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Showing posts from July, 2020

The Art Of Being Indispensable At Work

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Today brings author Bruce Tulgan’s latest book, The Art of Being Indispensable at Work. It’s all about how to win influence, beat overcommitment, and get the right things done in your workplace.Tulgan says that what truly sets “go-to people” apart is how they think and what they do, including:They understand the peculiar mathematics of real influence – doing the right thing for the long term.They lead from wherever they are – going vertically before going sideways (or diagonally).They know when to say no and how to say yes.They work smart – creating checklists, step-by-step instructions, and professionalizing everything they do.They finish what they start.They get better and better at working together.They promote “go-to-ism” – finding other indispensable people throughout the organization and building new go-to people whenever there’s a chance to do so.Other characteristics of indispensable people, are:Maintaining a positive attitude Doubling down on hard workTaking personal responsi…

How To Communicate Effectively In Eight Seconds

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According to a Microsoft study a few years ago, the average attention span for us ever-scattered humans is now shorter that a goldfish's; eight seconds. So, how do you stand out? How do you communicate effectively? How do you not waste time?


Paul Hellman answers these questions and gives you 100 fast and actionable tactics to make your eights seconds meaningful. It's all in his book, You've Got 00:00:08 Seconds.

He teaches you three key ingredients:
Focus: How to say less with more meaning.Variety: How to stand out as slightly different.Presence. How to be notable and boost your reputation.
Paul Hellman
His tactics will serve you well in all these types of situations:
Making presentationsInterviewingEmailingNetworkingStorytellingLeaving voice mailHere are some of my favorite takeaways from Hellman's book: In one-to-one conversations, talk less than the other person. Ask at least one thought-provoking question per conversation.In meetings, speak in 30-60 second bites. Provide …

Delighting Customers And Team Daily Standups

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My two favorite learnings from Stephen Denning’s book, The Age of Agile: How Smart Companies Are Transforming theWay Work Gets Done, are the following:
First, where Denning explains the 10 elements of an organization/company that is passionate about, and driven by, the goal of delighting customers. Those elements are: There is a shared goal of delighting the customer. Top management takes responsibility for ensuring enthusiasm for delighting the customer throughout the organization.The firm aspires to be the best at what it does.Everyone in the organization has a clear line to the customer.The firm ensures it has accurate and thorough knowledge of the customer.Staff members are empowered to make decisions.The firm’s structure changes with the marketplace.Relationships are interactive, vertically, horizontally, internally, and externally.Back-office functions are aligned to serve the customer.Value for customers must be monetizable for the organization.The second learning is what Denning …

How To Give Praise

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Entrepreneur magazine's February 2012 issue offered these great, timeless tips on how to give praise:
Praise followed by criticism is not praise.Praise followed by praise is probably a little too much praise.Ending an expression of praise with "...and stuff" nullifies the praise.And,
Make it timely. The closer the recognition is to the behavior, the more likely the behavior will be repeated.Be sincere. Be impromptu. Remember, a handwritten note is worth more than a gift card.Having trouble writing your handwritten note of praise? Try this template to get you started:
_______, I couldn't be more impressed with how you______.  Not only did you____, but you_______.  Beautiful. Thanks, ________

The 12 Characteristics Of Most Effective Team Leaders

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Author Melissa Greenwell interviewed many top business executives while doing research for her book, Money on the Table. When she asked them to list characteristics of their best leaders, those who work well as a team, collaborative was almost always first and foremost.

The full list is:
CollaborativeGood listenerAsks thorough questions and seeks new information or is curious and innovativeRisk takeSense of urgency or takes actionSubject matter expertsNot afraid to challengeParticipatoryIntuitiveWants or seeks feedbackEmpatheticRespectful

The 7 Secrets Of Responsive Leadership

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“Responsive leaders are very focused on the people – the humanity – within the opportunity,” explains Jackie Jenkins-Scott, in her book, The 7 Secrets of Responsive Leadership.
She writes about how to drive change, manage transitions, and help any organization turn around. And, she reflects heavily on her personal leadership journey, which included transforming a major urban healthcare center and a college from struggling and failing organizations to thriving, international leaders in their respective fields.
Jenkins-Scott believes that the strongest leaders have these characteristics: Curiosity: A desire to continuously learn, discover, and grow intellectually.Humility: A sincere regard for the reality that we cannot go it alone.Empathy: The ability to feel and appreciate other human beings.Resilience: The capacity to recover, to keep going forward in the face of adversity.
Jackie Jenkins-Scott
One of my favorite parts of the book is Jenkins-Scott’s observations about how to remove barrie…

Tools And Tactics For Achieving Optimum Alignment In Your Organization

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I run a lot. And, running coaches, trainers and books all stress the importance of alignment. Muscle imbalances and misalignment in the body decreases running efficiency and leads to injuries.

