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Showing posts from August, 2012

3 Best Places To Interview Job Candidates

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One of the reasons you want to interview people in three different places is that candidates will usually be at their very best in the first interview (likely in your office). After that, if they are pretending, the veneer will come off in subsequent meetings in out-of-the office locations.

Also, because most employees can only be successful in their jobs in different locations as well, it makes sense to witness your candidates in different settings. So, consider interviewing the candidate over a lunch at a nearby restaurant.

And, finally, consider interviewing them in a group setting where you invite a variety of your employees to be part of the group. If you do this, be sure to let each employee voice their "vote" regarding the candidate after the meeting.

There are lots more great tips like this one in Thompson's and Tracy's book, Now...Build a Great Business!

Insights From "Women Who Mean Business"

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Every year, the Kansas City Business Journal honors 25 women business leaders in the Kansas City metro in its "Women Who Mean Business" awards competition.

The winners are identified as those women in the community who:
are outstanding in their business accomplishmentshave growth plans for their companiescontribute to the communityimprove the climate for women in businessKey insights from this year's recently announced winners include these comments and observations:
"Listen to people who know the business.""I've learned when I'm angry to walk away, calm down.  Never, ever, ever react in anger to anybody.""Loyalty is not something you can spot right away; attitude is.  Attitude is something you can't teach.""Mentoring is opening doors for younger people.""Work hard, but enjoy what you do""If you don't give back to the community, how can you be a whole person?""Our job as business leaders is t…

11 Reasons To Do Employee Exit Interviews

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Don't be the guy in the picture when an employee leaves your company.  Instead, conduct exit interviews and surveys.

Leigh Branham explains in his book, The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave, what the most favorable conditions are for conducting the interviews and surveys.

And, if you need convincing to read the book, take a look at these 11 best reasons for listening and gathering the data when an employee leaves:
Bringing any "push-factor" root-cause reasons for leaving to the surface.Alerting the organization to specific issues to be addressed.Giving the employee a chance to vent and gain a sense of closure.Giving the employee the opportunity to provide information that may help colleagues left behind.Providing information about competitors and their practices.Comparing information given with the results of past surveys and employee data.Detecting patterns and changes by year or by quarter.Obtaining information to help improve recruiting.Possibly heading off a lawsuit.…

11 Ways To Make E-Mail In The Workplace 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 responsibil…

Today's 5 Leadership Quotes

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Some of my favorite quotes for leaders are:
A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit -- Arnold H. GlasgowI praise loudly, I blame softly -- Catherine II of RussiaHonest disagreement is often a good sign of progress -- Mohandas GandhiA long dispute means that both parties are wrong -- VoltaireThe least questioned assumptions are often the most questionable -- Paul Broca These and many more compelling quotes can be found in Susan H. Shearouse's new book, Conflict 101.

Author Branham On Trust, Exit Interviews And Why Employees Leave

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Over the past year, 1,000 people who left an employer told author Leigh Branham the reasons for why they left. Those reasons, captured in a post-exit survey, contribute greatly to the new release of the second edition of Branham's best-seller, The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave. The original edition was based on feedback from nearly 20,000 surveys.  The updated book includes insights regarding some additional new survey questions, such as: Was there a triggering event? How long did it take until you actually left? What could your employer have done to make you want to change your mind and stay? Did you look for another job while still employed. Eye-opening highlights from the book reveal that: The cost of losing the average employee is one times their annual salary.  That means that  company with three hundred employees, an average employee salary of $35,000, and a voluntary turnover rate of 15 a year is losing $1,575,000 per year in turnover costs alone. Employee turnover is no…

Leadership And Customer Service, Marriott Style

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The next time you stay at a Marriott hotel look in the nightstand drawer for Marriott's booklet that highlights its milestones and tells the Marriott story.

In the booklet, you'll find the following 12 ways that Marriott practices good leadership AND customer service:

Continually challenge your team to do better.Take good care of your employees, and they'll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.Celebrate your people's success, not your own.Know what you're good at and mine those competencies for all you're worth.Do it and do it now. Err on the side of taking action.Communicate. Listen to your customers, associates and competitors.See and be seen. Get out of your office, walk around, make yourself visible and accessible.Success is in the details.It's more important to hire people with the right qualities than with specific experience.Customer needs may vary, but their bias for quality never does.Eliminate the cause of a mistake.…

How Storytelling Captivates, Convinces And Inspires Employees And Customers

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Three months into my first job out of college my boss brings me into the company cafeteria and tells me things just aren’t working out.He states a few things he likes about my work.Then, he details a longer list of what he doesn’t like.
I’m surprised.Worried I’ll lose my first real job.And, scared.I wonder, how will I tell my parents I’ve been fired from my first job.
Then, he closes by explaining to me that he believes I have the core skills to do a good job and to deliver on the things he needs me to achieve.And, that’s why he says he is taking the time to tell me why and how I need to do things differently – rather than just let me go.He says, “I’m taking the time to tell you this because I care about you and want to see you succeed, even though it would be easier just to tell you things aren't working out and to let you go."
After absorbing the initial shock of the conversation, I return to work the next day and start tackling the items my boss wants me to improve.Within wee…

2012's Required Reading For School Leaders: Leverage Leadership

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As students return to school this and next month and buy their required reading books, principals, instructional coaches, department chairs, lead teachers, and teachers hopefully will have read this summer as their required reading Paul Bambrick-Santoyo’s new book, Leverage Leadership – A Practical Guide to Building Exceptional Schools.

