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Showing posts from November, 2019

Unlocking The Customer Value Chain

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Earlier this year brought the release of the book, Unlocking The Customer Value Chain, by Thales S. Teixeira, the Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.
He shows in his book how and why consumer industries are disrupted and what established companies can do about it—while highlighting the specific strategies potential startups use to gain a competitive edge.
Among the insights revealed in the book are:  Startups do not disrupt existing markets – customers do.Customers, in effect, pay businesses with their money, time, and effort. These determine whether consumers will change their behavior or not.Most disruption in the marketplace occurs not because of new innovations in technology but as the result of new business models.  Lots of food-for-thought in this book. And, vivid insights from in-depth and exclusive accounts of both startups and reigning incumbents as they respond.

The Seven Attributes Of Meaningful Work

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There are so many good things to learn in the book, Helping People Win At Work, by Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge. Among those is the section about how to define meaningful work.

Their definition consists of these seven attributes.  Work is meaningful when it:
It is conducted in a manner that is "good and proper" in all respects.It positively affects our company and our communities, giving our work an impact that extends beyond ourselves.It provides learning and growth, offers challenges, requires creativity, pushes us to surpass limits, and creates exciting results.It provides recognition and rewards for our achievements.It allows us to succeed as a team while excelling as individuals.It allows us to enjoy the ride, bringing humor and fun into our work.It fuels passion!

When Change Is Good

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"Change is disturbing when it is done to us, exhilarating when it is done by us." - Rosabeth Moss Kanter.

How To Identify A Leader During An Interview

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The next time you are interviewing a candidate and you want to access their leadership skills, consider asking the candidate these questions: What personal qualities define you as a leader?  Describe a situation when these qualities helped you lead others.Give an example of when you demonstrated good leadership.What is the toughest group from which you've had to get cooperation?Have you ever had difficulty getting others to accept your ideas?  What was your approach?  Did it work?Describe a situation in which you had to change your leadership style to achieve the goal?One leadership skill is the ability to accommodate different views in the workplace, regardless of what they are.  What have you done to foster a wide number of views in your work environment?Thanks to Sharon Armstrong, author of The Essential HR Handbook, for these helpful questions!

Seven Things Motivated People Do To Stay Motivated

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To learn how to stay motivated, read High-Profit Prospecting, by Mark Hunter. It's a powerful read that includes counter intuitive advice and cutting-edge best practices for sales prospecting in today's business world.

Today, I share one of my favorite sections of the book where Hunter describes his seven things motivated people do to stay motivated:
Motivated people ignore voices in their lives. These might be people in the office and friends who have bad attitudes. They're out there, and if you're not careful, they'll control you, too.Motivated people associate with highly motivated people. Just as there are negative people in the world, there are also positive people. Your job is to make sure you spend as much time with the positive people as possible. Motivated people simply look for the positive in things. Positive people count it an honor to live each day, learn from others, and impact positively those they meet. Positive people take great satisfaction in hel…

How To Encourage Teams To Think Of Providing Value Beyond The Ordinary

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"It takes more than encouraging words to get a team thinking beyond the ordinary," explains Jackie Barretta, author of the book, Primal Teams.

She suggests you must help team members to redefine the purpose of their work with broader and more expansive thinking. Use certain pointed questions to guide a team toward a loftier view of their purpose.

Specifically, Barretta recommends you as the leader ask the following purpose-broadening questions to encourage the team to think of providing value beyond the ordinary:
What major contributions can our team make to the company's success?What do we do that makes our colleagues and customers happy?What does our work do to give our company a competitive advantage?What do we do that no one else can do?What legacy do we want to leave?What future possibilities excite us?What difference does our work make in the lives of others?

The Power Of Brevity

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Here is some good advice from author Scott Belsky's book, The Messy Middle: Finding your way through the hardest and most crucial part of any bold venture.
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.

Eight 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 new 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 y…

Why Culture Matters

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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. 



How To Ensure New Leaders Succeed

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It has been estimated that 40% of executives fail within the first 18 months on the job, regardless of whether they were hired from outside the company or promoted from within,” explain Dan Ciampa and David L. Dotlich, authors of the book, Transitions At The Top.
Leadership transition is more complex than many realize, affecting the company’s strategy, operating efficiency, and culture.
The key people involved with C-suite transitions have the power to ensure that the transition is successful if they understand their roles and follow the necessary steps,” add Ciampa and Dotlich. Transitions At The Top teaches these all-important players the necessary steps. More specifically, it teaches what directors, the head of human resources, and the other senior managers must do individually and collectively to best ensure the handoff from an incumbent leader to the one who will step in to replace her/him in a planned transition.
If you are wondering why the transition success rate is not bet…

Onboarding New Employees

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If you lead an organization that uses employee ID badges, considering using a different color or a special designation on the badges for newly hired employees for at least their first 30 days and ideally up to 60 days.

Imagine how welcoming it will be for your new hires when employees recognize your newly hired employees' status via their special badges and then when your longer term employees introduce themselves to the new employees in halls, on elevators, in your break room, in the parking lot and at large group meetings.

Some people call this a "hello" culture.  It's a culture that helps to quickly develop relationships.  And, it's a culture that ensures your new hires feel welcome during their critical onboarding time period.

How To Project A Professional Image

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From Jay Miletsky's book, 101 Ways to Successfully Market Yourself, here 10 tips for projecting an effective professional image:
Discipline yourself to be positive and enthusiastic.In tense situations choose positive responses by maintaining perspective and getting along well with others.Acknowledge mistakes and shortcomings and learn how to correct them.Develop a reputation for being a resourceful problems solver.Leverage your strengths and expertise to have maximum impact on the decisions you make.Be organized, efficient, flexible, and self-motivated.Master your tasks and fully expand your area of expertise so that you can boost your output.Keep up with the latest developments in your company and in your field.Cultivate unique talents that give you a definite edge.Gain visibility by taking the kind of action that will propel you into the right sights of management personnel.

How To Drive Engagement

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"The challenge for the organizational architect is to systematically create the blueprint for an organization that consciously connects everything to purpose," explains author  Clive Wilson, in his book, Designing the Purposeful Organization. "The product of doing this are measurable results and, importantly, a felt sense of success.

Wilson's book is packed with case studies and activities that help you put to practice in your organization the learnings from the book.

Clive Wilson
My favorite part of the book is the "10 Questions on Engagement," that all start out with, To what extent... ...does your organization facilitate opportunities for engagement within and between all stakeholder groups, so that they may share perspectives, learn and grow together in support of the organization's purpose?...do people come together to examine the way things are done, criticize processes and behaviors with a view to evolving a shared best practice?...is attention …

16 Ways To Build Trust

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You can't lead if your employees, team or followers don't trust you.

Building trust takes energy, effort and constant attention to how you act.

To help build trust, follow these 16 tips, recommended by author Susan H. Shearouse:
Be honestKeep commitments and keep your wordAvoid surprisesBe consistent with your moodBe your bestDemonstrate respectListenCommunicateSpeak with a positive intentAdmit mistakesBe willing to hear feedbackMaintain confidencesGet to know othersPractice empathySeek input from othersSay "thank you"