Finding Those Wow-Worthy Moves

truth Jul 21, 2017

“True leadership lies in guiding others to success.” - Bill Owens

In their book titled The Real-Life MBA”, Suzy and Jack Welch boil leadership down to its two essential components – truth and trust.

Based on years of leadership experience, they worked out an organizing principle we can all benefit from using. “Truth-and-trust leadership … is an overarching approach – an organizing principle – that drives everything leaders do every day, whether they are in staff meetings, performance evaluations, strategy sessions or budget reviews, or everything else in between.”

Truth seeking in leadership means being open and honest. It means never settling for suppositions or unsupported claims. Leaders consistently seek truth through the:

  • Strategy Process: They deep-dive into information about their competitors, their market share, and their strengths and weaknesses. This depth of truth seeking is as important for non-profit...
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Leaders: Are You Leading Change?

change Jul 14, 2017

It is said that a diplomat avoids unnecessary conflict and that while a leader doesn’t seek conflict, they do challenge norms and rock the boat when necessary.  For many of our businesses and non-profit organizations it’s time for leaders to challenge and to rock the boat. 

Rapid technological changes, globalization of markets and competition, and slower economic growth combined with changes in consumer, investor and employee behaviour requires businesses, small and large, rural or urban to adapt; or die. 

For many of these very reasons, non-profits are also required to adapt. Maintaining pace with technology, adjusting to changes in the way employees and volunteers are recruited and retained requires new and different leadership responses. 

Non-profits must respond to government and societal demands for increased accountability and demonstration of meaningful outcomes.  For many organizations, the failure to change or adapt often results in them...

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Everyone Wants to Have a Good Day

awareness Jul 06, 2017

Have you ever wondered if what you do today really affects your success tomorrow?

If you have a good day, does that make it more likely that the next day will also be good? And anyway, what makes one day good while another is not?

Everyone wants to have a good day, but according to John Maxwell, few of us know what a good day looks like. In his book, "Today Matters", he explains that very few people understand how the way they live today will impact what happens to them tomorrow. Why is that?

Well, there are a lot of misconceptions that can lead us astray. Here are few of the common misconceptions that are outlined in John Maxwell's book:

  1. We believe success is impossible, so we criticize it.
  2. We believe successes is mystical, so we search for it.
  3. We believe success comes from luck, so we hope for it.
  4. We believe success is productivity, so we work for it.
  5. We believe success comes from opportunity, so we wait for it.
  6. We believe success comes from leverage, so we power up for it.
  7. We...
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No Time for Learning?

potential Jun 29, 2017

James is at the dinner table with his wife, Cheryl. She can see he's distressed and asks if he's okay. The answer is larger than she expected. As far as she knew, James was happy in his job.

“Cheryl, I don’t know what’s wrong. I’ve worked long and hard for the company. I’ve been loyal and I've given my all. In the past, I was rewarded for my performance, but they’ve passed me over for a promotion again. Guess I better find another company that appreciates my experience and effort.’”

Only three years ago, James was excited about his future. He'd been promoted to a manager position at the manufacturing company where he works. They'd valued his university degree, but they'd valued his 10 years of experience even more.

James was ready for the learning curve his new role demanded. Never afraid of work, he committed countless hours to management courses and self-study. After all, he'd never held a leadership position before. He knew he had...

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Who Me …. Distracted?

awareness Jun 23, 2017

According to the dictionary, a “distraction” is anything that divides your attention or prevents you from concentrating.

When is the last time you were unable to concentrate on what was happening at work or at home?

Our lives are filled with things competing for our attention. The phone rings. New messages appear in your email. You go to the internet for a specific piece of information and end up reading something completely different.

A co-worker walks into your office for a quick chat. A friend invites you to go for coffee.

We all deal with dozens of distractions every day of our lives. Some of them are welcome, like having lunch with a friend. But if we allow ourselves to give way to every distraction that crosses our path, we lose focus on our goals. Interruptions take us away from important priorities and hamper our productivity.

