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Showing posts from 2020

Words To Live By

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Today's leadership thought is John Wesley's Rule:Do all the good you can,By all the means you can,In all the ways you can,In all the places you can,At all the times you can,To all the people you can,As long as you ever can.

How To Recruit Rockstars

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"Ninety percent of business problems are actually recruiting problems in disguise," declares Jeff Hyman, author of the book, Recruit Rockstars: The 10 Step Playbook To Find The Winners And Ignite Your Business.Hyman, who has recruited more than 3,000 people during his career, also explains that "nothing will accelerate the growth of your company faster than a commitment to placing Rockstars in every role at every level."

As you read the book, you'll discover Hyman's 10-step method for landing the very best talent. Progressing through the book chapters you'll learn how to:
Prepare for RockstarsRecruit only RockstarsGrow your RockstarsKeep in mind, however, that a Rockstar at one company isn't necessarily one at another. Rockstars are Rockstars because they are a fit in terms of both competencies and DNA characteristics.
And, the three things Rockstars prize most are: A challenging environment that allows for their best workProfessional and personal life …

What 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 helpi…

Three Ways 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 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

Why Your Customer Cares About Your Credibility

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Today’s valuable tip to remember, from the book, Unlimited Sales Success, is that: Your credibility with the customer is more important than any other factor. The more the customer trusts you and believes you, the lower the customer’s fear of making a buying mistake. The more the customer trusts you, the easier it is for that customer to buy from you. In fact, when your credibility level is high enough, the customer will often buy from you and not even ask the price.

Leadership Lesson: Self-Respect And Decision Making

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Here is a terrific leadership lesson from the book, 1001 Ways To Energize Employees:“Nothing creates more self-respect among employees than being included in the process of making decisions” – Judith M. Bardwich – The Plateauing Trap

The Five Most Important Questions For Nonprofit Leaders

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If you lead a nonprofit organization, the one hour it will take you to read Peter F. Drucker's book called, The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization, will be well worth it.This book may fundamentally change the way you work and lead your organization.

Perhaps one of most challenging questions Drucker asks the reader is:

"Do we produce results that are sufficiently outstanding for us to justify putting our resources in this area?

Because, Drucker argues that need alone does not justify continuing.  Nor does tradition, if your results are not sufficiently outstanding.

If you volunteer for a nonprofit or are seeking employment at a nonprofit, this book is also an insightful and inspiring read.


How To Be A Discerning Leader

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“Being a discerning leader isn’t about making a good decision, but rather about forming the habit of making good decision after good decision,” explains Mike Thompson, author of the book, The Anywhere Leader. Thompson goes on to share that to become a discerning leader, you need to immerse yourself in a constant state of evaluation. It means continuously gathering and analyzing information, seeking various points of view, and scanning the horizon for coming shifts. Because these leaders never view their decisions as static, they aren’t consumed by trying to make the perfect call. They can confidently move forward, knowing that they can, and will, make adjustments as they go. Furthermore, Thompson recommends you keep these four points in mind as you strive to make good and effective choices: Make decisions that don’t compromise your core values.Adjust your leadership behaviors to make good decisions for a given situation.Make decisions in favor of the collective group.Approach your dec…

Leadership Lessons From The Seven Arts Of Change

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The Seven Arts Of Change book by David Shaner is all about leading business transformation that lasts. It’s well worth your read. Some of my favorite leadership lesson takeaways include: Personal Progress: Most leaders miss the fact that every employee possesses a latent willingness to change. Leaders often ignore the fact that personal progress is one of our strongest human desires. Your job as the leader is to connect the new business need with an opportunity for personal progress. Compassion: We all willingly follow and model a leader who makes an effort to truly understand us. That is because such leaders exude compassion. Change: There is no other more compassionate activity than listening and then responding in a way that demonstrates genuine understanding. There is so much power in this small act because it can immediately establish trust and diffuse the negative energy exuding from individuals at the outset of change. Listening: Organizations that evidence compassion listen to…

