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February, 2011

Successful Leadership: Be yourself . . . not full of yourself!

Leadership today is more about you as a person than the degrees, positions and accolades that you attain and are awarded over time. Image and outward appearances still have a role in your overall performance but your ability to successfully motivate others, influence organizational direction, and communicate vision is dependant upon how genuine you are with others and your ability to engender trust.

As a founder, owner or senior leader it is easy to slip into the mode of assuming your position alone is enough to achieve your objectives. And, as a result of managing the "tyranny of the urgent" you become isolated and distant from your immediate reports and the rest of the company.

Therefore you may be:
  • Working hard but may not be in touch with others.
  • Too preoccupied by too many tasks to be able to listen to what is going on around you.
  • Too removed and too busy to develop and maintain relationships.
  • Limiting your time for people and are not viewed as accessible to others.
One could say that an executive with this profile is too full of themselves - feeling too important, operating on the assumption that only they can solve the problem, and their time is too important to be invested in others.

Does this profile cause you to be regarded as genuine and someone that employees are willing to believe can be trusted?

While you can argue with the reality of this conclusion it is the perception that is significant and it must be dealt with.

Busy owners and senior executives that are viewed as genuine and trusted make it a priority to observe several key behavior attributes.

  • They take time to engage with others in their working group.
  • They offload work to qualified subordinates.
  • They protect time and reserve it to be accessible to others.
  • They make it a priority to listen to others and solicit their ideas and constructive critique.
  • They make an effort to take an interest in other people's lives and interests.
  • Develop the ability to be self-deprecating in helping employees identify with them.
This is being yourself and not the person you feel your position requires you to be. Flawed, personable, honest, and realistic to name a few of the attributes that will build your reputation as a genuine person who can be trusted.

Be yourself and not full of yourself.

Mike Brice
Phone: (206)226-1617

Feature Article

A major drain on any business is the "meeting". We all know the time consuming experience of sitting in unproductive meetings. Companies that address this problem use one or more of the following methods to minimze the distraction of meetingss and improve the experience for all invovled.

  • Limited (rigid) agenda distributed ahead of the meeting.
  • Open ended disscussion discouraged.
  • Start on time, end on time.
  • Document (minutes) topics discussed, decisions made, responsibilities assigned and dates committed to and distribute them in a timely manner.
  • Stay focused.

The following article by Jessica Kleiman addresses four key personbality issues that can derail the succes of a meeeting.

The Four People You Don't Want in Your Meetings

by Jessica Kleiman, Published by

When done correctly, meetings can be a great place to communicate your ideas and thoughts, brainstorm with others and raise important questions. You have a captive audience, a goal in mind, and a platform that lends itself to discussion. Some people, however, don’t know the right way to participate in meetings and, as a result, can derail the whole process.

Here are the four types of communicators we’ve witnessed in meetings time and time again (and wished we hadn’t):

  1. The Mute
  2. The Monopolizer
  3. The Time Waster
  4. The Multitasker

Management Resources
Customer Satisfaction (or Loyalty): Customer satisfaction has been a major business buzz phrase for more than a decade. In his 2001 book, The Loyalty Effect, Fred Reichheld claimed that customer loyalty is a dominant determinant of success in business. He purported, for example, that a 5% improvement in customer retention for an advertising agency can create a 95% increase in average profit per customer over time.
The Customer Satisfaction Survey Snag

Motivation: Jon Katzenbach explains how "master motivators" can help employees stay emotionally connected to their work throughout the recession
How to Inspire Workers in Tough Times

Failure as a Learning Opportunity: True or false: If you haven’t failed miserably as an entrepreneur, then you’re simply not trying hard enough.
The Top 10 Best Ways to Fail as an Entrepreneur

Leadership: When I meet with CEOs, I like to find out what keeps them awake at night, what intractable issues or opportunities disturb their sense of confidence. Of course, each one has industry-specific or company-specific challenges and they’re fascinating.
The #1 Leadership Problem

Culture: Your company culture is as important as your business plan. In fact, it should be part of your business plan. Culture becomes your mission statement in action — the mix of values, practices, and philosophies that both your employees and customers remember when they think of your business.
Is Your Company Culture Killing Your Business?

Serving the Customer: Never before in history has a society bought and sold so much stuff. We’re all part of a giant food chain of products and services. That means, in all likelihood, that you’re not only a customer, but you have customers, too.
10 Things All Customers Want

Create the Great Speech: The other day Harvard asked me (Nick Morgan) to boil down how to create a great speech into 5 quick steps for busy executives. Here’s a brief video explaining the steps. Enjoy!
How To Create A Great Speech Fast – In 5 Steps (2.52 min)

Key to Ford's Success: Ford has opened up a lead against its competitors in terms of a high-tech image, thanks to features like its Ford Sync voice-control system co-developed with Microsoft. But good luck trying to get Ford CEO Alan Mulally to brag about it.
CEO Alan Mulally: Ford’s Just-the-Facts Man

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