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Showing posts from August, 2020

Five Elements Of Setting A Goal

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 evaluatin

How To Fuel Your Everyday Success

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

Six Steps To Find And Work With A Mentor

  Unleashing Your Inner Leader , by Vickie Condolff Bevenour, provides these six easy steps to help you find and work with a mentor:  Step 1 – Find the person in your company or industry that you most respect. Step 2 – Ask her or him to be your mentor. Step 3 – Agree 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 4 – Explain 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 5 – Describe the top three reasons why you chose this person. Step 6 – Explore 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

Life And Leadership Quotes That Inspire Me

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

  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

  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 e nsure 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 Compet

Today's Leadership And Business Quote

  “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

  “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

  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 gat

Six Universal Employee Desires

  According to Bob Rosen , author of the book, Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted In An Uncertain World , there are six universal desires about what employees want from work, regardless of their age:  A sense of purpose and meaning. Belief that they are making a contribution. An opportunity to use their skills and talents. An opportunity to learn and grow. A significant amount of autonomy. Respect. 

Today's Leadership Quote

One of my favorite leadership quotes from the new book, Humanocracy , by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini is: Leadership, put simply, is the ability to change things for the better. This requires courage, compassion, contrarian thinking and inclusiveness.

The Mindset Of Success

  You can progress from good management to great leadership if you have the mindset of success , according to Jo Owen , author of the book, The Mindset of Success .  Using his 14 years of research, Owen explains that the difference between good and the great is the difference between your mindset and your skill set. Far beyond having skills, mindset separates the best from the rest, and the right mindset drives the right habits, which drive the right performance.  The seven mindsets of success , and those that the great leaders and everyday heroes display to an exceptional degree are: High Aspirations – dare to dream. Courage – dare to act. Resilience – stay the course. Positive – believe in better. Collaborative – succeed through others. Accountable – control your destiny. Growth – adapt to thrive.  “Perhaps the best news about mindset is that it can be learned,” says Owen.  The Mindset of Success is a compelling, motivating, and instructional read.  Than

How To Become A Rainmaker

   How To Become A Rainmaker is a quick, instructional book that reveals the rules for getting and keeping customers and clients. Written by Jeffrey J. Fox , the handbook format provides you the best approaches to take to become a true rainmaker – one who brings clients, money, business, or even intangible prestige to an organization.  One of the real gems in the book is Fox’s The Rainmaker’s Credo , which includes:  Cherish customers at all times. Treat customers as you would your best friend. Listen to customers and decipher their needs. Make (or give) customers what they need. Teach customers to want what they need. Make your product the way customers want it. Get your product to your customers when they want it. Give your customers a little extra, more than they expect. Thank each customer sincerely and often.

Five Ways To Know If You Are A Trustworthy Leader

  You are a trustworthy leader if you answer “yes” to the following five questions, explains Bob Rosen , author of the book, Grounded: How leaders Stay Rooted In An Uncertain World : Do you keep your promises , even the small ones (instead of letting some commitments slide)? Do you guard against the “Big Boss Disease ;” that tendency to isolate yourself and cut off criticism (and do you not shoot the messenger when you get bad news?). Do you avoid hidden agendas (instead of sharing your intentions only on a “need to know” basis)? Do you discount materialistic values (instead of showing off your power, influence, money or status)? Can you make fun of yourself and admit mistakes so that others can see you as a complete person (instead of trying to keep a faultless fa├žade)?  Thank you to the book’s publisher for sending me a copy of the book.

The Six Dimensions Of Being A Healthy Leader

  In Bob Rosen’s book, Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted In An Uncertain World , he explains that there are six dimensions of being a healthy leader: Physical health : how you live. How you manage your mind and body – managing your energy and living a peak performance lifestyle. Emotional health : how you feel. This is about being self-aware and having positive emotions and the ability to be resilient, catching yourself when you have a counterproductive thought. This also includes seeking feedback from others about how you act and trying to be more reflective. Intellectual health : how you think. This is about asking questions, being deeply curious and seeing changes as an opportunity to grow, learn and reassess the way you see and talk about the world. Social health : how you interact. This is about authenticity. How do you build relationships? Are you being honest about yourself? Are you comfortable being vulnerable? Do you consider other people’s viewpoints? Vocational health

What To Ask A New Employee 30, 60 And 90 Days After They Start Their Job

In Paul Falcone ’s book, 75 Ways For Managers To Hire, Develop And Keep Great Employees , he recommends asking new employees the following questions 30, 60 and 90 days after they were hired:   30-Day One-on-One Follow-Up Questions Why do you think we selected you as an employee? What do you like about the job and the organization so far? What’s been going well? What are the highlights of your experiences so far? Why? Tell me what you don’t understand about your job and about our organization now that you’ve had a month to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Have you faced any unforeseen surprises since joining us that you weren’t expecting?   60-Day One-on-One Follow-Up Questions Do you have enough, too much or too little time to do your work? Do you have access to the appropriate tools and resources? Do you feel you have been sufficiently trained in all aspects of your job to perform at a high level? How do you see your job relating to the organization’s mis

