10/21/14: To be a successful manager requires making the time to clearly communicate with your team. If you want to achieve high performance you must take the time to state your expectations – both of behaviors and deliverables – up front and often. No one is a mind reader and no one likes being set up to fail!
10-14-14: High performing teams don’t just happen. If you want to create a high performance team you must work to increase inclusion, build trust, and create a culture where all voices can feel heard.Team building isn’t a happy hour or a pizza party.
9-16-14: When attempting to gain employee engagement and commitment – you must communicate in an honest and transparent manner. To gain rapid and ongoing commitment tell them why the initiative is important, how it will impact them, what they can expect – what’s in it for them (WIIFM).
9-9-14: How you communicate is just as important as what you communicate. To be successful, learn the skill of flexing your message and style for various audiences.
9-2-14: If you want to be a great leader you have to have more than just great vision, you must also have the ability to communicate that vision, and empower others to want to help you make it a reality.
8-26-14: Before you take off running make sure you establish clear processes for communication, otherwise things get lost in translation, delayed, or not completed. Be clear and concise at the beginning and you’ll be happy with the result at the end.
8-19-14: Learn to listen, not just hear, but listen. This is a skill imperative for success – professionally and personally.
8-12-14: If you want to attract the right talent to help your business succeed – you need to know your identity. Figure out who you are, what your culture is, and then hire those who are a skills and culture fit.
8-6-14: If you want your business to reach high performance then you must make sure you have a culture of communication. Communication in all directions – up, down, and lateral is imperative to success.
7-15-14: Take care of your people. Provide rewards and recognition for accomplishments, and celebrate each small win, not just the big wins, that contribute to organizational success.
7-8-14: Leaders impact business performance directly and indirectly and positively and negatively. To be a successful leader develop a heightened level of awareness. You must be aware of your behaviors and actions, how they are perceived, and how those perceptions impact those you lead.
6-24-14: Want to be a successful leader? “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” -Bill Gates. If you want your people to support you – you must empower them.
6-17-14: For change to be successful leadership must be committed and engaged. Leaders must pay attention to the changes occurring. Ask how things are going. Focus on progress and barriers for change management and offer solutions. One of the worst possible scenarios is to have the leaders ignore the process.
6-9-14: Are you setting goals? You must believe in setting goals. We live by goals – professionally and personally. For most, our total existence is goal-oriented. Goals should be a stretch but realistic. Progress is easier when it is timed, checked, and measured.
6-3-14: During times of change – don’t forget those impacted are people – treat them fairly. People who are afforded clarity, honesty, dignity, understanding, and compassion are more likely to have less resistance and to accept change. – helping your change effort succeed.
5-27-14: Don’t piss people off with poor process. Make sure you have clear, consistent, and easy to follow processes established for delivering your goods and services – and for resolving any customer related issues – and train employees on how to execute these processes.
5-20-14: To be a great leader it’s not enough to have a vision. You must be able to communicate that vision in a way that gets others to buy into it and support you in making it a reality. To make your vision a reality become an expert communicator!
5-13-14: You want to keep great talent? You want to get maximum performance? Recognize and reward! Recognize and reward. Recognize and reward! “You shouldn’t be looking for people slipping up, you should be looking for all the good things people do and praising those.” – Richard Branson
5-6-14: Don’t feel you need to know all the answers in advance to solve a problem or to reach a goal – but do plan in advance. Have a clear idea of the problem you want to solve – and a clearly defined list of actions and strategy – for how you plan to solve the problem.
4-29-14: Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.” – Rudy Giuliani. However, you do need a strategy to guide you to your destination. Make your strategy clear, concise, and actionable and communicate it to employees and customers. Define how you measure success and adapt as needed.
4-22-14: Change is never easy. Expect tough times ahead; people often expect that after the initiation event, it should go smoothly, but the most painful part is yet to come: the transition period. Recognizing this early on in the process – and planning for how to manage transition – will help ease tough times ahead.
4-15-14: For change to stick – identify all necessary training and provide it. Try to involve the impacted groups upfront. Pilot the change, if possible. Follow through and never stop communicating!
