Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Why education & work experiences are an effective leadership development program

Author: Stephanie Tuia & CMOE

Reflect back to your education and to as recent as the previous job you held. Ask yourself how you have reached your current level of leadership and how your skills have developed over time. During this time, you were most likely exposed to a number of activities and experiences that evolved into your own personal lea dership development program . Many of these skills and learning developed over time can be applied to your current workplace. Let's look at how you can make the most out of past experiences and apply them to your current work situation.


You may have been a part of a basketball team, a support group, or a local community effort. This type of active involvement helps to fine tune leadership skills such as delegating, empowering team members, and learning to communicate effectively. Being associated with 'teams' gives an individual a chance to be a part of something, work together among counterparts, and contribute to a shared interest.


By experiencing a team environment outside of work, you have the opportunity to share many skills and capabilities that will take your people and organization to the next level. As other team members become leaders within your organizations, they will also recall past experiences and what it means to fulfill a selfless work ethic and build healthy relations among work associates. Good leaders will not segregate themselves away from their subordinates, but involve themselves fairly among a workload, and help lead and guide others from their personal leadership development program.


Deciding what we want to do with our life (continue school, find a career, or start a business) is when many of us first experienced a true sense of ownership. At some point there was a discovery that really piqued your potential interest. Through a variety of educational classes, job searching, or through trial and error, you narrowed your focus to the best fit or option; then came learning for the experience of others.


As an apprentice we learned many tricks of the trade by shadowing our mentors or being observant or passionate about their work. Now as mentors, we need to focus on instructing or guiding others to learn effective and efficient work skills to provide credible and productive results for the organization. Law, medical and business schools are prime examples of educating students so that they can take ownership of their profession and eventually contribute to their field.


After formal education, many people are optimistic and confident that they will get the ""dream job"" fresh out of college. Like hundreds of thousands of students graduating at the same time, you compete against qualifying candidates as well as experienced professionals vying for the same job. The job outlook at the time was probably overwhelming and sometimes frustrating, but your competitive circumstances kept you driven to contend among your counterparts and stay ahead of the competition.


In our day to day work environment, we must also be competitive to stay ahead of the competition. Through positive encouragement, thinking strategically, and feeling the drive to compete will help us stay ahead. For some it may be of value to provide a lea dership development program that will increase an individual's work potential. This will keep them ahead of the game and help them to be on top of the competition.

Every team provides leadership opportunities for the individuals. By being cognizant of how personal leadership development programs the above three benefits, it will give us the opportunity to help individuals develop leadership qualities essential to beating the competition in our fierce business environment.

About the author: Stephanie Tuia and the CMOE Development team have collaborated in

content writing for CMOE. If you would like more information about a lea dership development program for your organization, please contact us toll free at 888-262-2499.

The Art of Leadership

Author: Ron Fory

By Ron Fory, The Leader's Institute

The art of leadership is sought by virtually everyone. It is claimed by many, defined by a few, and exercised by the unheralded, depending on the source you use. In fact, we know a lot about leadership; it is the application of leadership that creates confusion for most.

In spite of all the leadership texts, containing a veritable plethora of theories about leadership (each of which is THE KEY), leadership remains a very individual concept, exercised in many diverse yet successful ways. Indeed, successful application always results in leadership. Unsuccessful application is invariably counter-productive. So, is this another theory? No, but I will share with you some of my observations about where to look for leadership. It's my belief that although we may not be able to define it very precisely, we can recognize it when we see it.

We know that there are people called ""formal leaders"" and ""informal leaders"" in some of the literature. I am not going to talk about those ""formal leaders,"" because they are by definition occupying positions of authority (i.e., a supervisory position) and that is their sole claim to leadership. ""Informal leaders,"" on the other hand, exercise leadership from positions not formally designated for leadership, thus causing a problem for the organization. How the informal leader arises is curious, but it can often be caused by the lack of leadership in the ""formal"" position. But that doesn't mean that the ""great man"" theory takes place (that's the one that says when a crisis occurs and there's no one prepared to deal with it, someone will rise to the occasion and deal with it). Why is someone not in a leadership position given authority by the group in which they work to exercise leadership?

There are, of course, several answers to that question, so let's examine some of them. It may be that the one who is the leader is a confident (at least confidently-acting) person with a bit of charisma, thus one who offers logical answers to questions from the group, and who may have the ability to demonstrate that they have good ideas. We often see this in groups that begin by discussing particular problems; if no one is specifically ""in charge,"" the leader who emerges is often the person who demonstrates the most passion about the topic.

Or, they may simply be someone who is impatient for action, and goads others into a particular action that appears to achieve some common goals. In this case, the group tends to rally behind the ""visionary."" Sometimes, the visionary doesn't have much of a vision, but that doesn't mean they aren't capable of pursuing one (or of having one in the first place).

Another possibility is that one of this group recognizes that things can be done in a way to benefit everyone involved, much like the development of John Nash's gaming theory (the basis for the movie, ""A Beautiful Mind""). The concern is not for the betterment, enrichment or even recognition of the leader, rather for the achievement of group goals, including the entire organization.

When we find this leader of the latter sort, John Collins, in his book Good to Great, calls them ""Level 5"" leaders. They are the ones who are passionate about achievement of the whole, not of themselves individually. These leaders aren't heralded, because they don't blow their own horns. They are too busy working toward meaningful goals to be distracted by something so counter-productive. Yet they do some particular things that we can see ""proves"" their leadership. Some of those things are where I'd like to focus this discussion.

Leaders who are passionate about their vision (they ALWAYS have a vision), are careful to make sure everyone in the organization knows what that vision is. They will indoctrinate everyone so that it is not simply a vision, but a tangible part of the environment, so much so that it will go home with employees at night. Everything that flows, then, is a reflection of that vision, because the vision becomes the beacon that guides the actions of everyone in the organization.

Those leaders know their people well: their personalities, their histories, their passions. The leader knows them because of the leadership involved in attracting and retaining the right people to ""get the job done."" They reach back to the theory of W. Edwards Deming, not necessarily for Statistical Process Control techniques (although they are valuable), but for Deming's ""14 Points,"" one of which is to insure adequate and continuous training. If the right people are in the job and they are given the resources to get the job done, cheerleading is a waste of time, because these workers already get out of bed in the morning excited about going to work. Motivation? It's boiling inside each one of them, and they don't need slogans or mantras, or group meetings to cheer about history, because the ""self-actualized"" person is also self-motivated. They know their jobs, they know what's expected of them, and they know that they have a responsibility to the rest of the employees to do the best job they possibly can. One reason that happens is that the individual has been involved in development of their job and their responsibilities for that job, they've been informed about how their job fits into the overall scheme, and they are intimately involved in changes that occur in the company. Revolutionary? No, it's been in the books for decades.

When leaders develop this kind of employee and the managers to supervise those employees, they are freed up to do the visionary tasks: keeping the goal in sight, and making the course corrections necessary when changing conditions require them. Tweaking is a skill these leaders have that is taught in no school, which makes it that much more valuable.

In my history is a ten-year stint as a division controller for a manufacturing firm. The division manager was a true visionary, who brought the division from a lackluster, poorly motivated, money losing operation to an energetic, proud organization that had attained ISO 9000 certification on its way to becoming profitable as well. Over those ten years, I watched that manager steadfastly steer the division in the direction his vision so clearly defined. Not all of his actions were exactly right, but that didn't keep us from learning from them. And the division became a model for the corporation, while the division manager became a regional manager so his skills could be used in other divisions as well. He had learned that putting the team together was his biggest job, but once that was done, the team drove the progress. He simply got out of the way. His time was not spent showing what he'd done, it was spent in providing the tools to the team members so they could get where he wanted faster. If he needed to do something that should be done by one of the team members, that team member was, by definition, unnecessary, and was eliminated. That doesn't mean that mistakes weren't tolerated, nor that effort wasn't made to insure the team member was adequately placed and trained. But when it became obvious that change was necessary, it occurred quickly and cleanly. It was truly a joy to work there, but especially to observe that unsung leadership in action.

There are some things we as individuals can do, if we want to develop our own leadership: 1. Keep focused on the primary goal for your company. Never let yourself be distracted from that. 2. Surround yourself not with those who only agree with you, but with the right people for the job you need done, then train them and provide them the tools to do the job. 3. Recognize the benefits of having different personalities around you. Not only do separate skill sets come with different personalities, but different approaches that are essential to your company's success. 4. Having hired the right people, get out of their way. If you must micromanage them, you don't need them. This is not a big problem, however, since they won't stay anyway, if you treat them with so little respect. 5. Remember always to consult your feedback loop in all your processes, to make sure things are working as you expect, and that you can make appropriate changes timely. Failure to do this with hasten the failure of your organization in total. Recall that your feedback loop is only as valuable as the people from whom you get feedback. Listen to them. 6. Know when you have exceeded your limitations, and acknowledge it. Then get help to overcome it.

