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Showing posts from September, 2018

How To Build A Great Business

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When you start reading Mark Thompson’s and Brian Tracy’s book, Now…Build a Great Business!, you may feel like you are reading 200 pages of Blog posts, but the bite-sized approach to providing tools, practical steps and ideas, rather than theory, is precisely the authors’ intended approach.
The book thoroughly explains the seven keys for how to achieve business success:
1.  Become a great leader 2.  Develop a great business plan 3.  Surround yourself with great people 4.  Offer a great product or service 5.  Design a great marketing plan 6.  Perfect a great sales process 7.  Create a great customer experience
You’ll find a checklist at the end of each step (each chapter) where you can write down your action plan for applying what you’ve learned.
Particularly interesting is the chapter on strategic planning, where the authors recommend you should ask yourself these important questions before you act to create or reinvent the direction of your organization:
•  Where are you now? What is your curren…

The Five Traits A Leader Must Have To Be Successful

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A couple years ago, I was aksed, "What five most important traits must a leader have to be effective?"  I could reply fairly quickly, but I did take a moment to remember that when I asked a similar question in a LinkedIn group discussion, group members offered up nearly 100 different adjectives to describe an effective leader.
But, for me, I contend the five most important traits are: Good communicator. That means effectively communicating timely and consistent messages during good and bad times. And, knowing how and when to be a good listener. Communicating is critical. Employees must hear from their leaders. And, hearing from their leaders in person versus e-mail and written memos is even more effective.Being a servant leader. Put your employees and your company first. A top manager who makes decisions that are self-serving will lack followers and will bring the company down.Adaptable. Today, more than ever, a leader needs to adapt. That means adapting to competitive and ind…

Listen To Others, Especially Before You Speak

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Here is a great message from the book, Stronger: Develop the Resilience You Need to Succeed:
Listen to Others, Especially Before You Speak
When we think of people who possess extraordinary interpersonal skill, we find they are good listeners. In even the briefest of encounters, they can make you feel important.
According to author Denise Restauri, charismatic people are good listeners who make the conversation about the other person. they show genuine interest. They let the world revolve around the other person. They remember the other person's name-- and they use it.
So, when you listen to people, truly listen. Look at the other person with interest. Do not multitask.

How To Lead In Six Moments That Matter

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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 shared with me awhile back these insights:
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…

7 Tips For Setting Goals

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If you've had a lapse in maintaining your New Year's resolutions for this year, it may be time to set a new goal for yourself.  Here are seven tips for goal setting from two-time U.S. Olympian Alan Culpepper (from the November 2013 issue of Competitor magazine).
Here are his seven tips for setting goals, whether are your workplace or away-from-work goals: Be clear and specific about what it is you are trying to accomplish.Set intermediate goals that complement a long-term goal.Shoot high, but recognize the importance of a natural progression.Write your goals down.Review your goals periodically.Remind yourself often why you are working on your goal.And, remember even if you don't hit your goal, there is satisfaction the process.

Embrace Change To Grow

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Change is inevitable. Change is good.  Help your employees and team learn to embrace change.
Here are some solid insights from Dr. Rodger Dean Duncan's (Liberty, Missouri) book, Change-friendly Leadership -- How to Transform Good Intentions into  Great Performance: The kind of behavior change that results in lasting (sustainable) change must accommodate people's feelings--feelings that involve trust, confidence, passion, and all those other intangible but very real things that make us human.It's often the stress that people resist, not the change itself.Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights (Pauline R. Kezer).A transformational leader focuses primarily on initiating and "managing" change.  He/she influences people to improve, to stretch, and to redefine what's possible.It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change (Charles Darw…

Leading with GRIT

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Feelings of being stuck, overwhelmed and frustrated plague too many of our workplaces says Laurie Sudbrink, author of the book, Leading With GRIT.
So, drawing on her over 20 years of coaching a wide range of organizations, colleges and Fortune 500 companies, Sudbrink provides in her book a road map to improve individual and organizational health.
That road map includes teaching readers the principles of GRIT: GenerosityRespectIntegrityTruth

Laurie Sudbrink
"It is not only the concepts of GRIT, but how they are combined, that make them so effective," shares Sudbrink.
Divided into three parts, Part I of the book is geared toward the individual, and is foundational to your success as a leader.
Part II focuses on communicating with GRIT -- making communication easier, more enjoyable and more productive.
Part III is how, in our role as leaders, we apply and sustain GRIT in the workplace, creating systems that help keep everyone on track.

