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Showing posts from June, 2012

Today's Leadership Tips On: Customer Service And Motivation

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Cusomter Service:

Ritz-Carlton’s Three Stages of Service Warm welcome Anticipation of and compliance with guest needs Fond farewell


Motivation: According to University of Rochester psychologist Ed Deci, leaders should not ask “How do I motivate people?”Instead, the question to ask is, “How do I create the conditions in which they motivate themselves.”

Except from the June 2012 issue of Inc. magazine.

The 25 Best Leadership Bloggers

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Leadership Dan McCarthy tops OnlineCollege.org's recently published list of the Top 25 Leadership Bloggers.

All 25 of the selected bloggers were selected because of their outstanding leadership knowledge and strong writing ability.

Other familiar names, such as John Maxwell, Ron Edmondson and John Baldoni, made the list.  You'll also find perhaps some not so familiar names.

What Customer-Facing Employees Do

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According to author Micah Solomon, to ensure you have customer-facing employees, help them to:
Display simple human kindness Sense what another person is feeling Have an inclination toward teamwork Be detail oriented, including having the ability and willingness to follow through to completion Bounce back and do not internalize challenges

How To Put People First

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According to a survey as reported in John Baldoni’s book, Lead with Purpose, more than 80 percent of those surveyed say that leaders can best demonstrate that they truly do put people first by:
Delivering intrinsic awards (comp time, bonuses, etc.) Offering developmental opportunities Providing timely recognition Promoting from within

6 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Employees

According to Marshall Goldsmith, there are six questions that leaders should regularly ask of their employees:
Where do you think we should be going? Where do you think you and your part of the business should be going? What do you think you’re doing well? If you were the leader, what ideas would you have for you? How can I help? What suggestions or ideas do you have for me? 

Cisco Shares How To Become A More Collaborative Organization

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The Collaboration Imperative is a totally cool book.  If for no other reason, check out the book for its layout, graphics and incredible readability.  It may just be the model for many books to come – full of 60-second end-of-chapter wraps, bold graphics, Q&A’s with real-world business leaders, case studies, and lots of ways to test yourself along the way.  The only thing I would recommend adding are QR codes throughout the book to take readers to online videos via their Smartphones.

I recommend, however, that you also take the time to read the book by Cisco employees Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese.  It offers a wealth of executive strategies for unlocking an organization’s true potential through achieving the greatest level of collaborative success possible within that organization.

The authors explain that in organizations where collaboration excels, its employees:
Communicate openly across business functions and departments.Are always aware of the company’s objectives and priorities, …

Most Productive People Secrets

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According to entrepreneur and authorMargaret Hefferman, as reported recently in Inc. magazine, the secrets of the most productive people are that they do these three things
They take breaks. Breaks refresh the mind and allow you to see new situations. They aregreat collaborators. They have lives outside work. In fact, the most successful have rich private lives that include interests that hone different skills and that let them think in different ways.

Happy 41st Southwest Airlines. You Set The Example.

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Yesterday, Southwest Airlines celebrated its 41st anniversary. If you have been following my blog for the past year you know I’m a big fan of Southwest. I admire their company culture and applaud their customer service.

Chairman, President and CEO, Gary Kelly, shares some insights into the airline' culture in the June issue of the airline’s in-flight magazine.

Called unique and quirky, Kelly explains that there are three criteria that make up what it calls “Living the Southwest Way.” He says that employees are asked to display them each and every day:
A Warrior SpiritA Servant’s HeartA Fun-LUVing Attitude The airline says that employees embrace Southwest as a “cause,” not a job. And, that “cause” is serving its customers. “We are a Customer Service company; we just happen to fly airplanes,” says Kelly.

Happy Anniversary SWA. You set a great example.  Here are some of the other many lessons Southwest’s rich history has taught us about leadership and customer service.

Jim Collins On What Makes A Great Company

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Inc. magazine’s June 2012 issue features a compelling article about author and leadership expert Jim Collins, who has studied leadership for 25 years and penned four best-selling books.

Two of the most powerful takeaways from the article for me are Collin’s definition of a great company:

“To be great, a company has to make a distinctive impact. I define that by a test:  If your company disappeared, would it leave a gaping hole that could not easily be filled by another enterprise on the planet? Now, that doesn’t mean the company has to be big…just that if it went away, people would feel a gaping hole, and no one could easily come in and fill it.”

The second takeaway is the list of 12 questions that Collins says leaders much grapple with if they truly want to excel.  Three of those 12 are these, the first two I tend to think don’t get asked often enough:
How can we increase our return on luck? What could kill us, and how can we protect our flanks? Do we have the right people on the bus a…

Bill Bradley Advocates Citizen Leadership In New Book

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Inspired by Abraham Lincoln’s second State of the Union address, author Bill Bradley advocates citizen leadership in his new book, We Can All Do Better.

Lincoln said, “We can succeed only by concert.  It is not ‘Can any of us imagine better?’ but ‘Can we all do better?’”

So, that’s where Bradley starts his book.  He then goes on to share his highly personal review of the current state of the nation. 

We can All Do Better is a timely read as we near the November presidential election.

As an eighteen-year New Jersey Senator, financial and investment advisor, Olympic and NBA athlete, national radio host, and best-selling author, Bradley’s varied leader and teammate experiences create interesting perspectives, including ones on:
Job creation Education Deficit reduction Key takeaways from the book for me include these about teams and what makes a team effective:
At some point, it dawns on a member of a team that by helping his/her teammates, he/she helps himself/herself.  Unselfishness bege…

Are You A Level 5 Leader?

