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Showing posts from May, 2019

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."

Learning To Lead

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Inspiring, humbling, motivating and instructional is how I describe the new leadership book by Ron Williams, called, Learning To Lead: The Journey To Leading Yourself, Leading Others, And, Leading An Organization.
Williams tells his career journey from washing cars to reviving one of the nation’s largest health insurers, where as the former CEO he transformed Aetna from a $292 million operating loss into $2 billion in annual earnings.
Throughout the book, Williams provides detailed perspectives, tips, tools and practical advice to overcome the most typical challenges people encounter during the course of a career.
He reminds us that introverts can be successful leaders, you don’t need to always know exactly where you’re going when you start, and a degree in business is not necessarily a requirement for success.
By learning Williams’s approach to leadership, readers will discover how to:
Manage or adjust their career questAvoid professional pitfalls, wrong turns, and wasted effortNurt…

How To Embrace Failure As A Path To Success

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“On the path to success, we trip and lose our footing from time to time. But stumbling and even falling is the best way to learn from mistakes and is critical to achieving goals,” says Bill Wooditch, author of the book, Fail More:Embrace, Learn, And, Adapt to Failure As A Way To Success.
“We all fail. It’s a part of business, and it’s a part of life,” explains Wooditch. “It’s how you deal with setbacks is what makes the difference.”
The book will teach you how to: Conquer the negative emotions that naturally arise after making mistakes.Clearly articulate lessons learned.Put these lessons to use immediately. Plus, you’ll learn how to: Navigate all forms of rejection and failure in pragmatic ways.Rationally examine your personal fears and gain mastery over them.Shed the discomfort of uncertainty, which is the only way to open your mind to all possibilities.  This week, Wooditch answered these questions for me about failing, succeeding and his book:
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Plan And Prepare For Certain Moments To Create A High-Performance Culture

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In his book, The Responsible LeaderTim Richardson explains that to create a high-performance culture, you need to plan and prepare for the following moments to ensure the conversations surrounding them are both meaningful and intentional:
recruitment and induction of new team membersperformance management discussionspromotion interviews and talent management discussionscoaching discussionscustomer sales presentationshandling customer complaints and problemsbriefings to the press, analysts and wider marketsenior leaders' contact with, and briefings to, teams across the organizationinternal presentations with executive committeesteam meetings and management meetingsRichardson's advice to improve the quality of these conversations is to consider: How clear is the principal message for the conversation? How can you ensure that the content of the discussion is focused on the key message(s)?How can you ensure the quality of the listening by all parties?How can you set a pace that is…

Turning The Flywheel

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Earlier this year brought Jim Collin’s monograph to his iconic bestseller, Good to Great book. Titled, Turning the Flywheel, Collins explains why some companies build momentum and some don’t.

Eighteen years after writing Good to Great, Collins delves deep into the flywheel approach and how successful flywheels grow through four key stages – Through: Disciplined PeopleDisciplined ThoughtDisciplined ActionBuilding to Last“One you get your flywheel right, you want to renew and extend that flywheel for years to decades – decision upon decision, action upon action, turn by turn – each loop adding to the cumulative effect,” explains Collins.
One good flywheel example is Amazon’s, discovered in 2001: lower prices led to more customer visits, which increased sales volume, which attracted more third-party sellers, which boosted efficiency.“Look closely at any truly sustained great enterprise and you’ll likely find a flywheel at work, though it might be hard to discern at first,” shares Collins.
Ke…

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?

The Book Of Mistakes Is A Book For Leaders

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Skip Prichard’s book, The Book of Mistakes, provides a motivating and inspiring fable and journey to finding the secrets to creating a successful future. This 175-page self-help tale, wrapped in fiction, teaches you the nine mistakes that prevent many from achieving their goals.
Full of wisdom, this is a book for everyone, and particularly valuable to anyone who wants to be a better leader.
I won’t reveal the nine mistakes, however, here are some of my favorite takeaways and snippets from the lessons the book teaches: Be the hero of your story, not a minor character in someone else’s.Know your inherent value.Surround yourself with the people who will help you achieve your purpose.The journey to success requires both risk and failure.Look at everyone you meet as a wise teacher.Be motivated, not intimidated, by another’s success.Successful people have a sense of urgency. Prichard has featured, interviewed, and studied over one thousand of the world’s most successful people, from sports …

How To Make Better Decisions

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The Decision Makeoever, by Mike Whitaker is 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 other Perhaps 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 significantly affect yo…

