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Showing posts from 2017

A Boss Versus A Leader

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"A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss creates fire, a leader creates passion." -- Russell H. Ewing, British Journalist.

How To Involve Your Employees To Create A Successful Business

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Here are some good tips for leading a successful business operation from the handy booklet, 144 Ways To Walk The Talk, by Eric Harvey and Al Lucia:
Involve your team in setting standards that are achievable but also require everyone to stretch their knowledge and skills.Remember that regardless of what you say, it is the performance you're willing to accept that becomes your true standard.Work as a team to stay abreast of technology advancements. Have different employees read different trade and professional magazines and blogs. Ask others to share key learning from workshops, webinars, seminars and conferences they attend. Make it easy via meetings and or within an Intranet forum/Blog area to share what everyone is learning and hearing.Ask each member of your group to identify the three most significant obstacles to their performance. Create a master list and develop strategies to eliminate them. Then, reward employees for identifying obstacles!

Eight Ways To Value Your Employees

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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 …

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…

Seven Things Motivated People Do To Stay Motivated

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To learn how to stay motivated, read 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.

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 meet. Positive people take great satisfaction in help…

Flashback: Best Leadership Book Of 2016

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After reading nearly 30 new books about leadership this past year, my pick for 2016's best new leadership book is, Mastering the Challenges of Leading Change, by H. James Dallas. Technically, the book came out in the fall of 2015, but gained its popularity and momentum in 2016, hence my selection as my 2016 pick.


Virtually every business is undergoing change. And, one of the most difficult things for a leader to do is to successfully lead a change initiative. And, change is what most employees fear most. That's why, says Brown that on average nearly 75 percent of change initiatives fail. What's more...

When the rate of external change exceeds the rate of internal change, the end is in sight.
Fortunately, Brown has written what I consider to be one of the most straight-forward, practical and timely books on how to lead a transition through change effectively.

H. James Dallas

More specifically, Brown covers much more than tasks, timing and technologies. He also covers the all…

Successful Leaders Connect With Their Employees Individually. Here's How.

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Here, from the book, Be A Network Marketing Leader, are some tips on how, as a leader, you can connect with your individual team members:
Send cards on their birthdays and anniversary-of-joining dates.Keep yourself updated with what's happening in their personal lives.Show your support during personal or family crises.Schedule weekly one-on-one phone calls or meetings.Pay attention. When you see an increase, decrease or change in results, get in touch.Schedule monthly whole team meetings.Applaud achievements and address concerns immediately.Be consistent.Make frequent thoughtful, spontaneous gestures.

Leadership Quotes From John C. Maxwell

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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.

Coaches As Leaders Do This To Drive Success

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Former University of Kansas head basketball coach Roy Williams once told U.S. News and World Reportmagazine that there are three things that coaches as leaders must do to drive success:
"Have everyone on the team focus on the same goal."  And, the leader must effectively communicate that goal to the team."Emphasize those goals every day.""Understand that although everyone has a common goal, individuals also have goals, needs and dreams that must be cared for." According to Williams, in a commentary he wrote for the magazine, the third point is the most challenging to address and where leadership may be the most critical. And, I totally agree.

Therefore, if you lead a team at work or within an organization, one of the best ways to work with each of your team players is to tailor your motivation techniques for each individual, and then be prepared to tweak those techniques if necessary as each person grows.

Williams was the head coach at the University of K…

How To Communicate Change To Your Team

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When you communicate change to your team, explain the logical and rational reasons for the change:

1. Explain how the change will make employees feel before, during and after the implementation.

2. Explain the tactical plan and goals.

3. Answer questions from your team.

How To Be A Humble Leader

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From John Blakey's book, The Trusted Executive, here are these four tips from Jim Collins for how to be a humble leader:
Demonstrate a compelling modesty, shunning public adulation and never be boastful.Act with quiet, calm determination and motivate others through inspired standards, not inspiring charisma.Channel ambition into the company, not the self, and set up successors for even more greatness in the next generation.Look in the mirror, not out of the window, when apportioning responsibility for poor performance.