More Great Leadership Lessons From The 5 Levels Of Leadership

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Take the time to read John C. Maxwell’s book, The 5 Levels of Leadership. It’s one of my favorite and most useful books about leadership. Some of the real gems from the book are: A leader’s job is not to know everything but to attract people who know things that he or she does not. When people feel liked, cared for, included, valued, and trusted, they begin to work together with their leader and each other. To be an effective leader, you must learn to not only get a lot done, but to get a lot of the right things done. That means understanding how to prioritize time, tasks, resources, and even people. The highest level leaders (Level 5) are measured by the caliber of leaders they develop, not the caliber of their own leadership. The first step in developing leaders is to have a desire to develop people so they can succeed without you. And finally, the book shares these great coaching tips from former basketball player and coach, John Wooden: Explanation Tell them what you want them t…

Elements And Definitions For Creating Your Organization’s Strategic Framework

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As you create your strategic framework for your organization or business, keep in mind these eight elements and corresponding definitions, courtesy of the AMA Business Book Camp book:Element & DefinitionVision – What we will beMission – Why we existGoals – What will get us thereObjectives – Major steps we will takeStrategies – How we will go about achieving our objectivesTactics – Who will do what, by whenRoles – Ownership of tasksRelationships – People working toward a common goal

How To Be A Better Boss

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Heed this advice from Julian Birkinshaw, author of the book, Becoming A Better Boss, on how to be a better leader.Strive to answer “Yes” to these three questions: Do you invest your time in things that help others to succeed?Do you invest in projects that will help the company in the long run, even if you won’t be around to get any credit for their success?Are you prepared to try out a new way of working that may fail, even if you risk looking foolish?

How To Achieve Fearless Innovation

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Alex Goryachev’s latest book teaches you how to go beyond the buzzword of innovation to continuously drive growth, improve your bottom line and enact change. The book is, Fearless Innovation.It’s a down-to-earth guide that provides advice and actionable steps on how to: Get teams to embrace innovation beyond empty slogans.Focus on execution of innovation to showcase ROI.Break down organization silos by empowering effective, diverse, and inclusive teams.Communicate the value of innovation.“Innovation isn’t a thing, it’s a mindset and attitude made up of clear principles that help individuals, organizations, and societies adapt to change, survive and grow, and prosper,” explains Goryachev. “Innovation is more art than science, but its principles can easily be put into practice.”

Alex Goryachev
Goryachev recommends you continually: Pay attention to current social, economic, and technological transformations that may be affecting your organization and understand their implications.And, he sug…

Use Storytelling During These Eight Times

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"Stories strengthen communications and presence for leaders," explains Kristi Hedges, author of the book, The Power of Presence.She recommends you consider adding stories to your communications when you:
Want to motivate others and paint a picture of what's possible.Need to show others -- whether a large audience or one person -- that you have shared commonalities.Are trying to deliver difficult news and want to show empathy.Are facing adversity in the present that relates to a situation you've experienced before.Are interviewing for a job and want to demonstrate your ability to adapt, learn, and overcome challenges.Are in a new position and would like to show others your approach and values.Want to show clients or colleagues that you've been in their shoes.Want to encourage another person to tackle something difficult.Thank you to the book's publisher for sending me a copy of the book.

How Great Leaders Think

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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’t brin…

How To Encourage Your Team To Provide 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?Thank you to the book's publisher for sending me a copy of the book.

Finding The Truth In The Middle

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If you're a parent of two children you already know that when the two are fighting and child #1 tells you what happened, you then ask child #2 what happened, and most often the truth is somewhere in the middle of what the two children have told you.Surprisingly, many managers, even when they are parents, don't use this parenting "discovery" skill in the workplace. Instead, they often listen to only one side of a situation. Whether it is because of lack of interest or lack of time, they don't proactively seek out the other side of the story.

The unfortunate result is those managers form incorrect perceptions that can often lead to poor decisions and/or directives.

