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Showing posts from April, 2021

How A Coach Differs From A Mentor

Author  Kristi Hedges , in her book,  The Power of Presence , provides these explanations of the  roles of a coach and of a mentor  and how they differ from each other: The Coach  shows empathy through a mixture of tough love and strong support.  The coach is not afraid to push you because she sees the best in you.  This leader has a good sense of what's going on in the rest of your life and isn't afraid to mention it as it relates to your performance and potential. The Mentor  makes you feel that your success is always top of mind.  Mentors have your back to guide you along in your career.  They will act as a confidante as you hash through ideas and won't hold it against you as your iterate.  Because they have done well, they operate from a point of helping others do the same.

How To Be An Inspirational Leader

Today, I bring back one of my most-read blog posts from a few years ago: 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. The book is 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 explains tha

Be The Manager You Admired

As a manager, you've undoubtedly worked for other managers in your career. You've likely worked for good managers and for not so good managers. One of the simplest things you can do to ensure you are a good manager is to think about what you liked and disliked about your past managers. Then, adapt your management style to include the things you appreciated most from your past good managers. Most important, don't do the things that you disliked about how your past managers behaved. Odds are that those are the same things your employees won't like you to do.

Secrets To Starting Your Career Off Right

Gorick Ng is a career adviser at Harvard Collage and during the last four years, he’s interviewed more than five hundred interns, early career professionals, managers, and executives, across the globe. Now, he’s distilled everything that he’s learned into a step-by-step guide – his new book, The Unspoken Rules: Secrets To Starting Your Career Off Right .  “We all have what it takes to be a top performer. It begins with mastering the unspoken rules,” explains, Ng.  Some of the 20 unspoken rules that Ng reveals and explains in his book are:  Know when to reject, embrace, or bend the rules. Think like an owner. Know your context and your audience. Work backward from the end goal.  Ng’s interviews included asking these questions: What are the most common mistakes people make at work? What would you do differently if you could redo the first years of your career? What separates top performers from mediocre ones?                During his research, Ng identified the most un

Don't Take All The Credit

Insecure managers hog the credit for a job well done. Or, they hide the credit and don't give credit where credit is due. These managers are afraid to let their employees be in the limelight. Secure and successful managers talk up their employees, highlighting the good performance they've done, and are eager to give credit where credit is due. They promote their staff to their supervisor and to others within their organization. Successful managers know that they look good when their employees look good. Giving credit where credit is due is a sign of a manager who is wise and confident. It's a sign of a manager who  demonstrates  good leadership skills. So, when your employees excel, allow them to take the spotlight.

How To Stop Procrastinating

Check out 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. Recently, Tracy shared his answers to the following questions: Question: What inspired you to write this new book for students? Tracy : Like many good ideas, this book was bor

Your Front-Line Team Members Are A Goldmine Of Information

“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.  

How To Reach Your Goals

Social psychologist,  Heidi Grant Halvorson , wrote  Succeed   to help you understand how goals work, what tends to go wrong, and what you can do to reach your goals or to help others reach theirs. Because many of us struggle each year to fulfill our New Year's Resolutions (goals), Halvorson's book, packed with the findings from her own research, along with the most useful tips from academic journals and handbooks, is a worthwhile read. In her 260-page book, Halvorson covers : •  How to set a goal that you will pursue even in the face of adversity. •  How to avoid the kind of positive thinking that makes people fail. •  How to create an environment that will help you win. "Setting goals is important," said Halvorson,  "But that's not the whole story. Because how you set your goals--the way you think about whatever it is you want to do, and how you will get there--is every bit as important." Halvorson recommends : •  Making your goal as specific as possib

How To Think Outside The Box

Here is a tip for how to  think outside the box . Thanks to  Michael Kallet , author of,  Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills . To think outside the box, you have to acknowledge that the box is bound by your premise. You therefore have to push the box's sides and premise components to think outside of that. Use  what if  and  what other  questions to push on those boundaries and discover new ideas.

How To Become A Stronger Career Mentor

Author  Paul Falcone  offers the following great advice for how to become a  stronger career mentor and coach  by helping your subordinates grow and develop in their own careers. Encourage others to engage in random acts of kindness. Find creative ways of surprising your customers. Focus on making bad relationships good and good relationships better. Look for new ways of reinventing the workflow in light of your company's changing needs. Think relationship first, transaction second. Realize that people can tell more about you by the depth of your questions than by the quality of your statements. Separate the people from the problem. Always provide two solutions for each question you ask or suggestion you raise. Employ right-brain imagination, artistry, and intuition plus left-brain logic and planning. And, one of my favorite pieces of advice from Falcone: Convert "yes...but:" to "yes...and" statements to acknowledge the speaker's point of view and to share a

How To Demonstrate Your Leadership Credibility

Demonstrate your  leadership credibility  by: Practicing what you preach. Walking the talk. Ensuring your actions are consistent with your words. Putting money where your mouth is. Following through on your promises. Doing what you say you will do. Good, quick tips from the book.  The Leadership Challenge .

