Saturday, April 19, 2008

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Often we try to attract talent by doing what we like rather than what would attract the individual. Dale Carnegie has a great story in his business books How to Win Friends and Influence People
"I often went fishing up in Maine during the summer. Personally, I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn't think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn't bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or a grasshopper in front of the fish and said "Wouldn't you like to have that?"
When you think about attracting talent, attracting customers then you need to think about what attracts them? That may be different for each person. Do you generalise or individualise your offer?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

When Facts are Not Enough

Global warming is often seen as a new idea, in fact the term was used by Svante Arrhenius in 1896.
So why has it taken so long to be at the forefront of the world's mind?

Well it shows that facts are not enough to convince people. Facts do not sway emotion. Although scientists have talked about this constantly, it was Al Gore who used emotive wording, emotive storytelling, emotive pictures to grab people's attention.

Facts are great, stories engage....inside and outside the business.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What Business are You In?

Theodore Levitt, the Harvard Professor challenged the railroad business in the 1960's asking

"What business are you in?"

They saw themselves as in the railroad business, but he challenged them to think differently. Together they decided that they were in the transportation business.

Do you narrow your focus? Do you see the product not the experience? Do you see how your business can change lives?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Make Business Decisions Quickly

Now I am not saying that as a business leader you should be rash about decisions, however as Jason Jennings and Luarence Haughton say in the title of their book "It's not the BIG that eat the SMALL, its the FAST that eat the SLOW"

Leadership is about making decisions...understanding what are the decisions that need to be made, asking the right questions to find the best answer, understanding what decisions you need to make and what decisions your teams need to make..

Meetings can be such a blocker to speedy decision making, they also can harm the overall decision by diluting the answer to appease people. Successful companies find a way of making speedy decisions, well assessed yes, but knowing that there will always be an element of risk. If there is no risk then you are probably not leading you are following other leaders or companies.

As a modern leader, time is of the the authors continue

"The fast thinker has a good memory, learns from previous experiences and always learns from failure including the unexpected failures that occasionally take place"

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lessons From Beyond the Graves of Leaders

I was reading ChaosScenario blog and came across a new book that talks about lessons in leadership from leaders who are now dead. Here is some insight from Ray Kroc of MacDonalds - it also shows how building companies is hard, no one not even the greats have not had setbacks...what separates them is their resilience and passion to succeed.

"Ray Kroc, a high school dropout, built a business by convincing companies that sold shakes and malts (such as Walgreens) that using paper cups instead of glassware would increase their sales volume. Kroc further helped their businesses by devising a contraption that would allow them to make multiple shakes at once.

World War II and a slew of other factors caused orders for his machines to slow to a near stop. When he happened upon a couple of brothers in California selling quick lunches (and shakes!), Kroc saw an opportunity to transform the way Americans saw lunch.

Though he may have too hastily signed a contract detailing the franchising opportunity, he never relented in his pursuit of his dream, and after more than five years of quality management and trying to make ends meet (assuming enormous debt to buy out his less ambitious business partners), McDonald's started making a profit, and eventually served "billions and billions" of burgers that, at the time, far exceeded the standard fare of the day."

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Carnival of Leadership Development

Developing leaders and indeed ourselves is imperative if business is going to flourish. Here are the latest set of blog articles that will help you develop your thinking, your management style and achieve career success.

Anna presents Leadership, comfort zones and related rant posted at The Engaging Brand

Mike King presents Preparing for your own performance review. posted at Learn This, saying, "These are some specific things that if consistently practiced, will make a big difference to improve your reviews every year."

Warren Wong presents Why You Should Be Careful When Your Business Is Going Well posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, "Some reasons to be cautious when your business has been doing really well."
GreatManagement presents Get Rid Of Procrastination Once And For All posted at The GreatManagement Blog, saying, "Everyone suffers from procrastination at some stage in their lives."

Norman Morse presents The Serene Toastmaster. posted at The Game of Self.

American Entrepreneur presents Expert Q & A: Creating an Effective Culture for Your Small Business posted at American Entrepreneurship.

Edith presents If a Seven-Year-Old Can Do It, You Can Do It Too! posted at Edith Yeung.Com: Dream. Think. Act..

Karl Goldfield presents Building a plan part 6e: Execution - Opportunities - Value makes the sale | Coaching Sales Champions posted at Coaching sales champions.