So, the next time two employees are at odds, or when one department complains about another department within your organization, take the time to listen to all sides of the situation to discover the truth that's in the middle.

10 Ways 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.


Valuable Decision-Making Lessons

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As seen on Public Television, the book, Decisions, byRobert L. Dilenschneider, features vignettes on 23 individuals who made decisions that shaped the world.Each chapter offers practical thinking on how these women and men made decisions. You can use their decision-making skills as guidance at work, in your leadership role, and in your daily life.
You’ll learn decision making tips from Harry TrumanMargaret ThatcherMohammed AliRachel CarsonPablo Picasso and others who made decisions during war and peace, and in fields of science, commerce and invention.
Author Dilenschneider suggests takeaways about decision-making from each featured historical figure. Some of my favorite decision-making lessons from history and from the book include these: Own your decisions. Be responsible for them and for their implications. Do not be reactionary—that is, making decisions to spite others or because of outside pressure—but do be respectful of their effect on others.Keep your decisions in perspec…

How To Continually Improve

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Now is a good time to set some remaining goals for the rest of 2020. As you create those, add reading The School of Greatness to your "to do" list. It's a highly uplifting and motivational book on how to strive for greatness in your everyday life.Specifically, author Lewis Howes, shares his progression of a series of lessons -- eight areas that help you focus on continual improvement:
Create a vision.Turn adversity into advantage.Cultivate a champion's mindset.Develop hustle.Master your body.Practice positive habits.Build a winning team.Be of service to others.Packed with exercises, tools, tips and examples, the book makes for a perfect read at the start of the new year.

Best Reasons For Doing Employee Exit Interviews

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Don't be the guy in the picture when an employee leaves your company. Instead, conduct exit interviews and surveys.Leigh Branham explains in his book, The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave, what the most favorable conditions are for conducting the interviews and surveys.

And, if you need convincing to read the book, take a look at these 11 best reasons for listening and gathering the data when an employee leaves:
Bringing any "push-factor" root-cause reasons for leaving to the surface.Alerting the organization to specific issues to be addressed.Giving the employee a chance to vent and gain a sense of closure.Giving the employee the opportunity to provide information that may help colleagues left behind.Providing information about competitors and their practices.Comparing information given with the results of past surveys and employee data.Detecting patterns and changes by year or by quarter.Obtaining information to help improve recruiting.Possibly heading off a lawsuit.Plan…

Be The Leader You Want To Be

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“By focusing in specific ways on five key leadership elements—Purpose, Process, People, Presence, and Peace—you can increase your time, capacity, energy, and ultimately your leadership impact,” explains Amy Jen Su, author of the book  The Leader You Want To Be: Five Essential Principles for Bringing Out Your Best Self—Every Day.Su shares both Western management thinking and Eastern philosophy to provide a holistic yet hands-on approach to becoming a more effective leader with less stress and more equanimity. She draws on rich and instructive stories of clients, leaders, artists, and athletes. And, she focuses on three foundational tenets: self-care, self-awareness, and personal agency.

Most important, Su explores in depth, chapter-by-chapter the Five Ps: Purpose – Staying grounded in your passions and contributions, doing your highest and best work that has meaning and is making a difference.Process – Relying on daily practices and routines that honor your natural energy rhythms, enhanc…

My Best Boss Did This

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In their book, Rapid Realignment, authors George Labovitz and Victor Rosansky, reveal the most common responses from thousands of managers and workers when they were asked to think of the best boss they ever had, and then answer the question:"What did that person do to qualify as your best boss?"And, those most common responses were:
My best boss listened!My best boss backed me up.My best boss trusted me and respected me.My best boss gave me feedback.My best boss left me alone.What else would you add to this list?