Each of us has the capability to be a leader. We will only become effective leaders, however, when we lose our fear of making mistakes, and share responsibility for achievement of the goals of the organization. If those goals are our individual measures of achievement, then the organization will work to succeed and achieve; if they are not, we will be the transient leader that gets things going, but fails by failing to share credit and push for only the good of the organization.

Dare to achieve.

About the author: Ron Fory is an instructor and trainer for The Leader's Institute and specializes in public speaking and leadership development. Ron can be reached at 1-800-872-7830 x105.

Four Questions About Leadership

Author: Kevin Eikenberry

I hear four questions asked about leadership often. This article gives a short answer to each of these important questions.

Why Does Leadership Matter?

Parents universally hope that their children develop leadership qualities. They know that leaders are people who are effective in what they do, are respected by others, and typically rewarded for those skills in a variety of ways. It is in these formative years that, through our parents, we first see leadership as desirable and important.

As young people we look up to people around us that motivate and listen to us; people that seem like ""real-life"" heroes. We consider these people leaders.

As we grow we begin to relate leaders to their jobs - ministers, teachers, police officers. And later Mayors, Presidents, and CEO's . . .

As adults all of these thoughts and experiences define why we think leaders have desirable traits and play roles we admire (and why we desire these things for our children).

All of these experiences and thoughts help us define why leadership matters - it matters because leaders make a difference and can shape the future. It matters because leaders are valued and valuable. In everyone's mind leadership, especially when it is good, matters.

What is a Leader?

A leader is a person who sees something that needs to be done, knows that they can help make it happen, and gets started.

A leader sees opportunity and captures it.

A leader sees a future that can be different and better, and helps others see that picture too.

A leader knows they can't do it alone.

A leader is a coach.

A leader is an encourager.

A leader views change as their ally.

A leader is willing to take risks today for something better tomorrow.

A leader is a learner.

A leader is a communicator.

A leader is a coordinator.

A leader is a listener.

A leader takes a long view - letting their vision keep their daily steps on track.

A leader is passionate.

A leader motivates and inspires.

A leader values results.

A leader cares about more than results though; she cares about those who are following her lead.

A leader makes a difference in the lives of others.

A leader is all of these things and much more.

Are People Born Leaders?

Sure they are - I mean everyone is born, right?

You might say that riddle-like answer misses the point. You say the real answer is that some people are truly born to lead.

And I would reply that your common statement implies that others aren't born to be leaders.

So let's examine that difference of opinion...

When people describe someone as a ""born leader"" they typically mean that the person is motivating, a good communicator and charismatic. And it is true; some people are blessed at birth with more natural ability in these ways.

But leaders can be great with different innate characteristics as well.

And there is no single small skill set that defines the perfect leader or guarantees success.

Everyone is born with a unique set of natural abilities. And all of us can develop skills and styles to complement those natural abilities.

Who is a Leader?

This question on the surface is the easiest question I've asked so far. After all, I've already given some examples.

People in certain roles are leaders, whether they've studied for the role, like a doctor, lawyer, teacher or minister... got elected to the role, like a county councilman, mayor, Senator or President... or worked up the through the organization like a supervisor, manager, Vice President or CEO.

You can ask most anyone the question ""Who is a leader?"" and those are the kinds of answers they will give you.

They are right, of course. But they are only partially right.

Leaders aren't leaders because of a job title.

Leaders are leaders because they lead.

Which takes me back to my previous question - ""Are people born leaders?"" Yes they are. But it isn't just a few that have been hand picked by our Creator or random genetics.

We have all been picked - genetics has selected us all.

We were all born to lead, in our own way.

We may not be the Chairman of the Board. We may not be the person on the stage.

We may not lead with oratory or flair.

We may lead by compassion.

We may lead by example.

We all can lead.

We all have the ability to be remarkable leaders.

Leadership isn't about position.

Leadership isn't about power.

Leadership is about potential - your potential.

You are a leader. Claim and believe this to be true, for it is. Stake your claim and make a difference in the world around you.

Your opportunities for leadership are endless. The rewards are boundless.

My answers to four questions lead to a question for you...

Where will you lead?

About the author: Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (http://KevinEikenberry.com), a learning consulting company. To receive a free Special Report on leadership that includes resources, ideas, and advice go to http://www.kevineikenberry.com/leadership.asp or call us at (317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER.

Leadership Is Action... Not Position

Author: Willie Jones

People respond to good leadership! Period! It is in all aspects of our lives, not just business. A mother is a leader in her home; a son may be leader of a team sport or a daughter the leader of the debate team. A group relies on the person in charge to actually lead them to success. A true leader is highly ethical, honest and respected.

In our society we have leaders and followers. Are we born to one or the other? No! Can you hone your leadership skills? Absolutely!

The leaders that I admire seem to have all of these in place:

a) They think BIG! They don't put a ceiling in place. Instead, no limit is set as to how big or how much better something can be.

b) The goals are firmly set in place and the eye does not come off of it.

c) They make known to all involved the final product that they are all going for, example, if you sell widgets, it takes x number of widgets to be affluent, or you want to win that football game and ultimately the title. Know what you're going for.

d) They can get compliance to orders.

e) When goals are met they set new goals or raise the bar.

People will follow your lead willingly if you are honest, ethical, if you are consistent and treat them with respect. Rewarding someone when a job is well done is always appreciated. A good leader will also off load someone who consistently hinders the group who is just not a team player.

You can improve your own self- respect and become an inspiration to others. How great is that!

About the author: Willie Jones is a freelance writer, researcher, floral designer, and artist. ""Make sure you enroll in the free motivational poster drawing at http://www.artinspires.com/display_motivational.asp/. All winners receive a free framed print.""

Monday, February 27, 2006

Leadership Development: Turn On Your Employees

Author: Martha Rice

The concept of leadership development is not new. Over the last few decades, many scholars and business leaders have written books, articles, and curriculum on this topic. So, why another article? Simply put, the message isn't getting to front line supervisors who can energize employees to exceed your expectations.

During the first eight months of 2005, the Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness sent out surveys to 327 employees, to evaluate 117 supervisors before these supervisors attended a leadership development workshop. The employees were asked to give their opinions to what their supervisors were doing right; and in what areas could their supervisors improve. Twelve companies and agencies participated in these survey evaluations representing the fields of banking, education, government, manufacturing, and sales. The data showed a definite trend. The main categories dealt almost exclusively with how the leaders interacted with their employees. The table below represents the area of leadership the 327 employees listed as concerns.

**Topic Area **Number of Respondents listing the topic as important

Support, Respect, Trust, and Commitment- 274

Coaching, Feedback, and Training- 217

Communication- 169

Availability and Access- 104

Job Knowledge, Preparation before meetings, and Technical Skills- 103

Integrity, Work Ethic- 99

The following is a sampling of what the employees said in their written responses. Notice the emotional frustration in those employees who responded negatively.

* ""He needs to work on being more sensitive to the feeling of those who work with him. He can sometimes act and speak without thinking it through, coming off to harsh. He is very good at making us feel stupid from time to time.""

* ""She also unintentionally will interrupt people in the middle of their sentences. Has a tendency to blame those people under her direction when mistakes happen or things aren't done the way they should have been. Blaming leads to lack of trust and respect from your employees.

* ""Mr. xx could use a little more patience and understanding. He tends not to listen to your entire problem before reacting.""

* [My leader needs to:] ""1. Stop gossiping. 2. Respect coworkers. 3. Be more willing to listen. 4. Assist team in moving up within the company, realize nobody will be on her team forever.""

* ""Excludes me from meeting with peers and partners, initiates no discussion on employee work plan or any other plan of mutual design, does not promote an atmosphere of trust and honest communication, steamrolls, back-stabs and embarrasses me in long-standing relationships with others on routine business without initiation of any communication with me before hand."" While we note that some employees gave their managers praise, the traits the employee deemed most important continued to be the quality of the manager's interaction with the employee, respect, support, and trust.

* ""[He] is a unique manager. It is a pleasure to work for him. His style is unlike any I have previously experienced, but he is excellent at achieving goals, (his way).""

* ""[She] sends follow up emails after a discussion, outlining the steps/actions we agreed upon. I find this very helpful. Her open door is always inviting. She stops working and gives her full attention during any conversation. Her calm demeanor and excellent verbal communication gives me a secure and confident feeing that she is there to help me.""

* ""[He] is, and should continue to be a leader on the team. During team meetings, he offers valuable opinions, realistic objections and almost always has several good suggestions for improvements. [He] is also a very humble and charismatic person. These traits help him get his points across because he is not overly dominant or forceful about his opinions. [His] motto seems to be that his way is not 'the' way, only 'another' way, which is very constructive and assuring.""

