75% of College Students Admittedly Cheat in School...

...and 45% of College Professors Turn a Blind Eye To It! Several years ago, I was preparing a presentation on business ethics for a local high school business class. Given the audience, I decided to see what the current mindset was among high school students around cheating – arguably a key indicator of ethical attitudes. The results, including those in the title, were shocking to me. Being a Visiting Professor myself at both undergraduate and graduate level, the toleration statistic was particularly galling.  Even more frustrating is the school district the local high school above belongs to recently reported 54% of their high school students reported cheating in some capacity and 58% reported that cheating could be justified in some cases! What does this have to do with Leadership as a Way of Life? Everything! Not a week goes by I do not hear self-proclaimed statements about the positive ethical attitudes...
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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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Making Yourself Indispensable - The Power of Personal Accountability

In this month’s blog I spoke of the importance of personal integrity.  So it is only fitting that this month’s book review speak to the topic by way of personal accountability.  In "Making Yourself Indispensable: The Power of Personal Accountability", Mark Samuel identifies the choices and behaviors required to truly be accountable people and by definition, self-leaders. The heart of the book in my mind is not only identifying accountability as a choice, but creating a model in which we see the consequences of our choices.  Essentially, in any given situation, we face two choices based on our intention within the given situation.  One set of choices takes us to personal accountability while the other set of choices take us down the road to being a victim.  Either which way, the choice is ours! Enjoy the Book!
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Hope Is Not A Strategy - The 6 Keys to Winning The Complex Sale

The end of the year holiday season is, among other things, a season of hope. As we take stock of 2012 and begin to focus on 2013, we are filled with hope for a better life in whatever way is meaningful to us. However, hope alone is not going to carry the day. Hope has to become a Vision which further translates to Strategies, Goals and Actions that lead to Improved Results. In his 2002 best seller "Hope Is Not A Strategy - The 6 Keys to Winning The Complex Sale", Rick Page lays out very definitive sales strategies to differentiate your value and effectively close sales in a business-to-business selling environment. While the definition of complex may have changed in the last 6 years, in today's global and very uncertain business landscape, we can ill afford to "hope" we close a deal or "hope" the client buys from us again....
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Leaders At All Levels

I recently finished reading "Leaders At All Levels" by Ram Charan and would recommend it as part of your professional leadership library. Ram Charan is a world-renowned advisor to business leaders and corporate boards as well as best selling author or co-author of 14 books. He zeroes in on different ways to ensure organizations have the quality and quantity of leaders in their ranks to ensure continuity of leadership. I especially found his views on how to spot and develop leaders within the organization to be insightful. In one section in particular, he states, "The military is another source of leadership talent. Its leadership training is second to none." As I reflected on why I integrate military leadership lessons into my leadership practice, it occurred to me it wasn't that I was just learning how to lead, but rather I was learning to lead extremely well under adverse circumstances that makes a...
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Reality-Based Leadership

Several months ago I had the pleasure of meeting the author of this month’s book at a presentation she was giving. It only took me a few minutes meeting with her prior to her presentation to know she was the real deal. Cy Wakeman’s book, "Reality-Based Leadership" - Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, and Turn Excuses Into Results is a bit of a wake-up call for organizations and individuals who are struggling with what real leadership is and should be to succeed in today’s global economy.My favorite chapter in the book is titled Lead “First, Manage Second” because I believe it does a very good job of delineating the difference between leading and managing. In keeping with the theme of generational diversity, I can recount many situations involving multiple generations where the leader was really managing when they should be leading. In some cases, the leader was the only one not aware...
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The E-Myth Revisited

Since we are focused on choices this month, one of the more challenging choices a business owner makes is how much time to spend working in the business versus how much time to work on the business. In his book, “The E-Myth Revisited, Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It”, Michael Gerber explains how the person who likes to work in the business as The Technician can also work on the business as The Manager and The Entrepreneur. My favorite part of the book is in Section 3 where the author talks about the three key activities that form the foundation of the business. These activities are: Innovation – Creativity is thinking new things, Innovation is doing new things to advance the business. Quantification – What do the numbers say about how far Innovation has moved the business. If you don’t measure it, did it really...
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What’s Your Genius

As I work with clients both as an organization and individually, I am often asked how I can make them better leaders. My response is always to the effect of “I help you change the way you think about leadership, including leading yourself”. This month author was my inspiration for taking that approach and understanding the power of changing your attitude, or habit of thought. In his recent book, " What’s Your Genius", Jay Niblick lays out in easy to follow details, the research, the process and the solution to helping you understand the way you think to realize your greatest potential.Of special note in the book is its connection to the website allowing the reader to establish a private online workbook to go along with the book itself. This reinforces the importance of repetition and applying the knowledge we gain to ensure success from reading the book.My favorite chapters are seven, eight and...
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