Roger Carr presents What Makes A Great Nonprofit Leader posted at Everyday Giving Blog.

Wally Bock presents Leadership: Developing leaders the natural way posted at Three Star Leadership Blog, saying, "Leaders learn to lead by leading. They don't learn to lead in a classroom. They don't learn to lead from a book. Great leadership development programs provide tools and support to help developing leaders learn faster and more effectively."

Michael Bass presents How a manager can turn employees into a team posted at Debt Prison, saying, "Are you the type of person that intelligent, educated, positive people will want to work for? Are you a happy person that is easy to get along with while still demanding the utmost in satisfaction for your customers? Can you work with a variety of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, leading them in a common goal of teamwork and success?"

wilson ng presents First Things First ? how to Work and Take care of your Boss! posted at Reflections of a BizDrivenLife, saying, "Advancing on the job means working with your boss! Get the boss to be pushing behind for you, rather than try to overtake him. Don’t gain your confidence by putting down the boss. Try to gain it by having the boss pull you up!"

GreatManagement presents What Every Manager Can Learn From Barack Obama posted at The GreatManagement Blog, saying, "What Every Manager Can Learn From Barack Obama"

Warren Wong presents How To Get Whatever You Want From Anyone posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, "How to get whatever you want from anyone you want - from money to sex to love!"

Michael Walsh presents Individual Accountability in Business posted at Business Growth, saying, "This is a good leadership development article"

Matt presents Good vs great posted at Life is your Career.

James D. Brausch presents Failure? The Doorway to Success posted at Internet Business Blog.

Mark Riffey presents If Michael Jordan is ok with failing, isn’t it ok for you? posted at Business is Personal.

Mark Riffey presents Marketing opportunities: As perishable as lettuce. posted at Business is Personal.

Alvaro Fernandez presents Maximize the Cognitive Value of Your Mental Workout posted at SharpBrains: Your Window into the Brain Fitness Revolution, saying, "Why our brains need constant novelty and learning...doing more of the same in one same domain, no matter how intellectually stimulating it may feel, is not enough "mental workout"."

Joshua C. Karlin presents Powerful Yet Reasonable Goals posted at Marketing & Fundraising Ideas.

Charles H. Green presents Trust Is the New Leadership In A Flat World posted at Trust Matters, saying, "In a flat world your suppliers and customers are your partners, and leadership requires building trust."

Shawn Driscoll presents 5 Massive Mistakes Keeping You Stuck posted at Shawn Driscoll.

Rich Vosler presents Lessons From The Geese posted at Sales Training Tips.

Mark @ TheLocoMono presents The 7 Lessons of Growth posted at TheLocoMono Website, saying, "7 insights on developing your leadership skills."

Ralph Jean-Paul presents Bounce Back After Failure posted at Potential 2 Success, saying, "Some of the most successful people in the world credit their success to a failure they’ve experienced. Bounce back from your failure and you might become one of them. Learn about the different types of failures and how to recover from them successfully."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of leadership development using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Leadership is for today

There is a wonderful quote from Mother Teresa that says

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has yet to come. We have only today. Let us begin"

Leadership needs you to balance that short term and long term thinking. Creating that dream of tomorrow...the vision of where you want to take the company or the team. However, what we do have for certain is today....dreams without actions become nightmares within the business world. thinking about tomorrow, but be taking action against your goals today.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Thought on Leadership

I was at a conference last week and someone said

"Remember, well behaved people seldom make history"

It made me smile - I am not encouraging bad behaviour! - but I love the idea that conformity does not necessarily bring success. When you think of businesses, or successful leaders, they have that ability to play within boundaries however to think differently. To think how could we make this successful, what if we did this......etc and not find reasons or problems that would stop progression.

So today...see if you can make history..see if you can behave as someone who wants to make history!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Breaking a bad leadership habit

Do you that if you moved a light switch from the right side of the door to the left side, it would take about 21 days before your brain stopped telling your right hand to turn on the switch ?

You see we are human, for instance I have a set routine for getting up or when I arrive at my desk. Habits somehow give us a comforting experience.

The problem is that as a leader we can pick up bad habits, feel comfortable with them and keep doing them despite the negative effect on others. The best way to spot to ask what they are...

