Posts

Showing posts from July, 2019

Brian Tracy On How All Motivation Is Self-Motivation

Image
Take one hour to read Brian Tracy's pocket-sized guide for managers, Motivation. You'll finish the book within that hour, and it'll be well worth your time.

"You cannot motivate other people," explains Tracy, "but you can remove the obstacles that stop them from motivating themselves. All motivation is self-motivation. As a manager, you can create an environment where this potential for self-motivation is released naturally and spontaneously."

In his book, Tracy presents chapter-by-chapter his 21 most reliable and powerful methods for increasing the effectiveness of any individual or group.

Each chapter includes a couple different action exercises.

Toward the end of the book, Tracy explains the importance of the Friendship Factor in motivating employees.  "Every manager can tap into the power of friendship in everyday employee interactions by remembering the three Cs:  Consideration, Caring and Courtesy.
Practice consideration by expressing an inte…

Genuine Listening

Image
Genuine listening involves connecting heart to heart and working to understand the other person's viewpoint even if you don't agree with it -- Dr. Rodger Dean Duncan

Why Culture Matters

Image
An important chapter in the incredibly insightful book, It’s The Manager, is about why culture in the workplace matters.
The book’s authors Jim Clifton and Jim Harter suggest as a leader you ask yourself: How well do your purpose, brand and culture align?How clear is your purpose to employees and customers?Are your employees committed to your culture? 
Equally important, if you see any of the following warnings signs, your culture may be broken: The inability to attract world-class talent.Difficulty maximizing organic growth based on customer-employee interactions.Leadership initiatives that don’t go anywhere.Lack of agility in responding to customer needs.Loss of best performers to top brands. 

The Three Drivers Of Motivation

Image
Julian Birkinshaw shares the three drivers of discretionary effort (motivation) from employees in his new book, Becoming a Better Boss:
Material drivers, including salary, bonuses, promotion, and prizesSocial drivers, including recognition for achievement, status, and having good colleaguesPersonal drivers, including freedom to act, the opportunity to build expertise, and working for a worthwhile cause Take a moment now to reflect on where your business excels and where it falls short.

Six Ways To Prepare For Your Next Speaking Presentation

Image
Author John Baldoni suggests you consider the following six things before making your next speaking presentation:
How will you open your presentation on a high note?Where might you pause for emphasis?How can you make time to rehearse your presentation?What are the high notes?  What are your points of emphasis?What points might you emphasize with a pause?How will you close your presentation?  Will you tell a story? Or, will you issue a call to action? Baldoni offers many other tips in his book, The Leaders's Guide to Speaking with Presence.

What Makes Great And Successful Managers And Leaders

Image
Two important chapters in the incredibly insightful book, It’s The Manager, outline the five traits of great managers, and the seven expectations that are necessary for being a successful leader.
Five Traits of Great Managers Motivation – Inspiring teams to get exceptional work done.Workstyle – Setting goals and arranging resources for the team to excel.Initiation – Influencing others to act; pushing through adversity and resistance.Collaboration – Building committed teams with deep bonds.Thought Process – Taking an analytical approach to strategy and decision-making.
Seven Expectations Necessary to be a Successful Leader Build relationships – Create partnerships, build trust, share ideas and accomplish work.Develop people – Help others become more effective through strengths, expectations and coaching.Lead change – Embrace change and set goals that align with a stated vision.Inspire others – Encourage others through positivity, vision, confidence, challenges and recognition.Think criti…

Mission Versus Vision

Image
Here's a good definition of the difference between a mission and a vision by leadership book authors George Bradt, Jayme A. Check and Jorge Pedraza:
Mission - A mission guides what people do every day.  It informs what roles need to exist in the organization.Vision - A vision is the picture of future success.  It helps define areas where the organization needs to be best in class and helps keep everyone aware of the essence of the company.

Admit Your Mistakes

Image
We all make mistakes.

Yes, even leaders make mistakes.

When you do, admit to them and apologize for the negative consequences they have caused your team members, vendors, or customers.

Your ability to admit to a mistake will gain you the respect of your employees.

The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell

Image
Paul Smith’s three books on storytelling are must-reads for business leaders, salespeople and parents. And, his latest book, The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell, is yet another required read for leaders – managers, CEOs and team leaders.
Every great leader is a great storyteller. And, the first and most important part of being a great storyteller is knowing what stories to tell,” explains Paul. In fact, “What stories you tell is more important than how you tell them,” he adds.
Part of an innovative book format from IgniteReads, Paul’s new book features a bold design and expertly guides you through the 10 stories leaders need to master. You can read this book in an hour or less. However, plan to spend additional quality time crafting and practicing your versions of the 10 stories you’ll tell.
Paul teaches you the importance of these 10 story categories, describes an example story for each, and provides you tips to help you craft your own compelling story for each category: A Founding St…