Step Beyond Your Comfort Zone

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Inspirational leadership wisdom came awhile back from Bahram Akradi, the CEO of Life Time Fitness.
From that health club's monthly fitness magazine, Experience Life, Akradi says: Once we get comfortable in our habitual patterns, we may fail to notice when they have outworn their useful purpose, or when new alternatives might serve us better.Once you've encountered a second way of seeing things, you're more likely to entertain the possibility of a third and fourth way, too.Do something that makes you just a little bit uncomfortable--and that renders you a little more awake.Thanks Akradi for encouraging us to break out from predictability.

Recruiting Your Dream Team

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Hiring Greatness is the book by David E. Perry and Mark J. Haluska, who combined have closed more than 1,800 hiring search projects.
In their book, the authors share their guide for how to attract, recruit and retain star executives.
They advise that it is far more important that a leadership candidate possess specific intangible core attributes, than just decades of industry experience. And, these core attributes go far beyond mere technical skills. For Perry and Haluska, there are 28 core attributes they always look for in a candidate.
Those 28 fit within five pillars of success: CharacterIntellectBusiness IntelligenceLeadershipEmotional IntelligenceThey also recommend that when interviewing a candidate you particularly like that you take a healthy step back to figure out why you feel so strongly about that person. So, that you ensure you are not being biased by the following prejudices: Charm - Outward personality is never an accurate predictor of success in any role.Industry Experience

How To Keep Innovating

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I found this advice from Ken Goldstein (from his book, Endless Encores) particularly helpful. He says:
"You have to be innovating all the time. The only sure path to a limited repertoire is not to push yourself beyond the familiar. Your range is only gated by your courage to pursue the unknown, despite the doubters who relish the false safety of narrowing your path.
You risk, you stretch, you can't know what's going to stick. No matter how much you know the familiar will carry you, you navigate the balance of old and new, constantly committing to reinvention.
Repeat success is getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, knowing that luck will shine again, but never knowing when or how."

10 Questions Every Leader Must Ask

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Here are 10 important questions business leaders should ask, according to Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge, authors of Helping People Win At Work: Does my business have a clear, meaningful, and easily understood vision/mission?Do I have the right people in the right seats on the bus?Do I have a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal), and have I communicated it to my employees?Are my values driving the behavior I want in my organization?Am I creating a culture that increases employee engagement?Am I cultivating a spirit of internal and external learning?Do my employees know what an A looks like, and am I supporting them to get that A?Are our products/services creating lasting, positive memories for our customers?Do I have the best, most timely data and information to help my business make good decisions?Are our key performance indicators the right ones, and are we measuring what matters?And, one more questions to ask is: Do we celebrate success?

The Enemy of Engagement In The Workplace

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"Frustration in the workplace is a silent killer," claim authors Mark Royal and Tom Agnew in their terrific book, The Enemy of Engagement.

Further, "in an organizational context, frustration is not as simple as failing to get something you want. Rather, it involves the inability to succeed in your role due to organizational barriers or the inability to bring the bulk of your individual talents, skills, and abilities to your job."
Royal and Agnew further explain that a staggering number of highly motivated, engaged, and loyal employees quit trying--or quit, period---because they feel frustrated. And what's causing all that frustration?  It's lack of enablement. According to Royal and Agnew, as employees grow in experience in their roles, they begin to focus less on learning the ropes and more on achieving desired results. In the process, they are increasingly confronted with enablement constraints that limit their ability to get their jobs done effectively. And,…