Learning how to minimize the distractions in your life can dramatically increase your productivity and effectiveness. It starts with...

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Raise Your Leadership Lid

servant Jun 15, 2017

No doubt you’ve heard that the key to business success is: "location, location, location."

Certainly, location is one key to business success. But during my experience as an entrepreneur and my thirty-plus years of being a consultant, investor and banker to small businesses, I've found that the key to success goes by a different mantra: "management, management, management."

Ask any venture capitalist or angel investor what they look for in a business investment. The answer will always be "management".

Sure, investors and bankers are looking for a good business idea in a growth orientated industry producing strong cash flow. But they will be more interested in an average business idea backed up by a great management team than a great business idea with an average management team.

Try replacing "management" with a related but more focused word: "leadership". Now you have a mantra with real power. In his book entitled, "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership", John C. Maxwell...

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If You Don't Like the Effect, Change the Cause

awareness Jun 08, 2017

Albert Einstein said, "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." I love that quote because it points out the potential of a word most people find scary and that word is change.

When faced with the need to change, this is what a lot of us think at first. I don't want to. Why should I? Can't other people take care of the need to change for me'?

Change takes us outside of our comfort zone, but refusing change is like asking the sun not to rise. The sun will rise with or without our permission. It is the same with change. And if the effects we've been receiving are not what we want, change is the only way to generate a different outcome.

What end results do you dream of achieving? Are those results happening in your personal and work life?

It's a matter of cause and effect. Your actions are the cause that creates the end results. If you want a particular effect and that effect has been alluding you, there is only one way to achieve a different outcome and that is to embrace...

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Why Go the Extra Mile?

servant leadership Jun 01, 2017

Are you a person who consistently goes the extra mile? Do you routinely over deliver on your promises? Think back on what happened to you last week. Did you encounter anyone who was willing to go the extra mile for you?

It's rare these days, which is why it's so powerful. A willingness to do more than expected is the hallmark of high achievers. They know that exceeding expectations helps them stand above the crowd.

It’s the difference between being average and being exceptional.

In her blog “10 Outstanding Examples of Going An Extra Mile in Customer Service”, Natalia Chrzanowska tells us that excellent customer service is the greatest merit a company can earn. Entrepreneurs who focus on their clients’ needs and seek opportunities to take customer service to the next level gain a strong competitive advantage in the market.

Napoleon Hill Thought of the Day post tells us, those who do more than they are paid for will sooner or later be willingly paid for more...

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7 Ways to Gain Momentum in Your Organization

servant leadership May 24, 2017

Even people who aren’t hockey fans love a Cinderella team. The 1982 Canucks, the 2004 Flames, the 2005-2006 Oilers--all of these teams were rated average by experts and they performed as expected throughout their regular seasons.

Then post-season came. With each period, each game, each playoff series, they gained momentum. And that made the difference between winning and losing.

Every organization needs momentum to grow. Leaders create momentum. When momentum starts, it brings everyone along. Teams succeed. And the more they succeed, the more they want to succeed.

They begin to look for ways to keep their momentum going.

A while ago, I met the newly hired Executive Director of a well established non-profit organization. Although the organization had once been high-performing, the new leader soon recognized that the organization had lost its momentum.

Board members were not fully engaged and employee morale was low. Funders and donors were growing frustrated by the...

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The Greatest Asset Anyone Can Have

personalities May 17, 2017

Being able to understand people is the greatest asset anyone can have. In their book, "Becoming a Person of Influence", John Maxwell and Jim Dornan remind us that being able to understand others can have a positive impact on more than just your success in business.

It can impact every area of your life.

How can we become better at understanding the people in our life? It starts with communication. Often when we think about communication, we focus on talking. Yet the most powerful aspect of communication is not talking.

It's listening. More than anything, most of us yearn to be really heard.

When we feel that the person we're with is really listening, we feel respected. If you listen with care and ask questions to make sure you understand, you will develop a greater understanding of the people in your life.

By listening with care, you can learn what motivates a person. You can even anticipate how they may react to a situation. You can influence them in a positive way.

Many of the...

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