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Showing posts from July, 2012

How To Avoid Social Media Mistakes

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In his new book, Social Marketology, Ric Dragon, CEO of DragonSearch, recommends business leaders and marketing team leaders follow these eight tips to avoid making social media mistakes:

Avoid mixing the technologies used for the organization's social media with individuals' personal accounts.Ensure that employees both on and off the social media team receive training.Think before deleting or editing users' comments or posts.  While making your decision, ask if your action might cause a backlash.Respond quickly.When a mistake is made, sincerely apologize.When appropriate, use humor.Have a policy in place.Have a top-responses document prepared to be used.
Ric Dragon on developing a brand voice and market segmentation strategy:

What We Can Learn From The History Of Post-It Notes

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There are lots of lessons tied to those canary yellow squares, called Post-it Notes:
how ideas and innovations can come from anyone on your team at any timehow they can be used by leaders to boost moralehow test marketing is critical
Enjoy the history of those yellow squares.

The 9 Best Times To Thank A Customer

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In your leadership role, it's vital that your team members know how to deliver excellent customer service. "Knock Your Socks Off" type service as book editor Ann Thomas and Jill Applegate would say.

Part of delivering excellent customer service is saying "Thank You" to your customers and knowing when to say "Thank You".

Thomas and Applegate recommend telling your customers "Thank You" during at least these nine situations:
When they do business with you...every time.When they compliment you (or your company)When they offer you comments or suggestionsWhen they try one of your new products or servicesWhen they recommend you to a friendWhen they are patient...and even when they are not so patientWhen they help you to serve them betterWhen they complain to youWhen they make you smile
You and your team members can say "Thank You":
VerballyIn writing (and don't underestimate the power of personal notes via snail mail)With a small, tas…

10 Ways To Make Your Virtual Meetings More Successful

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Business leaders and employees are holding virtual meetings more than ever. Despite the cost-saving and other advantages, virtual meetings versus in-person meetings have their challenges. One of the largest is because participants cannot bond in the same way as they do when they are sitting across the table from one another.

In the new book, The Collaboration Imperative, co-authors Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese, recommend you follow these 10 tips for making your virtual meeting successful, particularly when you are leading the meeting:
Before the meeting, make sure attendees have all the preparation materials they will need and the time to review them.Begin with a quick warm-up. For example, start the meeting by asking remote attendees to describe what's happening in their office, town or city.During "blended" meetings, where some attendees are gathering in person and others are participating virtually, address remote attendees first and then offer the opportunity to speak…

The Three Keys To Transparent Decision Making

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According to The Collaboration Imperative co-authors Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese, transparent decision making requires that all stakeholders know the answers to these three questions:
Who is making the decision?Who is accountable for the outcomes of the decision?What are the consequences--positive or negative--of that accountability?

10 Reasons You Need An Executive Coach

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More business leaders today are turning to executive coaches to help them become:
more personally fulfilled with their contributionsmore effective with direct reports, peers and other executivesbetter able to coach their team membersmore flexible in challenging situationsSusan C. Gatton, a Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX-based executive coach, has worked with a many leaders and she says that if you answer "yes" to any of the following ten situations, you are a likely candidate for executive coaching:
I need an objective sounding board.I know some things are not working as well as they should. I don't know what to do to change the situation.I want to go to the next level. I'm ready. Why am I not being promoted?Work has taken over my life. How do I make my family a priority?I may be over my head with these new responsibilities.My 360 degree feedback had several surprises.I've never interacted with the Board of Directors before. I don't know what to expect.I need more vi…

Leadership Tips From Author Neil Smith

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Here are three helpful leadership tips from author Neil Smith -- from his new book, co-authored with Patricia O'Connell, How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things:
People say they cannot find the time to do things, yet they always find the time to fix things when they break.  Companies need to create that sense of urgency before a problem occurs.People will embrace change if they see the logic behind it.  If they feel they have control over its onset and evolution.  If they see it as nonthreatening and self-esteem enhancing.  And, if the change has the possibility of future benefits to them.Make sure that people are basing their decisions on facts -- fact-based information should be a company mantra.  Do not accept "I guess" or "I think so."

You Practice Open Leadership If You Do These 7 Things

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Open Leadership author Charlene Li reminds leaders to periodically ask themselves these "open leadership skills assessment" questions:
Do I seek out and listen to different points of view?Do I make myself available to people at all levels of the organization?Do I actively manage how I am authentic?Do I encourage people to share information?Do I publicly admit when I am wrong?Do I update people regularly?Do I take the time to explain how decisions are being made?

