Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2015

Every Page Of, No Cape Needed, Is A Must-Read

For years, David Grossman has set the gold standard for delivering effective and actionable techniques for communicating with employees. Now, he’s raised the bar to a whole new level for publishing a book where every page is both incredibly visual and packed with must-read content. This is the third book for David, founder and CEO of The Grossman Group , and it’s called, No Cape Needed: The Simplest, Smartest,Fastest Steps to Improve How You Communicate By Leaps and Bounds . It’s for for leaders at all levels. Through a simple do/don’t format , David shares years of insights he’s gained as an executive coach and communications strategist to help leaders see how communication is truly a superpower in today’s business and financial environment. “In my work with leaders across a range of Fortune 500 companies, I often hear strikingly similar frustrations,” says Davd. “Leaders come to me feeling stuck, unable to see a clear path through the dizzying array of challen

How To Keep Innovating

I found this advice from Ken Goldstein (from his new book, Endless Encores ) particularly helpful. He says: "You have to be innovating all the time. The only sure path to a limited repertoire is not to push yourself beyond the familiar. Your range is only gated by your courage to pursue the unknown, despite the doubters who relish the false safety of narrowing your path. You risk, you stretch, you can't know what's going to stick. No matter how much you know the familiar will carry you, you navigate the balance of old and new, constantly committing to reinvention. Repeat success is getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, knowing that luck will shine again, but never knowing when or how."

Seven Indicators Of The Right Work For You

In Brian Tracy 's new book, Find Your Balance Point , he shares this helpful list of the seven indicators of the right work for you and the career where you will feel fully engaged and where you will be the happiest in serving other people: The right work for you is something that you really enjoy doing; something that you love to do. The right work for you is easy for you to learn and easy to do. In many cases, you learned it automatically, without thought or effort. You love learning more and more about the work if it is the right work for you. When you are engrossed in this work, the hours fly past. You forget what time it is, and later you are surprised to see how much time has passed. The right work for you gives you energy when you are doing it. You can spend hours at this work, often forgetting to eat. If it is the right work for you, you want to be excellent at it, and you are constantly striving to learn and improve in that area. If it is the right work for y

How To Increase Customer Loyalty

"Today's customers demand something unlike anything they have ever wanted in the past -- a connection with your business," explains  Noah Fleming , author of the  new, must-read book ,  Evergreen . "This means that in order to increase customer loyalty, you need to create a relationship with that customer on a deeper and much more profound level," adds Fleming. And, to do this, you need to think in an entirely new way (at times even counter intuitively) about your market, your customers and your marketing offers. Noah Fleming Fortunately, in Fleming's  timely and intensively relevant book , he shows you through strategies, exercises and examples what to do. He explains why the customer is  not  always right.  And, why not every customer is worth keeping. Fleming's techniques teach you how to acquire customers faster and how to create what he calls  legitimate brand loyalty  -- the type that helps to keep your business thriving. One of

Thought For The Day

"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in a world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it." -- David Beckahm

Two New Books For Leaders And HR Directors

During this past summer, Wiley released two new books for leaders and individuals leading HR departments at businesses and organizations. The books are, Lead the Work: Navigating a World Beyond Employment , and Misplaced Talent: A Guide to Better people Decisions . Both are insightful reads. Misplaced Talent was my favorite. That book's author, Joe Ungemah , professes: "I believe we are in a state of misplaced talent . At times, we park our best and brightest staff in the wrong places, where they are either not maximizing what they can do or become at risk of drifting away due to lack of interest in the job. At other times, we can forget what really matters to the organization, placing too much emphasis on jobs and functions that have minimal impact on what a company is tasked to do. And still other times, we bet on the wrong talent to lead and grow our businesses, overlooking employees or applicants who are more deserving and capable." Ungemah explains

The Art Of Leading By Looking Ahead

Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead , gives readers practical guidance and concrete techniques to help leaders become more visionary. In his book,  Rob-Jan de Jong  provides the developmental framework for visionary capacity, focusing on two key skills: The ability to see change early The ability to connect the dots Rob-Jan de Jong De Jong makes a clear distinction between the company vision and your personal vision. And, in this book, he helps you increase your  personal visionary capacity  for your personal leadership whether or not you are hierarchically in a senior position. The book includes many exercises and examples, along with QR codes to access videos with additional content that can be viewed on your smartphone. Some of de Jong's tips for how to think like a visionary and be a source of inspiration to your organization and teams include: Deliberately break your normal, everyday patterns. Develop a set of appreciative questions aimed at di

