Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2021

Leadership Quotes That Inspire Me

These quotes truly inspire me : “The three common characteristics of best companies -- they care, they have fun, they have high performance expectations.” -- Brad Hams “The one thing that's common to all successful people: They make a habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don't like to do.” -- Michael Phelps “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." -- Harry S. Truman “The leader of the past was a person who knew how to tell. The leader of the future will be a person who knows how to ask.” -- Peter Drucker “Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” -- Dwight D. Eisenhower “Good leadership isn't about advancing yourself.  It's about advancing your team.” -- John C. Maxwell "People buy into the leader, then the vision.” -- John C. Maxwell “Great leaders have courage, tenacity and patience.” -- Bill McBean "People never learn anything by being told, the

How Digital Winners Set Direction, Learn, And Adapt

  Mid-February brings the visually-engaging, coffee-table-styled book, Fast Times: How Digital Winners Set Direction, Learn, and Adapt , written for senior executives who are frustrated by the slow pace and limited return on investment (ROI) of their digital transformation, and are unsure what’s holding them back.   Fast Times is written by four authors, reflecting on their personal experiences leading dozens of top global digital companies across all sectors.  They share their expertise in a conversational style, delivering practical, actionable business guidance. “This book is for leaders at companies where digital transformation is a top-three priority,” explain authors Arun Arora , Peter Dahlstrom , Klemens Hjartar , and Florian Wunderlich .   These authors share that digital winners focus on : Balancing fast execution with deliberate direction-setting Developing systems so that knowledge is shared not siloed. Building a culture of continuous and practical learning. Antici

3 Secrets Of Productive People

According to  entrepreneur and author   Margaret Hefferman , as reported a few years ago in  Inc.  magazine, the  secrets of the most productive people are that they do these three things : They  take breaks . Breaks refresh the mind and allow you to see new situations.  They  are   great collaborators .  They  have lives outside work . In fact, the most successful have rich private lives that include interests that hone different skills and that let them think in different ways.

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 officia

Seven Elements Of An Effective Corporate Culture

Fortunately, most of my career I’ve worked in effective corporate cultures. If I put together the best of each, here is what made those environments effective: Leaders led by example on a consistent basis  and were willing to roll up their sleeves, particularly during tight deadlines or challenging times. Employees clearly understood how what they did made a difference  and how their contributions made the organization more profitable and/or more effective. The workforce included a blend of  long-term  employees  with a rich company, product/service and customer history; employees who had been at the company for five to seven years; and then new hires with a fresh perspective and keen sense of new technologies and techniques. That blend worked best when the mix included virtually all A-players. Top managers had a clear, realistic and strategic vision  for how the company would grow and compete in the marketplace. Employees were challenged and rewarded  through growth opportunities, edu

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.

Seven Tough Questions Leaders Ask Their Teams

High-functioning and effective teams can disagree and still produce excellent products and results. Team members can also disagree and still care about each other. And, they can challenge each other to think differently. Best-selling leadership book authors  Scott J. Allen  and  Mitchell Kusy  recommend that leaders ask seven tough questions of their teams to help  maximize their results . Here are those questions to  ask each team member : What are some obstacles  affecting this team? What are opportunities  we could take advantage of that we have been largely ignoring? Where can you take greater ownership  on this team? Where have you let this team down ? Compared to other teams with which you are familiar,  how are we doing ? When was the last time you complimented the team  or one of its members? How open are you to giving direct feedback  to team members?

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.

The Mind Of The Leader

  “By understanding how their own mind works and training it for the most essential qualities, leaders can lead themselves effectively first, in order to better lead their people and tap into their human need for meaning, fulfillment and human connectedness,” explain  Rasmus Hougaard  and  Jacqueline Carter , authors of the book,  The Mind Of The Leader . Their book is based on extensive research, including  assessments of more than 35,000 leaders and interviews with 250 C-level executives. The authors found that  three mental qualities are essential to becoming effective leaders . Leaders must be: Mindful  – being present and attentive to their employees’ needs. Being focused versus distracted. Being aware versus being on autopilot. Selfless  – to model cultures based on growth and learning instead of ego. Being selfless versus ego-centered. Being confident versus diffident. Compassionate  – to show their employees they have their backs. Being kind versus indifferent. Being wise versu

12 Golden Rules Of 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 le

How To Increase Customer Loyalty

"Today's customers demand something unlike anything they have ever wanted in the past -- a connection with your business," explains  Noah Fleming , author of the  must-read book ,  Evergreen . "This means that in order to increase customer loyalty, you need to create a relationship with that customer on a deeper and much more profound level," adds Fleming. And, to do this, you need to think in an entirely new way (at times even counter intuitively) about your market, your customers and your marketing offers. Noah Fleming Fortunately, in Fleming's  timely and intensively relevant book , he shows you through strategies, exercises and examples what to do. Fleming's techniques teach you how to acquire customers faster and how to create what he calls  legitimate brand loyalty  -- the type that helps to keep your business thriving. One of the book's most compelling lessons for me was why it's so important to tell your customers your  company's orig

