"Social Continuity...

Social Continuity Who will you reach out to today to strengthen your social contract?
...with Physical Distancing”A term created out the current pandemic we hear every day is “Social Distancing”. While I understand the intent and purpose of the term, I believe it can also lead to unintended emotional isolation during these periods of lockdown and quarantine.A different perspective came to light yesterday during a conversation with my accountability coach. She got me thinking (as she usually does) about what we are really asking people to do is physical distancing while keeping our social contracts intact.Nearly everyone I speak with has made comments relating to the positivity they get from their own social conversations within their networks. It is apparent as well when they are feeling isolated and directionally out of sorts when the social continuity breaks down. If that is you, reach out. If you don't know who to call, contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll set up a call to get the conversation...
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"We the People..."

Citizenship
During these uncertain times when many are in some degree of self-isolation and working remotely, it makes sense that there might be some time to catch up on reading. One of the leadership challenges we see, especially in an election year as we are in now, is the level of citizenship demonstrated across the landscape in the United States. When we speak of leadership, we often speak of the ground rules of effective leadership. As we’ve spoken often, “Leaders read!” When we speak of citizenship, the same idea applies. It is those ground rules that are behind our recommendation for what to read this month. If you have not yet read, or recently read, the Constitution of the United States, this may be a great time to begin. Click here to begin reading!Lead Well!
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"...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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“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people...

LV-Logo-v1-1024x386 How is your voice improving your effective leadership?
...but the silence over that by the good people.”I have written in this forum every month since we started RPC Leadership Associates, Inc. twelve years ago. The first post that year related directly to my military career titled, “Everyone looks like an effective leader...until the enemy shows up.” It was an expression used both in the military and in my business career to highlight the importance of effective leadership, of being an example to follow in any situation. As I reflect on more recent events, the words in the title by Martin Luther King resonated as the voices of effective leaders become more and more important in this dynamic business environment.What, then, does it mean for leaders to exercise their voice and how can they become comfortable with the associated risk? Based on my own experience, I believe there are three key foundational elements to finding one’s leadership voice.Integrity ~ effective...
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Ignition

Ignite A Guide to Building High Performing Teams
This month we focused our discussion on strategic leadership and the key skills necessary to effectively lead a 21st Century organization. Given that organizational leadership is a team sport, it is only fitting that we highlight a new book by Gordy Curphy, Dianne Nilsen and Robert Hogan, “Ignition, A Guide to Building High Performance Teams” The authors set out to create a very practical book to help teams develop regardless of the type of team they are. The book aligns nicely to their research-based Team Assessment Survey as well as the Rocket Model which I use specifically in both my business and leadership coaching as well as my graduate teaching of MBA students.My favorite chapter is Chapter 10 where the authors spend an entire chapter specifically talking about C-Suite Teams. These are the top leadership teams in any business, for-profit or non-profit who essentially guide the strategic direction of the business....
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“If you think you know something...

3-Player-Chess
...then it is hard to be open to learning.”Last month I posted about Dr. Max McKeown’s book, “The Innovator’s Book – Rules for Rebels, Mavericks and Innovators”. In the post, I highlighted a specific page that includes the title quote of this post. I believe it sets up this month’s topic quite nicely as we talk about Strategic Leadership. At the beginning of the calendar year, many businesses, for-profit and non-profit, large corporations and small privately-owned businesses are executing their strategic plans. As we begin yet another calendar/fiscal year, let’s explore what really goes into thinking strategically as a leader in the 21st Century dynamic business environment.In the past few month’s I’ve given multiple speeches and presentations around these strategic leadership competencies as they are at the core of staying relevant and achieving sustainable success in their businesses. These competencies are based on the research of Kimberly Boal and Robert Hooijberg...
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The Innovator’s Book

innovate
With a theme of adaptability in this month’s post, it is only fitting to review this author’s latest book. I’ve reviewed Dr. Max McKeown’s books before and his latest does not disappoint. “The Innovator’s Book – Rules for Rebels, Mavericks and Innovators” is unique in that is does not at all read like your typical business book. Yet it is the kind of book that with few words gets one thinking about how they are thinking about and implementing their strategies for sustainable success.My favorite page in the entire book is titled “What you know can hurt you” When I read it, it struck me how tritely we use phrases like “continuous learning” and “we need to innovate” without really understand what we are asking ourselves to do. With that, I listed most of the page below to give an idea of how the book is set up to generate new...
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If the flower does not bloom...