Five Steps To Effective Meetings

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Here is some good and practical advice for how to lead effective meetings, from the book, First-Time Leader:

Context. Understand the meeting's place in the broader journey. It's not about the meeting itself, or even the meeting experience. It's about how the meeting moves its participants forward along the path and fits with everything else.Objective. Set an overall single objective for the meeting and clear expectations for learning, contributions, and decisions by agenda item and attendee in order to align with the single objective and with the meeting's place in the broader journey.Pre-work. Make sure to get appropriate pre-work and pre-reading to people far enough in advance for all to learn/contribute to their fullest potential.Delivery. Manage meeting participation and timing to optimize learning, contributions and action-oriented decisions.Follow-Through. Get meeting notes out promptly to memorialize decisions and actions, kicking off the preparation for the nex…

Questions To Ask Yourself At The End Of Each Day

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One of my favorite parts of Joe Sweeney's book, Moving the Needle, is the section where he recommends you ask yourself these six questions before you go to bed each night:

What was the best thing that happened today?What am I most grateful for today?What did I do to live my ideal day today?What is one new thing I learned today?What did I do to meet my goals today?What am I most looking forward to tomorrow? And, by jotting down your answers to these thoughtful and positive in nature questions sets you in the right frame of mind for waking up in the morning!


The Power Of Doing All You Can

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Today's leadership thought is John Wesley's Rule:

Do all the good you can,By all the means you can,In all the ways you can,In all the places you can,At all the times you can,To all the people you can,As long as you ever can.

The Things Best Companies Do

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Here are some of the things the companies often ranked as "best companies" by leading industry magazines do to attract and retain employees. Many of these programs and activities take little to no investment. But, they all can only happen when there's strong leadership at the company's helm.

Try some of these in your workplace this year:
Mentoring programs, especially for new employeesVolunteer opportunities/daysLunches with the CEO or presidentOn-site wellness fairsPep ralliesTelecommuting programsSummer picnics for employees and their familiesRetention bonusesLending librariesUnlimited sick daysEmployee team sports after hours, such as bowling and baseballOn-site child care servicesAwarding vacation time in exchange for community volunteering timeEmployee pot-luck breakfastsMonthly birthday partiesOn-site fitness equipmentFrequent town hall meetings with upper managementSubsidized gym membershipsLeadership development programsTime given to employees to spend on work…

How Teams Provide Value Beyond The Ordinary

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"It takes more than encouraging words to get a team thinking beyond the ordinary," explains Jackie Barretta, author of the book, Primal Teams.

She suggests you must help team members to redefine the purpose of their work with broader and more expansive thinking. Use certain pointed questions to guide a team toward a loftier view of their purpose.

Specifically, Barretta recommends you as the leader ask the following purpose-broadening questions to encourage the team to think of providing value beyond the ordinary:

What major contributions can our team make to the company's success?What do we do that makes our colleagues and customers happy?What does our work do to give our company a competitive advantage?What do we do that no one else can do?What legacy do we want to leave?What future possibilities excite us?What difference does our work make in the lives of others?

The Five Factors Of Personal Resilience

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If you want to build the psychological body armor to achieve personal resilience, then the 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 prof…

Inspiring Leadership Quotes

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These quotes truly inspire me:

“The three common characteristics of best companies -- they care, they have fun, they have high performance expectations.” -- Brad Hams
“The one thing that's common to all successful people: They make a habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don't like to do.” -- Michael Phelps
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." -- Harry S. Truman
“The leader of the past was a person who knew how to tell. The leader of the future will be a person who knows how to ask.” -- Peter Drucker
“Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Good leadership isn't about advancing yourself.  It's about advancing your team.” -- John C. Maxwell
"People buy into the leader, then the vision.” -- John C. Maxwell
“Great leaders have courage, tenacity and patience.” -- Bill McBean
"People never learn anything by being told, they have to…

Are You A Perceptive Listener?

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"Perceptive listening requires you to be totally focused, completely mindful, and perceptive of the conversation -- about what is spoken and what remains unspoken," explains John Jantsch, author of the book, Duct Tape Selling.

He adds, "Perceptive listening reveals things that a distracted or even mostly active conversation can't reveal."

To be a perceptive listener, ensure you hear and interpret the words as they're said, and also consider what the person isn't saying. What they might really be thinking, and how they are acting as they speak.

Mentoring Tips From The Book, One Minute Mentoring

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Fortunately, I've benefited from having great mentors throughout my career. And, I've have the honor and good fortune to be a mentor, both formally and informally, for various individuals the past few decades.

