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How can I be a better leader?

By Harry LeBoeuf  Posted 3 years, 2 days, 6 hours, 56 minutes ago.  

Whenever anyone starts talking about being a good leader we all start visualizing in our mind who we think of when we think of great leaders.

It might be US Presidents like: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, or John F. Kennedy.

Other World Leaders like: Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, or Mahatma Gandhi.

It might be Military Leaders like:  Napoleon Bonaparte, George S. Patton, or Colin Powell.

In the business world you might think of: Jack Welch, Lee Iacocca, or Bill Gates

We might even think of religious leaders like: Pope John Paul II, Billy Graham, or Mother Theresa of Calcutta.

There are many others I know, but you get the idea. The logical question most of us ask is:  How am I ever going to be like them? The answer is you may never be as good as them, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be a good leader, or at least a better leader than you are today.

Here is another question I hear often. Are great leaders, like these, born or made? I could say simply yes, but you probably wouldn’t like my answer. The answer is really both. Most people who are born with normal physical and mental abilities can become good, or at least better leaders, if they want to, and put their mind and efforts into developing their abilities. I don’t believe anyone is really a born leader, because I haven’t yet heard of a great leader who was still a baby. Even the youngest of successful leaders went through a learning process to become a great leader. Some people may need more time and help then others, but everyone needs some time. Some people may make more leadership mistakes then others, but believe it or not, even these great people weren’t always good leaders either. They had to learn to be good leaders and many of them did it the hard way, by trial and error. Too bad they never had the benefit of hearing my presentation. Seriously, they learned their leadership traits in the school of hard knocks. While it is a very good school, there is an easier road to good leadership, especially since we can learn from their mistakes and hopefully not repeat them. If I can achieve nothing else but this today, it will be worth all our time and effort.

 

Let’s start our discussion with an agreeable definition of “what is leadership?” 

Merriam-Webster defines it as:  “the office or position of a leader, the capacity to lead, the act or office or position of a leader.”  Then it defines leader as:  “a person who leads as in a guide, one who leads or directs another’s way, a person who directs another’s conduct or course of life.”

The US Army defines it as:  “The Army defines leadership as influencing people-by providing purpose, direction, and motivation-while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization.” (FM-1)

Princeton University defines it as:  the activity of leading; "his leadership inspired the team"; the body of people who lead a group; "the national leadership adopted his plan"; the status of a leader; "they challenged his leadership of the union."

You can easily see from all of these definitions the common thread in leadership is getting people to do something you want them to do. That sounds easy enough, but in practice it takes a lot of effort to convince, notice I said convince not coerce, people to do what you want them to. Coercion is easy to do. You either do it my way or the highway. Ever heard that one before?  Is this really the kind of leadership we want in our company?  I don’t think so. By doing it this way, you stand to lose a lot of good people, including some really good people who someday may be exactly who you want to put in a leadership position, but you will never know, or have the opportunity, because you forced them out of your organization. This is your fault, not theirs. There are better ways to get people to do what you need them to do short of this rather final tact. It doesn’t mean from time to time you might not have to fire someone, because you might have to, but it shouldn’t be your first action, or your only action.

 

Many people get management and leadership confused. Here are what some of the same sources we used before have to say about management.

Merriam-Webster:  “the act or art of managing; the judicious use of means to accomplish an end; the collective body of those who manage or direct an enterprise.”  Then it defines manage as:  “ to handle or direct with a degree of skill as in to make and keep compliant; to treat with care, as in he managed his resources carefully; to exercise executive or administrative direction of a business.”

The Princeton University:  “the act of managing something; "he was given overall management of the program"; those in charge of running a business.

I’ve heard many experts say what difference does it make if you are a leader or manager?  As long as you get the results you want, how you got them isn’t important. Well, to some extent I can see what they mean, but in the long run, it will make a difference in the people who are working for you. Remember everyone says their most important asset is their people. So if you really mean it, it does make a difference. The common thread in all of this is: You manage resources, but you lead people. Leading people is what leadership is all about.