Planning And Preparing For A High-Performance Culture

In his book,  The Responsible Leader ,  Tim Richardson  explains that to create a  high-performance culture , you need to  plan and prepare  for the following moments to ensure the conversations surrounding them are both meaningful and intentional: recruitment and induction of new team members performance management discussions promotion interviews and talent management discussions coaching discussions customer sales presentations handling customer complaints and problems briefings to the press, analysts and wider market senior leaders' contact with, and briefings to, teams across the organization internal presentations with executive committees team meetings and management meetings Richardson's advice to  improve the quality of these conversations  is to consider: How clear is the principal message for the conversation?  How can you ensure that the content of the discussion is focused on the key message(s)? How can you ensure the quality of the listening

Get A Handle On Your Millennial Employees

Today, I welcome back Nathan Magnuson and another one of his insightful guest posts. Nathan Magnuson 2015 is a big year for Millennials in the workforce. Earlier this year they became the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, according to Pew Research Center . By now, most folks have had the chance to share the office with this group. But managing Millennial subordinates – not to mention maximizing their contribution – continues to test (and in some cases flummox) many the otherwise competent supervisor. Millennials are uniquely different from any other generation in the workforce, based on their birth years (between 1980 – 2000), world events during their formative years and a wide variety of other factors. If you’re managing Millennials, here are a few things to keep in mind . They are Optimistic Millennials grew up during a period of rapid change: the Cold War ended, the Internet went mainstream – changing the way we connect with the world and each

Find Your Balance Point

Earlier this month, Brian Tracy , along with Christina Stein , published, Find Your Balance Point . "The desire for peace of mind and the idea of living a balanced life are central to your happiness and well-being. When you start to live your life in balance with the very best person you could possibly be, you will enjoy the happiness you deserve and experience harmony among all the elements that make up a successful life for you, as you define it," explain the authors. The book teaches you how to identify you balance point, move to it at will, and automatically return to it whenever you want . "You need to establish your balance point before you can set and achieve the goals that are important to you," explains Tracy. The starting point is to develop absolute clarity about who you are and what matters to you. This means you much be clear about your values . Then, chapter by chapter, Tracy and Stein take you through: Creating your vision and how to

Ken Goldstein On People, Products And Profits

In a short 144 pages, Ken Goldstein delivers an enjoyable and powerful business parable with timeless lessons on how to have repeat success by concentrating on three essentials - People, Products, and Profits – in that order. Goldstein's lessons are in his new book, Endless Encores , and are demonstrated through a fictional dialogue one night in an airport lounge between a successful CEO and a manager besieged with troubles. Some of my favorite lessons from Goldstein are: All success resets expectations for what comes next. Offer customers more than what they think they want. Look for people who push themselves. Diversity on your team expands thinking. Hire for character, competency, and compatibility. A brand is a promise. It's not failing if it's learning. Ken Goldstein Carry this book with you for the next time you find an hour or two to read to be inspired and motivated to achieve success in your business. Goldstein previously serve

Act Like A Leader

Awhile back,  Herminia Ibarra  released her latest book,  Act Like A Leader, Think Like A Leader . Contrary to popular opinion, Ibarra argues that you have to  act  your way into a new type of leadership thinking  instead of thinking  your way into it. And to do this, you need to develop and practice  outsight  (versus insight). To do that, you should: Redefine your job  to make time for more strategic work and more work outside your function, unit and even organization. Diversify your network  so that you connect to and learn from a bigger range of stakeholders. Get more playful with your sense of self  so that you allow yourself to experiment with styles of behaving that go against your nature. " Doing things  --  rather than simply thinking about them  -- will increase your  outsight  on what leadership is all about," explains Ibarra. Here are three ways to do things at your office tomorrow : Sign up for one new project, task-force, professional associ

Good To Great -- Still A Must Read

Near the top of virtually every list you'll see of the best leadership books, you'll find  Good To Great , by Jim Collins. The book, five years in the making, and published in 2001, addresses the all-important question of:  Can a good company become a great company, and if so, how? Some of the lessons from the book are : "Leadership is equally about creating a climate where the truth is heard and the brutal facts confronted." "Leading from good to great does not mean coming up with the answers and then motivating everyone to follow your messianic vision. It means having the humility to grasp the fact that you do not yet understand enough to have the answers and then to ask the questions that will lead to the best possible insights." "Good-to-great companies use technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it." "Engage in dialogue and debate." Good-to-great companies are those who have the ability to get and keep

