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Tag Archives | Accountability

5 Tips from Winston Churchill to Overcome Any Storm

Are you having a bad day … maybe a bad week … even a few bad weeks in a row?

Could you handle it if you had to slog your way through a seemingly unending storm?

How Do You Achieve Victory Against Insurmountable Odds?

Yesterday, November 30, Winston Churchill would have been 143 years old. He died in 1965 but few modern historical figures are as legendary as Churchill.

It made me think on his countless pearls of wisdom I’ve enjoyed over the years. Some poignant, some funny, some rather cutting. I’ve sprinkled a few throughout for your enjoyment and amusement.

It also reminded me that in the face of life’s challenges, we CAN keep on getting on … and overcome them even when they seem stretched endlessly in front of us.

What Does the Future Hold?

The truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may destroy it … but there it is. ~ Winston Churchill

The future is never clear enough and there are always unbidden passengers getting on the train … economic turmoil, political stalemate, terrorism, the wrath of Mother Nature … it’s a pretty long list.

“Let us go into the storm … and through the storm,” said Winston Churchill as he prepared England to confront the Nazi regime in World War II.

I thought this might be a touch of hyperbole as we face life’s challenges, but then I recalled that Churchill’s odyssey raged for five years, not just a day or a week.

Imagine Churchill, FDR and others slogging for five dreadful years through the greatest threat to civilization we have known.

How do we carry on the fight over a longer period?

Keep reading to learn how to overcome the Resistance …

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Will people like what they see when they look in your window?

Do people see exactly what you want them to see when they look in your window?

I’m sure you will agree with this: You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

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Back when I was a bank teller ….

Just after the dinosaurs became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period, my first assignment in the Management Training Program of the bank I joined right after college, was as a teller at one of their branches.

Some of you may never have been inside a bank branch, but back then, they were the center of your personal and business banking universe. There was no online capability and everything had to be done face-face.

I won’t try to make you jealous of my experience … making sure the transactions at my window, and in the entire branch, were balanced before anyone could leave the branch … the often tedious nature of handling deposits or standing around waiting for one … but I remember vividly one of the most powerful lessons I learned on my first day:

If you care about what people see when they look in your window, keep reading

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Do You Have a Battle Strategy – or is Hope your only Strategy?

I’m pretty sure most of us missed the Crusades … and know very little of medieval warfare.


While battle strategy in that era appears to be random and haphazard, certainly in most movies depicting that period, planning invariably eclipsed brute force. Strategy proved to be the touchpoint for success in every battle, including the ones we’re fighting every day.



Using a Battlefield Metaphor May Seem a Bit Strong …

… yet, it’s perfectly apt for the complexity … and yes, often the intensity … of what we’re facing every day.

But, this concept is not really about military conquest. 

I use the reference more in the sense of this phrase:

“Civilians think about strategy. Generals think about logistics.”

D-Day Was Really ALL About Planning

Most of us weren’t around during World War II … but D-Day was the largest amphibious invasion of all time.

It involved over 250,000 troops and 15,000 ships landing along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast on June 6, 1944.

Luck?

Accident? … or the result of rigorous strategic planning and project management?

Could this happen without planning?

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower, (Our 34th President)

Did General Eisenhower, the Allied Supreme Commander, lead this effort without any planning?

Of course not, and even if our business plans aren’t quite as extensive, we know (deep down, we know for sure) that we need some sort of an organized planning process to build a successful business.

Keep Reading to find the 4 Simple Reasons You Need a Plan

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The 7 Key Attributes of Successful New Leaders

Consider these 7 Key Attributes of Successful New Leaders to give yourself a running start.

Existing leaders will also benefit from reading along and making course corrections where necessary.

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A number of my clients and colleagues have recently ascended to greater positions of leadership at the top ranks of their companies. There’s suddenly even more to do, but have you paused long enough to consider how you should start?

Do you need to do anything differently?

1. Credibility is Foremost

Without it, you’ll look over your shoulder and find no one there. You need to do it by being committed to learning, being humble about what you don’t know and proving to your team that you’re building a transparent and collaborative organization — and they are a critical part of it.

Roll up your sleeves and learn before barking out orders.

Make sure you don’t miss any of these 7 Attributes

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The 8 Most Powerful Letters in Your Productivity Toolkit | Video

Just when I thought we had covered the waterfront with respect to accountability, I’m reminded of the linchpin of true accountability – the very simple concept of FOLLOW UP.

During my conversations with CEOs, I’m repeatedly reminded of how remarkably little attention is paid to this simple concept.

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Why do we ignore follow up?

It seems so obvious I wonder why I’m writing about it … and yet, routine follow up is often ignored in the hustle for the next opportunity or when there just isn’t another finger to put in the dike.

This isn’t a new problem and it stretches across all of the aspects of our lives. Five years ago, the New York Times even lamented about the lapse in our social manners reflected by people’s failure to respond to RSVP invitations, much of which I’d chalk up to this follow up laxity.

It’s a process that is halfheartedly pursued by so many that it’s no wonder so few things get done on time – or at all.

We expect the other person to get it done

There are a number of reasons for this you may recognize in yourself.

Don’t miss the video & the 7 Simple Steps to create a powerful Follow Up routine

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What do people see when they look in your window?

Do people see exactly what you want them to see when they look in your window?

I’m sure we can agree on this: You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

image

Back when I was a bank teller ….

Just after the dinosaurs became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period, my first assignment in the Management Training Program of the bank I joined right after college, was as a teller at one of their branches.

Some of you may never have been inside a bank branch, but back then, they were the center of your personal and business banking universe. There was no online capability and everything had to be done face-face.

I won’t belabor my experience … making sure the transactions at my window, and in the entire branch, were balanced before anyone could leave the branch … the often tedious nature of handling deposits or standing around waiting for one … but I remember vividly one of the most powerful lessons I learned on my first day:

If you care about what people see when they look in your window, keep reading

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The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing but The Truth

The “Truth Will Set You Free” has been uttered by thousands, but maybe only a few really believe it and tell it faithfully.

That’s the mantra at Exkalibur.com and we’re sticking to it. Big Time. All the Time. Here’s why.

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What are we doing at Exkalibur and how is that going to help you?

Great question.

What unique perspective do I have?

For one thing, I have a very eclectic background that is matched by few.

Few executives can say they have worked in the salt mines in Miami or in the meadows of St. Louis.

Few could say that they were a commercial banker and investment banker, that they started their own boutique investment firm, that they had their first CFO job at 29.

Few could say that they helped raise capital built on a $1,000 equity base into $35 million in lines of credit from 7 banks on 4 continents before the age of 35.

Maybe not the smartest moves ….

Few would be dumb enough to quit that job and start a bedroom consulting gig that turned into an investment banking boutique without having the foggiest idea what they were doing.

Few have competed successfully against multibillion-dollar investment firms with a 7 person team and no real money to be hired to manage a $35 million venture fund.

Keep reading if you want the truth. Stop here if not.

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