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Showing posts from June, 2019

Wisdom And Integrity

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A Leader's Guide To Forging An Iron Clad Brand

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“Brand helps us engage customers and employees, unleash our competitive advantage, and fuel enduring growth,” explains Lindsay Pedersen, author of the new book, Forging An Iron Clad Brand: A Leader’s Guide.”
“And yet, despite this power of brand, it is grossly underused. Few leaders leverage brand fully, believing (wrongly) that brand is squishy and elusive,” adds Pedersen.
In her book, Pedersen deconstructs what brand is and why it is indispensable for leaders. Particularly, for leaders who yearn to create something truly different and truly enduring. And, for leaders who have trouble galvanizing employees to a common purpose.
As you read the book, you’ll learn about the breadth of brand’s layers:
·     Brand is what you stand for ·Brand is relationship
·Brand is your promise and your fulfillment of that promise
·Brand is a filter
·Brand strategy is the deliberate articulation of your business’s meaning
·Brand fuels differentiation
·Brand is your north star

Some of my favorite takeaways fr…

These Leadership Quotes Truly Inspire Me

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These quotes truly inspire me and hopefully they will inspire you as well:
“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 neve…

Six Tips For How To Get The Feedback You Need To Improve Your Performance At Work

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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 critical. Do…

Servant Leadership In Action

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Be sure to read the definitive book on servant leadership. A curated collection of incredibly insightful and motivational perspectives on servant leadership via essays by 44 servant leaders.
Edited by Ken Blanchard and Renee BroadwellServant Leadership in Action, includes the personal stories from some of the most well-respected authorities on leadership: Patrick LencioniJohn C. MaxwellMarshall GoldsmithStephen M. R. CoveyPlus, you'll read keen advice from celebrated sports coaches, company CEO's, pastors and retired military leaders.
Each of the 44 stories/chapters stands strong on its own. However, Blanchard and Broadwell group them within six parts: Fundamentals of Servant LeadershipElements of Servant LeadershipLessons in Servant LeadershipExamples of Servant LeadershipPutting Servant Leadership to WorkServant Leadership TurnaroundsGet your pen or highlighter ready. You're sure to take lots of notes as you capture advice from this powerful book, where as John C. Maxwell …

The Power Of Brevity

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I’ll soon publish a full review of Scott Belsky’s book, The Messy Middle: Finding your way through the hardest and most crucial part of any bold venture.
In the meantime, here is some great advice from Belsky about the power in brevity: Shorter emails get faster response times. Fewer words go further (and are listened to more intently).The less preamble, the more focused your team will be on your message. Most attention spans don’t even make it to the end.Start with your point; don’t end with it.

Five Critical Cultural Fit Job Interview Questions

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If you are leading an organization and are the last person to interview a candidate, focus your questions more on trying to see if the person is a cultural fit. Here are a few questions to pose to potential new hires (from the book, Advisory Leadership:
What motivates you?What are you passionate about? (Finding out what people are passionate about and why is a great window into someone's personality.)What are you telling your family/spouse about our company? (This question often takes candidates off guard and results in some often very honest answers.)What did you enjoy most/find most challenging in  your last position? (There are no right or wrong answers, necessarily. This question is a great assessment of the candidate, especially when considering certain roles.)What opportunities do you see for yourself here?

70 Simple Rules For Sensational Service

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Flavio Martins' book, Win The Customer, teaches you 70 simple rules for sensational service. "These can be used as a top-down resource in organizations looking to develop or enhance a service culture," explains Martins. "They can also be used as a resource for individuals who want to transform the way service is handled from the ground up, even when lacking the full commitment and support from organization-wide training and change efforts."

To deliver sensational customer service, you need to have the right culture. Martin says that the right culture:
Inspires -- Culture isn't a mission statement; it's a statement of action.Fosters -- When united in a common goal, people contribute to an environment where everybody willingly comes to work each day and pours their best efforts into doing what they believe will make the greatest difference.Transforms -- When working toward a higher purpose, the right culture has a real, positive effect on the work that is …

Today's Leadership Thought

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"A man should never be ashamed to say he has been wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday." -- Alexander Pope

How To Be An Active Listener

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Today's leadership tip on how to be an active listener comes from the book, Stronger. The authors explain that perhaps the best single technique to convey effective listening requires you to be an active listener.
When someone has finished making a point, use that person's name and then paraphrase in your words the essence of what you understood that person to say. Then ask a follow-question. Frame your question to keep the focus on the person speaking.

One Minute Mentoring

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Fortunately, I've benefited from having great mentors throughout my career. And, I've have the honor and good fortune to be a mentor, both formally and informally, for various individuals the past few decades.

Mentoring is powerful. Both being a mentor. And, being mentored. That's why I became an instant fan of the book, One Minute Mentoring: How to Find and Work With a Mentor -- and Why You'll Benefit from Being One.

The book presents a fictional parable about the power of finding, or being, a mentor. In what is about a one- to two-hour read, you'll gain knowledge and easy-to-use tools for how to find and leverage mentoring relationships.



Ken Blanchard
You'll also learn why developing effective communication and relationships across generations through mentoring can be a tremendous opportunity for companies and individuals alike.

