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Showing posts from December, 2010

70 New Year's Resolutions For Leaders

Lose weight. Exercise more. Stop smoking. Read more. Shop less. Volunteer.

Okay, so you've found your New Year's resolution for your personal life. But, have you identified your New Year's resolution for your workplace life?

If not, and you want to be a more effective leader for your team at work in 2011, select one or more of these 70 New Year's resolutions for leaders:
1.  Don't micromanage
2.  Don't be a bottleneck
3.  Focus on outcomes, not minutiae
4.  Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes
5.  Assess your company's strengths and weaknesses at all times
6.  Conduct annual risk reviews
7.  Be courageous, quick and fair
8.  Talk more about values more than rules
9.  Reward how a performance is achieved and not only the performance
10.  Constantly challenge your team to do better
11.  Celebrate your employees' successes, not your own
12.  Err on the side of taking action
13.  Communicate clearly and often
14.  Be visible
15.  Eliminat…

A Maxim For Leaders For 2011

I heard this advice quoted the other day and wanted to share it.  It's from William Arthur Ward, one of America's most quoted writers of inspirational maxims:
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.All great advice for leaders and managers as we start 2011.

Resolve To Find A Mentor In 2011

Having a mentor is one of the best things you can do to advance your career as a leader. So, decide today to secure a mentor who will work with you during 2011. Make that one of your New Year’s resolutions.

A mentor can benefit leaders new to their leadership role and they can benefit experienced and seasoned leaders, as well.

A strong mentoring relationship allows the mentor and the mentee to develop new skills and talents, to build confidence, and to build self-awareness.

Proper mentoring takes a commitment from both parties and it takes time to develop and to reap the rewards of the relationship. Plan to work with your mentor for no less than three months, and ideally for six months or longer.

When seeking out a mentor, think about these questions:
1.  Will the relationship have good personal chemistry?
2.  Can this person guide me, particularly in the areas where I am weakest?
3.  Will this person take a genuine interest in me?
4.  Does this person have the traits and skills I …

Great Year-End Advice For Leaders

Lynn Flinn of EWF International in Tulsa, OK wrote the following in a recent newsletter.  It's so powerful I wanted to pass it along.  EWF International provides professionally facilitated peer advisory groups for women business owners and executives.

Do something that you are afraid to do. Run through the fear rather than running away from it.
Take a personal risk. Tell someone something you've always wished you'd said to them.
Write a note to someone who inspires you but probably doesn't know it.
Pick one characteristic about yourself that you'd like to change and earnestly work on changing it. It is really hard to change a behavior, but it is possible if you are aware, patient and persistent in making a change.
Realize when you are not engaged and re-engage. Turn off the television, turn off the cell phone and pay attention to the people around you.
Smile and talk to strangers that you meet. It is amazing how much shorter a long line feels when …

Ask Your Customers To Help You Write Your Strategic Plan

Mike Brown, the founder of the Kansas City company called, The Brainzooming Group, encourages business leaders to solicit feedback from their customers when creating a strategic plan.

Brown recently wrote in Smart Companies Thinking Bigger magazine, that you should “ask a group of current, former and potential customers the following questions:"
If you’re a current or former customer, why did you start using us?What have we done in the past to make your biggest challenges more difficult?If you still use us, why do you continue to do so?If you don’t use us currently, what are some of the reasons why you don’t?“These questions are designed to allow your customers to share their perspectives and opinions openly, not rate performance on a numerical scale,” explained Brown.

He explained that the answers to the questions will provide you valuable insight into:
Your current strengths and weaknessesOpportunities to more successfully help your customersPotential challenges from not fully me…

The Five Points Of Professionalism

Here's more good advice from The Everything Coaching And Mentoring Book:

Professional behavior on the job means that work habits are strong and consistent.  Your organization's work ethic should be solution- and positive-results-oriented.

And you should regularly take inventory of these five points of professionalism:
Honesty and integrityLearning and initiativeResiliencePositive attitudeTeamworkCheck out these useful online resources for more coaching and mentoring tips and advice:
MicomentorThe Center for Coaching and MentoringThe Coaching and Mentoring NetworkCoaching and Mentoring for Small Business OwnersManager's ForumCoaching and Mentoring CareersPeer ResourcesCoaching and Mentoring Training

How To Talk About Poor Performance With An Employee

As a leader, the time will come when you will have to speak with an employee about his or her poor performance. Perhaps that time is now as you conduct year-end performance reviews.

So, here are six steps that will guide you through that process:

1.  Tell him what performance is in need of change and be specific.
2.  Tell him how his actions negatively affect the team.
3.  Let the discussion sink in.
4.  Set expectations of performance improvement and timeframe, and get his agreement on the desired outcome.
5.  Remind him that he is a valuable part of the team and that you have confidence his performance will improve.
6.  Don't rehash the discussion later. You made your point. Give him time to make his improvement.

3 Coaching And Mentoring Tips

Here are three great tips from the book, The Everything Coaching and Mentoring Book:
Coaches do not motivate their employees; they inspire them to motivate themselves.  This is best accomplished by allowing employees to see clearly where they stand in the organization versus where they want to be in their careers.  That is, what are their self-interests versus what the company can offer them.A mentor always exercises the power of suggestion. That is, wise mentors offer up plenty of suggestions to their mentees. They pose alternatives.  But they refrain, as much as possible, from telling their mentees what to do.Mentoring is all about sharing experiences.  It is about mentors imparting the multiple lessons that they've learned to their mentees and helping them better navigate through their own careers.  By absorbing these lessons--of mentors' mistakes and successes--mentees are better prepared to move forward with knowledge and confidence.

How To Avoid 8 Common Performance Evaluation Pitfalls

As the year comes to a close it's likely time for many business leaders to tackle the annual performance appraisal process.

So, here is a good reminder from author Sharon Armstrong about how to avoid eight performance evaluation pitfalls.  These are in what I consider is the best chapter of the book The Essential HR Handbook, that she co-authored with Barbara Mitchell.
1.  Clustering everyone in the middle performance-rating categories
2.  Overlooking flaws or exaggerating the achievements of favored employees
3.  Excusing substandard performance or behavior because it is widespread
4.  Letting one characteristic - positive or negative - affect your overall assessment
5.  Rating someone based on the company he or she keeps
6.  Rating someone based on a grudge you are holding
7.  Rating someone based on a short time period instead of the entire evaluation period
8.  Rating everyone high, to make you look good

There's other great information in this 250-page book that is valuabl…