Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Daily Read

Seth Godin Making Costumes The word “costume” usually evokes thoughts of witches and goblins trick or treating on 31 Oct.  The deeper meaning is as plain as the S on Superman’s chest.  When you see that S, you know what you’re going to get.  Your packaging, your website, yes, even your desk and workspace—that’s your costume.  What’s the image you project?  What’s the delivery on the promise?

Leading Blog 7 Metaphors for Leadership Transformation Where else could *fire* and *snowball* exist together?  Only in leadership.  There’s seven indispensable characteristics to keep in mind each time you settle into the big chair and lead your team. 

Thought Leaders What to do When the Goal Seems too Far Away In Star Trek Voyager, the crew of the Voyager suddenly finds themselves 75,000 light years away from home.  Very few leaders get to actually manage a timeline of this length and complexity even thought it may seem like it to you and your team.  How do you move yourself and your team toward that first step and sustain all the steps to come?  Kelly Gregorio has some good lessons and techniques to use.




The Daily Read

“I Have a Dream” plus 50.  So much completed.  So much more left to do.

Marc and Angel Hack Life 6 Powerful Truths to Start Telling Yourself This is one of those posts that you need to read, digest, and then re-read a few days later.  Do NOT rush through this one if you’re serious about being the best you you can be.  The biggest takeaway for me was  “My weirdness is one of my greatest strengths.”  That’s because you are the only you.

Seth Godin If You Don’t Start You Can’t Fail Another goodie from Seth that deserves a full posting.  It echoes Wayne Gretsky’s “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”   

“It sounds ridiculous when you say it that way. But of course, it is ridiculous. It’s (quite possibly) the reason you’re stalling. On the other hand, there’s no doubt that, “If you don’t start, you will fail.” Not starting and failing lead to precisely the same outcome, with different names.”

Three Star Leadership An Elevator Speech for Bosses The three rules Wally Bock mentions are great and I use them all the time.  The only other one I add is on keeping a good flow of communication: “Don’t surprise me.  I will not surprise you.”

The Daily Read

Let’s Grow Leaders The Dumpster Effect Timing and setting are powerful things to remember when planning.  The thank you lunch in the middle of despair and chaos shows so much more than the annual (yawn) recognition lunch (yawn) for the same old pre-identified (yawn) people on the inside track.  Where, when, and how do you give thanks and recognition?

Thought Leaders How to Keep Your Life in Balance There’s a lot of talk about the constantly shifting line in the battle of work-life balance.  In most cases, this can be tolerated and balanced, but like the boiling frog, when do you realize that too much is too much?  Start setting the limits and remember that you do have a family.

Dream Manifesto Choosing Your Self Image When you climb into bed, just before falling asleep, that’s probably the closest we all get to that metaphorical naked stage where all the externalities are stripped away and it’s just you.  What’s the self image you bring to the table?  Is that steel below the mask that would allow you to face anything, or is it sand that would collapse under the slightest pressure?

The Daily Read

Leadership Now Collaboration is the Key to Providing Consistent Brand Value On that first day of meeting, you’re the contractor there to service the business needs of the client.  It’s a dance where you both feel each other out, but always, that client is in the dominant position in the hierarchy of power.  But one day, it shifts, and it’s less of a power relationship and more of a collaboration.  When that sweet day comes, your partnership will work so much more effectively.  The biggest tip provides is to expect–and invite–conflict.  Managing conflict effectively is a big key in business relationships.  Avoiding conflict only kicks the can down the road.

Great Leadership 15 Timeless Work Habits for Career Success These rules have served me well and are a gigantic asset for any team member to bring to the table. “Be on Time.  Network ALL the time.  Have a can-do Positive attitude.”   Be sure to check out the comments too.  The fifteen rules are being amended by the readers.  My first contribution is “Smile while you talk on the phone.”  Yes, you CAN hear a smile over the phone and I know how ancient that sounds.  Today, *phone* means so many more audio options.  Use them all!  Second is “Take the time to do it right.”  If you don’t believe you have the time to do it now, why do you think you have the time to do it again, later?