Bestselling author, Ken Blanchard, Ph.D. teamed up with Claire Diaz-Ortiz to write One Minute Mentoring. Blanchard coauthored the le…

10 Essential Elements Of Dignity

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In their book, Millennials Who Manage, authors Chip Espinoza and Joel Schwarzbart, quote Donna Hicks's explanation about how dignity is different from respect. Dignity is different from respect in that it is not based on how people perform, what they can do for us, or their likability. Dignity is a feeling of inherent value and worth.Therefore, Espinoza and Schwarzbart recommend that leaders treat those they are leading with dignity and follow Hick's 10 Essential Elements of Dignity: Acceptance of Identity - Approach people as being neither inferior nor superior to you. Assume that others have integrity.

Inclusion - Make others feel that they belong, whatever the relationship.

Safety - Put people at ease at two levels: physically, so they feel safe from bodily harm, and psychologically, so they feel safe from being humiliated.

Acknowledgment - Give people your full attention by listening, hearing, validating, and responding to their concerns, feelings, and experiences.

Recognition -…

How To Lead Breakthrough Change Against All Odds

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David S. Pottruck's book, Stacking the Deck, teaches readers a nine-step course of action leaders can follow from the first realization that change is needed through all the steps of implementation, including assembling the right team of close advisors and getting the word out to the wider group.
This book tells the in-the-trenches stories of individuals who led bold, sweeping change. Stories that walk you through the social and emotional reality of leading others -- many of whom are fearful of change.
Stories from eBay President and CEO John Donahoe; Wells Fargo former CEO and Chairman Dick Kovacevich; Starbucks Chairman, President and CEO Howard Schultz; San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer; and Pinkberry CEO Ron Graves.
Part one of the book outlines the Stacking the Deck process -- the nine steps through which nearly every breakthrough change inevitably goes: Establishing the need to change and creating a sense of urgency.Recruiting and unifying your inner team.Develop…

How To Cultivate Enduring Customer Loyatly

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"Today's customers demand something unlike anything they have ever wanted in the past -- a connection with your business," explains Noah Fleming, author of the must-read bookEvergreen. "This means that in order to increase customer loyalty, you need to create a relationship with that customer on a deeper and much more profound level," adds Fleming.

And, to do this, you need to think in an entirely new way (at times even counter intuitively) about your market, your customers and your marketing offers.

Noah Fleming
Fortunately, in Fleming's timely and intensively relevant book, he shows you through strategies, exercises and examples what to do.

He explains why the customer is not always right.  And, why not every customer is worth keeping.

Fleming's techniques teach you how to acquire customers faster and how to create what he calls legitimate brand loyalty -- the type that helps to keep your business thriving.

One of the book's most compelling less…

How To Become A More Visionary Leader

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Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead, gives readers practical guidance and concrete techniques to help leaders become more visionary. In his book, Rob-Jan de Jong provides the developmental framework for visionary capacity, focusing on two key skills:
The ability to see change earlyThe ability to connect the dots
Rob-Jan de Jong
De Jong makes a clear distinction between the company vision and your personal vision. And, in this book, he helps you increase your personal visionary capacity for your personal leadership whether or not you are hierarchically in a senior position.

The book includes many exercises and examples, along with QR codes to access videos with additional content that can be viewed on your smartphone.

Some of de Jong's tips for how to think like a visionary and be a source of inspiration to your organization and teams include:
Deliberately break your normal, everyday patterns.Develop a set of appreciative questions aimed at discovering what is going well, …

How To Create A High-Performing Workplace 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 meetings Richardson'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 …

There Is No Shame In Asking For Help

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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 Are You Doing With Your Leadership New Year's Resolutions?

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Now that we are about half way through 2019, how are you doing with sticking with your New Year's resolutions?

If you selected some from this list below, great. And, if you need a few more to tackle during the rest of this year, find some that you know achieving will make you a better leader.
Don't micromanageDon't be a bottleneckFocus on outcomes, not minutiaeBuild trust with your colleagues before a crisis comesAssess your company's strengths and weaknesses at all timesConduct annual risk reviewsBe courageous, quick and fairTalk more about values more than rulesReward how a performance is achieved and not only the performanceConstantly challenge your team to do betterCelebrate your employees' successes, not your ownErr on the side of taking actionCommunicate clearly and oftenBe visibleEliminate the cause of a mistakeView every problem as an opportunity to growSummarize group consensus after each decision point during a meetingPraise when compliments are earnedBe …

Always Follow Through

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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.

Eight Actions To Show You Value Your Employees

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There are eight specific actions business leaders can take to show that they value their employees, according to Andrew Leigh, author of the book, Ethical Leadership -- Creating and Sustaining an Ethical Business Culture.

Those eight actions are: Attention -- Pay attention to what people say to show your interest.Listen -- Make time to hear what colleagues, peers and employees have to say to show you care.Positive Language -- Find words and phrases to show employees they're needed.  Examples are, "We couldn't have accomplished this without you," "That was really useful."Document -- Put praise in writing to increase its impact.  Make clear where the credit belongs.Micro Sessions -- Create two-way communication sessions.Visits -- Schedule visits to teams and work areas.Stories -- Share stories that highlight unusual contributions and provide your personal response to them.Invite -- Ask people to contact you directly with their issues and concerns -- not to by…