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. Agreed! Also, to add to that sentiment, to 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.” – Seven of Nine.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.”