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Showing posts from May, 2018

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 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…

This Is A Manager With Class

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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.

How To Identify A Leader During An Interview

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The next time you are interviewing a candidate and you want to access their leadership skills, consider asking the candidate these questions: What personal qualities define you as a leader?  Describe a situation when these qualities helped you lead others.Give an example of when you demonstrated good leadership.What is the toughest group from which you've had to get cooperation?Have you ever had difficulty getting others to accept your ideas?  What was your approach?  Did it work?Describe a situation in which you had to change your leadership style to achieve the goal?One leadership skill is the ability to accommodate different views in the workplace, regardless of what they are.  What have you done to foster a wide number of views in your work environment?Thanks to Sharon Armstrong, author of The Essential HR Handbook, for these helpful questions!

Stop Selling And Start Leading

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“Today’s savvy buyers are impatient with old-school selling tactics and stereotypical sales behaviors,” explain the authors of the new book, Stop Selling And Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen. “Today’s buyers have enormous power and information and more choices than ever before,” add the authors, James Kouzes, Barry Posner and Deb Calvert.
What’s more, there is a large disconnect, for example, between what customers want to discuss in the first sales call versus what sales reps typically cover, according to a 2016 HubSpot Sales Perception Study.
For instance, while buyers most want to talk about: What my company is trying to achieve with the purchase The reasons my company needs to make the purchaseMy company’s overall goals…sellers most want to talk about: PricingHow the product/service works (a product demo)So, if you sell, you need to read this book. It’ll teach you how to leverage the power of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership to consistently make extraordi…

Step Up Book Co-Authors Answer Questions About Leadership

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The book, Step Up, shows readers how to step up to the plate during six critical leadership moments.  Readers learn how to: Use anger intelligently in the workplace.Recognize and deal with terminal politeness.Make decisions when no one else is making them.Take ownership when others are externalizing a problem.Identify and leverage pessimism.Inspire others to take action.And, before you start to read the book, you can take (via a QR code in the book) a fifteen-minute online Step Up Leadership Assessment, which will give you instant feedback on your leadership readiness and point you to the most relevant chapters in the book.
The book's two authors awhile back shared these insights with me:
A Conversation with Henry Evans and Colm Foster, authors of Step Up
What is a “leadership moment”? These are moments when leadership is required in order to see a problem solved, opportunity seized, momentum changed, relationship(s) built, or when the intelligent expression of emotion is required to d…

The Entrepreneur's Guide To Hiring

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New or seasoned entrepreneur. Small or large business. Ample or limited budget. There is a new book just for you that teaches you how to strategically recruit people with the values and goals that will drive your venture forward.
Authored by Dave Carvajal, experienced entrepreneur and recruiter, the book is, Hire Smart From the Start: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding, Catching, and Keeping the Best Talent for Your Company.
Most important, you’ll learn how to: Prioritize people over technology/ideas and capital.Reframe your recruiting mindset to custom-fit talent to your organization (rather than settling for skill competence).Use a tried-and-true process to search for individuals whose value/work-styles are compatible with your organization’s culture.Hiring smart is key explains Carvajal, “because entrepreneurs need a competitive advantage, and that advantage is a group of people rather than a strong individual at the top.”
“I am not discounting the value of a strong leader; I’m just s…

Agility, Daily Standups And Delighting Customers

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My two favorite learnings from Stephen Denning’s new book, The Age of Agile: How Smart Companies Are Transforming theWay Work Gets Done, are the following:
First, where Denning explains the 10 elements of an organization/company that is passionate about, and driven by, the goal of delighting customers. Those elements are: There is a shared goal of delighting the customer. Top management takes responsibility for ensuring enthusiasm for delighting the customer throughout the organization.The firm aspires to be the best at what it does.Everyone in the organization has a clear line to the customer.The firm ensures it has accurate and thorough knowledge of the customer.Staff members are empowered to make decisions.The firm’s structure changes with the marketplace.Relationships are interactive, vertically, horizontally, internally, and externally.Back-office functions are aligned to serve the customer.Value for customers must be monetizable for the organization.The second learning is what Denn…