 

Enough with the discussion between leadership and management, it’s making my head hurt. Let’s just agree with being a better leader is what we want to achieve and move on. So we want to be a better leader, so what can we do?  This question has been asked for hundreds of years and has received probably thousands of answers. If I had the perfect answer to this question, I wouldn’t be here talking to you today now would I?  So why am I here, and what do I have to offer to you?  As you saw in my bio I have 29 years of military leadership experience, countless years of study on the subject, and many years of teaching the subject. What I have found out in all this time and effort is there is no one single best answer to this question. This is because each of us is different, and we bring to the table many different experiences, skills, and capabilities. What I’m going to do is give you many of the most widely accepted and agreed upon skills and traits which were processed by many of the successful leaders I started this presentation with, and many others throughout history. If you see some you already process, good on you. If you see some you want to work on improving, great idea. If you see some you don’t agree with, that’s OK too. I have never come across a single leader who processed every one of these, so I guess it means there is hope for all of us.

Ropella is a Leadership Transformation, Executive Search, and Consulting firm. We partner with the Applied Science Foundation for Homeland Security and the University of West Florida to train first responders in cutting-edge leadership methods developed by military and security leaders.First Responder Training courses train first responders in any rank to become the leaders their departments need and their communities rely upon.


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Essential Leadership Traits Part 2

By Harry LeBoeuf  Posted 3 years, 1 month, 1 day, 3 hours, 54 minutes ago.  

Beyond these basic traits, leaders of today must also possess traits which will help them motivate others and lead them in new directions. Leaders of the future must be able to envision the future and convince others that their vision is worth following. To do this, they must have the following personality traits:

  • High energy. Long hours and some travel are usually a prerequisite for leadership positions, especially as your company grows. Remaining alert and staying focused are two of the greatest obstacles you will have to face as a leader.
  • Intuitiveness. Rapid changes in the world today combined with information overload result in an inability to "know" everything. In other words, reasoning and logic will not get you through all situations. In fact, more and more leaders are learning the value of using their intuition and trusting their "gut" when making decisions.
  • Maturity. To be a good leader, personal power and recognition must be secondary to the development of your employees. In other words, maturity is based on recognizing that more can be accomplished by empowering others than can be by ruling others.
  • Team orientation. Business leaders today put a strong emphasis on team work. Instead of promoting an adult/child relationship with their employees, leaders create an adult/adult relationship which fosters team cohesiveness.
  • Empathy. Being able to "put yourself in the other person's shoes" is a key trait of leaders today. Without empathy, you can't build trust. And without trust, you will never be able to get the best effort from your employees.
  • Charisma. People usually perceive leaders as larger than life. Charisma plays a large part in this perception. Leaders who have charisma are able to arouse strong emotions in their employees by defining a vision which unites and captivates them. Using this vision, leaders motivate employees to reach toward a future goal by tying the goal to substantial personal rewards and values.

Overall, leaders are larger than life in many ways. Personal traits play a major role in determining who will and who will not be comfortable leading others. However, it's important to remember that people are forever learning and changing.

Leaders are rarely (if ever) born. Circumstances and persistence are major components in the developmental process of any leader. So if your goal is to become a leader, work on developing those areas of your personality that you feel are not "up to par." For instance, if you have all of the basic traits but do not consider yourself very much of a "people" person, try taking classes or reading books on empathy. On the other end, if relating to others has always come naturally to you, but you have trouble making logical decisions, try learning about tough-mindedness and how to develop more psychological resistance. Just remember, anyone can do anything they set their mind to... the key is more the desire to grow and develop these essential traits and take the steps necessary to become a great leader.

Ropella is a Leadership TransformationExecutive Search, and Consulting firm. We partner with the Applied Science Foundation for Homeland Security and the University of West Florida to train first responders in cutting-edge leadership methods developed by military and security leaders.First Responder Training courses train first responders in any rank to become the leaders their departments need and their communities rely upon.