flowers-blooming
…fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower”What bloomed in your business this year? What didn’t? This is the time of year when many leaders are taking stock of their business to celebrate successes of the past business cycle. Possibly salary increases and bonuses for the deserving are part of the discussion along with stronger relationships for the upcoming year. It is also the time of year to understand the misses from what was planned twelve months prior. Reflecting on what assumptions changed or did not play out as planned and what was misinterpreted leading to less than desired results.As we go through these conversations and reflections, it might be easy to identify individuals and teams who contributed to both the successes and the misses. While rewarding the high contributing teams for their great work is a must, stopping there misses the bigger issue identified in the title with...
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The Best Teacher…

try-fail-try-again-till-succeed
…is Your Last MistakeWhat is your attitude towards failure? We ask this question, or a variation of it, many times when coaching leaders at all levels of an organization. Interestingly enough, we get more absolute answers from front line managers and supervisors and more broadly defined answers from senior management. Said differently, our experience tells us we see less leeway for failure on the front lines to the point of wanting to be stressfully perfect to a different attitude towards failure where it is a means to learn and grow. I am not suggesting these experiences are scientifically representative, merely what our experiences are with the topic. The question is, why the difference at all?It’s amazing how frequently we hear about the lessons we learned from our mistakes along the pathway of life. Learning how to walk, riding a bike, driving a car and all the other things that people learn...
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Are you a Know-It-All...

Learning-Leader
...or a Learn-It-All?Earlier this year, we introduced what has turned into an ongoing discussion of one of the key skills of effective 21st Century Leaders. Critical Thinking, or the lack thereof, seems to routinely creep into the conversation because we constantly run into evidence it still needs to be reinforced in the leadership development conversation. While we’ve given examples in previous posts, one that continues to pop up goes something like:Me: What are you trying to achieve?Them: I don't want to do this and/or I don't like to do thatMe: OK, so what do you want to do?Them: I don't know.Of course, the real conversation goes much longer than the example above, but you get the idea. More thought on what they don;t want that what they do. Another different, but related, conversation goes something like:Me: I think this is the course of action we should take.Them: I disagree. I don't...
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The Missing Piece Workbooks are now available!

BAMM5
If you liked the value you found in "The Missing Piece" books you’ve read over the past several years, you’ll love the new workbooks that align to each of your Missing Piece favorites! Each respective workbook includes the original text from the corresponding book that brings the Business Alignment Maturity Model to life in the context of your business. We moved the questions from the end of each chapter into the section of text that speaks to each question. No searching back through the chapter to refresh your memory, it’s all right there to help you put what you read into the context of your organization and team. Best of all, we added specific tools referenced in the books to better support your goal planning, business analysis and operational metrics. These tools will get you started faster to create sustainable success for your organization!If you are a Corporate Leader, click here and scroll to the...
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“Without ambition, one starts nothing...

dontbesupset
...Without work, one finishes nothing.”In today’s dynamic business environment, it seems far too many leaders are struggling with getting started in a direction for their business, completing a strategic objective for their business or some combination of the two. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote in the title then ends with, “The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” In the context of today’s business environment, how ambitious is the team you lead to move in a specific direction as a team? How hard is your team willing to work as a team to finish what they start and achieve the team’s desired results? Let’s explore both questions through the lens of leadership required to answer them effectively.However, before we get to ambition and work ethic, let’s first level-set on the use of the term “Team”. Unfortunately, team and teamwork are often used improperly to describe a group....
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“Profit is a By-Product…

loyalty-ss-1920-800x450
…of Serving Clients Exceptionally Well”Every once in a while, we get into a conversation with leaders about profit and how to improve profit margins and profitability. Before we get too far into the discussion, I make sure we are in agreement on what profit is in the context of leadership. Without that level-set, the conversation can dramatically bypass the key decisions needed to truly enjoy the profitability the leader is looking to achieve.Because we’ve had several of these conversations recently, it made sense to share what I believe is the essence of sustainable profitability. The title quote comes from Katherine Mauzy, the Head of Financial Advisor Talent Acquisition at Edward Jones. For context, earlier this year Edward Jones was named one of FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”, the 20th year they’ve made this list! Let’s go ahead and break down her quote from a leadership perspective.Profit is a...
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Don’t Raise Your Voice…