4-1-14: Are you a learning organization? To stay competitive you must have processes in place for learning and knowledge transfer. Course correct as needed. Stay agile, stay flexible, keep evolving. “Learning is not compulsory… neither is survival.” – W. Edwards Deming
3-25-14: You can’t wait until factors force you to change if you wish to be successful. You must constantly be preparing for and working toward improvement. “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
3-17-14: “The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon…” – John P. Kotter. Be prepared for constant change. Understand what upheaval change can bring – plan, execute and adapt.
3-11-14: Take the time to invest in team building it will lead to increased team performance. High performing teams are like a band. We need not all play the same part, but, we MUST all play in harmony if the piece is to be performed successfully.
3-4-14: Are you a true leader? If not, you may want to work toward being one. Motivate others, support them. This is one sign of being a great leader. “True leadership lies in guiding others to success. In ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well.” – Bill Owens
2-25-14: Ongoing innovation and business readiness to change are imperative to growth. Plan ahead, stay agile, adapt, embrace change don’t fear it, and “Change before you have to.” – Jack Welch.
2-18-14:“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” — Bill Gates. Be a great leader, empower those you lead to not only want to follow you, but to empower others.
2-11-14: Establish a clear vision for the change management process. Paint a picture of where the organization will end up and the anticipated outcomes. Make certain the picture is one of reality and not what people “wish” would occur.
2-4-14: “Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.”- Yoda. To be a successful leader it is imperative to ask for feedback from employees and create a culture or sharing ideas. Many leaders can easily develop ivory tower syndrome – don’t! If you remain open to expanding your point of view, innovation will follow, and then so shall success.
1-28-14: To grow a successful high performing business you must embrace change, remain agile, stay flexible and course correct as needed. “I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott. Want to learn more on what it takes view our checklist here!
1-21-14: In planning for and managing change, anticipate and promptly deal with objections and resistance. Like in a political campaign, if you let them sit, people will assume they are true. Stay flexible. Be willing to modify the process in the face of public opinion and evolving events.
1-14-14: Change is never easy, and anyone that tells you that it will be is full of it, change is hard work and it doesn’t always succeed the first time.“Sometimes by losing a battle, you will find a new way to win the war.” – Donald Trump. Commitment, determination, and willingness to learn are imperative to success.
1-7-14: It’s a new year! “There are two ways to face the future. One way is with apprehension; the other is with anticipation”. – Jim Rohn . Have you anticipated what 2014 may bring? Have you developed a plan and strategies to guide you toward success? If not, don’t be apprehensive, begin now.
12-17-13: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” - Henry Ford. Building your team is the beginning, keeping your team engaged and high performing creates progress toward achieving your organizational goals, achieving your goals creates success. Focus on your team – your people, they matter, without them you won’t have much success!
12-10-13: “What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.” – Donald Trump. If your organization is going through twists and turns and ups and downs; if you want to be a winner then prepare for change, strategically manage change, and maintain honest communication and a sense of determination.
12-3-13: Spend the time to empower your people, develop their skills and abilities, and create a culture where they can bring their full selves to work. As Stephen R. Covey said. “An empowered organization is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organizational success.”
11-19-13: Recognize the human element in the change. People have different needs and different ways of reacting to change. They need time to deal with and adjust to change. Include the human element in your change management framework if you wish to expedite success.
11-12-13: To be a great leader be honest and worthy of trust. Treat people with the same respect you expect from them. The entire organization will benefit.
11-5-13: To excel, be both a manager leader and…not one or the other. Don’t just have subordinates, inspire followers.
10-22-13: A culture of adaptability and flexibility leads to resiliency and sustainability, that is the basis for success. Create an organization that is nimble and agile.
10-15-13: Excellence is not an accomplishment. It is a spirit, a never-ending process. – Lawrence M. Miller. Not everything can be a “quick win.” The most successful organizations embrace this concept, constantly strive for excellence, and create and develop cultures of high performance.
10-8-13: It’s ok to not know all the answers. To solve a problem or to reach a goal you don’t need to know all the answers in advance. But you must have a clear understanding of the problem you want to solve or the goal you want to reach. You then need to develop a clear and actionable strategy to achieve that goal, communicate that strategy, and execute with precision.
10-1-13: “If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.” -Tom Peters. Often it’s easy to make excuses, as to why not to take advantage of a potentially good opportunity, on that could lead to positive growth and change. High performing organizations capitalize on opportunities, plan for how to best take advantage of them, and execute with precision. Don’t pull down the shade, let the sun shine in!