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Essential Leadership Traits and the Leadership Potential Equation

By Harry LeBoeuf  Posted 3 years, 2 months, 3 days, 10 hours, 26 minutes ago.  

The following post is part 1 of 2 blog posts outlining my article on essential leadership traits.  This post covers the Leadership Potential Equation while the next post will focus on motivation and personality traits.

 

In recent years, one of the most important contributions psychology has made to the field of business has been in determining the key traits of acknowledged leaders. Psychological assessments have been used to determine what characteristics are most commonly noted among successful leaders. This list of characteristics can be used for developmental purposes to help managers gain insight and develop their leadership skills, and for selection purposes.

 

The increasing rate of change in the business environment is a major factor in this new emphasis on leadership. Whereas in the past, managers were expected to maintain the status quo in order to move ahead, new forces in the marketplace have made it necessary to expand this narrow focus. The new leaders of the future are visionary. They are both learners and teachers. Not only do they foresee paradigm changes in society, but they also have a strong sense of ethics and morality, but also work hard to build integrity in their organizations.

 

Raymond Cattell, a pioneer in the field of personality assessment, developed the Leadership Potential Equation (LPE) back in 1954. This equation, which was based on a study of top military leaders, is still used today to determine the essential traits which characterize an effective leader. Per the LPE these are the essential traits of an effective leader:

•           Emotional stability. Good leaders must be able to tolerate frustration and stress. Overall, they must be well-adjusted and have the psychological maturity to deal with anything they are required to face.

•           Dominance. Leaders are often times competitive and decisive and usually enjoy overcoming obstacles. Overall, they are assertive in their thinking style as well as their attitude in dealing with others.

•           Enthusiasm. Leaders are usually seen as active, expressive, and energetic. They are often very optimistic and open to change. Overall, they are generally quick and alert and tend to be uninhibited.

•           Conscientiousness. Leaders are often dominated by a sense of duty and tend to be very exacting in character. They usually have a very high standard of excellence and an inward desire to do one's best. They also have a need for order and tend to be very self-disciplined.

•           Social boldness. Leaders tend to be spontaneous risk-takers. They are usually socially aggressive and generally thick-skinned. Overall, they are responsive to others and tend to be high in emotional stamina.

•           Tough-mindedness. Good leaders are practical, logical, and to-the-point. They tend to be low in sentimental attachments and comfortable with criticism. They are usually insensitive to hardship and overall, are very poised.

•           Self-assurance. Self-confidence and resiliency are common traits among leaders. They tend to be free of guilt and have little or no need for approval. They are generally secure and free from guilt and are usually unaffected by prior mistakes or failures.

•           Compulsiveness. Leaders were found to be controlled and very precise in their social interactions. Overall, they were very protective of their integrity and reputation and consequently tended to be socially aware and careful, abundant in foresight, and very careful when making decisions or determining specific actions.

 

Stay tuned for the follow-up post coming soon. 

 

Ropella is a Leadership Transformation, Executive Search, and Consulting firm. We partner with the Applied Science Foundation for Homeland Security and the University of West Florida to train first responders in cutting-edge leadership methods developed by military and security leaders. First Responder Training courses train first responders in any rank to become the leaders their departments need and their communities rely upon.


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4 Workplace Myths You May Have Heard

By Patrick Ropella  Posted 3 years, 3 months, 1 week, 2 days, 4 hours, 2 minutes ago.  

Myths abound in the workplace regarding the availability, motivations, and desires of today’s employee.  Here are four dangerous workforce myths that need to be forever buried and replaced by new realities. 

Myth #1: You just can’t find good people these days.
New Reality #1: There are millions of great employees in the workplace.

To achieve great results, you need to clearly understand who you are looking for, the types of people who will best fit within your culture and connect to your purpose.  Then, you need to create progressive ways to attract these (typically) already employed heroes into your company. 

There are plenty of great people around.  The key is whether you are willing to do what is necessary to get them interested in your company and connected with your journey to greatness.