That's why the premise of the book, Total Alignment, makes perfect sense to me. As the authors stress, only when you have total alignment in your organization can you achieve maximum results.

Unfortunately, most organizations have a vision and a mission statement, but few know how to align everyone in the organization around that vision to achieve results. Even fewer measure and reward alignment.

"This book is for leaders and managers in organizations of all sizes," explain authors Riaz and Linda Khadem. "The book will show you how to release the power of alignment, how to create unified action, and channel everyone's energy in the same direction,"

With each of the book's 14 chapters, readers are are presented with a fictional case study based on the authors' expe…

How To Make The Most Of Your First Years Of Your Professional Life

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A lot has happened since 1997 when Robert L. Dilenschneider wrote, The Critical First Years of your Professional Life. That's why are few years ago he released a new edition of his best-seller. "The book contains all the lessons you'll need to learn about functioning at work," explains Dilenschneider.  His lessons are based on his four decades of experience in the work world, along with research and dozens of interviews with business experts.
The lastest edition of the book is particularly relevant today, because, shares Dilenscheider: Not knowing the ropes puts you at a competitive disadvantage.Times have changed, and there are fewer people in today's workplace willing to help you understand how the world of work operations.Lessons in the book include: You and Your BossesWorking the GrapevineNetworkingMaking Allies of Your EldersImageHaving Influence at Any LevelYour Work and Your Personal LifeAfter a SetbackMentorsFormer Chariman and CEO of Lockhead Martin Corporat…

How To Master The Most Important Skill For Success

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That most important skill is the skill of asking for help, according to new research that author Dr. Wayne Baker highlights in his book, All You Have To Do Is Ask. “Those who give themselves permission to ask and then ask effectively for help, move faster, achieve better results, and get more recognition for excellence,” explains Baker. He adds that people who make strategic asks (asking for things you need to succeed) can cultivate breakthroughs, solve problems, share knowledge, and bridge organizational silos. Baker recommends you make your strategic asks SMARTSpecific – details trigger people’s memory of what and who they know, and how they can help;Meaningful – conveys why the request is important to you, motivates others to respond;Action-Oriented – a call-to-action to achieve your goal;Realistic – request must be strategically sound, feasible;Time-Bound – every request should have a due date.Typical good, strategic asks include asking for:AdviceMentorshipInformationMaterialsRe…

How To Become The Person Others Follow

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Yes, it will take you some time to read Joshua Spodek's book, Leadership Step by Step. Yes, it will be a little like doing "homework." Yes, this is a book you'll read and likely need to revisit a few times for the concepts to fully sink in. Yes, this is a book you must read if you want to become the person others will follow.

The time and effort you put into, Leadership Step by Step, will be well worth it!

Spodek guides you through what to do and how to do it in an integrated and comprehensive progression of exercises designed to cultivate key abilities, behaviors, and beliefs through experiences.

The progression contains four units:
Understanding YourselfLeading YourselfUnderstanding OthersLeading OthersEach chapter within the four units provides you: Hands-on ExercisesReflection QuestionsPost-Exercise Observations"By the time you finish the book, you'll have competed 22 exercises." explains Spodek, who is an Adjunct Professor at NUY and a lecturer for Colu…

How To Overcome Organizational Drag Within Your Company

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The average company loses more than 25 percent of its productive power to organization drag, reports the authors of the book, Time, Talent, Energy: Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team's Productive Power.

Organizational drag is all the practices, procedures, and structures that waste time and limit output.


Michael Mankins
Authors Michael Mankins and Eric Garton demonstrate in the book through in-depth examples how the best companies manage their people's time, talent, and energy with as much discipline as they do their financial capital to breakthrough organizational drag.