* ""[He] leads by example; he is energetic, positive, and inclusive. He gives and accepts constructive criticism when necessary -always in a positive manner. He is sensitive when it comes to the feelings of others and while he has high expectations of his staff, he is always available to help us meet those expectations.""

* ""This person maintains a level hand that is unflappable under pressure. He will help when asked and gives his training and coaching time to anyone who asks as his time allows. He asks your opinion on things that are going on, topics of interest related to our work. He is very knowledgeable about our processes and procedures and shares this knowledge on a regular basis.""

So what did this survey tell us?

First, employees want to be respected, their ideas listened to, and appreciated for the work they do. They want to know that their supervisor considers them as a valuable part of the company. In other words, they want to be members of a successful team.

Secondly, people want training, feedback, and coaching on how to do their jobs better, more efficiently, and more effectively. In short, the success of the team, department, or business is very important to them. For many employees, it boils down to a sense of pride to be a viable member of a team.

Thirdly, for employee success, effective communication is not the same as being told what to do. People want to know that they will be listened to, that their ideas will be accepted or at least considered. They know the processes and probably have good ideas about streamlining work. They also need to be clear as to the nature of their tasks; they don't want to make mistakes any more than you want them to. Fourthly and finally, accessibility to their supervisor is critical for employees. Whether due to attitude, hierarchy, or too much work that impedes contact, employee can begin to feel disconnected with management or out of touch with the grand scheme of the business. They may begin to feel like commodities, bowing to unyielding management dictates rather than cooperative judgments that will make their processes easier, more efficient, and often safer. They may think that the most important task is just to get the job done, good or bad. Think how easily one disgruntled or disinterested worker can sabotage the success of the whole team. It's the little things they do either consciously or unconsciously in your department that cause expenses to rise, work to be disrupted, or even loss of customers.

These findings are not suggesting that some managers are too far away to see or listen to issues. Rather, we think this data is saying that employees want to be engaged, trusted, and responsible for their contributions. The also want to share in the benefits of being linked to a successful business. The manager, by unleashing employee motivation and ingenuity, can turn his or her attention to the future, strategic planning, and interfacing with other teams. The team member (employee), by taking ownership of his or her tasks feels he or she is an equal and important partner to the success of the team. This breeds pride and pleasure in a job well done. In other words, they want to be a part of the future.

Effective leadership development can show managers how to capitalize on these needs and guide employees into effective team members and build a strong cohesive team that can accomplish more than today's tasks, it can prepare for the future.

About the author: Martha Rice is a design team leader for the Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness. She has degrees in both English and Communication and over twenty five years experience in administration.

To learn more about how to use effective leadership development, building partnerships for success, or coaching to include your employees in the success of your department or com

Leadership in a Fearful World

Author: Karin Syren

Copyright 2005 So-lu'shunz Management Services

We are living in a fearful world. It is a world haunted by the menace of terrorism, threatened by insidious warfare. It is a world plagued by tsunamis, monster hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, severe drought, famine and raging wildfires. But these often often take a back seat to fear right in our own neighborhood streets. What was once a place of commerce, transportation and community has become a war zone right outside our front doors. Children are often not safe in their classrooms, and sadly not even in their own homes.

Haunted by insecurity and upheaval, shadowed by dread, the world hungers for great leadership, for guidance and direction from those with cool heads and clear visions. If you are in a position of leadership, and very few of us are not, don't wait for a great leader to emerge. Great leaders are not born - they become. A great leader is one whose heart is transformed, often during times of great crisis. You can be the great leader to arise in your family, community or business setting.

Webster defines crisis as disordered function, a radical change of status, an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome.

With that definition in mind, handling crisis is no longer an option for any leader. Leaders must be prepared at all times to handle crisis and its outcomes at home, among friends and in the workplace. If that's a daunting possibility, be encouraged. You are far better prepared to be the instrument of peace in a critical situation that you realize. Keep these steps in mind.

1. Deal with yourself first. You're no good to anyone if you're out of control. Deal with your own emotions, your immediate needs. As the airlines have been telling us for years, put the oxygen mask on yourself first, and then you can be available to those in need.

2. Tell the truth about the situation. Use your good judgment to share what information is pertinent. It's not necessary to share all the gory details simply because they exist. The need to share sensational data will separate the leader from the limelight seeker.

3. Alleviate stress, as much as possible. Provide a controlled atmosphere in which people can talk through their fears, where they can share what they have experienced and how they are feeling about it.

4. Authenticate the experience. Don't try to talk people out of their emotions; don't comment and by all means, don't judge. Hear them out; acknowledge them and then be prepared to help them move forward.

5. Provide an opportunity to move forward to normal operation. Though true normalcy may not be possible for some time, realize what will be necessary to return to a degree of normal functioning and facilitate it.

6. Recognize and deal with the acute reaction. Be prepared to employ professionals to assess those whose reactions seem to be severe, situations in which the individuals may be a potential danger to themselves or to others.

7. Provide resources 24/7. From toiletries for those displaced by a tornado to a forum for sharing memories about a deceased comrade, the great leader will see through the eyes of need and provide whatever will help the victimized begin to feel empowered once more.

8. Don't ever promise what you can't deliver. But don't hesitate to promise what you know you can. In times of crisis, people will hang onto whatever is offered. As a leader, you are bound to make your offers concrete and be prepared to stand behind them, at all costs.

9. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Keep all lines of communication open and flowing. Repeat each communiqué over and over. Ears in crisis may not hear what's being said until the fourth or fifth telling. And remember that it goes two ways. Listening is equally as important as imparting information. Be willing to hear the same story until it no longer needs to be told.

Comfort comes in all shapes and sizes. Great leaders often look a lot like grandmothers with comfy laps or paramedics who dispense teddy bears with ambulance rides, or neighbors who make their homes available at a moment's notice.

Great leaders are those who establish and insure order. They guide and teach and protect. They provide tools; they counsel, arbitrate and shield. They comfort and nurture and encourage. And when the time is right they will even prod. Whatever the title they bear, if they are accomplishing these things, they have transformed hearts and they have become leaders. The need is great and they are very precious to us in these times. Be among them. Remember it's not what you do; it's what you become!

Note: For more information or to arrange for formal training in crisis response procedures, contact the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF), The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the American Red Cross or your local disaster response coordinator.

About the author: Karin Syren is a certified coach specializing in the EffectivenessCoaching program. She has guided leaders at all levels to increase their effectiveness through increased personal awareness, helping them to create their visions for personal greatness and design the goals that will insure it. Subscribe to the weekly Commonsense Communique and request your free copy of the Personal Awareness Questionnaire at http://www.solushunz.com

Leadership and customer service - is there a link?

Author: Derek Williams

It's your first day in a new job.

This is the job that you really wanted. The one that you saw advertised and immediately knew was for you. The one that you spent hours crafting an application letter for. The one that required you to beat all the other applicants at interview. The one where you anxiously awaited the postman to see if you'd been successful.

New suit. Clean shirt and your favourite tie. Shoes freshly polished. Hair cut just the way your Mum would like it.

You're keen. You arrive early. You greet each new person with a warm smile. Trying hard to build rapport without seeming to be over confident. You go out of your way for customers. There's a spring in your step and a friendly ring to your voice.

Now look around. No matter what job you're in and no matter how long you've been there. Does everyone around you have the energy and enthusiasm of new starters? Or has their energy and enthusiasm dwindled? Are they still there because they love what they do or are they simply there because they haven't been able to escape yet?

Is there a link between leadership, customer service and business success? Absolutely! Research by the Strategic Planning Institute found that businesses which gave good service grew twice as fast as those with poor service. And, in all my years of researching customer service, I've yet to find a business with weak leadership giving great service.

So what are the qualities that I've observed?

Leaders need to have a vision of what they want to achieve. How will anyone ever sign up to a cause if there is no cause to sign up to?

The vision needs to be communicated. Let everyone share in it. Let them see what is in it for them by becoming a follower.

Great leaders have passion. The strength and the energy to work against the odds to achieve their vision.

Great leaders delegate and empower. That doesn't mean that they simply dump on their people. But they create structure, they allocate responsibility, they help to create systems, they provide support and training and resources. And they empower their people to make decisions. This is part of what makes people feel significant.

There's respect. Great leaders sometimes have to take tough decisions but there's always respect for their people. They treat their employees as customers - internal customers.

More communication. How are we doing? What are we doing? What new is happening? Successful business leaders are masters at keeping their people informed. Notice boards are up to date and informative. Key performance indicators are understood and displayed. Targets are set and success is celebrated. This is how leaders create a sense of community.

People are motivated to do what's important. If you believe that customer service is important to your business what are you doing to motivate your people to deliver great service? Bonuses based purely on profits are not the answer.

Great leaders stick to principles. In my previous article I told the story of Pret A Manger and what great service they give their customers. I once wrote to their Chief Executive, Julian Metcalfe, and asked if I could spend time in his business researching what they do and how they do it. I promised that I was only looking to report a positive view and that Julian would have the final say on anything that I wanted to publish.

