Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Soft As A Brick and The Anatomy of Peace

The Anatomy of Peace, by The Arbinger Institute . . . what a great new (revised) book, for business
AND personal life.  I hear a lot about trying to separate work and home and the more I hear and read the more I’ve come to realize that it’s impossible.  This book will help with that balance.  After reading, you’ll look at everyday things and people so differently.  We cause conflict.  We hold on to conflict.  But we also have the ability to solve conflict.  It all comes from within and how WE relate to OTHERS.  We can’t sit back and wait for someone else to take the first step.  Be proactive and read this book and learn from deep within about the person that you can, and should be.

Today I have the honor of hosting Sam Whitney, Client Solutions Manager at The Arbinger Institute, with a great lesson for us all.

Soft As A Brick
Some time ago I worked as a trainer for a fairly large organization. As a trainer I had to coordinate with employee supervisors in order to obtain training topics and schedule training. One of my supervisors was not helping me; in fact he was sabotaging my trainings. And, it seemed clear, he was doing it on purpose. He would “forget” to schedule the sessions, not give me proper topics, and then undermine what I was saying during the training sessions. I was very close to making a formal complaint and I was hopeful I could get him fired.  I had been working with my training supervisor for months looking for a solution to all the problems he was causing me. I wasn’t treating him poorly, and I felt I was doing a great job as a trainer; I had no clue as to why he was being such a problem.

Soon the book The Anatomy of Peace fell into my lap with a recommendation that it might help solve my problem. My first reaction was “I don’t need this, I just need to get this supervisor out of my way.” But I was wrong. As I read the book I was impressed how the ideas challenged me to get outside of my own way of seeing. This was really hard for me to do because it forced me to see this supervisor as a person. There was one line in the book that changed the whole game for me, “We invite in others the very behaviors we say we hate.” When I read that I realized I needed to be responsible for my contribution to the problem I was having. I was finally able to see how I was actually provoking negative behavior from this supervisor. It turns out the way I was going about scheduling was not working for the supervisor; it was hindering his own scheduling. I was also training in a way that was not taking into account what the employees needed and what the supervisor needed. I found out that he thought I was the problem.

I decided to have a meeting. In this meeting I told the supervisor all the things I was doing that I thought were getting in his way or making his life harder. He was impressed and after discussing both of our needs and objectives we saw that neither of us was worthy of firing. We both were trying our best but had been blind to how we were affecting each other.

From that moment on our work changed dramatically. Training's improved. We held them more often and with better topics. The employees benefited, sales increased overall, and the company was able to see improved engagement from its employees.

Here at Arbinger we have a saying about The Anatomy of Peace—it’s about as soft as a brick. It hit me hard when I needed it most.


Sam Whitney is Client Solutions Manager at the Arbinger Institute, the organization-author of the bestsellers Leadership and Self-Deception and The Anatomy of Peace, which teach concepts and models designed around the idea that seeing people as people can dramatically impact the results we achieve in organizations, in relationships, and in the world. Click here to learn more.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Treasure in Books

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates loot on Treasure Island
and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life."

This is one of my favorite Walt Disney quotes.  A lot of quotes we see, no matter who they come from, tend to be just soundbites.  But they're just comments with little actual meaning and left up to the reader to interpret.

But this quote leaves little to figure out.  Reading is important.  It's important all the way through school . . . and beyond.  Anything you want to learn more about is probably in a book.  The Internet can be a great resource, but it doesn't take the place of a great book.

Whether we're trying or not, learning never ends and we all need to feed that learning.  I'm always talking about this with leaders.  Things change, people change, cultures change, and there are a number of author's out there that keep up on these changes for us.  All we need to do is pick up a book here and there.

Take a look at some of these author's writings and build your loot:  Mark Miller, Bill Treasurer, Julie Winkle Giulioni, Lee Cockerell, Cheryl Bachelder, Ken Blanchard, Chris Edmonds, Kevin Eikenberry.  Now get out there and pick up a book.

Monday, June 15, 2015

“To Do” or “To Stop?”

Well, I've been away from the blogosphere for about a month, but what a great way to
jump back in.  Today's guest blogger is John Manning, author of the brand new book, The Disciplined Leader: Keeping the Focus onWhat Really Matters.  Whether your leadership is in need of focus or refocus, this book is the place to go.  John gives you the tools to prioritize and create the right balance of activities to achieve the most successful results.

“To Do” or “To Stop?”
If you’re struggling with time management and feeling overwhelmed by the trivial many, it’s time to create a “To Stop” list.

Include activities on your list that aren’t vital to your professional and personal life and that can either be terminated or delegated to others. Consider involving your staff members in helping you develop this list, asking for their input. You may have people on your team who are happy to step up and assume more responsibility to improve their own skills. Lose what lacks real value in your life, and you’ll free up more time to focus on the “vital few” factors that drive your success.

Here are four steps to help you develop your “To Stop” list:

Evaluate where you spend your time. Pick an average week or month and chart your activities — write down what you are doing and what percentage of time you are spending on various tasks and responsibilities, e.g., answering emails, conference calls, putting out proverbial fires, etc. Within that snapshot, analyze when you were most productive — what did that look like? When were you least productive — what did that look like? Of everything you’ve listed, what really matters? Anything that qualifies as “noise” or is extraneous to your company’s mission and core strategies isn’t vital. Those are the items that belong on your “To Stop” list.

