Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mastering Leadership

Wow, how time flies.  It's been about a month since I posted last, but what a way to come back, with a guest
post 
from Bob Anderson and Bill Adams.  Their new book Mastering Leadership, was released yesterday.  You should definitely pick one up.  I'm sure you won't regret it.

From Taxi Team to Team Captain
The most powerful beliefs are the beliefs and internal assumptions by which we establish our identity. These powerful self-defining beliefs get incorporated into the core of our IOS throughout our life from emotionally powerful, positive, or painful experience. They also are installed by important people in our lives—parents, teachers, coaches, bosses, mentors, political leaders—and by institutional, national, and cultural affiliations. As we adopt these assumptions, we live by them and reinforce them. The brain puts them on autopilot so that we do not have to think about them anymore. They are just seen as true.

Bob: One of my deeply embedded assumptions is that I must be perfectly successful in order to be okay. I come by this belief honestly, and most of the experience that created this belief was positive. For example, when I was 13, I tried out for the football team. I had never played football, and most of the guys on the team had been playing for a few years. I did not know that you needed to work hard to get noticed by the coaches, so I stood patiently on the sidelines waiting to be put on the practice field. As such, I was not seen as a player. Since the coaches did not have the heart to cut me, I ended up on the “Taxi Squad.” The few of us on this squad practiced together on another field. The real team had eight male coaches. We had Mrs. Dixon, a nice lady who knew nothing about football.

At this time, I was not moving in the circles in which I wanted to move. The cool kids were on the football team, and as long as I was on this Taxi Squad, I had little chance of getting accepted into their group. To make matters worse, all the cheerleaders practiced near where the team practiced, and I did not have their attention either. I was a nobody.
One day, Mrs. Dixon did not show up and the coaches were forced to allow the Taxi Squad to practice with the team. What happened that day changed my life. I was playing left defensive tackle and after a play in which I must have done something right, one of the coaches picked me up, lifted me up above his head and screamed into my face, “That was great! Do that again.”

I was so unaware of what I just did that I asked him what I had done.

He took a personal interest in me for the rest of the practice. He taught me how to play that position. Soon, I was wreaking havoc on the offense. That week I went from Taxi Squad to captain of the team. I started on offense and defense for the rest of the season. I also moved into the center of the boys with whom I wanted to be friends. I even piqued the interest of the cheerleaders. I went from nobody to somebody in one practice.

I learned that day that I am somebody if I am first string, captain of the team. I learned that I had to be the best, first string or else I would be a nobody.

This story illustrates how the driven nature of my personality began to form. I could tell other stories about how this drive was refined into the need to be flawless at everything I did. So, I entered adult life believing that my worth and self-esteem, the success and security of my future, depended utterly on being flawlessly successful all the time.

Of course, I assumed I would be a good mentor; however, that was not the case. My perfectionist standards and fear of failure combined to make me inept at letting go to others so that they might learn. What made this so difficult for me was that I had to let go when we were working with key clients. I did not do this gracefully. Every time one of my colleagues was not performing well enough, I became terrified that I would lose the client. Consequently, I took over the session and later pointed out all the ways my colleague could have done better. This approach so undermined their confidence that no one could learn from me, and I was failing to scale the business.

My perfectionism and need to be successful had me. I did not have them. I did not start to face this belief until after two years of failing to scale the business. Once I saw how I was the problem, as I dropped into this belief structure to see its illusion, and as I began to see my fear-driven perfectionism as resulting from another irrational belief, I began to mentor more effectively and the business began to scale nicely.

These beliefs form the core of the Reactive operating system—the mechanisms by which we form our externally validated identity. Because we need to be seen by others as X, our self-esteem, security, and future are in their hands. They make us up. How they see us defines us. We depend on external validation, living within the confines of a Socialized Self, as the Self-Authoring, Creative Self lives beyond the bounds of these Reactive beliefs. We tend to oscillate and return to normal as we react to meet the expectations of these beliefs. This is how Reactive Mind is structured and, since structure determines performance, how it performs.