Always remember you are asking the question, which means that you need to LISTEN and ACCEPT the truth as THEY see it. Don't argue, just take in the feedback. If more than one person is giving you the same feedback then the time to act may well be now!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Carnival of Leadership Development

To succeed in business management we need to have a constant learning mentality. So each fortnight, I bring together articles to help with your leadership development - hope they help to inspire your mind.

Anna presents Do you see your business as human at The Engaging Brand

Ed Rivis presents Powerful Marketing Tactic. posted at Ed Rivis.

Jay M presents Role of entrepreneurship in conceptual economy posted at 4 entrepreneur, saying, "What is the role of entrepreneurship in conceptual economy?"

James D. Brausch presents Turn Off The Tube & Turn On Your Business posted at Internet Business Blog.

Cindy King presents Consistency For International Business Success posted at Get International Clients.

Alvaro Fernandez presents Brain Fitness/ Training Newsletter: January Wrap-Up posted at SharpBrains, saying, "How can we Maintain our Brains in top shape? Here goes a selection of articles on cognitive and emotional training."

TherapyDoc presents What Faking it Til You Make It Really Means posted at Everyone Needs Therapy, saying, "You can't be a leader unless you can bring out that hero."

Adam Pieniazek presents Ray Anderson: Personal, Corporate, Societal Leader | Adam Pieniazek posted at Adam Pieniazek.

CMOE presents Executive Leadership Development: Choosing the Right Leader posted at Teamwork, saying, "This is a great article that talks about how to chose the right leaders."

Amy S Quinn presents 17 Ways to Stop Being a Perfectionist and Get More Done posted at Bootstrapper.

Karl Goldfield presents Coaching sales champions: Building a plan part 6c – Execution - Prospects – Climbing the mountain posted at Coaching sales champions.

Mark Riffey presents Righting a wrong: How business owners show they give a rip. posted at Business is Personal.

Galba Bright presents Tune up your EQ : The Most Important Thing Productivity Experts Don’t Teach You About Success posted at Tune Up Your EQ.

Sagar presents The HR Bible: 100 Articles Every Human Resources Pro Should Read posted at Bootstrapper.

GreatManagement presents As A New Manager, Don’t Spend 57% of your Time Dealing With Difficult Staff posted at The GreatManagement Blog, saying, "The majority of new managers waste around 57% of their time dealing with difficult staff? Why?"

James Feudo presents Leadership – How to get experience posted at Overnight Sensation, saying, "Getting leadership experience when you're not in a formal role at your current job can be difficult. Here are some tips for geting this experience outside of work."

Bruce Kuykendall presents The Leadership Compass posted at

Derrick Markotter presents Time For A Change posted at Online Business Blog.

Wally Bock presents What do you do with the rest of your leaders? posted at Three Star Leadership Blog, saying, "There are lots of leaders who are important to your business but who aren't "high potential." How you develop and support them has a lot to do with your long term profitability and competitive advantage."

Warren Wong presents What Commiting To Something Means And Why You Should Do It posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, "Here are good reasons why you shouldn't be afraid of commitment."

Rich Vosler presents How to get more belief in yourself posted at Sales Training Tips.

Raj Sheelvant presents Managing Complexity due to Globalization posted at IT Strategy, saying, "Leadership challenge to manage complexity due to globalization"

Dan McCarthy presents New Leader Integration Process posted at Great Leadership.

American Entrepreneur presents The Benefits of Management By Walking Around (MBWO) posted at American Small Business News.

John W. Furst presents Can One Share Overmuch? posted at E-Biz Booster Blog, saying, "Ever being ripped off? You had the idea, but someone else stole it! What's the right balance between sharing and keeping your secrets in today's attention age. Information age was yesterday, but that is a different story."

CMOE presents “Whack -a -Mole” Management posted at Teamwork, saying, "This is a great story about different manager styles. It gives a few great tips on how to be a good leader."

Leon Gettler presents New global management rules posted at Sox First, saying, "Why is it that certain methods like pay for performance fail to catch on in all countries? Why is that cross-border mergers, like the DaimlerChrysler "marriage of equals" , fall in a screaming heap? The global economy is challenging claims of business schools that there is only one way to manage."
Al presents How to Make People Follow You posted at 7P Productions, saying, "You want people to follow you? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way anymore. Instead, do you want to share a new dream, a new vision of a better world for others to pursue with you? OK, now you’re talking."
Jim Logan presents The importance of customer loyalty and its three element foundation posted at Accelerate Business Group, saying, "It's hard to disagree customer loyalty isn't a strategic success factor for most businesses. So, what makes a customer loyal?"
Joe Hungler presents Orientation-Start with the End in Mind posted at Uncle Joe's Leadership Blog, saying, "We spend a lot of time recruiting the right staff people-but not enough time making sure that they get off to a good start. How can we best position our new hires to succeed and hit the ground running?"
Mindful One presents Why Goal Setting Really Works posted at Mindful Source.

