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Showing posts from December, 2014

Quotes To Help Me Start 2015

"The first step is you have to say that you can." - Will Smith "Some people want it to happen.  Some wish it would happen.  Others make it happen." - Michael Jordan "There are only two options regarding commitment; you're either in or you're out.  There's no such thing as life in-between." - Pat Riley "In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein "Mental toughness is essential to success." - Vince Lombardi

Linking Company Culture With Customer Needs

What separates market leaders from the pack? The answer is  alignment , explains  Edgar Papke , author of the book,  True Alignment :  Linking Company Culture with Customer Needs for Extraordinary Results . "Alignment is the single most critical business challenge for any organization and its leaders. Without it, inefficiency, conflict, and disengagement will cripple your ability to provide value to your customers," says Papke. He further explains that companies live or die based on their ability to communicate and deliver on the promise their brand makes to its customers. To do this effectively, leaders need to clearly define the vision and strategies that support that brand intention and ensure these are manifested in the roles, expectations, and goals of each and every member of the organization. True Alignment  reveals how to: Decipher customer expectations Define the brand as a solution to the customer’s needs Turn the unique selling proposition into

Industry Leaders Who Influenced Me During 2014

Thanks to these incredibly talented individuals who published excellent content that taught me so much during 2014: Tanveer Naseer  - Leadership Coach, Speaker & Writer.  Tanveer writes timely, thought-provoking blog posts about leadership at least weekly.  Each post is well worth the read.  I Tweet nearly every one of his posts.  They are that good. Debbie Laskey  - A friend and a person with a keen sense of how to market successfully, Debbie posts about marketing, management and leadership. David Grossman  - David heads up The Grossman Group and is the best when it comes to helping leaders to communicate more effectively.  I've been following David for years and am eager to see what he shares in 2015 via his blog. And, thanks to  Leadership Digital , which aggregates some of the best content about leadership and management on the Internet.  I couldn't do without this site's daily afternoon eNewsletter. Thanks from: Eric Jacobson

7 Smart Things To Do To Help You Succeed In 2015

Here are the  seven smart things  you need to do to  succeed in the future , according to leadership expert. John Baldoni, in his book,  Lead With Purpose : Make purpose a central focus. Instill purpose in others. Make employees comfortable with ambiguity. Turn good intentions into great results. Make it safe to fail (as well as prevail). Develop the next generation. Prepare yourself.

Author Jesse Sostrin Talks About His Book, Beyond The Job Description

Question And Answer with  Jesse Sostrin author of Beyond the Job Description Question :    What does the title of your book mean and what’s the truth about what employers really expect that is never written in job descriptions?   Sostrin :    Beyond the Job Description  represents two fundamental truths about the world of work. First, whether we realize it or not, our standard job descriptions only tell part of the story about the demands we face at work. In addition to the tasks and activities we have to perform, there are countless other challenges to getting great work done.    The second meaning has to do with the need for all of us to stand out in a crowded job market and do what is necessary to stay relevant in careers that keep getting longer. To do that you have to go "beyond the job description" and identify unique ways to contribute increasing value to your team and organization.   Question :    How can employees discover the true demands

8 Rules For Emailing

To help your organization, here are some simple rules for  emailing  from  C. Elliott Haverlack's  new book,  Unbundle It : Never send an email when you are angry. Never address a sensitive or emotionally charged topic via email. Eliminate the use of return receipts. Mandate that "Reply All" emails are not allowed. Eliminate one word emails. Be cognizant of string or multiple message emails. Ensure emails requiring a response are addressed promptly. Do not expect answers on emails from carbon copy recipients.

70 New Year's Resolutions For Leaders

With only about a week left of 2014, it's time to select your New Year's Resolutions for 2015. To get you started, how about selecting one or more of these  70 New Year's resolutions for leaders ? Don't micromanage Don't be a bottleneck Focus on outcomes, not minutiae Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes Assess your company's strengths and weaknesses at all times Conduct annual risk reviews Be courageous, quick and fair Talk more about values more than rules Reward how a performance is achieved and not only the performance Constantly challenge your team to do better Celebrate your employees' successes, not your own Err on the side of taking action Communicate clearly and often Be visible Eliminate the cause of a mistake View every problem as an opportunity to grow Summarize group consensus after each decision point during a meeting Praise when compliments are earned Be decisive Say "thank you" and sincere

