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Personal Development Library

Personal Development is a widely used term by thousands of bloggers. Some are wide-ranging articles about the body, mind, spirit and soul. Others are focused on life coaching, personal success and lifestyle. It’s a bit of a potpourri here, too, but you will find practical strategies, tips and tools that can make a difference in your life.

Please check out the Featured Articles from our Personal Development Library to get you started.

Do You Follow a Routine – Or Just Full Speed Ahead and Hope It All Gets Done?

If you’re like me, you realize that there are a lot of “little things” you need to do every day that often “leak out” in the maelstrom that surrounds your normal routine.

A re you diligent about keeping track or have you just given up?

imageIf you’re like me, you realize that there are a lot of “little things” you need to do every day that often “leak out” in the maelstrom that surrounds your normal routine.

It’s usually those things we’ve promised someone we would do that day FOR SURE … a small thing, easily done … but then, in the firestorm at the office, we completely forget about it until we hit home and are gently reminded about our oversight … again.

Yes, it could be very minor but it’s often one of those nagging little nuggets that keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.

What is a Routines List?

what should be on your routines list? Keep reading …

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Accountability | What Does It Really Mean?

Accountability comes up as one of the top 3 issues on the minds of CEOs in almost every conversation I have with them.

T hey know, deep in their bones, that unless they build an organization that embeds this elusive concept into its DNA, the chances of achieving their goals will be equally elusive.

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When does Accountability begin?

“When is it no longer my responsibility to get people to complete their assignments … and where does their responsibility to perform begin?” a North Bay CEO asked me recently.

“Your responsibility never ends … and neither does theirs,” I said.

“Your job is to work tirelessly to build accountability into the organization so that your team understands that being held accountable is the cornerstone of a strong, successful organization. It is not punitive.”

Recently, we’ve discussed personal accountability as the “singular touchstone of professional success over which we have the greatest control.”

We’ve also discussed the After Action Review a valuable teaching tool that reinforces accountability and inspires a culture of continuous improvement.

An organization focused on accountability might be seen as the thread that connects our personal accountability

–talking the talk, and, the After Action Review as …

walking the walk.

But what is it, really?

What is Accountability … Really?

In simple terms, accountability is a willingness to accept responsibility for our actions.

It’s being reliable and making certain that the commitments we make, from the perspective of others, have been kept. For a responsible culture to prevail, each of us must make certain that those commitments are honest – and honored.

At the core of accountability is the requirement to set clear expectations.

Keep reading to make sure you understand what Accountability really means

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The Power of Personal Accountability

The Power of One concept is not new — it’s the bedrock of everything from motivational speeches to Army One.

S o, why not begin by setting an example of personal accountability that can be emulated throughout your organization?

the power of personal accountability

There’s an entire industry devoted to the power we have over our destiny.

In the context of Becoming a More Effective Leader, you can view the Power of One as a series of concentric circles that ripple outward from the center … from where you stand as a business leader.

God grant me the courage to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can’t and the wisdom to know the difference. ~ Reinhold Nieburh

With a jittery economy and an historical presidential election on the horizon, we’ve been inundated with economic data, shards of doubt and glimmers of hope. While we can’t ignore these external forces, we can’t allow them to deter our commitment to reclaiming control of our agenda.

It all starts with Personal Accountability

As a result, there’s no better topic with which to start than Personal Accountability, the singular touchstone of professional success over which we have the greatest control.

Keep reading to learn more about the Power of One ….

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Rip Off that Mask. Let’s See Who’s Really Responsible for All of This?

Over the last few weeks, we’ve discussed how it’s possible for different cultures to produce equally profound results.

H ow do you create a mindset where everyone takes full responsibility for their actions and refuses to blame outside forces for failure or disappointment?

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Déjà vu all over again?

How often have you heard that phrase banging against your skull … and how often was it telling you …

“I’ve been here before.”

“Didn’t we already solve this problem?”

“Why does this subject keep coming up all the time?”

Why do these issues keep resurfacing?

We’ve been talking about culture and accountability over the last few weeks, and as I’m sure in your experience, you’ve already discovered how often so many of these issues continue to be the same challenges year after year.

They’re constantly resurfacing, often in disguise as a different issue altogether … but really, the same ‘ol, same ‘ol.

Have we become dumb and dumberer?

Why do these same issues keep popping up like whack-a-moles?

Continue reading to see who to hold accountable for what happens next …

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The Four Common Features of Equally Successful but Different Cultures

We’ve been exploring the impact of different cultures and how they affect our organizations.

W hat are the common threads shared by these radically different cultures that you can apply to make your company equally successful?

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“Lary, give this customer a call. We’ve just received an unauthorized return, and I want these shoes sent back. Funny how the green shoes they bought don’t fit and the red ones fit perfectly.”

It wasn’t uncommon for the Chairman of company North (remember, “N” for “Nasty”?) to stop by my office with a message like this. His remarks were actually a code:

“The red shoes sold well but the green ones the customer bought aren’t selling … so now they’re claiming they don’t fit so they can return them. We’ve had no other such complaints. Tell them we won’t accept them and ship them back.”

