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Showing posts from July, 2019

Fit At Last Book Author Insights

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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

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“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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
Particularly helpful to me were the SHIFT guides at…

50 Leadership Tips In 132 Pages

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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

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“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

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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

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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…

The Secret Science Of Brilliant Leadership

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Coherence: The Secret Science of Brilliant Leadership is the book by author Dr. Alan Watkins.

Trained as a medical doctor, Watkins became an honorary senior lecturer in neuroscience and psychological medicine at Imperial College, London and an affiliate professor of leadership at the European School of Management, London.
According to Watkins, coherence is the biological state achieved when elite performers experience maximum efficiency and super effectiveness, where body and mind are one.Coherence provides one of the most unique approaches to showing leaders how to be "younger,"smarter, healthier and happier -- which gives them the power to make decisions under pressure and achieve sustainable success.

Prepare to spend quality time reading Coherence. It's not light reading.  Kind of feels like a medical text book in parts.  But, it's worth your commitment to it.


I particularly found useful Watkin's discussion on culture, where he wrote:
Culture is the collective a…

What Your Mission Statement Must Include

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A lot of companies struggle when creating their mission statement.

Author Peter F. Drucker provides the following good advice in one of my favorite book's of his, The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization:

Every mission statement has to reflect three things:
OpportunitiesCompetenceCommitment In other words, he explains:
What is our purpose?Why do we do what we do?What, in the end, do we want to be remembered for? How well does your mission statement meet Drucker's recommended three requirements?

How To Recruit 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 Be A Level 5 Leader

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Author and leadership expert Jim Collins defines Level 5 leaders as those who: Pursue goals with the ferocity of lions while displaying the humility of lambs.According to Collins, who has studied leadership for more than 25 years, this level of leader is a rare breed. This is a leader who: Bestows credit generously Shoulders blame responsibility Puts organization before self

How To Win More Business

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“Business development is the craft of finding the right prospect and then designing the perfect buying experience for that prospect,” explains Mo Bunnell, the author of, The Snowball System: How to Win More Business and Turn Clients into Raving Fans.
Whether you are new to sales or a sales veteran, this book is a must-read. It’s practical, concise and clear. It teaches you how to influence others in an authentic, helpful way – using a program and process that you can begin using today. And one that you’ll learn to enjoy.
The book’s 10 chapters cover these primary topics: Building relationships with potential clientsTargeting your ideal clients and positioning yourself to winGetting people to like you (authentically)Turning prospects into clientsTurning leads into clientsClosing a salePlanning for long-term success with clientsCreating momentum in teams
Some of my favorite takeaways from the book are: Nothing will have a more dramatic impact on your business and career than a thoughtful…