9-24-13: Are you focused on building strong and trusted relationships? You should be if you expect success! “In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions.”- Margaret Wheatly. Relationships matter, take the time to build and nurture them!
9-17-13: “I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.” – Jack Welch. Wise words. When managing change, executing strategy, developing new processes, or attempting organizational improvements – mistakes are bound to occur. Don’t scrap your initiatives and bail on your efforts, learn from the mistakes, course correct, and keep on pushing ahead for success!
9-10-13: Leaders, innovation, engagement and positive change don’t happen on a whim. Improvement and sustainability take time and commitment. “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want it’.” – Lao Tzu. If you really want to continually improve, make the time and commitment to plan and act!.
8-27-13: Feedback is an important part of a trusted relationship. Leaders often feel that in their role they can provide feedback how and when they want. If high performance is valued, this is not the case. The person receiving the message must decide they are ok to listen, free to ask questions for clarity, and trust the sender of the message. Be cautious. How you give feedback is just as important as what feedback you give.
8-20-13: “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight Eisenhower . A huge difference between being a boss and being a great leader – ability to inspire others to be their best! When people feel you have their best interests in mind, they also tend to trust you, and want to support your efforts. Be a great leader, inspire those you lead, and reap the rewards.
8-13-13: “You must do the things you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. Growth, both personal and professional, occurs outside our comfort zone. The most successful and sustainable businesses are those that are always innovating, open to feedback, always willing to test new things, and never become complacent. If you want to be a high performing organization – don’t fear change – embrace it!
8-6-13: “The idea is to see what’s missing. That’s what the creative entrepreneur (business) does. They serve people with things that they need.” – Russell Simmons. You need to serve your employees with what they need, they will then serve your customers with what they need, and in turn your stakeholders will be served with what they need. Win-win-win.
7-30-13: “Don’t tell anybody to do anything different without telling them what’s in it for THEM!” – Jack Welch. Wise words. If you expect people to adapt quickly and to buy-in and commit to change – policy, process, technology, role etc. – then you need to first take the time to explain to them why the change is happening, how it impacts their work (or lives), and what’s in it for them once success is achieved.
7-23-13: Making your organization a more high performance organization and better place to work requires undertaking improvement initiatives and change. Everyone responds differently to change. Start at the top. Start with each individual. Start where they actually are (not where you want them to be). This means sometimes you start from short term planning and sometimes vision and values and sometimes individual mentoring. Though, a one size fits all approach may seem easy, it’s not always best for success.
7-16-13: If you’re growing, as an individual or an organization, you’re always going to be out of our comfort zone…deal with it!! The results well outweigh the discomfort.
7-9-13: Don’t confuse influence with control. You may not always be in a position to control changes or organizational improvement initiatives; however you’re most likely in a position to exert some form of influence over the process and the outcome. Regardless of your role, own your influence.
7-2-13: “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – George Patton. Keep strategic planning simple. It is often one of the most over-complicated initiatives a business undertakes. The more complex the process, the lower the levels of commitment, the lower the levels of commitment the less likely you are to achieve your goals. By all means have a process to develop, communicate, and execute your strategy – however keep it timely, structured, and as simple as possible.
6-25-13: You can’t communicate too much. Communication builds trust. Trust increases performance. Don’t just communicate during times of change; communicate all the time, up, down and laterally. Cater your communications for your various audience groups. Be open and honest. Ask for feedback. Adapt as needed.
6-18-13: Life, as in leadership, is about the balance of wants and needs – personal wants and needs and those of others. Those who can master this balance, are open to feedback, can adapt and flex, have the self awareness regarding situation and environment – those people will see the greatest success.
6-11-13: Accountability. Transparency. Authenticity. Compassion. Respect. Trust. These things matter – a lot. Master them for success in leadership and in life.
6-4-13: “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” —Kenneth Blanchard. Too many leaders are focused on power and authority. Power and authority don’t necessarily equate to influence. Influence comes from building relationships, building relationships takes trust, trust begins with accountability and authenticity. If you want to be successful then focus on the right things! So, where is your focus?
5-28-13: Listen – no seriously just learn to listen! Ask questions for clarity, and take time to build trust. People can become far more than many expect them to become, if they are taken seriously, listened to, and given some support when needed.
