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Showing posts from March, 2013

What To Do After Reprimanding An Employee

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"A reprimand should end with a reaffirmation of the person's past performance," explains authors Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge in their book, Helping People Win At Work.

They provide this example:
"The reason I'm upset is because this is so unlike you.  You're one of my best employees, and you usually get your reports in on time." "The reason this step is important is that when you finish giving someone a reprimand, you want him thinking about what he did wrong, not how you treated him."

Thanks for this good advice Ken and Garry.

Six 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.

How 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.

How To Know When 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…

35 Leadership, Movitational And Life Quotes

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These quotes truly inspire me:

“The three common characteristics of best companies -- they care, they have fun, they have high performance expectations.” -- Brad Hams
“The one thing that's common to all successful people: They make a habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don't like to do.” -- Michael Phelps
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." -- Harry S. Truman
“The leader of the past was a person who knew how to tell. The leader of the future will be a person who knows how to ask.” -- Peter Drucker
“Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Good leadership isn't about advancing yourself.  It's about advancing your team.” -- John C. Maxwell
"People buy into the leader, then the vision.” -- John C. Maxwell
“Great leaders have courage, tenacity and patience.” -- Bill McBean
"People never learn anything by being told, they have to…

Frustration In The Workplace Is A Silent Killer

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"Frustration in the workplace is a silent killer," claim authors Mark Royal and Tom Agnew in their terrific book, The Enemy of Engagement.

Further, "in an organizational context, frustration is not as simple as failing to get something you want.  Rather, it involves the inability to succeed in your role due to organizational barriers or the inability to bring the bulk of your individual talents, skills, and abilities to your job."

Royal and Agnew further explain that a staggering number of highly motivated, engaged, and loyal employees quit trying--or quit, period---because they feel frustrated.

And what's causing all that frustration?  It's lack of enablement
According to Royal and Agnew, as employees grow in experience in their roles, they begin to focus less on learning the ropes and more on achieving desired results.  In the process, they are increasingly confronted with enablement constraints that limit their ability to get their jobs done effective…

Today's Leadership Quotes

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In addition to learning a lot about the ways businesses are creating experiences for their customers in Brian Solis' new book, What's The Future of Business, you'll be treated to dozens of compelling leadership, life and business quotes, such as these:

"People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves." -- Paulo Coelho
"We live in a time where brands are people and people are brands." -- Brian Solis
"In real life, the most practical advice for leaders is not to treat pawns like pawns, nor princes like princes, but all persons like persons." -- James MacGregor Burns
"The only source of knowledge is experience." -- Albert Einstein
"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely." -- Auguste Rodin
"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." -- Maria Robinson

What's The Future Of Business By Brian Solis

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Incredibly relevant.  Highly visual.  Timely.  Enlightening.  Instructive.  Scary.

These are all words I use to describe Brian Solis' new book, What's The Future (WTF) Of Business -- Changing The Way Businesses Create Experiences.

You can likely already imagine that I consider this a must-read book for any business owner and any leader -- even leaders who manage businesses that don't directly connect with consumers.

WTF is incredibly relevant and timely because Solis explores the non-stop transformation happening in business today, driven by new social and mobile technologies.

The book is highly visual because it's the quality of a coffee-table style book, packed with compelling graphics, bright colors and a design that makes for easy reading -- all delivered on top-notch paper.

And, it's enlightening and instructive, because the book delivers real-world examples that can guide you as you shape your business.

Plus, WTF is scary.  Scary because you'll likely fee…

The Definition Of Meaningful Work

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There are so many good things to learn in the book, Helping People Win At Work, by Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge. Among those is the section about how to define meaningful work.

Their definition consists of these seven attributes.  Work is meaningful when it:
It is conducted in a manner that is "good and proper" in all respects.It positively affects our company and our communities, giving our work an impact that extends beyond ourselves.It provides learning and growth, offers challenges, requires creativity, pushes us to surpass limits, and creates exciting results.It provides recognition and rewards for our achievements.It allows us to succeed as a team while excelling as individuals.It allows us to enjoy the ride, bringing humor and fun into our work.It fuels passion!

Common Mistakes Leaders Should Avoid

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In Leading Change, Step-By-Step, author Jody Spiro describes three common mistakes leaders should avoid.

Those are:
Thinking That a Mission is Developed by a Single Leader -- Spiro explains that in order to have buy-in from across the organization, the creation of a mission requires negotiation and genuine input from across the organization.  And that means a leader needs to be a good, active listener.Addressing Too Much in a Single Strategy; Inability to Say "No" -- According to Spiro, leaders should avoid the temptation to "pack" a given strategy with several other strategies.  Instead, you should be selective and narrow the strategy to a single thought that furthers your mission and is a niche where you can have a competitive advantage or offer a unique program or service.Confusing Strategies with Actions -- Both strategies and actions specify something that will be done. But, as Spiro explains, actions are more specific and concrete.  The strategy should cause …

Communications Expert David Grossman Publishes Leadership Toolbox eBook

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I depend on communications expert David Grossman of Your Thought Partnerfor continuing guidance on how to most effectively communicate in the workplace. 

So, you can imagine how excited I was to learn David has released another one of his free eBooks -- this one called, Tips, Tactics & Strategies For Your LeadershipToolbox.

The eBook includes the most popular posts from his three-year-old blog, and typical David, he provides specific guidance on exactly what to do and how to do it.  Clear, concise, use-it-today information.

You'll find tips, tactics and strategies for:
Communicating your strategyEngaging employees with open-ended questionsUsing a journalist's 5 Ws and an H approach to communicatingUnderstanding the difference between information and communicationKnowing how not to let how you say something trump what you sayListening -- really listeningKeeping your teams strongEngaging your non-wired employeesEffectively using email Understanding millennials -- where they&…

Abolish These Excuses From Your Company's Vocabulary

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In their 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 company's 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…

Surefire Ways To Create 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…

6 Questions To Ask When You Do A Project Review

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Just a little more advice from the authors of, Helping People Win At Work.  Those authors, Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge, recommend you ask the following six essential questions whenever you do a project review:
What did we set out to do?What actually happened?Why did this happen?What will we do next time?What should we continue to do?What should we do differently? Seems simple enough, but how often do we really take the time to step back and ask ALL six of these questions? 

And, these questions are important to ask even if there was no mistakes made during the project. Continually planning and executing without the value of a review can blindside you.

Get more great advice from their book.