The Difference Between Great Leaders And Posers

What is the difference between great leaders and posers? This may sound harsh, but the truth is I’ve witnessed far too many people in positions of leadership that wouldn’t recognize an opportunity if it hit them squarely in the face. If you cannot recognize, attract, and acquire opportunity you should not be in a leadership position. Just this week I’ve observed people in leadership roles who…

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This 4-Step Formula Will Make Tough Conversations at Work More Bearable

How to prepare yourself to have a tough conversation at work We have all been there, a time when we've had to have the "tough conversation." Whether it was breaking it off with a romantic partner or having to tell roommates to pick-up after themselves, the "tough conversation" is, well, tough to have. Despite the challenge of them, tough conversations are crucial and no place are they more…

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What We’ve Got Here Is A Failure to Communicate

Many firms suffer from poor communications. It's my theory is that too few firms have the necessary communications program in place to do it well. Take the following steps to develop an effective communications program plan: 1. Delineate your objectives - Determine what you expect to gain from your communications program. Objectives could range from enhancing service delivery and improving staff…

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5 Ways to Become Indispensable

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "indispensable" as being absolutely necessary and not subject to being set aside or neglected.  Wouldn't you like to become indispensable to your customers?  Sure, you would!  While there's not one sure fire formula to follow to become indispensable, you can do some things to improve your chances that you'll "stick" to your customers. Here are 5 tips to…

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Welcome to Business 2.0 as Powered by New IT

Business 2.0 represents a new way of thinking and doing for early 21st Century companies. Unlike e-commerce where consumer transactions are done via the Web, Business 2.0 is about using the Internet-based services to drive entire business processes. Indeed, the work of transforming an enterprise to Business 2.0 is quite an undertaking. But, this transformation has an ally in "New IT"--a…

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Preparing Your Organization for the “Big Change”

Organizational change is inevitable. Like all living things, it's vital that organizations regularly adjust in order to accommodate the ebb and flow that goes on within the ecosystems in which they thrive. Every so often, though, a "Big Change" is needed to better position an organization for long-term success. In those times, proper preparation is required. Here are 6 steps that you can take to…

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Data Storytelling: Big Data’s Next Frontier

If you're looking for a business prediction for the year, here's one: "Data Storytellers will be in high demand." Many self-proclaimed business gurus are predicting this year will be the year of "Big Data". For those unfamiliar with the concept, big data is a general term for the processes and automated tools related to the search, capture, storage, curation, analysis and visualization of data.…

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How to Use the Holiday Wind-Down to Generate Positive Energy for the Coming Year

Work slows a bit for many businesses during the Holiday Season. Even so, it can be quite a task to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead in the coming year, while immersed in the hustle and bustle of the Holidays. Let me suggest that we all become a bit more deliberate about using the Holiday slow-down to generate the positive energy that you'll need for the coming year. Here's how: Slow Down…

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The Importance of Recognition: A Perfect Story for the Holiday Season

This story involves a mentally challenged individual that works at a local supermarket. There was a time when the store presented an "Employee of the Month" award to its staff. This middle-aged man was a recipient of this award from time-to-time. He was so elated whenever he received the honor that he would brag about it and show off the plaque (that came as part of the recognition) to the…

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Story Telling for Business Growth and Long-Term Accomplishment

As a management consultant that focuses on strategy and planning, I've had the occasion to put together some wonderful vision stories over the years. I've counseled my clients in the practice long before it was in vogue. In fact, it's amazing to me that vision stories are now considered "the thing to do" in business strategy work. I've been doing it for over 20 years! If you're not already "hip"…

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How to Build a Compelling Marketing Plan for Your Startup

This 3-part series is intended to illuminate what goes into developing a superior business plan-one worth funding. I hope that you enjoyed Part I of the series last week. In this installment, we will examine the Marketing and Sales Section of the typical business plan. The Marketing and Sales Section is the "guts" of a business plan. Generally divided into three parts, the section traditionally…

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6 Communication Habits of Extraordinary Leaders (and How They Manage Conflict)

Like him or not, in my view President Obama is the epitome of a master communicator. Next time you see him on television notice his use of communication strategies including body language, voice inflection, gestures, and the intuitive ability to establish and maintain trust. Communication is critically important for personal and professional effectiveness. In my experience as an executive coach…

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The Language of Leadership: 5 Actions To Transform Performance

Our organizational world is constituted and shaped by language. It is also accessed and made available to us through language. Language acts as the lens through which we can see and understand the challenges presented, and subsequently make sense of and provide solutions for.

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Clear Counsel – How Sweet the Sound

By Brian Layer Chief Executive Officer, N2Growth When you want to know how your leadership is working--ask.  Years ago, I learned this lesson when I received some unsolicited advice that challenged my professionalism, served as a wakeup call, and changed the arc of my career.  The counsel came from a subordinate as I was leaving an important leadership position but it would have come earlier if…

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Social Media For CEOs: I’ll Frame The Debate – You Decide

As a chief executive, as a leader, you have one primary responsibility: to lead. I’ve always said the greatest testimony to the value of leadership is what occurs in its absence – very little. Don’t believe me? Examine any aspect of business where performance is suspect, and you’ll find leadership is suspect as well. So my question is this: Are you leading when it comes to social media?

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The Engagement Secret of Great Leaders

Show me a great leader and I'll show you a talented storyteller. Leadership and storytelling go hand-in-hand. In fact, leaders who lack the ability to leverage the power and influence of storytelling are missing the very essence of what accounts for compelling leadership to begin with the story. Give me a few minutes and allow me to share a story with you - it may just change your life. If you’ve…

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