The Future Of Work

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Jacob Morgan’s book, The Future of Work, helps you understand:  How the world of work is changing and the trends driving that change.How these changes impact the way employees work, the way managers lead, and how organizations are structured.And, what needs to be done to adapt to these changes. You’ll learn specific principles for employees, managers, and organizations for how to stay relevant and competitive in a rapidly changing world.
Morgan explains that the five primary trends shaping the future of work are: New behaviorsTechnologyMillennialsMobilityGlobalization Furthermore, future managers, explains Morgan, must: Be a leader.Follow from the front.Understand technology.Lead by example.Embrace vulnerability.Believe in sharing and collective intelligence.Challenge convention and be a fire starter.Practice real-time recognition and feedback.Be conscious of personal boundaries.Adapt to the future employee.Thank you to the book's publisher for sending me a copy of the book.

The 12 Golden Rules For Effective Communication

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Here are the 12 golden rules of effective communication from Paul Falcone, as highlighted in his book, 2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals.
Always remember to: Recognize achievements and accomplishments often.Celebrate success.Deliver bad news quickly, constructively, and in a spirit of professional development.Praise in public, censure in private.Assume responsibility for problems when things go wrong, and provide immediate praise and recognition to others when things go right.Create a work environment based on inclusiveness, welcoming others' suggestions and points of view.Listen actively, making sure that your people feel heard and understood and have a voice in terms of offering positive suggestions in the office or on the shop floor.Share information openly (to the extent possible) so that staff members understand the Why behind your reasoning and can ask appropriate questions as they continue along in their own path of career development and learning.Remember …

10 Coaching Mistakes To Avoid

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Gregg Thompson’s book, The Master Coach, reveals these 10 mistakes that you should avoid when you coach someone:  Trying to be a great coach. Instead, put your energy into helping the person become great.Working too hard. It’s your job to challenge the person to do the hard work.Not saying what needs to be said.Neglecting to ask the person how you can be most helpful.Assuming the person is a challenge to overcome or a problem to be fixed. Coaching is not a project, but rather a special relationship and conversation.Talking too much. Silence and attentive listening are some of the most powerful coaching tools.Owning the outcome. The person being coached owns both the success and the failures; you don’t.Giving excessive well-meaning advice.Steering the conversation toward the path you know is best. Instead, allow the person to find their own best path forward.Finishing without a commitment. Insist the person promises to advance their cause in some way.

Five Elements Of Setting A Goal

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The more specific you can be about your goal, the greater your level of success will be," explain authors Tom Pandola and James W. Bird, in their book, Light A Fire Under Your Business. "This is because once we have visualized something that doesn't yet exist, it causes our subconscious mind to make the decisions necessary to make that visualized goal a reality."

The authors explain that all goals must have these five elements:
Goals must clarify a specific action or outcome.Goals must be measureable by being able to quantify the benefits of achieving them.Goals should be achievable with the resources available (or at least you should know that the necessary resources are in reserve and can be acquired).Goals must also be realistic for achieving based on your particular situation.Goals must also include the time period in which you want to achieve them. With a date or time period specified for completion, planning can be established in order for evaluating the progress…

How To Fuel Your Everyday Success

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Jack H. Llewellyn, PhD is a sports psychology consultant who has helped a major league baseball pitcher become a Cy Young Award winner, A NASCAR driver go from number six overall to number one and with the Winston Cup Series Championship, and countless leaders at Fortune 500 companies. Now, he’s written the book, Commonsense Leadership: No-Nonsense Rules for Improving Your MentalGame and Increasing Your Team’s Performance.This is an excellent book for leaders at any stage in their leadership career. It’s a results-driven guidebook that teaches you how to recover quickly from adversity, thrive on stress, preform on the emotional edge, and create a motivating environment (instead of trying to motivate people).
My favorite chapter is the one titled, Winning versus Surviving. In it, Llewellyn outlines the life factors that can fuel your everyday success. Some of those factors include:
No. 1 – Winners expect to win every day. Your plan as a leader should be based on what you expect to gain i…

