life .

3) You can find the life you want by following exactly the approach by listening to the knowledge of your mentors and take action on those principles:

4) You develop a plan, in this case for success, and you figure out how to obtain it. Remember -When you’re faced with a problem, you can come up with a solution. In life, everything around you is a problem that has been solved.


I  love sharing and learning with  others through out my company and world on the above points so that  as a team  . We are  lucky to have leaders that are motivated by truth and integrity and coaches, sales, student,customer service and admin people “motivated and have a passion to for work and achievement of our students!”

That is why we have a remarkable, morally strong company, the reason is we have, a good understanding of the idea of personal integrity is essential.

Dr. Steve Carter explains integrity as a three-step process.

  1. Discerning what is right and what is wrong.
  2. Acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost.
  3. Saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right from wrong

I believe that we are continuing to try and create an environment for growth in the next generation of new  employees at Prosper; we will teach and show employees by example an optimistic view of the world . The reason I believe so strongly that attitude changes reality towards a positive direction is because I have seen it in my own life.

In the end  leaders must throw the stones of integrity and success, into the water . Hopefully our growing circles of influence will defeat the tidal wave of negative thinking in the world about everything!

We have started these ripples of true influence in the water of success, by clearly defining  who we are and what we stand  and how we can help others!

I know I  we  are not perfect, but we are trying to strive to become a great company and improving every year and learning from the past.  I know that I can help one student at a time and make a difference  for perhaps a life time( See Starfish story)

I am humbled daily by my fellow team members and our students  hard work and perseverance!

Devin Willis

Resources:

Small-Business Books That Break the Mold by Paul Brown- Published: May 27, 2008-The New York Times

One Minute Entrepreneur’ has bite-size words of wisdom By Kerry Hannon –USA Today


Blogs about: Entrepreneurs WordPress.com

The Insufficiency of Honesty By Stephen L. Carter -Atlantic Monthly, Feb. 1996.

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Filed under do the right thing, Leadership, leadership + management., Uncategorized, Word Of Mouth

Leadership Words + Insight

Trevor Gay,  who  spent 35 years working in healthcare management shared some great insights on his blog Simplicity. He wrote the following:

Feeling in a reflective mood, I thought I would list the most outstanding qualities of the most effective leaders I’ve ever worked with or for.

These were the 5 words that came into my head after not very long thinking about the question:

Integrity
Humility
Kindness
Support
Fairness


Strange how words like Hard, Decisive, Ruthless, and Disciplinarian did not come into my head. That probably says more about me than anything else.

I agree with Trevor.  During my 17 years of management experience I have come to the same conclusions

I would add:

Example-Lead by what we do, not what we only say.

I have seen leadership as a stewardship and huge responsibility. I perhaps see my role to “encourage the heart. and empower and celebrate learning and the growth of others”

Currentl my company gives it’s leaders the opportunity to do the above and I feel lucky to be working , growing, learning and teaching here.

What are others thoughts?

Humbly submitted,

Devin Willis

Resources That Are Helpful:

Servant Leadership, Stewardship and Winnie the Pooh
Wayne Stewart, February 2005,PDF/Adobe Acrobat

Ken Blanchard – Situational Leadership By mftrou.com

First issue of BusinessWeek + “Trouble at the Office ” can help you succeed! August 22, 2008, Devin Willis, My Discoveries on the Road to Prosper and Learn

Concepts of Leadership A Big Dog, Little Dog and Knowledge Jump Production.

Inspirational Blogs on Leadership and Management August 12, 2008 , Devin Willis

The Top 100 Management and Leadership Blogs That All Managers Should Bookmark” By HR World Editors on June 10, 2008

Ethan Willis in the News! E-strengths assessment helps others – posted  on Modern Kung fu July 24, 2008 found  by Devin Willis

Totally Consumed HR Jeff Treder– he also , correctly pointed  out  I , ” missing some of the heaviest-hitters,” including: All Things Workplace , Managing Leadership , Flowing Motion , Ripple Effect :Human Markets Ask a Manager and Totally Consumed HR .:

Leadership vs. ManagementSyque


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Filed under Leadership

Inspirational Blogs on Leadership and Management

I found some very inspirational blogs on leadership and management. I would like to share:

Management

CEO Blog — Time Leadership: Jim Estill, CEO of SYNNEX Canada, talks about how you, too, can meet business success.

Dispatches from the New World of Work: Tom Peters heads a consulting services company. His personal motto: “The starting point of all significant change is mindset.”

Extreme Leadership: Have you heard of extreme sports? Well, now there are extreme leaders, too. Steve Farber heads up Extreme Leaders Inc., a business-development company, and he also shares his thoughts on his site.