How To Use The Friendship Factor To Motivate Your Employees

All you need is one hour to read Brian Tracy's pocket-sized guide for managers,  Motivation . "You cannot motivate other people," explains Tracy, "but you can remove the obstacles that stop them from motivating themselves. All motivation is self-motivation. As a manager, you can create an environment where this potential for self-motivation is released naturally and spontaneously." In the book, Tracy presents chapter-by-chapter his  21 most reliable and powerful methods for increasing the effectiveness of any individual or group . Each chapter includes a couple different  action exercises . Toward the end of the book, Tracy explains the importance of the  Friendship Factor  in motivating employees.  "Every manager can tap into the power of friendship in everyday employee interactions by remembering the three Cs:   Consideration, Caring and Courtesy . Practice  consideration  by expressing an interest in your employees as individuals. Express 

My Favorite Leadership And Life Quotes From, Leading With GRIT

In addition to Laurie Sudbrink's,  Leading With GRIT , being a great new book for leaders, it's packed with powerful leadership and life quotes. Here are some of my favorites: Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are - Kurt Cobain The respect you show to others (or lack thereof) is an immediate reflection on your self respect - Alex Elle You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - Harper Lee People only see what they are prepared to see - Ralph Waldo Emerson We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give - Winston Churchill If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you - Fred Devito The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new - Socrates The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to rely - Anonymous Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity - Simon Weil Good leaders inspire p

How To Be An Active Listener

Today's leadership tip on how to be an active listener comes from the new book, Stronger . The authors explain that perhaps the best single technique t o convey effective listening requires you to be an active listener . When someone has finished making a point, use that person's name and then paraphrase in your words the essence of what you understood that person to say. Then ask a follow-question. Frame your question to keep the focus on the person speaking.

Six Ways To Help Retain Your Employees

I had the pleasure of interviewing Leigh Branham over the past few years. He's the author of the popular book called,  The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave . He told me that in research that he has done about the leaders of companies that have won " Best-Place-To-Work " competitions in 45 U.S. cities, that there are  six things these effective leaders do that don't cost money . They do, however, cost time and effort. But, that is time and effort that can pay big dividends. Here are the six things you can do : Make the commitment to create a great place to work. Inspire employee confidence in decisions and clear business direction Work to build trust based on honesty and integrity Practice open, two-way communication, especially in times of uncertainty Look out for the organization before you look out for yourself Believe employees should be developed and retained; not burned out and discarded Thanks for these great leadership tips, L

How To Help Your Employees Grow And Develop Their Careers

Author  Paul Falcone  offers the following great advice for how to become a  stronger career mentor and coach  by helping your employees grow and develop in their own careers. Encourage others to engage in random acts of kindness. Find creative ways of surprising your customers. Focus on making bad relationships good and good relationships better. Look for new ways of reinventing the workflow in light of your company's changing needs. Think relationship first, transaction second. Realize that people can tell more about you by the depth of your questions than by the quality of your statements. Separate the people from the problem. Always provide two solutions for each question you ask or suggestion you raise. Employ right-brain imagination, artistry, and intuition plus left-brain logic and planning. And, one of my favorite pieces of advice from Falcone: Convert "yes...but:" to "yes...and" statements to acknowledge the speaker's point of view

What To Do When You're New

I wish the book, What To Do When You're New , would have been published twenty-five years ago. Being more introverted versus extroverted, the author's advice and teachings would have helped me during new jobs and after promotions, when relocating to new cities, when joining new clubs and organizations, and whenever I became a member of a new team. The book, by Keith Rollag, is all about how to be comfortable, confident, and successful in new situations . "It's nearly impossible to accomplish anything meaningful and important in life without at some point having to meet new people, learn new things, and take on new roles," explains Rollag. So, even for extroverts I believe this book will be useful. "And as a newcomer, how you think and act in those first few seconds, minutes, hours, and days matters," adds Rollag. According to Rollag, t he secret to newcomer success comes down to willingness and ability to do five key things : Introduce our

How To Be A Responsible Leader

Tim Richardson  offers this great advice from  his book  on how to be a  responsible leader : The responsible leader sees things as interconnected and interdependent. The responsible leader is both future focused and grounded firmly in the present, the here and now, and the practical on-the-ground impact of actions. Responsible leadership is about connecting at a deeper level with stakeholders - at the soul, story and heritage level that provides meaning for staff teams, communities and customers. The narrative is aligned with the vision across the wider organizational system through a culture that the leader role models wholeheartedly and authentically, often at considerable personal risk. Responsible leaders know who they are, what they stand for, and are not afraid to step forward, even at personal risk. They are passionate and can inspire others through their personal energy, commitment and sense of purpose.

