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Showing posts from 2021

First-Time Leader

The  First-Time Leader  book by  George Bradt  and  Gillian Davis  begins with a discussion of taking charge of your new team and then tracks through  BRAVE leadership  components from the outside in. BRAVE is a leadership framework that helps first-time leaders successfully build their team by uniting them around a shared purpose. The term reflects an acronym that stands for behaviors, relationships, attitudes, values and environment. Carefully considering and analyzing each component will help first-time leaders discover this shared purpose and incorporate it into the company’s larger strategy and their team’s implementation of same. Specifically, the book defines the  five components  as: Behaviors  –  The actions that make real lasting impact on others. Relationships  – The heart of leadership. If you can’t connect, you can’t lead. Attitudes  – Encompassing strategic, posture, and culture choices around how to win. Values  – The bedrock of a high performing team. Get clear on what

Five Cultural Fit Interview Questions

If you are leading an organization and are the last person to interview a candidate, focus your questions more on trying to see if the person is a cultural fit. Here are a few questions to pose to potential new hires (from the book,  Advisory Leadership : What motivates you? What are you passionate about? (Finding out what people are passionate about and why is a great window into someone's personality.) What are you telling your family/spouse/partner about our company? (This question often takes candidates off guard and results in some often very honest answers.) What did you enjoy most/find most challenging in  your last position? (There are no right or wrong answers, necessarily. This question is a great assessment of the candidate, especially when considering certain roles.) What opportunities do you see for yourself here? 

10 Ways To Improve Your Connection Skills

"Connection is what transforms a dog-eat-dog environment into a sled-dog team that pulls together," says  Michael Lee Stallard , author of the book,  Connection Culture . "Connection builds an emotional bond that promotes trust, cooperation, and esprit de corps among people in the workplace." Based on  shared identity, empathy, and understanding , connection moves primarily self-centered individuals toward group-centered membership. "Without that sense of connection, employees will never each their full potential," states Stallard. The  10 ways you can improve your connection skills  are to: Recognize varying connection needs Be present in conversations Develop the ability to empathize Develop the habit of emphasizing positives Control your tone of voice Negotiate with the mindset to solve a problems rather than to win Provide autonomy in execution Learn to apply the five languages of appreciation  Apologize when you make a mistake Develop social skills an

Today's Business Quote

  "We can't solve problems by doing the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." --  Albert Einstein

How To Hire Top Talent In An Instant

The following statements from author  Scott Wintrip  convinced me to read his book,  High Velocity Hiring: How To Hire Top Talent In An Instant : "Hiring is broken. There's a new way to hire that's faster, efficient, and effective. Instead of waiting for the right  person  to show up, the new way to hire is to wait for the  right job  to show up. Instead of waiting until a seat is empty to search for talent, the new way of hiring starts the talent search before that job opens ." Wintrip explains how companies across the globe have applied the principles of the on-demand economy to hiring. And, perhaps counter-intuitively, he demonstrates how hiring faster creates better employees and improved working relationships. The book takes you through a  five-step process : Create Hire-Right Profiles Improve Candidate Gravity Maximize Hiring Styles Conduct Experiential Interviews Maintain a Talent Inventory Most interesting to me is Wintrip's  Talent Inventory  concept -- c

How To Ask More Effective Questions

"Questions help us break down barriers, discover secrets, solve puzzles, and imagine new ways of doing things, But few of us know  how  to question in a methodical way," explains  Frank Sesno , Emmy-award-winning journalist, and author of the book,  Ask More . Sesno's book teaches readers how the power of questions: Opens doors Uncovers Solutions Sparks Change More specifically, he reveals: The power and payoff of targeted  diagnostic  questions. How  strategic  questions can ease the hardest decisions and support triumphant outcomes. How and when to use  empathy  questions. How asking  creativity  questions help to get people to imagine, set their sights high and soar above failure. And, "when a leader fails to know where he/she is going, refuses to listen to what he/she doesn't want to hear, or relies on faulty information, bad things happen," adds Sesno. Frank Sesno Sesno also shares that some questions work best when they don't end in a question mark

Coach Campbell's Leadership Principles And Winning Approach

Trillion Dollar Coach  is about  Bill Campbell , someone you likely never heard of, who coached several of the biggest names in Silicon Valley during a 16-year tenure, and who’s behind-the-scene wisdom helped created over a trillion dollars in market value. Authored by  Eric Schmidt ,  Jonathan Rosenberg , and  Alan Eagle , they share that from Steve Jobs and Dick Costolo to Larry Page and Sundar Pichai, these big names in Silicon Valley give credit to Campbell for much of their success. Campbell, who died in 2016, started his career as a football coach at Boston College and Columbia then switched to business in 1979. As leaders at Google for more than a decade, Schmidt, Rosenberg, and Eagle had the benefit of experiencing Campbell’s executive coaching firsthand. In addition, for the book, the authors interviewed over 80 people with whom Campbell also worked. Through stories from those interviews, Trillion Dollar Coach features specific strategies and action steps to help leaders imple

Leadership And Life Quotes From The Book, Leading With Grit

In addition to Laurie Sudbrink's,  Leading With GRIT , being a powerfully instructional book for leaders, it's packed with compelling leadership and life quotes. Here are some of my favorites: Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are - Kurt Cobain The respect you show to others (or lack thereof) is an immediate reflection on your self respect - Alex Elle You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view - Harper Lee People only see what they are prepared to see - Ralph Waldo Emerson We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give - Winston Churchill If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you - Fred Devito The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new - Socrates The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply - Anonymous Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity - Simon Weil Good leaders ins