Leadership Advice From How Great Leaders Think

Image
Here is some good advice from Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal, authors of the book, How Great Leaders Think:
Good thinking is the starting point for good leadership.
Leaders who can reframe—look at the same thing from multiple perspectives—think better. They create a lucid portrait of what’s going on around them and have a clearer vision of what’s needed to achieve desired results. Also, reframing involves shifting frames when circumstances change.
Leaders can see and do more when they know how to negotiate four key areas of the leadership terrain: structural, human resource, political, and symbolic.
Great structural leaders: Do their homework.Insist on clear goals.Rethink the relationship of structure, strategy, and environment.Focus on detail and implementation.Experiment. 
A designated leader is no guarantee that a team will be well led. An effective team requires leadership that aligns the group’s structure with the group’s tasks and circumstances. If the official leader doesn’…

Decision-Making Tactics

Image
These eight decision-making tactics from David Lahey’s book, PredictingSuccess, are helpful to me and hopefully useful to you as well: Deep breathing, to clear your mind.Researching, to feel confident that you have all the information in front of you.Listing your options, in either verbal or written form, to keep the whole picture front of mind.Following through on the possible outcomes, complete with likely predictions and acknowledgement of whether they’re negative or positive (or design yourself a decision tree, that lays out every possible consequence visually).Testing your intuition, by imagining a committed decision and then gauging the corresponding feeling it inspires in your gut.Taking the time you need, so long as it doesn’t become an overly indulgent distraction.Evaluating your decision, an after-the-fact exercise that engages a conscious inventory of the lessons learned.Coming to terms with your pick, always cognizant of the reality that no decision is going to lead to a p…

Book Highlights From The Collaboration Imperative

Image
Here are some of my favorite takeaways from the book, The CollaborationImperative, by Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese:
Across every organization lies hidden treasure just waiting to be discovered. It’s not hiding in a budget spreadsheet of a warehouse full of inventory. It lies within your people—their ideas, their experiences, their focus, their energy. The more you empower them to share their knowledge and skills, the more successful your organization will be. From ideas come innovation and new forms of productivity.
Transparent decision making requires that all stakeholders know the answers to these three questions: Who is making the decision? Who is accountable for the outcomes of the decision? What are the consequences—positive or negative—of that accountability?
The conceptual thinker brings ideas to the table and the analytical thinker brings details that ground those ideas in reality.
“If you are not genuinely pained by the risk involved in your strategic choices, it’s not much of a str…

Fit At Last Book Author Insights

Image
The book, Fit at Last: Look and Feel Better Once and for All, co-authored by Ken Blanchard and Tim Kearin traces business author Blanchard's weight-loss journey with fitness expert Kearin, and how finally at the age of 73, Ken dropped over thirty pounds in the course of a single year.

In each chapter, Ken shares the personal ups and downs of his story, relating how anyone can use his Situational Leadership approach to determine their developmental level in each of the fitness areas outlined by Tim. From there, it can be decided what type of leadership someone needs to move to the next level.
Fit at Lastisn't strictly about fitness -- it's about commitment. Given the proper tools, anyone can move from a superficial interest in fitness to creating and maintaining long-term devotion to personal health
Tim shared more about the book with me: 
Tim Kearin
QuestionWhat was the most rewarding thing for you as you helped Ken make his impressive transformation? Tim: While several th…

The Mind Of The Leader

Image
“By understanding how their own mind works and training it for the most essential qualities, leaders can lead themselves effectively first, in order to better lead their people and tap into their human need for meaning, fulfillment and human connectedness,” explain Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter, authors of the book, The Mind Of The Leader.
Their book is based on extensive research, including assessments of more than 35,000 leaders and interviews with 250 C-level executives.
The authors found that three mental qualities are essential to becoming effective leaders. Leaders must be: Mindful – being present and attentive to their employees’ needs. Being focused versus distracted. Being aware versus being on autopilot.Selfless – to model cultures based on growth and learning instead of ego. Being selfless versus ego-centered. Being confident versus diffident.Compassionate – to show their employees they have their backs. Being kind versus indifferent. Being wise versus ignorant. 
The…

The Traits Of An Extreme Team

Image
Extreme Teams is a fascinating book by Robert Bruce Shaw, where he takes you inside top companies and examines not just great teams (your more “conventional” teams), but extreme teams.

According to Shaw, extreme teams:

View work as a calling—even an obsession.Value members’ cultural fit and ability to collectively produce results.Pursue a limited set of vital priorities—less is more.Strive to create a culture that is at once both hard and soft – simultaneously tough in driving for measurable results on a few highly visible targets and supportive of individuals to create an environment of collaboration, trust, and loyalty.Value conflict among team members—recognizing the benefit of being uncomfortable. Companies with extreme teams will go to great lengths to ensure that their extreme teams are well equipped to address not only the challenges of today, but also the challenges of the future. The central questions to ask, therefore, are:
What is it your team will be accomplishing six months…

Leaders: How To Make Extraordinary Things Happen In Organizations

Image
There is good reason why, The Leadership Challenge, book is now in its sixth addition. It expertly teaches you what to do as a leader to mobilize others to want to get extraordinary things done in your organization.
Revised to address current challenges, this sixth edition marks thirty years since the book was first published.
Embedded in The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are behaviors that can serve as the basis for becoming an exemplary leader. The authors, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, call these The Ten Commitments of Exemplary Leadership. Chapters in the book explain the conceptual principles that support each practice and prescribe specific recommendations on what you can do to make each practice and commitment your own.
The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: Model the WayInspire a Shared VisionChallenge the ProcessEnable Others to ActEncourage the Heart 
Kouzes and Posner explain that leaders who use these five practices more frequently than their counterpa…

Change-friendly Leadership

Image
Because Dr. Rodger Dean Duncan delivers so much timely, straight-forward and relevant wisdom in his book, Change-friendly Leadership, reading it is like talking with your trusted best friend. Or, listening to your favorite teacher. Or, soaking in the thoughts from your respected mentor.