*****

Excerpted from Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results, by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams (Wiley, 2015)

Bob Anderson is Chairman and Chief Development Officer and Bill Adams is CEO of The Leadership Circle and the Full Circle Group. They are coauthors of Mastering Leadership (Wiley). Visit www.fcg-global.com or http://www.theleadershipcircle.com.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The New Social Learning

Things are not always as they seem.  They’re not as simple as they seem.  And social learning is no different.  Social learning is of course nothing new.  But how it’s accomplished is always changing.
 We’re not just talking Facebook and Youtube.  The New Social Learning: Connect. Collaborate. Work, by Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner, shows us how to capitalize on the people, tools, technology, and practices in order to increase engagement and collaboration.  In this book you will read about organizations that have transformed meaningful social learning into advantages over other organizations.

Don’t do what most people do and just focus on the tools.  How can they be used to your advantage?  People have a great desire to make a difference.  Learn here to facilitate the growth in the way people learn.  See how you can learn to “work outloud” to build learning relationships.

Share this book with your training, marketing, and HR departments.  Heck, all departments.  And don’t forget the leadership team.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Collaboration Begins with You

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about reviewing books, it’s don’t miss a Ken Blanchard book.
 Collaboration Begins with You: Be a Silo Buster, is no different.  This new book by Ken, Jane Ripley, and Eunice Parisi-Carew is a book for every employee.  We shouldn’t wait for a culture of collaboration to begin from the top.  It begins with you.

The authors share a parable - which makes it an easy read for everyone - on the three-part approach to busting silos around you; the heart, the head, and the hands.  Put it all together and it provides a way for us to change our beliefs of collaboration so that we can truly work together instead of just going through the motions.  In order for collaboration to really work properly, it needs to become company-wide . . . and accepted.

So you think you, or your organization, are already collaborative.  Try the self-assessment towards the end of the book.  You may soon feel a bit different about those thoughts.  It’s easy for organizations to fall into the beliefs of how good they think they are.  But once you actually, honestly look at the Heart, Head, and Hands domains of collaboration, you might very well see that, Hmm, we have some work to do.

This book will show you how to break down the barriers and get started, instead of waiting for it to filter down.  The outcome?  A collaborative mindset leading to increased trust and productivity.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Flip Flops in the Office

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about things his manager does that drives
him nuts (many).  The one issue that really struck a cord was flip flopping.

I've had a couple of managers throughout my working years that were pros at flip flopping. Whether it was making changes to a new SOP and eventually flipping right back to the way it was originally written, or telling me to do one thing and then completely going off when it's being done.  

Now don't get me wrong.  There's nothing wrong with changing your mind.  Things change. Circumstances change.  I totally expect it.  But to be a good and trusted leader, you must take the time to think things through.  Knee jerk reactions have a bad habit of coming back on you.  People start to wonder what the interpretation of the day is.  You may think it doesn't affect you, but it affects your team and the way they do their jobs and the way they think about you, whether positively or negatively.  Flip-flopping will eventually lead to people throwing up their arms and giving up and negatively impacting the culture.  Then everyone's productivity goes down.

I think a lot of it comes down to time management.  Throughout the last 20 years or so I can't even count the number of times I've heard how "busy" people are, and that's their excuse for not reacting or thinking through.  Everyone is busy, but time is an important factor in good leadership.  You have to make the time.  Leaders are role models, whether that means good ones or bad ones.  The easier you make your teams job, the easier you're going to make your job.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Time for Co-Active Leadership

Easy to read.  Quick to read.  Powerful learning.  Unlike so many leadership books, Co-Active Leadership: Five Ways to Lead, by Karen and Henry Kimsey-House breaks down
leadership into an easy to understand and implement model.  The Co-Active Leadership Model is broken down into the Co-Active Leader Within, in Front, Behind, Beside, and in the Field.  Before you even start reading, you have a good idea where it’s going which helps you understand even better.  A big focus on who we are, what matters, and making connections.

