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Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

3 Reasons to Write it Down Before Action

March 18, 2013 Comments off

pencilLast week was full of surprises.  Teams converged to address a very sticky, emotional and difficult issue.  No surprise, it also involved money, faulty decisions and blame all around. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Due to the complexity of the issues involved, I decided to try to create a factual summary of the past and what led up to the present situation. I presented the timeline to all parties to help us all recast the sequence of events. By trying to remove emotion and script only facts along a timeline, we realized, like a lot of difficult decisions, many people and situations conspired consciously or unconsciously to bring us to where we were.  Reducing the facts to a timeline and having everyone agree on what happened quickly allowed us to move forward with the present challenge.  So, write it down, use the facts and you can gain:

1. Clarity

2. Perspective and

3. Build a reasonable plan going forward

The exercise allowed me to also see there was error with “my team” and “their team” – and once we took responsibility, it opened the door to collectively take responsibility and work together on solving what got us there.  We focused on the problem, not the people.  Try it sometime.

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Inclusive Management, Messaging and Trust

February 8, 2013 Comments off

slide-39-638I recently found a great report – a global study called the Edelman Trust Barometer.  There’s a lot to learn from this report, but the key take aways for me are the following:

  1. A trusting culture requires a dynamic, not “top down” management – here they call it Inclusive Management – and it just doesn’t mean getting people’s opinions.
  2. “Credentialed Experts” are far and away more trusted than CEO’s as communicators.
  3. People (customers and employees) need to hear a message 3 to 5 times from various sources to change behavior or influence their opinion.
  4. CEO’s and Government Officials – Hit the bottom for worldwide trustworthiness in delivering a message

There’s much more to this report and a lot of learning.  Perhaps its time to have your “expert” on staff start delivering your message 3 to 5 times across multiple communication channels to ensure you have a trustworthy image that you can live up to.  In our world of increased transparency, you may not have any option but to have integrity.

2013 Habits – Do With Discipline

January 12, 2013 Comments off

megaphoneRecently, I was working with a start-up on developing a reporting template to update their investors and Board to ensure their stakeholders were well informed.  It is so important to ensure the communication channel is open to any stakeholder in your business.  It is surprising how many businesses start with the greatest of intentions, have a great opening salvo of communication and then drift off into only communicating when you have to – Annual Meetings, needing money, etc.

It is almost as if business leaders think their stakeholders absorb their business activity by osmosis.  Then, when they do need something, they are frustrated to learn their audience is far from ready to take action because they are struggling to absorb what has happened since the last update.

Stakeholder communication is critical, but not required – until you need something.  Think about making it a habit to communicate and solicit feedback on your progress, on a regular basis.  I guarantee it will help when you need help.

Leading People to Come Alive

September 24, 2012 Comments off

Wisdom comes from the most unique and sometimes unexpected places.  My children attend a college preparatory school, and the chaplain, Fr. Patrick Funston, posted some of the following thoughts on his blog after his Wednesday chapel service.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

“Howard Thurman was a very early civil rights leader, a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Among his most notable accomplishments was the 22 years he spent as Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University starting in 1953.  He was the first African American to be named a tenured Chapel Dean at a mostly white school.”


“Fr. Fun” as the students like to call him, went on to say: “Passion begets interest.  Interest beget change.  People are much more likely to care about what we are doing when we are interested in it ourselves.”

His message was directed at the students in their daily and community service activities, but I also read it as another reminder of how we can effectively lead and manage our people.  Do you have a team that has “come alive” Have YOU “come alive”? If not, what are you doing about it?

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Charisma – Can it be Learned? – A Four Step Process

May 19, 2012 Comments off

Can you learn charisma?  Can you become more charismatic?  What skills do you need to get that way?

I just completed a book titled Leadership Charisma by Bud Haney and Jim Srrbasku.  Their contention is charisma can be learned and improved upon.  Based on their experience and exhaustive database, they drill down to key elements charismatic people have and guides you on how to develop them.

It surprisingly follows the Golden Rule for living and has interesting tips – and no matter ho charismatic we are, we can always improve. Their leadership charisma model follows a four step pyramid and begins at the base with making the decision to become a charismatic leader.  Therein lies the challenge:  Do you want to be a charismatic leader and can you fundamentally change to become more charismatic?

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