Adrian presents 5 Easy Ways to Fake Your Personality posted at Path to Your Destiny, saying, "Sometimes when we need to lead a group of people, we feel as if we don't have the greatest personality to be most effective. This post goes into five ways to fake your personality and make you more charismatic and likable, for those times when you don't feel quite that way. Enjoy!"

Louise Manning presents The mandate for leadership posted at The Human Imprint.

Alan K Rudi presents Dealing with Difficult People Tactfully | Successful Business Leadership posted at Successful Business Leadership, saying, "Communicating, especially with "difficult" people, is crucial to developing leadership skills."

Joe Hungler presents Employee Engagement and Retention posted at Uncle Joe's Leadership Blog, saying, "A major part of leading is listening. We can't lead our employees until they are engaged. Check out the survey that we use to measure retention and other indicators."

DotLobby presents Neurolinguistic Programming 101 - Rediscover Yourself! posted at DotNLP, saying, "Neuro, meaning mind, and linguistic, meaning language, combine to make NLP one of the most powerful techniques to change the way you see yourself and your world..."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of leadership development using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Thought on Achieving Success

I have always enjoyed listening and reading the thoughts of Zig Ziglar. I love this business quote that I believe people should print out and put prominently on their desk...

"Success is one thing you can't pay for. You buy it on the installment plan and make payments every day."

Monday, February 04, 2008

Information OverloadLessons by Einstein

Albert Einstein was once asked his home address but answered that he did not know and had to refer to a notebook. When asked why Einstein supposedly replied, "I make it a point not to keep anything unnecessary in my head that I can find elsewhere."

A lesson for leaders is that in a day when we have so much information at our fingertips, it is easy to become overloaded, it is easy to concentrate on the insignificant or easy data. But leadership is more than having information or data, it is about translating and filtering that information both for yourself and others so that the data can be used to create business success in the future.

What information do you hold, do you even pass on via email that is filling inboxes and brains? Do you spend your time on data and information that will inspire change?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Carnival of Leadership Development

Welcome to the January 31, 2008 edition of carnival of leadership development. I love trying to develop talent, I love trying to help people see the talent they have inside of is this fortnights look at articles around the web.

Anna presents 10 Social Media Tactics for Finding Talent posted at The Engaging Brand presents Pull Your Team’s Wagon posted at Teamwork, saying, "This is a great article about how co-workers need to work as a team."

Tash Hughes presents Negative comments and controversary « Word Constructions posted at Word Constructions.

Sagar presents 10 Ways Lazy Stupid Coworkers Can Help Boost Your Career posted at Bootstrapper.

Edith presents How to Maintain a Positive Attitude posted at Edith Yeung.Com: Dream. Think. Act..

Praveen presents RIP Richard Knerr - Thanks for the Business Lessons! posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, "Richard Knerr, the founder of the toymaker Wham-O, died at 82. His story holds lessons about business success and innovation."

Mark Runta presents Managerial Courage posted at Career Progression, Management & Global Sourcing, saying, "Strong leaders consistently demonstrate the conviction to pursue what is right and important."

Joe Hungler presents Mistakes happen . . .Then What? | Uncle Joe's Leadership Blog posted at Uncle Joe's Leadership Blog.

James D. Brausch presents Your Natural Genius posted at Internet Business Blog.

Sarah presents The Girl's Guide to Kicking Your Career into Gear posted at SARAHSPY.

Warren Wong presents How To Gain An Edge In Business posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, "Describes three things you can do to gain an edge in business naturally."

Dave Origano presents The Characteristics Of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur posted at Online Marketing & Exponential Business Growth Blog.

Steve Rosenbaum presents Thriving on Chaos - The Road to Creativity posted at Learning at Light Speed Weblog, saying, "This is a technique that Leader's can use when facilitating team meetings or strategic planning sessions."