How To Develop The Resilience You Need To Succeed

If you want to build the psychological body armor to achieve personal resilience, then the new book, Stronger , is a must-read for you.  That body armor consists of five factors of personal resilience : active optimism decisive action moral compass relentless tenacity interpersonal support According to the authors, these five factors of personal resilience are keys to improving your work habits and output in the workplace, and to achieving overall satisfaction from life. Backed by compelling scientific findings and packed with powerful stories of resilience in action, Stronger  teaches you how to gain an edge on making sound decisions under pressure, bounce back from setbacks and layoffs, and motivate peak performance in others as well as yourself, Each chapter includes self-assessment questions and homework  for choosing one thing you'll do the next day to help you begin to develop each of the five factors of your personal resilience body armor. In

Questions To Ask To Keep Your Business Moving Forward

The April 2014  issue of  Inc .  magazine  featured a fascinating list of  35 questions  from business owners, entrepreneurs and management thinkers.  Each offered  the one question  they would ask to move a company forward. From the list,  my favorites are : Are we relevant?  Will we be relevant five years from now? Ten? What prevents me from making the changes I know will make me a more effective leader? Are we changing as fast as the world around us? Who, on the executive team or the board, has spoken to a customer recently? And, my most favorite is : How can we become the company that would put us out of business? What question do you ask to help move your company forward?

Leadership Tips From Neil Smith

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."

Six Questions To Ask After You've Completed A Project

Here is some great 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 .

How To Lead Breakthrough Change

David S. Pottruck 's book,  Stacking the Deck , teaches readers a  nine-step  course of action leaders can follow from the first realization that change is needed through all the steps of implementation, including assembling the right team of close advisors and getting the word out to the wider group. This book tells the in-the-trenches stories of individuals who led bold, sweeping change. Stories that walk you through the social and emotional reality of leading others -- many of whom are fearful of change. Stories from eBay President and CEO John Donahoe; Wells Fargo former CEO and Chairman Dick Kovacevich; Starbucks Chairman, President and CEO Howard Schultz; San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer; and Pinkberry CEO Ron Graves. Part one of the book outlines the  Stacking the Deck process  -- the nine steps through which nearly every breakthrough change inevitably goes : Establishing the need to change and creating a sense of urgency. Recruiting and un

10 Signs That Indicate You Are Ready For A New Challenge

Liz Wiseman 's latest book is  Rookie Smarts .  It's all about living and working perpetually on a learning curve. She contends that we do our best work when we are new to something. And, she teaches us how to reclaim and cultivate the curious, flexible and youthful mindset called "rookie smarts." "Something magical happens when a skilled veteran successfully re-learns his rookie smarts and is still able to retain his veteran acumen," explains Wiseman. Wondering if you are ready for a new challenge?  Take a look at this list from Wiseman of the  10 signs that indicate you are ready for a new challenge : Things are running smoothly. You are consistently getting positive feedback. Your brain doesn't have to work hard to be successful. You don't prepare for meetings because you already know the answers. You've stopped learning something new every day. You are busy but bored. You're taking longer showers in the morning and you take

How To Discover Your True North

In his new book, True North , Bill George shows you how to discover your true north - your internal compass that guides you successfully through life. "Only when you discover your true north can you unlock your full potential as a leader and human being," explains George. In the book, published a couple weeks ago, George shares with you how to: Cultivate self-awareness Define your values Find the "sweet spots": of your motivated capabilities Build your support team and lead an integrated life Make the journey from "I' to "We" as an empowering leader Become a global leader Bill George George shares profiles and stories from more than 100 leaders who in their own words explain how they discovered their true north.  He also explains the characteristics differences needed to be a leader in the Twenty-First Century versus the Twentieth-Century. Today's leaders, he says need to be: Purpose-drive versus charismatic G