Posts

Showing posts from September, 2015

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

Image
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 challenges amid incredible deman…

How To Keep Innovating

Image
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

Image
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 you, you admire the to…

How To Increase Customer Loyalty

Image
"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 bookEvergreen. "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 the book's most compelling…

Thought For The Day

Image
"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

Image
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 that, "Leaders …

The Art Of Leading By Looking Ahead

Image
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 earlyThe 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 discovering what is going well, …

Planning And Preparing For A High-Performance Culture

Image
In his book, The Responsible LeaderTim 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 membersperformance management discussionspromotion interviews and talent management discussionscoaching discussionscustomer sales presentationshandling customer complaints and problemsbriefings to the press, analysts and wider marketsenior leaders' contact with, and briefings to, teams across the organizationinternal presentations with executive committeesteam 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 by all parties?How can you set a pace that …

Get A Handle On Your Millennial Employees

Image
Today, I welcome back Nathan Magnusonand 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 other – and the world became a tru…

Find Your Balance Point

Image
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 be powered by clarity…

Ken Goldstein On People, Products And Profits

Image
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 served as executive vice president and managing di…

Act Like A Leader

Image
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 association or extracurricular professional activi…

Good To Great -- Still A Must Read

Image
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 enough of the right …

How To Use The Friendship Factor To Motivate Your Employees

Image
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 caring for your staff membe…

My Favorite Leadership And Life Quotes From, Leading With GRIT

Image
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 CobainThe respect you show to others (or lack thereof) is an immediate reflection on your self respect - Alex ElleYou never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - Harper LeePeople only see what they are prepared to see - Ralph Waldo EmersonWe make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give - Winston ChurchillIf it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you - Fred DevitoThe secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new - SocratesThe biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to rely - AnonymousAttention is the rarest and purest form of generosity - Simon WeilGood leaders inspire people to have confidence…

How To Be An Active Listener

Image
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 to 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

Image
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, Leigh!

How To Help Your Employees Grow And Develop Their Careers

Image
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 and to share additional insig…

What To Do When You're New

Image
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, the secret to newcomer success comes down to willingness and ability to do five key things:
Introduce ourselves to stranger…

How To Be A Responsible Leader

Image
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

Image
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 optimismdecisive actionmoral compassrelentless tenacityinterpersonal 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 addition, the authors explain that their …

Questions To Ask To Keep Your Business Moving Forward

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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 unifying your inner team.Deve…

10 Signs That Indicate You Are Ready For A New Challenge

Image
Liz Wiseman's latest book is Rookie SmartsIt'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 your time getting to work.…

How To Discover Your True North

Image
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-awarenessDefine your valuesFind the "sweet spots": of your motivated capabilitiesBuild your support team and lead an integrated lifeMake the journey from "I' to "We" as an empowering leaderBecome 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 charismaticGlobally focused versus U. S.-centricThinki…