Myth #2: People only work for the money.
Reality #2: Great people work for more than a paycheck.

Actually, this myth is partially true.  Great people do want competitive pay.  Great people know what the prevailing wage is in their area.  A pay range slightly above the norm is enough to get the attention of the best people in the market.

But today’s top talent, although expecting competitive compensation for their efforts, work for more than mere money – they work to make a difference. Isn’t that what you want from your workforce? 

Myth #3: People are your greatest asset. 
Reality #3: The RIGHT people are your greatest asset. 

People are not your greatest asset.  If that were true, then all you would need to do to increase the assets of your company is simply add more people onto your payroll!  Even filling your company with highly skilled professionals is no sure bet of achieving great results.  Why?  It takes far more than mere skills and knowledge within a workforce to achieve great results; it also takes a special connection to its purpose and culture. 

Who are the right people?  Those with the right stuff, the corporate DNA, the ones who understand and embrace the purpose, live the culture, and are committed to helping the organization achieve great results. 

Give me a company filled with purpose-aligned, culture-loving people, and I’ll win every time!

Myth #4: Great people make great employees anywhere they work.
Reality #4: Great people are only great within the right environment.

A great employee at The Home Depot would not necessarily be a great employee at Southwest Airlines. A great employee at 3M would not necessarily be a great employee at Office Depot. A great employee at Fairview Health Systems in Minneapolis, Minnesota would not necessarily be a great employee at Bayfront Health Systems in St. Petersburg, Florida.

What makes for a great employee in your company is different than what makes a great employee at your competitors.  You are looking for a unique combination of things, the right stuff, the DNA that sets apart your best people from all the others.


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How to Overcome Overwhelmed

By Dr. Jim Harris  Posted 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, 2 days, 8 hours, 39 minutes ago.  

Overwhelmed. Confused. Aggravated. Unproductive. Disorganized. Frustrated.

Ever felt that way at work? I did this morning. Three hours of false starts and wasted time over how much I have to do, how little time I have to do it, how little resources I have available, and on and on and on. You get the picture.

So I decided to do the best thing I could do…get out of the office and go putt!!!

How to Overcome Overwhelmed

We live just a few houses from the #1 green at Marcus Pointe golf club in Pensacola, FL, a wonderful 18-hole course surrounded by 500+ beautiful homes. I knew I needed a break, to get away, and I could not think of a better place to go for an hour. And I must say, it worked wonderfully.

After honing my putting skills for about an hour, here is what I learned about overcoming owverwhelmed.

Three Steps to Overcome Overwhelmed

  1. Recognize you are under stress. It’s ok to admit you are under stress to yourself and even others.
  2. Decide to take a real break. When I mentioned all this to my wife (yes, I still enjoy my home-based business for over 20 years), and mentioned I was going up to putt, she said, “Great idea!” More than likely, she did not want her grumpy, complaining husband around – would you?
  3. Then just do it! I could have easily walked back into my office and reignited all my anxiety, but I followed through with the plan.

The ROI

Just walking on the golf course, hitting a few putts, watching other golfers warm up on the driving range, and just standing outside in the awe of God’s green world, literally took away all my sense of overwhelm. Then I strolled home and ate a wonderful lunch with my wife. That alone was a great ROI.

But there was more. This afternoon has been amazingly productive:

  1. I wrote this post.
  2. I accepted a radio interview next month for my new book, “The Impacter.”
  3. I rewrote copy for this website for my social media guru.
  4. I organized the rest of my week with only high-priority actions and not cramming everything into this week.
  5. I got to kiss a happy wife three times (that was worth everything alone.)
  6. And it’s only 3:30 and I have plenty more time for additional productivity.

Simple story. Simply actions. Nothing you did not already know. Just a helpful reminder for you.

So the next time you feel overwhelmed, why not go hit a few putts!


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5 Steps for a Better Onboarding Process

By Patrick Ropella  Posted 3 years, 4 months, 1 week, 1 day, 22 hours, 46 minutes ago.  

