[M]eaningful health care reform is unlikely unless we deal with the problem of conflicted, unethical, and sometimes corrupt leadership of health care organizations. - Healthcare Renewal, Former McKesson CEO and Board Chairman Convicted of Fraud
Instead of forthrightly dealing with the fundamental problems, discussion is dominated by rival factions struggling to enact or defeat President Barack Obama's agenda. The rhetoric on both sides is exaggerated and often deceptive. Those of us for whom the central issue is health—not politics—have been left in the lurch. - Jeffrey S. Flier, Dean of Harvard Medical School in WSJ op-ed,
Garbage in, garbage out.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Listen to your customers. What are they saying about you. Join their conversation...Google alerts, Twitter and all that. Blah-blah.
It's all the rage.
Maybe, you're a realist, whatever that means. You ask yourself, so why should I listen to my customers?:
I don't know. Can't answer your question.
However, here's what was in it for one company who chose to listen to their consumers: 6 billion in new sales.
Instead of making a product and hoping people would buy it, we should have asked customers what they wanted and given it to them. As soon as we started listening to them, consumers responded, increasing our sales from 9 billion to 15 billion. - Sergio Zyman Coke's Chief Marketing Officer at the time New Coke had to say about listening to the consumer (Worth Magazine January, 2005.) More Guerrilla Marketing Research
Are you a believer now?
BTW, Robert Kaden and Gerald Linda, co-authors of this book are guests on my radio show on December 2, 2009. The show starts at 9:30 AM, Central.
Here are your listening options:
2. Call-in live during the show at 646-915-9212
Oh. Happy Thanksgiving!
Stephen Lynch, COO, of Results.com was a guest along with Ben Ridler, CRO (Chief Results Officer), of Results.com on my radio show recently.
Stephen and Ben make great use of social media, in particular Twitter. I wanted to get their tips on how to best use social media. I asked Stephen:
What are your three tips to best use with social media?
Here is his answer.
1. Know your target audience
2. Be remarkable
3. Build trust
The common theme in his answer are: I respect my audience to make efficient use of their time.
Pretty simple. Pretty direct. Notice the paucity of social media buzz words. That is how executives of growing businesses think.Tip for social media advocates: Speak the language of your audience. Simple, direct and without buzzwords works well with executives who sign-off on our contract.
If you are interested in hearing more from Stephen Lynch and Ben Ridler of Results.com and how they transform companies to deliver extraordinary results you can:
Read the highlights of our conversation here.
Listen in streaming on-demand at this link here.
Read their blog here.
Follow them on Twitter:
Can you tell the difference between trickle-down, voodoo, economics and stimulus plan funding?
Trickle-down economics is synonymous perhaps with Reagonomics. But the gist is that if you provide enough tax credits to businesses and the wealthiest well then the benefits of their wealth will trickle-down to the rest of us.
The funding for those tax credits comes out of our pockets as tax payers in two ways. Initially they come out of our pockets in the form of lower tax revenues which are either financed through slashing government programs like education, infrastructure investment, EPA and FDA enforcement (those guys who inspect our food, water and air supply), healthcare, etc. Notice the demographic who would be most effected by cuts in these programs. Yes. Correct. The people who await the trickle-down....
Then they would come out of our pocket in the form of higher interest rates. The higher interest rates result from the higher borrowing costs that come as the our federal government needs to borrow more in order to finance itself, ourself, until the wealthy deign to trickle-down on us some of our wealth we have given them in the form of tax breaks and slashed social programs.
Every time I discuss trickle-down economics I have this picture of a medieval castle surrounded by paupers and their cottages. An anonymous hand periodically throws a few gold coins from a darkened window in the castle. They land, scattered, around the little plots of land farmed on a subsistence basis by the paupers. Sometimes they land on their heads. And each time the pauper rises up from their labor and says 'thank you lord and lady'. And the anonymous hand rotates back and forth like the hand of Queen Elizabeth.
Clearly, if voodoo economics as Bush the Elder called them or trickle-down economics worked our deficits would not have grown as they did during the Reagan years, nor would an ever increasing gap in wages and income exist now based on the rapid rise of the very richest, the decline in wages of the very poorest and minimal wage growth for those in the middle.
Stimulus funding takes our tax dollars and gives them to the banks and financial institutions whose management expertise led them to incentivize risky lending and whose vision forbade them from seeing the other shoe drop. Maybe, that's because they were hopping to another job before their bonuses were taken away. I don't know.
But the methodology is the same as trickle-down economics. Give our tax dollars to the wealthiest, in this case financial institutions, and hope they trickle-down some of that in the form of loans to small businesses who will then peform their role and create jobs.
So far, the altruism of today's bankers is no different than the altruism of yesterday's gilded wealthy of the Reagan years. In fact, they may be even greedier. They're hoarding our tax dollars while our federal deficit rises. Banks continue to refuse to lend to small businesses. Banks have announced new fees and penalties for credit card users in advance of changes to the laws. Now, their fees and penalties now are beyond what had been known as usurious. But, that's ok. We accepted them. And now they want to raise them.
And the impact on the economy is about the same. Wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer people. Wall Street and the markets are reaching new highs at the same time unemployment is reaching new highs. Clearly, our tax dollars have yet to rain down on us. Or, the anonymous hand has yet to throw a few gold coins to the paupers.
Maybe, that's why no one looks up these days. I'm not sure.
And in defense of the stimulus funding, it's had less than one year. Whereas reagonomics had a decade or two, if you count 2001 to 2008.
But, at this point, I can't tell the difference. Can you?
Imagine, instead, an America with rebuilt, healthy, dynamic metropolitan areas, and gleaming new port facilities, and networks of high-speed rail, an America with electric vehicles and a smart grid and energy generated by the power of the sun and wind and water and the ocean’s waves. Imagine if the children of today’s toddlers had access to world-class public schools all across the nation and a higher education system that is both first-rate and affordable.
Imagine if we set out seriously to do all this.
Imagine. - Bob Herbert, What the Future May Hold
Yeah, just imagine if we take this path.
And, just imagine if we don't.
David was a recent guest on my radio show. I asked him:
What are your three tips for other online community managers to grow their community by eight to nine fold in 18 months?
Here’s his 3 tips:
1. Love what you do. I think you have to love what you do. I am passionate about employee engagement. I don’t do it to build the network; I do it because I am interested and love learning from people.
2. Act like a host. If you are willing to set up a network, you must act like a host. Welcome people and try to help people to link and be connected.
