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Personal Improvement : A "Formula" to Change Your Life

Posted by kevinb on 3/8/18 (957 reads)

Ok, are you ready for a bit of a "deep dive"? I want to take you beyond the go-go-go of your day-to-day life and have you step back from the seemingly endless items on your to-do list (at home or work) ...at least for a few minutes. It is so easy to get caught up in our daily goings-on and we can quickly fall into "autopilot" mode; where we are seemingly merely going through the motions.

In June of last year, there was a terrific article in Forbes entitled The Hidden Cost of Operating on Auto Pilot - which you can access here.

The author's final statement is: "It's time we all took a long collective breath and decided to live our lives more purposefully, more intentionally, more mindfully. By design, not by default."

I agree, wholeheartedly. And I believe that a simple "formula" can help:

 

Organizational Excellence : 11 Commandments for an Enthusiastic Team

Posted by kevinb on 2/16/18 (1614 reads)

In cleaning out some old files, I came across a single sheet of paper with a typed list entitled "11 Commandments for an Enthusiastic Team." I couldn't recall its source, but a Google search led me to a book by Ian Percy of the same name (subtitled Collaborating with Purpose and Passion), published in 2003.

Regardless of the age of this list, these 11 items are all still relevant today, so I wanted to share; along with some comments of my own.

1.  Help each other be right - rather than wrong

It's easy to over-rely on who's supposedly right and wrong as a determining factor, but what's the bigger picture? Think about what's important and what you are trying to accomplish, rather than feeding your ego or keeping score.

2.  Look for ways to make new ideas work - rather than for reasons they won't

Too often we have the mindset of: "We've tried that before." "That just won't work." "We don't do things that way." Instead, try: "What if we try it again?" "What if we look at it differently?" "Who could we speak with to get a different perspective?" or "What would we do to make this work if it was our only option?"

Leadership : Moral Leadership

Posted by kevinb on 2/9/18 (707 reads)

Fortune magazine, in their September 15, 2017 issue, published an article by Dov Seidman entitled "Four Pillars of Moral Leadership." It is based on the guiding precept that while the rules of engagement in business seem to be ever-changing, there are basic rules of moral leadership that stand the test of time. The following is based on the shortened version which is posted here.

MORAL LEADERS:

1.   Are Driven by Purpose

2.   Inspire and Elevate Others

3.   Are Animated by both Courage and Patience

4.   Keep Building Muscle

 

Driven by Purpose  

More today than ever, the millennial generation demands from their work what is worthy, valuable and noble - connected to human progress or the betterment of the world. Essentially, why do we do what we do? It is the Moral Leader's job to help define the organization's purpose and to share that vision with everyone in the organization. 

Leadership : 8 Leadership Resolutions for 2018

Posted by kevinb on 1/22/18 (729 reads)

A recent article that caught my eye is entitled "8 Resolutions on the CEOs Desk" from the Korn Ferry Institute. Some of the ideas are new, and some are familiar, but what is most important is recognizing that CEOs and senior leaders can best drive the success of their business by setting the example and creating the environment where people are highly valued and supported.

Following are the 8 Resolutions from that article with some additional comments.

Create an effective culture

A 2017 Korn Ferry study of talent acquisition managers found that the number one reason a candidate chooses one company over another is CULTURE.  As we move further away from the Great Recession, the stability of salary and benefits are much more of a given, and people are more attracted to transparent, fair and purpose-driven companies. Culture starts at the top, and according to Arvinder Dhesi, a Korn Ferry senior client partner, "Everything that we do contributes to the culture. There's no culture-neutral behavior."

Improve the engagement of your employees

Studies continue to show that only about 30% of employees are fully or highly engaged in their work. Improving that number, even by a few percentage points, provides a massive opportunity for increased productivity. The path to greater employee engagement is not unlike creating an effective culture. It requires sponsorship and commitment from top management to take systemic actions that link individual success with organizational success.

Goals / Purpose : An Exercise to Help Start the New Year Off Right

Posted by kevinb on 1/11/18 (656 reads)

I wanted to share with you a practice that I began many years ago that is invaluable to me. I'm a staunch believer in setting goals, actively working on them, and monitoring my progress. And this is a perfect time of year to establish or refresh your goals (if you haven't done so already).

Note: You can find some of my previous posts about Goals here.

 

Planning for the coming year can seem daunting and your To-Do list may already seem overwhelming. So, before you make big plans for 2018, consider this simple, eye-opening exercise to put things in perspective.

Write down everything you accomplished in 2017. All the big projects, all the milestones, all the To-Do items that yielded a positive result. I like to organize my list in the following categories: Family, Financial, Social, Business/Career, Ethics & Beliefs, Physical, and Mental.