I made a note to contact the customer, figuring I’d call them after lunch when I would be more likely to catch them three time zones away. No e-mail back then.

Unexpectedly, the Chairman returned to my office 20 minutes later to ask,

“What did they say?”

The first few times this happened I asked,

“Who?” …

failing to make the connection he expected.

While I learned the nuances of merchandising economics with these examples, what I finally realized was that the Chairman expected me to drop everything and call them immediately.

He wasn’t happy,

“What else are you doing?”,

and after a few unpleasant encounters, I finally caught on.

Don’t miss the 4 Common Threads that bind successful companies

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Can Radically Different Cultures Produce Equally Great Results? Part 2.

Last week, in Can Radically Different Cultures Produce Equally Great Results?, I posed the question: If measured by financial performance, can dramatically different organizations be equally successful?

I n 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.

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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?

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. ~ Albert Einstein

What if you’re stuck on the other side of the tracks?

Contrarily, when you look across the aisle at the rough and tumble world of Company North (“N” for Nasty), highlighted by temper tantrums, public floggings and a petulant devotion to spending a dime on anything, we’re either glad we’re not working there … or wishing we didn’t.

Some powerful lessons are evident as we compare and contrast these companies, their styles and culture, although some lessons are not very inviting.

continue reading to see some of these cultural differences

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Four Sports Metaphors to Make you a More Effective Leader.

The simple things in life are often the most important … and the most memorable.

T hese are swing thoughts you can put to work immediately … and with powerful results.

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Who can say it better than Yogi …

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore”,

“I always thought that record would stand until it was broken”,

“I wish I had an answer to that because I’m tired of answering that question.”

Yes, I know, you’re disappointed this week that I’m not talking about Newton’s Third Law of Motion or The Key to Understanding Quantum Physics … but my brain needs a rest … and I’m still straining with every molecule in my body to understand what Newton’s talking about.

When in doubt – sports.

Sports in this country have become a glutinous conundrum of romance, excitement and heroes, leavened with money, big egos and scandals.

Yet, sports are uniquely imbedded in our culture, and we can still glean valuable lessons from them.

Let me share with you 4 Powerful Sports Metaphors that will help you become a More Effective Leader

To scoop up these 4 nuggets or leave a comment, please click here

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Aren’t You Getting Tired of Always Feeling Buried?

“I’m swamped.” “I’m buried.” “I’m getting killed.”

S ound familiar? It’s a common refrain everywhere I go these days. CEOs and business leaders are feeling overrun with a myriad of operational details exacerbated by the constant struggle to stay ahead of the information tsunami.

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In my work with CEOs across all industries, everyone’s swamped.

Do you feel like you’re barely hanging on, stressed by the fear that you’re missing a lot you should be doing and things might be getting worse?

In an era when we’re all being asked to do more than ever, and with fewer resources than ever, getting control of your personal workflow can provide a significant boost in personal productivity that can make a big difference in your executive and personal performance.

Being Out of Control is Your Real Enemy

As I’ve said here before, the feeling of being overwhelmed is really a matter of being out of control.

The solution is to focus on regaining control. While all of us have various tools we use to manage our personal productivity, many of those tools are dull and inadequate to the task.

Let’s dig a little deeper and suggest some tools to help relieve that feeling of “overwhelm.

Keep reading for some tools to get control back in your life

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How can you make sure that Common Practices are always Best Practices?

You’ve developed common practices you take for granted.

B ut, when was the last time you examined whether those “good practices” still represent “best practices”?

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Do you punt on fourth down because you always do?

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I … I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” ~ Robert Frost

Several years ago when my father was in his final days, his bonhomie in full bloom, I sat in the room while the doctors administered a few basic tests to assess his cognition.

“What country do you live in,” they asked and Dad answered correctly.

“What city do you live in,” they asked. Dad answered “Grand Rapids,” correct again.

“What state do you live in,” they continued. Dad, ever alert, laughed and responded …

“Discombobulation.”

I think my father would agree that the “state of discombobulation” is still a pretty good word choice today.

Keep reading to learn why you may not be getting the results you want

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Delaying the tough call only makes it worse

Your Decision-Making Style will determine a lot about the success of your decisions.

A re you able to make the tough calls when you need to?

ship

On a recent episode of Black Sails, a saga about the Golden Age of Piracy in the early 1700s (S3/E3), the feared Captain Flint was piloting a pirate ship that was becalmed following a vicious storm. The sea was still.

Rations and water were alarmingly limited, and while the men’s rations had already been cut, an even deeper cut was required so the remaining rations and water would last for the additional week expected before the currents would bring them to landfall.

While the captain’s advisors objected and feared the effects of another reduction for all of the men, Captain Flint had a different idea. He knew that unless the men who were essential to sailing the ship were strong enough to do so, no one would survive.

What Was Captain Flint’s Decision?

Captain Flint knew that unless the ship could be managed when the time came, no one would survive. So, what did he do?

keep reading to learn the 5 Signs You’re Ignoring the Tough Decisions

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