Persuasion
…Improve Your Argument!Much is written about conflict and how society continues to struggle with managing it in an open forum. I see this struggle first-hand with my own clients who continue to work on their effective communications skills, especially with those who disagree with them. One of the key skills of leadership is the ability to influence and persuade their teams to go where they have not yet gone before, knowing they have to change but cannot do it on the strength of their own motivations. The Leader’s ability to persuade, and manage through the potential resistance, is directly proportional to their ability to build an argument supporting why their followers should behave differently than they are currently.With the advent of technology infused communications tools, the ability to persuade should be easier. The ability to reach more people efficiently theoretically makes the process itself more efficient. However, if you put a...
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I'm Still Sayin'...

RL-2019-ISS-book
...More Revelations for Making Leadership a Way of Life!We are proud to announce the availability of our sixth book, “I’m Still Sayin’…More Revelations for Making Leadership a Way of Life”. It is a follow-up to our most popular seller, “I’m Just Sayin’…Revelations for Making Leadership a Way of Life”. In this recent release we once again draw upon the best ideas and articles we’ve published over the last five years organized by their relevance to Individual Leadership, Leadership Relationships and Organization Leadership. Along with the ideas and articles in the book based on reader input, we also included five never-before published articles to continue fueling the conversation around being a successful lifelong leader!Enjoy the Book!
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Soft Skills...

BAMM_20190626-150042_1
…are the new Hard Skills.”Our conversation around the emerging importance of soft skills has, to this point, focused on their impact to the individual leader and in general terms of the impact to the organization which the leader leads. In this issue, we will directly address the importance of soft skills in the context of achieving sustainable organizational success using the Business Alignment Maturity Model© (BAMM) outlined in our “The Missing Piece…” series of books.As a quick refresher, BAMM is an organizational business model outlining the five stages of business alignment necessary to create sustainable success. Whether you are a small business leader/owner, a leader of a corporate business unit/team or a non-profit leader, your organization must align all its moving parts in order to achieve the desired results – over and over again! So let’s explore how soft skills factor into this sustainable organizational success:Creating a Compelling Vision (Stage 1)...
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“Creativity flows…

Curiosity01
…when Curiosity is stoked."As we continue to explore the soft skills required for effective 21st Century Leadership, adaptability will always be near the top of the list. However, adaptability begins with the ability and openness to explore and experiment. Effective leaders need to be curious enough to think beyond their existing individual and cul...
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8 Steps to High Performance

RL-2019-apr-book
It has been a while since I’ve reviewed a book in these pages and, as it so happens, I just finished a great book that also applies to this month’s leadership message. Because there are so many leadership fads out there, it is refreshing to read a book that uses what we know through science to support ways to improve our leadership performance. Marc Effron’s book, “8 Steps to High Performance, Focus on What You Can Change (Ignore the Rest)” is one you should give a read! My favorite chapter deals with Step 5, Maximize Your Fit, in the 8 Step Process the author outlines. Maximizing Fit is a crucial element to staying adaptable and relevant as the world around us changes, as the author explains, faster than people change. Therefore, people need to be aware of the continuous changes going on around them and adapt accordingly. This is true whether...
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“I can explain it to you…

critical
…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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“You can’t Motivate People…

happen
…You can only Create a Game Worth Playing” Motivation seems to be a recurring topic in many of the coaching conversations I have so it seems fitting to discuss in some detail as it is clearly still misunderstood by so many leaders and followers. And given the timing of March Madness and the upcoming Opening Day for baseball, it seemed only appropriate to use the quote from Michael Gerber to open the discussion of how leaders can create a “Game Worth Playing”! One of the biggest misconceptions around motivation is that it can be externally applied. What is externally applied are the conditions in which a person is motivated to apply the three elements of motivation: Direction, Intensity and Persistence. As these three elements are applied to one’s behavior, that person’s motivation can be inferred by how much they apply to each of the three. From my own experience, creating a...
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