Mentoring is powerful. Both being a mentor. And, being mentored. That's why I became an instant fan of the book, One Minute Mentoring: How to Find and Work With a Mentor -- and Why You'll Benefit from Being One.

Released this in May, the book presents a fictional parable about the power of finding, or being, a mentor. In what is about a one- to two-hour read, you'll gain knowledge and easy-to-use tools for how to find and leverage mentoring relationships.



Ken Blanchard
You'll also learn why developing effective communication and relationships across generations through mentoring can be a tremendous opportunity for companies and individuals alike.

Bestselling author, Ken Blanchard, Ph.D. teamed up with Claire Diaz-Ortiz to write One Minute Mentoring. Blanc…

Run Meetings That Work

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Here are some great tips from authors Michael Mankins and Eric Garton about how to run meetings that work:
Be sure a meeting is appropriate. Meetings are great for gathering input and coming to a group decision. They aren't so good for drafting a strategy document, for example. Ensure a meeting is the best way to get the job done.Set a clear -- and selective -- agenda. A clear agenda communicates priorities. It also tells people what they can safely postpone or ignore.Insist on advance preparationPractice good meeting hygiene. Start on time. Clarify the purpose of every meeting. Spell out people's roles in decisions. Create a decision log that captures every decision made in a meeting. End early, particularly if the meeting is going nowhere. Mankins and Garton are the authors of the book, Time, Talent, Energy.

Successful Leaders Execute Stragility

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"Stragility is the term for strategic, agile, people-powered change that enables organizations to thrive amidst relentless turbulence and uncertainty," explain Ellen R. Auster and Lisa Hillenbrand, authors of the book, Stragility: Excelling At Strategic Changes.

"Achieving Stragility is the key to competitive advantage that lasts," they add.

The book provides lots of examples, concrete tips, action steps and tools. You'll learn that as a leader you must constantly adjust both strategies and execution to achieve winning goals. That agility is a key part of Stragility. Without ongoing agility, even good strategies will fail.

You can read the entire book, or focus on the sections that address your pain points, bad habits within your organization, and/or on your Stragility goals.

For example, the authors present these common pain points that derail making changes, and show you how to transform this pain into successful change:
Political infighting, turf wars, resis…

Building Trust As A Leader Takes Energy, Effort And Constant Attention

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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"

Successful Leaders Routinely Ask Themselves Six Questions

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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?

Leaders Use 10 Essential Elements Of Dignity In The Workplace

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In their book, Millennials Who Manage, authors Chip Espinoza and Joel Schwarzbart, quote Donna Hicks's explanation about how dignity is different from respect.
Dignity is different from respect in that it is not based on how people perform, what they can do for us, or their likability. Dignity is a feeling of inherent value and worth. Therefore, Espinoza and Schwarzbart recommend that leaders treat those they are leading with dignity and follow Hick's 10 Essential Elements of Dignity:
Acceptance of Identity - Approach people as being neither inferior nor superior to you. Assume that others have integrity.Inclusion - Make others feel that they belong, whatever the relationship.Safety - Put people at ease at two levels: physically, so they feel safe from bodily harm, and psychologically, so they feel safe from being humiliated.Acknowledgment - Give people your full attention by listening, hearing, validating, and responding to their concerns, feelings, and experiences.Recognition

Open-ended Questions Improve Your Conversations With Direct Reports

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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?

How To Become An Accountable Leader

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"Truly accountable leadership is the only way to build an organization that can survive and thrive in our increasingly complicated world," says Vince Molinaro, author of his revised and updated bestseller, The Leadership Contract.