3. Keep it interesting. Make it visually appealing and keep it changing. Find things that are meaningful and engage.If you’re interested in finding out more about David’s thoughts on successfully leading online communities, creating employee engagement, and more you can:
Posted on November 18, 2009 at 12:04 PM in collaboration, employee evangelism, My Business Radio Show Interviews, social media, Transcripts of My Business Radio Show Interviews | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: employee engagement, engaged employees, fastest growing online communities, growing online communities, ning communities
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Just because we can doesn't mean we should.
Just because we can:
Doesn't mean we should.
Interestingly, this rule has applied always applied to ethics in business or personal life. Just because you have the power to x, doesn't mean you should.
Discretion is the better part of valor. So it is with social media.
Disclaimer: This may come across as preachy. I'm known to preach. In this case this is not a sermon. It's written more as a marker. I'm circling around less is more.
Tip of the hat to Samantha Rufo (blog and twitter) for the link to this article Social Media Challenges Social Rules. I'm not sure social media challenges our social rules as its freedom challenges our willingness to apply them.
Pull out your company's financial statements. Observe the lines that say cash, accounts receivable, and good will on the balance sheet. Stare at the net income line on your profit-and-loss statement. Providing customer service is only about building a profitable and sustainable cmopany. Businesses pursue customer service because owners know that this creates revenue, reduces risk, and increases the probability of long-term sustainability.
This is from book B-A-M Bust A Myth: Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World, by Barry J. Moltz and Mary Jane Grinstead.
I offer it to those who work in the front lines of their business, working directly with customers. You, my brave friends, toil in some of the toughest, most demanding, least appreciated, most underpaid, most frustrating areas of any business. You are routinely left without the resources to serve customers, forced to answer for decisions that surprise even you, and routinely ignored when key strategic and tactical decisions are made regarding products and services, policies and brands.
Remind yourselves and your leaders that it's customer service that creates revenue, reduces risk, and increases the probability of long-term sustainability. You may not be heard on this point the first time. But it is the truth. Keep saying until someone hears you.
I offer it to those who seek a new business mode, purpose or strategy that will return them to sustainability. Remember the customers. They are the ones that pay your bills. Did you forget them in your earlier business models? Do you see them in your new one?
Note: Barry J. Moltz will be a guest on my radio show December 9 at 9:30 AM, Central.
Join us with either option:
Posted on November 18, 2009 at 06:50 AM in cash-flows, customer evangelism, My Business Radio Show Interviews, Transcripts of My Business Radio Show Interviews | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: customer service, customer service number, customer service representative, customer service work
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How does this apply to business?
Change son or daughter to partners.
If you can give your partners only one gift, let it be enthusiasm.
That gift could be two-fold.
I like the term partners. It’s inclusive. Words like employees or associates are exclusive.Maybe they are legally accurate. But, when your relationships depend accuracy of legal terms...your relationship is over.
Tip of the hat to NadiaParker for tweeting this.
I’ve blogged almost daily for 4 and 1/2 years now. There are a few things I have found work to overcome writer’s block. Here they are:
Write: There’s only one way to overcome writer’s block and that’s to write. Bring up your word doc or bring up a sheet of paper and pen/pencil. Then write on it.
That act alone gets me out of my head. It stops the I don’t have anything to write. I’m not inspired...Can I have some cheese with this whine. Ok, I don’t say that last sentence; my wife does. Deservedly.
Now I’m looking at, in my case, the screen.
Now I start to write.
Write the keyword. Not sure what to write? Write the keyword. If the topic is innovation then write the... innovation.
Now, write the first thing that comes to mind. I write a few sentences. Now, usually, I am off to the races.
Gather your sources
To do that, I scan through my twitter lists and groups on Hootsuite.
I have gathered tweeters into either Twitter lists (big list) or HootSuite groups (filtered list). Each list/group is organized for the daily meme on my blog: healthcare, small business/leadership, social media/marketing/branding, innovation/collaboration, failure and its role in our success. That’s the memes Monday - Friday.
Each day I can scan that group for their links and conversations.
I favorite the tweets of interest. Favoriting, in either the Twitter or Hootsuite, works and feeds to both.
I also review my rss reads. I have them sorted by categories of interest: social media, small business, leadership, innovation. These are some of the daily memes for my blog posts.
Identify a common thread.
I always find 3-5 favorites around a common theme. It could be several perspectives with the same opinion. Or it could be same issue, differing opinions.
That begins to jog my brain. Either I see conflicting opinions, contradictory data or consistent data and conversation on that common theme.
Now I click on the links in these favorited tweets. That step is to gather more detailed information, supporting quotes, broaden my perspective and educate both myself and my readers. It definitely works for the first and I hope the second.
By now, I have the content I need and my brain and fingers are now engaged.
Some other steps and resources.
Caffeine: Tea, coffee, espresso, whatever. They are called stimulants. They stimulate. Sometimes a little mental stimulation from my favorite wonder-drug, caffeine, is all I need.
Aerobics: Same principle is at work here. The increased aerobic functioning is stimulating. Heart beats faster, pumps more blood, delivers more oxygen. And where is the biggest train station for the greatest amount of blood newly replenished with oxygen? The brain. Think about it. Or go for a run.
Deadlines: Deadlines push me out of the indulgence of obsessively word-smithing. And, I do write better, often, under pressure. Many people do.
Sleep: None of this works if we are chronically sleep-deprived. Do not pass go, do not waste time on anything else than this issue. Do this first. This is a systemic issue. The points above are tactical steps you can take to solve an immediate challenge. Sorta like having good tactics and a bad strategy. See the difference? No? Get some sleep.
Try these, some or all of them. Let me know if they work for you.
Got better ways to break writer's block? Share them in the comments. We all need all the help we can get. We all have great and wonderful ideas waiting to be expressed.
Photo credit: iStockPhoto, Joe Cicak.
What can small businesses do in this economy?
1. We have to get into an accept reality mode at all times. We cannot be in a “la la land.” We have to see what is really happening. Also, don’t lose confidence in who you are and what value you bring to the table. Everything around you may have changed, but the person has not. Believe in yourself.
2. Secondly and most importantly, upgrade your skills. I have seen too many educated professionals become obsolete. Businesses are also taking a look at these things. They are finding out what they need to offer better customer service and be more competitive.
Make a plan to upgrade your skills: personal, professional, technical. Take these classes in professional development – adding value and a greater skillset.
3. Niche Thyself: branding and focus on what your niche market is. Who is your core market? Your core customer? Perfect this!
4. Network, network, network. Never forget the power of the personal connection. All of the virtual and online activity is strictly a bridge to get close and upfront with people.
You can read the highlights of our conversation here.
You should follow her on Twitter at DeborahShane.
