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Showing posts from February, 2012

Kiss That Frog

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Missed a promotion at work?  Leading a team of employees that is frustrating you?  Out of work and searching for a new job?  Mind full of negative thoughts?

Then, take a couple hours to read the Brian Tracy's newest book, Kiss That Frog!

In the book, Tracy and co-author, Christina Tracy Stein, present a step-by-step plan that addresses the root causes of negatively to help you:
uncover blocks that have become mental obstaclestransform those obstacles into stepping-stones to achieve your fullest potential at work and in your personal life "Perhaps the greatest discovery in psychology and individual fulfillment is that the biggest obstacles that stand between you and an extraordinary life are usually negative mental attitudes toward yourself and others," explains Tracy.

The authors also explain that:
One of the most helpful habits you can develop is choosing to seek the valuable lesson in everything that happens to you, especially negative experiences.It's not what happ…

Book Review: The First-Time Manager

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Amacom (of the American Management Association) has just released the sixth edition of the best-selling book, The First-Time Manager -- originally published in 1981.

The book covers eight core responsibilities of a new manager, including:
HiringCommunicatingPlanningOrganizing TrainingMonitoringEvaluatingFiring
Expert advice is additionally provided regarding:
Using Your New AuthorityManaging Your MoodBuilding Trust
One of my favorite sections of the book is the one about class in a manager:
Class is treating people with dignity.Class does not have to be the center of attention.Class does not lose its cool.Class does not rationalize mistakes.Class is good manners.Class means loyalty to one's staff.Class recognizes the best way to build oneself is to first build others.Class leads by example.Class does not taken action when angry.Class is authentic and works hard at making actions consistent with words.
The First-Time Manager is an excellent how-to guide for anyone new to managing peop…

Taming The Email Monster

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According to internal communication expert and consultant David Grossman of The Grossman Group, and as recently reported on NBC Nightly News, workplace email is out of control
And, it's time to tame the email monster explains Grossman.
"You'd love to spend your day doing your job so that maybe, just maybe you could get home and enjoy uninterrupted time with your family or get out with friends," says Grossman.  "Instead, you spend so much time every day managing your inbox that everything else in your life--real work, family, play--is practically an afterthought."
Grossman has written a new free ebook where he tackles the email beast--showing what some companies are doing to: rein in the email monstermake better use of working hourscut back on the stress on employees caused by a 24/7 cycle of endless emailsThe ebook also includes tools and strategies for managing email in your workplace, and explains when it makes sense to use email--and when we should take a…

How To Create An Effective Company Blog

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If you lead a business and aren’t among the many companies using a blog for marketing purposes, your business likely will within the next year.
Awhile back, Emarketer estimated that the proportion of all U.S. companies that will use dedicated blogs as a marketing channel will reach 43% this year.


Businesses using blogs for communications, lead generation, customer service and branding primarily do so for these reasons:
• corporate control of the tool
• its integration with company web properties
• no limits on post lengths
• the ability to maintain a full, searchable repository of information

Successful blogs generally follow these tips and guidelines:
1. Make your blog as non-promotional as possible.
2. Keep it relevant to the reader.
3. Answer your customers’ questions or address their pain points.
4. Be sure it’s well-written.
5. Make it relevant to your company or products.
6. Offer proof or third-party validation to claims you make.
7. Keep each blog posting under 500 words.
8. En…

Are Your Supervisors Driving Away Your Employees?

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One section in Richard Finnegan's book called, Rethinking Retention in Good Times and Bad, compares traditional thinking versus new ways to think about retention and the vital role supervisors play in retaining employees. For example:

Traditional Thinking: Human Resources-driven programs like pay and recognition are essential for retention.
Rethinking Retention: Ineffective supervisors trump programs and drive turnover.

Traditional Thinking: All aspects of company culture contribute equally to retention.
Rethinking Retention: Supervisor-employee relationships have a disproportionate impact on retention; the supervisor is the company.

Traditional Thinking: Centralized communication and career programs impact all employees equally.
Rethinking Retention: Supervisors drive what employees know and learn and help them prepare for careers.

Are your supervisors helping to retain employees or driving them away?

Leadership And Communication Quotes From John C. Maxwell

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The real gems in John C. Maxwell's book, Everyone Communicates Few Connect, book are the abundant leadership and communication quotes, such as these: To add value to others, one must first value others. People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude. All good communicators get to the point before their listeners start asking, "What's the point?" The first time you say something, it's heard. The second time, it's recognized, and the third time it's learned. In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand. People pay attention when something that is said connects with something they greatly desire. Maxwell also says that:
Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could. The book covers five principles and five practices to help readers so they can connect one-on-one, in a group, or with an audience.

Leaders: How Will The Value Of Your Days Be Measured?

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I recommend that all leaders every so often read the What Will Matter poem by Michael Josephson. 

It serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of unselfishly serving and leading with character.

I've highlighted in bold and in color my favorite parts of the poem:


Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.




There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won't matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.

It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be…

50 Ways To Brainstorm

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According to Brian Cole Miller in his new book, Quick Brainstorming Activities For Busy Managers, there are 50 ways to improve your brainstorming at your company or in your organization.

My favorite is the Paper Swap brainstorming activity:

A brainstorming technique where participants write their input on separate pieces of paper; then they swap papers and continue to add input. Miller provides 49 other techniques in his book (released by Amacom last month), all of which take less than 15 minutes to complete

For all brainstorming sessions, Miller reminds leaders that you should:
Focus on quantity not qualityDon't allow criticismEncourage wild ideasCombine ideas for more ideas Miller also suggests that the best starting question for a brainstorming session is a Focus Question -- one that:
Uses the participants' own languageIs personal to the participants and not the organizationEvokes responses with imagery This is a must-read book for any manager who needs to effectively lead…

How To Make E-mail Communication More Effective

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Are you leading an organization where e-mail communication is ineffective?

Here are some wise guidelines that Verizon Wireless has used to promote effective, efficient and responsible e-mail use within its company.

You can find these guidelines in the book, Managers, Can You Hear Me Now?, written by Denny F. Strigl, former CEO and President of Verizon Wireless.
E-mail should bring closure to work, not create more work.Before you write an e-mail, ask yourself if calling or visiting the recipient will bring better communication.Keep e-mails short. Make your point in just the subject line or the space in the preview pane.Don't assume other people are staring at their screens, waiting for your e-mail.If just one person needs information or clarification, don't send your e-mail to a group.Never send e-mail when you're angry.Assume anything you put in writing will be leaked to the press or to your competitors.Stay accountable. Sending an e-mail doesn't transfer responsib…

Great Leaders Grow. Guest Post By Author Ken Blanchard

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On Monday, February 26, Ken Blanchard's and Mark Miller's book, Great Leaders Grow, hits the brick and mortar and online bookstores.

In honor of the book release I welcome guest blogger Ken Blanchard.

How to Evaluate Your Leadership StyleBy Ken Blanchard,
Co-author of Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life
Today, I'm going to give a short, one-question quiz. Here's the question: How do you rate as a leader?

I don't ask this question flippantly. It is a question I've asked countless people at the leadership seminars we conduct.

As leaders, most people rank themselves as being very close to a minor deity or at least Mr. or Ms. Human Relations. Seldom do leaders give themselves low marks. Strangely enough, when the tables are turned and people are asked to rank their boss's leadership style, we often find many supervisors graded as being adequate, merely OK, or at worst, office autocrats who depend heavily on the often-referenced "seagull manageme…