The 12 Golden Rules For Communicating Effectively

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 lear

Time To Check In On Your 2021 New Year's Resolutions

Now that we are halfway through 2021, it's time to check in on your progress with your  2021 New Year's Resolutions . As a reminder, here is a list of 70 possible resolutions for leaders.  Congratulations if you selected some of these earlier and are making progress on them. Feel free to select some additional ones now to complete throughout the rest of the year.  Don't micromanage Don't be a bottleneck Focus on outcomes, not minutiae Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes Assess your company's strengths and weaknesses at all times Conduct annual risk reviews Be courageous, quick and fair Talk more about values more than rules Reward how a performance is achieved and not only the performance Constantly challenge your team to do better Celebrate your employees' successes, not your own Err on the side of taking action Communicate clearly and often Be visible Eliminate the cause of a mistake View every problem as an opportunity to grow Summarize gro

How To Energize People Everyday

Today, I bring back one of my most-read blog posts from 2017. It read as follows: At the end of each year, I select my choice for the  best new leadership book  for that year, and then highlight that book on my blog. Well, we're only five months into 2017 and there is a new leadership book so good that I can't wait until year-end to share it with you. And, it's likely to be among the select few options for best new leadership book of 2017. It's called,  The Inspiration Code , by  Kristi Hedges . Perhaps now more than any other time, the need for inspirational leadership is critical in the workplace. Filled with profound insights and compelling data, and based on a commissioned survey on who and what inspires people, Hedges uncovers a set of consistent, learnable behaviors that dramatically enhance leadership success. And, shows you  how to inspire those you lead. And, how to energize people every day . Kristi Hedges But, first, what exactly is inspiration? Hedges explai

How To Be A Responsive Leader

“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

How To Run Better Meetings

  Here are five handy tips for how to run a better meeting: Limit attendance . Include only decision makers and key implementers. Use an agenda . Give each topic a time limit. Ask your staff to help set the agenda so they'll know the meeting will be relevant. Make sure attendees know at the meeting's beginning the benefit  of why they are in the meeting. Create a not-on-the agenda list  of topics that will be tabled for after the meeting or for another meeting. Set immediate deadlines  for carrying out all decisions that are made during the meeting. If you follow these simple five tips you can prove to your team that meetings  can  be used to get things done!

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

Leadership Quotes To Live By

Some of my favorite  quotes for leaders  are: A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit --  Arnold H. Glasgow I praise loudly, I blame softly --  Catherine II of Russia Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress --  Mohandas Gandhi A long dispute means that both parties are wrong --  Voltaire The least questioned assumptions are often the most questionable --  Paul Broca These and many more compelling quotes can be found in Susan H. Shearouse's book,  Conflict 101 .

How Leaders Build Trust

You can't lead if your employees, team or followers don't trust you. Building trust takes  energy, effort and constant attention  to how you act. To help build trust, follow these 16 tips , recommended by author Susan H. Shearouse : Be honest Keep commitments and keep your word Avoid surprises Be consistent with your mood Be your best Demonstrate respect Listen Communicate Speak with a positive intent Admit mistakes Be willing to hear feedback Maintain confidences Get to know others Practice empathy Seek input from others Say "thank you"

How To Build A Strong Family Business

A few months ago brought the new  Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook , a comprehensive guide for how to build and sustain a successful enduring enterprise.  If you are in a family business, serve as a silent partner or board member, or are contemplating becoming part of a family business, this handbook is essential reading. And, even if you aren’t working in a family business, you’ll find the book enlightening because many best practices and learnings are transferrable to a non-family business.  Family businesses represent an estimated 85% of the world’s companies, and in the US, 5.5 million of these businesses employ 62% of the workforce. Understanding how these businesses work and how they contribute to the economy is critical for post-pandemic recovery. Therefore, that’s another reason to read the book.  Book authors  Josh Baron  and  Rob Lachenauer  take readers deep behind the scenes to share: The secrets to longevity for family-owned businesses. How to decode the fa

Quantum Marketing

“Marketing today is at the brink of unprecedented disruption”, explains,  Raja Rajamannar , author of the book,  Quantum Marketing . “An explosion of game-changing new technologies, data and cultural shifts will render traditional marketing frameworks and strategies ineffective, and turn the function upside down.”  Rajamannar’s book is all about the mastering the new marketing mindset for tomorrow’s consumers.  He takes you beyond product marketing, emotional marketing, digital marketing and mobile and social marketing, into what he terms quantum marketing .  You’ll learn how to : Replace advertising with better ways to efficiently engage consumers at scale. Hyper-personalize marketing with AI. Go virtual and immersive with everything from VR-AR product demos to gamification. Reach all five human senses, with Multi-Sensory Marketing and Sonic Branding. Invest in partnerships to capitalize on new opportunities beyond their immediate reach. Quantify impact with data, but never at the exp

Three Ways To Be A Better Leader

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?

First Leadership Book To Give To A New Manager

Years ago when I started my leadership and management blog, I posted the question “ What’s The First Leadership Book You Would Give To a New Manager ?” within a leadership discussion forum on LinkedIn. That question generated 603 comments and 690 book recommendations.   Some people suggested more than one book.   Some during the course of the 18 months of the active discussion made the same book recommendations a couple times.   And here are the results : ·      412 different/unique books were recommended. ·      The Top 20 recommended books, collectively, received 250 of the total recommendations. ·      Two authors –  Stephen R. Covey  and  John C. Maxwell  each have two books in the Top 20. ·      Discussion members recommended other things instead of giving a book about leadership to a new manager, such as: o     Interviewing everyone in the company with whom they will directly work. o     Giving a book about  management  first. o     Mentoring the person for a period of time befor