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How To Build A Great Business

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When you start reading Mark Thompson’s and Brian Tracy’s book, Now…Build a Great Business!, you may feel like you are reading 200 pages of Blog posts, but the bite-sized approach to providing tools, practical steps and ideas, rather than theory, is precisely the authors’ intended approach.
The book thoroughly explains the seven keys for how to achieve business success:
1.  Become a great leader 2.  Develop a great business plan 3.  Surround yourself with great people 4.  Offer a great product or service 5.  Design a great marketing plan 6.  Perfect a great sales process 7.  Create a great customer experience
You’ll find a checklist at the end of each step (each chapter) where you can write down your action plan for applying what you’ve learned.
Particularly interesting is the chapter on strategic planning, where the authors recommend you should ask yourself these important questions before you act to create or reinvent the direction of your organization:
•  Where are you now? What is your curren…

The Five Traits A Leader Must Have To Be Successful

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A couple years ago, I was aksed, "What five most important traits must a leader have to be effective?"  I could reply fairly quickly, but I did take a moment to remember that when I asked a similar question in a LinkedIn group discussion, group members offered up nearly 100 different adjectives to describe an effective leader.
But, for me, I contend the five most important traits are: Good communicator. That means effectively communicating timely and consistent messages during good and bad times. And, knowing how and when to be a good listener. Communicating is critical. Employees must hear from their leaders. And, hearing from their leaders in person versus e-mail and written memos is even more effective.Being a servant leader. Put your employees and your company first. A top manager who makes decisions that are self-serving will lack followers and will bring the company down.Adaptable. Today, more than ever, a leader needs to adapt. That means adapting to competitive and ind…

Listen To Others, Especially Before You Speak

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Here is a great message from the book, Stronger: Develop the Resilience You Need to Succeed:
Listen to Others, Especially Before You Speak
When we think of people who possess extraordinary interpersonal skill, we find they are good listeners. In even the briefest of encounters, they can make you feel important.
According to author Denise Restauri, charismatic people are good listeners who make the conversation about the other person. they show genuine interest. They let the world revolve around the other person. They remember the other person's name-- and they use it.
So, when you listen to people, truly listen. Look at the other person with interest. Do not multitask.

How To Lead In Six Moments That Matter

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The book, Step Up, shows readers how to step up to the plate during six critical leadership moments.  Readers learn how to: Use anger intelligently in the workplace.Recognize and deal with terminal politeness.Make decisions when no one else is making them.Take ownership when others are externalizing a problem.Identify and leverage pessimism.Inspire others to take action.And, before you start to read the book, you can take (via a QR code in the book) a fifteen-minute online Step Up Leadership Assessment, which will give you instant feedback on your leadership readiness and point you to the most relevant chapters in the book.
The book's two authors shared with me awhile back these insights:
A Conversation with Henry Evans and Colm Foster, authors of Step Up
What is a “leadership moment”? These are moments when leadership is required in order to see a problem solved, opportunity seized, momentum changed, relationship(s) built, or when the intelligent expression of emotion is required to d…

7 Tips For Setting Goals

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If you've had a lapse in maintaining your New Year's resolutions for this year, it may be time to set a new goal for yourself.  Here are seven tips for goal setting from two-time U.S. Olympian Alan Culpepper (from the November 2013 issue of Competitor magazine).
Here are his seven tips for setting goals, whether are your workplace or away-from-work goals: Be clear and specific about what it is you are trying to accomplish.Set intermediate goals that complement a long-term goal.Shoot high, but recognize the importance of a natural progression.Write your goals down.Review your goals periodically.Remind yourself often why you are working on your goal.And, remember even if you don't hit your goal, there is satisfaction the process.

Embrace Change To Grow

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Change is inevitable. Change is good.  Help your employees and team learn to embrace change.
Here are some solid insights from Dr. Rodger Dean Duncan's (Liberty, Missouri) book, Change-friendly Leadership -- How to Transform Good Intentions into  Great Performance: The kind of behavior change that results in lasting (sustainable) change must accommodate people's feelings--feelings that involve trust, confidence, passion, and all those other intangible but very real things that make us human.It's often the stress that people resist, not the change itself.Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights (Pauline R. Kezer).A transformational leader focuses primarily on initiating and "managing" change.  He/she influences people to improve, to stretch, and to redefine what's possible.It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change (Charles Darw…

Leading with GRIT

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Feelings of being stuck, overwhelmed and frustrated plague too many of our workplaces says Laurie Sudbrink, author of the book, Leading With GRIT.
So, drawing on her over 20 years of coaching a wide range of organizations, colleges and Fortune 500 companies, Sudbrink provides in her book a road map to improve individual and organizational health.
That road map includes teaching readers the principles of GRIT: GenerosityRespectIntegrityTruth

Laurie Sudbrink
"It is not only the concepts of GRIT, but how they are combined, that make them so effective," shares Sudbrink.
Divided into three parts, Part I of the book is geared toward the individual, and is foundational to your success as a leader.
Part II focuses on communicating with GRIT -- making communication easier, more enjoyable and more productive.
Part III is how, in our role as leaders, we apply and sustain GRIT in the workplace, creating systems that help keep everyone on track.