"...the only thing we have to fear...

Effective-leadership How is your leadership helping your team manage fear and uncertainty?
...is fear itself..."Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke these words at the beginning of his inaugural address on March 4, 1933. As I read through the entire inaugural address to understand its full context, it occurred to me he was speaking about Leadership, both his and that of the citizenry of that time. Fast-forward to today and we find the message of effective leadership in uncertain times remains resolute.What does it mean for leaders to remain resolute and effectively lead in a dynamic and fast changing business environment? In our ongoing work with clients, these are the main themes of focus for effective leadership.Lead with Attitude ~ Effective leaders inherently know that attitude leads behavior. What we think, we do. If leaders think of uncertainty as a crisis, then no matter how hard they try, a certain level of panic will ensue. Effective leaders know that how they show up matters and are...
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“I can explain it to you…

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…but I can't comprehend it for you.” As we continue to explore the value of soft skills critical to being effective 21st Century Leaders, our discussion turns to one of the most sought after, yet least available soft skills: Critical Thinking. While many definitions exist for critical thinking, they all rally around the concept of objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment. In this world of short attention spans and social media driven opinions and assumptions, a leader’s ability to objectively analyze and evaluate the myriad of situations and decisions they face daily makes the title quote by former New York City Mayor Ed Koch all the more relevant! When we dig deeper into the construct of critical thinking, we find several key attitudes and skills necessary for 21st Century Leaders to make the right decisions for the sustainable success of their organizations. From my...
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“Prospects are highly informed…

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…but not necessarily accurately informed.” Happy New Year and welcome to our first edition under our updated branding!  We are excited about our new look and feel with the same professionalism and trust our stakeholders have come to expect over the first ten years in business! As the title quote from Leanne Hoagland-Smith suggests, our initial topic for 2019 addresses ability as leaders to make the right decisions based on how informed they are when they make key decisions for their teams/agencies/businesses. With the amount of information leaders have access to doubling at an alarming rate, it is no surprise the difficulty in being accurately informed to make the leadership decisions that keep the team, agency, or business growing. It’s been said people don’t typically disagree on the facts, rather people typically disagree on the interpretation of the facts.  As the pace of change increases, so too does the pressure to...
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“To attain Knowledge, add things every day…

…To attain Wisdom, remove things every day.”No matter how much leaders intellectually know about the folly of trying to fit ten pounds of stuff in a five-pound bag, they seem to always go down that path, ultimately leading to frustration and stress. Of the many conversations with speaking engagement audiences, prospects and clients around how they manage their time, we will invariably get to the question, “What are you going to stop doing so you can do these other new things you need to do?” Unfortunately, the most common response, either verbally or non-verbally is, “What do you mean?” This month’s conversation will discuss “What I mean!”I had the opportunity recently to visit Gettysburg National Park with my wife. Being a Civil War enthusiast, we were excited to visit the site of the pivotal turning point in the War. In one of the exhibits, painted on the wall in large letters...
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The invention of the ship…

…was also the invention of the shipwreck!Effective Leadership involves among other things a sound decision making process. As it is a process it involves looking at not only the decisions immediate impact but the longer-term effects as well. As this quote from French Philosopher, Urbanist and Cultural Theorist Paul Virilio suggests, there is casualty in every leadership decision. For context, the decisions discussed here are primarily focused on the ones with the broadest impact to the organization and the strategy. Understanding the impact the decisions have in a broader sense is the challenge every leader faces multiple times a day! There are always Pros and Cons – The first thing to understand is that every decision has pros and cons. Seems obvious, yet I routinely see leaders making decisions only based on the upside of their decision and falling victim to their own confirmation biases. A common occurrence is a case...
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We live in an Information-rich...

...Knowledge-poor world. In 2010, the Institute For The Future (IFTF) published a report titled, “Future Work Skills 2020.” The report outlines six key drivers of change over the next ten years as well as ten skills required by the future workforce to meet those disruptive drivers of change.  Of course, it is not only the future workforce that needs to develop these future skills.  The future leadership structure, which enables the workforce to optimize these skills, will also need to adapt to the new reality.  As we are now four years into this cycle, let’s see how well leaders are doing in enabling these skills. According to the IFTF, the six descriptive drivers of change are: Extreme Longevity, Rise of Smart Machines and Systems, Computational World, New Media Ecology, Superstructed Organizations and a Globally Connected World. In order to adapt to these disruptive forces, the ten skills for success identified by...
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"The best preparation for tomorrow...

...is to do today’s work superbly well"These words of wisdom from Sir William Osler are timely on two levels. First, many of you are personally and/or professionally preparing for an uncertain tomorrow – planning your goals for 2013 and beyond.  Secondly, doing today’s work superbly well speaks to, among other things, making every interaction with your customers a Moment of Truth. During this current economy, moments of truth are significant to every business owner, corporate and non-profit leader that recognizes the importance of loyal customers and donors.So what is a loyal customer? Over the years in many customer-facing positions in business services and non-profit organizations, I see the following traits as indicative of loyal customers compared to the satisfied customers we traditionally strive for:• A loyal customer will proactively tell others about your service to others. A satisfied customer will tell others if you ask – maybe. • A loyal customer...
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It is Choice not Chance, that Determines Your Destiny

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"It is Choice not Chance, that Determines Your Destiny" ~ Jean NidetchI recently came across two separate events in the last several months promoting this month’s topic on Choice. The first was several conversations with people who were talking about how they had let chance govern their career choices and how they now were struggling to make their own choices about where their careers would go from here. The second was several graduate students caught turning in papers as their own when they had, in fact, purchased them online. The first group had the opportunity to choose, but couldn’t. The second group had the opportunity to choose and chose poorly. It had me thinking, why are these choices so difficult?Alfred Montepart once said, “Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.” Being an effective leader in today’s global business environment requires a multitude of daily choices and every...
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