  1. Develop a clear game plan for each hire. Failing to prepare not only wastes the time of your new hire, it also negatively impacts members of his team who are waiting for the new hire to get settled in and down to work. Before any newly appointed executive starts, take time to review the individual’s duties and responsibilities. Determine what the person will need to know in terms of corporate goals, department objectives, policies and procedures, organizational norms, and team dynamics. And most importantly, make sure short and long-term responsibilities and expectations are clearly defined. Next, formulate a detailed orientation plan for each day of the employee’s first week. This plan may include: time with executives who can clearly convey corporate priorities; introductory meetings with department heads, managers, customers, and vendors with whom your new hire will interact; initial interviews with subordinates to understand their roles and concerns; and attendance at appropriate meetings to get up to speed on current projects and issues.

  2. Include all relevant departments. When planning your onboarding process, be sure to consider engineering, IT, customer service, legal, R&D, marketing, sales, operations, and even administrative support in your meeting plans. Onboarding a new executive should be a joint effort to be shared with all departments. As Ted Forbes asserts, “HR’s control of onboarding frequently results from management’s underestimating the importance of the process. It’s just not viewed as a business lever, which is why onboarding might become little more than a checklist exercise to meet those basic HR requirements.” If approached from such a perspective, onboarding is going to be a missed opportunity for everyone involved. Expand the scope of onboarding and you’ll expand the scope of success for that new hire.

  3. Clarify expectations from day one. Vague goals produce vague results. If you are serious about driving performance, clear—and realistic—goals must set up front. Together discuss and document your performance expectations. Set specific objectives and development milestones for the first month, three months, six months, and year. Explain and demonstrate your performance evaluation process. Offer examples of the successes other executives in your organization have achieved…and perhaps how they were rewarded. If applicable, explain the potential for future promotion. By providing specific performance expectations and setting realistic goals, you dramatically reduce the changes for misunderstanding down the road.

  4. Take advantage of technology and networking. In the past, orientation was predominately about filling in forms and getting lectured on corporate policies. While this information must be shared, technology offers more efficient ways to convey the data. For example, in their “Jump Start” program, Capital One provides new hires with an online portal containing basic orientation information before they begin their job. According to Ted Forbes, “Capital One designed a series of e-learning modules that new hires can access on a website…this site provides information on culture, values and business lines, and it includes PDF versions of essential forms to download in advance of the on-site onboarding class.” Technology-aided preparation such as this allows for direct knowledge sharing between manager and candidate to happen as soon as the candidate arrives on the job. As an added bonus, the new hire feels much more prepared and familiar with the company’s policies on day one.

  5. Provide early and frequent feedback. Many large companies such as Capital One and GE have a formal appraisal process in place to assess and evaluate new employees early on—as soon as three or six months on the job. This preliminary performance review provides a newly appointed manager or executive with both positive feedback and guidance as to where improvements can be made. By providing early and frequent feedback, you can ensure new hires stay focused on the right priorities and prevent bad habits from developing. Ideally, the new hire appraisal process should encourage two-way dialog, so your organization can take advantage of the new hire’s fresh perspectives and suggestions for improvement.

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How to Master Succession Planning

By Harry LeBoeuf  Posted 3 years, 4 months, 2 weeks, 6 days, 13 hours, 3 minutes ago.  

In its simplest form, succession planning is the strategy for finding suitable people to replace important executives in an organization when current executives leave or retire.  To fulfill this definition, it seems all a company needs to do is wait until a vacancy occurs, and then go out and find a suitable substitute to fill the vacancy.  While this rather simplistic definition seems easy to attain, and it seems to fit rather nicely into most company’s directives, it often falls short of the totality of what succession planning really entails.

Perhaps a more complete definition of succession planning might be: a continuous process for identifying, hiring, and developing internal people who possess the potential to fill key business leadership roles within an organization.  With this definition you can see several differences.