Understand the impact. Once you’ve charted what you’re truly doing with your precious time, it will be impossible to ignore or overlook the correlation between the “trivial many” and lost productivity. Let that discovery and any associated revelations (good or bad!) get under your skin and motivate you. Embrace this very natural catalyst to jumpstart the changes you’ll personally need to make.

Challenge yourself to let go. Just as you would with an unhealthy relationship or a bad habit, call upon self-discipline to let go of the work habits undermining your progress, productivity and profit. Take your “To Stop” list and start acting on it. Challenge your team and ask them to step up and take on some added responsibility. Simply put, to stop what’s on your “To Stop” list! Either find someone else to do it or quit it altogether.

Stay focused on the “Vital Few.” Once you’ve eliminated the “trivial many” from your daily agenda, be proactive about doing more of what’s essential to your success. How? Dedicate your free minutes to the “Vital Few,” whatever is directly related to your core mission, critical goals, or only what you can or should do. Stay the course, centered in this way, and you’ll find it’s much easier to avoid the temptation to slip back into old habits or get derailed by those ever-new distracters.

What are some of the “trivial” things you do that you could assign to others?


Originally published February 9. 2015


John Manning is the president of Management Action Programs, Inc. (MAP), and author of The Disciplined Leader - now available on Amazon. Learn more about his work at www.disciplinedleader.com, or connect with him on Twitter @JohnMManning.

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Tuna Sandwich Named Kevin

I just recently saw one of those cute little sayings on Facebook that said, “Strange new trend at the
office. People putting names on food in the company fridge. Today I had a tuna sandwich named Kevin”.
As funny as that sounds, it’s actually pretty accurate. And that’s not so funny. Whether it’s a sandwich, an employee or personal space in the “cube farm”, R-E-S-P-E-C-T seems to be often missing. With a lack of respect comes a lack of trust. With a lack of trust comes an unproductive office. Oh yes, creativity also takes a hit.

Did I mention that teamwork suffers, as does enthusiasm and commitment to the organization? Let's not forget that customer service suffers. Motivation decreases, and so does communication.

Seems to be a trend here. Instead of having to deal with all of these negatives, why not show some respect for your employees and colleagues and turn those negatives into positives?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The NEW One Minute Manager


today’s
leaders.  It doesn’t matter if you read the original or not, you’re going to want to catch up with the new updated edition.  The underlying principles remain the same, however the book describes how effective leadership is now based more on side-by-side relationships instead of the dying top-down interpretation.


The One Minute Manager has been a staple on any leadership book list since 1982, and the revised edition is going to ensure that it stays there.  A lot has changed, technologically and professionally, since the ‘80’s, so it just makes sense that “One Minute” changes.

The three “secrets” of,
  • One Minute Goals - keep them front and center
  • One Minute Praisings - be honest
  • One Minute Re-Directs (formerly Reprimand) - for the learner (which we all should be)
have been updated, to make huge differences for a new generation of leaders.

There are so many quotes in this book that will become classic all over again.  “Never punish a learner - re-direct their behavior.”  “The best minute I spend is the one I invest in people.”

The book is still an easy 100 page read, so take advantage of an afternoon to make a difference for yourself and for those you lead.  One minute really CAN make a difference.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Powerful New Leaders LiveCast - FREE

If you're a new leader, a leader of leaders, or responsible for leadership development in your organization, STOP.  Because what I'm about to announce is for YOU.

Over 5 years ago, Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris introduced the Bud to Boss Workshop.
Just over 4 years ago, they released the bestselling book, From Bud to Boss: Secrets to a Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership. Since then they've influenced thousands of leaders and organizations with practical approaches to becoming a more competent and confident leader.

And now they're announcing a powerful, new event: The Bud to Boss Video Livecast. This content-packed, free event will provide insight, information and inspiration for anyone interested in creating more effective leadership skills.

Taking place on April 17 from 1–4 pm ET, attendees will:
  • Have an opportunity to submit questions that will be answered during the Livecast by best-selling authors, Kevin Eikenberry & Guy Harris.
  • Hear a one-on-one interview with Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., discussing her leadership transitions and successful leadership in general.
  • Listen to targeted interviews with expert leadership authors and practicing leaders discussing and addressing the concerns of new leaders, and providing valuable insight for all.
  • Earn valuable giveaways, prizes and more!

To learn more and to reserve your free seat, visit the website here.


Believe me . . . it WILL be worth your time.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Wind In Your Sails

I like reading good books about leadership, business, and entrepreneurialism.  I also like sailing.
 Wind In Your Sails, by David Greer is right up my alley.  The thing is, the book doesn’t just have things I like, David puts them all together in an interesting and extremely informative manner.  It’s a new favorite.

Wind In Your Sails takes you through ten strategies for entrepreneurial success.  This includes vision, goals, innovation, sales, products, and people.  Did you catch that last one?  People.  There’s a common thread throughout the book.  Like David said, “People buy products and services. People deliver them. People create products.”  In order to be successful, you must know how to “attract, retain, and motivate the people in your business”.

This book doesn’t rely on a bunch of theories someone threw together in order to get their name on the cover of a book.  David Greer shares his 35 years of experience along with case studies of a number of other successful entrepreneurs.

Each of the chapters include said case study, lessons learned, and action challenges.  So it’s not a book you’re going to just read and put down to attract dust.  If you really want to be successful, you’ve got a great big helping hand right here.  Action - produces success.