Leadership is not just about standing within your own bubble and outwardly directing.  This book shows us how to get over that, and to become a complete responsible leader that others want. It's just the size and type of book that's perfect to use for a leadership development program full of people who "don't have time". Once they read Co-Active Leadership they'll be asking for more. . . . . Maybe Co-Active Coaching?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Genius of Opposites

Opposites attract, right?  Sometimes in better ways than others.  Understand how introverts and extroverts can
work together and you’ve got a winning team.  We know that opposites have differences . . . duh.  The key is to understand what those differences are and enrich those different skills to understand and appreciate the other.


Jennifer Kahnweiler’s new book, The Genius of Opposites: How Introverts and Extroverts Achieve Extraordinary Results Together, shows us how to work, together, with someone who is our opposite.  This is a five-step plan to grow a cohesive partnership.  Conflict can be a good thing and Jennifer uses some excellent examples of famous opposites to explain.

Being an introvert myself, I found this book compelling and strengthening.  With the information, examples, tools, and techniques included in this book, it would make a great series of lunch and learns for your leaders and team members.


I'm pleased to have Jennifer Kahnweiler as my guest blogger today.

Email: a Multiplier of Misunderstandings?


When was the last time you came back to your office and listened to 100 voicemails?  More likely you responded to the many emails in your inbox.

I reached my saturation point a few weeks ago after I realized that I had not one live conversation all day.  That is an energy drain for an extrovert.  The real tipping point came during a back and forth email dialogue with an introverted work colleague.

As our email tennis match proceeded, I could see the misunderstandings multiply.  I wrote him an email to ask for a five minute phone call to clear up the issue.  He wrote back, asking me if we could “settle it on email”.  “No way,” I thought.  “It would take more time to write each other again that it will to talk.”

So, a bit nervously, I picked up the phone and dialed his number anyway.  We had a brief conversation in which he explained his position and we discussed several viable options.  The matter was resolved in four minutes.
I know that, as an introvert, he prefers to communicate via email.  As an extrovert, I agree — most of our communication can be handled that way.  I also believe that a personality preference is not a prescription for every situation.  There are times when we need to be able to ask each other questions, dig a little deeper, and listen to a person’s voice tone to better understand their point of view.  We also need to clearly express what we mean.

To what degree should the situation drive the communication mode?  How much do you moderate your preferred style to accommodate others?


Originally published 2/6//2009 on JenniferKahnweiler.com.
Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D., Certified Speaking Professional, is a bestselling author and global keynote speaker known as the “champion for introverts.” In addition to her latest book, The Genius of Opposites, she has written two bestselling books about introverts (Quiet Influence and The Introverted Leader), which have been translated into 14 languages.

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.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chess Not Checkers

A book worth the wait with no disappointment.  I’m talking about Mark Miller’s new book, Chess Not
Checkers: Elevate Your Leadership Game.  There are a handful of authors that I look forward to new books from, and Mark is definitely in that class.

Blake Brown is back in this easy to read, easy to follow, hard to put down story about learning how to go from the “fun, highly reactionary game” of leadership checkers to the strategy, unique abilities, and heightened focus of leadership chess.  Mark’s leadership experience and knowledge shines through as I find myself nodding my head up and down as I read these intuitive concepts.  I can tell that he’s been there and done that, and that’s a big draw to any of his books.  Most of us can only dream about having mentors like the story’s Debbie and Jack.  Now we can, at least on paper.

There are so many lessons to be learned that I couldn’t even begin to speak in depth to them.  You just need to pick up a copy (and extra’s for your team) and find out for yourself.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Trial to Prevent Error

This is a lesson about finding out the hard way.  I had the brilliant idea to record a computer training session on WebEx and then convert it to .mov or .wmv to import intoCamtasia for editing.  Seemed like a pretty easy process.  Except it didn’t work!
                        
