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Showing posts from May, 2018

How To Not Make A Leader's Work Harder Than It Needs To Be

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In the book, The Leadership Contract, author Vince Molianro shares that not only is leadership hard work, but also a lot of us inadvertently make the hard work harder.
Therefore, Molianro recommends you: Don't get in over your head -- where you are in situations where you are unable to take your performance to a higher level. Where you are creating risk to yourself and your organization.Confuse rough with tough -- Mistreating, disrespecting and insulting others is rough, not tough.Mistake effort for results -- Keeping yourself busy by toiling away at drudgery is very different from tackling real hard work of leadership.Feel like the victim -- Everybody gets frustrated at work. That's normal. But leaders need to be able to move through the frustration.Be insecure -- The key to overcoming insecurities begins by admitting that you have them.Need good news -- Your job as a leader is not to avoid, ignore, or deny bad news. It's to find out the bad news as early as you can so you …

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!

How To Lead With Purpose

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“Purpose is the why behind everything within an organization,” says author John Baldoni, of the book, Lead With Purpose.
Baldoni also believes that it is up to leaders to make certain that organizational purpose is understood and acted upon. And, to harness the talents of their employees, leaders must recognize their responsibility to instill purpose in the workplace.
Other recommendations include: Make purpose a central focusInstill purpose in othersMake employees comfortable with ambiguityTurn good intentions into great resultsMake it safe to fail (as well as prevail)Develop the next generationAccording to Baldoni, purpose forms the backbone of what an organization exists to do; upon which you can build vision and mission.
To define an organization’s purpose, you must ask three questions:
1. What is our vision — that is, what do we want to become? 2. What is our mission — that is, what do we do now? 3. What are our values–that is, what are the behaviors we expect of ourselves?
Some of my ot…

How To Create A Culture Of Wellness In The Workplace

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In 2016, the Wellness Council of America named Lance Breger as one of the Top 50 Health Promotion Professionals in the U.S..
Last year, Lance shared his recommendations for how a business leader can create a culture that supports workplace employee wellness. I bring that popular blog post back for a good reminder of his suggestions.
Lance Breger
Question: What are two to three things a leader can do to create a culture of wellness at their workplace?
Lance: Livingby example is the single very greatest thing a leader can do to create a culture of wellness. Be the change you want to see in the workplace. Even the small wellness efforts are noticed like bringing a water bottle to meetings, making good food choices, leaving the office on-time, unplugging on weekends, using a standing desk and taking the stairs. 
Question: What else can a leader do to demonstrate he/she values wellness for their employees?
Lance: A leader can name health and well-being as a core value of the company, department …

How To Embrace Brand Citizenship

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You likely have noticed the sea change in the market’s demand for brands to reinvent how they engage with customers. It’s the mandate to embrace Brand Citizenship. Which means “doing good.” Doing good for customers, employees, local communities, and the planet overall.
“People want the companies they do business with not only to ‘do good’ and make the world a better place, but also to advocate on their behalf and make them feel like they are part of a larger community or grander mission,” explains Anne Bahr Thompson, author of the new book, Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profits.
Furthermore, Thompson explains that “doing good has come to mean taking responsibility for more than traditional philanthropy or corporate social responsibility initiatives.”
First in the book, Thompson sets the stage for what caused this growing trend where people are drawn to companies with a higher purpose – and consequently reward them with their loyalty and business.
Then, thro…

Why 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.

How To Ignite Your Inspiration At Work

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If your work no longer excites and inspires you, then the new book, Find the Fire, is a timely read. And one that will help you rekindle your own inspiration.

You’ll learn how to: Overcome the common fears of failure, change and criticism.Adopt an open mind and seek out new experiences.Embolden yourself to take more risks.Build upon progress and create momentum.Unleash creativity and produce work you’re proud of.Kick-start learning and growth.Banish perfectionism.Lift your self-confidence and earn respect.Most important, you’ll find the fire in work that eliminates the common factors that drag people down, such as disconnectedness, fear, inundation, settling and boredom, dwindling self-belief, loss of control, feelings of insignificance, lack of evocation and dearth of creating – all things that sap your energy and optimism.

