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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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If You Stop Asking these 10 Questions, You’re Toast

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Do NOT Stop Asking These 10 Questions

Several years ago, I wrote about whether we needed another checklist of the 10 Stupid Things I can’t stop doing ..or the Top 5 things I need to do before I brush my teeth (really, nothing, do that first … please).

I ran across it recently and re-read the article by Marc Kramer entitled, The 10 Questions You Should Never Stop Asking.

What about … WHAT ONLY YOU CAN DO?

As an experienced leadership coach leading a group of CEOs as well as a separate group of senior executives, I’m constantly reminding leaders to focus more intensely on what only you can do.

You’ll need to register to read Continue reading about this powerhouse article

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Video & Slides | Does Your Incentive Plan Really Drive Superior Results?

Does Your Incentive Plan Really Drive Superior Results?

Does Your Incentive Plan Really Drive Superior Results?

Can we develop an incentive plan to drive superior performance?

You can be pretty sure that’s the question someone was trying to address when your key incentive program was created.

At the time, the answer may have been yes.

Since then?

The chances are that question has never been asked again.

If we believe in the power of incentives … and we want to stimulate superior performance … why do we rarely take time to examine the programs already in place to see if those programs are accomplishing their intended objective?

Incentive Plans are rarely updated

When you look under the hood of your own incentive programs, you’re likely to find that incentive plans already in place aren’t working too well.

What started as a well-intended and robust incentive plan has now become a routine bonus program that participants expect to receive as a regular part of their income.

The plan doesn’t do anything to stimulate superior performance. Keep Reading for the Video & Slides

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Leadership | 5 Great Lessons from the Coach of the Crimson Tide

Leadership | 5 Gridiron Lessons for Business Success

Leadership | 5 Gridiron Lessons for Business Success

“Who’s walking on my field?”

You’re lugging 40 pounds on your back in 100 degree temperature. Your head’s tucked inside a small capsule like a two-pound sausage in a one-pound casing and sweat’s pouring down your brow.

There’s no chance the sun will disappear … it’s only 10 a.m. … and while there’s water everywhere, your reach for the next bottle seems to exceed your grasp.

Oh, yeah, and the boss expects you to be running – not walking – on his field.

Join in a football game with Nick Saban, the legendary football coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide. You’ll see how he scores a touchdown every time.

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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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Can Radically Different Cultures Produce Equally Great Results?

Anger 2He threw a lead crystal ashtray at his son’s head?” I asked. “Thank God he missed.”

“He threw his secretary’s typewriter through a second story window – it wasn’t open – into a parking lot full of cars below?”

These are just a few of the stories I heard after I joined the firm.

“You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Ever feel like you were a galley slave?

In short order, I recognized that the company’s cultural ancestors probably included a toga-clad, sweat-drenched galleon driver pounding out a cadence of “ramming speed” with a wooden mallet.

Their cost-containment strategy was medieval.

The company showed no obeisance whatsoever to any concept of structure or chain-of-command organization.

The chairman slurped a workaholic tonic that abused everyone in sight, brooked little disagreement and intimidated employees, customers and vendors with equal disdain.

Typewriter broken? Just don’t use that letter!

His miserly ways were never more visible than the occasion on which he lost his patience hearing about the infamous typewriter (remember those?) that wouldn’t stay fixed. (more…)

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Leadership Insights | The 8 Principles of Effective Delegation

What’s Your Delegation Score?

Delegation isn’t just a handoff so you can walk away and do something else. It is a critical leadership skill that you must master if you want to expand your reach, take control of your time and achieve the work-life harmony you’re seeking.

Learn the 8 Principles of Effective Delegation.

Score = 0 from 3 people

 

How often have you failed with delegation?

How often have you wondered why a project went wrong, or why someone never finished the task you were counting on them to finish?

How many times have you complained about projects that you’re managing … missing their deadlines, going over budget (not under budget very often, huh?) and not getting done as you expected?

How did you feel when you were called on the carpet by YOUR boss wanting to know why the project you’re handling is stalled?

Why didn’t your delegation succeed?

When we’ve delegated some or all of a project to someone else, we’re embarrassed … and probably a little teed off … but we’re also too often thinking about the wrong things like …, “damn that John, he just can’t be counted on” … or, “she doesn’t get it” … or something like, “they can’t ever seem to follow through” as we tick off all the reasons why the people on our team have let us down. (more…)

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Candid Feedback | Turn Coal into Diamonds

I have written ofter about the value of honest and candid feedback.

I’ve included comments from Anne Mulcahy, CEO of Xerox, Ken Blanchard and a host of others.

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
~ Ken Johnson

Here’s the thing. It will not only strengthen your team, it will also screen for those who are unwilling to change. You will help them and yourself in the process.

This is one great place for a win-win scenario.

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Leadership Insights | Do you really think you’re Resourceful?

blue-ball-in-a-maze
On a recent morning, I headed to a favorite place just down the street to fetch a couple of lattes for my wife and me.

Our forebearers would have awakened in woolen underwear, stepped in the dark onto a cold dirt floor, and stumbled outside to chop some wood to start a fire in the cook stove balanced on the rocks outside.

They would have tossed some coffee grounds into a beat-up metal pot … grounds that had already been used for several days … filled the pot with water, boiled it … and at some point, would finally get that first bitter cup of java.

No coffee house down the road, no car to get there, certainly no latte or cappuccino. Eat what you kill, literally. If you ain’t got it, you ain’t gonna get it.

Lots of resources but ….

The secret of success is constancy to purpose.” Benjamin Disraeli

In many ways, we’re much less resourceful than our forefathers.

While we may have expanded the definition of community in many positive ways, using our physical and social media “mobility” to create unimagined connections, we’ve also become more dependent on external resources to get through our day.

In some ways it’s probably better that we’re co-dependent. (more…)

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