Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2015

How To Create A Cycle Of Success

The Cycle of Winning has five parts: Decide, Overdo, Adjust, Finish, Keep Improving . These are the five actions that winners take to get on track and to help stay on tract. Theses actions create Serial Winners, explains Larry Weidel in his new book, Serial Winner . "Serial Winners leverage a cycle of winning action to make progress," says Weidel. "They do something every day that puts them on a course for the things they want in life." "As you read [the book], you'll realize that you're already doing some of these things. But one or more of them will jump out at you -- the things you're missing," adds Weidel. In the book, Weidel presents a step-by-step process that you can apply to your life, career and in your business . Larry Weidel For example, Weidel teaches: Don't Hesitate, Decide -- Serial Winners make up their minds to being and then they keep moving. They know the clock is ticking and they need to continually m

What We Can Learn About Leadership From Dogs

I never really thought much about the  parallels between canine and human leadership needs , but Lesley Hunter, the author of,  Who Put You in Charge? ,  has convinced me the parallels are compellingly strong. In her book, Hunter explains: Like dogs, humans need training, leadership, respect and reward. And most importantly, a sense of belonging. In every pack a dog has its role.  The pack leader is there to provide direction and maintain order.  Harmony happens when pack leaders and followers fulfill their respective roles. As a longtime dog lover and owner, Hunter reflects in her book about her own leadership successes in business, "Bringing together and leading a group of dogs was no different to leading a group of people -- by recognizing the strengths and characteristics of each individual, and by consciously choosing to adapt my own behavior and response, I became an effective leader and got the best out of each of them." You can make your way through the 10

The Art Of Social Selling

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). 46 percent of people surveyed in late 2011 turn to social media when making purchasing de

How To Be A Better Listener

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 Achieve Change-Friendly Leadership

Because  Dr. Rodger Dean Duncan  delivers so much timely, straight-forward and relevant wisdom in his book,  Change-friendly Leadership , reading it is like talking with your trusted best friend. Or, listening to your favorite teacher.  Or, soaking in the thoughts from your respected mentor. That's why you'll want to spend plenty of time reading the book.  Reflecting on the messages.  Absorbing the discussion,  And, then likely re-reading it.  Or, at least certain sections. Duncan demonstrates in the book how  humanness, approachability , and  friendliness  are necessary but often overlooked elements of making change successful in an organization. He teaches leaders the foundation for effectively  engaging people's heads, hearts and hopes  -- all necessary to enable effective and lasting (sustainable) change in today's constantly changing world.  Duncan refers to this as  leading the whole person . According to Duncan: Change must accommodate people's

Leadership Lessons From TouchPoints

Some of my favorite parts of Douglas Conant's and Mette Norgaards' 2011 book,  TouchPoints , are these lessons for leaders: You need to have dual vision. You need to be able to address the most pressing need and do it in a way that makes your employees more capable and ready to take on the next issue. No leader can succeed by being only tough-minded or only tender-hearted . The perfect balance is to be both tough-minded on the issue and tender-hearted with people. Leading with heart doesn't mean you always decide in favor of the individual. It just means that when you need to make a tough-minded decision, you are acutely aware of how it will affect the people involved. The people who are the most committed to mastering their craft are often the most humble . That is because, instead of comparing themselves to others, they are moved by an inner vision of what they might achieve. Ask often, "How can I help?"  Doing so at the start of an interaction opens up

Build These Skills To Effectively Lead

I had the pleasure of interviewing Overland Park, KS-based author Leigh Branham a few years ago.  He's the author of three best-selling books, including,  Re-engage  and  The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leav e . When asked what are the most important skills a leader should have to effectively lead, he offered this good advice: Vision Integrity Courage Authenticity In addition, he suggests that to be effective a leader should have: the ability to face and address unpleasant realities the willingness to welcome disagreement and open discussion the ability to open up and field tough questions the balance to be both tough and tender minded the ability to adapt oneself to the needs of those being led Most important, according to Branham, is a leader should have authenticity and courage.