Posted on November 17, 2009 at 06:30 AM in leadership, My Business Radio Show Interviews, small business, small business leaders, Small business resources, Tips for Tough Times, Transcripts of My Business Radio Show Interviews | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: recession tips, recovery, small business tips, tips small business
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Give our listeners a little history of Results.com
We took a franchise model and turned it into a professional services company. It was a fun process. There were 26 franchises when we took over the company and we negotiated and converted the company in 2006. We now have ten offices and local partners who are share holders.
Normally, I ask guests on this show to describe their reasonable aspiration or hoped-for goal. You guys don’t do reasonable. You do Big. Hairy. Audacious. What is your big hairy audacious goal for results.com?
It is to be the world’s leading brand for delivering extraordinary business results. Any BHAG needs to be measurable. We want 10 million people engaged in executing their strategic plans by the year 2020.
Why 10 million people? Why is the meaningful to you?
Once we start working with a company and they learn the values, vision and their role in delivering it, they become engaged in the vision. Originally I had thought 1 million people, but this isn’t really big enough. We know how to get to one million in ten years and we can do this and reach all of those people.
Why did you choose the BHAG methodology?You gotta have a BHAG that engages everyone in the company. We need to live what we teach. It inspires excitement.
What happens when the leaders see the wave of inspiration from their employees? What happens with the dynamics?
We talk about transformation into extraordinary results. Sometimes it’s the staff that think bigger than the business leaders. It’s inspiring to see the team lift the business leader’s sights.
This is where transformation begins to take place. It’s a pretty rewarding thing to do. To grow the business, you have to grow the leaders.
What are the three most common themes for business transformation that you see in your client?
1. Most people don’t know what strategy is. You do need a plan and know how to be strategic.
2. Most companies are also not very good at execution.
3. Tunnel visionOf these three, what is the most prominent?
The leaders have to transform first. Ideally, everyone in the company needs to go through a change. Start with the leadership and work from there – this creates the most impact. It starts with the CEO.
The past year has been a little turbulent, how has your business been effected by these changes?
We had a really interesting roller coaster year. We found a lot of our smaller clients dropping off or not moving ahead, while we began working with much larger clients who recognized the need to change. The other thing is that we have had 66% growth, by getting back to core, looking at our market position. We do things a lot differently than we did one year ago.
What have you learned that helps you with your client and their challenges in transforming their business and their leader?
It has made a lot of people realize they have to get the basics right. They need to become a little more clever. They need to be strategic. Think about the opportunities and impact.
It is really focusing on your core business. It is rock solid and you are doing it really well. It must be relevant to the market.
Stephen you wrote an article for The Economist Magazine, Execution, the Biggest Challenge of Business. (Link is to full article at Results.com's blog) Why is that? Why does execution remain the biggest challenge?
People just get busy doing what they do. It is easy to get distracted. They may have good intentions and good ideas, but they do not have a good or viable execution, whether they have a strategy or not. It does not come naturally and we help people learn those things.
How do you help your clients make execution their greatest opportunity? What do you advise or suggest to turn the situation around?
You have to be working on the right thing. You need to get very clear on where the company is going and what are the key moves the company needs to make to navigate an increasingly uncertain future. We do our best to create certainty for success in the future, from 3-5 years, to this year, to this quarter and really limiting the number of things they make priorities. We want to know what are the top three things the company needs to achieve this particular quarter. We actually work with them to implement them.
When do clients approach you and why?
Certainly up until the middle of last year, some were growing too fast or out of control, but traditionally our clients are successful businesses looking for another edge. They are ambitious open-minded learners. They just want to get there quicker. They see unfulfilled potential and are looking for the catalyst.
Do you have a standard client profile or demographics?
Typically, it’s the mid-market, privately-owned, companies who are looking for better results. They see unfulfilled potential.
Has any of this changed since the economy changed in the past year and one half?
We seem to be attracting larger clients. It is the first time these companies have looked outside themselves.
You mentioned one of the driving reasons that your clients contact you is unfulfilled potential. Are there other common challenges that you see your clients facing now? Is it the unfulfilled potential or the threat of the economy, increasing competitive pressures...etc?
We don’t like to position ourselves as the ambulance at the bottom of the hill, but sometimes that does happen. Other times the companies just need a little “how.” Generally most people have a sense of where they want to be in the future and they see the recession as potential. We want to work with ambitious people, who are learners and want to make a meaningful difference.
Can you share with us a client’s journey who overcame some of these challenges? Who had unfulfilled potential, were ambitious, and wanted to create a place where people loved going to work?
It is probably it is easier to talk about the process. These people come along with a burning desire to change, but are dealing with a lot of overwhelm. We help them create a vision and a culture first – with core values and ideology. With one company we helped them to build a community and a team toward a common goal, involving the company and its suppliers. They are a phenomenal success and have experienced tremendous exponential growth.
It is great learning experience for us as well. As we continue to grow and assist more businesses, we are fortunate to learn more about different industries and organizations and are able to take this new found knowledge and transfer it to other business models.
Let’s talk about social media. You use it in your business. What role has it taken in terms of ROI for your business?
I think social media has been fantastic – developing deep relationships and allowing strong connections. On LinkedIn we posted question from one of our clients. The response was incredible. It showed me the power of social media.
We like to share what we have learned. I can see that there is not going to be room in the world for bad products. Social media will see to that. It is important to give value and share things. We are building trust and when it comes time that they need to speak with someone, they have already learned about us and are comfortable. We are out there, visible, creating a presence. Our business is moving and social media is certainly creating higher traffic.
What other tools and SM resources do you use besides your blog, LinkedIn and Twitter?
[Ben] Facebook! I just love it and think it is a great tool.
[Stephen] I use different things for different reasons but I think they will all become one along the way. You have to be considerate and build trust, and also adding value to people’s lives. When you do this they are open to some promotion as well. You need to be consistent, acknowledge and connect with people in a meaningful way.
What are your three tips to best use with social media?
1. Know your target audience
2. Be remarkable3. Build trust
What would you say is your best social media platform and why?
[Steven] Twitter has been a revelation for me. The information that I learn from my followers has astounded me. I have found an incredible learning platform for connecting with thought leaders on a variety of different topics.[Ben] Facebook so I can connect with my buddies.
Steven, going back to your thoughts on Twitter, as you were talking I was thinking back to a year ago, when people were doing more idle conversations. In the past year, there has been more meaningful content. Would you agree or disagree?
I guess you have to filter through the noise. I use TweetDeck, but I am continually astounded with what I learn and the directions I am pointed in. I may have not picked up this information if I was just browsing in a bookstore. People just open up my mind. It has been a very powerful tool.Do you use an RSS tool for your blog?
