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Showing posts from January, 2011

What We Can Learn About Leadership From Dogs

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I never really thought much about the parallels between canine and human leadership needs, but Lesley Hunter, the author of, Who Put You in Charge?, has convinced me the parallels are compellingly strong.

In her book, Hunter explains:
Like dogs, humans need training, leadership, respect and reward. And most importantly, a sense of belonging.In every pack a dog has its role.  The pack leader is there to provide direction and maintain order.  Harmony happens when pack leaders and followers fulfill their respective roles. As a longtime dog lover and owner, Hunter reflects in her book about her own leadership successes in business, "Bringing together and leading a group of dogs was no different to leading a group of people -- by recognizing the strengths and characteristics of each individual, and by consciously choosing to adapt my own behavior and response, I became an effective leader and got the best out of each of them."

You can make your way through the 100-page book in a …

Share Your Vision Seven To Ten Times

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“Leaders need to communicate often, regularly and consistently,” says Margaret Reynolds of Reynolds Consulting, LLC in Lees’ Summit, MO. “Leaders should share their vision at least seven to 10 times with their employees, and to make it clear to employees what is specifically expected of them to do each day to help achieve the collective mission,” she added.

She adds that it’s not that leaders don’t communicate, but that they don’t beat the drum regularly enough.

“In terms of how to communicate so people get it, it is pretty widely accepted that story telling is the most effective; to be able to paint a vision where people see it often, and then following up with success stories or early wins reinforces it,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds recently shared with me more of her expert advice:

•   “Most leaders’ visions fail, not due to a leader’s inadequacies, but due to the leader’s lack of communication.”

•  To become an effective leader, one should follow these three steps:
1.   Gain knowledge…

10 Ways To Involve Your Employees

Here are 10 tips for how to maximize employee involvement:
Have active ways to listen to your employees.Check often with employees to see if the information you are sharing with them is what they need and what they want.Share information about customer satisfaction with employees.Discuss financial performance with your employees and be sure everyone understands the importance of profitability and how they can contribute to profitability.Allow ad hoc teams among employees to form to address organizational problems and work with those teams to tackle the identified issues.Encourage employees to make suggestions for improvement whether those ideas are large or small.Take an idea from one employee and share it with other employees and teams and let everyone make a contribution to build upon that idea.Train!For long-term employees, find ways to keep their jobs interesting through new assignments and challenges.Conduct meetings around specific issues and brainstorm solutions. "Involving…

The Power Of Mentoring: Formal And Informal

Sports heroes mention their mentors at award ceremonies. Successful business people thank their mentors at career milestone celebrations. Young adults who later become accomplished acknowledge their mentors when asked who was influential in their success.

Mentoring is indeed powerful.

Most leaders have been both a mentor and a mentee at some point in their careers. Sometimes, though, not everyone understands the important difference between informal mentoring and formal mentoring.

•  Formal mentoring is structured, intentional, and short-termed (typically about three to six months). It also requires the support of top management.

As a leader in your workplace, consider establishing a formal mentoring program to supplement the informal mentoring that is surely taking place at your company/organization. And, to offer employees mentoring options for those who can’t participate outside the workplace.

You can learn about formal mentoring from many sources, but here is one resource/company t…

Are You Leading Like Marriott?

Stay at any Marriott hotel and look in the nightstand drawer in your guest room and you’ll find a Marriott booklet that highlights its milestones and recaps the Marriott story.

In the booklet, you’ll also find the following 12 ways that Marriott practices good leadership and customer service:
1.  Continually challenge your team to do better.
2.  Take good care of your employees, and they’ll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.
3.  Celebrate your people’s success, not your own.
4.  Know what you’re good at and mine those competencies for all you’re worth.
5.  Do it and do it now. Err on the side of taking action.
6.  Communicate. Listen to your customers, associates and competitors.
7.  See and be seen. Get out of your office, walk around, make yourself visible and accessible.
8.  Success is in the details.
9.  It’s more important to hire people with the right qualities than with specific experience.
10.  Customer needs may vary, but their bias for qualit…

"Great Places To Work" Employee Perks

StLouis magazine is featuring in its January issue 60 companies that they deemed "great places to work".

