Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2021

How To Become Your 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 publisher

When Leaders Should Coach And When To Counsel

A good manager is both a  coach  and a  counselor .  Generally, coaching should precede counseling. As a coach ,   a manager: identifies an employee's need for instruction and direction and this need is usually directly related to his or her performance or career goals. Coaching is collaborative. It relies on mutual, progressive goal-setting, personal feedback, and an ongoing, supportive relationship. You coach to help retain employees and to show you care about your employees as individuals. It's best to coach when a new procedure is introduced, a job is changed, and/or a skill gap is identified. As a counselor , a manager first identifies a problem that interferes with an employee's work performance and then helps the employee to define specifically what behavior he or she needs to change in order to improve his or her performance or resolve a problem. So, the difference between coach and counselor is subtle, but important. And, as Sharon Armstrong further shares in her b

Lasting Leadership Lessons From A Year That Changed Everything

Leave it to leadership and communications expert, David Grossman , to decide to write a book called, Heart First, Lasting Leadership Lessons From A Year That Changed Everything . David is so in tune with providing timely, critical, actionable advice, how-to’s and tips for leaders.   Heart First is engaging, inspirational and packed with powerful stories of lessons learned by a wealth of leaders with diverse backgrounds. It’s a book you’ll want to read and then refer to time after time. And, if you read only one leadership book this year, make it this one.   Reflecting on the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic, David says, “I saw many leaders using this challenging time as an opportunity to stand up and lead in moving ways. I was continually inspired by the concrete action leaders took to lead and communicate with heart – and guts. That is what this book is all about – applying those lessons learned to provide clear direction on how to be the very best leader and communicator y

The Secrets Of High-Performing Teams

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

The Seven Toughest 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?

Time-Management Methods, Techniques And Strategies 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 ideas, this book was bor

8 Superpowers For Thriving In Constant Change

  Change is universal and inevitable. Change is disorienting. Change clouds your horizons and paralyzes your courage. Today’s ever-increasing pace of change is relentless. “Humans really struggle with change, especially, change we did not choose,” shares April Rinne , author of the new book, FLUX, 8 Superpowers For Thriving In Constant Change .   “To thrive in this world in flux, we need to radically reshape our relationship to uncertainty and flip the script to sustain a healthy and productive outlook,” explains April. Fortunately, her new book shows you how to do exactly that, and how to help others do so too.   Part personal guidebook, part strategic roadmap, Flux provides a refreshingly new take on how to navigate change by using the Theory of Flux and developing eight Flux Superpowers .   The Theory of Flux : Step 1 : Open a Flux Mindset Step 2 : Use your Flux Mindset to unlock the eight Flux Superpowers Step 3 : Apply your Flux Superpowers to write your New Sc

How To Sell Your Business

Exit Rich, The 6 P Method To Sell Your Business For High Profit   is the relatively 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 syste

The Importance Of Getting-To-Know You Conversations

To help you bring out the best in your team, you need to get close and understand their skills, abilities, and motivations. So, the authors of the book,  Your First Leadership Job , recommend you hold  getting-to-know-you conversations  with each of your direct reports. Ask these  open-ended questions . Let each team member know the purpose of the meeting in advance. And, don't cheat by adding in work-specific questions. What do you enjoy doing most as part of your work? Why? What do you  miss most about the jobs you've had in the past? Why? What things about your current job do you enjoy the least? Why? How do you cope with or relieve stress? To help you do your job, what could I change about: Your work environment? The content of your work? How you get your work done? What form of recognition do you prefer or not prefer?

How To Create A Powerful Corporate Culture

Fortunately, most of my career I’ve worked in effective company/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 opportunit

The Power Of Brevity

  Here is some good advice from author Scott Belsky's book,  The Messy Middle: Finding your way through the hardest and most crucial part of any bold venture . The power in brevity :   Shorter emails get faster response times. Fewer words go further (and are listened to more intently). The less preamble, the more focused your team will be on your message. Most attention spans don’t even make it to the end. Start with your point; don’t end with it.

Three Essential Parts Of A Mission Statement

A lot of companies struggle when creating their mission statement. Author  Peter F. Drucker  provides the following good advice in one of my favorite book's of his,  The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization : Every mission statement has to reflect three things : Opportunities Competence Commitment In other words, he explains: What is our purpose? Why do we do what we do? What, in the end, do we want to be remembered for? How well does your mission statement meet Drucker's recommended three requirements?

How To Find And Work With A Mentor

Fortunately, I've benefited from having great mentors throughout my career. And, I've have the honor and good fortune to be a mentor, both formally and informally, for various individuals the past few decades. Mentoring is powerful. Both being a mentor. And, being mentored. That's why I became an instant fan of the book,  One Minute Mentoring: How to Find and Work With a Mentor -- and Why You'll Benefit from Being One . The book presents a fictional parable about the power of finding, or being, a mentor. In what is about a one- to two-hour read, you'll gain knowledge and easy-to-use tools for  how to find and leverage mentoring relationships . Ken Blanchard You'll also learn why developing effective communication and relationships  across generations  through mentoring can be a tremendous opportunity for companies and individuals alike. Bestselling author,  Ken Blanchard, Ph.D . teamed up with  Claire Diaz-Ortiz  to write  One Minute Mentoring . Blanchard coauth

How To Talk About Inconsistencies With An Employee

If you’re having a difficult time clarifying inconsistencies you are hearing from an employee about a project’s/task’s progress, try asking these questions (or making these statements) the next time you meet with the employee: •  Here’s what I see. Here’s what I hear you saying. •  Here’s what we know so far. •  So let’s see if I’m on track with you… •  Let’s see where we are… •  How about we step back from a moment and look at a few different ideas… •  Did I hear you correctly when you said…? •  Am I missing something here? Always be sure you’re on the same page and have the same understanding of the progress being made with your employee’s projects.

How To Lead During Uncertain Times

Uncertainty is the new normal. Learning how to effectively lead during uncertainty is the new requirement. Thankfully, Larry Robertson ’s new book, Rebel Leadership , teaches you how to thrive in uncertain times – times that are volatile, complex and ambiguous.  “There are two big realities we must understand,” explains Robertson. “Both are vitally necessary to the long-term survival and success of any organization.”  “The first is to accept the landscape for what it is today—to see it not as distant and unlikely to affect you, nor as temporary or episodic.”  “The second is to concede that the way most of us have reviewed leadership in the past, and the assumptions we’ve made about what makes it work, have passed their expiration dates and must change.”  In Rebel Leadership , Robertson presents thought-provoking, actionable, refreshingly new ways to lead during turbulent times. The concept of rebel leadership is a “cultural mindset,” explains Robertson, and his shared insights