Six Steps To Find And Work With A Mentor

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Unleashing Your Inner Leader, by Vickie Condolff Bevenour, provides these six easy steps to help you find and work with a mentor: Step 1Find the person in your company or industry that you most respect.Step 2Ask her or him to be your mentor.Step 3Agree with this person on the time commitment for mentoring you (e.g., 30- to 60-minute meeting or phone/Zoom-style call every month).Step 4Explain to this person the goal of the mentoring relationship (e.g. “My strength is _____and I want to find more opportunities to use it in my daily work.”).Step 5Describe the top three reasons why you chose this person.Step 6Explore together what success would look like and mean to you in the next six months. Bevenour shares that, “Imagine that if you follow this plan, in five years you will have 10 people who know you and will help support you in your career. This is truly career gold.” Thank you to the book’s publisher for sending me a copy of the book.

Life And Leadership Quotes That Inspire Me

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Beyond the helpful advice from Brian Tracy within his book, Earn What You’re Really Worth, are these quotes I find inspiring: “The most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly recognize your own worth.” – Maxwell Maltz“There are risks and costs to a plan of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.” – John F. Kennedy “Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” – Napoleon Hill“We cannot do great deeds unless we’re willing to do the small things that make up the sum or greatness.” – Theodore Roosevelt “Pretend that every person you meet has a sign around her or his neck that says, ‘make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.” – Mary Kay Ash

How To Identify Hidden Leaders Within Your Company

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The book, The Hidden Leader, helps managers spot, cultivate, and keep the hidden leaders within their companies. It provides real-world examples and the specific tactics to take to identify those individuals and then nurture and encourage them. Hidden leaders are distinguished by four key facets of character and behavior:Integrity, demonstrated consistently, even in difficult situations.A priority on leading through authentic relationships.Focusing on achieving results rather than completing tasks.Remaining highly customer purposed. Read this book to hone your skills on how to find the hidden leaders within your company regardless of their position or title. Thank you to the book’s publisher for sending me a copy of the book.

The Three Box Solution For Leading Innovation

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Vijay Govindarajan’s book, The Three Box Solution, is all about how to:Box 1 – Manage your present core business at peak efficiency and profitability.Box 2 – Escape the traps of the past by identifying and divesting business and abandoning practices, ideas, and attitudes that have lost relevance in a changed environment.Box 3 – Generate breakthrough ideas and convert them into new products and businesses.And, as leaders, he recommends that you ensure your organization does now fall into any of these three traps:The Complacency Trap – where current success conditions a business to suppose that securing the future requires nothing more than repeating what it did to succeed in the past.The Cannibalization Trap – that persuades leaders that new business models based on nonlinear ideas will jeopardize your company’s present prosperity. In other words, don’t protect your present core business by resisting ideas that don’t conform to models of the past.The Competency Trap – which arises when…

Today's Leadership And Business Quote

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“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” -- Michelangelo

Listen To Your Front Line Team Members

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“What you hear depends on whom you listen to. Leaders who are strapped to their desks and surrounded by staff people who echo their ideas can easily fall into this trap of not listening to a wide enough universe of ideas,” explains Chris Zook and James Allen, authors of the book, The Founder’s Mentality. Instead, the authors recommend that the best practice for leaders is to make sure you have access to voices from your front line. Those front-line team members are your best defense against self-deception. Fresh intelligence and dissenting ideas arise at the front line.

The Messy Middle

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Scott Belsky wrote his book, The Messy Middle, because even though the middle of a journey isn’t often typically pretty, it is illuminating and full of essential realizations to finish whatever it is you set out to start. His book guides you on how best to manage the middle of your business journey. “We love talking about the starts,” says Belsky. “We also love talking about finishes,” he adds. “However, while difficult to withstand and tempting to rush, the middle of the journey contains all the discoveries that build your capacity.” Some of my favorite takeaways for leaders from the book include: Leave every conversation with energy. As a leader you can’t always provide answers. And you shouldn’t, as the correct solution may still be premature. But what you can do is always add energy to the situation even if the ultimate resolution isn’t yet possible. Great teams are more than the assembly of great people. On the contrary, great teams are ultimately grown, not gathered. They’re mad…