20 Influential Women Share Their Business And Life Secrets In Leading Women

The 19 women contributors who share their secrets to leadership, business and life in  Leading Women make this new book an uplifting, motivational and revealing read. Nancy D. O'Reilly, PsyD, and founder of describes her book as providing tools for making your voice heard and for gaining the respect and opportunities you need to claim your right place, share your life, provide for your family, and invent a better society. Among the 19 contributors who shared their stories, in addition to the stories O'Reilly shares, are: Gloria Feldt , cofounder and president of Take the Lead Lois P. Frankel , PhD, president of Corporate Coaching International Marci Shimoff , author of Love for No Reason and Happy for No Reason Linda Rendleman , cofounder of the Women Like Us Foundation Marcia Reyonlds , PsyD, president of Covisioning, LLC Joanna L. Krotz , journalist and entrepreneur Five percent of all publisher's proceeds from the book will be donate

How To Assess Your Organization Using The 5Cs

Within the first 100 days as a new leader  in an organization, you'll want to assess your  organization's risk . Authors George Bradt, Jayme A. Clark and Jorge Pedraza, in their book,  The New Leader's 100-Day Action Plan , suggest you do your assessment using the  5Cs : Customers : First line, customer chain, end users, influencers Collaborators : Suppliers, allies, government/community leaders Capabilities : Human, operational, financial, technical, key assets Competitors : Direct, indirect, potential Conditions : Social/demographic, political/government/regulatory, economic, market Use a  SWOT  (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) as you examine each category if that helps.

Best Quotes From The 5 Levels Of Leadership

Here are some of my favorites quotes from the book that I believe should be a must-read book by any workplace/organizational leader -- John C. Maxwell's book,  The 5 Levels of Leadership . Good leadership isn't about advancing yourself.  It's about advancing your team. Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others. Leadership is action, not position. When people feel liked, cared for, included, valued, and trusted, they begin to work together with their leader and each other. If you have integrity with people, you develop trust.  The more trust you develop, the stronger the relationship becomes.  In times of difficulty, relationships are a shelter.  In times of opportunity, they are a launching pad. Good leaders must embrace both care and candor. People buy into the leader, then the vision. Bringing out the best in a person is often a catalyst for bringing out the best in the team. Progress comes only from taki

6 Steps To Discuss Poor Performance With An Employee

As a leader , the time will come when you will have to speak with an employee about his or her poor performance. That time may be just about right now as the year ends and a new year is about to start. So, 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.

There's No Place Like Working From Home

About 42 million people -- roughly one-third of the U.S. workforce -- work from home at least one or two days a week. If you are a leader of work-from-home employees, share the book,  There's No Place Like Working From Home , with them.  Share it particularly with an employee new to working from his or her home. Author  Elaine Quinn  wrote the book after working as a consultant for 10 years with small business owners who struggled with organization, time management, workflow processes, productivity and related challenges. The techniques Quinn teaches small home-based business owners also apply to work-from-home employees of large organizations . " Poor organizational and time management skills are among the top ten reasons small businesses and work-from-home employees fail ," said Quinn. "And being disorganized can cost business owners and corporations lost revenue, wasted time, professional embarrassment, damaged relationships, and missed opportunities.&

The Power Of Asking "Why Not?"

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 to   discovery ," 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 stre

Leadership Lessons From Abraham Lincoln

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 Phil

What It Takes To Be A Great Company

Two years ago,  Inc.  magazine’s June issue featured a compelling article about  author and leadership expert Jim Collins , who has studied leadership for 25 years and penned four best-selling books. I like to periodically remind myself of that all-important article. 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 l

How To Be A Level 5 Leader

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

Nathan Magnuson On Leadership, Coaching, And His New eBook

Nathan Magnuson If you haven't discovered Nathan Magnuson 's Everyday Leadership blog , check it out today. You'll find lots of good advice and insights from this Kansas City area leadership consultant, coach and thought leader. You can also download his new, and free , eBook , Trusted Leadership Advisor , when you subscribe for free to his website. This week, Nathan kindly shared more about his eBook and leadership in general. 1.  What inspired you to write the eBook? Nathan :  I wanted something tangible to share. Instead of only sharing my website address, it's nice to have something people can take with them and reference later on. Even my best articles are only accessible via search after a couple months, but someone can take the eBook, print it and keep it at their desk - or bring it with them on a computer or device. 2.  Who is your target reader for the eBook? Nathan :  My primary target for my writing is people who have responsibil