Alvaro Fernandez presents Looking inside the Brain: is my Brain Fit? posted at SharpBrains, saying, "How neuroimaging and the brain reserve theory support the value of education, lifelong learning and stimulating hobbies"

David B. Bohl presents If You Don?t Assume Responsibility, Who Will? posted at Slow Down Fast Today!, saying, "I would rather that I was the cause of a problem."

Frederic Patenaude presents The Power of Rituals: How to Build Positive, Energizing Daily Rituals posted at Frederic Patenaude Talks, saying, "Great blog entry about how to use personal ritual (habit building) to get results regarding personal change as a whole. The What, When and How."
Shamelle presents If You Want To Be Understood....... posted at Enhance Life, saying, "People go to extreme lengths…. in order to be understood. In my opinion, there is one main factor that determines it all. Are you aware of it?"

Richard McLaughlin presents The Manager?s Cheat Sheet: 101 Common-Sense Rules posted at Internet Marketing Tools and Tips.

James D. Brausch presents TMI (Too Much Information) posted at Internet Business Blog, saying, "To succeed, avoid procrastination and analysis-by-paralysis and TAKE ACTION."

Stephen Dean presents Stop Assuming So Much posted at Stephen Dean's Copywriting And Internet Advertising Blog - Copywriter, saying, "In advertising, business, and life in general, your assumptions can cost money. Always test them"

RacerX presents Performance Review Time posted at Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Money, saying, "The annual review process is were a lot of new managers fail, both in how they review and how they prepare for there own review. This post gives tips for the manager and the reviewee to follow and build a more cohesive team!"

FitBuff presents Power of the Mind - Much Stronger Than Your Biceps! posted at's Total Mind and Body Fitness Blog, saying, "The power of the mind is a truly remarkable phenomenon, but don't let books like "The Secret" fool you into thinking it does everything for you. When you add in the ACTION, then amazing things will follow!."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of leadership development using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Inspiring Talent on Recruitment

There is a wonderful quote from Steve Jobs. He is quoted as asking John Sculley

"Do you want to sell fizzy water for the rest of your life or do you want a chance to change the world?"

John Sculley was inspired not by the job but the purpose to unleash the creativity in all of do you inspire talent to come and work for you?

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Thought on Arguments from De Bono

This year I was lucky enough to hear a speech from Edward De Bono. He talked about how argument is a primitive tool and asked us to think as business leaders of changing our thoughts during a discussion.

He talked about how in an argument we concentrate on the 5-10% that we disagree upon and not the 90-95% upon which we do agree....

If there is one thing that we could do as leaders is play angels advocate......instead of looking for what we disagree upon lets look at the shared agreements...a wonderful thought.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Carnival of Leadership Development

I am always looking to share ideas of how business leaders can grow and reach their career potential.

Anna presents 10 Skills to Develop the Leaders of the Future posted at The Engaging Brand

Dr. Joe Capista presents A Mentor Can Change Your Life posted at The Success Triangle, saying, "Building a successful business and life does not happen overnight. It can take years to reach the point where you achieve what you want. Often, the journey is one that requires the guidance of someone who can lead us in ways we cannot even imagine.A mentor will show us insights that can shave literally years off our learning curve. Discover how my mentor, a gentleman who is nearly ninety taught me the value and power of goals."

GreatManagement presents ‘Only 3% Of Your Staff Are Talented’ posted at The GreatManagement Blog, saying, "I was at a conference recently, where the CEO of a large UK Corporate stated only 3% of the company’s staff was talented. That implied 97% were not. Poppycock!"

GreatManagement presents New Years Resolution Articles 31 Dec 2007 posted at The GreatManagement Blog, saying, "So what are you planning to better in 2008?"

Alan K Rudi presents Successful Business Leadership » Warren Buffett posted at Successful Business Leadership.

Ralph Jean-Paul presents Hunter,Scavenger or Prey:Which Life Are You Living posted at Potential 2 Success, saying, "Are you actively pursuing your goals or passively waiting around for them to come to you? Learn to how passionately achieve your goals with the skills of an efficient hunter."

Dr. Joe Capista presents Total Success is Determined by Your Thoughts, Beliefs and Actions posted at The Success Triangle, saying, "Many people say they want success, yet they are not willing to do what it takes to achieve their desired outcome. There is success and there is Total Success. Total Success is about having a balanced life, giving back and enjoying what you do. Few people will ever experience what is called Total Success. Total Success requires more then a successful business and a great income. It is about a state of mind, your beliefs and your actions."

