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Showing posts from September, 2020

Words To Lead By

  Words to lead by : "It's amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." -  President Harry S. Truman . "Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it." -  President Dwight D. Eisenhower . "I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." -  President Woodrow Wilson .

Six Essential Steps For Strategic Planning

Awhile back, I shared highlights from the useful book,  First-Time Leader , by George Bradt and Gillian Davis . Here's one more gem from the book -- the authors' recommendations for a  six-step strategic planning process : Set an aspirational destination (derived from the mission and vision). Assess the facts of the current reality and develop potential future scenarios. Identify options to bridge gaps between the current reality and the desired aspiration. Evaluate options under different scenarios. Make choices. Develop detailed plans that will deliver on selected strategies. Act, measure, adjust, and repeat.

Words To Live By

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

"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 Rockstars Recruit only Rockstars Grow your Rockstars Keep 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 work Professional

What Motivated People Do To Stay Motivated

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 satisf

Three Ways To Be A Level 5 Leader

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

  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

  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

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

  “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.

Leadership Lessons From The Seven Arts Of Change

  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 eviden

More Great Leadership Lessons From The 5 Levels Of Leadership

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

Elements And Definitions For Creating Your Organization’s Strategic Framework

  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 & Definition   Vision – What we will be   Mission – Why we exist   Goals – What will get us there   Objectives – Major steps we will take   Strategies – How we will go about achieving our objectives   Tactics – Who will do what, by when   Roles – Ownership of tasks   Relationships – People working toward a common goal

How To Be A Better Boss

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

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 implication

Use Storytelling During These Eight Times

"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

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 lead

How To Encourage Your Team To Provide Value Beyond The Ordinary

"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

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

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

As seen on Public Television, the book, Decisions , by   Robert 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 Truman ,  Margaret Thatcher ,  Mohammed Ali ,  Rachel Carson ,  Pablo 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 y

How To Continually Improve

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

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

Be The Leader You Want To Be

“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: s elf-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

My Best Boss Did This

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

  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 behaviors Technology Millennials Mobility Globalization 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 cop

The 12 Golden Rules For Effective Communication

  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 l

10 Coaching Mistakes To Avoid

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.