Don't Use These 20 Excuses For Not Considering New Business Transformation Ideas

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In their new book, How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things, co-authors Neil Smith and Patricia O'Connell list 20 excuses commonly heard in companies for reasons why new business transformation ideas are not considered.

The authors recommend eliminating these 20 excuses from your vocabulary:
Our company is well run; there are no opportunities.We're inefficient, but my department is not the problem.The issue is support function and allocations, not my costs.Our problem is revenues, not how we do things.We have tried that before.We are already doing that.My boss/theCEO/legal will never agree to that.That won't save money or increase revenues.That would cost too much to implement.No one in the industry is doing that.We will lose customers if we do that.Anything that takes time away from serving my customers will hurt us.But we are unique.No one really understands what we do.I don't have time to think about that.We don't have the right technology to do that.I can't…

Rapid Realignment Teaches Leaders How To Adapt And Stay Focused

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Spend some quality time with the new book, Rapid Realignment, and you'll learn how to ensure that your strategy, customers, processes and people work seamlessly together in the service of customers and that those four elements continually realign in the face of constant change.

The authors, Dr. George H. Labovitz and Victor Rosansky, share throughout the book a series of case studies from Federal Express, Quest Diagnostics, Navy Hospital at Camp Pendleton, Farmington Savings Bank and a host of other organizations who have stepped up to the challenge of rapid realignment.

Key takeaways from the book include:
Vertical alignment describes a condition in which every employee can articulate the enterprise's strategy and explain how his or her daily work activities support that strategy.Each organization must have a Main Thing.  That Main Thing as a whole must be a common and unifying concept to which every unit can contribute.  Each department and team must be able to see a direct r…

Second Edition of Leigh Branham's Best Seller To Debut In August

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Next month, Overland Park, KS-based author and consultant Leigh Branham will publish an updated version (Second Edition) of his best-seller, The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave.



In the meantime, Branham explains that the most effective things a workplace leader can do to keep employee turnover low don't cost money; they just cost time and effort.

Branham says a leader should:
1.   Make the commitment to create a great place to work.
2.   Inspire employee confidence in decisions and clear business direction.
3.   Work to build trust based on honesty and integrity.
4.   Practice open, two-way communication, especially in times of uncertainty.
5.   Look out for the organization before you look out for yourself.
6.   Believe employees should be developed and retained; not burned out and discarded.

These six leadership skills topped the list of what leaders routinely do in companies that have won "Best-Place-to-Work" competitions in 45 U.S. cities, according to research that …

7 Ways To Build An Effective Corporate Culture

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Fortunately, most of my career I’ve worked in effective corporate cultures. If I put together the best of each, here is what made those environments effective:

Leaders led by example on a consistent basis and were willing to roll up their sleeves, particularly during tight deadlines or challenging times.

Employees clearly understood how what they did made a difference and how their contributions made the organization either more profitable or more effective.

The workforce included a blend of long-term employees with a rich company, product/service and customer history, employees who had been at the company for five to seven years, and then new hires with a fresh perspective and keen sense of new technologies and techniques. That blend worked best when the mix included virtually all A-players.

Top managers had a clear, realistic and strategic vision for how the company would grow and compete in the marketplace.

Employees were challenged and rewarded through growth oppor…

Ten Surprising Concepts that Teams (Organizations, Too) Should Adopt -- Starting Now

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Welcome to today's guest post (and some new ways of thinking about teams) by Garret Kramer, author of Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life.



By Garret Kramer
These days, it seems that the same common concepts are stressed over and over in order to ensure team success. But I believe, from pee-wee to pro, that this standard coaching paradigm is simply not bringing out the best in our athletes. For evidence, just look at the erratic behavior of many well-known players. Not to mention that consistent excellence on the field -- i.e., dynasties (yes, I am aware of salary caps) -- has become a thing of the past.

So, if you and your team, company, or family are after steady achievement, reflect on these ten surprising concepts. Then see if any of them make sense for you.
1. Keep goal-setting to a bare minimum, if instituted at all.
Goal-setting narrows focus, which, contrary to popular opinion, limits opportunities and shrinks the perceptual field (awareness). It's okay to p…