Most leaders feel they are defined by the structure and boundaries of their own organization. Even in complex, global, matrixed organizations leaders see themselves as part of the inner structure constantly looking for new ways to make old perspectives and situations work. During the past six months, I have been on the road literally every week delivering leadership development programs for leaders who are thirsting for new skills and new perspectives on how to be more effective in their leadership roles. During this time, it has become increasingly clear that too many leaders have a dangerous internal view and either have lost the ability (or never had the ability) to see and have an outward perspective. An “Inward-Out” leadership point of view requires leaders to see and understand the big picture of their industry and the economic and strategic drivers of their business that help achieve success. It requires understanding the trends that are shaping markets and customer demand, and seeing things that customers, competitors, and others haven’t seen yet instead of just reacting to everything which is usually too late.Read More >
Is it laziness? Stupidity? Lack of Business Acumen? Lack of Selling and/or Sales Prospecting Skills? What is it that prompts businesses and “sales people” to go to a prospective customer’s website and fill in the “Contact Me” page with a commercial about THEIR products and services.
Not a week goes by where potential vendors to our small business clogs up our pipeline by going to our contact me page and fills it up with pre-fabricated junk about mailing lists, trades hows, travel programs, marketing materials, and of course cheap computer programming services in India.Read More >
You are an experienced leader and have been successfully leading and coaching direct reports for many years. As you’ve advanced in your career and moved up in the organization, your role has evolved from managing individual contributors to managing the managers of individual contributors. As we all know, that can be a difficult transition as you are now another level away from the “real work” of physically making products or delivering services.
This week, I had the opportunity of working with a group of leaders of leaders and we were exploring some of their current leadership challenges. One of the more interesting topics we focused on was the changing needs of first-time coaches. The consensus of my group of experienced leaders was that today’s first-time coaches need foundational coaching skills. There are many reasons for this most of which are related to the changing work environment, matrixed organizations, less structure, and a more conflict averse coaching layer of managers. To the experienced leader managing new leaders, this can be very frustrating.Read More >
It happens fast, and it usually sounds very innocent and not such a big deal. One of your employees comes to you and says, “Listen, my girlfriend won a trip to the Caribbean as part of a sales contest and she can bring me along as her guest. It’s just a long weekend, I would leave Thursday and will definitely be back at work on Tuesday. And I promise, I will check my email while I’m away.” You think to yourself that this is good worker and while he’s not putting in anything close to a 60-hour work week, he’s diligent and trustworthy and could use a few days off. You tell him it’s fine and then you do something that you will regret later. You tell him that he doesn’t have to put the vacation into the system. You have a couple of what you think are important reasons for telling him this which is in effect literally creating a “side deal” with the employee. You think to yourself that it’s just easier as you can justify it as a reward, plus you just told another member of your team he couldn’t take any time off because this is an extremely busy time of the year and he is one of those corner-cutters that you will never give any additional benefits of the doubt to so you can’t let it out that other members of the team are being given special consideration.Read More >
As we all know, every successful innovator makes mistakes, learns from those mistakes, and then moves forward until the innovation is right. As Thomas Edison once famously said:Read More >