I use Google Reader. I have limited myself to the number of blogs I follow, keeping it to a manageable number. When I find a new one, I drop an old one. It forces me to look at the value of the blogger and what they add to my life.
Are there signs of life in the global economy?
Definitely. There are many things happening and there is certainly movement.
A strong economy does create demand and tolerance but on the hand as judged from the growth of results.com, it seems it is irrelevant what the economy is doing. What are your thoughts?
I would agree. There are opportunities and many companies are thriving or learning how to adapt and transform. Many companies have definitely needed to reposition and restructure to take advantage of the situation.
Share with us an inspirational quote to bring our show to an end.
"Life gets better when you get better."
Your website has a nice section on business books. What books are you reading right now that you would recommend?
“The Hero and the Outlaw,” by Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson. It has helped me think about brands in a completely new way. It is a transformational book for me.
I like reading science fiction and history. There is a series called The Otherland Series.
Posted on November 15, 2009 at 09:35 AM in leadership, My Business Radio Show Interviews, Recession?, small business leaders, Small business resources, social media, Transcripts of My Business Radio Show Interviews, twitter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: BHAG, Big Hairy Audacious Goals, business coaching, business consultants, business results, consultants business
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Practice makes perfect. I have had a lot of practice failing. I have failed at everything I’ve ever tried in every area of life. Some grand and awesome failures. None of them stopped me permanently. Some required long periods of reassessment.
But I learned. Took another at-bat. And added another strike or two to play with when it was my turn at-bat to share my stories.
Sometimes the failures came around behind me when I least expected it. Like a letter lost in the mail only to find me over here.
Failure never forgets to deliver the daily lesson plan even if that plan is last year’s lesson plan. Or the year before. Or who knows. It is always delivered.
That is good. Why? Failure always includes a lesson plan. Trust me on this one. I'm an expert in failure. I'm not alone as an expert. But I qualify as an expert.In answer to that question in the title...YES. Failure may be my greatest strength.
Some readers may chuckle at this. Some detractors may now thinkYeah. You sure are sporty. ‘bout time you admitted it, too...
I once shared my failures and snafus, gaffes and goofs, as cocktail party fodder. For me the stories were so absurdly funny, filled with the details of a veritable perfect storm...of little moments melding together to create the failure.
I shared these tales almost compulsively.
At the start it was...cathartic. It helped me own the lesson learned.
That helped me see the benefits of failing so awesomely, so regularly. The key benefit here was...perspective.
The ego heals. A little man-cave time...some self-assessment and like a broken bone that’s healed stronger for the stress endured, we come out stronger.
The money part...I consider that almost like a school loan. I bought a learning experience. The ROI, the degree, that's earned comes in two parts:
We can quibble on theology and metaphysics for what constitutes the universal elements we all share as humans. (We can... doesn’t mean we have to.) But one element we all share is failure. ( Again, let’s not digress into original sin, karma, purificatory rites. ) We all fail. Throughout our lives. ( Those of you who claim exemption from this need to expand your network to include emotionally healthy adults who care enough to confront you. )
We all keep failing until we stop. We all keep failing until we learn.
But the operative words are we and failing.I always hoped others would share their stories of failure with me and the group. Everyone would benefit. Most chose to hide their stories.
So, what is there to hide? Yes, discretion is the better part of valor. Discretion in sharing details of our failures is often the better part of accepting and embracing our failures to together. (Seriously, dude. I’m a visual guy and I didn’t need to hear that part of the story.)
Pam Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation, talked about the Beauty of Dirty Laundry. Sharing our failures. She talked about a presentation by Morten Lund, a long-time entrepreneur who had, among other things, made good money investing in Skype.
As he launched into his presentation, he said: “I have founded over 88 startups. And at the moment, I am bankrupt.”I see many people in that audience squirming. AWKWARD! Awkward moment. They are not sure why either. Is it the baring of his soul (or pocketbook) or the baring of their soul to themselves as they hear his story.
I squirmed when I read it. I wondered why I hadn’t done more.
And you’re wondering what’s my point or even if I have one? I do have a point or two. I hope they will prove worth your time.
We're all experts in failing. We’re all failures. ( We’re all successes too.) Those we identify as ‘successes’, separate from ourselves, are those who have more failures.
Ok. You may think at this point: That’s all great. Another blog post about failing and persevering. Standard quotes from Mike and Edison.
Here’s what’s in it for you, why you should care and why you should believe.
We all have to be entrepreneurs now. An anonymous corporation has no interest in our fate. We know that. It is only a matter of time for those in denial. We all have to take ownership of our destinies. Our economy and our communities need the jobs that come from entrepreneurs. There are great opportunities for entrepreneurs in these turbulent times. Some of us will walk towards them. Some of us will be pushed.And failing is a close friend of entrepreneurs.
Failing more often means finding success sooner. This idea that success is reached sooner by more failures...is an idea we need to embrace. Own it. Make it yours. Claim credit for the idea. Just do it.
Share the stories creates a bigger pool of failures. Share those stories with each other. Our stories shared together create a library. We all can share in that library. We can escalate our failures faster and in more directions with more people adding their story and finding their lessons.Now. Ask yourself:
You may find you need a new community.
You may find a secret society already exists who share their stories.
You may find everyone nurtured a secret longing to learn from each other.
Or you may find a new community needs you and your stories.All that awaits us is our future that we can create and own, together, now.
David is a leading expert on employee engagement and strength based leadership. David founded and hosts the over 1700 members of the employee engagement community on Ning. He is a management consultant with over 25 years of experience. We talked our common passions: how to create employee engagement, increase it, and sustain it. We talked about its costs and its ROI. and how it is the key differentiator for any business, large or small, serving any market.
Where are you and what are you working on?
I am in Winnipeg and working on our new e-book from the Employee Engagement Network. It is comprised of 240 one sentence perspectives on employee engagement that the members of the community shared. It will be out next week.What has happened over the last 18 months with this community?
It has swelled from just myself wanting to learn more about social media whereas I designed a website to do that and all of a sudden the Ning platform came about and that does everything I need it to do. We now have 1685 people on our community.
In 2010, we are looking to expand and engage more. The secret glue of social networking that I don’t think a lot of people understand is to find meaningful contributions for people to make that aren’t too time consuming. The glue of an online community is to find ways and methods for people to make simple, yet significant contributions. Once you have made a contribution, you get more tied to the community.
It is a big community and I have personally welcomed everyone. You must look at it as though you are hosting a party. Meet and greet!
As a founder and community manager, I give you a great deal of credit to do some of the tougher work...what have you learned over the past 18 months about encouraging conversation, communication and collaboration?