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Author and leadership expert Jim Collins defines Level 5 leaders as those who:
Pursue goals with the ferocity of lions while displaying the humility of lambs. According to Collins, who has studied leadership for 25 years, this level of leader is a rare breed. This is a leader who: 
bestows credit generously shoulders blame responsibility puts organization before self

Have You Said "Nice Bike" To Someone Today?

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Have you said “Nice Bike” to someone today?

Perhaps I was just in the mood for an uplifting, motivating and humorous presentation when I heard Emmy award winning author and speaker Mark Scharenbroich at a conference I attended last week.

Yes, I was in that mood. But, more importantly, Mark delivered a vitally important message and shared the power of making meaningful connections in one’s personal and professional life.

He also totally hit it out of the park with his presentation in which he shared stories from his book, Nice Bike – Making Meaningful Connections on the Road of Life. He explained the power of saying “Nice Bike” to someone – the engine that is fueled with:
acknowledging honoring connecting ...with that person.

You can read the book, each chapter a personal story/lesson of Mark’s, in an afternoon. And, without revealing those stories, my top two takeaways from the book and the presentation are:
Focused listening is one of the biggest honors we can bestow on others.It is m…

Micah Solomon's Customer Service Lessons

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Micah Solomon’s new book, High-tech, High-touch Customer Service, is all about how to inspire timeless loyalty in the demanding new world of social commerce -- one where businesses today face the increasingly challenging world of customer interactions, both online and off.

The book is a must-read for any business leader. And, fortunately, the content is grounded in decades of experience and proven methodology.

Some key lessons I learned from the book include:
If you can anticipate, you can differentiate. If your customers feel at home. They’re unlikely to roam. If things go wrong for a customer initially, do a grand job of getting to the other side of that challenge and you may create a positive memory that literally supplants the initial unpleasantness.
Also, Solomon states that the four components to solid value that creates customer satisfaction are:   A perfect product or service Delivery in a caring, friendly manner Timeliness The backing of an effective problem-resolution process …

6 Ways To Drive Your Leadership Success

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Drive your leadership success by: Funding what makes your business unique and valuable Not rushing to cut prices Hiring talented castoffs from competitors Being seen and being seen often by your team Making decisions in a timely manner Using a story to put situations in context

Philanthropy Is About Involvement

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Here's one more piece of great advice from Eli Broad's book, The Art of Being Unreasonable:

"Philanthropy isn't just a pursuit for the wealthy.  Philanthropy is about involvement.  Pick your issue, work at it, and do your best to make things happen.  Even if you're not wealthy, you have time, expertise, skills and other resources you may not even have realized that can be used to serve others."

Book Highlights: The Art Of Being Unreasonable

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Early on in Eli Broad's new book, The Art of Being Unresaonable, he reminds us of the power of a child's instinctive asking, "Why not?"  Unfortunately, most adults lose that habit and Broad goes on to explain that it was his continuing to ask "Why not?" throughout his career that brought him success.

"The questions you're willing to ask when others think they have all the answers are doors todiscovery," says Broad.

Other words of wisdom from the book, and my favorite takeaways, include:

Most successful businesses have to begin by bucking conventional wisdom.  Invention and innovation don't happen without it.Do your homework no matter how much time it takes.Big ideas don't happen in a moment.You can't do it all yourself, so ask questions and delegate.The trick to delegating is to make sure your employees share your priorities.Find the best people to whom you can delegate, and know their strengths and weaknesses.  Younger employees si…

Today's Leadership Quote

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From Eli Broad's new book, The Art of Being Unreasonable -- Lessons In Unconventional Thinking:

"Show me a person with an unblemished track record, and I'll show you a person who has dramatically underachieved."

Broad is a firm believer in "let them fail as long as they learn from the experience."

Buckingham Talks About The Power Of Effective Teams

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I'm a big fan of Marcus Buckingham and his case for leveraging each person's individual strengths. 

In the above video, he speaks about the power of effective teams (where each team member plays to his or her strengths) and makes that case that the experience of a team always trumps the experience of the company.

Buckingham broke the bestseller lists in 1999 with First, Break All the Rules and then went on to co-author Now, Discover Your Strengths, where he helped create StrengthsFinder, the personal assessment tool that gives each person a vocabulary to positively describe their ingrained talents.

His latest project, StandOut, is a book and strengths assessment combination that uses a new research methodology to reveal your top two "strength Roles" — your areas of comparative advantage.

StandOut goes beyond description to give people practical innovations that fit their stren…

Are You This Type Of Annoying Boss?

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A former co-worker shared a great blog post with me this past week about the most common complaints about the annoying things bosses do without even realizing it.  Here are the highlights: 1. Making social events unofficially required. 2. Pressuring employees to donate to charity. 3. Calling employees who are on vacation. 4. Holding endless meetings. 5. Not making hard decisions. 6. Delegating without truly delegating. 7. Hinting, rather than speaking straightforwardly. Read on for the details behind each of the above statements.

5 Tips For More Effective Brainstorming

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Your employees have lots of ideas. So, be sure you provide the forums and mechanisms for your employees to share their ideas with you. Hold at least a few brainstorming sessions each year, as well.

And, when you are brainstorming with your employees, try these five tips:

Encourage ALL ideas. Don't evaluate or criticize ideas when they are first suggested.Ask for wild ideas. Often, the craziest ideas end up being the most useful.Shoot for quantity not quality during brainstorming.Encourage everyone to offer new combinations and improvements of old ideas.