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Showing posts from March, 2016

How To Recruit Your Dream Team

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Hiring Greatness is the new book by David E. Perry and Mark J. Haluska, who combined have closed more than 1,800 search projects.

In their book, the authors share their guide for how to attract, recruit and retain star executives.

They advise that it is far more important that a leadership candidate possess specific intangible core attributes, than just decades of industry experience. And, these core attributes go far beyond mere technical skills. For Perry and Haluska, there are 28 core attributes they always look for in a candidate.

Those 28 fit within five pillars of success:

CharacterIntellectBusiness IntelligenceLeadershipEmotional Intelligence They also recommend that when interviewing a candidate you particularly like that you take a healthy step back to figure out why you feel so strongly about that person. So, that you ensure you are not being biased by the following prejudices: Charm - Outward personality is never an accurate predictor of success in any role.Industry Experienc…

How To Get The Feedback You Need

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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 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 ask:  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 them” mentality. Your reaction is critica…

Choosing Words That Influence And Inspire

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Communication expert Bart Egnal reveals why jargon is so prevalent in the workplace, and why it usually undermines those who use it, in his new book, Leading Through Language.

Step by step, Egnal demonstrates how effective leaders reject fuzzy terminology in favor of the language of leadership. And, by language of leadership, he means using language that clearly and powerfully brings ideas to life for the audience.

The book has two parts. The first part examines why jargon exists and discusses its implications for leaders.The second part teaches how to use language that conveys ideas with energy, clarity, and conviction.

Egnal also explains that before you think about language you need to adopt a leader's mindset using these six principles:

Begin with vision. You must define the vision as a possibility that others can embrace or aspire to fulfill.Yet, it must be concrete enough that people can grasp it as something clear and achievable.Define your own conviction. When you speak fr…

Leadership Quotes From The Book, Just Listen

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Here are some terrific quotes from Mark Goulston's book,Just Listen:
Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them. -- Paul HawkenLife is mostly a matter of perception and more often misperception. -- Dave LoganEveryone has an invisible sign hanging from their next saying, "Make me feel important." -- Mary Kay AshDo the unexpected. The expected is boring.  The expected is tuned out. -- Steve StraussHumility is the surest sign of strength. -- Thomas MertonYour most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. -- Bill GatesThe secret of getting ahead is getting started. -- Agatha ChrisieDon't find fault.  Find a remedy. -- Henry Ford

No Cape Needed Earns Book Award

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One of my favorite books by leadership communication expert David Grossman, founder and CEO of The Grossman Group, won the 2015 Best in Business Pinnacle Book Award, announced earlier this year.*

That impressive book is, No Cape Needed: The Simplest, Smartest, Fastest Steps to Improve How You Communicate By Leaps and Bounds. And, it’s for leaders at all levels.
“I’m humbled to be recognized for the book,” says David. “My hope is that the book will help leaders communicate in a more purposeful and authentic way to get more of the results they want, and create better workplaces with more humanity.”
Throughout the book and 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 David. “Leaders come …

Quotes For The Day

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"The miracle is this -- the more we share, the more we have." - Leonard Nimoy

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The time is always right to do right." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted," - AESOP

"We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give," - Winston Churchill


10 Questions To Ask About Engagement

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"The challenge for the organizational architect is to systematically create the blueprint for an organization that consciously connects everything to purpose," explains author  Clive Wilson, in his new book, Designing the Purposeful Organization. "The product of doing this are measurable results and, importantly, a felt sense of success.

Wilson's book is packed with case studies and activities that help you put to practice in your organization the learnings from the book.

Clive Wilson
One of the activities that I found most interesting and revealing is Wilson's "Where Did They All Go and Why?" Think of the household names of just a decade or so ago that are no longer with us, write their names on a sheet of paper, then make brief notes on what happened to them and why. Then, ask yourself, to what extent was it to do with their purpose (e.g. a lack of purpose, an unclear purpose, an uninspiring purpose or purpose being somehow out of sync with stakehold…

The Seven Elements That Make A Good Culture

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You'll learn a lot about marketing from the book, Does it Work?, by Shane Atchison and Jason Burby. Most important, you'll discover their 10 principles for getting digital marketing right.


What also really caught my attention was the book's discussion about the elements of good culture. Culture created from as high up in the organization as possible. A culture particularly well suited for digital.