There are many things going on there. It is about connections. I do send out a weekly newsletter and there are just a few things in there. I encourage people to come back, I suggest that they make contributions even once a week, I would like more people to connect with one another and visit other’s websites. I am hoping for authentic connections. Just little things make a difference... the smallest contribution can have the greatest impact.
What are your three tips for other online community managers to grow their community by eight to nine fold in 18 months?
1. Love what you do. I think you have to love what you do. I am passionate about employee engagement. I don’t do it to build the network; I do it because I am interested and love learning from people.
2. Act like a host. If you are willing to set up a network, you must act like a host. Welcome people and try to help people to link and be connected.
3. Keep it interesting. Make it visually appealing and keep it changing. Find things that are meaningful and engage.
What was your reasonable aspiration or hoped for goal in starting the Employee Engagement community?
1. One goal was to understand community and focus. The best way to learn about it was to do it.2. I have the equivalent of a master’s degree in Employee Engagement by reading and following all of the things that people are offering. I am learning so much from the 1600 people that are there.
Have you achieved it? Have you learned about social media and online community?Yes! I don’t taut myself as an expert but I do know how to do it. I don’t publically offer my services, but people have certainly approached me and I am happy to assist.
What has been the most surprising challenge in growing this community?
I guess I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of people who have joined the community. The majority of the group is in their 40’s and I am happy to see them involved in social media.
It is not just the young people. It is also about trying to find the time and grow the network. I want to shake up the consulting companies and make this an expansive movement.
I do have some pretty strong thoughts about employee engagement. It goes beyond the happy employee. Happiness is there, but it is not the only component. Organizations have to be economically viable for employees to be valuable. There was a Harvard Business Review snippet just yesterday that said that about 31% of leaders, managers and supervisors are financially illiterate and don’t understand the difference between a profit and loss statement and the balance sheet. Now that is a scary thought.
What did you learn as you overcame all of these numbers? For example, 40-50 people wanting to join your community – what did you learn in managing that process?
If you build it, they will come is not valid. There are lots of things you need to keep doing, authentically to keep that growing and vibrant.
The network teaches me as much as I offer something to it.I see you as a one man giant portal to the employee engagement movement and community. What has been the biggest trend over the past 18 turbulent months in the arena of employee engagement?
It is a blessing and a curse all at once. Employee engagement has caught more attention all of the time...this is the blessing.The curse is that there is a lot of fluff out there: the feel good, be happy stuff.
People are just taxed to the max lately and things need to be done by the entire corporation to recognize that the staff is “US”, not them.
Conduct more than bi-annual surveys. Do more. Engage them. Engagement needs to be more than once a year measure. It is a fluctuating thing that needs to be seen and worked on everyday. People need to step up and accept the lack of engagement-make it real and recognizable.Employees are frequently not asked. Why do you think management tends to distance themselves as time goes on? What creates that trend?
Structurally the capacities are so narrow and so small. There is fear. Managers are afraid of looking at the numbers and how that will reflect on them. The failure for executives to recognize that fact that they are still employees. Even the CEO. It is not US vs THEM. They are in it together.
We are starting to transform organizations into companies. For me it, engagement, is not an added task. Employee engagement is a way of leading now.
What is driving this awakening about employee engagement?
It is fear. There is enough financial data out there to show the benefits of engagement but to be honest I see many organizations engaging in it primarily due to fear. They are worried that they will be left behind or forgotten.
What is needed to sustain Employee Engagement?
Community. Conversations. Caring, not in a soft sense, but it means caring for profit, customers, each other, the strategy, career development, happiness, and connections. These are strong variables that need to be integrated with one another.
Employee Engagement is leadership and management.
What is the potential for Employee Engagement?
The potential is for more different ways or robust powerful ways of working and connecting to our work. If you don’t engage at work, you may not engage outside of work. We need to realize and have celebration, an acknowledgement of contributions and what has been done.
So many people in the workplace are invisible and you are not going to be able to engage people if they are not recognized.
How do employees take ownership of their personal engagement?
If you don’t take ownership, no one else will do it for you. You engage for the benefit of the organization, but you also do it for yourself. That is one thing that I see that is deficient, from the CEO to the brand new hire. It is important to do it for yourself. We must create conditions of safety and respect for one another. We are moving in this direction.
Can you share with us a case study of a company who has created better engagement with their employees?
There are pockets more than companies. Sometimes I am called in by the President or CEO and they want a three hour program. I like to be called in and examine strategy and engage the employees, helping everyone see the benefits. It is not just a quick motivational speech or a happy feeling for a few hours.
What are three characteristics of companies who do promote Employee Engagement?
The bigger you become, the more challenging it becomes.
I think companies are realizing it is more than being an organization, it is being a community. It is not just relying on command and control.
There is a level of authenticity.
Leaders and managers need to know it is something that will make a difference with them.
I am sure you have measured the ROI of EE. What are some metrics companies can use to see the results in encouraging genuine employee engagement?
I think there is enough data out there, but you can get so locked into your data that you lose the connection with your people and the things that matter. If you have your financial objectives for the year, then Employee Engagement is about achieving that.
You must include people on every level of the organization and keep them involved. It can be just 45 seconds of conversation to get the ball rolling and start the dialog. It blossoms from there. One conversation at a time! Bring things out in to the open – don’t keep anyone invisible.What is the cost of creating invisible employees?
It is a terrible cost to the individual employee not to be seen or heard. If they are not seen, why would they be engaged? It needs to be authentic gratitude and leveraging your strengths in the service of others.
Yeah, I think Marcus has done a good job. His message is very sound: your strength is what engages you.
What is the Zinger Model for creating engage employees?
It has a few different components and is based upon the last two years of my work in this field.
It begins with what results are you trying to achieve.
Go back to your engagement to see if it is there.
Craft your strategy.
At the core of it is CARE: Connect, being Authentic, Recognition and Engage.There is a focus on “other” and a focus on “self.”
48:03When did you come up with the model and what are some of the results?
I think it was September. I think I would like it to become open source. I would like to create a simple survey and teaching elements and make it available to the public.
What are your favorite three eclectic workplaces from the 14 listed on your website?
The first one, Jerry of Positive Influence blog is brilliant. He has brought behavior analysis into the workplace.
The 76 videos on the Employee Engagement site.RAOKA: Random Acts of Kick Arse Kindness
What will be the trend in the Employee Engagement community we discuss in one year from now?
I think the network will be 3-4000 people by then. I am hoping the network will have transformed into a deeper community. Bringing coherence to the field as well as increased academia. I don’t want it to be a fancy buzzword with a short shelf life as a term for motivation in the workplace. I want it perceived as the way of working and leadership.