Exit Rich

  Next week brings the new book, Exit Rich, The 6 P Method To Sell Your Business For High Profit , by Michelle Seiler Tucker and Sharon Lechter .  Read this invaluable book if you are an entrepreneur or business owner preparing to sell your business.  Read this book even if you don’t plan to sell your business but want to learn how to operate at peak performance.  You’ll find answers to your critical questions and issues , including:  When and how do I plan my exit strategy? What’s the best time to sell my business? What are the key factors in valuating businesses? How do I maximize the profits of my business? How can I optimize my customer and client base? How do I create an emotional connection between a buyer and my business? What are the mistakes that sellers make, and how can I avoid them?  Tucker and Lechter explain that buyers will pay top dollar for businesses that operate on the 6 Ps :  People – leadership, team, relationships Product - deliverable Process –

16 Ways To 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"

Eat That Frog! For Students

  Brand new is the book, Eat That Frog! For Students , adapted from Brian Tracy ’s time-management bestseller, Eat That Frog , which has sold more than 2.4 million copies around the world.   This new edition addresses the specific needs of high school and college students , teaching them readily actionable time-management methods, techniques and strategies. Tracy, with Anna Leinberger also reveal 22 ways to stop procrastinating.   You’ll read the details behind the three pillars required for a successful mindset : Self-Esteem Personal Responsibility Goals Plus, you’ll discover how to effectively : structure your own time. apply the 80/20 rule. study something you are not interested in. motivate yourself into action. practice creative procrastination. take back your time from enslaving technological addictions. Today, Tracy shared his answers to the following questions: Question: What inspired you to write this new book for students? Tracy : Like many good

Honor MLK Day By Volunteering

As the nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 18, volunteer or make the decision to volunteer in your community. King routinely asked “What are you doing for others,” and January 18th is the ideal day to ask yourself that question. The federal holiday was first observed 35 years ago and in 1994 Congress designated it as a National Day of Service, inspired by King’s words, “everybody can be great because anybody can serve.” You can turn to  Volunteer Match  to find volunteer opportunities right in your neighborhood or nearby surrounding area. Visit the web site, type in your zip code, and you will be presented with a variety of organizations seeking volunteers. And, if you are a leader in the workplace, encourage your team members to volunteer in the community as individuals. Or, organize team volunteer afternoons or evenings for your employees.

5 Leadership And Business Books To Read This Winter

  Stumped for what leadership and business books to add to your winter reading list?  Here are  five must-read books for leaders  well worth adding to your list: Lead With A Story  -- A Guide To Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire . Author Paul Smith explains why storytelling has emerged as a vital skill for every leader and manager. In the book, you'll find over 100 ready-made stories you can use as templates to tell your stories. Stories are so powerful because they are simple, timeless, demographic-proof, contagious, easy to remember and inspiring. Most important, they put the listener in a mental learning mode. What's The Future Of Business? (WTF?)  -- Changing The Way Businesses Create Experiences . This book, by Brian Solis, details the incredible transformation happening in business today, driven by new social and mobile technologies. And, he explains how experience design helps your business and how you can harness its power for business g

High-Performing Teams Have These 10 Characteristics

According to  Ron Ricci  and  Carl Wiese , authors of the book,  The Collaboration Imperative , high-performing teams have the following characteristics: People have solid and deep trust in each other and in the team's purpose--they feel free to express feelings and ideas. Everybody is working toward the same goals. Team members are clear on how to work together and how to accomplish tasks. Everyone understands both team and individual performance goals and knows what is expected. Team members actively diffuse tension and friction in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. The team engages in extensive discussion, and everyone gets a chance to contribute--even the introverts. Disagreement is viewed as a good thing and conflicts are managed.  Criticism is constructive and is oriented toward problem solving and removing obstacles. The team makes decisions when there is natural agreement--in the cases where agreement is elusive, a decision is made by the team lead or executive sponsor, aft

Use These 13 Energizing Verbs More Often At Work

Here is some great advice from the book,  Anticipate, the Art of Leading by Looking Ahead ,  by  Rob-Jan De Jong . Use these 13 energizing verbs more often when communicating: Discover  (instead of See) Explore  (instead of Discuss) Radiate  (instead of Display) Uncover  (instead of Show) Transform  (instead of Change) Engage  (instead of Involve) Mobilize  (instead of Gather) Stretch  (instead of Develop) Boost  (instead of Increase) Propel  (instead of Move) Deliver  (instead of Give) Grasp  (instead of Understand) Connect  (instead of Join)

Experts Offer Advice For How To Lead During 2021

  Today, the following expert business and leadership book authors shared their advice for how to effectively lead during 2021 . My question to them was:   What is your advice for leaders as we enter what is surely to be a challenging 2021 for most businesses? Fred Dust -- Author of   Making Conversation: Seven Elements of Meaningful Communication “There’s been a surprisingly joyful outcome of 2020—quite simply, leaders are seeing those they lead as humans. They’ve seen them wrestling with children, in trying to manage personal and professional challenges at home, more Zoom gaffes than we can count, etc., which has given employers a deeply humanistic view of those they manage.  “The converse is also true. Mangers, leaders, and CEOs are grappling with the same—noisy toddlers, spouses who are also navigating unprecedented schedules, faulty technology, etc. This recognition of humanity is significant—I myself paused a team meeting yesterday when I noticed one of my coll