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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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Hope is powerful but don’t let it become an embalming agent. Get moving.

Hope is Not a Strategy. Action is.

Hope isn’t a strategy. Action IS!

For most of us, this is the time of the year when hope springs eternal.
We’re revved up for an exciting new year, determined to change all of the things that didn’t work last year so we can pound the ball out of the park in 2014.

Nothing wrong with any of that.

Commitment, momentum, focus … these are the energies that will fuel our engine and help us jumpstart 2014 with the vigor and rigor that we need to make this year the most successful ever.

Are your initiatives starting to drag just a bit?

The gum does kinda lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight, doesn’t it?

We don’t get far into the new year before we discover that it’s much easier to start than to finish.

We struggle to keep the engine stoked with the same energy that propelled us into the New Year.

We begin to feel some of the air already coming out of the tires, and begin to wonder … “where did that new-found energy go”?

What’s that whimpering sound?

It comes back to that whimpering sound of “hope springs eternal.”

Read why Hope is a poor excuse for a strategy….

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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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The 6 Keys You Can Use to Rock Your Company Culture

The 6 Keys You Can Use to Rock Your Company Culture

The 6 Keys You Can Use to Rock Your Company Culture

The 6 Keys You Can Use to Rock Your Company Culture

Do you remember the CEO we discussed in the first article in this series who threw his secretary’s typewriter through a second story window – without opening it?

You may not have seen a typewriter fly … or a lead crystal ashtray pass by your head. You may also worked in a company that was thriving financially with a company culture that didn’t quite measure up.

I was at the epicenter of one cultural disaster.

From the first day, I was stunned that so many put up with so much. My excuse is that I was a young pup and didn’t know any better … but a lot of adults in the playroom sure should have. (I eventually regained my sanity and jumped ship.)

Even to this day, I look back in amazement that the company was such a financial powerhouse. It was a star performer on the NYSE … but my young, naïve bubble was burst because I figured that companies that performed great … must be great companies.

Their bank account was fat but their culture was leaner than a ostrich burger.

What YOU CAN do about it!

Read the Full Article about the 6 Keys to Rock Your Culture …

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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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The Spotlight of Leadership: Where are you standing?

Searchlight - Floodlight

The Spotlight of Leadership

Experienced leaders know that they are standing in the Spotlight of Leadership all the time. I’ll tell you about a video you should watch just below.

Have you read any of the news stories and interviews recently with General Stanley McChrystal, whose new book is coming out now, My Share of the Task?

You’ll recall he is the four-star general whose resignation was precipitated by a Rolling Stone article which disclosed some unsavory remarks about the President’s executive team.

What is McChrystal’s response?

The reporter was given broad access to McChrystal and his staff, with few conditions, to see how the general and his leadership team worked together.

You can read the candid response from General McChrystal about this incident here. (more…)

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Leadership Insight | What are we doing to help you?

“There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.

Winston Churchill

Why do you have your own business?

Winston Churchill could have been an entrepreneur to have so eloquently dramatized the thrill associated with building a business.

Whether you own it yourself or share it with partners, it’s yours to build, to mold according to your dreams and values.

You may be building it from scratch or seeking new opportunities to jumpstart a mature company. In either case, I hope this will help you on your journey.

Want to build your own boat?

Why do you have your own business?

Independence, many will say, the chance to run my own show?

Be my own boss?

Do things my way – maybe because you’ve seen them done the wrong way and you can do better? (more…)

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Leadership Insight | Collaboration Won’t Overcome Poor Communication

“Communication is something so simple and difficult that we can never put it in simple words.

~ T. S. Matthews

 

Communication = Collaboration ≠ Consensus

One of the most popular words in the business lexicon these days is collaboration.

Everyone seems eager to flatten the organization, get rid of hierarchy, eliminate command-and-control structures and collaborate across broad multifunctional teams.

Wow! That’s quite an objective, isn’t it. But do we really understand collaboration and why it’s become such a ubiquitous battle cry?

(more…)

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