Three reasons our listeners should join the EE.
1. To make a contribution2. To make a contribution
3. To make a contribution
To that I'd add there are three benefits from joining the Employee Engagement community:
You can connect with David Zinger here:
* Employee Engagement community
Ben Ridler, CRO (Chief Results Officer) and Stephen Lynch, COO, from Results.com join the show tomorrow. The show starts at 9:30 AM, Central.
Results.com is a global consulting firm with offices in New Zealand and Canada that promises to transform your business potential into extraordinary results.
They have worked for 15 years with thousands of clients delivering these transformative results. And they'll share their story: how they got started, what areas of any business have the greatest potential to generate extraordinary results, how they work to generate those clients and what things businesses can do now to begin their own transformational journey.
I have known Stephen Lynch for 2-3 years, now. We met at a Growth Conference hosted by Verne Harnish of Gazelle's. We stayed in touch over the years and finally, finally, with the power of Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and now BlogTalk Radio we get to talk again.
You have two listening options:
1. Listen in streaming on-demand at this link.
2. Call-in live during the show: 646-915-9212
1. Listen in streaming on-demand at this link.
Posted on November 10, 2009 at 11:01 AM in inspiration, leadership, My Business Radio Show Interviews, small business, small business leaders, Small business resources | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: business consultant, business consultants, Business consulting, business management consultant, business management consultants, consulting business, small business consulting
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Here’s a few excerpts that wowed me:
Execution in its purest form is about people, relationships and love.
Love’s 3 distinctions for leaders:
The 2nd one is not an unconditional love, without responsibilities. It’s conditional love with consequences attached to it.
Unconditional love is love for our children and the foundation for our marriage.
But unconditional love is the same thing that gets in the way when we need to provide honest feedback to others to let them live their God-given abilities.
Transformative leaders are demanding and caring.I had heard something similar. Steve MacGill and Jim Norris generously shared their time as guests on my radio show. (Listen here.) They have a successful partnership. We talked about that successful partnership. I asked them what were their 3 tips for building and maintaining a successful partnership.
Their response was:
1. Time: face to face or on the phone. Frequent contact is very important.
2. Extreme openness .
3. Care enough to confront.
I see love and caring throughout their answers.
Frequent contact is only possible if you love, trust and respect, each other equally.
Extreme openness. You’re not going to be open, transparent, if you first lack confidence in ourselves and what we do. That lack of faith in ourselves means we cannot have trust in others. Impossible.
Care enough to confront. This rung home. Caring about someone means it matters what they do. Caring about someone means you see their potential, their God-given potential. Caring about someone means you are willing to...confront them on their behaviors that fail to respect their God-given abilities. Caring about someone means you are obligated to provide honest feedback.
Peter Luongo, the speaker in this video said, to the effect, that sometimes leaders are forced to provide honest feedback by saying “I love you. But you can’t work here.”
The great leaders are able to communicate this in a way that shows they trust the recipient to receive this feedback on the basis of mutual respect. The message is heard. The recipient is able to leave as a whole person, free now to pursue another opportunity where their God-given talent can thrive. And, btw, no longer interfere with others who do live their potential.
I’m writing out loud here. Do you see a bell-curve of possible recipients for this message? At one extreme end will be those able to understand that a demanding leader, is a caring leader. They receive any and all feedback with that understanding. At the other end are those who lack the self-respect to first trust themselves and then trust others with open communication. No amount of communication skills and opportunities to bring out their God-given talents matter. In fact, it threatens them. And in the middle, is the vast group where caring, demanding, leader can lead them to reaching their own personal stars, or at least their own personal moons. That’s where caring leaders have their impact.
Steve Farber once asked his followers this question: what’s your favorite leadership quote? I thought it about it, never answered. Sorry, Steve. I will answer now. Speak the truth, speak the truth sweetly, speak the sweet truth. And when you can no longer speak the truth sweetly, caring leaders are forced to provide honest feedback by saying “I love you. But you can’t work here.” That is the sweet truth. I love you. But you can't work here.
Many provisions in this bill are landmark. The one we’re talking about today is the provision that mandates all employees, with any and every business, receive health insurance benefits.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employee healthcare benefits comprised 10.9% of employee compensation costs per hour. This percentage is compiled as an aggregated percentage from all employers, regardless if they offer healthcare benefits or not.
The bill passed this weekend would mandate employers either provide coverage or pay a tax of 8% of these same employee compensation costs.
Maybe, my math is off. But 8% of employee labor costs sounds less expensive than 10.9% of labor costs.
Now, those companies who do not offer health insurance benefits will now face an increase in employee compensation costs. They will be required to either offer healthcare benefits themselves (for on average a 10.9% increase in employee compensation costs) or pay 8% of their employee compensation costs to a government run pool to provide insurance.
What percentage of a company’s revenues is comprised of the combined wages and benefits paid to their employees? It depends on the industry, according to BizStats. Let’s benchmark employee compensation costs (wages and benefits) at 20% of a company’ revenues.
Healthcare benefits increase total employee compensation costs (wages and benefits) by 10.9%.
So, what percentage of total revenues would these possible mandated benefits equal?Let’s look:
Mandated costs: 8% (mandated health insurance pool contribution) of employee compensation costs
Employee compensation costs as percentage of revenues: 20% (average employee compensation costs as percentage of total revenues)
Mandated healthcare costs as percentage of revenues: = 1.6% of total revenues.( .08 x .20 = .016)For 1.6% of total revenues for those employers who now do not provide healthcare benefits for their employees, we will receive:
Job-lock elimination. Job-lock is that phenomena where talented employees remain at large companies, underutilitized and unmotivated, because healthcare benefits are not available at small businesses.
Now small business can compete on a more level playing-field against large companies for the number one asset it needs to grow: human asset.
50% of personal bankruptcies eliminated. Over 50% of personal bankruptcies are attributable to catastrophic healthcare costs. The majority of these costs arise from the lack of health insurance. By providing health insurance to all employees we eliminate the source of 50% or more of personal bankruptcies and the costs passed on to business and their customers.
Lower health insurance premiums. As much as 10% of our current health insurance premiums are due to the healthcare costs incurred from those not insured.
Lower healthcare costs. Costs for standard hospital treatments for the uninsured are often as much as three times higher as compared to the cost of the same treatments for those with health insurance. Why? Because the uninsured have a three times greater rate of non-payment. It is reasonable to assume, though I doubt it will ever be discussed in polite company, that the standard costs for hospital treatments even for those with insurance reflect the debt incurred by the hospital from non-payment.
