Showing posts from September, 2016

Eight-Point Plan To Build A Powerful Team

Take some quality time to read the book by C. Elliott HaverlackUnbunde It, because it explores the issues you face as a leader with a twist that is different from many other leadership books.  Throughout, the book offers suggestions on how to overcome the burden that complexity creates in our lives and businesses.

Most intriguing for me is Haverlack's straight-forward, unbundled insights on teams.  "The healthiest teams trust each other," explains the author.  "When we trust, we tend to be more transparent and are more likely to share the hurdles we need to leap.  And, once trust becomes a competency, accountability comes much more easily."  And, accountability is the key to delivering results.

Haverlack's eight-point plan for a powerful team is:
Engage a group that shares your core values.Set aspirational yet achievable goals for the company and every individual.Create an environment that encourages and rewards trust.Empower every individual to create and…

Best Leadership Quotes From 5 Levels Of Leadership Book

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

16 Ways To Build Trust

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"

10 Ways To Build High-Performing Teams

According to Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese, authors of the book, The Collaboration Imperative, high-performing teams have the following characteristics:
People have solid and deep trust in each other and in the team's purpose--they feel free to express feelings and ideas.Everybody is working toward the same goals.Team members are clear on how to work together and how to accomplish tasks.Everyone understands both team and individual performance goals and knows what is expected.Team members actively diffuse tension and friction in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.The team engages in extensive discussion, and everyone gets a chance to contribute--even the introverts.Disagreement is viewed as a good thing and conflicts are managed.  Criticism is constructive and is oriented toward problem solving and removing obstacles.The team makes decisions when there is natural agreement--in the cases where agreement is elusive, a decision is made by the team lead or executive sponsor, after which lit…

Today's Five Leadership Quotes

Some of my favorite quotes for leaders are:
A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit -- Arnold H. GlasgowI praise loudly, I blame softly -- Catherine II of RussiaHonest disagreement is often a good sign of progress -- Mohandas GandhiA long dispute means that both parties are wrong -- VoltaireThe least questioned assumptions are often the most questionable -- Paul Broca These and many more compelling quotes can be found in Susan H. Shearouse's new book, Conflict 101.

How To Improve Your Connection Skills

"Connection is what transforms a dog-eat-dog environment into a sled-dog team that pulls together," says Michael Lee Stallard, author of the book, Connection Culture. "Connection builds an emotional bond that promotes trust, cooperation, and esprit de corps among people in the workplace."

Based on shared identity, empathy, and understanding, connection moves primarily self-centered individuals toward group-centered membership.

"Without that sense of connection, employees will never each their full potential," states Stallard.

The 10 ways you can improve your connection skills are to:
Recognize varying connection needsBe present in conversationsDevelop the ability to empathizeDevelop the habit of emphasizing positivesControl your tone of voiceNegotiate with the mindset to solve a problems rather than to winProvide autonomy in executionLearn to apply the five languages of appreciation Apologize when you make a mistakeDevelop social skills and relationship s…

How To Be A Manager With Class

AMACOM's (of the American Management Association) sixth edition of the best-selling book, The First-Time Manager -- originally published in 1981 is a must-read for new managers and leaders in business.

One of my favorite sections of the book is the one about class in a manager:
Class is treating people with dignity.Class does not have to be the center of attention.Class does not lose its cool.Class does not rationalize mistakes.Class is good manners.Class means loyalty to one's staff.Class recognizes the best way to build oneself is to first build others.Class leads by example.Class does not taken action when angry.Class is authentic and works hard at making actions consistent with words.

The Ten Laws Of Trust

The new book, The 10 Laws of Trust, is a timely and critical guide to investing in high-trust relationships and reaping remarkable gains in reputation and the bottom-line.

"Trust works to everyone's benefit," explains book co-author Peterson. "It benefits individual contributors, work groups, customers, suppliers, vendors -- and the betterment of the whole organization."

"High-trust organizations are focused on empowering people to do their best." Additionally, explains Peterson, "trust is the number one leadership competency needed today, principally because of how it affects every other competency leaders need to have."