The next day, Julian called me up to thank me for my interest but explained that he would decline my offer. He went on to explain that he is incredibly proud of his people and what they achieve but he could not collaborate on any project that might be seen to praise his business. Julian told me of an old Chinese proverb - ""The higher that the monkey climbs the tree the more that you can see of it's backside"". I understood what he meant and admired his principle.

Great leaders walk the walk and talk the talk.

There's a famous story about a group of visitors to Disney. They were walking in the Magic Kingdom when they saw a grey haired man walk out of his way to pick up a piece of litter. One of the group approached the man and asked, ""How many custodians are there here?"" The man replied, ""45,000"". The guest was surprised at so many.

The next day the group attended a Traditions meeting and the same grey haired man was there. His name was Michael Eisner, Chairman and CEO of Disney.

And great leaders keep the energy going.

I have been fortunate enough to spend some time at Richer Sounds. Richer Sounds is a hi-fi store that has been in the Guinness Book of Records six years running for the highest retail sales per square foot of any retail business anywhere in the world.

Throughout my day at Richer Sounds, members of the Team were regularly checking their performance against target. They kept reminding each other about hitting target and getting together for a drink at the end of the week. There was a buzz and the Team was loving it.

How would I sum up leadership in one sentence? It's simply creating a Team of people with the skills and experience of older employees but the energy and enthusiasm of new employees. If you're the boss, does this describe the people who work in your business?

About the author: Derek Williams is creator of The WOW! Awards™ an International Professional Speaker and Chief Executive for the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Europe.

For more information about Derek Williams visit www.MrWow.co.uk. For The WOW! Awards (including access to a FREE customer service newsletter) visit www.TheWowAwards.com

Why Leadership Matters in Professional Practices

Author: Graham Yemm

""A leader has two important characteristics; first he is going somewhere; second he is able to persuade others to go with him."" Robespierre

How many of the people who run professional firms have achieved their positions as a result of planned career development? Or through assessment centres, or their ability as leaders and managers? I wonder whether a large number are still there because of some family connection, who they know and bring to the firm as clients, length of service or revenues generated? This does not mean that there has to be a problem with those at the top as some will be capable and some will be natural leaders. However, how many could be better? When I have worked with groups in professional firms, the senior people have generally admitted to having no real training in leadership and often admit to lacking the skills. Those at lower levels commented about a lack of leadership, direction or support.

Why does it matter? Fundamentally, all businesses need clear leadership from the top. There needs to be clear strategy and direction. The top leaders will set the culture of the organisation too. Too many organisations are ""over-managed and under-led"" to quote Warren Bennis. There is a difference between leadership and management. Managers get things done, operating within the culture and the rules. Leaders create the direction, developing the culture and rules and taking the people with them. This article will raise some questions about what happens if you do not address the leadership challenge for your firm and shares some ideas for how prevent them. As your markets change, the competitive forces become even more threatening a lack of executive and strategic leadership might prove to be terminal!! However, if you start to apply the principles you can create a more robust and resilient business and, if you wish to, achieve even greater things.

Leadership itself is a word which can trigger a wide-ranging debate if you want to reach a consensus about what it means or what it is. There are hundreds of definitions within the business press alone. To add to the complication, it is generally accepted that there are different levels of leadership, from that required for a team leader or first line supervisor to that of a CEO of a major blue chip! If we think about leadership at the top of an organisation, there are some key elements they need attention: - having an eye on the future and the horizon

- taking a medium and long-range view

- looking outside and inside the organisation

- challenging the status quo

- setting objectives

- inspiring trust

- asks questions and listens

- develops others

If you had to look at the leadership you, or others, are providing in your firm, how many of these aspects to they demonstrate consistently. My experience is that too many ""leaders"" in professional firms are too hands-on. This leads to a lack of clear strategy and direction compounded by a lack of thorough market awareness. There is often a reluctance to change and little is done in a proactive way. The senior people may provide sound professional guidance and mentoring, but they rarely focus on developing the staff throughout the firm. The actual people-management skills are not necessarily good either. These problems are not the fault of the individuals, they are effectively sins of omission. There has been little, or no, formal or structured training or development in management or leadership skills - sometimes reinforced by the ""I didn't get where I am with training"" mindset!!

""Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader."" Tacitus

There are a number of qualities which good leaders can be expected to possess and demonstrate. These would include:

ability to articulate the vision for the organisation, department or function

problem-solving and making decisions, especially difficult ones!

effecting change

acting with honesty and integrity

leading by example (ie the way they behave and act, not doing the other jobs


communication and influencing skills.

How would you assess yourself, or other leaders in your firm? If there was to be a 360° assessment, what would the others say? Reading the list the qualities do not seem to be highly complex when expressed like this. To demonstrate them requires the underpinning skills and knowledge which will give the confidence to use them.

Most professional firms, regardless of your discipline, have a huge amount of technical expertise and experience and many of you will have some form of CPD (Continuous Professional Development). All of this is acquired over time and through training in the technical aspects of the role. However, when it comes to running and leading the firm, or a key part of it, how much is invested in developing the skills and expertise in that area? Experience suggests that for many of you, it is very little. How do you develop leadership, and management, skills? Well, some can come from experience, but that is both time consuming and can be expensive if it means learning from mistakes!

If you want your firm to survive, thrive and grow, it will almost certainly pay to think about improving leadership and management skills - and to think of it as an investment. There is evidence that more successful organisations are those which are well led and well managed. The bigger firms will have some form of management or leadership development programme in place in order to improve these skills and to ready people for future responsibility. Where existing teams need to improve, training programmes can be designed to address their specific issues, building their skills and competencies and improving overall performance. I know that even where we have just done simple interventions on some basics around time management, delegation and goal setting it has helped clients see an improvement in productivity and reduced the amount of work being done in evenings or at weekends. This has enabled senior people to spend more time doing what they should be doing - leading and directing the business. For some firms, the preferred option, especially for senior people, is to tackle these areas on a more individual basis and use executive coaching as the way forward. This can give significant returns in performance and also areas such as staff retention and productivity. These options are not mutually exclusive either, you may consider combining individual support and development with some team training. I have found that this can be particularly effective, especially when some of the people involved have a high degree of technical expertise and need to work on their ""soft"" skills and strategic thinking too.

Leadership is something which is needed in all businesses and by most groups. As the quotation said at the beginning, the leader has to provide the direction for the organisation or group. They need to believe in this for themselves and now how they can get there. The second stage is to persuade others to go along. This needs a combination of skills and the right attitudes. These are not necessarily innate qualities which everyone possesses. They can be learned along with the underpinning skills. Without good leadership the firm is likely to have a lack of direction, which might mean that the people down the line are not fully engaged or motivated. In this competitive age, can you afford not to be investing in improving your leadership capability?

Remember - Manage the business - lead your people!

About the author: Graham Yemm has over 20 experience as a consultant. He runs a UK based consultancy, Solutions 4 Training Ltd and works both in the UK and internationally with organizations developing their leadership capability. He can be contacted at

http://www.solutions4tr aining.com/ >Solutions 4 Training or +44 1483 480656

Interested in Leadership, or Committed to Becoming a Leader?

Author: Jim Clemmer

"Nothing is impossible; there are ways that lead to everything, and if we had sufficient will we should always have sufficient means. It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible." -- Francois de La Rochefoucauld, 17th century French philanthropist and social reformer

Many managers in leadership roles have stunted personal growth. Their "years of leadership experience and learning" is formal education (usually technical and/or management) followed by a year or two of experience multiplied twenty or thirty times. Here's an all too typical dinner conversation I had with a senior manager in the middle of a two-day improvement workshop I was running with a senior management team. The company was in crisis. It was struggling just to stay even in its industry.

"What do you do to personally improve the leadership skills we discussed today?"

"I am afraid I don't get much time to do anything."

"How many leadership or organization effectiveness books do you read a year?"

"One or two if I am lucky."

"What about seminars, workshops, or executive learning forums?"

"Well, I did get to one... No, that was two years ago."

"Do you listen to audio tapes in your car?"

"No, I am either winding down, gearing up, or talking on the phone."

"How often does your management team meet to review progress, reflect on its performance, and plan for improvements?"

"This is the first meeting we've had in a few years."

The 20th century American critic and novelist, John Gardner, once said, "all excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose." Both are critical elements in leadership development and personal effectiveness. Our tenacity and clarity of purpose and vision can help to spin the daily, weekly, and monthly disciplined habit strands. These become the cables that will either raise our performance or drag us down. "Paying the price" of personal improvement often focuses too much on the pain and sacrifice. I've found instead that focusing on the gain of improvement, by keeping my preferred future and purpose firmly in front of me, has been my biggest improvement habit booster. It's impossible to put an exact number of hours on the time that effective leaders invest in their own personal improvement. But I would peg the minimum around ten percent. So if we work 50 hours per week, that's about 20 hours, or two to three days per month. The type of personal development varies widely. Reading is my single biggest personal development catalyst. I started getting up 45 minutes earlier to exercise and then read personal development or spiritual material, pray and meditate for over almost two decades now. It's proven to be one of the best habits I ever developed for starting my day with more energy and constant refocus on my life's highest priorities.