Greater productivity. Fewer days lost from employee illness. Now, with health insurance they can receive the care they need, when they need it and before it blossoms into a major healthcare crisis.
Imagine their greater focus when they’re not worrying about their child’s healthcare needs because those healthcare needs are affordable?
Added revenues. Remember those personal bankruptcy costs? You know those are the costs passed on to your business from the debts to you left unpaid in your customers’ personal bankruptcy. 50% of those costs would disappear. That would be reflected on your P&L statements as either increased revenues and cash-flows.Employees. Remember that cool startup or small business? That’s the one you met with 5-6 times. They had a great culture. You believe in their purpose. They have so few meetings you could accomplish more and have more time for your family. Well, now they would have the healthcare benefits you can afford. Maybe, there would be some out-of-pocket expense for you. But the return on that would be a meaningful career again, a company where you love the people, and more time for your family. Think you’ll be more productive? Yeah, so do I.
Granted, there are nuances. Some are favorable, some are not. If a company's total employee compensation expense is lower than 20% of total revenue then the costs from mandated health insurance will be less than 1.6%.
Granted, the benefits of some of these health insurance plans may not equal the benefits of the gold-plated plans of years past. But, those benefits are not affordable to the majority of those who can enjoy private or employee-sponsored health insurance. And for those previously without health insurance, any health insurance is a step in the right direction.
But the biggest benefit I can see is that first one: elimination of job-lock. Health insurance not tied to your employer frees each of us to pursue the opportunities where we can contribute the most. And it frees smaller companies to compete for the talent they need to grow their business.
That is critical. Why? Small business is the driver for job creation. We have a jobless recovery right now. Job-lock plays a large role in the inability of small business to create the jobs we need to grow our economy out of this recession. Eliminate it (and make credit available to small business) and we have a job-generating small business segment, again.
So, for 1.6% of total revenues...on average for small business I see positive ROI from a variety of sources. Here's a few more.
And for no increase or even a savings for businesses now able to offer health insurance, I see I see mandated health insurance as a cost-saver.
That's a pretty good days work for Congress.
Granted, it is not a perfect bill. The NFIB or National Federation of Independent Business, has some very good points about how to improve this bill. But, we didn't create our healthcare system in a day or even in 10 months. And like any journey out of swamp, it begins with the first step and the same amount of time is required to get out.
Tags: 3962, healthcare plan, healthcare reform, healthcare system, public option, senate plan, single payer, universal healthcare
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There is nothing more unique than each of us. We each have the most unique combination of talents, skills, strengths and motivations. That makes each of us, a walking one-man, one-woman, one-person, innovation that offer an unique window on the world and solves an unique challenge.
We also have our own unique combination of resources, mental or emotional or physical or spiritual, to create and sustain our own unique culture of innovation.
It makes each of us a walking niche-market that with no real competitors possible.
See, this is maybe the coolest part. Having no real competitors...then there's no need to fear others. Their talents, etc, are just as unique. And their one-person niche market is just as unique as ours.
Niche markets can rarely compete against each other (despite what we're taught in school and business). That means...wait for it....niche markets and their owners can...collaborate with each other and create an even bigger, better, b-b-b-badder niche market than they could create on their own.
But before we go there, we need to continue on our own personal journey.
That's the journey to create our culture of innovation includes both its greatest challenge and greatest solutions. It's these questions and their answers:
What do we want?
What are our dreams?
What would we like to create? (Mike Wagner, CEO of White Rabbit Group offered that as question for your interviewees. Before I met Mike, I offered a candidate the opportunity to create his...world, at the company. What can you create? Give me a budget and what you can create. He giggled nervously. Never answered. Guess he wanted a cubicle. )
What are our strengths? What makes us stand out? When do we feel invincible? What are we doing?
Dave Rendall of the Freak Factor blog encourages his readers to be freaks.
By freak he means find and pursue the strengths that make you stand out from our peers, our colleagues, our family.
By freak he means what is our unique combination of talents/skills/strengths/motivations and community...that showcases each of us as the most unique solution for our universe. Find those features and showcase them so the whole world, our future collaborators, can see what a truly awesome combination of talents, motivations, passions and strengths we offer.
Otherwise, we're like everybody else. We disrespect our abilities and our solutions become just drab copies of the person in the next cubicle. Here's Dave talking about the difference between making copies and making originals:
Be a freak.
Ok. But, strengths in seclusion create an odd little personality. It's only in community where we start to see the synergies (sorry for the buzzword) from collaborating with other freaks.
What to do?
Network, network, network.
Let’s find our community. Talk with them.
Our unique combinations find their fulfillment with our community. That’s the best people we attract when we honor our strengths. They are the people waving their own freak flag.
Work may not be the place you find your community.
Start your own social media campaign.
Find a mastermind group. Join a peer advisory board. Attend a conference about your interests.
Attend a workshop from Pam Slim.Pam Slim is the author of Escape from Cubicle Nation. Nothing kills unique like assembly lines, whether on a factory floor or an office floor filled with look alike cubicles. She helps people escape...and thrive, wave their freak flag, by finding what is their passion and strengths and then connecting to others who want that combination. It’s called being an entrepreneur by some.
Her workshops generate rave reviews from all her participants. I asked her why. She said...It’s the people. The people who come is what makes them great. I have no idea what magic fairy dust attracts the right people to the live events. The quality of interaction and amount of support and different kinds of creative business ideas is really special.
Unique begets unique. These are our fellow freaks. Let's find them. Bind with them. Let our freak flags fly in full glory.Keep a notebook. Jack did. His progress is chronicled in the book Jack’s Notebook, by Gregg Fraley. A notebook brings a little order, organization, to any idea generating project. Jack’s Notebook offers a systematic means to innovate solutions for our challenges. It’s also a great story. Get it. Read it. Start your notebook.
Be Strategic. My friend and author, Erika Andersen, wrote Being Strategic. I love this book. I’ve said it many times. It’s a business fable, like Jack’s Notebook.
She coins a term I use in my interviews with guests on my radio show. The term is reasonable aspiration or hoped-for goal. Change for change sake is ...interesting. Change in the direction of reaching a reasonable aspiration or hoped-for goal is...very interesting. Meaningful. Useful. Read her book.Be our own remarkable leader. We, each of us, are remarkable.
Kevin Eikenberry helps his clients, his blog readers, his followers on Twitter become the remarkable leader they already are.
People say we’re remarkable when we can answer clearly those first questions in this post. Kevin offers a systematic plan and resources that brings out those answers from each of us, for each of us. Then to our community. Fly freak flag, fly. We’re remarkable.
Find resources to help us grow.
