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Are you a Successful Leader? Are you a Lifelong Learner? Pick Two!

When we’re in the Spotlight of Leadership, our behavior is always on display. What are these behaviors and where can we get Inspiration to be a Leader Worth Following?

As a leader, you don’t have the luxury of paying attention to just a few things, or only to what you most enjoy.

Knight in Shining Armor

There are simply too many issues that confront you as a leader working hard to build a successful organization:

  • How can I develop a world-class leadership team to make sure we’re growing in a competitive environment?
  • How can I build an accountable organization that collaborates to achieve the best results?
  • What will inspire my team to reach beyond themselves and dig deep to exceed their own expectations and advance their personal and professional goals?

Be a Leader Worth Following

Leadership is about a lot things …

Don’t miss these Key Leadership Behaviors & exciting news about Leadercast 2015

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12 Holiday Morsels to Strengthen Your Business

Yes, the holidays are here and already the list of things to do continues to grow – completing the annual budget, planning parties, visiting with friends, figuring out what to get who for when … and so it goes.

Yet, my spirit remains strong, so I’ve prepared a menu of 12 holiday treats that I hope will slide down like Amaretto eggnog in front of a winter fire.

I’ve even scoured some of my earlier columns to find the most delectable morsels.

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” — Yogi Berra

So, here’s a smorgasbord of lessons learned – a few appetizers, a choice of entrees, a little dessert – from executives of both extraordinary capability and numbing incompetence  — that should grace your executive table for 2015.

1.     It’s never about you.

It’s always about them. Customers, employees, suppliers … family, friends, colleagues.

Be clear about it and thrive.

Get it backwards?

Fail.

2.     If you don’t think you’ll ever have a management succession problem, you already have one.

Keep reading. There are 12 days. Remember?

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As a Leader, are you an Architect or just a Handyman?

Table Setting with nails and tools MODIFIED

You need to develop a Delegation Mindset!

Yes, it’s sad but true.

If you’re a leader and you don’t develop a delegation mindset, you’ll never get enough done to extend your influence or grow in your organization.

Most importantly, you’ll be unable to accomplish the things that only YOU can do.

Do you really have a chance if you don’t delegate?

When you look over your shoulder, you probably see the flood waters rising behind … and somewhere deep in your subconscious, you’re reminded that you need help.

It’s dawning on you that as you seek and take on more responsibility, you’ll only have more to do … not less … and you’re going to drown if you can’t get some help.

Then, you start to notice there is a lot of potential help nearby … others are tapping into that talent pool … but you aren’t taking advantage of those resources.

What about only what YOU can do?

You also know that if you don’t make time for the things that only you can do, they won’t get done … by anyone … ever. Continue reading to get the Delegation Principles checklist

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The 7 Qualities You Need to Get Your Company on the Medal Stand

What does it take to get on the Medal Stand and out of the Grandstands?

Jessica Long. One of the most decorated Paralympic athletes in history.

She’s won 17 Olympic medals. 12 of them are gold.

She holds 13 world records.

She’s been Sports Woman of the Year twice.

She’s obviously a remarkable swimmer.

She did all of it after having the lower part of both legs amputated when she was 18 months old.

Jessica Long’s drive, devotion and discipline are unquestioned.   Her determination is boundless. (NBC produced an in-depth look at her life you can find here.)

Is all of that enough? If you had each of those characteristics in immeasurable quantity, would it be enough to make you an Olympian?

Is drive, devotion and discipline enough?

Probably not.

Keep reading and download the 7 Olympic Qualities checklist …

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Leadership | 7 Attributes to Tell if Your Organization is Getting Clobbered

The 7 Attributes of World Class Organizations

7 Attributes to Tell if Your Organization is Getting Clobbered

In Leadership | The 7 Attributes of World Class Organizations, I explain how … in the blink of an eye … your organizational fitness and preparedness can make a big difference in your success.

There’s a lot we can learn through the lens of athletic fitness.

Use these 7 Most Important Components of Fitness to evaluate the fitness of your organization. Set your action steps from there.

Question: How do you evaluate the fitness of your organization? Does this help?

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The Most Powerful Leadership Lesson You Can Learn from Detroit’s Bankruptcy

The Single Most Powerful Lesson You (Leaders?) Can Learn from Detroit's BankruptcyNOW is the time for tough decisions?

“Now is the time for tough decisions,” said Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, on the occasion of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing.

Did he say “NOW is the time for tough decisions”?

Maybe for the weak-kneed, lily-livered city fathers who’ve been putting lipstick on this pig for years, but “NOW” was a very long time ago for Detroit. (This isn’t elistist babble, either. I was born in Detroit and raised in the great State of Michigan.)

Let’s come at this from a different perspective

But, it isn’t our place to examine the state of the American city and the financial woes that are afflicting all of our governmental entities.

It is our business, however, to examine the leadership and decision-making process that brought Detroit to this fateful day.

Can’t Make the Tough Decision? Leave the Kitchen!

How many times have you … and me, too … deferred a difficult decision because we desperately held on to an easer choice even though we knew we were only delaying the inevitable?

This is the Achilles’ heel of almost every business leader I know.

I’ve written about this dilemma on many occasions … and from many perspectives. Why don’t leaders deal with issues as they “show up” rather than when they “blow up. Why do we hesitate to make the tough calls and do the right thing?

Isn’t that why we’re earning the big bucks?

5 Warning Signs that Tough Decisions Aren’t Being Made Read the Full Article to Learn the 5 Warning Signs

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Leadership | How Are You Paving the Road to Superior Performance?

Two-faced head statueIn Can Radically Different Cultures Produce Equally Great Results?, I posed the question: If measured by financial performance, can dramatically different organizations be equally successful?

In this short series about culture development, we’ll take a look at how sound business principles and cultural patterns often collide within an organization’s walls.

How can opposing cultures both succeed?

In many ways, it doesn’t seem fair that both charitable and churlish cultures can thrive.

It’s easy to embrace the benevolent culture created by Sid Rich (we’ll call it Company South, “S” for Sid) as profiled in the first article in this series.

His company deserves to be successful.

Wouldn’t it be great if that was the company you worked for? (more…)

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Leadership | “Did Jamie Dimon Steal Your Leadership Book?”

Dude. You didn't steal my bookA young friend of mine called last week.

“Hey, did Jamie Dimon steal your book?” he asked, referring to the The Essential Hallmarks of a Good Leader recently published.

“No, he certainly didn’t steal it,” I said. “He might have read it since you can get it for free right here? Why would you think he stole it.”

“Okay,” he replied. “I guess he didn’t steal it then … but is there any chance he might have written it?”

Funny guy, huh?

Who is Jamie Dimon?

As you probably know, Jamie Dimon is the Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase, with an enviable track record as a visionary executive leading large and complex financial organizations.

And, no, he didn’t write The Cornerstones of Effective Leadership … but I was eager to see just what my friend was referring to … and more importantly, what Jamie had to say about the characteristics he thought were the most important to being a successful leader.

What does Jamie think?

(more…)

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