  1. It’s a continuous process.
  2. This definition speaks to not only identifying, but also developing potential candidates for filling key leadership roles within the organization.
  3. The most important difference is the focus on internal people within the organization who could move up the chain and take on greater and greater responsibilities.

Once the succession plan is drawn up, it should be followed up immediately with what many experts call “succession development.”  Once you have the plan in place, you have to actually implement or execute it.  Executives must decide who has and who does not have the potential to move up in the company and take on higher and higher levels of responsibilities.  Once these individuals are identified, then the organization must do whatever needs to be done to properly train, prepare, and mentor those individuals who are selected for advancement.

Answer the following questions to see if you or your organization needs succession planning:

  • How critical is your job to the organization?
  • Are you what your organization calls a key or essential person?
  • If you were hit by a bus, would your organization be able to survive without missing a beat?
  • Does your position require a scarce or specialized skill for your organization to continue to function?
  • Does your position have a critical effect over operations or mission success?
  • Are you and your organization ready for the next big economic leap?

By answering these few questions, you will probably notice (and it should be obvious) that you need succession planning.  As a minimum you probably need to seriously think about it.  Worse yet, if you haven’t started thinking about the need before, you need to start thinking about it now and probably discussing it with others in your organization. 

 


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The Transformational Power of a Generous Boss

By Dr. Jim Harris  Posted 3 years, 6 months, 2 weeks, 2 days, 18 hours, 15 minutes ago.  

There is much discussion today over the concept of raising the minimum wage in America to over $10.00 an hour. This post is NOT an economic or political dissection of the good, bad, or ugly of this concept. This post is to point our eyes to a higher level of truth.

The parable of the prodigal son is one of the most powerful stories in the Bible. On face value, it appears to have nothing at all to do with pay grade – until you dig deeper. Here is the hidden leadership key at the core of the wayward son’s return.

The Basic Prodigal Story

Most of us know the story well. One of the two sons of a successful businessman demanded his share of his inheritance (Luke 15:12). He left home and quickly squandered all his money on lavish living (Luke 15:13). He became so broke, and with a famine where he now lived (Luke 15:14), he found a lowly job feeding pigs (Luke 15:15). But he could not even eat the pig food, and no one gave him anything (Luke 15:16).

Finally, the son “came to his senses.” When he finally realized how bad he had it, he saw the reality of his mistakes and longed to return home (Luke 15:17). He did return home (Luke 15:20) where his dad threw a huge welcome home party (Luke 15:22-24).

The Hidden Leadership Key

“But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death.’” Luke 15:17

Did you read that carefully? The hidden leadership key was his father’s generosity with his employees! His father GENEROUSLY paid his workers FAR AND ABOVE their minimum needs, enough to have much “food to spare” and give to others!

Think about this a second. His father did not pay these men generously because the government system forced him to. He did not pay these men generously because he knew one day it would help his son to return home. He paid these men generously because he knew it was the right thing to do! He was an honorable man, deep in character and love and passion. And one day, his deep generosity was the tipping point for his own son’s return home.

For if he had NOT been generous by nature, his son would have NEVER CONSIDERED coming home!

The Hidden Story: The Transformational Power of Generosity

For me, the story of the prodigal son is far more than the drama of a wayward son’s return. It is the story of a 2%er leader, a man whose generosity in business one day transformed the future of his own son!

Imagine the potential power of generosity within your company, not just in salary and benefits, but in such things as paid time off for community service, company sponsored missions trips, child care support, flex time, chaplain services, and so many more.

I encourage you to take a close look at your leadership generosity factor. It could be the key to your company’s transformation and one day, perhaps, even the transformation of your own kids.


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The Wisdom of Simple

By Dr. Jim Harris  Posted 3 years, 7 months, 1 day, 7 hours, 45 minutes ago.  

It is so easy to overcomplicate our lives – to add complexity when it is not needed, to make things more difficult than they are, to add unnecessary burden and bureaucracy.