We are our own CEOs, unique, remarkable. We need more than wonder bread to help our strengths grow 12 ways. We need to surround ourselves, feed ourselves, with resources and wisdom that helps us continue to grow.Mike Myatt offers a place, resources and wisdom, where CEOs come to grow.Read him. His blog is N2Growth. Follow his advice. Grow. As our own CEO, grow.
Help someone be greater than ourselves
It’s not my idea. It’s Steve Farber’s. Steve’s an expert on extreme leadership. Yes. I used the word expert. Steve is that. He’s an expert on helping each of us be...well, extreme leaders. Leaders are those who stand out, above, at the front of...crowds. Steve helps us not only be leaders but be extreme leaders. Be WAY out in front.
That’s cool. It is.
And it becomes very meaningful, when we reach back and help someone else be...an extreme leader, even greater than our self. Steve offers resources and plans for each of us to reach back and help someone be greater than our self. It is his Greater Than Yourself project.
And leading by example, he shares his journey mentoring his project, Tommy Spaulding who is CEO of Up with People. He calls it Steve's GTY. Very inspiring.
Read his books, especially Greater than Ourself.
Update. (Sunday, Nov. 8)
I realized this as I edited some typos yesterday. This is just one approach, from one person: me.
There are many other options, resources, tools and fellow flag-wavers with unique, one-of-a-kind, all-world, one-person niche markets. Put together, we make a near infinite assortment of possible collaborations, each that creates its own unique, one-of-a-kind unbeatable solution. Or not. Maybe it would create an unique learning lesson with fruits borne later.
Bottomline. What's yours. Find yours. Share them with others.
Innovation starts with us. It starts as we begin to first answer those questions for ourselves. But as we do, there are many resources to help us in our journey. A few are listed in this post. But the most important resource is you, me, each of us. And...and...how we support, encourage, even hold each other's freak flags when their strength waivers. We'll need their help sometime.
I’ve heard the world is as we are. We are our own filters. Develop our walking, talking, one-person innovation/innovation process, our one in the universe niche-product we offer to our community, that frees us from our cubicle in the office or in our mind...grab our freak flag and wave it for all to see and gather ‘round and we can be remarkable, grow remarkable and helps others grow...and we’ll have the culture of innovation we desire and have earned.
I rushed to write this over the past few days. It was my own internal innnovation process, one where a challenge presented itself: How does one begin to create a culture of innovation. This is my first run through with ideas and resources. I can see some edits would help. But, in the meantime, I’ve shared it with you. I hope it helps.
But the journey starts with each of us as answer those questions.
My links with these resources Here are links to my conversations with each of these experts. Mr. Myatt, we need to talk.
* Dave Rendall
* Pam Slim
* Gregg Fraley
* Erika Andersen
* Kevin Eikenberry
* Mike Myatt
* Steve Farber
* Yes, world peace does begin with each of us.
Jackie Huba: Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics
a bigger challenge than I predicted. It’s not what to say that challenged me. It’s what NOT to say. I start reading and within 3-4 paragraphs, I’m nodding my head and saying Yes, yes, exactly. Bam. Bam, baby. Yeah, come on. Can I get a witness. Then I want to share verbatim Jackie’s translation of Gaga’s strategy. Here’s why. It’s a strategy with 7 steps that any, ANY, business can execute under its own terms and under its own budget no matter how small or large. Granted, I enjoy reading this strategy as it’s applied to Gaga. And Jackie's a good writer. But, what's really inspiring is understanding how even a car wash could apply this strategy with these 7 steps and find success. You could build a global empire selling gardening mulch if you followed these 7 steps. And you could lower your advertising and marketing budgets, to boot.
Kevin Allen: The Case of the Missing Cutlery: A Leadership Course for the Rising Star
Yes! Finally a leadership book and author who bring empathy, caring and listening to the front of the leadership room instead of insisting it sit in the back, laughed at or ignored with no champion and certainly no budget to help spotlight its role in creating engaged leaders. He had me as a reader and fan on the first page of his introduction. Here’s what he wrote: Years later, when I was made Executive Vice President at McCann Erickson Worldwide ... I came to realize that the gift of human empathy, which had guided me through those early days at Marriott, would allow me to steer literally thousands of people to row in the direction of McCann Erickson’s future. I’ve learned things the hard way, through trial and error, mostly error. Through it all, I came to realize people follow you because of who you are; because you have come to understand the deep desires and hopes of your people; and because, by connecting with them, you have created a culture and a common cause they believe in.
Chuck Blakeman: Why Employees Are Always a Bad Idea
I love this book. It's true that I say this about every book I review here. And why shouldn't I? Why waste time reviewing a book I don't love. That being said...Why Employees Are Always a Bad Idea: (and other business diseases of the industrial age) is one of my favorite business books for a long time. It starts with the title. It's eye-catching, provocative, right? Mentally, it's a head-slap, positing a theorem inside your head then pounding it home with AlwayandBad to let you know you're not getting away; you're going to have your mind changed. Right now. As I kept looking at the title, tilting my head like a dog - one side to the other - I began to smile. I read a kindred spirit. Here's a rebel, a true disruptor, someone who's willing speak up, take a stand; I like that. I might not agree with what I'm about to read, but his title made me smile without being cloying or clever so I knew I was in for a good ride.
Stephen Lynch: Business Execution for RESULTS: A practical guide for leaders of small to mid-sized firms
I'm an avid reader, always have been. I've read a lot of business books and I’ve led a small business. I recommend you read Business Execution for Results: A Practical Guide for Leaders of Small to Mid-Sized Firms. It is a very, very good book, among the best, most usable business books I’ve read. As a writer, he does things that make the reading very pleasant, very inspiring, very engaging. Very good. He offers personal stories, anecdotes, little clips. They’re genuine, sincere, well-organized to capture your attention, engage you in the story that illustrates the next lesson. I found myself thinking...I can relate...I am relating....I see, feel, remember this personally. And Stephen’s writing is very crisp, very concise in taking you from these stories to the principle with each chapter...and as important to the steps you’re going to take to generate the results you want to see. No hitch in the reading flow. VERY nice.
Kerry Patterson: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
I came with low expectations. I was severely disappointed. It's a great book. This is a well-written, timely, book with tips and reminders and steps to take with each page you read. Real-world examples, real-world steps, to create real, meaningful conversations when the stakes are high. (*****)
Gregg Fraley: Jack's Notebook: A business novel about creative problem solving
I read this book completel, too. That should say enough. Even more, I plan to read it again this month. It's a great story whose purpose is to share useful, practical, tips and steps you can take to more effectively and more creatively solve challenges. (*****)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.