How To Write Your Nonprofit Annual Report

Here are some tips for leaders responsible for writing an effective annual report for their nonprofit organization. Consider making these  objectives  for your report: To demonstrate accomplishments ( not activities ) ( results  and how you did it). To recognize important people (volunteers, donors, major funders, partners). To provide an account of your organization's work for the past year. To share your mission with a wide audience. To generate new donations, retain donors and grow partnerships. Consider these  audience sectors  when writing your report: Donors Volunteers Community leaders Future board members Supporters (in-kind) Elected officials  Potential partners, grant funding entities Allow  three to four months to prepare your report : Create and outline Gather an organize content Engage your management team Design Review/Proof Print Distribute Consider packaging your report with a  theme , such as one of these: Transformation D

How To Create SMART Goals

Too often, businesses don't have clearly defined goals and even less often specific plans to reach those goals. When you set a goal for your business, be sure it is  SMART : S pecific M easurable A ttainable R elevant T ime-related Share that goal with your employees, so they understand all of the five attributes of the goal. And then for your plan (sometimes called "program"), keep these tips in mind : Realistically assess the obstacles and resources involved and then create a strategy for navigating that reality.  Plan for more than just willpower. Instead, plan by taking into consideration your business environment, your employees' schedules and workload, and everyone's accountability so that all these factors will work together to support you to achieve your goal.

14 Attributes Of Great Coaches

Today, because of its popularity, I am pleased to once again share a guest post from  Garret Kramer  of  InnerSports LLC  about how to be a great coach: 14 Attributes of Great Coaches By Garret Kramer, Author of  Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life   There are many, many coaching manuals and books on the market today.   Unfortunately, virtually all of them provide an external blueprint or "positive" guide to successful coaching and leadership. Very few, however, point the coach inward to an intuitive understanding that he or she already possesses.   Below are fourteen examples of the inside-out coaching paradigm  revealed in  Stillpower .  Consider these attributes of great coaches for yourself; then see how they might apply to you, your team, classroom, company, or family.   1.  Great coaches think state of mind first; behavior (including "working hard, "staying positive, and "doing the 'right' thing"), a

How To Reduce Employee Turnover

Knowing why an employee leaves your company can help you to  reduce your employee turnover rate . That's because you can use the reasons a departing employee provides to  gather information about processes, people and departments that might need some redirection  to correct situations that may have contributed to the employee's reasons for leaving. So, do an  exit interview  whenever possible with each departing employee.  Ask each person : Why they are leaving What they liked about their job What they would have changed about their job How they felt about the cooperation level among co-workers How they felt about communication and interaction with co-workers Whether they received the necessary training to do their job Whether they received frequent coaching and balanced feedback from their supervisor Would they recommend a friend apply for work at your company How they felt about their pay How they would describe the morale in the company and in their departm

Seven Tips For How To Set Goals

If you had trouble maintaining your New Year's resolutions, it may be time to start thinking about how you'll set your goals for 2016. Here are seven tips for goal setting from two-time U.S. Olympian  Alan  Culpepper  (from the November 2013 issue of  Competitor  magazine). Here are his seven tips for setting goals, whether are your workplace or away-from-work goals: Be clear and specific about what it is you are trying to accomplish. Set intermediate goals that complement a long-term goal. Shoot high, but recognize the importance of a natural progression. Write your goals down. Review your goals periodically. Remind yourself often why you are working on your goal. And, remember even if you don't hit your goal, there is satisfaction the process.

Trust-Building Tips

You can't lead if your employees, team or followers don't trust you. Building trust takes  energy, effort and constant attention  to how you act. To help build trust, follow these 16 tips , recommended by author Susan H. Shearouse: Be honest Keep commitments and keep your word Avoid surprises Be consistent with your mood Be your best Demonstrate respect Listen Communicate Speak with a positive intent Admit mistakes Be willing to hear feedback Maintain confidences Get to know others Practice empathy Seek input from others Say "thank you"