I read organization improvement and leadership development material in the evenings or weekends when I am at home or on airplanes (it's all too easy to dribble away this wonderfully rich, uninterrupted reading and thinking time) and hotel rooms when I travel. I find reading with a pen and my notebook computer nearby the most beneficial. I've also found that listening to audio cassettes in my car is a terrific way to catch up to speakers or authors I want to hear and conference presentations.

There are as a many learning styles and pathways to personal development as there are leaders using them. A partial list includes: books, magazines, newspapers, and newsletters; special education or business television programs; customer research; pilots, experiments and "clumsy tries"; personal coaching and mentoring; benchmarking internal and external "best practices"; seminars, workshops, and skill development sessions; performance review, assessment, celebration and refocus; operational planning and strategy development sessions; customer, supplier, and internal team/organization member feedback; system and process measurement systems; audio and video tapes; computer, on-line, or multi media programs; peer groups and networks outside our organizations; teaching and training others; industry conferences and trade shows; university or college courses; keeping a personal journal; self evaluation, reflection, and improvement planning; consultants; and study tours.

Many roads lead to learning. There is no best road. The key is to develop a multitude of interconnected personal learning approaches and the discipline to make our continuous personal improvement a lifelong habit.

About the author: Jim Clemmer is a bestselling author and internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, workshop/retreat leader, and management team developer on leadership, change, customer focus, culture, teams, and personal growth. During the last 25 years he has delivered over two thousand customized keynote presentations, workshops, and retreats. His web site is www.clemmer.net/articles.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Leadership - A Perspective From Tao

Author: R.G. Srinivasan

Tao Te Ching said to be written by Lao Tzu during the period of warring states in china around the second century B.C.; a compilation of Chinese philosophy dating back to 6th century B.C. or even earlier, is a profound philosophical work with many lessons for the corporate of the 21st century.

There is a lot of debate on issues of what differentiates a leader from a manager. One of the biggest challenges for leaders is to lead and lead by example. He is less preoccupied with control functions which are a function of knowledge and more with broader objectives of how the future should be shaped. Future can be shaped with visions, dreams and emotions. He also realizes that for the future to shape up well he needs to utilize the Present to the maximum advantage. He can achieve higher ideals and aspirations only when he is in touch with the ground realities. Experience of events and situations and behavioral aspects bring him closer to current realities and help discern the undercurrents of change so that he can translate them to better solutions.

The managerial functions of organization and control have more to do with knowledge whereas a leader thrives on futuristic vision, people centered approach, a bias for action and in creating the future which he desires. All this emanates from the experiential.

Let us now look at the leadership paradigm from what Tao Te Ching has to say about knowledge and experience.

Knowledge & Experience: Tao is the way. The way in which we conduct our lives in accordance with the natural principles conducive to right living and thinking, without regrets and in such a manner that we develop and realize our potential without harming others or preventing others from realizing their potential which is beneficial to the society. Such a way of life may be conducted without a name. This may simply be called the way. Or to distinguish from other ways we may describe it and give it a name so that others may know of it.

By thoughts and words and by means of being non participating observers we may gain knowledge of its manifestation. But only through participation in this way do we gain experience of it for ourselves.

So knowledge is not the same as experience. When we have knowledge of something, we can describe only our knowledge and not the experience. And when we have experience, we can describe the knowledge of that experience and not the experience itself.

Let us look at an illustration. We observe the marketplace and we see the manifestation of market place. Then we have reports from our sales person which is the knowledge from the experience. So we now have the knowledge. But it is not equal to the experience of the marketplace. So we go down physically to the marketplace and buy or sell products or interact with the many components of the market. We now have the experience. With the experience come right decisions and actions. But we cannot still convey the experience itself, only the knowledge of the experience may be conveyed.

Knowledge and experience both are real. But they are different realities which may cause complexities. When they are used according to that which may be appropriate we may transcend the barriers of such complexities.

This perhaps explains why many of the leaders are men who have risen from the ranks. Even if they have not risen from the bottom you may easily identify them by their hands on nature and leading from the front. Hands on men who have the knowledge, knowledge of experience and experience itself. Leaders who understand the complex reality of the manifestation, knowledge and experience prefer to lead from the front and not from sterile cabins far removed from the experience itself. These are the leaders you cannot keep away from the marketplace or their people or their constituents or customers. These are the men who instinctively understand the �Tao"" of leadership - The Way.

This is not to say being hands on and lead from the front is the only leadership criteria. This is one of the distinguishing qualities of leadership. It is said that the greatest leader of all time Alexander The Great always lead every battle from the front when the battle began and only then did he move on to other roles.

What would you prefer to be? An acquirer of knowledge or a leader.

About the author: R.G. Srinivasan is a Management professional, Writer and Author. He writes a regular blog on management thoughts at http://management-thoughts.blogspot.com for interesting links and articles on management, managerial resources, strategies and experiences.

A Financial Case for Leadership Development

Author: Martha Rice

In the competitive world of business, companies may decide to forgo leadership training in order to cut costs. However, a high-quality Leadership Development course can save six figures off a company's bottom line each year. Not only does a company need to vie for its share of today's market to keep itself profitable and successful, but it must also compete to keep its biggest investment, its employees.

In a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics Report, the United States Department of Labor stated that the median tenure of employees ages 25 to 34 was 2.9 years. They also reported that management and professional occupations, with the highest median tenure among major occupational groups, was only 5.0 years. Consider then, the cost of employee turnover.

A company should calculate the replacement of an employee at 150% of the employee's annual total compensation figure, and 250% if the employee is in a managerial or sales position. This figure includes lost productivity, training, recruitment, temporary replacements, either through hiring temporary staff or overtime incurred by other employees, and the actual cost of an employee leaving. Simply put, if your company's average employee compensation package is $50,000 then the average cost for the loss of an employee is approximately $75,000. Consider also that if your company maintains a workforce of 1000 people and a yearly turnover rate of 7%, then your annual turnover expenditure will be approximately $525,000 a year. Over a period of 5 years, this figure can easily top two and half million. (To see a break down of costs see our employee turnover .) Wouldn't companies be better off using this money in developing leadership and innovative ideas to stay ahead of the competition? The answer will be a resounding yes.

So how does a company keep its quality employees?

A first step would be to discover what an employee feels is important in his or her job. CMOE surveyed 327 employees about their supervisors (117) before these supervisors attended a Leadership Development Course. The survey asked employees to give their opinions about what their supervisors were doing right; and in what areas could their supervisors improve. Twelve companies and agencies participated in these survey evaluations, representing the fields of banking, education, government, manufacturing, and sales. The data showed that employees want to be engaged, trusted, and responsible for their contributions. They also want to share in the emotional benefits of being linked with a growing and successful business. Good leadership is the key to fulfilling these employee needs.

Another step is to put in place a team of leaders who have the skills to inspire a commitment from their employees to accept responsibility for and have a vested interest in their company and co-workers. Unfortunately, too many managers have knowledge about good leadership skills and still do not understand how to put this knowledge to work in the most effective manner. Training professionals can help these managers develop their knowledge into successful skills. An experienced leadership training company can also help companies develop an effective Leadership Development Course specific to a company's needs. The result will add dollars to the bottom line by keeping valuable employees, increasing productivity, and creating an environment conducive to innovation that will keep the business ahead of its competition.

The Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness can help you develop effective leaders through our Leadership Development Courses such as: Applied Strategic Thinking, Coaching Skills, Team Building, and Transition into Leadership.

About the author: Martha Rice is a design team leader for the Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness . She has degrees in both English and Communication and has over twenty five years experience in administration.

If you would like to learn more about any of these or other Leadership Development Courses, please contact a represent

The World's Best Ditch Digger! An Inspiration for Leadership Training

Author: Richard L. Williams, Ph.D.

I would like to depart from my traditional articles to describe a great leader who was also a great friend. This departure is partly selfish, but I welcome an opportunity to describe a person from whom I learned many management and leadership lessons.

In the early 1990's I met with the owner of the Fishel Company so that he and several of his executives from around the country could evaluate a system I had developed for process improvement. The meeting took place in Phoenix because The Fishel Company has a large presence in Arizona.

The Fishel Company has about 30 branch offices around the U.S. with most of its operations focused on either underground or overhead utility construction. The company motto says it all, ""The World's Best Ditch Diggers."" That is what they do - dig ditches and install pipes and cables. As you might expect, the majority of the workers in The Fishel Company are blue collar, hard working outdoor types, or as John Phillips the current company president once described them, ""These people are absolutely the salt of the earth! There isn't one of them you wouldn't enjoy having as a relative or next-door neighbor.""