Simple enough so far, right?

Organizational Excellence : Executing on Growth with an MOS

Posted by kevinb on 12/12/17 (751 reads)

One plus one, does not always equal two. The truth is that, as your organization grows and adds staff, operations become exponentially more complex. Let's take a look at how to help address some of those challenges.

When business owners or leaders drive for growth, the natural focus is on initiatives like marketing and sales campaigns; innovation of new products and services; and ensuring capacity is sufficient to meet increased demand. Underlying all of those actions, however, is the fact that it takes people to execute them.

As a business grows, so does the number of employees. More employees mean more complexity, which increases the risk for confusion and inefficiency unless leaders intentionally put a structure and approach in place to guide and manage outcomes. One of the best ways to align and prioritize the efforts of people in a growing organization is to have an effective MOS: Management Operating System.

Organizational Excellence : Fostering Accountability

Posted by kevinb on 11/21/17 (649 reads)

As a supplement to our post entitled Creating a Culture of Accountability from February, here are some thoughts that should help when you are attempting to foster accountability.

Strive for clarity in five areas:

1. Clear expectations. The first step is to be crystal clear about what you expect. This means being clear about the outcome you're looking for, how you'll measure success, and how people should go about achieving the objective. It doesn't all have to come from you. In fact, the more skilled your people are, the more ideas and strategies should be coming from them. Have a genuinely two-way conversation, and before it's over, ask the other person to summarize the important pieces - the outcome they're going for, how they are going to achieve it, and how they'll know whether they're successful - to make sure you're ending up on the same page. Writing out a summary is a good idea but doesn't replace saying it out loud.

Organizational Excellence : Key Differences Between Training and Development

Posted by kevinb on 11/6/17 (1297 reads)

Companies spend a lot of time and money on recruiting the best talent possible, and one way to assure a return on that people investment is to have a formalized plan for both initial training and ongoing development. In the first days, weeks and months of employment, the focus needs to be on effective onboarding, which consists of orientation and training to learn about the organization and the basics of a new role. Once an employee is acclimated and productive, keeping the focus on ongoing growth and improvement yields benefits for the person and the organization.

Although TRAINING and DEVELOPMENT are sometimes used interchangeably, they are actually two different processes with distinct attributes and value to employees and the business.   

1)  Focus

The focus of TRAINING is on equipping people to perform the JOB or ROLE. It is all about ensuring the ABILITY to complete required tasks. Training applies to employees who are new to the company or to a position, as well as to existing employees who need to add or improve skills as technology and business needs change. Training exists primarily to meet organizational requirements and, as such, it is a company-centric process

Leadership : New Leader Onboarding

Posted by kevinb on 10/11/17 (825 reads)

Now that you've hired 'em, what are you going to do with 'em?

Once you have gone through the search and recruiting process, invested a fair amount of time and money, and selected the right candidate (in whom you are now going to invest even more time and money), you need to think about how you are going to help that new leader be highly productive as quickly as possible.

Do you have an effective orientation process? Do you provide someone to help the new leader get through the "necessaries?" Have they been introduced to the appropriate people in the organization? Have you made them feel welcome and a part of the team? 

Too often, newly-hired executives, equipped with as little as a job description, a few introductions, and a brief company orientation, are asked to dive into their new job...with high expectations for success. Unfortunately, regarding CEOs and according to the Harvard Business Review, 2 out of 5 new CEOs fail in their first 18 months on the job. Can your company afford to have a new CEO, or any executive, who is not working out, or even not operating at a high level of effectiveness? The answer, of course, is no.

Organizational Excellence : Book Summary: "Getting Naked" by Patrick Lencioni

Posted by kevinb on 9/27/17 (2271 reads)

A Business Fable About Shedding the Three Fears that Sabotage Client Loyalty

Let's first address the obvious: this book has an eye-catching and even provocative title. However, what Lencioni is referring to as "getting naked" is the willingness to be vulnerable, for consultants, service providers...really any person or any organization. He views that vulnerability is one of the most undervalued and misunderstood of all human emotions and that "there is no better way to earn a person's trust than by putting ourselves in a position of unprotected weakness and demonstrating that we believe they will support us."

Yet society encourages us to avoid vulnerability, to always project strength, confidence, and poise, and when it comes to important, ongoing relationships, doing so stifles our ability to build trust. It runs counter to the old adage never let them see you sweat because we should, instead, acknowledge our sweatiness and show clients that we are honest and self-assured enough to be worthy of their trust. And that, ultimately, it is our honesty, humility, and selflessness that will endear us to our clients and allow them to trust and depend on us as real partners.

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