Slow Leadership: The title of this blog is legitimate: Postings are aimed at truly developing a leader through mindset and behavior change.

Say Leadership Coaching: This Polynesian-themed blog offers mentoring, coaching and training advice to managers and leaders.

Wally Bock’s Three Star Leadership Blog: Wally Bock’s very easy-to-scan site dishes up regular doses of information on leadership issues for North American business leaders.

Inspiration

Steve Roesler’s All Things Workplace Blog–  is designed to “teach smart people practical ways to become extraordinary.”

A Budding Contrapreneur: This snappy new blog by Matthew K. Ing talks about ideas and why some fail.

Liderlik/Leadership: Both English and German readers can check this blog to become inspired.

Slacker Manager: With pictures, funny lists and useful tips, this slacker blog works hard to keep you interested.

The Bing Blog: You’ll surely find out what not to do to become an effective leader in this blog that covers bad jobs, bad bosses and how to zone out in an all-day meeting.

Self-Awareness

Mavericks at Work: This blog covers “Mavericks at Work,” a veritable how-to book for “what-if executives and entrepreneurs — a collection of new and provocative answers to some of the most basic questions facing companies of every size and leaders in every field.”

800-CEO-READ Blog: Do what the blog says and read up on the latest on business books, authors and the publishing industry.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better : This blog imparts the wisdoms of the book of the same name, which was written by management consultant Bob Tomasko.

The Long Tail: Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired magazine, shares the theories behind his book “The Long Tail,” which purports that the economy is shifting its attention from mainstream products and markets to niches.

For many more see “The Top 100 Management and Leadership Blogs That All Managers Should Bookmark” – here

Resource:

“The Top 100 Management and Leadership Blogs That All Managers Should Bookmark” By HR World Editors on June 10, 2008

Ethan Willis in the News! E-strengths assessment helps others and Entrepreneur.com-July 24, 2008 by |

Totally Consumed HR Jeff Treder– he aslo , coorrectly pointed  out  I , ” missing some of the heaviest-hitters,” including: All Things Workplace , Managing Leadership , Flowing Motion , Ripple Effect :Human Markets Ask a Manager and Totally Consumed HR .: Thank you!

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Filed under Leadership, leadership + management.

Are You going to force your kids to Graduate? Will this help them Prosper and Learn?

Yesterday , I was asked if I was going to force my five kids to go to college ? My answer shocked this person when I said “no”. This person stated “don’t you know without an education your kids will fail? I just smiled and excused myself and left the conversation.

How many times were you told that a college degree was a must  for a good career ? Now , I am not saying anything is wrong with getting a degree, but it is not a “golden ticket” In fact , Trent stated some interesting facts,  we should at least realize:

“…I intend to encourage their critical thinking skills as much as I can and try to expose them to as many areas as possible while still at home. They’ll try musical instruments, various art forms, sciences of all kinds, and so on, and we’ll see where their natural magnet leads them.

I’m also going to strongly encourage them to be entrepreneurs in their spare time, from selling lemonade to mowing lawns. Or maybe even starting their own blogs – I’ve discovered some amazingly successful bloggers early in their teen years….” See the entire Post at- Is College Really Necessary For All High School Graduates? : The Simple Dollar

In our family growing up , we had a saying :

“If you have will there is a way ,” if there is a way, there is a Willis!”

We were taught to be an strong advocate for all people, no matter what their status or race, learn at high levels and that all things are really possible that is why ,all of us following or parents example and helping others through creative ways, most of us didn’t need their college education and become successful entrepreneurs!

However, IT MUST be noted all of us have learned the principles from “prosper learning” high quality programs and have found Success . our families success Here are a few of them, both contemporary and from the past,.

Brent and Phelecia Hatch– Phelecia is my sister and is a wonderful mother and friend. Brent who has been a successful entrepreneur in many areas! But the project I love the best is “Raising a G-Rated Family in an X-Rated World.” (http://www.howtobehave.com/)

Damon Willis– He opened an successful L.A Boxing in Orem Utah. he is an associate instructor under Master Toddy and an Instructor under Willis Combative s. He also has a great instructor who also teaches at his gym named Chuck Costello :: MMA Professional Trainer And Fighter! see Orem :: LA BOXING Instructors

He has over 500 members and enjoys working with his staff to give them the best training anywhere!

Ethan Willis -is one of the founding partners of Prosper , Inc. (http://www.prosperlearning.com) and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors. Ethan is responsible for the development of the company’s core business model-providing leadership in the advancement of outcome-oriented education.

