- Do more than belong: participate.
- Do more than care: help.
- Do more than believe: practice.
- Do more than be fair: be kind.
- Do more than forgive: forget.
- Do more than dream: work.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Monday, March 10, 2014
If you're like many leaders, you're "too busy" to exercise on a regular basis. And, you don't give yourself time to renew and refresh. Truth is, there are ways to fit exercise and healthful habits into your busy day that will pay off in dividends.
From Experience Life magazine, here are 10 tips for how to fit even just moments into your day (at work, on the road and at home) to help you become more healthful:
- Make a plan to exercise. Include exercise times, even if they are just in 10-minute increments, on your calendar.
- Find time to exercise and build on that time. Start off by walking for five minutes at lunch and add to that every few days until you've worked up to 30 minutes every few lunch hours.
- Limit screen time. Set a timer for how long you'll watch TV or surf the Net. Then, use the time you aren't in front of a screen to exercise.
- When you are watching TV, do squats, push ups, lunges, yoga poses and crunches.
- Think positive. Psychologists suggest that you replace "I am too busy to work out" thinking with "I choose to make myself a priority."
- Hold a "walking meeting" where your group walks together instead of sits in a meeting room. This can be particularly beneficial for brainstorming meetings.
- Work out when you're traveling. Pack a jump rope. Do push-ups and crunches in your hotel room. Use the hotel's gym. Ask the hotel if they have guest passes or discounted rates at a nearby health club.
- Exercise first thing in the morning. Don't let a long day end with "no time to exercise."
- Wear a pedometer. By age 60, most people are down to about 4,500 steps a day. Your goal should be to walk 10,000 steps per day.
- Negotiate a discounted rate for you and your employees at a gym near your office building. And then use the facility and encourage your employees to do the same.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
A former co-worker shared a great blog post with me this past week about the most common complaints about the annoying things bosses do without even realizing it.
Here are the highlights:
1. Making social events unofficially required.
2. Pressuring employees to donate to charity.
3. Calling employees who are on vacation.
4. Holding endless meetings.
5. Not making hard decisions.
6. Delegating without truly delegating.
7. Hinting, rather than speaking straightforwardly.
Read on for the details behind each of the above statements.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Early on in Eli Broad's book, The Art of Being Unresaonable, he reminds us of the power of a child's instinctive asking, "Why not?" Unfortunately, most adults lose that habit and Broad goes on to explain that it was his continuing to ask "Why not?" throughout his career that brought him success.
"The questions you're willing to ask when others think they have all the answers are doors to discovery," says Broad.
Other words of wisdom from the book, and my favorite takeaways, include:
- Most successful businesses have to begin by bucking conventional wisdom. Invention and innovation don't happen without it.
- Do your homework no matter how much time it takes.
- Big ideas don't happen in a moment.
- You can't do it all yourself, so ask questions and delegate.
- The trick to delegating is to make sure your employees share your priorities.
- Find the best people to whom you can delegate, and know their strengths and weaknesses.
- Younger employees simply have fewer preconceived ideas of what they can and can't do. Try to widen their perspective, deepen their sense of accomplishment, and build their capacity.
- No matter how much money your customers have, they still want value.
- The best way to mentor is to challenge people and then to set an example by letting them see you in action.
- When you challenge people to dig deep and do more and better than even they imagined they could, it creates a particular bond.
- Show me a person with an unblemished track record, and I'll show you a person who has dramatically underachieved.
Broad is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the founder of two Fortune 500 companies -- KB Home and SunAmerica.
Friday, March 7, 2014
One of the most difficult words for anyone, leaders included, to say is, "sorry."
Yet, the time will likely come when that's the word you need to say. Research shows that apologizing in a heartfelt way can help you reduce stress and alleviate guilt.
In the position of needing to apologize? Do this:
- Apologize immediately. Say you are sorry.
- Take responsibility for the situation.
- Acknowledge the offense.
- Ask forgiveness with a promise that it won't happen again.
- Offer restitution whenever possible.
Note: Thanks to St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City, MO for this sound advice.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
What Branham and Hirschfeld discovered is that the best companies use six "universal drivers" that maximize employee engagement:
- Caring, Competent, and Engaging Senior Leaders
- Effective Managers Who Keep Employees Aligned and Engaged
- Effective Teamwork at All Levels
- Job Enrichment and Professional Growth
- Valuing Employee Contributions
- Concern for Employee Well-Being
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
I found particularly compelling the following about trust from Andrew Leigh's new book, Ethical Leadership.
To be trusted, leaders must show:
- ability - competence at doing their job
- empathy - a concern for others beyond their own needs and having benign motives
- integrity - adhering to a set of principles acceptable to others, reflecting fairness and honesty
- predictability - over time, acting with consistency
Here are my Mid-Week Recommended Leadership Reads...
Each week, I share with you one recommended blog post, video, and profile about leadership, communication and/or marketing.
The recommendations are be some of my favorite finds that I hope you'll think are equally interesting and helpful.
So, here goes:
- Blog Post: Tanveer Naseer on leadership lessons from the recent Winter Olympics
- Video: Paul Smith on the top 10 reasons for storytelling
- Profile: Chris Larson
Please let me know if you have a recommended post, video or profile you would like me to read and see for possible inclusion in my Mid-Week roundup.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
From Jay Miletsky's book, 101 Ways to Successfully Market Yourself, here 10 tips for projecting an effective professional image:
- Discipline yourself to be positive and enthusiastic.
- In tense situations choose positive responses by maintaining perspective and getting along well with others.
- Acknowledge mistakes and shortcomings and learn how to correct them.
- Develop a reputation for being a resourceful problems solver.
- Leverage your strengths and expertise to have maximum impact on the decisions you make.