What It Takes To Be An Effective Leader

Awhile ago, I was asked, "What five most important traits must a leader have to be effective?"  I could reply fairly quickly, but I did take a moment to remember that when I asked a similar question in a LinkedIn group discussion, group members offered up nearly  100 different adjectives  to describe an effective leader. But, for me,  I contend the five most important traits are : Good communicator . That means effectively communicating timely and consistent messages during good and bad times. And, knowing how and when to be a good listener. Communicating is critical. Employees must hear from their leaders. And, hearing from their leaders in person versus e-mail and written memos is even more effective. Being a servant leader . Put your employees and your company first. A top manager who makes decisions that are self-serving will lack followers and will bring the company down. Adaptable . Today, more than ever, a leader needs to adapt. That means adapting to competi

How To Be A Healthier Leader

If you're like many leaders, you're "too busy" to exercise on a regular basis. And, you don't give yourself time to renew and refresh. Truth is, there are ways to fit exercise and healthful habits into your busy day that will pay off in dividends. From  Experience Life  magazine, here are  10 tips  for how to fit even just moments into your day (at work, on the road and at home) to help you become more healthful: Make a plan to exercise . Include exercise times, even if they are just in 10-minute increments, on your calendar. Find time to exercise and build on that time . Start off by walking for five minutes at lunch and add to that every few days until you've worked up to 30 minutes every few lunch hours. Limit screen time . Set a timer for how long you'll watch TV or surf the Net. Then, use the time you aren't in front of a screen to exercise. When you are watching TV, do squats, push ups, lunges, yoga poses and crunches . Think positive

Leadership Quotes That Inspire

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 lea

How To Master Your Social Selling Skills

If you are a salesperson or sell a product or service, make,  The Art of Social Selling , the next book you read. Author Belew defines " social selling " as the identification, targeting, and reaching out to prospective and existing customers through social media channels and social communities in an effort to engage them in conversations that result in a potentially mutually beneficial relationship. Social selling does not replace all other sales and marketing processes.  It simply means adding another tool to your toolkit...and tool, when mastered,  will help you find and engage customers on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and other social networks . If you don't yet believe the power of social selling, consider these stats and realities from Belew's book : Without social selling, 40 percent of sales teams make less than 80 percent of quota, on average (Xactly research). Buyers no longer depend on salespeople to provide information and educate them on pro

How To Deliver Excellent Customer Service This Holiday Season

Leading a customer service team? Have the team members use these  9 tips for delivering excellent customer service  this holiday shopping season: Rely on winning words and soothing phrases.  A simple but sincere “Thanks for your patience” or “I’m listening” can go a long way toward defusing a holiday shopper’s frustration, anxiety, or panic. Develop a repertoire of short, easy to remember phrases around issues that are important to customers. Practice until the words come naturally. Communicate with silence.  Remaining silent while your customers are talking is a basic courtesy, and nodding tells them you’re listening and understanding what you hear. An occasional “uh huh” or “I see” tells them you’re still listening without interrupting. Make customers feel seen.  Making eye contact acknowledges that you see your customers as individuals. But there’s a balance to be struck here: staring can make your customers uncomfortable, too. Also keep in mind that eye contact is governed

Learn The 9 Times When To Thank Your Customer

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 suggestions When they try one of your new products or services When they recommend you to a friend When they are patient...and even when they are not so patient When they help you to serve them better When they complain to you When they make you smile You and your team members can say "Thank You" : Verbally In writing  (and don't underestimate the power of  per

6 Ways To Seek Feedback To Improve Your Performance In The Workplace

Getting feedback is an important way to improve performance at work. But sometimes, it can be hard to seek out, and even harder to hear.  “Feedback is all around you. Your job is to find it, both through asking directly and observing it,” says David L. Van Rooy, author of the new book,  Trajectory: 7 Career Strategies to Take You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be . As today's guest post, Van Rooy offers these  six tips for how to get the feedback you need to improve performance at work . Guest Post By David L. Van Rooy 1.       Don’t forget to as k :  One of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming things are going perfectly (until they make a catastrophic mistake). By not asking, you’re missing out on opportunities for deep feedback: the difficult, critical feedback that gives you constructive ways to improve. 2.       Make sure you listen :  Remember, getting feedback is about improving your performance, not turning it into a “you versus the

10 Tips For Making Virtual Meetings Successful

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 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