The meeting must have gone well, because I received a contract to implement a system of process analysis, teambuilding, leadership training , and process improvement in their many locations around the country. For several years I visited each branch office many times, which enabled me to learn a lot about the company history and some very unique corporate philosophies. It's about the uniqueness of this company and its owner that I would like to describe in this article.

Ken Fishel, who built the company through old fashioned hard work and a commitment to providing the customer high quality at a fair price, founded the Fishel Company 66 years ago. Ken's son-in-law, Jeff Keeler, joined the company in 1976 as part of a field crew. Later he moved to the office as an assistant to the Vice President. The combination of field and office experience enabled Jeff to learn the underground utility construction business from the underground up. Jeff was named president in 1977 and served in that capacity until 1998 when he became Chairman and CEO.

It is about J.F. (Jeff) Keeler, Jr. that I pay tribute. From the moment I first met him and later in dozens of meetings and leadership training workshops that he attended, I became his fan. He preached a concept called ""Fishelosophy,"" which distinguished his company form the competition. I had never seen a company like this before. At first I was amazed that ""Fishelosophy"" actually worked. But I soon realized that it was a different way of treating people. And because the people (employees, customers and vendors) were treated differently, they in turn responded in like manner.

Let me give a few examples of ""Fishelosophy."" There are no ""employees"" in the company; they are called Teammates. If you inadvertently use the ""employee"" word, someone will quickly correct you. It took me some time to break the ""employee"" habit; but when I did, it was obvious to my Teammates that I had embraced their passion for teamwork.

Jeff believed in sharing company profits. Each quarter eligible, Teammates shared a significant portion of the company's profits. This sharing of profits helped each person think like an owner, because in effect, each person is. Profit sharing checks were typically distributed in meetings that would best be described as a pep rally. I'll never forget the first one I attended in Phoenix; it was an exciting and fun event.

At the meetings Jeff would lead his Teammates in a company cheer! That's right, I said company cheers. If you had told me that company cheers were possible in today's sophisticated marketplace, I would have disagreed. But with Jeff's enthusiastic leadership style, it worked exceptionally well. The cheers fostered a camaraderie among his Teammates that is without equal in my 34 years of business experience.

The Fishel Company believes in posters. There are posters espousing every corporate belief, value and initiative. At meetings, the posters are prominently displayed as a reinforcement of what they stand for. It was common to see half-dozen posters on easels for a leadership training workshop.

As I traveled with Jeff and saw him interact with his Teammates, many things impressed me. But one of the most amazing was that he knew not only the names of his Teammates, but he also remembered who they were as human beings. This attribute endeared his people with unparalleled loyalty and honesty.

Jeff Keeler lived teamwork, he had vibrant passion for life, he loved competition, he cherished friendships, and he made life more fun for his family, Teammates, and everyone he met. Unfortunately, Jeff recently passed away, a cancer victim. He may be gone, but I'll never forget the lessons I learned from the ""World's Best Ditch Digger."" Leadership training makes a difference.

To learn about how Dr. Williams or CMOE (Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness) can assist your organization with leadership training initiatives, please contact a CMOE Representative toll free (888)262-2499.

About the author: Dr. Richard L. Williams is a retail consultant where he specializes in quality improvement, feedback, and leadership training .

In his 30 plus years of experience, Dr. Williams has conducted more than 3,800 workshops to more than 100,000 managers and executives around the world.

The Leadership Factor

Author: Valarie A. Washington

What is the last leadership opportunity that you passed up?

When I posed this question to a group of employees who had been singled out for their leadership potential:

50% named the title/position they failed to apply for or had not been offered.

10% said they hadn't been offered an internal position but had passed up a leadership position in an outside organization or a chance to lead their extracurricular sports.

40% said that they hadn't been offered any leadership position and therefore had passed up no opportunities.

I was certain that every one of them had missed a prime leadership opportunity that they were not even aware of. Ask yourself if your department, team or organization is the best that it can possibly be? Are you giving your best to make the situation better?

If there is one project in your department that is delayed, if your group is challenged to do more work with less budget, or if you have yet to exhaust all of your talent to move the group forward--you have passed up a powerful opportunity to step out in front and establish yourself as a leader. Leadership is not about the title you have but the decisions you make and the actions you take.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities seize common occasions and make them great. --Orison Swett Marden

Becoming a leader is about developing a reputation for producing value-added results. It's taking a position when a project is off track. Leaders don't wait for permission of position. They look for the possibilities and suggest what can be done rather than why something can't be done. Look for what you can do to impact a situation versus why you can't be the one to do it. When you have ability to influence your environment and the people around you toward positive result you have the leadership factor.

The leadership factor is a measured combination of vision, determination, skills, actions and results. It is a conscious decision to step up to the plate and do what needs to be done in a time of uncertainty or chaos. Here are ten steps to help you plot your course, engage others along the way and keep focused on the end result.

1. Look for leadership opportunities. Leadership opportunities are present whenever there are unresolved business problems or issues. Within your organization, department, workgroup, or team identify an opportunity or issue that needs to be solved. Think about the questions that continue to come up but no one has found an answer for. Consider the feedback that you get from internal or external customers about what they need or would like more of. If your organization is like most you shouldn't have to look far--more unresolved problems equals more chances for you to step forward as a leader.

2. Find the GAP and build a bridge. There is an old proverb that says a leader must be a bridge. The person who emerges as the leader of the group is the one who is adapt at seeing the option between the two seemingly opposite positions. To raise your visibility and develop a reputation of leadership look for the two unconnected shores that you can bridge. A bridge might be between the old way and the new way, the past and the future, the majority group and the minority group, between company policy and customer needs, between what is available and what is needed. Lead by finding the critical link between today's challenge and tomorrow's opportunity.

3. Do your homework. Examine the problem from all sides. Ask a series of ""why"" questions. Why is this happening? Why have we not been able to solve this before now? Why is it important to solve this issue? Why have previous attempts failed? Why are other departments resisting the changes? Asking ""why?"" without judging the answers helps you develop a deeper understanding of the situation. When you can see the problem from many angles and as viewed through different eyes you gain the wisdom of multiple perspectives.

4. Clarify the GOAL. It's the goal. It's the goal. It's the goal. Determine what your group needs more of. Communicate clearly how tackling this issue will help the group recoup lost time, maximize limited resources, reduce costs, speed up processes and/or improve return on investment. You will gain the attention of those around you when you can effectively tell them what they will gain for their efforts. You will benefit by tying your work directly to the improved results.

5. Develop a list of viable options. Excellence is said to come from having many options. Once you have others focused on the goal, ask for their input on how it might be achieved. As a leader you don't need to have all of the answers. You do have to set the direction, suggest paths for getting there and stimulate the thinking of others in development of creative solutions. It is important that you continually test any proposed suggestions against the desired result. Ask yourself and others, ""Will this help us reach the goal?""

6. Select the best option(s). Given enough money, people, time and resources almost any problem can be resolved. Leadership is about determining how the goals will be reached within the time allowed, the budget given and the available physical and human resources. As a leader look for ways to leverage what you have readily available. The best option is the one that gets you to the goal with the least overall costs.

7. Identify roles and tasks. As a leader of the effort you may not have the authority to assign specific people but you will have to clearly define roles required. Too often we assign tasks simply out of habit and not because they are necessary for goal achievement. Constantly check the progress and don't be afraid to throw out any unnecessary tasks. There should be NO tasks on your project list that you can not show are absolutely required to reach the end goal.

8. Track and report your success. Report what you and/or your team accomplished. Quantify the results as much as you can. If your goal was to increase productivity by 25% and you only gained a 15% increase, report it! Make sure to link your results to the organizational goals. While you may not have hit your 25% target 15% may still represent a considerable savings or gain to the company.

9. Report your learnings. As important as it is to report your success you must also report what you learned from the process. Focus on what you learned personally. Consider what you learned about the business, your customers, teaming, and your own decision making ability. Ask for feedback. Include group learnings. Leave a record of the pro's and con's for others who may face the same challenges.

10. Look for the next opportunity. Don't take too long celebrating your last win. For as good as things seem success is a moving target. Keep your eyes and ears open, your next opportunity may be right around the corner.

About the author: Valarie Washington, President of Think 6 is a knowledge broker helping companies improve organizational effectiveness, team performance, and individual productivity. Author of ""Performance Case Analysis"", she delivers high impact training to corporations throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Contact Valarie at washington@think6results.com or by calling 630-705-1189. Visit us at www.Think6Results.com.