More specifically, Molinaro believes that a new set of leadership expectations is redefining how each of us will need to lead in the future. He explains that as a leader you will need to take accountability to:
Align and engageTake an enterprise-wide perspectiveBuild relationshipsMaster uncertaintyDevelop other leadersModel the values And, to be a truly accountable leader, Molinaro says that you must serve the five core obligations of leadership: YourselfYour customersYour organizationYour employeesYour communities One of my favorite parts of the book are the Gut Checks for Leaders at the end of each chapter. The Gut Checks list critical questions to ask yourself, such as: Do you lead every day with a sense of clarity regarding your obligations?What …

The Cycle Of Winning Has Five Parts

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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…

Becoming A Stronger 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…

How To Do Five Percent More To Achieve Extraordinary Results

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“Making small changes to reach big goals is the answer,” says entrepreneur and bestselling author Michael Alden in his book, 5% MORE: Making Small Changes To Achieve Extraordinary Results. “If you just put 5% more effort into any aspect of your life, you will not only achieve your goals, you will surpass them,” he explains. 
“Far too often, people become paralyzed when they want to improve their lives, because the effort to reach their goals seems overwhelming,” adds Alden. “Or the opposite occurs. They decide to dive into something one hundred percent, but then quickly lose steam.”
Therefore, Alden demonstrates that long-lasting success is based on small increases in effort. “Five percent is almost unnoticeable in terms of effort—but it accrues quickly, with each step boosting the baseline,” he declares.
Although much of Alden’s advice is based on personal experience, observation, and common sense, he is careful to discuss the studies and research that support his ideas throughout t…

How To Make An Apology

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The following great advice about how to apologize is from the new book, The Courage Solution, by Mindy Mackenzie. I'll be posting a full review of the book in a few days. In the meantime, Mackenzie recommends you include these three elements when you apologize:
Actually say "I'm sorry" out loud, while making eye contact, if possible.Acknowledging your error by adding the phrase "I was wrong...but more importantly, you were right."Asking humbly, "How can I fix this?" Keep in mind that an effective apology requires you to have actually begun working on a solution by the time you get to this step.

Business And Life Lessons My Father Taught Me

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My father passed away 16 years ago this month. What he taught me has served me well in business and in life. Even lessons I learned when I didn't at the time necessarily realize I was learning from him.

So, I thank my dad for teaching me the following business and life lessons:

Listen - Growing up, I thought my Dad was perhaps shy or quiet. Really, he was just a great listener. I believe that's what made him so wise. He would listen to anyone. Young or old.  New acquaintance or friend.

Provide - My Dad provided for me. Music lessons. Vacations. Summer camp. Boy Scouts.  He gave. He put others' needs first. Today, I find in volunteering likely the same satisfaction he felt when he provided.

Educate - My Dad's passion was education. He loved to learn. He loved even more to teach. He lived to help other people learn. In the workplace, providing learning opportunities is one of the most powerful things you can do for an employee. Mentoring is equally powerful.

Trainand Prepar…

How To Identify And Develop Emerging Talent In Your Company

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From the book, Mastering the Challenges of Leading Change, comes this useful checklist from author H. James Dallas for how to identify and develop emerging talent in your company/organization.

Dallas recommends that each question should be graded on a scale of 1 to 3, with 3 being the best. Use the questions and the scoring for you and your employee to work together toward the highest ratings across the board.
Has the person demonstrated a "getting lost with confidence" mind-set?Does the person communicate with authenticity?Has the person created a strong personal brand that is recognized by colleagues of all levels?Does the person know his or her blind spots and have people watching to prevent him or her from crashing?Is the person getting exposure to executive management?Does the person seek out and seriously consider advice?Is the person building an inclusive team and sponsoring others?Is the person proactive in finding opportunities to initiate and lead change?

Seven Tough Questions To Ask Your Teams

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High-functioning and effective teams can disagree and still produce excellent products and results. Team members can also disagree and still care about each other. And, they can challenge each other to think differently.

Best-selling leadership book authors Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy recommend that leaders ask seven tough questions of their teams to help maximize their results. Here are those questions to ask each team member:
What are some obstacles affecting this team?What are opportunities we could take advantage of that we have been largely ignoring?Where can you take greater ownership on this team?Where have you let this team down?Compared to other teams with which you are familiar, how are we doing?When was the last time you complimented the team or one of its members?How open are you to giving direct feedback to team members?

How To Be An Open Leader

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Open Leadership author Charlene Li reminds leaders to periodically ask themselves these "open leadership skills assessment" questions:
Do I seek out and listen to different points of view?Do I make myself available to people at all levels of the organization?Do I actively manage how I am authentic?Do I encourage people to share information?Do I publicly admit when I am wrong?Do I update people regularly?Do I take the time to explain how decisions are being made? Thanks for these great questions, Charlene!