- Be organized, efficient, flexible, and self-motivated.
- Master your tasks and fully expand your area of expertise so that you can boost your output.
- Keep up with the latest developments in your company and in your field.
- Cultivate unique talents that give you a definite edge.
- Gain visibility by taking the kind of action that will propel you into the right sights of management personnel.
Monday, March 3, 2014
As explained in John Baldoni's, book, Lead With Purpose, Marshall Goldsmith suggests all leaders make it a habit to regularly ask their employees these six questions:
- Where do you think we should be going?
- Where do you think you and your part of the business should be going?
- What do you think you're doing well?
- If you were the leader, what ideas would you have for you?
- How can I help?
- What suggestions or ideas do you have for me?
Sunday, March 2, 2014
According to leadership expert, John Baldoni, the best ways to demonstrate that you truly put people first at your business is to:
- Deliver intrinsic awards (comp time, bonuses, etc.).
- Offer developmental opportunities
- Provide timely recognition
- Promote from within
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Here are the seven smart things you need to do to succeed in the future, according to leadership expert. John Baldoni, in his book, Lead With Purpose:
- Make purpose a central focus.
- Instill purpose in others.
- Make employees comfortable with ambiguity.
- Turn good intentions into great results.
- Make it safe to fail (as well as prevail).
- Develop the next generation.
- Prepare yourself.
Friday, February 28, 2014
In their new book, How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things, co-authors Neil Smith and Patricia O'Connell list 20 excuses commonly heard in companies for reasons why new business transformation ideas are not considered.
The authors recommend eliminating these 20 excuses from your vocabulary:
- Our company is well run; there are no opportunities.
- We're inefficient, but my department is not the problem.
- The issue is support function and allocations, not my costs.
- Our problem is revenues, not how we do things.
- We have tried that before.
- We are already doing that.
- My boss/the CEO/legal will never agree to that.
- That won't save money or increase revenues.
- That would cost too much to implement.
- No one in the industry is doing that.
- We will lose customers if we do that.
- Anything that takes time away from serving my customers will hurt us.
- But we are unique.
- No one really understands what we do.
- I don't have time to think about that.
- We don't have the right technology to do that.
- I can't risk my job raising that.
- I can only impact my own department.
- I don't have the right people to do that.
- Now is not a good time for us to make changes.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Are you a leader contemplating starting a new business? Or, has a budding entrepreneur turned to you because of your leadership skills to ask for your help?
Here are 11 questions you or that entrepreneur should ask before starting a business.
- Is there a true need for my product/service?
- What is the competitive environment and how will my product/service be unique, different or better?
- Will my location (or accessibility online) be convenient and easy to get to for my customers?
- Do I have adequate funding to support my business, particularly during the ramp-up period that could be a year or more?
- Do I have the stamina to start a new business and work hard even if it means months of extended work hours and perhaps even seven days a week?
- Will my family and social life withstand my commitment to my new business?
- Will the name of my business be easy to spell, suitable for print on online, and memorable?
- Am I a risk taker?
- Am I humble enough to ask for help, especially if I am not an expert in marketing or accounting?
- Do I hire well? Do I have the skills, ability and resources to hire people who will share my same vision, work ethic and commitment to the business?
- Do I have an exit plan? Do I know how to handle exiting from the business should it fail or, ideally, should it become so successful I’ll be able to sell it?
Writing the plan, which could take two to six weeks of working on it nearly every day, will force you to think of all aspects of your business and will require you to address tough questions you will likely not ask without the discipline of writing a plan.
Perhaps most critical in your plan will be the sections on:
- Financial Projections
Today, I am pleased to share again a guest post from Garret Kramer of InnerSports LLC about how to be a great coach:
14 Attributes of Great Coaches
By Garret Kramer,
Author of Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life
There are many, many coaching manuals and books on the market today. Unfortunately, virtually all of them provide an external blueprint or "positive" guide to successful coaching and leadership. Very few, however, point the coach inward to an intuitive understanding that he or she already possesses.
Below are fourteen examples of the inside-out coaching paradigm revealed in Stillpower. Consider these attributes of great coaches for yourself; then see how they might apply to you, your team, classroom, company, or family.
1. Great coaches think state of mind first; behavior (including "working hard, "staying positive, and "doing the 'right' thing"), a distant second.
2. Great coaches know that what they say pales in comparison to the state of mind from which they say it.
3. Great coaches know that their perception of others is based solely on their own state of mind -- which is always subject to change.
4. Great coaches set few expectations if any. They know better than to make players victims of their own circumstances.
5. Great coaches set few goals if any. They know better than to limit possibilities.
6. Great coaches act from inspiration (a high mind-set) and pull back from desperation (a low mind-set).
7. Great coaches know that a team culture must be flexible or it risks stifling the individuality, intuition, and free will of the players.
8. Great coaches burn to win and can't stand to lose.
9. Great coaches understand that, win or lose, they'll be perfectly okay.
10. Great coaches value imagination and creativity above a code of conduct or strategic system.
11. Great coaches rarely talk about or display past accomplishments. They know better than to take their team out of the here and now.
12. Great coaches are models of engagement and passion no matter the external circumstance (score, standings, opponent's actions, referee's call, etc.).
13. Great coaches do not force their belief system on others. They know that if a player replaces his or her own belief with the coach's belief, success will be short-lived at best.
14. Great coaches love their players -- and their opponents, too. They know that love fosters awareness, resilience, effort, and excellence. Resentment, disrespect, and hate foster nothing worth mentioning.
The bottom line is that the best coaches produce intuitive leaders who consistently come through in the big moment. And you don't do this by dictating behavior or setting external standards. Instead, great coaches provide failure-free environments, and, thus, the instincts and free will of their players flourish.