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Showing posts from December, 2009

Have A Great New Year

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Your leadership skills were likely put to the test in 2009 like never before.  Kudos to you for making it through the year.  And for your thirst for information on how to become a more effective leader.

Thank you for allowing me to share my ideas and suggestions with you in this Blog.  Thanks to everyone who became a Blog subscriber. And, to the increasing number of followers who have shared postings from the Blog via Twitter.  Much appreciated!

As you plan your New Year's resolutions for the workplace, which of the following have you selected to add to your list?
Be decisive.Show and demonstrate trust.Listen carefully.Take a personal interest in your employees.Give credit where credit is due.Respond to questions quickly and fully.Allow prudent autonomy.Follow through when you say you will.Teach something new.Communicate clearly.Say "Thank You" and sincerely mean it.Praise when compliments are earned.Show respect for everyone on your team.Allow learning to happen when mi…

Block The Exit Door

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According to the 2009 Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations Report, 55% of employees plan to change jobs, careers or industries "when the economy recovers."

That's an alarming statistic and one that all workplace leaders should take to heart.

Leigh Branham, founder and CEO of the Overland Park, KS company Keeping The People, says employees leave for seven main reasons, and money isn't among the seven.

Instead, workers leave because:
The job or workplace was not as expectedMismatch between job and personToo little coaching and feedbackToo few growth and advancement opportunitiesFeeling devalued and unrecognizedStress from overwork and work-life balanceLoss of trust and confidence in senior leadersFortunately, even now when budgets are tight, workloads are hefty, and companies have depressed top and bottom lines, you, as a leader, can at a minimum address reasons #3, #5 and #7 without spending money.

If you tackle those you can likely reduce the number of employe…

Address Your Nonperformers

Resolve to be proactive about talking with nonperformers in 2010.

So, if you have an employee who needs to improve his/her performance, don't delay that tough conversation with him.

By addressing the issue with him early in 2010, you give him the opportunity to improve -- because most employees want to do a good job.  But, sometimes, they just don't know they aren't performing up to your required standards.

Don't wait to address the topic at the employee's next annual performance review.  Instead, sit down with your employee in a private setting.  Look him in the eye.  Then, tell him what he does well.  Thank him for that good work.  Then, tell him where he needs to improve.  Be clear.  Be specific.  Ask him if he understands, and ask him if he needs additional guidance from you about how he can do a better job.

Remind him that your taking the time to have this tough conversation with him means you care about him and want him to succeed.

Don't let a poor perfor…

Pass "The Leadership Test"

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There's a new book that asks its readers five powerful questions, putting aspiring leaders to the ultimate test of what it takes to be a true leader.  The best thing about this book is that if you pass the test you can skip reading many of the mountains of other leadership books on the market today.
Timothy R. Clark's new book, called "The Leadership Test" forces you to do some valuable soul searching. And don't be fooled by the book's conversational writing style and story-telling approach, or by its compact 100-page size that you'll read through in less than an hour. Because, the message is powerful and the test is revealing. 
That test, which comes at the end of the book, consists of five questions, each important -- and successfully passing each becomes a collective must to ensure leadership success.  Once taken, the test is your personalized assessment that you can use to chart your course for becoming a better leader.  In an interview, Clark told me …

Learn From The Best Sports Coaches

Former University of Kansas head basketball coach Roy Williams recently told U.S. News & World Report magazine that there are three things that coaches as leaders must do to drive success:
"Have everyone on the team focus on the same goal."  And, the leader must effectively communicate that goal to the team."Emphasize those goals every day.""Understand that although everyone has a common goal, individuals also have goals, needs and dreams that must be cared for." According to Williams, in a commentary he wrote for the magazine, the third point is the most challenging to address and where leadership may be the most critical.  And, I totally agree.

Therefore, if you lead a team at work or within an organization, one of the best ways to work with each of your team players is to tailor your motivation techniques for each individual, and then be prepared to tweak those techniques if necessary as each person grows.

Williams was the head coach at the Universi…

Set A Good Example

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Another month has gone by so it's time to remind ourselves to be good leaders by setting a good example.

So, let's take a few minutes today to be sure we are doing all of the following:

1. Praise when compliments are earned.
2. Be decisive.
3. Say "Thank You" and sincerely mean it.
4. Show and demonstrate trust.
5. Communicate clearly.
6. Listen carefully.
7. Teach something new.
8. Work hard and lend a hand when deadlines are tight.
9. Show respect for everyone on your team.
10. Follow through when you say you will.
11. Allow learning to happen when mistakes are made.
12. Allow prudent autonomy.
13. Respond to questions quickly and fully.
14. Take an interest in your employees.
15. Give credit where credit is due.
16. Be humble.

Read The Best Leadership Books

Last month, members of three discussion groups on the business professionals social media web site LinkedIn submitted their recommendations for the best books about leadership.

The LinkedIn members came from these discussion groups:
• ExecuNet Executive Suite
• The Talent Buzz
• Keller Graduate School Of Management

In all, 64 books were recommended and the variety is impressive. Some of the most often recommended books were:
• “Good To Great” — By: Jim Collins
• “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” — By: Marshall Goldsmith
• “The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership” — By: John Maxwell
• “Principle Centered Leadership” — By: Stephen Covey

In addition, the authors mentioned most frequently were Peter F. Drucker, Jack Welch and John Maxwell.

The complete list of books is found on the right-hand side of the page toward the bottom on this web page:

Top 64 Leadership Books

The books are listed in alphabetical order on that web page, and provided for each book is its link to its feature page…

Understand The Power Of Social Media

Everyone is still figuring it all out. And, there's much to learn about Return On Investment (ROI). But, if you lead a nonprofit, small business or large business, or if you're a budding entrepreneur, you need to understand just how important the social media landscape is going to be to your business -- particularly to your marketing.

Social media is changing how businesses need to interact with their customers. Two-way communication and transparency are the future.

Equally important, your brand is now being influenced and shaped by your customers (those who like you and those who don't) via social media.

If you're not yet convinced of the power of social media, check out this video:

Social Media Revolution

Then, take a look at this video, which humorously depicts how social media has changed advertising forever:

Advertising-Customer Break Up

You can find many resources online to help you better understand social media. A good book to read is "Social Media Marketing…

Be More Like Southwest Airlines

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If you've flown Southwest Airlines you know they're tops in airline customer service, driven by a leadership style that creates a company-wide culture where all employees own that culture.

According to SWA Chairman, President and CEO Gary Kelly, as reported in the company's in-flight magazine, "every company has a culture, whether that culture is supportive or stifling, active or passive, fun or discouraging."

"One way we do culture differently is by making Southwest's culture everyone's responsibility. In fact, we ask everyone to 'own it,'" says Kelly.

Here are some of the ways that SWA keeps its winning culture in the forefront that you can also do to keep employees motivated and to drive great customer service:

1. Form a corporate culture committee and a local culture committee that organizes low-cost employee events throughout the year.

2. Include a section related to culture on each employee's annual performance appraisal. T…

Become More Of An Optimist

Every leader experiences periods of ups and downs. Hopefully, more up periods.

If you struggle with too many down periods, it might be because you have perfectionist tendencies.

Transform yourself into an optimist by:
Viewing failure as an opportunity to learn and understand that failure is part of a fulfilling life.Making room for pain. Don't deny yourself permission to feel painful emotions.Setting standards that are attainable because they are grounded in reality. Don't set goals and standards that are essentially impossible to meet. You can learn more about being an optimist by reading the book, "The Pursuit Of The Perfect: How To Stop Chasing Perfection And Start Living A Richer, Happier Life" by Tal Ben-Shahar.