That's why you'll want to spend plenty of time reading the book. Reflecting on the messages.  Absorbing the discussion,  And, then likely re-reading it. Or, at least certain sections.


Duncan demonstrates in the book how humanness, approachability, and friendliness are necessary but often overlooked elements of making change successful in an organization.

He teaches leaders the foundation for effectively engaging people's heads, hearts and hopes -- all necessary to enable effective and lasting (sustainable) change in today's constantly changing world.  Duncan refers to this as leading the whole person.

According to Duncan:
Change must accommodate people's feelings--feelings that invo…

How To Say I'm Sorry

Image
One of the most difficult words for anyone, leaders included, to say is, "sorry."

Yet, the time will likely come when that's the word you need to say.  Research shows that apologizing in a heartfelt way can help you reduce stress and alleviate guilt.

In the position of needing to apologize?  Do this:
Apologize immediately.  Say you are sorry.Take responsibility for the situation.Acknowledge the offense.Ask forgiveness with a promise that it won't happen again.Offer restitution whenever possible. And, should your apology go unaccepted, most experts say forgive yourself and move on.

Note:  Thanks to St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City, MO for this sound advice.

Today's Leadership Thought

Image
Today’s Leadership Thought
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

How To Lead With GRIT

Image
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.
Particularly helpful to me were the SHIFT guides at…

50 Leadership Tips In 132 Pages

Image
The authors of this leadership book recommend that you don't read their book cover to cover. But, if you're like me, you'll read the book that way.

That's because I found, The Little Book of Leadership Development, by Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy, a compelling read, packed with practical tips and techniques for both leading and helping others to learn how to lead effectively.
What you'll find is basically 50 one- to two-page chapters, each highlighting a leadership tip.  And, that's why the authors suggest you digest their book, finding the chapters/tips most readily useful to you. Some tips seem easy and no-brainers. Others are more difficult to implement. But, even the "easy" ones are surprisingly absent from many organizations, so they are well worth a reminder of what to do and how to do it correctly.

Here are some of my favorite parts of the book that highlight the keen observations by the authors:
As a leader, if you are active, involved, and…

How To Stay Relevant, Reinvent Yourself, And Thrive

Image
“I’ve spent almost the last 15 years researching why we are so bad at learning and what we can do about it,” states Bradley R. Staats. And that’s primarily what prompted him to write his book, Never Stop Learning: Stay Relevant, Reinvent Yourself, and Thrive.

Further explaining, Staats says that when it comes to learning, we are our own worst enemy and we often work against ourselves: Instead of doing the things that will help us learn, we often do just the opposite. We are unwilling to take risks that might lead to failure. We obsess about outcomes while neglecting to examine carefully the process through which we achieve them. We rush to answers instead of asking questions. We look to fix irrelevant weaknesses instead of playing to our strengths. We treat learning as an individual exercise and neglect the important role played by others.We end up solving yesterday’s problems too late instead of tackling tomorrow’s problems before someone else does.  “If we can understand why we go d…

Characteristics Of A Great Vision Statement

Image
Follow this advice, from the authors (Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese) of the, Collaboration Imperative, book for how to create a great vision statement for your team (or company):  A vivid, idealized and memorable description of a desired outcome.Inspiring, energizing and helpful in creating a mental picture of your target.Based on an “outside-in” perspective—focused on evolving customer needs rather than an insular, status quo mentality.An enduring idea that galvanizes people to get behind something.Compatible with the team’s agreed-upon goals and direction.Something that every team member should be able to recite.Broad enough to be meaningful for the entire duration of the team’s existence.

52 Powerful Discoveries For Workplace Leaders

Image
Fascinating, timely, critically useful and immensely relevant is how I describe the new book released in May by Gallup. 
It’s called, It’s the Manager. And, it’s based on the largest study of its kind: 37.2 million people surveyed over 30 years through U.S. and global workplace tracking, including interviews of employees and managers from 160 counties, interviews with leading economists and roundtable interviews with CHROs (Chief Human Resource Officers) from 300 of the world’s largest organizations.
The book, authored by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter, Ph.D., both of Gallup, presents 52 powerful discoveries leaders can read and implement quickly, including: Adapt organizations and cultures to rapid change and new workplace demandsMeet the challenges of managing remote employees, a diverse workforce, gig workers and the rise of artificial intelligenceAttract, hire, onboard and retain the best employees to make your organization one of the most desired places to work for current and future…