Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Cry for Change

What are you doing to change?

“The irony of entrepreneurial leadership is that the very behaviors and habit patterns that lead to success at one stage of growth can contribute to failure in the next stage.”
- Katherine Catlin & Jana Mathews “Leading At The Speed of Growth”

“To go from good to great requires a deep understanding of three intersecting circles translated into a simple ‘Hedgehog Concept.’ Foxes pursue many ends at the same time. Hedgehogs, on the other hand, simplify a complex world into a single organizing idea, a basic concept that unifies and guides everything. Good-to-great companies were all hedgehogs, focusing on one big thing.”

- Jim Collins, Good to Great

The Top 3 Concerns in Today’s Economy

1. Low employee engagement and low productivity 34%
2. Losing top performers 26%

3. Leadership gaps 18%

- Taleo Research

“On average, employees waste 1.44 hours each day on nonproductive activities.”
- Joseph Carroll, Gallup News Service
A study of 3200 companies found a 10% increase in capital expenditures led to only a 3.8% increase in productivity. However, a 10% increase in training and development spending led to an 8.5% increase in productivity.
- Robert Zemsky & Susan Shaman University of Pennsylvania

“A survey of 3000 leaders found that only 4% believed they possessed the necessary mindset or skills to lead the virtual corporations of the 21st century.”
- Economist

“In 5 years, 50% of all executives will retire. The need has never been more urgent to develop key talent and to recognize leadership potential at every level of the organization.”
- Korn Ferry International

"Four out of five companies do not have enough talented leaders to pursue their current or future business opportunities."
- McKinsey
Now if businesses only had a place to turn for help... :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Question of the month - what would you do with an extra 30 minutes in your day? Leave early? Get more done at the office? Enjoy a longer lunch?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life Lessons

An old Cherokee tale tells of a grandfather teaching a life principle to his grandson. The old Cherokee told his grandson that inside every person is a battle raging between two wolves. One wolf is evil. It's angry, jealous, lazy, unforgiving, unhappy and unhealthy. The other wolf is good. He is filled with love, kindness, self-control, respect, happiness and health.

The little grandson asked "which wolf usually wins?" the grandfather said, "whichever one you feed."

Make sure starting today you feed the right wolf inside of you!

Studies show that 90% of our everyday behavior is based on our habits.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Three Keys to Leadership + Courageous Leadership

Three Keys to Leadership
by Michael Diercks
Managing Partner, LMI
Leadership is often described as "the ability to influence others." I believe a leader, in order to influence others, needs to demonstrate three key beliefs to be effective in leading their organization, department, team, or even, their family.

The first key to leadership success is your belief in your team. People want someone to believe in them, give them chances to succeed, responsibilities to demonstrate their value and many more things - all seeking to answer this key question - "Do you believe in me?" As a leader, if you demonstrate this through your actions and words, you are on your way to being a great leader with influence.

The second key to leadership success is demonstrating that you can be believed! Not only do people want someone to believe in them, they want someone to believe in. Are you showing yourself to be trustworthy and reliable? Do you have a set of standards that you can be counted on to uphold? Do you
Continue your leadership journey by joining an upcoming LMI Executive Showcase!
demonstrate integrity (do your words and actions integrate)? Are you a person of your word? Essentially, your team wants to know - "Can we trust you?"

Finally, the third key to leadership success is your vision. Do you have a vision that everyone can "see?" Is your vision for your organization, department or team greater than the daily grind? People want to follow leaders who are going someplace. Do you realize you are communicating your vision every time you speak and act? You are either pointing to a clear, bright future where everyone shares in the success or you are presenting a vision that has little or no future - or worse - one without them in it! Fundamentally, your team wants to know the answer to these two questions - "Where are we going?" and "Do I want to go there?"
Whether you are a CEO, department manager, team leader, parent or T-ball coach, your success as a leader and your ability to influence others depend on these three foundational beliefs - belief in your team, their belief in you and your unified belief in the vision.

Ask yourself - Does my team believe?

Courageous Leadership
One of the most neglected and overlooked, but important, qualities of great leaders is being willing to do what is unpopular - courage.
One of the great civil leaders in US history suffered intense and, unfortunately, violent opposition. While he was alive, he may have been considered one of the most unpopular people ever to serve.
Who was this despised and now revered man? Abraham Lincoln - almost unanimously considered one of the top 5 U.S. presidents by scholars.