High Performing Teams Do These 10 Things

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

How To Be An Effective Storyteller

According to  Kristi Hedges , author of the book,  The Power of Presence , a good story includes these seven elements : Has a clear moral or purpose. Has a personal connection to the storyteller and/or the audience. Includes common reference points the audience can understand. Involves detailed characters and imagery. Reveals conflict, vulnerability, or achievement others can  relate  to. Has pacing (a beginning, ending, and a segue back to the topic). Serves to strategically underscore your intention (it's not randomly told).

70 Ways To Be An Effective Leader

  Searching for some more ways to become an effective leader? Here are 70 things you can do: 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 group consensus after each decision point during a meeting Praise when compliments are earned Be decisive Say "thank you" and sincerely mean it Send written thank you notes Listen carefully and don't multi-task while listening Teach something new to your team Show respec

How To Be A Servant Leader

Check out the  definitive book on servant leadership . It's a curated collection of incredibly insightful and motivational perspectives on servant leadership via essays by 44 servant leaders. Edited by  Ken Blanchard  and  Renee Broadwell ,  Servant Leadership in Action , includes the personal stories from some of the most well-respected authorities on leadership: Patrick Lencioni John C. Maxwell Marshall Goldsmith Stephen M. R. Covey Plus, you'll read keen advice from celebrated sports coaches, company CEO's, pastors and retired military leaders. Each of the  44 stories/chapters  stands strong on its own. However, Blanchard and Broadwell group them within  six parts : Fundamentals of Servant Leadership Elements of Servant Leadership Lessons in Servant Leadership Examples of Servant Leadership Putting Servant Leadership to Work Servant Leadership Turnarounds Get your pen or highlighter ready. You're sure to take lots of notes as you capture advice from this powerful boo

The Future World Of Work - 12 Tips From Communication Expert David Grossman

  Question: While we surely will find ourselves challenged by COVID-19 in the foreseeable future, what is the most important thing a leader can do as they lead their business/organization? “The most important thing a leader can do during periods of significant change and times of uncertainty, like we’re experiencing now during the pandemic, is to listen to his or her people.  A great deal has changed in employees’ work lives in a short time, so it’s more important than ever to have a pulse on how their views on the ideal work environment may be evolving.  Do research with employees to understand their desires and concerns about the future of work, where they would work best, and why. We’re learning more about how employee wants are very diverse. Adapting to those differences will strengthen the capabilities of a team and organization.  For every employee, consider what enhancements are needed for safety, productivity and wellbeing.”  David Grossman, Founder & CEO, The Grossman Grou

Some Of My Favorite Leadership Books

  Some of my favorite books about about leadership include:

How To Sell Your Business For A Profit

Exit Rich, The 6 P Method To Sell Your Business For High Profit is the new book   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  – business systems, communic

Use These 13 Energizing Verbs To Make Your Communication More Impactful

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)

How To Be A Perceptive Listener

" Perceptive listening requires you to be totally focused, completely mindful, and perceptive of the conversation -- about what is spoken and what remains unspoken," explains  John Jantsch , author of the book,  Duct Tape Selling . He adds, "Perceptive listening reveals things that a distracted or even mostly active conversation can't reveal." To be a  perceptive listener , ensure you hear and interpret the words as they're said, and also consider what the person isn't saying. What they might really be thinking, and how they are acting as they speak.

How To Make Better Decisions

  These  eight decision-making tactics  from  David Lahey ’s book,  Predicting Success , are helpful to me and hopefully useful to you as well: Deep breathing , to clear your mind. Researching , to feel confident that you have all the information in front of you. Listing your options , in either verbal or written form, to keep the whole picture front of mind. Following through on the possible outcomes , complete with likely predictions and acknowledgement of whether they’re negative or positive (or design yourself a decision tree, that lays out every possible consequence visually). Testing your intuition , by imagining a committed decision and then gauging the corresponding feeling it inspires in your gut. Taking the time you need , so long as it doesn’t become an overly indulgent distraction. Evaluating your decision , an after-the-fact exercise that engages a conscious inventory of the lessons learned. Coming to terms with your pick , always cognizant of the reality that no decision

Top 12 Ways To Be An Effective Leader

  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: Collaborative Good listener Asks thorough questions and seeks new information or is curious and innovative Risk taker Sense of urgency or takes action Subject matter experts Not afraid to challenge Participatory Intuitive Wants or seeks feedback Empathetic Respectful