Eric Garton
Unfortunately, organizational drag and complexity are the normal consequences of growth. Mankins and Garton explain that, "As organizations expand, they add new products, serve new customer segments, and enter new geographic markets. With each of these changes, the company becomes more complicated. Left unchecked, organizational drag slows decision-making, increases costs, and becom…

How To Create A High-Performance 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 meetingsRichardson'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 is…

Your New Leader 100-Day Action Plan

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There are seven major onboarding land mines that you are likely to come across as a new leader and there are specific points in the first 100 days where you are most likely to encounter them, explain authors: George Brant Jayme A. Check Jorge Pedraza ...in their third edition of, The New Leader's 100-Day Action Plan.
Ill-prepared, without a plan, and lacking proper onboarding, the land mines will get you.  And, if you miss one or more of the critical tasks that must be accomplished in your first 100 days, you'll likely fail.
The book is packed with: Examples and case studies Action plans Tools, techniques and tricks of the trade The authors also explain why you need to start even before your official first day on the job. For example: Cultural engagement is extremely important in a successful transition; and it is essential that you know what your cultural engagement plan will be before walking in the door for Day One. A new leader's role begins as soon as you are an acknowledged cand…

The Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life

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Add to your to-read list Tom Rath's book, Are You Fully Charged?

The book draws on the latest and most practical research from business and psychology and identifies the three keys that influence most of our daily well-being, as well as our engagement at work:
Meaning: doing something that benefits another personInteractions: creating far more positive than negative momentsEnergy: making choices that improve your mental and physical health"This book will challenge you to stop pursing happiness and start creating meaning instead," explains Rath. And, by doing so, you will rethink your daily interactions with the people who matter most.
"The actions you take throughout every single day accumulate to shape your years, decades and overall life," adds Rath. 
Even brief interactions count, says Rath, such as exchanging a smile or greeting while passing someone on the street. Those moments/interactions give your days a positive or negative charge. And, if you look at mome…

The Best Six Open-Ended Questions To Ask Your Direct Reports

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To help you bring out the best in your team, you need to get close and understand their skills, abilities, and motivations. So, the authors of the book, Your First Leadership Job, recommend you hold getting-to-know-you conversations with each of your direct reports.

Ask these open-ended questions. Let each team member know the purpose of the meeting in advance. And, don't cheat by adding in work-specific questions.
What do you enjoy doing most as part of your work? Why?What do you  miss most about the jobs you've had in the past? Why?What things about your current job do you enjoy the least? Why?How do you cope with or relieve stress?To help you do your job, what could I change about: Your work environment? The content of your work? How you get your work done?What form of recognition do you prefer or not prefer?

Looking Back: Best New Leadership Book Of 2016

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Flashback to 2016...

After reading nearly 30 new books about leadership this past year, my pick for 2016's best new leadership book is, Mastering the Challenges of Leading Change, by H. James Dallas. Technically, the book came out in the fall of 2015, but gained its popularity and momentum in 2016, hence my selection as my 2016 pick.


Virtually every business is undergoing change. And, one of the most difficult things for a leader to do is to successfully lead a change initiative. And, change is what most employees fear most. That's why, says Brown that on average nearly 75 percent of change initiatives fail. What's more...

When the rate of external change exceeds the rate of internal change, the end is in sight.
Fortunately, Brown has written what I consider to be one of the most straight-forward, practical and timely books on how to lead a transition through change effectively.

H. James Dallas

More specifically, Brown covers much more than tasks, timing and technologies. He als…

7 Ways 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…

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 legenda…

Effective Communication Begins With These 12 Golden Rules

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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 …

4 Ways To Be A Humble Leader

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From John Blakey's book, The Trusted Executive, here are these four tips from Jim Collins for how to be a humble leader:
Demonstrate a compelling modesty, shunning public adulation and never be boastful.Act with quiet, calm determination and motivate others through inspired standards, not inspiring charisma.Channel ambition into the company, not the self, and set up successors for even more greatness in the next generation.Look in the mirror, not out of the window, when apportioning responsibility for poor performance.

An Inspirational Maxim For Leaders

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I heard this advice quoted awhile back and wanted to share it. It's from William Arthur Ward, one of America's most quoted writers of inspirational maxims:
Do more than belong: participate.Do more than care: help.Do more than believe: practice.Do more than be fair: be kind.Do more than forgive: forget.Do more than dream: work.