How To Pump Up Employee Involvement

Here are  10 tips for how to maximize employee involvement : Have active ways to listen to your employees. Check often with employees to see if the information you are sharing with them is what they need and what they want. Share information about customer satisfaction with employees. Discuss financial performance with your employees and be sure everyone understands the importance of profitability and how they can contribute to profitability. Allow ad hoc teams among employees to form to address organizational problems and work with those teams to tackle the identified issues. Encourage employees to make suggestions for improvement whether those ideas are large or small. Take an idea from one employee and share it with other employees and teams and let everyone make a contribution to build upon that idea. Train! For long-term employees, find ways to keep their jobs interesting through new assignments and challenges. Conduct meetings around specific issues and brainstorm

Why Mentoring Should Be A Two-Way Street

In his new book, Discover Your True North , Bill George reminds us of the importance of making mentoring a two-way street . He explains that, "the best mentoring interactions spark mutual learning, exploration of similar values, and shared enjoyment. If people are looking only for the help from their mentors, instead of being interested in their mentor's lives as well, the relationship won't last for long. Mentoring is a two-way street in which both people learn a great deal from each other, and the bilateral connection sustains it." He adds that, "many people are afraid to approach potential mentors because they do not want to impose on others. They fail to realize how much they can offer to their mentors."

Be Willing Top Say These Three Statements

In Brian Tracy 's and Christina Stein 's new book, Find Your Balance Point , they point out the necessity and power of being willing to say these three statements : 1. " I was wrong ." - The authors comment that it's amazing how many people make a mistake and do or say something that they know to be wrong, but because of their egos, they cannot admit it. The authors recommend that because you are going to be wrong likely many times, the sooner you admit it, the sooner you can correct the situation and get on with the tasks at hand. 2.  " I made a mistake ." - Many of the things that you do, especially in business and in your career, will turn out to be mistakes in the fullness of time. The authors explain that there is nothing wrong with this.This is how everyone learns and grows. What is wrong, they say, is to refuse to correct a mistake because your ego is so invested in being "right." 3. " I changed my mind ." - It is a

When To Be A Coach And When To Be A Counselor

A good manager is both a  coach and a counselor .  Generally, coaching should precede counseling. As a coach ,   a manager: identifies an employee's need for instruction and direction and this need is usually directly related to his or her performance or career goals.  Coaching is collaborative. It relies on mutual, progressive goal-setting, personal feedback, and an ongoing, supportive relationship. You coach to help retain employees and to show you care about your employees as individuals.  It's best to coach when a new procedure is introduced, a job is changed, and/or a skill gap is identified. As a counselor , a manager first identifies a problem that interferes with an employee's work performance and then helps the employee to define specifically what behavior he or she needs to change in order to improve his or her performance or resolve a problem. So, the difference between coach and counselor is subtle, but important.  And, as Sharon Armstrong furth

Tell Your Customers "Thank You" At Least These Nine Times

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  perso

How To Transform Yourself Into An Optimist

Every leader experiences periods of ups and downs. Hopefully, more up periods. If you struggle with too many down periods, it might be because you have perfectionist tendencies. Transform yourself into an optimist by: Viewing failure as an opportunity to learn  and understand that failure is part of a fulfilling life. Making room for pain . Don't deny yourself permission to feel painful emotions. Setting standards that are attainable because they are grounded in reality . Don't set goals and standards that are essentially impossible to meet. You can learn more about being an optimist by reading the book, The Pursuit Of The Perfect: How To Stop Chasing Perfection And Start Living A Richer, Happier Life,  by Tal Ben-Shahar.

How To Become A Catalyst Leader

" Catalyst leaders represent the gold standard  -- energetic, supportive, forward-thinking mentors who spark action in others," explain  Tacy M. Byham  and  Richard S. Wellins , authors of the new book,  Your First Leadership Job -- How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others . More specifically, the authors share that a catalyst leader: Asks and listens Fosters innovation Provides balanced feedback Builds trust Focuses on people's potential Collaborates and networks Empowers others Encourages development Energizes and mobilizes Aligns actions with strategy In the book, you'll learn how catalyst leaders bring out the best in people. They do that by, among other actions, by: Encouraging the person to try new things. Giving the person input on things that affect him/her. Allowing the person to safely learn through failure, so they can take appropriate risks. Taking the time to find out what motivates the person. The authors also cove