How To Shape A Vision Of Greatness For Your Employees And Company

In Peter Block ’s book, The Empowered Manager (Second Edition) , he shares that the following values and statements can shape a vision of greatness for your employees and company. Each starts with, “We want:”  Consistency between our plans and actions. A willingness to share. To disagree without fear. Commitment to a long-term strategy. To create a safe workplace. To live our values. To have each person connected with the final product. To treat each person in a unique way. To overcome levels and hierarchy. Our people to be the business. A positive attitude, and less energy spent on bad situations. To see caring and love in all our actions. Every person to be responsible for building the business. To work as a team. Each person to have a place at the table. Each person to feel valued and respected. To provide meaningful work. Managers to exist to serve their employees. To eliminate nonproductive work. Each person to have the right to say no. Co

The Reason To Ask Why Multiple Times

Asking Why? multiple times helps you get to the root cause and helps your company to prevent undesirable results from occurring again or allows you to repeat a desirable results, explains author Michael Kallett in his book, T hink Smarter: Critical Thinking To Improve Problem-Solving And Decision-Making Skills . For example: Ask why to get to “I don’t know” and then go learn what you don’t know. Ask why to get to “Because” – which is a constraint to your eventual solution. In short, Why? Is the most powerful question you can ask, and ask again, during the critical thinking process.

Best Practices For Leaders

“Success happens by focusing on the process, not the outcome,” explain Jon Gordon and Mike Smith , co-authors of the book, You Win In The Locker Room First .”  They add that, “You win by cultivating the right culture, leadership, expectations, beliefs, mindset, relationships, and habits before you even play the game.”  From this insightful and helpful book also come these takeaways I really value:  Culture is defined and created from the top down, but it comes to life from the bottom up. To have sustained success, you need a winning organizational culture. Know what your company stands for. Your vision and mission should be simple, clear, bold, and compelling. No buzzwords. No jargon. Instead, make it tangible and exciting to serve as a rallying cry and focal point for your team. Ideally, your vision and mission should include the greatness you want to chase with a focus on the character traits and process that will help you get there. Communication is the foundation of every gr

Creating Organizations As Amazing As The People Inside Them

The book subtitle in the headline above convinced me to read, Humanocracy , by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini . Available starting August 18, 2020, the authors present a fascinating look at how to breakdown the bureaucracy within your organization and unleash the power and true abilities of the human beings in your organization – making your organization more bold, entrepreneurial and as nimble as change itself.   Humanocracy expertly lays out a detailed blueprint for creating organizations that are inspiring and ingenious, and provides you research-based examples, practical guidance and, most important, action steps to take immediately.   The authors explain that:   Human beings are resilient . Our organizations aren’t. Human beings are creative . Organizations are (mostly) not. Human beings are passionate . Our organizations are (mostly) not.   Some of the broader themes for how to harness the power of humanocracy include:   Teaching frontline staff to think like busin

Character-Driven Leaders

Key findings from the research behind the book, Return On Character , by Fred Kiel, PhD, reveal that:  Leaders who rank high on character achieve nearly five times greater return on assets than leaders who rank low on character.  Plus, character-driven organizations achieve multiple gains over organizations with self-focused leadership, including: A 26% higher level of workforce engagement. A 20% advantage in keystone leadership skills of vision, strategic focus, accountability and senior team development.  Character is an individual’s unique combination of beliefs and character habits that motivate and shape how he or she relates to others.  Character is a habit that can be learned, unlearned, adopted, and adapted.  Four key character habits lead to specific positive business outcomes: Integrity leads to Confidence in Management, Compassion leads to Collaboration, Forgiveness leads to Innovation, and Responsibility leads to a Culture of Accountability.  Kiel recommends

Marketing Playbook

Whether you are a business owner or entrepreneur, Do It! Marketing , is a must-read book for you to learn how to stand out from the crowd and attract, engage, and win more customers and clients.  Using example proven strategies and tactics, checklists, tools and action steps, you’ll learn how to how to effectively use social media, blogs, video, online and offline marketing, your website and more. Plus, the book provides you a clear 21-day marketing launch plan.  First published in 2013, this is a book I refer to often and find its practical action steps still relevant today.  Thank you to the book’s publisher for sending me a copy of the book. 

Three Most Common Traps In Project Management

In Susanne Madsen’s book, The Power Of Project Leadership , she recommends that you do not fall prey to these three most common traps in project management:  Managing tasks, events and processes at the expense of leading people. Being reactive and focusing on the urgent rather than the important. Believing you have to know it all and doing it all instead of looking to the team for solutions and innovative ideas. Thank you to the book's publisher for sending me a copy of the book. 

Becoming The Best

My favorite takeaways from the book, Becoming The Best , by Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr., are:  Your best self is not about perfection (an impossible and, therefore, futile goal). It is about becoming consistently disciplined and focused, making sure you challenge yourself to truly be your best self—instead of becoming complacent, convinced that you have arrived. No matter how good you are, you can always be better. Being your best self is a lifelong commitment.  True self-confidence and genuine humility are the distinguishing characteristics that will showcase your values and highlight your authenticity.  A best team is formed when people are self-reflective, understand themselves, and come together with a sense of common purpose. It takes each person operating as her or his best self for the group to function extremely well together. As their best selves, team members are self-reflective, balanced, have self-confidence, and are genuinely humble.  Thank you to the book publish