Articles Tagged ‘communication’

Great Leaders are Consistent and Predictable

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Easily my favorite passage in recent memory came from Patrick Lencioni’s – The Advantage.

“Many leaders fail to over communicate because they get bored saying the same thing over and over again. This is understandable. Intelligent people want to be challenged with new messages and new problems to solve, and they get tired of revisiting the same topics. But that doesn’t matter. The point of leadership is not to keep the leader entertained, but to mobilize people around what is important.”

Type A leaders who innovate, create and get crap done all have the same flaw – they get bored easily. You can see it on their faces. The minute someone begins to talk about an issue that they feel has been addressed they check out. It’s rude, selfish and disrespectful.

Unfortunately, most leaders think that it’s everyone else’s fault for moving too slow and insisting on reviewing mundane day-to-day tactics. Ten years ago, I thought just like most leaders. I was convinced that I was a lot smarter than everyone else and got frustrated with topics that didn’t interest me. Ten years and hundreds of clients later, I now realize that I was very wrong.

The most successful executives I have coached are not the smartest or those that come up with the most ideas. The professionals who build the most profitable companies share one simple trait – they are committed to practicing the fundamentals.

In other words, they are boring.

These leaders have regular weekly meetings where they follow the exact same agenda. They hold annual performance reviews with every employee. They analyze the sales pipeline religiously and never fail to ask the question – “What do you need to do to close more sales?” When I reinforce this concept to my clients, they often ask, “When does this routine activity cease to be so tedious?”

It doesn’t. If you are like most professionals and crave a new challenge every 45 minutes, this type of routine behavior will always bore you.

So, how do you stay interested?

Remain focused on your goals and carefully measure your progress. As soon as you gain some momentum and realize success you’ll find it a whole lot easier to repeat the behavior that got you there.

It’s simple, but requires the discipline to delay gratification.

C.J. McClanahan
Reachmore Strategies
317-576-8492
cjm@goreachmore.com

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A Life of Spectacular Opportunities

Friday, May 31st, 2013

(Publisher’s note: Ian Clark emailed me from China, asking if I knew of any small businesses that were hiring. I thought such initiative should be rewarded, and I told him to write an article about himself and his experiences and that would be a way to get noticed on Indy Smallbiz by businesses who are hiring.)

My life has been filled with stories that, when summed up, can only be described as spectacular. Most of the opportunities that I have had are one-of-a-kind and I wouldn’t change any of them for the world.

I was born in May 1988, in Buffalo, New York, and adopted by my father, who was in the news business, and my mother, who was a Special Education teacher. At eight months of age I moved to Fort Myers, Florida, for my father’s job. Five short years later, I moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, where I would live for the next ten years. While living there many exciting things would happen to me. For 18 months, starting at age six, I received chemotherapy for a benign brain tumor which left me legally blind. I made weekly visits to the wonderful Riley Children’s Hospital, in Indianapolis. Most would consider this a tragedy, but I took it in stride, making many friends, and I became so much a part of the people in Clinic B that I even had my own mailbox. As you read further, you will notice that my blindness has not kept me from doing anything that I wanted.

During that time, my father was the News Director at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, where I was a “fan favorite” around the news room. I was known and loved by all, in the hospital and news room. I still do this with everyone I meet, which is one of my best traits. I can make friends and acquaintances with people from the age of six to eighty-six.

Fast forward to 2004, and we move to Macomb, Illinois. My father has quit the news business, gone back to school, received two masters degrees from Indiana University, and has a job at Western Illinois University, as a Reference and Instructional Librarian/Professor.

After graduating from high school, I attended Western Illinois University for four and a half years, studying Communication and Public Relations. While there I did a seven month internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where I interacted with people of varying nationalities. I used the “Disney Magic” to make sure that each person left with a Disney smile. I treated them all with the respect that I would want, from everyday folks to celebrities.

My last semester of college, I decided I wanted to travel overseas for a year and teach English as a Foreign Language. I got my certification, and after graduation found a job in a “small Chinese town” of two million, Yinchuan. It is one of the fastest growing areas in China, evident by all the construction that is going on all around me as I write this.

During my senior year, another big event occurred. After having no previous contact with my birth mother, in September 2011, I discovered her on Facebook. After writing a rather mysterious letter to her, we made contact and began texting regularly. In December 2011, she and her husband attended my college graduation, making it one of the top days in my life. Later, meeting the rest of her family was an amazing opportunity. Until then, I had been an only child, and suddenly I had a little brother and little sister.