Those seven elements are:
Stay Flexible -  create a continuous learning environment with flexibility and a certain disdain for roles.Hire Learners - individuals who are curious and willing to learn on their own.Empower People to Share - cultivate an environment where people feel comfortable bringing up bold ideas and are encouraged to speak up.Encourage Thinking Outside Roles - to help you capture every perspective from all your team members.Make Sure Problems Come with Solutions - don't just point out what's wrong. Find solutions.Make it OK to Fail - failure promotes lea…

How To Create Sustainable Inclusion In Your Organization

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After 20 years of working with corporations to build a more diverse and inclusive culture, authors Mark Kaplan and Mason Donovan wrote, The Inclusion Dividend.  Published in 2013, the book has become a must-read for business leaders who want to learn how investing in diversity and inclusion will pay dividends in: greater innovationhigher productivitystronger client relationshipsa more engaged workforce Today, Donovan explains in his guest post below that there arefour areas of competency that must be mastered in order to create sustainable inclusion. These competencies are broad, touching all levels of the organization, from intrapersonal interactions to the organization’s interface with the marketplace.





By: Mason Donovan
Competency I: Individual Awareness and Self-Management
·Challenge Your Own Conventional Wisdom – Your perspective as a leader is molded by your own insider and outsider group identities and the group identities of those around you. Challenge not only your own convention…

Leadership Quotes From John C. Maxwell's Book, Everyone Communicates Few Connect

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The real gems in John C. Maxwell's book, Everyone Communicates Few Connect, are the abundant leadership and communication quotes, such as these: To add value to others, one must first value others.
People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude. All good communicators get to the point before their listeners start asking, "What's the point?" The first time you say something, it's heard. The second time, it's recognized, and the third time it's learned. In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand. People pay attention when something that is said connects with something they greatly desire. Maxwell also says that:
Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could. The book covers five principles and five practices to help readers so they can connect one-on-one, in a group, or with an audience.

How To Be A Strong Career Mentor And Coach

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Author Paul Falcone offers the following great advice for how to become a stronger career mentor and coach by helping your subordinates 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 in…

10 Ways To Maximize Employee Engagement

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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 solutions. "Involvin…

How To Achieve The Cycle Of Winning

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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 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 make decisions and take actio…

How To Listen And Learn As A Leader

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In John Baldoni's bookThe Leader's Guide to Speaking with Presence, he provides these tips for listening as a leader and learning as a leader:

When Listening As ALeader: Look at people when they are speaking to you. Make eye contact.Ask open-ended questions, such as "Tell me about..." or "Could you explain this?"Consider the "what if" question:  "What if we looked at the situation like this?"Leverage the "why" question:  "Why do we do it this way?"Employ the "how" question:  "How can you do this?"When Learning As A Leader: Reflect on what people have told you.Think about what you have not observed.  Are people holding back?  If so, why?Consider how you can implement what you have observed.Get back to people who have suggested ideas to you and thank them.Look for opportunities to collaborate with others. For nearly 20 years, Baldoni has coached and consulted for a number of leading companies in a va…

How To Be A Better Leader: 70 Tips

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Back by popular demand...

The 70 tips below make for a good list for learning how to become a better leader when you don't have a lot of time to read books about leadership.

And, if you've been a leader for a long time, how about taking a few minutes to run through the list and scoring yourself on how well you carry out each leadership skill?

1. Don't micromanage
2. Don't be a bottleneck
3. Focus on outcomes, not minutiae
4. Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes
5. Assess your company's strengths and weaknesses at all times
6. Conduct annual risk reviews
7. Be courageous, quick and fair
8. Talk more about values more than rules
9. Reward how a performance is achieved and not only the performance
10. Constantly challenge your team to do better
11. Celebrate your employees' successes, not your own
12. Err on the side of taking action
13. Communicate clearly and often
14. Be visible
15. Eliminate the cause of a mistake
16. View every problem as a…

Integrity In Management Means...

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Some words of wisdom from author Thomas Teal: Integrity in management means:
being responsiblecommunicating clearlykeeping promisesbeing an honest brokeravoiding hidden agendasknowing oneselfAlso, explains Teal: Great managers serve two masters; one organizational, one moral.Managing is not a series of mechanical tasks but a set of human interactions.One reason for the scarcity of managerial greatness is that in educating and training managers, we focus too much on technical proficiency and too little on character.You can find more advice and expertise from Teal in his book, First Person: Tales of Management Courage and Tenacity (Harvard Business School Press, 1996)

How To Create A Positive Work Experience

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In the new book, The Optimistic Workplace, author Shawn Murphy, explains that the following beliefs are essential to helping create a positive work experience:

The team is more important than any individual. For optimism to be strong, a cohesive team is vital. People need to believe the team will be there for them when needed. A team is weakened when the first priority is the needs of each person, or when ego dictates a team's actions or inaction. And, avoid relying on the usual suspects, the same few superstars, to handle high-profile projects.There's value to experiencing joy at work. Joy can open brains to better see connections and various options to solve work problems. Joy is about playing. Play at work is useful when creativity and innovation are needed. The usefulness of creativity and innovation at the workplace is linked to increasing employees' knowledge and skills. Doing good is good for business. It's not just about philanthropy. Do good by not contributin…

Skillful Communication

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Today's tips for how to communicate more effectively come from Matt Tenney and Tim Gard, authors of the new book, The Mindfulness Edge.