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…

8 Steps To High Performance

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“Higher performance comes from doing many things well—but some of those things are not in your power to change,” says author Marc Effron. Therefore, he recommends in his book, 8 Steps to High Performance, that you focus on what you can change and ignore the rest. Effron reveals in his book the eight key factors you do control and provides practical advice for improving yourself on each one. “A high performer is someone who consistently delivers better results and behaviors, on an absolute and relative basis, than 75 percent of their peers,” explains Effron. Key words in the previous sentence are “consistently” and “relative,” where relative means that your performance must be better than others’, not just better than the goal. You’ll want to read the book to fully learn the eight steps, however in short, they are:
1.Set big goals
2.Behave to perform.
3.Grow yourself faster.
4.Connect.
5.Maximize your fit.
6.Fake it (this is a particularly interesting step and chapter in the book)
7.Commit your …

Inspiring Leadership Quotes

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These quotes truly inspire me:

“The three common characteristics of best companies -- they care, they have fun, they have high performance expectations.” -- Brad Hams
“The one thing that's common to all successful people: They make a habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don't like to do.” -- Michael Phelps
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." -- Harry S. Truman
“The leader of the past was a person who knew how to tell. The leader of the future will be a person who knows how to ask.” -- Peter Drucker
“Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Good leadership isn't about advancing yourself.  It's about advancing your team.” -- John C. Maxwell
"People buy into the leader, then the vision.” -- John C. Maxwell
“Great leaders have courage, tenacity and patience.” -- Bill McBean
"People never learn anything by being told, they have to…

How To Be A Leader Who Gets Things Done

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If you want to be a leader who can get things done, be sure you:
Engender trust.Instill confidence.Earn respect.

How To Hire Top Talent In An Instant

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The following statements from author Scott Wintrip convinced me to read his 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 InventoryMost interesting to me is Wintrip's Talent Inventory concept -- creating a pool or ros…

How To Be An Optimist

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Every leader experiences periods of ups and downs. Hopefully, more up periods.

If you struggle with too many down periods, it might be because you have perfectionist tendencies.

Transform yourself into an optimist by:
Viewing failure as an opportunity to learn and understand that failure is part of a fulfilling life.Making room for pain. Don't deny yourself permission to feel painful emotions.Setting standards that are attainable because they are grounded in reality. Don't set goals and standards that are essentially impossible to meet. You can learn more about being an optimist by reading the book, The Pursuit Of The Perfect: How To Stop Chasing Perfection And Start Living A Richer, Happier Life, by Tal Ben-Shahar

How To Be 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 take action when angry.Class is authentic and works hard at making actions consistent with words.

Allow Employees To Learn From Their Mistakes

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Mistakes happen. The best thing you can do as a manager and leader is to help your employee learn from his (or her) mistake.

If your employee is afraid of ever making a mistake, he will be paralyzed from taking action or taking even calculated risks. If he knows that mistakes happen in the course of doing business and that one learns from making mistakes, you will have a more productive employee.

Most important, be sure your employee knows that if he makes a mistake, he should let you know as soon as possible.

As soon as he does, quickly rectify the situation.

Then, discuss with him how the mistake happened. Find out what he did or didn't do. Ask him what he thinks he can do in the future to avoid the mistake from happening again. Chances are he has already figured this out. If not, teach him what he needs to do differently to avoid the mistake from reoccurring.

Finally, you may discover that the mistake happened because policies, procedures or your assignment instructions were confusi…

70 Ways 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 an opportunity to gr…

How To Be A Modern Day Legacy Builder

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Legacy in the Making is the fascinating book where authors Mark Miller and Lucas Conley provide readers a toolkit for how to be a modern day legacy builder for your company/brand.
The toolkit provides the roadmap for leaders who can harness the power of long-term thinking in a short-term world; the skill needed to create a modern day legacy.
The fascinating part of the book is the stories from the authors’ exclusive interviews with modern legacy thinkers who are transforming business as we know it – stories from The Honest CompanyGrey GooseTaylor GuitarsGirls Who Code, and the San Diego Zoo.
“These are the legacy builders that are out-performing rivals, attracting and keeping the best talent, and changing the way others engage with their work and think about their own legacies in the making,” explain the authors.
Modern day legacy building is a new kind of legacy creation that simultaneously encompasses what was and what will be. Modern day legacy building leaders bridge the past, t…