Matthew Paulson presents 4 Reasons to Become a Generous Giver posted at American Consumer News.

Sagar presents Against the Grain: 50 Unconventional Ways to Increase Productivity posted at Bootstrapper.

Michelle Cramer presents Good Listening Skills Mean Success posted at GreatFX Business Cards, saying, "An analysis of a salewoman on TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" reveals what not to do in order to be successful at making the sale."

Life. Money. Development. presents Goals posted at Life. Money. Development..

GreatManagement presents 7 Quick Tips For Managing Your Friends At The Workplace posted at The GreatManagement Blog, saying, "Have you been promoted recently? Is some of your staff also your friends? Do you know how easy it is to loose all respect when you show favoritism?"

Marcus Hochstadt presents First Class Progress, Or The Power Of Deadlines posted at Marcus Hochstadt, saying, "Many of us have encountered times where we are working on a project every day and it seems, somehow, we do not proceed in the way we intended to. What's the cause? Why is that so? In this article, Marcus Hochstadt provides two techniques that can catapult your accomplishments to new heights, once and for all."

Vishal Gupta presents Mike Huckabee and Servant Leadership posted at A Business Professor's Weblog, saying, "Servant leadership"

Louise Manning presents Effective leadership revisited posted at The Human Imprint.

Hueina Su presents The 212 Degrees Attitude posted at Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul.

Jeremy Neal presents Opportunities Make Work Fun posted at Thoughts on Quotes, saying, "Recognizing opportunities when they arise is exciting, and most people are highly motivated during the initial phase of acting upon something new to benefit their lives."

Charles H. Green presents Employee Engagement, Fog Sculpting, and Measuring Love posted at Trust Matters, saying, "The number 1 predictor of employee engagement is how good the manager is, but is that something you can actually manage?"

Vahid Chaychi presents To Succeed As a Business Owner, You Have to Be Tough posted at, saying, "If you have a business owner or you work for the others businesses, you have to learn how to be organized and disciplined. Otherwise you will not have any success."

Carol Bentley presents I hereby give you permission to. . . posted at Carol Bentley.

Jose DeJesus MD presents Motivating Top Performing Employees posted at Physician Entrepreneur.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of leadership development using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Thought on Listening

I love this quote from Dr Joyce Brothers

"Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery"

Remember LADDER as a way of developing your listening skills

L = Look directly at the person
A = Ask questions periodically
D = Don't interrupt the speakers train of thought
D = Don't change the subject
E = Empathise with the feelings of the speaker
R = Respond both verbally and non verbally

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Understanding Your Customer

Some may say the only way to understand customers is to do market research, well I like this approach that is free and accurate

"I used to hold meetings in the aisles of my supermarkets. Customers would constantly interrupt to talk to me, to give me feedback. Then I'd attend meetings back in the office with colleagues who spend all their time compiling customer research and wading through consumer behaviour reports. And I'd tell them things about our customers I'd picked up from random conversations in the aisles. And they'd say 'We didn't know that.' " - Feargal Quinn, founder, Superquinn supermarkets

How often do you get from behind your desk and speak, yes speak to customers...wonderfully old fashioned concept that is so overlooked in business.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Being First Does Not Mean Being the Most Successful

Ever heard the phrase "The early bird catches the worm?"

Well, as true as that might be in parts of life, it does not necessarily ring true in business. We can often feel that as leaders we need to be the first to market, the first with innovation - well, yes that can be great. But never forget that many companies such as Google, Pampers - even the iPod from Apple were not the first to market.

What these companies did was to build on the innovation - to build on an idea and then deliver something innovative for consumers. They usually simplified the experience.

The lesson is that don't dismiss an idea because it is not "new". Think about how you can create a better experience for the consumer, for the employee.......the slightly later bird may catch an even juicier worm!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Carnival of Leadership Development

I hope that you have had a great holiday season and that the New Year is starting well for you. Here are some articles to inspire you in 2008

Dan-O presents Have You Benefited from the Revolutionary Magic of Internet Self Help? posted at - Discover. Inspiring . Media, saying, "Highly informative article about how the Web has changed self help and a huge resource of online personal development information."

K T Cat presents A Post-Mortem on a Lean Six Sigma Training Disaster posted at The Scratching Post.