Joel Peterson
Co-authored by David A. Kaplan, the evidence-based book covers these 10 laws of trust:

Start with personal integrityInvest in respectEmpower othersMeasure what you want to achieveCreate a common dreamKeep everyone informedEmbrace respectful conflictShow humilityStrive for win-win negotiationsProceed with care


Seven Things Motivated People Do To Stay Motivated

This month brings the new book, High-Profit Prospecting, by Mark Hunter. It's a powerful read that includes counterintuitive advice and cutting-edge best practices for sales prospecting in today's business world.

Soon, I'll provide a fuller recap of the book, but today, I share one of my favorite sections of the book where Hunter describes his seven things motivated people do to stay motivated:

Motivated people ignore voices in their lives. These might be people in the office and friends who have bad attitudes. They're out there, and if you're not careful, they'll control you, too.Motivated people associate with highly motivated people. Just as there are negative people in the world, there are also positive people. Your job is to make sure you spend as much time with the positive people as possible. Motivated people simply look for the positive in things. Positive people count it an honor to live each day, learn from others, and impact positively those they mee…

Eight Behaviors To Show You Value Your Employees

There are eight specific actions business leaders can take to show that they value their employees, according to Andrew Leigh, author of the bookEthical Leadership -- Creating and Sustaining an Ethical Business Culture.

Those eight behaviors are: Attention -- Pay attention to what people say to show your interest.Listen -- Make time to hear what colleagues, peers and employees have to say to show you care.Positive Language -- Find words and phrases to show employees they're needed.  Examples are, "We couldn't have accomplished this without you," "That was really useful."Document -- Put praise in writing to increase its impact.  Make clear where the credit belongs.Micro Sessions -- Create two-way communication sessions.Visits -- Schedule visits to teams and work areas.Stories -- Share stories that highlight unusual contributions and provide your personal response to them.Invite -- Ask people to contact you directly with their issues and concerns -- not to …

Eleven Key Principles From Battlefield To Boardroom

Ken Marlin's new book, The Marine Corps Way To Win On Wall Street, is all about a Marine-turned-banker's tactics for succeeding ethically, and more specifically about 11 key principles from battlefield to boardroom.

Ken Marlin
"I wrote the book in part because of the bashing that corporate executives and Wall Street bankers have been receiving for many years in the press and in political circles. I wanted to show people a way to be successful on Wall Street and on Main Street that works better than the current system -- and allows you to be proud of how you did it," explains Marlin.

The 11 key principles Marlin covers in his book are:

Take the long viewTake a standBe the expert (or use one)Know the enemyKnow what the objective is worthKnow yourselfControl the timingNegotiate from the high groundSeek foreign entanglementsTrust and verifyBe disciplined

Ken Marlin
Between 1970 and 1981, Marlin rose from the enlisted ranks to become a Marine captain and infantry commander. …

Ten Tips For Projecting An Effective Professional Image

From Jay Miletsky's book, 101 Ways to Successfully Market Yourself, here 10 tips for projecting an effective professional image:
Discipline yourself to be positive and enthusiastic.In tense situations choose positive responses by maintaining perspective and getting along well with others.Acknowledge mistakes and shortcomings and learn how to correct them.Develop a reputation for being a resourceful problems solver.Leverage your strengths and expertise to have maximum impact on the decisions you make.Be organized, efficient, flexible, and self-motivated.Master your tasks and fully expand your area of expertise so that you can boost your output.Keep up with the latest developments in your company and in your field.Cultivate unique talents that give you a definite edge.Gain visibility by taking the kind of action that will propel you into the right sights of management personnel.

Today's Two Leadership Quotes

"The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it." -- Theodore Roosevelt

"Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand." -- Colin Powell

Seven Attributes Of Meaningful Work

There are so many good things to learn in the book, Helping People Win At Work, by Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge. Among those is the section about how to define meaningful work.

Their definition consists of these seven attributes.  Work is meaningful when it:
It is conducted in a manner that is "good and proper" in all respects.It positively affects our company and our communities, giving our work an impact that extends beyond ourselves.It provides learning and growth, offers challenges, requires creativity, pushes us to surpass limits, and creates exciting results.It provides recognition and rewards for our achievements.It allows us to succeed as a team while excelling as individuals.It allows us to enjoy the ride, bringing humor and fun into our work.It fuels passion!