After multiple attempts at converting, with the WebEx converter, I decided to look up the issue on online forums.  I didn’t see anything positive.  I then asked a couple of people I work with if they had ever tried to convert WebEx video.  They had . . . and it didn’t work.

Now this isn’t meant to be a WebEx bashing session, but if I had tested it out first, I would have realized that I should have recorded right to Camtasia instead of trying to convert the WebEx recording.  I could have saved myself a lot of time AND rework.  Now I have to go back and have the person who performed the training do it all over again.


Not a great outcome, but a great lesson in making sure that I try new things out ahead of time, no matter how good it sounds.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dare to Serve . . . I Dare You


As soon as I read the table of contents I could tell I was going to like this book.  Part 1 -Whom will we serve? What is the daring destination?  Why do we do this work?  How will we work together?

I’m talking about Cheryl Bachelder’s new book, Dare to Serve: How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others.  You may know her as the CEO of Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen.  A CEO with a new way to lead that, in seven years, increased profits by 40%.  Leadership style.  No fancy gimmicks.  Just Dare to Serve leadership.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the Starship exercise that "revealed some remarkably simple lessons in leading high-performance teams." These are five things that make me stop and shake my head, thinking, why don't more leaders do this? Focus on team member strengths, determine skill gaps, respect different talents. This is why Popeyes Franchise Owner Survey results changed so dramatically in five years.

With reflection questions throughout to keep you engaged and thinking, this is a book that any leader will gain insight from.  Some people just don’t grasp the idea of servant leadership, thinking they have to roll over and become submissive.  If this is you, pick up Dare to Serve and see what it’s really about.  Learn to serve others with humility, courage, and passion.  All while increasing productivity and profits.

As Cheryl says in the book, “avoid the spotlight”.  “A leader without personal responsibility remains stuck in the spotlight and fails to serve others well.”  Look at yourself in the mirror, and Dare to Serve others.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Close the Talent Gap

This week's guest blogger is Stacy Feiner, PsyD, author of the new book, Talent Mindset:
The Business Owner's Guide to Building Bench Strength.  This book is sure to help you get connected to your employee's and help you be able to better assess your talent pipeline.

Close the Talent Gap - People Drive the Numbers
Do you have a gap between wanting a bench of strong, talented individuals to take the company into the future, but realizing you do not have a system in place for building bench strength?

The big picture questions are:
  • ·    How will your business become agile and adaptable in our new economy?
  • ·    How can you hire the right people every time?
  • ·    Do you even believe you can?
  • ·    Can you build a bench that is ready to move into bigger roles without creating new holes?
  • ·    How can you get off the talent treadmill and break the cycle of hiring less than what your company needs to peak perform?

 The answer is Strategic Talent Management: By executing a full-circle process with people at the core, you can have a system for acquiring, developing, and engaging talent that is embedded within your overall business strategy.

Strategic Talent Management provides the mechanisms for bridging your culture with your strategy. We begin with a foundation (the philosophy of the owner), add the mechanics (the nine centers of excellence), and embed this process into the culture (engagement).

The process starts by exploring your beliefs about human nature and evolving a leadership philosophy, which compels you and empowers you to activate a strategy to attract, retain and engage people at your company. You will learn how to activate your team so they can evolve at the pace your business is growing because a common struggle for businesses is that their talent does not keep pace with the growth of the organization. Ultimately, Strategic Talent Management is the ability to shape a culture that fosters the attitude and behaviors that create an engine for success.

With a Strategic Talent Management mindset, you’re ready to apply the psychological strategies, not just the financial ones that will make your company agile and capable to weather economic storms or pull out in front when the conditions are smooth. This process helps you empower individuals to achieve their aspirations, increase productivity and drive to the bottom line. The process is ongoing. It’s a commitment to change the way you lead people, which changes the way you do everything. Strategic Talent Management is about building bench strength.