Ryan Russell presents Don’t Waste “Budget Leftovers”! posted at My Money Thinks, saying, "Exactly what are “budget leftovers”? Budget leftovers from individual spending categories are likely to be small amounts. Consider a budget leftover to be extra money. Can I increase the amount of leftovers?"

GreatManagement presents Happy with your 2007? Will your 2008 be better? posted at The GreatManagement Blog, saying, "It’s getting close to the end of 2007. What did you achieve in 2007? Everything you wanted to? Now is a great time to start reflecting on 2007 and then invest some time on your plans for 2008."

John Crenshaw presents “He Tells Me To Burn Things” posted at Dominate Your Life, saying, "How do you distinguish good advice from bad, how do you know when someone is just telling you to “burn things?”"

Mark Riffey presents Lessons in Serendipity and consistency posted at Business is Personal, saying, "No matter how successful you are. No matter how good you were yesterday. No matter how much smarter you are than your competition... None of that matters if you royally screw up today and haven't crossed the T's and dotted the I's."
Dan McCarthy presents How to Maximize Your Return on Investment from a Leadership Development Program posted at Great Leadership.

Warren Wong presents Conversation Skills / Tips: How To Have A Good Conversation posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, "Tips to improve your conversation skills and help you have a good conversation!"

GreatManagement presents Having A Great Career Means You Have To Have Passion posted at The GreatManagement Blog, saying, "Do you wake up on Monday morning and dread going into work? Are you constantly watching the clock all day waiting till you can go home? Can you not wait until Friday comes around? If this is the case, you most probably hate your job and have no passion for it."

Terry Dean presents Overcome Fear posted at Integrity Business Blog by Terry Dean.

SpiKe presents How To Regularly Rate Your Performance posted at Organize IT.

Charles H. Green presents Trust and Corporate Change posted at Trust Matters, saying, "When you need your organization to change, doing it fast and doing it well will require that your people trust you."

Erek Ostrowski presents Tips for Aspiring Leaders (#1 Keeping Your Word) posted at Verve Coaching, saying, "Keeping your word builds people’s confidence in your leadership, which extends and expands your reach and influence as a leader."

Mark Riffey presents Does your business run at the speed of trust? posted at Business is Personal, saying, "During our campout this past weekend at Lake McDonald in Glacier Park, I had an incident that reminded me of Covey's article about the "speed of trust" which if you think about it, speaks to everything from day to day business to systemic health care issues in the United States..."

Rachel Grover presents Stop the Mediocrity in Teamwork posted at Teamwork, saying, "Teams often suffer from modiocrity and this article discusses why. Don't let the 'some one will do it' attitude destroy your team."

Jeremy Neal presents Great Leaders are Great Listeners posted at Thoughts on Quotes, saying, "You can be a better communicator and leader, as well as let others know that you value them, by learning to listen more effectively."

Wanda Grindstaff presents Adding Rocket Fuel to the Law of Attraction - Success with Major Goals posted at Creating Abundant Lifestyles.

Dan McCarthy presents Relocation: A Serious Barrier to Talent Management posted at Great Leadership.

Matthew Spears presents Trusting Perceptions and Higher Communication posted at Loving Awareness, saying, "One of the most fundamental aspect of any growth or leadership development is the trust in one’s own perception. There is no question it is an incomplete perception; as a human, you will not see even a minuscule fraction of the totality of what's out there, or that of your self. But it is still your perception. It is your link to your power. It is the basis for all growth, for if you rely on someone else’s eyes and intuition, you are not living your own life, discovering your own power, but are being a guinea pig for other’s experiments."

Dr. Joe Capista presents The Truth About Achieving Total Success! posted at The Success Triangle, saying, "Many people strive for their dream of success, but often miss the one element they absolutely must have in order to achieve their outcome - balance. How many people base success on the outward measures, but if you were to look deeper it would be evident there is much that is missing? What I now know in my mid-fifties is that true success consists of more than what we can achieve financially or materially. Succeeding only on the material level can often leave other areas of a person’s life completely out of balance. Even though outwardly they appear to “have it all” their life is in turmoil and their lifestyle is killing them. They lack inner-peace and balance."

Karl Goldfield presents Building a plan Part 5: Seeing the results first - Thank you Mr. Covey posted at Coaching sales champions.

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