Showing posts from November, 2017

How To Achieve Continuous Improvement

In addition to your 2017 New Year's resolution and the goal that you've be working on this year, add reading The School of Greatness to your "to do" list before year's end. It's a highly uplifting and motivational book on how to strive for greatness in your everyday life.

Specifically, author Lewis Howes, shares his progression of a series of lessons -- eight areas that help you focus on continual improvement:
Create a vision.Turn adversity into advantage.Cultivate a champion's mindset.Develop hustle.Master your body.Practice positive habits.Build a winning team.Be of service to others. Packed with exercises, tools, tips and examples, the book makes for a perfect read at the start of the new year.

What A Change Leader Does

The Art of Change Leadershipdemystifies the psychology behind our reactions to change and offers a powerful collection of tools to inspire individual and collective transformation quickly and more effectively, explains author of the book, Cheryl Cran.

The book teaches you how to:
Leverage your current technical knowledge to increase the rate of innovation.Use the cycle of change to foresee and handle change-related issues affecting yourself, others, and business.Raise your emotional intelligence to match your IQ.Guide "change" initiatives with repeatable success by using the reliable three-step change model. Cran also explains the differences between a Change Manager and a Change Leader.
For example: A Change Manager creates a plan, directs projects and people to achieve a goal. In contrast, a Change Leader sets the compelling vision; tells a story that includes the hero's journey for each person involved.
In addition, a Change Leader does the following: Provides a project …

Wisdom Warriors: Honest, Down-To-Earth Stories On Life And Leadership

Prepare to be inspired, impressed and motivated by personal, real-life stories and case studies from 70 women leaders in the new book, Wisdom Warriors, authored by Carol Seymour.

Carol Seymour
Highly readable and relatable, this collection of enlightening profiles will help readers, male and female, to find the strength they need to define and achieve success in all aspect of their lives.

The book includes discussions about:

living intentionally and authenticallyhow to develop and demonstrate executive presencethe importance of practicing self-carerecognizing the difference between strengths and gifts -- and why that is important You'll also find lots of powerful quotes from today's women leaders, including these two of my favorites from the book: "Not everything can be as important and as urgent as everything else, because then you're just busy" - Annemieke van der Werff (Chief Human Resource Officer for the Americas/MUFG Union Bank)"Always step outside of yo…

What To Ask Yourself At The End Of The Day

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!

Resolve To Find A Mentor In 2018

Having a mentor is one of the best things you can do to advance your career as a leader. So, decide today to secure a mentor who will work with you during 2018. Make that one of your New Year’s resolutions.

A mentor can benefit leaders new to their leadership role and they can benefit experienced and seasoned leaders, as well.

A strong mentoring relationship allows the mentor and the mentee to develop new skills and talents, to build confidence, and to build self-awareness.

Proper mentoring takes a commitment from both parties and it takes time to develop and to reap the rewards of the relationship. Plan to work with your mentor for no less than three months, and ideally for six months or longer.

When seeking out a mentor, think about these questions:
1.  Will the relationship have good personal chemistry?
2.  Can this person guide me, particularly in the areas where I am weakest?
3.  Will this person take a genuine interest in me?
4.  Does this person have the traits and skills I wan…

11 Key Principles From Battlefield To Boardroom

Ken Marlin's 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. Sinc…

The Things I Am Thankful For

Each year, around Thanksgiving time, I think about what I am thankful for. This year, I decided to once again take the time to make a list. A list of 10 things I am thankful for.

What's on your list thisyear?  And, what's on your list this year that wasn't on last year's list?

Here is my list:
Family and friendsEmployment, and a year of positive evolution for my workplaceTechnology, Blogs, Twitter and all social media sharing tools that help me to be a constant learnerHealth and all those who help me stay healthy and encourage me to reach my 2017 fitness goal -- which included running eight half marathons Setting business and personal goals and working hard to reach or exceed themGood books (including ones the book club recommended)Nonprofit organizations that provide vital services and ways for me to volunteer and donateMusicThe ability to travel for vacationsReaders, followers and guests of my Blog and of Twitter @ericjacobsonkcWow, I have a lot to be thankful for this…

Making Small Changes To Reach Big Goals

“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. The book will be available in late August.
“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 re…

How To Be A Truly Accountable Leader

"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 …

Always Follow Through

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.