Helping those companies to earn that honor are the perks they give their employees, some of which you might want to consider for 2011.

Here's a sampling of the perks that cover the vast range offered by the 60 companies:
ARCO Construction Company -- Paid sabbaticals after every five years with the companyArmstrong Teasdale -- Women's career-coaching programBryan Cave -- Backup day-care/elder-care servicesBuild-A-Bear Workshop -- Health Insurance for part-time employeesBoeing -- Continuing education tuition supportCentene Corporation -- Dry-cleaning pick-up/delivery; on-site car washes and oil changesHOK -- Paid paternity leaveLarsonAllen -- Development coaches for employeesMaritz -- Health fairMonsanto -- Lactation roomsNestle Purina PetCare Company -- On-site tailorRalcorp Holdings -- New jobs listed internally firstScottrade -- Matches charitable contributions ma…

New Book Shows You How To Set A Goal And Then Reach That Goal

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Social psychologist, Heidi Grant Halvorson, wrote Succeed to help you understand how goals work, what tends to go wrong, and what you can do to reach your goals or to help others reach theirs.

Because many of us are struggling to fulfill our New Year's Resolutions (goals), Halvorson's book, packed with the findings from her own research, along with the most useful tips from academic journals and handbooks, is a timely read.

In her 260-page book, Halvorson covers:

•  How to set a goal that you will pursue even in the face of adversity.
•  How to avoid the kind of positive thinking that makes people fail.
•  How to create an environment that will help you win.

"Setting goals is important," said Halvorson, "But that's not the whole story. Because how you set your goals--the way you think about whatever it is you want to do, and how you will get there--is every bit as important."

Halvorson recommends:
•  Making your goal as specific as possible.
•  Making yo…

20 New Words Every Leader Should Know

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Each year, new words and expressions become bona fide entries into the world's top English dictionaries.
Here are 20 of those words that recently made it into dictionaries -- many of which you've likely heard your younger employees using.  Or, perhaps you've heard a vendor use them, particularly if your company is expanding its social media play.
Big Media -- Primary mass communications sources, e.g. TV and the pressExit Strategy -- Planned means of extricating oneself from a situationFlash Mob -- Brief gathering for a common purpose, announced by e-mail or textFlyover States -- Central regions of the U.S.Friend -- (verb) To add to a list of personal associates on a websiteGreen Audit -- Analysis of a business' environmental stateGreen-collar -- Of or relating to workers in the environmentalist business sectorHeart -- (verb) To like very muchHome-shoring -- Moving jobs to employees' homes (from the word "offshoring")Meme -- Image, video or phrase passed el…

Reach Communications & Leadership Expert David Grossman Via His New App

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If you haven't engaged with David Grossman's website, Blog and incredibly useful eBooks, make a point of checking them all out at his website for The Grossman Group.


David just launched his new App, called "Ask David."  Via the App, David promises to bring his communications industry expert advice and wisdom right to your fingertips.

Topics covered include:
Employee engagementInternal communicationsChange managementLeadership effectivenessCrisis messagingDiversity and inclusion

Honor The Legacy Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. By Volunteering

As the nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr. on Monday, January 17, volunteer or make the decision to volunteer in your community. King routinely asked “What are you doing for others,” and January 17th is the ideal day to ask yourself that question.

The federal holiday was first observed 24 years ago and in 1994 Congress designated it as a National Day of Service, inspired by King’s words, “everybody can be great because anybody can serve.”

Many business leaders turn to Volunteer Match to find volunteer opportunities. Visit the web site, type in your zip code, and you will be presented with a variety of organizations seeking volunteers.

Then, either volunteer and/or organize a team of your employees to volunteer!

Are You Doing All You Can To Retain Your Employees?

A survey recently completed by the job-placement firm Manpower that found 84 percent of employees intend to look around for a new job this year, and that is up from 60 percent last year.

The high number of those wanting to change jobs is primarily because they’re disappointed with their current jobs where for the past year they’ve have increased workloads and no to small pay increases.

Business leaders can read Overland Park, KS’s Leigh Branham’s books:
•  The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave
•  Re-Engage

to learn more about why employees leave their workplaces (including non-financial reasons), and what leaders can do to boost employee retention. Both are excellent books.