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Leadership LibraryI have written more than 300 articles about Leadership, about 1/3 of which have been published by the SF affiliate of the New York Times. You can focus here on specific issues including Communication, Compensation, Governance, Entrepreneurship, Performance, Planning, and Recruiting

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

Does Everyone in Your Company Clearly Understand Your Vision?

Powered by Purpose is the theme for Leadercast LIVE, the largest single-day leadership event in the world which takes place this Friday, May 5th.

With that in mind, it seems like a good time to consider the Purpose of YOUR Company.

Why is Your Company Even Here - 3 Tips To Tell Everyone Why

 

In Why is Your Company Even Here? 3 Tips To Tell Everyone Why, I’m asking you this question …

“Have you clearly communicated the purpose of your organization so everyone in your company can recite it?”

I provide several examples of Vision and Mission statements that are eminently vague and provide no clue whatsoever about the identity of the companies using them … alongside others where the company’s identity is absolutely clear. I think you’ll see the difference.

Check out the 3 simple Rules of Thumb in this article to guide your efforts to clearly communicate your purpose and establish you as a Leader Worth Following.

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The Simple 7 Step Process to Build Your Reading Program

I got my hands dirty today. It’s been a long time since my fingers were almost black. It felt good, though, to get my hands back in it.

The Simple 7 Step Process to Build Your Reading Program

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body ~ Joseph Addison

If you’re wondering what I was doing, take a look at Leaders Read and Readers Lead, where I give you a 7 Point Plan help you jumpstart your reading habit and develop a more disciplined approach to reading everything you’ve decided you want to read.

Since this Sunday is National Book Day, why not use it to reignite your reading habit, books or otherwise? And, if you feel like just laying back and reading for pleasure, visit The Novels I’m Reading, a compendium of some great books in the Mystery-Thriller-Suspense genre.

“Get crackin'” … with the spine of that book you’ve been meaning to read!

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Wanna Win? Make Sure These Prime Characteristics are Joined at the Hip.

The week just ended is my favorite sports week of the year.

What’s not to like?

Get in the game. Enjoy the Ride.

The week just ended is my favorite sports week of the year.

Some of you will say,

“You must have your calendar mixed up. Baseball season opened the previous week.”

Of course, I could say,

“But the home opener for the Giants was only on Monday”…

… and then you’d say,

“OK, so you’re a big Giants fan. I get it.”

I love the San Francisco Giants and all … 3 World Championships in the last 6 years … but honestly? That didn’t even occur to me as I braced for the greatest sports week of the year.

The Contrast is Extraordinary

There are a lot of reasons why I love the week that just ended.

Continue reading…

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4 Simple Ground Rules to Make Sure You Reach the Mountaintop

How often have you set an ambitious goal … but failed to achieve it?

There’s a good chance that you failed to create the timelines, milestones and deadlines to go along with it.

This Article Could Be About Many Things

Today is one of those occasions when I’m going to let you decide what this article is about.

Is it about resolve, our ability to persevere, to vigorously pursue an idea, uncover its value to our business and set out to relentlessly apply it?

Or, is it about execution, our ability to follow proven processes to implement sustainable change in our business?

Didn’t Mom Teach You to Take Small Steps?

We probably didn’t realize it at the time, but our Moms … and Dads, too … laid the groundwork for this lesson many moons ago.

Keep reading to learn the 4 Simple Ground Rules to Make Sure You Reach the Mountaintop …

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6 Keys to Unlock & Rock Your Company Culture

I was at the epicenter of one cultural disaster.

FFrom 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.

What are one person’s chances of changing a company culture? You CAN build an ethical, values-based culture and create a financially successful company.

 

A Cultural Catastrophe

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 an ostrich burger.

What YOU CAN do about it!

Keep reading to learn about the 6 Keys to Unlock Your Company Culture …

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The Single Word That Dooms Every Apology

Last week, when we discussed the The 6 Powerful Benefits of Admitting Your Mistakes, we focused more on the admission than the apology.

You might think the apology is the easy part of admitting your mistakes, but it’s often more flawed than the mistake itself.

 

The Admission AND The Apology

You might think the apology portion of the equation is super simple, but haven’t we seen countless examples of apologies that were defensive and full of excuses?

How many apologies have you heard … or offered … that after the apology starts, it continues with … “but ….” and the beginning of an explanation for why it wasn’t really your fault, there were extenuating circumstances beyond your control, blah blah blah.

Do you think the offended party inhaled that as the most humble and meaningful apology they ever heard … or did they more likely walk away thinking you weren’t really that sorry?

Typically, apologies are the ideal preamble to our admission of mistakes, and there are three critical elements that must be present.

Keep reading …

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The 6 Powerful Benefits of Admitting Your Mistakes

Go ahead. Raise your hand if you’ve never made a mistake

If your hand isn’t up, how willing are you to own and admit your mistakes?

What’s the Difference Between a Lie and a Mistake?

If you make a mistake and are not corrected, this is called a mistake. ~ Confucius

Before we get too far, let’s distinguish between failing to admit a mistake and actually lying.

I’m not sure of the provenance of this nugget, but it helps to make the distinction:

  • When an error is made unintentionally, it is a mistake.
  • When an error is made intentionally, it is a lie.
  • When a mistake is pointed out, but still clung to, it becomes a lie.

This is NOT about lying or covering up illicit activity, say, the example of the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, which was a deliberate effort to cheat U.S. emissions standards. The Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme and the Lance Armstrong doping scandal are among the countless other events born with a deliberate lie to conceal illicit activity.

Today, I’m going to show you why admitting your mistakes … promptly and unprompted … is the only way to Become a More Effective Leader.

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Monday’s Quote of the Week

If you don't have any shadows, you're not standing in the light. ~ Lady Gaga

You can interpret this in many ways … but for me, it means that it’s okay if some things don’t go well or that you make mistakes.

If you are in the Spotlight of Leadership, whether as an artist or a business leader, you will only cast a shadow if you let the light shine upon you and are willing to be authentic and imperfect.

So, get out there!

Stand under the hot lights.

Stand upright.

Face the music.

Do your best.

Belt it out … and let the shadows fall.

You can easily add your comment below, or by visiting our Facebook Page or @Exkalibur on Twitter. I visit them every day and look forward to discussing these ideas and concepts with you.

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