How to develop Leadership in your Internet MLM Business

Author: Joel Teo

The bane of internet mlm business in trying to build any internet mlm business is having whinny downlines that think that they do not need to do anything to make money online. The best way to deal with them is to develop a method to develop leadership in your business as part of how you deal with your downlines so that they start taking ownership of their own business and start building their own downlines.

Be nasty to be nice Sometimes affiliates in my internet business spend time asking questions that they could have read and answered online by reading the online forums. The solution is to acknowledge the validity of their questions and direct them back to the online resource and tell them that its not that you do not want to help them but you want them to learn to direct any of their future downlines to the forum so as to help them save time when their downlines get real large.

Provide a roadmap Many people are fishing in the dark when they join any internet mlm business opportunity. Provide a simple plan for your new affiliates to follow and then give them a few resources and let them work. You want affiliates who are motivated to work so that these people can then build their own downlines strong and on autopilot without your intervention. Providing too much help I have found can be a hindrance to growth.

Reading List Some people have no idea what it takes to become a leader in their field of business and what it takes to succeed online. A good way for you to groom leaders is to choose a list of books for them to read in the library and discuss with them. Choose books like Rich Dad and Poor Dad and other leadership building books to help them along to become great internet mlm leaders.

In conclusion, leadership in your downline can be encouraged but not forced. Spend some time thinking and planning who in your downline can be groomed into a leader and help them achieve their potential today.

About the author: Joel Teo is the successful owner of several successful internet business ventures. Click here to learn how you can start your own successful internet business today. http://www.massive-profits-online.com Copyright © 2005-2006 Joel Teo the Coolest Guy On The Planet

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Learn the Art of Dynamic Leadership

Author: JS Anandrahi

Leadership is art of leading a group of people to attain a certain goal. Without leadership qualities it is very difficult to write a big success story either in business or in politics. Progress of a country or success of a business depends on its leadership. This world is full of talented and hard-working humans. There are brave persons in every street or block of every colony. But if they don't get a good leader they won't be able to combine themselves into a dynamic force. Without a good leader the best of the businesses or the mightiest of the forces start crumbling. The history is replete with examples how the personality of a leader plays an important role in making or breaking an empire.

Good leaders are needed and respected in every field - politics, business, army, social reform movements etc. Great leaders are not born, they acquire greatness with total commitment to their purpose and by getting the support of others. Any sensible person can become a dynamic leader by cultivating a few qualities with diligence and persistence. Unless you develop these qualities you will find it very difficult to manage people and get ahead in any field.


'Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.' These words of great American philosopher Emerson carry weight. Unlimited enthusiasm can give you unlimited success when it is focused and directed towards the aim of your life. People rarely want to follow a dull or unenthusiastic leader who is unable to arouse their feelings. An unenthusiastic leader is like a dark night that makes you take rest and sleep. How can such a person lead a group of people?

In fact enthusiasm is the biggest trait of a leader. See the speeches of the great leaders or very successful business executives they all are very enthusiastic person. Enthusiasm is actually a combination of several things: interest in the subject and the people, determination to achieve certain goals, self-confidence.


What will happen if nature starts breaking the barriers of discipline. The planets will collide with one another. The whole universe will be totally disorganised and there won't be any human civilisation on any planet. Strict discipline keeps the universe throbbing with life. Actually without swallowing the bitter pill of strict discipline it is hard to gain the respect of people. If you are really a big leader people may tolerate your habit of reaching late. They may wait for you for hours to have a glimpse of your great personality and ready to clap even for your late arrival. But late arrival of great leaders is also resented if it happens again and again.


Napoleon, one of the greatest warriors and conquerors in the history, was almost crazy for books. He ordered latest editions even in the battlefield. Amazing! His hunger for information became legendary. It is wisely said that knowledge is power. All successful managers, military generals and political leader always keep themselves informed. Without adequate information you can neither analyse the facts properly nor launch any rational operation.

Do your best to get as many facts from as many sources as possible. If your have information power on your side you can easily defeat a more powerful enemy or competitor. The richest person of the world till date John D. Rockefeller gave great priority to details. Alexander the Great spent a lot of time in getting right information and only then he launched his attacks. Akbar the great of India and Catherine the great of Russia always surrounded themselves with wise men - the men of knowledge. Meet any successful person today you will be surprised to know how well-informed that person is. Right information has always proved the biggest power and success tool of most of the great men and women.


Anger not only makes enemies but also loses followers. You may be a very wise and pure-hearted person but if you have a habit of losing patience over trifles you will antagonise people. They will always pull your legs and run you down. You can imagine how difficult it will become for you to lead people to achieve your goals. And anger is not that bad in case it is under control and chennelised towards the evils of the society. It is senseless and uncontrolled anger that is always immensely harmful. By willingness and constant practice you can learn the art of managing your anger. Repeat 'OM' ten times before allowing your anger to burst. Also visualise your anger to be melting down. This simple formula will help you to manage your anger.


Charismatic leaders are more popular. Charisma mesmerises everybody as it generates hope in the power of a leader to do something for the public. Charisma is in fact an attractive personality and it can be developed. Many leaders get such a nice upbringing and atmosphere from their parents that they get a good personality without making much efforts to develop it themselves. But there are others who work very hard to develop it. Prophet Mohammed, Guru Nanak, Napoleon, Mao, Mahatma Gandhi, Lenin, Bill Gates, Dhirubhai Ambani, all of them had to work very hard to inject the light of charisma in their personality.

To make your personality charismatic you need to take the following steps: 1.Have immovable self-confidence in you, 2.Keep all the facts to give you an air that you know all, 3.Surround yourself with capable persons, 4.Maintain an air of power with the help of money and material, 5.Give extra care to dress sense, 6.Be near the people and help them to solve problems.


If you want to become a good leader you need to maintain a healthy distance from the people. Don't be too friendly with anybody otherwise it may dampen your charisma. People have faith in their leader as they think their leader can do or achieve anything. Keep your problems to yourself. Never show the scars or injuries of your heart to your followers. They are not there to solve your personal problems but to take your help in solving their problems. If personal meeting is arranged advise the person to say everything in brief. Talk less and listen more.


Who wants to follow a person when there is no gain. A leader is a person who is capable enough to lead others to achieve a certain objective. A leader successfully convinces the people that he is the only one who can help them to solve their problems and lead them to success.

A leader understands people, knows their needs, arouses their hopes and shows them the right path, and above all he is willing to sacrifice his life for his followers. It is, therefore, necessary to tell the people what they will get if they keep faith in you. And you have to create confidence in them regarding your abilities. It sometimes takes years of efforts. You must be sincere and honest to them otherwise nobody is going to believe you. Prophet Mohammed and Mahatma Gandhi were recognised real leaders when they were past fifty. It took them decades of hard work and convincing before they were able to attract large number of followers.


Admire your followers often and they would love to follow you. Every person thinks that he is wise and does certain things in life which must be admired. Criticism dissuades and repels the people. Hard criticism may make them afraid for some time but secretly they start plotting against you and damage your winning potential. So give admiration whenever needed. But beware of flattery as it will lower your image and make the people suspect your objectives. A subtle dose of praising words, for a person or team who did a good job, is enough.


The biggest and most effective tool of a leader is art of speaking. Good public speakers are equally praised by the people and the media. They make the people spellbound with their words. But the million-rupee question is how one can acquire the art. Some leaders become well-versed in this art by helpful and positive surroundings in a natural way. Others have to work very hard to master it. Everyone knows that the greatest leader of our country Mahatma Gandhi shivered to his bones whenever he got up to speak a few lines even before a small group of known persons. But with determination and constant practice he became one of the best speakers of the world. Follow these points diligently to become efficient in the art of speaking.

1. Get knowledge of the subject on which you want to speak. What will you say to your audience till you know what to say? Try to add some interesting information. 2. Practise your speech alone at your home before a mirror, before a small gathering of your family members and friends. (The great American leader Abraham Lincoln practised it by speaking loudly before the trees in the peaceful atmosphere of the jungle where he lived with his poor family.) 3. Your pronunciation should be good. You can acquire it by reading a newspaper loudly everyday. Take the help of a learned person if needed.


Trained thousands of persons to get great jobs, improve personality and achieve goals in business. CEO: News of India Network Director: LSE-India (for Communication Skills and Personality Development)

Best-selling Books written by Anandrahi : 1. Think Your Way to Wealth and Power , 2. Fire of Success in Your Mind, 3. Speak English and Influence People (To get an ebook write an email).

emails: anandrahi@yahoo.co.in, anandrahi@newsofindia.net

http://www.newsofindianet.blogspot.com http://globalenglishtraining.blogspot.com

About the author: Anandrahi

Trained thousands of persons to get great jobs, improve personality and achieve goals in business. CEO: News of India Network Director: LSE-India (for Communication Skills and Personality Development)

Best-selling Books written by Anandrahi : 1. Think Your Way to Wealth and Power , 2. Fire of Success in Your Mind, 3. Speak English and Influence People (To get an ebook write an email).