“When the solution is simple, God is answering.” Albert Einstein

I love this quote. And I love the concept of simple – not simplistic – but simple. So for a change of pace to help us…well…simplify, here are 20 more of my favorite quotes on the concept of “simple” – the last two are the most fascinating!

18 “Simple” Quotes

“Einstein was a man who could ask immensely simple questions. And what his work showed is that when the answers are simple too, then you can hear God thinking.” Jacob Bronowski

“The Holy Bible is an abyss. It is impossible to explain how profound it is, impossible to explain how simple it is.” Ernest Hello

“The gateway to Christianity is not through an intricate labyrinth of dogma, but by a simple belief in the person of Christ. ” Norman Vincent Peale

“The words of truth are simple.” Aeschylus

“There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.” Ronald Reagan

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers.” General Colin Powell

“At Wal-Mart, if you couldn’t explain an idea or a concept in simple terms on one page of paper Sam Walton considered the new idea too complicated to implement.” Michael Bergdahl

“Dealing with complexity is an inefficient and unnecessary waste of time, attention and mental energy. There is never any justification for things being complex when they could be simple.” Edward de Bono

“The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.” Warren Buffett

“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” Leo Burnett

“Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way.” Charles Bukowski

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Confucius

“Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.” Arnold H. Glasow

“Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated.” Lou Holtz

“My pitching philosophy is simple – keep the ball away from the bat.” Satchel Paige

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” Jim Rohn

“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” Winston Churchill

“They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong.” Ronald Reagan

2 Fascinating “Simple” Quotes

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” Adolf Hitler

“Issues are never simple. One thing I’m proud of is that very rarely will you hear me simplify the issues.” Barack Obama

Your Favorites?

Which is your favorite? Any “Simple” quotes you’d like to add to the list?


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7 Meeting Truths & How to Minimize Their Damage

By Dr. Jim Harris  Posted 3 years, 7 months, 2 weeks, 1 day, 8 hours, 56 minutes ago.  

I am sure you’ve heard the saying, “The quickest way to kill an idea is to take it to a meeting!” Often in my business advising I am invited into meetings that are, to say the least, painful. Well-meaning managers talk and talk while bored employees pretend to listen. With over 25 years advising teams on how to conduct better meetings, I thought today I’d simply coach-you-up on 7 meeting truths and how to minimize their damage.

7 Meeting Truths

  1. Too many people call too many meetings of too many people! Just like in the kitchen, too many cooks do indeed spoil the meeting broth. Only invite the essential staff that have direct impact and influence – all others can be in the roll-out of the decision. Most often, the fewer people the better.
  2. The interpersonal elements in a meeting are just as important as the objectives. How you open, lead, or contribute is just as important at the goal of the meeting. Check your ego and personal agendas at the door – focus on the goal and gently lead all personalities toward the goal.
  3. Over 50% of meetings could be handled better by email or phone. Don’t call a meeting to convey routine information. Send it out by an email or a pre-recorded call blast. Your people would FAR prefer to have a short email with an attached list or a 90-second recorded call rather than be forced to spend 30 minutes in a meeting hearing routine stuff.
  4. The main reasons for poor meetings are inviting the wrong people, no clear objective, or an autocratic leader. Wrong people – No objective – Autocratic leader.  Fix these and you fix most of your unproductive meetings. (Yes, you can fix an autocratic meeting leader – if you would like a future post on how, leave a note in the comments below).
  5. Little real work occurs during meetings.  Why? All you typically do is TALK about work. No one really DOES much work during most meetings – unless you’re the one having to take the minutes (a lost art).
  6. Real meeting success is measured by what happens AFTER the meeting – not DURING the meeting.  With rare exception, it is far more important what the participants do AFTER the meeting – not during. Great meetings produce positive action and results – not merely good discussion.
  7. Remember what will most likely happen if you don’t call a meeting. if you don’t call a meeting, what will every meeting participant likely do instead?

WORK!

Your Meeting Truisms

These are a few of my favorite meeting truisms. What other meeting truism have I missed?  Let’s build a fun list – join the conversation below.


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