Q&A With Millennial CEO And Book Author Rick Lindquist

Rick Lindquist Millennial Rick Lindquist is making his mark in the business world and enjoying the success of his co-authored 2014 bestseller book, The End of Employer-Provided Health Insurance . Lindquist, in his 30's, is the President and CEO of Zane Benefits, Inc.  He joined Zane Benefits as its thirteenth employee in 2007. He was promoted to Director of Sales in 2009 and took over as President in 2011. Rick received a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Duke University. Today, he kindly answered questions about leadership, mentors, his book, and Millennials in the workplace . Q&A with Rick Lindquist, President and CEO of  Zane Benefits, Inc. 1.  Which of your leadership skills helped you most to rise through the ranks at Zane Benefits? Lindquist : Professional will, which is defined in Jim Collins’ famous book, Good to Great. My parents taught me this concept at a young age, and it was reinforced

Vaporized Prepares You For The Future

Robert Tercek’s new book, Vaporized , will likely scare you. That’s because digital pioneer and business futurist, Tercek, writes about the Digital Wave — the process that is rippling across society like a seismic wave, reshaping one industry after another. “Digital technology will transform every sector and economic system on the planet in almost unimaginable ways even those once thought to be immune from its effects,” says Tercek. Naming this sweeping trend, vaporized , Tercek predicts that whatever can be vaporized will be. Meaning that any part of your business or product that can be replaced by pure digital information almost certainly will be. “The process of vaporizing physical things and replacing them with digital substitutes is the biggest trend affecting manufacturing, distribution, retail, and marketing in the 21st century,” Tercek adds.   “Plenty of people are overwhelmed, caught in the gridlock of denial about this rapid change,” explains Tereck. “So

My Favorite Books For Leaders - Look Back At 2013

In a few months I'll post my top (favorite) books for leaders that were published in this year. In the meantime, here again is my list of my eight favorites from the year 2013. In no particular order, these are my picks -- each provides timely, practical and valuable tips, techniques and tools for how to become a more effective leader . You'll find among the books useful information about: communicating more effectively  the power of story telling creating an ethical workplace culture increasing revenue the basics you need to know as a first-time leader Ethical Leadership Unlimited Sales Success Manager 3.0 AMA Business Boot Camp The way of the SEAL Becoming a Better Boss Leadership Conversations And, my favorite from last year (2012) in case you haven't read this book: Lead with a Story What is your favorite book for leaders from this year, 2015 ?  

Dig Deep For Ideas

The next time you are looking for ideas for how to grow revenue, streamline processes and procedures and/or reduce expenses,  dig deep  within  your organization . Don't ask only your direct reports for their suggestions. Instead,  ask everyone at all levels . Some of the best ideas will come from your lower and mid-level employees who are interacting with your vendors, customers and co-workers every day in the very areas that, if improved, could make the most dramatic impact. Be sure to  acknowledge receipt of each idea . Keep everyone informed of the types of ideas you've received . Perhaps update them on a monthly basis. When you implement a suggestion,  recognize and reward the submitter , including possibly financially. Feel free to accept ideas anonymously. But, if employees know you are sincere about wanting their input, and witness you acting upon suggestions, most of your team members will be proud to tie their names to their ideas. Finally, if

Six Steps For Discussing Poor Employee Performance

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 time frame, 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 Enable Employees

" 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 t

Ideal Goals For A Nonprofit Fundraiser And Development Executive

If you are stumped for how to write performance appraisal goals for a particular title and role in your organization, purchase  Paul Falcone 's book,  2,600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals . Falcone devotes about a third of the 200-page book to various  lists of goals for all types of titles and roles  in a variety for organizations and companies -- including, this list of  performance appraisal goals  for a  nonprofit fundraiser and development executive : Develop effective strategies for donor engagement and the solicitation of top prospects. Research, identify, and cultivate individual, corporate, and foundation donors. Devise and implement strategies for donor cultivation. Drive the necessary development efforts to meet the organization's annual revenue goals. Create and manage a portfolio with an emphasis on corporations and individual giving. Develop strategies to approach large multinational corporations regarding national gifts. Maximize opp