Soliciting Feedback As A Leader

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…

Thank-A-Thon And Other Ideas For Nonprofit Fundraising

If you serve on a nonprofit Board, are the executive director for a nonprofit, or are responsible for raising funds for your nonprofit, The Nonprofit Fundraising Solution, book by Laurence A. Pagnoni is a must-read for you.

Pagnoni bridges the gap between theory and practical methods and shows you (often via real-life case studies) how to:
increase your access to wealthy donorsraise your community profilestretch giftsoperate major campaignsavoid revenue plateauscreate a fundraising culture within your organizationtake specific actions if your Board's core strength isn't fundraisingconduct challenge gift campaignsintegrate social media into your existing fundraising methodscreate a planned giving program When it comes to transforming prospects into donors, Pagnoni suggests you follow these basic five steps: Get to know your prospectGet your prospect involvedAsk for a small gift of financial supportAsk them to open their network of contactsAsk for a major gift And, during those c…

The Book For Nonprofit Leaders

If you lead a nonprofit organization, the one hour it will take you to read Peter F. Drucker's book called "The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization" will be well worth it.

This book may fundamentally change the way you work and lead your organization.

Perhaps one of most challenging questions Drucker asks the reader is:

"Do we produce results that are sufficiently outstanding for us to justify putting our resources in this area?"

Because, Drucker argues that need alone does not justify continuing. Nor does tradition, if your results are not sufficiently outstanding.

If you volunteer for a nonprofit or are seeking employment at a nonprofit, this book is also an insightful and inspiring read.

How To Lead Your Boss

The Courage Solution, a book by Mindy Mackenzie, is all about the simple truth that the only thing you can reliably change or control is yourself. So, that is why Mackenzie wrote her book -- to teach you how to take actions that ultimately will improve your impact on the job and increase your happiness and fulfillment in your career.

Mackenzie's quick-read strategies focus on these four key areas:
Part 1: You First offers techniques to take ownership and accountability for creating a career and life you love.Part 2: Lead Your Boss describes proven techniques to transform your relationship with your boss.Part 3: Lead Your Peers provides methods for accelerating positive peer relationships to improve business results.Part 4: Lead Your Team gives approaches for generating and creating the most effective teams and having more fun while doing it.

Mindy Mackenzie
A preview of Mackenzie's advice on Leading Your Boss includes: Intensely study your boss to get to know the human being beh…

Ideal Company Culture Guidelines

"The clearer your company culture, the less likely it will be hijacked by the weaker personalities in your team," explains Mary Christensen, author of the book, Be A Network Marketing Leader. "A few guidelines will ensure a level playing field for all team members as they pursue their individual goals."

Christensen's recommended eight guidelines are:
We respect each other.We support each other.We appreciate everyone's contribution.We're always professional.We operate in a spirit of fun and friendship.We keep it positive.We're a gossip-free zone.We deal with our disagreements in private.

How To Run Meetings That Work

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.

Today's Leadership Thought

Today's Leadership Thought:

"The ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." - Albert Schweitzer

Seven Tough Questions Leaders Ask Their Teams

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?

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 book, Conflict 101.

Six Questions Superbosses Ask

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?

Creating A People-First Culture In Your Workplace

If you want to create a heart culture and a people-first culture at your workplace, read the book, Advisory Leadership, by Greg Friedman.

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 seven steps, based on human virtues we all strive to achieve, that are key to unlocking the power of a…

The Do's And Don'ts Of Effective Listening

Here are some great tips from Michelle Tillis Lederman's book, The 11 Laws of Likability.  They are all about:
what to do and what not to do to be a leader who's an effective listener:Do:
Maintain eye contactLimit your talkingFocus on the speakerAsk questionsManage your emotionsListen with your eyes and earsListen for ideas and opportunitiesRemain open to the conversationConfirm understanding, paraphraseGive nonverbal messages that you are listening (nod, smile)Ignore distractionsDon't:
InterruptShow signs of impatienceJudge or argue mentallyMultitask during a conversationProject your ideasThink about what to say nextHave expectations or preconceived ideasBecome defensive or assume you are being attackedUse condescending, aggressive, or closed body languageListen with biases or closed to new ideasJump to conclusions or finish someone's sentences

Being Humble

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.