To achieve skillful communication, they recommend you:

Prioritize listening over talking.Speak in ways that are helpful. If you don't have something helpful to say, something that would add value over silence, it's better to say nothing.Refrain from offering opinions unless asked to do so or when it is absolutely necessary.Be mindful while using electronic devices. Avoid multitasking.

Nine Managerial Competencies Essential To Managing Millennials

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In their book, Millennials Who Manage, authors Chip Espinoza and Joel Schwarzbart explain that there are nine managerial competencies essential to managing Millennials.

They are:

Be Flexible - Focus more on what gets done than on how it gets done and give Millennials the leeway to work how they want when possible.Create the Right Rewards - Rewards don't need to be overdone for every accomplishment, but Millennials should be recognized when things go well.Put Their Imagination to Work - Keep Millennnals' minds (and hearts) engaged by using their well-developed imagination to solve problems ad innovate.Build a Relationship - Connect relationally with them first. Leaders who show interest and create personal connections with them will earn trust and have better working relationships.Be Positive When Correcting - Focus on areas of improvement as a positive. Focus on timely, frequent, and constructive feedback.Don't Take Things Personally - Keep the focus on them and their deve…

Service Is The Key To A Customer's Heart

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"Customers fall in love with or hate brands because of customer service," explains Flavio Martins, author of the book, Win the Customer.

Customers call it quits when brands neglect them and fail to deliver what they need and want. If you are leading a company, focus on these six key ways to make your customers fall in love with what you do, says Martins:

Deliver awesome service with awesome value.Make sure your product or service is at its best.Create interesting, engaging content that matters.Participate in interesting, engaging conversations that matter to your customers.Overdeliver on your promises.Encourage feedback, do something about it, and then let the customer know what you've done.

Six Universal Drivers That Maximize Employee Engagement

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Overland Park, Kansas-based author Leigh Branham, along with Mark Hirschfeld, awhile back completed a survey of 10,000 employees in 43 states to better understand what separates a "best places to work" company from other companies.

What Branham and Hirschfeld discovered is that the best companies use six "universal drivers" that maximize employee engagement: Caring, Competent, and Engaging Senior LeadersEffective Managers Who Keep Employees Aligned and EngagedEffective Teamwork at All LevelsJob Enrichment and Professional GrowthValuing Employee ContributionsConcern for Employee Well-Being Branham also explains that to get the best from your employees you need to re-engage them. You can learn more about how to do that in his book, Re-Engage.





How To Build Trust

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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 honestKeep commitments and keep your wordAvoid surprisesBe consistent with your moodBe your bestDemonstrate respectListenCommunicateSpeak with a positive intentAdmit mistakesBe willing to hear feedbackMaintain confidencesGet to know othersPractice empathySeek input from othersSay "thank you"

How To Unlock The Power Of A People-First Culture

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After reading nearly 30 new books about leadership during 2015, my pick for 2015's best new leadership book was, Advisory Leadership, by Greg Friedman.If you have not already read the book, consider adding it to your to-read list!


Although the book is authored by an award-winning financial advisor and primarily written for professionals in the financial services industry, this book is a must read for any leader who wants to create a nurturing heart culture that hinges on the human-centric values the next generation of employees hold in high regard.


And, what exactly is heart culture? Friedman says, "At its core, heart culture symbolizes how a company values more than just an employee's output. It's not about the work, but rather, the people who do the work."

He further explains that leaders can no longer afford to ignore the shift toward a people-first culture and its direct influence on a healthy, effective work environment.

Friedman teaches that there are seve…

Leadership Lessons From TouchPoints

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Some of my favorite parts of Douglas Conant's and Mette Norgaard's 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 space for people…

Leadership And Motivation

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Take one hour to read Brian Tracy's pocket-sized guide for managers, Motivation. You'll finish the book within that hour, and it'll be worth your time.

"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 his 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…

The 27 Challenges Managers Face

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Take a look at the list below.  How many of these 27 management challenges are you facing right now? And, how many do you believe you'll face during the rest of this year?
Going from peer to leaderComing from the outside to take over leadership of an existing teamBringing together an entirely new teamWelcoming a new member to your existing teamHelping an employee who has a hard time managing timeAssisting an employee who needs help with interpersonal communicationGetting an employee more organizedHelping an employee who needs to get better at problem solvingWorking with an employee who needs to increase productivityHelping an employee who needs to improve qualityManaging an employee who knows more about the work than you doShowing an employee how to start "going the extra mile"Working with an employee who does "creative work"Helping an employee make an attitude adjustmentManaging conflict between and among individuals on your teamDealing with an employee who ha…