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Showing posts from April, 2017

How To Be A Better Leader

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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…

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

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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.

Regularly Ask Your Employees These Six Questions

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As explained in John Baldoni's, book, Lead With PurposeMarshall Goldsmith suggests all leaders make it a habit to regularly ask their employees these six questions: Where do you think we should be going?Where do you think you and your part of the business should be going?What do you think you're doing well?If you were the leader, what ideas would you have for you?How can I help?What suggestions or ideas do you have for me?

Mission Versus Vision

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Here's a good definition of the difference between a mission and a vision by leadership book authors George Bradt, Jayme A. Check and Jorge Pedraza:
Mission - A mission guides what people do every day. It informs what roles need to exist in the organization.Vision - A vision is the picture of future success. It helps define areas where the organization needs to be best in class and helps keep everyone aware of the essence of the company.

The Six Questions Superbosses Ask

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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?

Follow Through On What You Promise

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Set a good example for your employees and follow through on everything you say you are going to do.

If you promise to get an employee an answer, get it for him or her. If you say you'll send a team member a report, do so. As the Nike campaign/slogan so aptly says, "Just Do It."

Too many leaders don't follow through. Perhaps they get busy. Perhaps they forget. However, following through is critical to keeping your team effective and efficient. And it's necessary for gaining respect from your employees.

Following through also means doing so in a timely fashion. If you take too long to follow through, it's as bad as not following through at all.

How To Identify And Develop Emerging Talent

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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?

How To Achieve Total Alignment For Your Company

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I run a lot. And, running coaches, trainers and books all stress the importance of alignment. Muscle imbalances and misalignment in the body decreases running efficiency and leads to injuries.

That's why the premise of the new book, Total Alignment, makes perfect sense to me. As the authors stress, only when you have total alignment in your organization can you achieve maximum results.

Unfortunately, most organizations have a vision and a mission statement, but few know how to align everyone in the organization around that vision to achieve results. Even fewer measure and reward alignment.

"This book is for leaders and managers in organizations of all sizes," explain authors Riaz and Linda Khadem. "The book will show you how to release the power of alignment, how to create unified action, and channel everyone's energy in the same direction,"

With each of the book's 14 chapters, readers are are presented with a fictional case study based on the authors&…

Four Business, Communications And Leadership Books To Read In 2017

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To find the best business, communications and leadership books to add to my "to read" list for 2017, I reached out to some of the best experts in the field. Individuals I admire and respect.

Here is what they read this past year and recommend adding to your 2017 "to read" list:


Paul Smith Organizational Storytelling Speaker, Trainer/Coach, Author
The Elegant Pitch: Create a Compelling Recommendation, Build BroadSupport, and Get It Approved, by Mike Figliuolo.
"As a storytelling trainer and consultant, I’m constantly asked by companies to help their managers 'tell a better story.' When I dig in to find out what the issues and needs are, about half the time I conclude that it’s not actually storytelling that they need. What they need is the ability to craft a simpler, more logical, and more compelling argument that they can deliver in a presentation or in a memo. The Elegant Pitch teaches that and does it well," says Paul.
Web: www.LeadWithAStory.com T…

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 new book, One Minute Mentoring: How to Find and Work With a Mentor -- and Why You'll Benefit from Being One.

Set to be released on May 2, 2017, 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…

Asking For Help Is A Good Thing

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If you are new to managing, or if you are struggling with a management dilemma, ask for help. There is no shame in asking for help.

Seek the guidance of a colleague at work. Reach out to a mentor at or away from work. Turn to an online resource. Consult a book on managing.

Whatever you do, don't sit back and do nothing. Managing even one employee can be challenging. And many managers receive little or no formal training on how to be a manager. That means you have to be proactive about learning how to be a good manager.

Your team is depending on you, and to lead them effectively you need to know to how manage effectively. So, ask for help.

High Velocity Hiring

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These statements from author Scott Wintrip convinced me to read his new book, High Velocity Hiring: How To Hire Top Talent In An Instant:

"Hiring is broken. There's a new way to hire that's faster, efficient, and effective. Instead of waiting for the right person to show up, the new way to hire is to wait for the right job to show up. Instead of waiting until a seat is empty to search for talent, the new way of hiring starts the talent search before that job opens."

Wintrip explains how companies across the globe have applied the principles of the on-demand economy to hiring. And, perhaps counter-intuitively, he demonstrates how hiring faster creates better employees and improved working relationships.

The book takes you through a five-step process:
Create Hire-Right ProfilesImprove Candidate GravityMaximize Hiring StylesConduct Experiential InterviewsMaintain a Talent Inventory Most interesting to me is Wintrip's Talent Inventory concept -- creating a pool or ro…

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 about 20 years, Baldoni has coached and consulted for a number of leading companies in a var…

Leadership Books To Read During Spring Break

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Starting to choose which business books you'll bring along with you on Spring break this year? Here are some leadership books I highly recommend:







How To Connect With Employees Individually

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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.

How To Create An Optimistic Workplace

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In the 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 contributing to…