“As I traveled across the country working with school leaders over the past ten years, I saw a common trend: great people were working extremely hard and still struggling to increase student learning and close the achievement gap. Despite all that had been written about high-quality education, schools struggled to make an impact," explains Bambrick-Santoyo.

Leverage Leadership provides a step-by-step method for creating exceptional schools by highlighting the seven levers that drive student achievement: from observation and feedback to a strong student culture to a well-managed leadership team,” adds Bambrick-Santoyo.

In the book, the author ex…

New Work Reimagined Website Connects Workers With Businesses That Value Expereinced Professionals

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Older displaced leaders seeking work have a new online resource to help connect them with businesses with a special interest in workers with long experience. AARP launched a new website in July called, Work Reimagined.

The site is powered byLinkedIn, the career-oriented social media site.

Work Reimagined is the first talent exchange dedicated to helping companies find experienced workers and to helping experienced professionals connect to more satisfying careers.

For businesses hiring, Work Reimagined helps them target the most appropriate, experienced workers.

For people looking for work, the site lets you access unique, personalized job leads from employers who respect depth of knowledge and experience.

The site also is a place to share experiences, challenges and dreams for the future via groups and discussions on LinkedIn.



Working with AARP, participating companies have signed a pledge to level the playing field for experienced workers. Employers who sign the Pledge agree that…

6 Steps For Discussing Poor Performance With An Employee

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As a leader, the time will come when you will have to speak with an employee about his or her poor performance. Here are six steps that will guide you through that process:

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

15 Quotes For Leaders From Phelps, Cosby, Drucker, Truman And Others

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Some of my favorite quotes for leaders are:
A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit -- Arnold H. GlasgowI praise loudly, I blame softly -- Catherine II of RussiaHonest disagreement is often a good sign of progress -- Mohandas GandhiA long dispute means that both parties are wrong -- VoltaireThe least questioned assumptions are often the most questionable -- Paul BrocaThe best way to predict the future is to invent it -- Alan KayNothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm -- Ralph Waldo EmersonA pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty -- Winston ChurchillI don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody -- Bill CosbyThe greatest accomplishment is not in never failing, but in rising again after you fall -- Vince LombardiThe one thing that's common to all successful people: They make a habit of doing things …

10 Ways To Be A Better Listener

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Being a good listener is absolutely essential to being an effective leader.

When you really listen, you:
Remember names and facts correctly.Hear "between the lines."Show respect.Learn more about what's going on within your workplace.Here are 10 tips on how to be a better listener:
Look at the person who's speaking to you. Maintain eye contact.Watch for non-verbal clues, body language, gestures and facial expressions.Eliminate all distractions. Don't multi-task.Ask questions that let the other person know you have heard them, and that you want to learn more.Don't interrupt.Don't finish the other person's sentences.Avoid using words, such as "no," "but," and "however," when you respond.Don't prejudge.Display a friendly, open attitude and body language.Ask questions to clarify what you heard.

Must-Read Book For Nonprofit Leaders

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If you lead a nonprofit organization, the one hour it will take you to read Peter F. Drucker's book called "The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization" will be well worth it.

This book may fundamentally change the way you work and lead your organization.

Perhaps one of most challenging of the five questions is the one where Drucker asks the reader is:

"Do we produce results that are sufficiently outstanding for us to justify putting our resources in this area?

Because, Drucker argues that need alone does not justify continuing. Nor does tradition, if your results are not sufficiently outstanding.

If you volunteer for a nonprofit or are seeking employment at a nonprofit, this book is also an insightful and inspiring read.

Are You Leading With An Eye On 2050?

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Today's thought to ponder for business leaders:
The number of Americans age 65 and older will grow from 40 million today to 88.5 million in 2050.  That projection from the U.S. Census presents an opportunity for business leaders who have their eye on 2050, even though that's 38 years away.

Think of the opportunity if you can create a product or service, or adapt your existing offerings, to meet the needs of an America that will look very different in 2050 than it does today.

Need even more convincing?  Consider these additional projections:
The number of Americans age 85 and older will grow from 5.8 million today to 19 million in 2050.The number of Centenarians in the U.S. will grow from 105,000 today to 601,000 in 2050.

14 Attributes of Great Coaches

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Today, I am pleased to share a guest post from Garret Kramer of InnerSports LLC about how to be a great coach:


14 Attributes of Great Coaches By Garret Kramer, Author of Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life
There are many, many coaching manuals and books on the market today.   Unfortunately, virtually all of them provide an external blueprint or "positive" guide to successful coaching and leadership. Very few, however, point the coach inward to an intuitive understanding that he or she already possesses.
Below are fourteen examples of the inside-out coaching paradigm revealed in Stillpower.  Consider these attributes of great coaches for yourself; then see how they might apply to you, your team, classroom, company, or family.
1.  Great coaches think state of mind first; behavior (including "working hard, "staying positive, and "doing the 'right' thing"), a distant second.
2.  Great coaches know that what they say pales in comparison to th…