Lincoln’s viewpoints were radically different from most officials. He, therefore, faced constant opposition. When serving in congress, he stood up against President James K. Polk regarding the Mexican War, saying the war was unjust. This was very poorly received and almost went against the entire congress!
As you recall from your history lessons, Abe lost many elections for political offices before finally being elected president. His presidential election was by one of the lowest popular margins in history. He was regularly mocked and continually attacked by the press. Just before the 1864 election, a newspaper editor in La Crosse, Wis., suggested someone be Brutus and stab Lincoln! Lincoln was, naturally, unpopular with his opposition, the Democrats, but much of his time as president, he was unpopular with members of his own party. Even his cabinet often confronted him.
Yet, because he was willing to do what was unpopular, taking deliberate stands of conscience, enduring public abuse, scorn from friends, even loss of power and prestige, he became the man who "saved the Union" and freed the slaves.
Enhance your leadership "courage" by joining an LMI Executive Showcase!

Consider where our nation (and you!) might be if he had only done what was popular?

This willingness to go against
the tide, to do what’s right and make tough calls is not only an important leadership trait for a president, but also for a CEO, entrepreneur, team leader, community or neighborhood leader, or the leader of a family.

We call someone a leader when he or she is willing to do what others are not, even when—and maybe most especially when—the right thing to do might not be what’s popular to do!

Ask yourself - Am I a courageous leader?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Helping Your Employees Change + The Winter Olympics and You!

Helping Your Employees Change
by Randy Slechta
CEO of Leadership Management International
In today’s dynamic world of constant change, it’s imperative as a manager and a leader that you have the tools and skills necessary to help your employees change behavior as needed. In fact, change management is a critical skill for all managers and leaders in the 21st Century. The question then becomes, “How does a manager/leader change or influence an employee’s behavior?”

The best tool for accomplishing this is feedback. It has been said that feedback is the “breakfast of champions.” This is absolutely true. With feedback, you can have a significant impact on your employee’s behavior and results.

Feedback is an act of recognition of a person, an event, a result, etc. There are two main sources of feedback: a person can provide feedback to themselves, or they can receive it from others. There are three very different feedback scenarios:
1. Positive Feedback – Positive feedback reinforces positive behavior. 
2. Negative Feedback – Negative feedback stops negative behavior. 
3. No Feedback – People who are unsuccessful in getting any feedback through normal behavior will resort to making mistakes and/or causing trouble to get negative feedback. This is because getting negative feedback is better than having no feedback at all.

Nature abhors a vacuum. The absence of feedback creates a psychological vacuum in a person’s mind. Under this condition, people will act in any way they can to gain feedback, either negative or positive.

Since it is often easier to get attention by doing something bad than it is by doing something good, in the absence of feedback, people will move from doing what they are doing now to doing something differently where feedback is achieved. We can easily see this in children. They will do whatever they need to do to get the attention of a parent, sibling, etc.

Download the rest of the article - Feedback

The Winter Olympics and You!
by Michael Diercks
Leadership Management Institute, Columbus Office

The Winter Olympics are giving us quite a show this year. The thrills, the chills, the agony of defeat, the celebration of victory.
For the next couple of weeks we will be glued to the TV watching skating, bob sledding, skiing and curling -- the pinnacle of winter sports!
As you watch these athletes and teams compete, watch for all the "Slight Edge" performances. What is a "Slight Edge" performance? It is where an athlete finds that one little thing that makes the difference.

Each athlete is looking for that "Slight Edge" in their performance. Speed skaters seek just the right time to pass, bob sledders are trying to navigate the corners to get optimal speed, skiers are riding the edges of their skis to cut their turns just right.

The "Slight Edge" moves them from contender to the podium and from the podium to the gold.

So... what does the Olympics and the "Slight Edge" have to do with business performance? Simple -- learning to apply the "Slight Edge" in your performance can move you into the winner's circle – from very good to outstanding.

What is the "Slight Edge" in performance? It is simple but not easy. Simple in that you need to identify the one or two actions that, when implemented, over time will elevate your performance by a step. That step is one thing that will move you closer to the victor's circle. It doesn't need to be a huge, monumental leap, just a one simple activity.

Let me suggest one thing you can do today to enhance your performance. Write down one thing that prevents you from finishing your to-do list. Here are ones that I hear frequently.
  • Unproductive meetings
  • Constant interruptions
  • Giving directions to someone over and over again
  • Allowing commitments to slip
  • Taking on too many assignments
  • Fighting "fires"

Once written down, make a decision not to allow these performance inhibitors to happen. (This is where the simple isn't easy!) Create a daily habit of replacing these inhibitors with performance enhancers (legal ones) that will move you to the next level. Decide to...
  • Improve meetings
  • Manage interruptions
  • Ensure others understand
  • Keep commitments
  • Learn to say "no"
  • Find the causes of fires and prevent them
Remember performance improvement only happens when personal improvement happens!

If you would like to explore how these performance inhibitors are really impacting your results, please contact us. The LMI transforming process delivers "Slight Edge" advantages to you by creating the personal habits that improve productivity and enhancing performance!