During his time at Prosper, Ethan has founded three other companies: Adcafe.com, a leader in online lead generation; TSN, an online business tutorial with over 20,000 members; and Education Success Inc., which has sold more than 400,000 downloadable business courses.

Ethan is coauthor, with New York Times bestselling author Ken Blanchard, of The One Minute Entrepreneur:

I have taught Self Protection to many people though the last 20 years. Julie (My wife) and I helped co-invented the Guardian Keychain that is being used all over the world by thousands of people. Our goal in developing the Guardian was to make it easy , effective and affordable.

We also donate key chains and training to groups that need them(low income-womens group)Please contact me via the website or this blog;0)

What are your thoughts?

Devin Willis

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“MeetInnovators + Ethan Willis”

There was a great interview done  with Ethan Willis. He stated

“…Number one is getting good people to manage the employees. Number two is hiring good people from the beginning…” and  “…A lot of companies become bureaucratic because they are trying to set up systems and processes to manage the wrong people. If you can have the right people who believe in what you’re trying to do and who have the right philosophy, the culture of the business will often manage itself. Then it’s all about fostering that culture…” see Ethan Willis from Prosper, Inc.-MeetInnovators CEO Club

The above interview gives insight to how Prosper inc. can help people, so effectively. And in my humble opinion is the reason is the best in the educational industry!  When you “talk to Prosper CEO Ethan Willis,” you come a way better when you leave him!

Devin

Resources:

Ethan Willis Can Help You Become a Better Teacher?- Becky

Changing lives, One Student At A Timethe article  that was selected to appear in the August 2006 issue of the national magazine, U.S. Business Review in an article entitled “Investing in Tomorrow”.

Eric Bryant shared “Attributes of Successful Entrepreneurs” in his wonderful blog — July 30, 2008…-Past posts on this blog”My Travel’s on the Roads in how to Prosper and Learning”

One of my Favorite Blogs, The Entrepreneurial Mind Will Join Several Others-July 28, 2008..-Past posts on this blog”My Travel’s on the Roads in how to Prosper and Learning”

“Prosper Learning’s” Information Sheet-

Blogs about: “Ethan Willis”

Ethan WillisLatest post was updated: made by Anonymous

Ethan Willis and E-strengths assessment helps Martial Artists -July 18, 2008- James ” Martial Arts blog’

Outstanding Young AlumniBYU-Idaho Alumni Association-Randy Garn and “Ethan Willis”

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Filed under Ethan Willis, Leadership, tips, Word Of Mouth

My thoughts on leadership;0)

I read an interesting  post today  that talked about ” Fast Leadership – Stop Thinking and Start Deciding .” He basicallly advocates a Gladwellesque “Blink” style of decision making, which I think has merit in the right time and place. It’s a good post, but one thing I thought was missing was some kind of feedback mechanism that allows you to take stock of how your decisions worked out over time. ..” Also “..see this nice roundup of decision making links over on Lifehack.org…”See resource- Decision roundup Tuesday, August 29 2006 , quoted on AllBusiness.com,  (Ethan Willis and Steve Gross are  great example of  great leadership)

I also read a post on the  LeadershipNow Blog and  I came across  4 rules of influence from the book The Art of Influence written by Chris Widner-see below-

1. Living a Life of Undivided Integrity. Notwithstanding that integrity is in fact being undivided, he writes that while leaders do make mistakes, followers “do expect their leaders to admit and correct their mistakes, mend the cracks in their integrity, if you will. Left unchecked, eventually a lack of integrity erodes the trust that is needed between a leader and a follower.”

2. Always Demonstrate a Positive Attitude. People respond to optimism. Bad things happen. And when they do, you need to ask not “Why did this happen to me?” but “What’s next?” or “What good can come from this?” “You are choosing to believe that something good can come from negative circumstances and that the future will be better than the present.”

3. Consider Other People’s Interests as More Important Than Your Own. “Even more important than being interesting, is being interested.”

4. Don’t Settle For Anything Less Than Excellence. Widner encourages us to grow our influence by improving ourselves around seven areas of excellence: physical appearance, emotional health, intellectual growth, spiritual depth, relationships, financial success, and charitable giving. Excellence is in the details…”

The bottom line is influence is not “about manipulation and slick fast-talking”; true Influence  and leadership teaches that your ability to influence others begins from within. These is our culture at Prosper. Although we are not perfect, we strive to become better everyday as we can to serve our people and help them gain success. Also see Prosper Learning Star Fish Story

Any thoughts?

Devin Willis

http://www.linkedin.com/in/devinwillis

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Filed under devin willis + prosper, Leadership