5-21-13: “Analyzing others is knowledge. Knowing yourself is wisdom.” – Lao Tzu. Are you self aware? As an entrepreneur, business leader, or team member – self awareness is imperative to success. We don’t exist in a vacuum – yeah – you heard me Congress! Reaching your goals depends largely on your communication, perception and interactions with others. Increasing awareness and understanding of how your behaviors and actions are perceived and the impact they may have, allows you to adapt and flex your style, increasing your chance for success.
5-14-13: Too many companies spend too much time playing with esoteric theories and techniques du jour” – instead of just sticking to the basic practices that lead to success – connecting and maximizing people –> performance –> profit™. Focus on your people, in turn they will focus on your customers, helping your company in achieving your goals.
4-23-13: “To me, it’s always what’s next and I think that’s what drives most very successful people… It’s about achievement …winning a game…upping the ante.” - Donny Deutsch . For a business to continue to grow and to be a success requires the ability to be forward thinking. Innovation and vision are necessary. However to truly change for the better or reach the next level, requires leadership who can inspire others to want to also be innovative and work toward a common vision. Great leaders are not just great strategists but are those who strive to inspire others to achieve and create great things. Do yourself a favor, be an inspirational leader.
4-16-13: Change – of any kind – is never easy! Anyone who says so is selling you something – something you don’t want to buy. Expect tough times ahead; everyone expects that after the initiation event, it should go smoothly, but the most painful part is yet to come: the transition period. Recognizing this early on in the process, and planning for how to manage it, will help weather the storms ahead and contribute to long term success.
4-9-13: “The difference between people who succeed and people who fail, I think in many cases it’s not fear. Everyone experiences fear. The difference is what you do with your fear…” – Carly Fiorina. Most aspects of creating and maintaining a high performance organization carry risks or fear of failure; however you can’t let that stop you from trying to improve, trying to innovate, trying to create the best products and services and trying to create a great place to work. To be successful it is necessary to face risk, ask for help when needed, and overcome fear of failure.
4-2-13: “The people that really succeed in life are those that don’t quit.” – Donald Trump. If you have a vision don’t give up on trying to make it a reality. This is true of entrepreneurship, change management and successful leadership. Do your homework, develop a plan, formulate a strategy, create the right relationships. Understand that their will bumps in the road in life and in business, it’s just the nature of the game. Keep learning, reevaluate as needed, course correct if necessary, innovate and keep on moving full steam ahead.
3-26-13: “Laws tell you what you can do. Values inspire in you what you should do. It’s a leader’s job to inspire in us those values.” Do the right thing. Leaders need to take an ongoing role in defining and living the values they expect their organization to have in the marketplace. Be the type of leader who inspires positive values throughout your organization. Lead by example and set a good example. Make a positive impact. Your employees will notice and your customers will notice.
3-19-13: Leaders – provide answers to questions only if you know the answer. Act with thoughtfulness and integrity. Leaders need to listen. Avoid defensiveness, excuse-making, and answers that are given too quickly. Leaders destroy their credibility when they provide misleading information or appear to back-peddle. If you don’t know the answer – it’s OK. It is much better to say you don’t know, and that you will try to find out, than to say nothing or provide misleading information.
3-12-13: Equality is more than just a goal. Trust, collaboration, innovation and building good governance are all fostered by a belief in equality. It is a precondition for meeting the challenges required for success and long term sustainability.
3-5-13: Pay attention to this “trust thing.” Trust is the foundation of any relationship both personal and professional. Trust is difficult to earn and easy to lose. Especially when Implementing organizational improvements, it is much easier to achieve success in cultures that are already employee-oriented with a high level of trust, it gives is a huge advantage. If trust is broken, fix it ASAP. Lack of trust largely contributes to many of the barriers to positive change. So, lead by example; communicate; tell the truth; engage the people; set goals; help people learn and develop; measure results and course correct if needed – but don’t lose focus on the importance of trust!
2-26-13: “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things” – Niccolo Machiavelli. Wise words. Any change needs a champion. Be that champion. Champion positive changes in your personal life. Champion positive changes in your professional life. Change isn’t easy. Change has risk. Change also has rewards, and you’ll never know reward without risk, so go for it. Improve your life. Improve your organization. Improve society!