Thought Leaders How you Can Avoid a Communications Breakdown My personal communications breakdown favorite is Reverend Jim’s driver’s exam from Taxi.  It’s great to keep in mind that if you’re not speaking the same language and are not working off the same page (or substitute a trite metaphor of your own choosing) that no good can come from the endeavor, be it a project, a marriage, or lunch conversation.  Know yourself first.  Then know your audience.  Then you have to keep everyone together–you will thank yourself over and over again.  It’s hard work sometimes but well worth it.

The Daily Read

Great Leadership Inconsistent Bossing: A Surefire Way to Disengage When you’re the boss, you sometimes forget how you do set the mood of the office.  Sometimes it’s by your presence (are people jumpy when you come by or are they happy to see you?) or even by your lack of presence (I can get some work done/goof off/catch up).  Authentic and sincere leadership is the goal…so that your occasional bad day is always balanced with the understanding that we all have bad days, and that you’re a great boss.

Let’s Grow Leaders August Festival: Energy and Engagement As my wife is fond of saying “Are you a fountain or a drain?”  As the leader, you control how you behave and how your team responds.  There’s a lot of individual gold in this collection.

Seth Godin Will I See You Tomorrow This is so important to your business today and tomorrow…Ownership of the service you provide, responsibility for how the team or product functions not just for today but tomorrow too.  You wouldn’t do business with someone who won’t be there for you.  Do you make it safe for people to do business with you?

The Daily Read

Seth Godin  Your First Mistake This is short and sweet and something to be remembered each day.  “Your first mistake might be assuming that people are rational.  Your second mistake could be assuming that people are eager for change.  And the marketer’s third mistake is assuming that once someone knows things the way you know them, they will choose what you chose.”

Harvard Business Review Preventing Rejection at Work We all get frozen out at work one time or another.  We had a bad idea or something blew up.  We need to temporarily take a low profile approach but we know we’re getting back into the game soon.  Maybe you have some people at work that just don’t seem to fit.  It it them or is it the atmosphere at work?   “…we all thrive on being connected to others. Don’t let your office become a place where people feel threatened by rejection.”

Life Optimizer How to Succeed in Life by Learning from Others Every parent and every boss knows better.  We’ve been there.  We’ve made the mistakes and already paid the price.  We want to make sure you don’t have to repeat our missteps because we know the awful truth that you’re going to make so many mistakes that are completely your own.  Why bother repeating the completely avoidable?

The Daily Read

Seth Godin Magic + Generosity = Brand Crush By the time the project lifecycle is completed and the product is delivered, it’s always a moment of relief to know you finished.  Are you crossing the finish line in a moment of triumph, or straggling over, just ahead of your own fatigue?  There’s projects that just have incredible ease or ridiculous obstacles.  No matter.  Here’s the big question: Were you able to deliver some magic to the client?  That little something more than they expected, didn’t know that they needed, and are desperately grateful for?  That magic and that generosity spells the difference between being loved and being tolerated.  Your company and/or your product might be the brand…but YOU are also your own brand.  What you deliver today builds your tomorrow.

Careerealism 3 Must Dos When you Don’t Get the Job The wind is in your hair, you’re running effortlessly, you gracefully leap and the brass ring is mere millimeters from your fingers.  You *feel* the cool metal.  But then you’ve missed it, and the rest is that Wile E. Coyote plunge down the canyon with that quizzical “but…but…I HAD IT!” look on your face as you continue falling.  Jenny Yerrick Martin reminds us to be gracious, be helpful, and keep the door open and that just might help to save you to fight yet another day.

Ramblings From a Glass Half Full Leadership Confidential: The Dark and Messy Side of Being More Human This could have been me.  I tire of unproductive and rambling meetings very quickly.  I’m even OK with the post-live auto-da-fé as long as preventable errors are identified and acted upon, rather than the typical building a bonfire on the conference table for roasting the perceived culprits.  But the reality is that I’m human and so are you.  The first time my boss told me that we’re all human, we all make mistakes and have bad days, so let’s learn and move on, I celebrated for two reasons.  Smart people can and do make mistakes.  He recognized I was human and gave me a reassurance he still trusted me.  More importantly, he told me that day that HE was human too, and that momentary transparency from my boss translated into long-term trust for my boss.