My work in China since July 2012 has involved teaching Chinese children the English language and American culture. I teach in a private school setting, and at “Number One Middle School” in my province, one of the top 50 middle schools in China. Classes may vary between two and 75 students, neither of which fazes me anymore. I have also done a lot of recruiting for my company, helping them to have the most students in the history of the school.

Me on the Great Wall of China, far right. February of 2013

My year will be completed this June and I will be returning home having learned much about foreign cultures, and how a culture determines the way business is conducted in that country.

Indianapolis has always been special to me, and upon my return in June, my goal is to find a job there. I would love to work for a small business in the area doing some sort of work with my Communication and or Public Relations major. My main concern is finding a good company that can use my talents, and the skills I have acquired through experience, in a way that matches their needs so that the company benefits from hiring me.

If any small businesses in the area are hiring, I can be reached at the following email address: irclark1988@gmail.com

Ian Clark

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In the play of life who is in your audience?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

While I was attending the annual BNI National Conference in St. Louis, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Ivan Misner give a presentation called, ”Who Is In Your Room?” I loved it and it made me think of similar conversations I have had with my clients over the years. I thought I would share them with you.

Imagine you are on stage and the play is your life, take a moment and look out at your audience. Who is in the first few rows? What are they doing? Are they cheering you on, are they frowning, checking email, gossiping and ignoring you?

Who is in your back row, look closely, what are they doing? Are all the people in the right seats? Maybe you have kept some of the negative ones too close, while those who are cheering for you are too far away. Those in the front should be your raving fans and if you must have the gossipers, the glass half empty kind of people in the audience, let them take the back seats.

Now here is an important question. Who have you allowed to be on your stage with you? Who is sharing your life, your burden and your dreams? We are responsible for who we let into our audience and who we let on our stage.

So take a look at your audience and your stage, are you happy to have them where they are? Do you need to make changes? Do you need to open the doors and allow others in? Jim Rohn said we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. So make sure the people on stage with you and those in the front seats are the ones who support you and bring your average up!

If you would like to read more about “Who Is In Your Room?” you can go to Dr. Misner’s Blog. There are always great things to learn from him.

Hazel Walker
Referral Institute, llc
BNI
hazel@bni.com

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You Are Your Most Valuable Player

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Most people tend to forget that the most important team member on any team is themselves. When you commit to a plan of personal growth and development for yourself – you are benefiting everyone. Here are five things you can do as an individual which will make your team even stronger.

1. Find out what everyone’s vision, including your own, is for the team.
2. Measure team effectiveness.
3. Use good communication.
4. Work to make a good plan.
5. Stand up for each other!

When you “begin with the end in mind,” you are all using your imagination to create the best, most successful, productive, cohesive and innovative team you desire! Some components to consider are what the team’s priorities, values, and desired results are, how does your organization’s values, priorities and desired results work with these concepts, and how will you determine your productivity towards these goals? All of these considerations give value to your work as a team.

When you and your team set measurable, obtainable goals; it’s easy to see where and why you are being successful. Some of the most effective ways to check achievement of team goals is with personal, individual interviews, simple measurements (i.e. “on a scale of 1 to 10, how effective is this team?”), and using unbiased assessment tools such as surveys.

By using good communication with your team and knowing yourself well enough to know what you want to communicate, you can all collaborate better. Remember that we all receive information differently and have different styles of understanding new ideas – some people need to see it, some need to hear it, etc. If you bear in mind that what works for you may not necessarily work for all of your team members, your team communication will be effective.

When your team has a plan for turning its vision into reality, then you know you’re all on the right path. By creating goals which support everyone in going to the next level – goals which work with everyone’s individual strengths – then, your team will easily be able to measure and obtain the desired outcomes.

And, finally, stand up for each other. Remind each other of the vision you are attempting to reach and whether you see yourself as “the leader” of the entire team or “a leader in the team” you can contribute and take a stand for team improvement. It can be as simple as boosting rapport by going to lunch together or engaging in a fun “out of the box” activity or even having a formal team-building event.

The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts – so the parts need to be their best. When you invest energy, time and financial resources in improving yourself as a team member – the whole team benefits.

Deseri Garcia
Vida Aventura
317-362-4898
www.vidaaventura.net

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