2-19-12: People need to know they are valued and appreciated – they need to know their contributions are making an impact toward success. This may sound simple, however a culture of recognition often lacks, and that impacts engagement and retention. Publicize rewards and recognition for positive approaches and accomplishments, and if the employee is comfortable with it, celebrate each small win publicly. A simple “thank you” can often have a more positive impact on your bottom line than a cash bonus – and the “thank you” isn’t taxed!
2-12-13: “Impossible is a word to humans use far too often. Think of opportunity not impossibility. Sometimes you may have to look back before you can move forward…however the important part is remembering to keep moving forward; this holds true in business and in life.”
2-5-13: Think of leadership and change as an adventure. It tests your skills and abilities – just like running a 5k or climbing Kilimanjaro. It brings forth talent that may have been dormant. Change is also a training ground for leadership. When we think of great leaders, we often remember times of change, innovation, and conflict. Leadership is often about shaping a new way of life – for both the leader and their followers. So leaders, tackle the adventure head on, advance change, take risks, and accept responsibility.
1-29-13: Not all people want the same things or perceive the world in the same ways – in life or in the workplace. It’s simply a reality. People are all different, even those who may look the same, each is an individual. To engage and retain your workforce take the time to get to know them. Ask them about their ideas, needs, concerns and desires. Pay attention to your people – for who they are – not what they appear to be. Value your people as individuals and watch them excel as contributors to your organizational success.
1-22-13: “Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got.” – Peter Drucker . If a culture change is desired and necessary then understand that success is an ongoing process. You need to continue at the process until the change is anchored in the culture. Culture change is transformational and true transformation takes time – just ask a Caterpillar.
1-15-13: Unless those seeking change realize that for change to be successful it requires them to alter their behavior and to develop their own skills, the change will go nowhere, and the results will not be achieved. Work on first accepting what you must change yourself, then focus on how each person will be affected, and how to address their needs as well as the organizations!
1-8-13: During times of change and transition, not trying to answer difficult questions or those to which you may have no answers yet…doesn’t help in maintaining credibility or momentum. It also doesn’t help gain buy-in or success. Communicate what you don’t know to those asking and offer to tell them why you have no answer yet or how you plan to get them one and when.
1-1-13: Change can be difficult to structure or navigate – but don’t over complicate. Often we try to bend the rules; we expect people to embrace the change because we like it or those paying for it like it. Poorly-structured changes rarely succeed and well-structured ones rarely fail. Poorly structured changes are often poorly communicated, with the result being extra resistance and pain on the way to the change; so communicate but don’t over complicate!
12-18-12: “Lao Tzu… the best change is what the people think they did themselves… “ i.e., high involvement and engagement from the onset is important. Change management and planning works best when it doesn’t become cumbersome and interfere with people being successful in their regular roles. They key is a balanced approach.
11-13-12: Regarding the people side of change, “People who are afforded clarity, honesty, dignity, understanding, and compassion have a greater openness to change.”
8-27-12: People matter – a lot! Many seem to be losing sight of this lately. Your organization couldn’t exist, yet along be successful, without committed and engaged people. Support and reward your people in their growth and development and recognize them for a a job well done. Your organization will only benefit.
7-24-12: Regarding change planning, “Change should be clearly related to an important, strategic business objective, otherwise commitment, attention, and accountability will wane.”
6-20-12: Regarding Change Leadership, “Change efforts must be coordinated by leadership. When change efforts are frequent and happening simultaneously on several fronts without coordination and communication, the organization fractures and resistance grows. Employees become confused and frustrated (and hence angry) because they are being pulled in conflicting directions.”
5-7-12: Regarding resistance to change “The key in any successful change process is to discern the need that is felt both from the organization’s perspective and the individual’s – and to address both.”
5-1-12: Regarding metrics and evaluation, “Often leaders and managers tend to view events as successful without knowing why—they have no measurements or clear expectations about what the improvement initiative will produce. Employees can see these shortcomings and delayed progress. It’s vital for metric to be in place so the group can know: How will we know that we have gotten to success?”
4-23-12: Regarding diversity. “Infinite diversity in infinite combinations.” – Vulcan proverb. Valuing diversity is a must in today’s business environment. How does your organization show value for diversity?
3-28-12: Regarding commitment to change, change is continuous. It’s not a one shot deal. Remain flexible, plan for the long term, have measures and course correct as needed.
3-12-12: Regarding change, “Successful change management strategies require not only an awareness of human behavior, but also an understanding of workplace culture.”