Six Key Ways To Make Your Customers Fall In Love With What You Do

"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.Over deliver on your promises.Encourage feedback, do something about it, and then let the customer know what you've done.

Leadership And Life Quotes From Leading With Grit

In addition to Laurie Sudbrink's, Leading With GRIT, being a great 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 in …

Hold Getting To Know You Conversations With Your Direct Reports

To help you bring out the best in your team, you need to get close and understand their skills, abilities, and motivations. So, the authors of the book, Your First Leadership Job, recommend you hold getting-to-know-you conversations with each of your direct reports.

Ask these open-ended questions. Let each team member know the purpose of the meeting in advance. And, don't cheat by adding in work-specific questions.
What do you enjoy doing most as part of your work? Why?What do you  miss most about the jobs you've had in the past? Why?What things about your current job do you enjoy the least? Why?How do you cope with or relieve stress?To help you do your job, what could I change about: Your work environment? The content of your work? How you get your work done?What form of recognition do you prefer or not prefer?

The Importance Of Employee Wellness Programs

Today, I welcome Heidi Smith with her guest post on Employee Wellness. Heidi is a certified integrative nutrition health coach, certified corporate wellness specialist, certified meeting professional and author.
Employee Wellness --Why Should Employers And Employees Care? By: Heidi Smith
What does employee wellness mean? At its core, employee wellness is a philosophy based on the notion that by investing in a health and wellness program, employers can create a healthier workforce through: Behavior modificationUse of better preventive careBetter healthcare choicesAnd healthier lifestyle choices
The next question is, “Why should you care?” Well, by having an employee health and wellness program at your workplace it can help you to: Reduce your risk of developing a chronic diseaseLower your medical costsImprove your productivityHave a happier and healthier environment at work
After all, most Americans spend about 8.9 hours per day at work so wouldn’t it be nice if your work environment was suppo…

Six Powerful Questions To Ask As A Leader

From Sydney Finkelstein's book, Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent, comes these great questions you should routinely ask yourself as a leader:

Have you answered the "why do we exist" question for your team? Could all of your team members share this answer with you right now?Do you have people on your team who have followed non-traditional paths to their jobs, or do you find yourself attracted to cookie-cutter backgrounds?Are people on your team energized to come to work in the morning? How would you even know?Are you inspiring people to believe that they can achieve great things?Are you removing the bureaucratic barriers and hierarchy that get in the way of meaningful interaction and getting the job done?How often do you actively teach people how to do something, as opposed to just telling  people what to do?

Paul Smith Teaches You How To Sell With A Story

This is a great week. Because, Thursday, September 8 brings the official release of Paul Smith's new book, Sell with a Story: How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale.

I'm a big fan of Paul's earlier best-sellers, including Lead with a Story and Parenting with a Story. And, the newest installment in the series is equally good, informative, practical and actionable.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews with procurement managers, Paul teaches you how to:
Select the right storyCraft a compelling and memorable narrativeIncorporate challenge, conflict, and resolutionUse stories to introduce yourself, build rapport, address objections, add value, bring data to life,  and create a sense of urgencyStorytelling definitely works in sales, explains Paul, "because a great story changes everything. It causes buyers to put down their defenses. It helps them relax. It engages their minds and their hearts by appealing to both their intellect and emotions. A great story bui…

How To Play Bigger And Be A Category King In Business

"The most exciting companies create. They give us new ways of living, thinking, or doing business, many times solving a problem we didn't know we had -- or a problem we didn't pay attention to because we never thought there was another way," explain the four authors of the dynamic new book, Play Bigger.

They add that, "the most exciting companies sell us different. They introduce the world to a new category of product or service." And, they become category kings. Examples of category kings are Amazon, Salesforce, Uber and IKEA.

Play Bigger is all about the strategy that builds category kings. And, to be a category king you need to be good at category design:
Category design is the discipline of creating and developing a new market category, and conditioning the market so it will demand your solution and crown your company as its king.Category design is the opposite of "build it and they will come."Key traits of category design, explain the authors,…

How To Manage Millennials

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…