Leadership or Management?

Author: Arthur Cooper

Leadership or Management? by Arthur Cooper (c) Copyright 2005 http://www.arthurcooper.com/

If you are a good manager, does that make you a good leader?

If you are a good leader, does that make you a good manager?

Does being good at one imply being good at the other? Do they necessarily go together or are they quite different in character? What are the characteristics of leaders and managers?

These are some of the questions I shall try to answer in this article.

At one extreme management can mean the organisation of the smooth running of a routine function. It can mean arranging schedules, assigning tasks to individuals, and checking that work is done according to the defined procedures. It may mean nothing more than this. It may be a vital and valuable function, but nevertheless not one requiring huge amounts of trail blazing or leaps into the unknown.

The majority of management jobs do require much more than this of course. When you add in the control of staff, the liasing and negotiating, the planning and the measuring, the reviewing and decision making, and so on and so forth, you begin to see the complexity and difficulty of the role.

But, fundamentally, good managers get things done. Managers are practical and analytical. They work out how to put into practice the ambitious visions of their leaders.

Leadership by contrast has other characteristics. Leadership means being visionary and inspirational. It means deciding what the goal should be. It means choosing the direction to go towards that chosen goal and convincing others to follow. It means always being ahead of others and pointing the way. But it doesn't mean working out the practical details of every step along the way.

Whilst the leader inspires the team the manager organises the team. A good leader is a master of the What and the Why. A good manager is a master of the How.

Neither is more important than the other and in a business organisation they complement one another.

Naturally there is an overlap in the functions of leaders and managers. Few managers would succeed without showing some degree of leadership and few leaders would succeed without having some management competence. Many people are to some extent both leaders and managers. But the distinction is there all the same and truly outstanding individuals are often extremes of the one or the other.

For example the entrepreneur who builds up his business from nothing is often a leader - inspiring, visionary, - but careless of and uninterested in details. He knows where he wants to go but is not interested or competent in the details of how to get there. More importantly, once one goal has been reached he is off aiming at the next one and is less interested in the routine or mundane job of consolidating the gains so far.

Those who go on to become truly successful realise their shortcomings and hire good and effective managers to look after the smooth running of the day-to-day functions. Those who don't are often frustrated by an inability to make the major leap forward with their companies. This is a shame because as a result they cannot grow their businesses beyond a certain level.

Managers can motivate their teams, cajole and encourage. They can knit a group of individuals into an efficient working group. They can implement the leader's vision.

Each needs characteristics of the other to some degree, but they are fundamentally different.

About the author: Arthur Cooper is a business consultant, writer and publisher. For his mini-course 'Better Management' go to: h ttp://www.barrel-publishing.com/better_management.shtml

Humor Minus Credibility Equals Doofus: 12 Back to Basics Leadership Principles Anyone Can Follow

Author: Lonnie Pacelli

From the book Humor Minus Credibility Equals Doofus at http://www.leadingonedge.com/doofus_one_pager.htm

Ed was just appointed team leader in a public works organization of the federal government. In preparing for his first meeting with his new team, Ed thought long and hard about some of his prior managers' leadership styles. One characteristic that he particularly admired in several of his managers was the ability to connect with the team through humor. He decided on a strategy that would help the team accept him as a leader--he would show his human side and use humor to connect with them.

Ed had his first meeting with the team and was very satisfied with the results. The team seemed to really like him. The meeting was filled with laughter and both the team and Ed seemed to really be enjoying themselves. Ed was very happy and believed things were getting off to a great start.

With each passing meeting, though, there seemed to be a growing concern among the team. While Ed seemed to connect with the team, he didn't see the cooperation on getting things done as he had hoped. There were also a couple of team members who asked for permission to interview for positions outside of the group. Ed was growing concerned over the trend and asked Betty, one of the team members, what she thought was the problem. Betty's counsel hit Ed right between the eyes: ""Ed, you're a great guy and people really like you, but I just don't know if you've got what it takes to lead this group. We're kind of feeling like you may not have the skills needed to lead us, which is creating a lot of concern among the team."" While Ed's focus on using humor to connect with the team is great, he didn't take the time to establish the necessary credibility with the team.

Any one of us can think about an influential figure we've had in our lives, whether a parent, boss, or religious leader, who used humor to build camaraderie and inspire people. Leaders who have a sense of humor motivate those around him to want to participate in the journey. The problem arises, though, when a leader tries to connect with a team of people prior to establishing himself as worthy of being followed. If a leader fails to establish his worthiness by gaining credibility with the team, the team may only stick with the leader when things are going well and there are no problems on the horizon. The moment that problems start cropping up, team members will be more apt to defect because they won't have faith in the leader to navigate the storm. Credibility breeds acceptance, humor fosters inspiration.

So why is the failure to establish credibility such a massive issue? Here are the biggies:

Team members need to trust that the leader can get from origin to destination - Being a leader means knowing the plan and leading the team down the field. The leader not only needs to know the plan and how to execute, she needs to communicate the plan to the team and ensure the team understands and believes in the plan.

Team members need to feel secure that the leader will navigate well through stormy issues - Think of an airline flight you've been on where some unexpected turbulence hit. While the plane is rockin' and rollin,' the pilot speaks to the passengers with incredible calmness and control. His job is to make you feel that things are well in hand. Imagine if turbulence hit and you heard the pilot scream ""HHHEEELLLPPP!!!"" I'd be heading for the exits. Having credibility with the team gives the team greater security that the leader will get them through sticky issues.

Use of humor by a credibility-starved leader will exacerbate the credibility issue - When leaders continually use humor as a means to connect with a team without establishing credibility up-front, the use of humor itself becomes a credibility inhibitor. Teams will tend to see the use of humor as the leader trying to ""cover up"" the fact that he may not know what he is doing. Thus, each time the credibility-starved leader cracks a joke, he is actually reinforcing this lack of credibility issue with the team. Rather than seizing the opportunity to gain credibility, the leader uses it to brush up on his lounge act. Appropriate use of humor is a great means to inspire a team to perform, so long as the credibility has already been established. Use the following tips to help you get over the credibility hump:

Start with listening - Gaining credibility doesn't mean you have all the answers before you understand the questions. In fact, not taking the time to listen can actually hurt your credibility campaign and brand you as arrogant (we'll talk more about this in lesson #2). Demonstrating a clear understanding of team concerns and issues is a great credibility builder in that the team learns to trust you as a leader.

Use humor sparingly up front - The team first and foremost wants to know why they should be following you. Use those initial opportunities with the team to connect through understanding the issues they are facing and gaining an understanding of the most important things for you as a leader to focus on. As you build the credibility, feel free to introduce more humor to move the team from accepting you to being inspired to follow you.

Don't be so gun-shy of using humor that you are viewed as a stick-in-the-mud - Being cautious about using humor shouldn't give you a reputation as stern, mean, or stoic. By all means, be pleasant, approachable, and engaged in your interaction. The team will find it easier to talk to you and will get a more comfortable feeling that you understand their problems.

Use a bit of self-deprecating humor - I use this technique a lot particularly when I am doing presentations. I will frequently tell of a situation where I did something really foolish or where I publicly embarrassed myself in front of a group of people. This demonstrates that you're secure enough with your own abilities to share them with other people. It also shows that you are able to laugh at yourself and not take yourself too seriously. One note of caution here: don't be self-deprecating to a point that the team sees you as having a self-esteem issue.

Avoid humor which tarnishes the credibility of others - Using humor which trashes other people or competitors creates problems in a couple of ways for you as a leader. The first has to do with the trustworthiness of the leader. While team members may see destructive jokes as funny, they can develop a viewpoint of ""so what does this person say about me when I'm not in the room?"" The second has to do with the questionability of your motivations. When you trash talk others for a laugh, you can be viewed as attempting to build your credibility at the expense of someone else through your own insight and wit. For credibility to be well entrenched in the team it needs to be absolute, not relative. Otherwise, you're only demonstrating that you are worthy to lead a team until someone better or smarter comes along. Not a good foundation to establish credibility.

Look, none of us wants to follow a leader with all the personality of cottage cheese. Having a leader who is able to share an occasional joke and laugh with a team is huge in moving a team from acceptance to inspiration. Just ensure that you as a leader take the first step to establish credibility with the team and garner their trust in you before you get too liberal with the funny stuff.

Get all 12 Back to Basics Leadership Principles Anyone Can Follow at http://www.leadingonedge.com/doofus_one_pager.htm

About the author: Lonnie Pacelli has over 20 years' experience with Accenture and Microsoft and is currently president of Leading on the Edge™ International. Lonnie's books include ""The Project Management Advisor: 18 Major Project Screw-Ups and How to Cut Them Off at the Pass"" and ""The Truth About Getting Your Point Across"". Get the books, leadership products, other articles, MP3 seminars and free email mini seminars at http://www.leadingonedge.com