One of my favorite parts in the book is the list of nine ways to negate the fear of change.
“Change threatens our sense of stability and robs us of our sense of contr…

Customer Service Training 101

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Whether you are in a new customer service role or simply need some customer service refresher tips, Customer Service Training 101, is the book for you.
Now in its third edition (originally published in 2005), you’ll find practical and actionable techniques and behaviors to ensure you are providing the best possible service for your customers.
Along with dozens of scenarios, examples, guidelines and practice lessons, author, Renee Evenson, also provides a focus on customer service in today’s marketplace, which includes effectively using social media.
My favorite parts of the book include Evenson’s techniques for effective customer service via the phone and for properly responding to customer complaints.
First, for effective customer service via the phone: Verbalize what you are doing – explain to your customer what you are doing throughout the phone contact. Never assume that the person on the other end understands. During pauses, tell the customer what is happening – Silence, to a customer…

How To Stay Relevant In A Fast-Changing World

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Alan Adamson, co-author of the new book, Shift Ahead, says that “the ability for companies and organizations to stay relevant is being significantly challenged by the accelerating pace of change – and new ways of doing things – that are emerging with every passing day.” At a speed of change unlike every before. 

That’s why this book, sub-titled, How the Best Companies Stay Relevant in a Fast-Changing World, is a both a timely and pertinent read. 
The book is based on the hands-on experience of both authors, Adamson, a branding expert, and Joel Steckel, a professor of marketing and vice dean of doctoral education at NYU Stern School of Business. 
And most significant, it’s based on academic research and more than 100 interviews/case studies with senior management, business leaders and category experts from a wide spectrum of applicable fields who have lived through change or analyzed the phenomenon. 
For example, you’ll discover the lessons learned by Kodak, Xerox, BlackBerry, Delta, Barne…

Words To Lead By

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Words to lead by:

"It's amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - President Harry S. Truman.

"Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it." - President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." - President Woodrow Wilson.

Today's Leadership Quotes

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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 BrocaThese and many more compelling quotes can be found in Susan H. Shearouse's book, Conflict 101.

The Most Important Team Building Hour Of The Day Is Lunch

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According to Flavio Martins, the author of the new book, Win The Customer, the most important team building hour of the day is lunch hour.
He explains (using insights from Joel Spolsky) that, "great workplace cultures and places where people love to work are environments where people are emotionally involved, happy and excited to come to work. One of the keys to achieving this is getting to know each other as individuals and a part of a team. Having this type of relationship helps keep team members engaged with each other, as well as with the organization and its overall goals."
He adds that, "being part of a group and fostering camaraderie by eating lunch together is vastly superior to eating by yourself at work. A simple 30- to 60-minute break away from your desk spent with others is a stress reducer and a great way to develop the sense of culture within an organization.
Therefore, encourage your team members to take time to sit down with other people on the team and tal…

The Power Of Five Percent More

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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 the b…

The Importance Of Goals In Decision Making

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The book, The Decision Makeoever, by Mike Whitaker presents a fascinating look at decision making and the importance of decision size and timing.
As you read the book, you'll gain a better understanding of: The power of decisionsWhy we make bad decisionsHow to deal with bad decisionsHow to deal with regretHow to take control of decision makingHow goals and decisions can help each otherPerhaps the most significant part of the book is the author's perspective on goals. "Knowing your goals is the key to making good decisions," says Whitaker. "Because goals and decision-making are so intimately intertwined."
Therefore, he advises that you: Keep a few key goals close: Choice five prime goals and stay focused on them.Decide which goal is top priority and always give it favorable treatment when making decisions.Know that when a decision overlaps a prime goal, it becomes a prime decision. And, prime decisions are to be treated with more care because these will signific…