This is an excerpt from Talent Mindset (available on Amazon), and what you just read is merely the tip of the iceberg. I would love for you to visit me at stacyfeiner.com or connect on Twitter @stacyfeiner so that we can continue this conversation.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why Have Good Character?

Few parents REALLY know how to prepare their children for work life.  Even fewer take the
time. Joanie B. Connell’s new book, Flying Without a Helicopter, will give them a needed boost towards their child’s journey of self-awareness to prepare them for success, not requiring them to take years to figure it out.

This book is broken down into Problems, Solutions, and Exercises, making it easy to follow and to understand.  Whether you’re a parent, a young adult, or even a manager or business owner, you’re going to read this book and end up with some much needed insight into the TRUE meaning of work and life skills.


My guest blogger today just happens to be Joanie Connell. Think about your own character. Is it appropriate for teaching your children?


Why Have Good Character?
By Joanie Connell
One evening several years back, my husband, daughter and I were sitting around the kitchen table after dinner. My husband got up and went into the pantry and shut the door behind him. I heard a bunch of rustling noises, like plastic bags being handled. I couldn’t for the life of me think of why my husband would go into the pantry and shut the door, and what he could possibly be doing in there. Then all of a sudden I remembered that I had hidden all of the Halloween candy in there! He was eating it! What do you think I did? I covered for him in front of my daughter then I took a turn!

Yes, I still do feel guilty about it, 8 years later. It just doesn’t seem right to tell my daughter that she can’t eat candy but I can. But how many of us do this? How many parents hold their children to different standards than they hold themselves? It occurs in various forms.
  • The children should get all A’s, even though the parents didn’t.
  • The children should cross at the crosswalk, even though the parents don’t.
  • The children should never lie, even though the parents do.
  • The children should not drink alcohol before the legal age, even though the parents did.
  • The children should perform community service, but the parents don’t.

Children learn character from their parents. They catch us in a lie. They ask why it is okay to tell Grandma that her cake was delicious even though we threw it away. They hear us yelling at other drivers from the car. They see whether we return the shopping cart, whether we come to a full stop at the intersection, whether we download music from iTunes or someone else’s computer.

But we shouldn’t just have good character for our kids. We should have it for ourselves first and foremost. And if we don’t have good character for ourselves or our kids, we should have it because society needs people of character for it to succeed. If we all let ourselves go, looking out for no one but ourselves, cheating the rules, and ignoring requests, we will all lose. Humans are social beings; we need each other to survive. Why not treat each other well in the process?


Joanie B. Connell, Ph.D., is a talent management expert and career coach for people across job levels, ages, and industries. She works with companies to attract, develop, and retain top talent and she works with individuals to improve their success and happiness in their careers. Learn more about Joanie and her new book, Flying without a Helicopter online at flyingwithout.com

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sprinkles - It's What They Want

What an absolute joy to read.  Chip Bell’s new book, Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service, kept a smile on my face the whole way through.


As a customer service program/training developer, I’m always looking for new ideas and twists.  Looking at it from the perspective of a fun food that (most) everyone likes is brilliant.  It’s so easy to identify with.  Customers aren’t so brand loyal anymore.  They don’t want just everyday service.  They want it “a la mode”.  They want crushed graham crackers (my favorite), cherry’s, chocolate, candy, . . . they want sprinkles.

Walt Disney once said, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends”.  People will talk about your great service.  They won’t talk about you if you’re just, meh.  You have to add that extra sprinkle.

There are so many wonderfully entertaining stories, examples, and inspirations in this book that you’ll want to share it with others.  You won’t just want to share the book but actually start implementing some of the ideas Chip speaks about.  This is the type of book that reignites.  Reignites thinking, reignites desire, reignites the spirit of why you’re in business in the first place.