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Showing posts from November, 2012

70 Ways To Be A Better Leader

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The 70 tips below make for a good list for learning how to become a better leader when you don't have a lot of time to read books about leadership.

And, if you've been a leader for a long time, how about taking a few minutes to run through the list and scoring yourself on how well you carry out each leadership skill?

1. Don't micromanage
2. Don't be a bottleneck
3. Focus on outcomes, not minutiae
4. Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes
5. Assess your company's strengths and weaknesses at all times
6. Conduct annual risk reviews
7. Be courageous, quick and fair
8. Talk more about values more than rules
9. Reward how a performance is achieved and not only the performance
10. Constantly challenge your team to do better
11. Celebrate your employees' successes, not your own
12. Err on the side of taking action
13. Communicate clearly and often
14. Be visible
15. Eliminate the cause of a mistake
16. View every problem as an opportun…

What Are You Thankful For?

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Each year, around Thanksgiving time, I think about what I am thankful for.  This year, I decided to take the time to make a list.  A list of 10 things I am thankful for

What's on your list thisyear?  What's on your list this year that wasn't on last year's list?

Here is my list:
Family and friendsEmploymentCo-workers who are hard-working and collaborativeTechnology, Blogs, Twitter and all social media sharing tools that help me to be a constant learnerHealth and all those who help me stay healthy and encourage me to reach my goalsSetting goals and working hard to exceed themGood booksNonprofit organizations that provide vital services and ways for me to volunteer and donateMusicReaders, followers and guests of my blog and Twitter @ericjacobsonkc Wow, I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

Leadership Lessons From Lincoln

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Did Abraham Lincoln really say, "Get out of the office and circulate among the troops," back in 1861?

He did. But, not in those exact words. What he said, according to author Donald T. Phillips, is this:

"His cardinal mistake is that he isolates himself, and allows nobody to see him; and by which he does not know what is going on in the very matter he is dealing with." Lincoln made this statement when describing his reason for relieving Gen. John C. Fremont from his command in Missouri (September 9, 1861).

Phillips writes that for Lincoln, casual contact with his subordinates was as important as formal gatherings, if not more so.

Phillips, includes many more leadership lessons from Lincoln in his fascinating book, Lincoln on Leadership, where Phillips presents 15 of Lincoln's leadership statements in today's vernacular.

Another leadership lesson from Lincoln is to:
Influence people through conversation and storytelling Phillips explains that Lincoln had a …

5 Open-ended Questions To Ask Your Customers

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As you gear up for the busy holiday shopping season, consider this advice from author Paul R. Timm.  He recommends a different twist on asking your customers questions:
stop asking your customers the "typical" questions and instead ask them open-ended questions. Here's specifically what Timm recommends:

Don't Ask:
How was everything?Can I get you something else?Did you find everything you need?Will that be all?Was everything satisfactory?Instead Ask:
What else can I do for you?What else can I get for you?What else can I help you with?What else could we do to better serve you?How else can we be of help? These open-ended questions will let your customers really express their ideas, opinions and needs. Timm is the author of, 50 Powerful Ideas You Can Use To Keep Your Customers.